Opinion – Ex Cadets Should Know Better


Pictured are members of the Old Brigade during the “March to the Arch” on the Sunday during Reunion Weekend. At least one of our readers believes “everyone” on this parade should be properly dressed. There should be an explicit dress code for ex-cadets and it should be enforced – military dress uniform or club blazer, club tie and grey flannel pants.  What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Having consistently missed the “March to the Arch” for every Reunion Weekend through my 40th (when we enter the Old Brigade may be my first), I should probably be the last one to comment. However I will comment regardless, it has never stopped me before.There are certain things that should be sacrosanct and participating in the Sunday parade in proper dress is among them. There should be an explicit dress code for ex-cadets and it should be enforced – military dress uniform or club blazer, club tie and grey flannel pants. If I don’t have them with me, I would not expect to participate in the parade and no one else should either. In my opinion, anything less than expected dress, especially wearing sweaters or windbreakers, shows disrespect for others participating and disrespect for the College and its traditions. The Friday night mixer and the Saturday night dinner dance are different – they are private affairs and away from the College. The Sunday parade is at the College, in front of the cadets and the public. In my (probably old fashion) opinion, improper dress diminishes us.Getting all that off my chest, it’s a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon here in LA and I think I’ll take a walk down to the ocean to contemplate the meaning of life.

Have a good weekend,

7723 Paul Beswick


  • Jim Kempling 6643

    October 28, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    This is about the dumbest comment I have ever seen. Any old soldier capable of marching should be welcomed with open arms. The fact that I do or do not have a club blazer should be no barrier. This is not about putting on a show for others it is about old comrades in arms coming together.

    By all means were your blazer proudly if you have one but don’t try to exclude any class mate of mine because he doesn’t.

  • 11497 Tim Green

    October 28, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I read with interest the comments of 7723 Paul Beswick saying that a blazer-and-flannels dress code should be imposed for those participating in the March to the Arch on the Sunday morning of every Reunion Weekend. I do not agree.

    During my time at RMC, I learned many things that have served me well, and I treasure those. There were other lessons I learned at RMC that were not practical in the real world. I have discarded those without regret.

    I was back to my 30-year reunion a year ago, only the second class reunion I have attended since grad. It was great to see my old classmates, exchange war stories over the weekend, and march with them on Sunday morning. I don’t own an RMC blazer, and neither do many of my classmates who, for the most part, wore dark business suits. This had nothing do do with lack of respect for the College or its traditions. I have no intention of acquiring an RMC blazer to wear several times a decade, at most. If we had insisted that only those with the “uniform” be able to march to the Arch, then our already small group would have been extremely small indeed.

    The March to the Arch is for the participants, not for the spectators. We must try to be INclusive to get more people back for these weekends to celebrate the good things the college gave us. Being EXclusive and insisting that those at the Arch wear the “uniform” would, in my mind, be a destructive step backward to the days of tradition for the sake of tradition, regardless of the consequences. Doing so would result in fewer attendees, and that’s in no one’s best interest.

  • 5611 Gerry Stowe

    October 28, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    I would like to agree with Mr Beswick, but I cannot. I would probably not ever show up for an Ex-Cadet function “improperly” dressed, but that’s me. To impose that restriction on those who wish to join in the remembrance ceremonies, including the marching, is elitist. An Ex-Cadet or graduate of the Canadian Military Colleges need not be identified by his or her rig, but by his or her love and loyalty for the Colleges and classmates.

  • 6776 Tim Sparling

    October 28, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I disagree completely with Mr Beswick. The parade to the Arch is an act of remembrance, and in my opinion anyone who wishes to pay his/her respects is most welcome on that parade, no matter what they are wearing. Obviously we would prefer that ex-cadets were dressed for the occasion, but if someone can only manage jeans and a tee shirt, but wishes to pay hommage to our fallen comrades, they are most welcome to march with me.

  • Lionel Boxer

    October 28, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I disagree with this statement most strongly. The weekend is a reunion and it is most important to stress inclusion rather than conformance to some exclusive policy. Some people may not be in a financial position to afford decent cloths and others are proud to display their contrived ignorance. Personally, in recent years I wear my RMC blazer, RMC tie and grey flannels on one occasion only and that is the RMC memorial parade. However, I realise that we live in a post modern world, which undermines the calibre of those who attend RMC and that is reflected in what is seen on ex-Cadet functions. The display we see on Ex-Cadet weekend is an archive of the all inclusive social welfare state in which we live. To deny this from occuring would be to cencor free speach and reflect the sort of totalitarianism that ex-Cadets have fought to prevent.

  • 5554 Les East

    October 28, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    I was initially rather shocked by the preliminary disagreements to the view(s) that some sort of decent uniform/variant should be required on the Sunday parade. Most of us spent 4 or more years gettings our clothing act just right – for parade, socializing or “going ashore”. And to read my old buddy GL Stowe’s comments opining that the dress standard is secondary to the parade intent – caused me to reflect further. Surely Gerry’s “time in” at RMC has enabled him the best perspective to witness how life has changed there over the years. For example, I was not aware the blazer & flannel standard no longer exists in the cadet orbat.
    So – let ’em come to the Arch as they please – but please, not on my parade.

  • 5276 J. R. Digger MacDougall

    October 30, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Mr. Beswick is entitled to, and has the right to express his opinion. Most, if not all, of us would go to the wall to defend that right.
    I too have an opinion: Come to Ex Cdt Weekend, join your friends, colleagues and fellow Ex-Cadets and WEAR SOMETHING – ANYTHING IN WHICH YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE. I will be proud if you join us.


  • 24359 OCdt Stephen Paish

    November 4, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I am going to add my opinion to this in the one feild i feel i am qualified to speak about. That is the point that is raised concerning how the cadet wing would view people who do now wear the RMC Blazer and Pants.

    The specific issue is raised when Mr. Beswick writes:

    “the Sunday parade is at the College, in front of the cadets and the public. My (probably old fashion) opinion, improper dress diminishes us.”

    I dont believe so. In all 4 parades i have been a part of for reunion weekend i have never felt that the ex-cadet club diminished themselves in front of me by having members who do not wear the blazer. The weekend is not about judging people, rather including them in the large family that is RMC.

    I look forward to any feedback.

    Stephen Paish

  • 3584 Archie Beare

    November 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Most of our Class of ’56 (entry ’52) have read of this in a note from our travelling class secretary. There has even been a suggestion that ONLY members of the RMC Club should be welcome on the ex-cadet Sunday parade & memorial service.

    While I concur in some respect to the idea that we “are on parade” & should take some care in our order of dress, I do not agree that it should be only blazer,tie & flannels. Perhaps clean, neat & tidy is all that is needed or should be expected.

    As to the idea, of a few only one hopes, that only RMC Club member should be welcome on parade, the sooner that is “kiboshed” the better – an ex-cadet is an-ex cadet, Club member or not.

  • 11732 John Wenek

    November 14, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I noted the recent Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Memorial concluded with a parade of veterans/participants who were dressed in all manner of kit. There was a veritable mosaic of colour on parade. In many ways, this concluding act of remembrance symbolized the country and the world in which we live. To witness this rather poignant symbol of remembrance, please visit the following link:


    This newsclip reminded me of our recent reunion weekend at RMC, the Sunday parade to the Arch and how we are one piece of that mosaic. Among other things, we need to remember on these occasions and, indeed, at all times, that veterans, both during war and in peacetime, fought to defend our freedom of choice. I was pleased to honour their/our sacrifice by wearing something of my choosing, during the march to the Arch.

  • Lionel Boxer

    December 8, 2018 at 12:14 am

    I have participated in the march to the arch several times since 1985 and have always worn a blazer and grey trousers. The last two times no RMC Club crest, because I was travelling light from Australia with only one lightweight blazer. This year I wore a Sapper bow tie instead of my ex-cadet tie and no crest. One retired colonel I shook hands with wore a Sapper crest in place of the RMC Club crest. I would prefer others similarly wear a blazer and grey trousers. However, if someone wants to resist that is their business, and I would prefer their participation over a policing action that questions such contrived ignorance.