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  • Former DCdt LGen Marquis Hainse In Conversation With Victoria Edwards

Former DCdt LGen Marquis Hainse In Conversation With Victoria Edwards

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 12966 LGen Joseph Marcel Marquis Hainse, CMM, MSC, CD (CMR 1980), who served as DCadets at RMC in 1994-5. As of 18 July, 2013 he serves as Canadian Army Commander. He is currently the senior serving General in the Royal 22e Régiment.

e-veritas: You are one of the most senior Francophone serving officers of the Royal 22e Régiment, which is celebrating its centennial in 2014.

LGen Marquis Hainse: I joined the Canadian Forces in 1977. I studied at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean until 1980, when I changed programs. I had a different perspective of Military College as a cadet and returning as DCadets. When I began my cadet studies, I spoke French fluently but had very limited English skills, consequently, CMR served as a springboard for my second language studies. The opportunity to study at Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean was a challenging experience for Anglophones and Francophones and a golden opportunity to complete a degree; it was a College with two cultures – linguistic and military.

I was commissioned as an officer in August 1980 and then joined the Royal 22e Régiment. My operational postings began in 1980 with the 2nd Battalion Royal 22e Régiment in Quebec City. I served on five operational missions abroad and participated in two domestic operations, namely Oka and the 1998 ice storm. I also held diverse command appointments at every rank level. In 1996, I assumed command of the 1st Battalion Royal 22e Régiment in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

When I returned as DCadets, I used to say that it was a command responsibility to address subordinates in their first language as a means of ensuring good communication with subordinates. Since Canada has two official languages, it is important to take second language skills seriously. Although I still claim that I have not yet mastered the English language properly, I am at least very comfortable in English.

e-veritas: How did you find CMR in comparison with your later post-secondary studies?

LGen Marquis Hainse: I found CMR unique since the environment imposed challenges in the four pillars of language, physical fitness, military, and leadership. I found the quality of education to be very good at CMR. The classes were smaller at CMR than other universities that I have attended. However, I found that due to a reduced tempo of activity, I was more alert as a student during my post graduate studies, which made a difference. It was also at a different period in my life. As a more mature student I was able to balance graduate school with family responsibilities.

I have pursued professional development at the Land Force Command and Staff College in Kingston and at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto. On completion of Battalion Command in 1999, I undertook a master’s program at the École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP) as a full Colonel in Quebec City. I hold a Master’s degree in Public Administration and an advanced graduate diploma (DESS) in International Management Studies. Since this program attracted middle to senior management from all works of life, I learned as much from my peers as from the class readings. I found my graduate studies easier since I could operationalize the best practices and lessons learned in the workplace.

e-veritas: What timeframe were you involved in training & education, specifically as DCdt?

LGen Marquis Hainse: I was involved in training and education on three different occasions: at the Infantry School in Gagetown (1984), at the Royal Military College as Director of Cadets (1994-96), and as Commander of Land Force Doctrine and Training System (2008), where I oversaw all aspects of training of the Canadian Land Force.

e-veritas: What were, if any, the major changes that took place at the college during this time period?

LGen Marquis Hainse: Following massive government cutbacks on defence spending, the Department of National Defence closed Royal Roads Military College (RRMC) and Collège Militaire Royal de Saint-Jean (CMR).

• Integrating 3 military colleges into 1, with the closure of Royal Roads and CMR

• Logistics of housing a much larger student body and faculty at RMC Kingston

• Since several professors and disciplines moved to RMC from CMR or Royal Roads, the College reorganized and trimmed the programs in the academic wing. A few programs, such as Business studies, were added to RMC Kingston.

• There was an increased emphasis on bilingualism at RMC. The college francophone community felt disadvantaged since services around town were very limited in French. With the arrival of a greater French community the situation did improve since there were more than 5000 Francophone’s in Kingston and the town was bound by law to provide services in both official languages.

e-veritas: What were, if any, the major changes that took place with your position as DCadets during this time period?

LGen Marquis Hainse: The transition wasn’t clearcut since all of the cadets didn’t arrive at RMC at the same time. For example, during the transition in 1994, the first year cadets arrived at RMC from CMR, they were joined the subsequent year by the more senior cadets from CMR and RRMC.

As DCadets, my main task was to harmonize the military curriculum. My goal was to put the M(ilitary) back into RMC. At the time, the military component at RMC consisted mainly of a weekend parade one Sunday every month. Although the TDO personnel worked on the military curriculum during my two year tenure, I could have benefitted from another year of planning and implementing the curriculum changes. I feel there was a loss of momentum towards military curriculum change after I left.

• There were practical issues of harmonizing the dress and deportment, adopting elements from RMC, RRMC and CMR. At that time, this issue was solved by imposing a standard way to wear the uniforms at RMC

• The Cadet Wing was sub-divided into three new Divisions that saw the creation of three new Squadrons of approximately 70 officer cadets, under the guidance and supervision of senior cadets. These new Squadrons were subdivided into new flights and sections.

o 9 Verchères c. 1995 Warrior Flight

o 10 Montcalm c. 1995 Savage Flight

o 11 Tecumseh c 1996–1998

• The College had to cope with a number of logistics challenges, for example new accommodation was required in the short and long term to house the cadets. There were renovations to Fort LaSalle dormitory and Yeo Hall between 1993–1995

e-veritas: How did you go forward/bridge the gap between the two colleges? Any best practices/lessons learned?

LGen Marquis Hainse: To accommodate the closure of the other two colleges, there was a sudden increase in the cadet, academic and staff population at RMC. In retrospect, it was an opportunity to influence and shape the future of the college. My goal was to build a team and to achieve unity of effort and thought. The guiding principle was to adopt the best practices from RMC, Royal Roads and Saint-Jean and combine them at RMC as opposed to simply perpetuating the practices of RMC. It was important to communicate with cadets and alumni since the closure of 2 Colleges, not to mention traditions, uniforms, athletics, commemorations, were hot emotional issues, for cadets, faculty, staff and alumni. I learned that the 3 Military Colleges were different culturally and linguistically. The cadets, faculty and staff who transferred from Royal Roads and CMR were resistant to changing their approaches and traditions. The cadets, faculty and staff who remained at RMC knew they had to accept some of the changes, but remained suspicious of the new players. It was a challenging but also most interesting time.

e-veritas: You stress fitness training as a means of building team spirit.

LGen Marquis Hainse: I stress the importance of developing strong team spirit: I use fitness training as a means of building team spirit, more specifically, through competitions and team building activities. For me, in a field unit, the training day begins on the track in the morning, and I was happy to see how much is already going on between 0800 and 0900 hrs! I expect my soldiers to be full of energy, to take their work seriously and to complete the individual tasks assigned to them.

e-veritas: Who was the commandant(s) during your time?

LGen Marquis Hainse: 6496 BGen (Ret’d) Charles Émond (CMR/RMC 1965) was the only Commandant at RMC while I was there. I left before he did.

e-veritas: Where did you live e.g. Panet House, Hewitt House, Gatehouse?

LGen Marquis Hainse: I was given the choice of Panet House or Hewitt House. There was a plan to reallocate Panet House for the RMC Club so my wife Traci and I lived at Hewitt House with our 3 boys, then 5 & 4 years old and the baby, who was a few months old. Hewitt House, which had been unoccupied for 2 years, was divided into two residences and the Director ADM lived on the other side. With a young family, it was nice not being in the center of the campus at Panet House. Since there were several families living on the peninsula, our children had a lot of friends to play with. I recall female cadets offering to babysit, and although we found the gesture very nice, we turned them down since we didn’t want to be perceived as taking advantage.

e-veritas: What memories (good & bad) do you have of this time period?

LGen Marquis Hainse: All of my memories of this time period are good. It was a challenging time for RMC. I expected the stakeholders to voice an opinion, however I didn’t expect the cadets, alumni, staff and military personnel to find the experience of joining the 3 cadets colleges into one so emotionally challenging. The different cultures brought out the best and worst in people.

e-veritas: As DCdt, to what extent did you follow the motto “never pass a fault.” What discipline issues stick out in your mind? Any tips?

LGen Marquis Hainse: As DCdts, it is important not to lose sight that the nature of environment is coaching and mentoring of young leaders. It is important to teach cadets to be honest, truthful, and courageous. If you do the crime, don’t hide it, be prepared to admit it, face the consequences and do the time. They need to learn to assume their responsibilities.

One anecdote sticks in my mind. There was a food fight during Xmas dinner in the gym one year which made the Kingston news. We were having the traditional Christmas supper with the Commandant present at the head table. Suddenly, the lights went out and there was food and utensils flying everywhere. The cadets were rowdy and frustrated – the food fight was a form of protest. Afterwards, all of the cadets had to report to the Parade Square. I had expected that those responsible would identify themselves, but after an hour no one came forward so the cadets were dismissed for Christmas leave. Since no one wanted to take responsibility, I had everything left as it was and we had to clean up the mess when everyone returned from leave. This lead to the entire cadet wing being confined to their dormitories for many weeks until the individual responsible came forward. Today, whenever I run into him, he keeps apologising to me for this memorable incident.

e-veritas: What did you do in the CAF after this time?

LGen Marquis Hainse: I commanded an infantry unit soon after I left my DCdts appointment. In April 2002, I served as Commander of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Task Force and on 2 September 2004, I became the 21st commander of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. In 2007, I served in Southern Afghanistan as Deputy Commander Regional Command South (a NATO British led multinational Division). I assumed Command of Land Force Doctrine and Training System in May 2008.

I also filled many staff positions. At National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, I was a staff officer for the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and aide-de-camp to the Chief of the Defence Staff. In the summer of 2001, I held the position of Chief of Staff of Land Force Quebec Area. I was transferred back to NDHQ as J3 International in the fall of 2002. In July 2006, I was appointed Chief of Staff of Canada Command in Ottawa. In August 2010, I was appointed as Chief of Programme at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. I have now just returned from a two year posting to Italy as the Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples. What a great multi-national experience that was.

e-veritas: Are you in touch with what is happening at the college these days? If yes, what are your views?

LGen Marquis Hainse: Unfortunately, I am currently out of touch with what is happening at the college these days since I have been out of the country for two years. However, I still have, and will always have, a keen interest on what is happening at RMC. RMC Cadets are part of the succession of leaders in the CAF and we therefore need to pay attention to how they are being trained.