RMC Commandant pulls no punches at Toronto Dinner

Feature photo – from 2017 Badging Parade file

RMC Commandant pulls no punches at Toronto Dinner

Article submitted by: 17160 Stephen Kalyta

On the 27th of April, The RMC Toronto Branch hosted the RMC Commandant, 18777 BGen Sébastien Bouchard, his wife and former CWC, 19619 Karine Chayer (CMR – 1995 grad), and many other distinguished guests at their annual dinner.

BGen Bouchard was the keynote speaker.

The Commandant’s address focused on needed change at the College, including the reinstatement of the four Pillars as mandatory for graduation. In absolute terms there is no other Canadian academic institution that requires anything more than an academic pass.

This is the primary differentiation between an officer trained in the summers coming from civilian university versus full immersion in a multi-faceted environment designed to produce high caliber officers.

Consider the fact that 65% of all serving Generals trace their legacy to MilCol. This is not a coincidence, but the result of a proven system that the Commandant is reviving. The General is leading a complete transformation from within, through the recruitment of elite staff to train our future elite officers.

Leona Alleslev

Both the Commandant and 17789 Leona Alleslev, MP for Aurora- Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill (a member of  the Toronto Branch, Board of Directors) have born the brunt of misguided public opinion on the merits of the College. As leaders we are engineered to face adversity head on and promote the welfare of those men and women under our care.

Our bond to one another requires us to stand up and support Leona and the Commandant as they in turn are doing for the College. It is time for us as Club Members to step out of the shadows and educate the Public that we are far more than a number on a balance sheet. We are the best hope Canadians have in protecting their values. We must come together as one College, one voice and prove once and for all that we give far more than we take.

To that end, if you can, get involved with your local RMC Chapter. Contact your MP and let your voice be heard. We have a Mission to show our Country that the College ensures only the very best rise through the highest ranks both in and out of the military. RMC-CMR ensure the requisite skills are imbued within us as leaders and that our bond to our “buds” in the face of adversity, is for a lifetime.


  • Evan Shields

    April 30, 2018 at 9:49 am

    “Consider the fact that 65% of all serving Generals trace their legacy to MilCol.” This statistic would mean a lot more if it were accompanied by a breakdown of entry plans of officers of this vintage. Did 65% of enrolling officers in the 80s go to MilCol?

    I went to MilCol during a pendulum swing toward academics and away from the military pillar and RMC was still not considered an academic powerhouse compared to other civilian universities in Canada. Do we really want to move further away from academics when the options for military training at the college are limited? Do we expect that more ruck marches around Fort Henry will produce higher-quality officers who are more motivated and loyal? From my perspective as an Air Force officer, I’d rather see new officers show up to the unit who have been exposed to high-quality academics who can think outside the box rather than ones who are good at marching and reading PowerPoint slides.

  • J. R. Digger MacDougall

    April 30, 2018 at 10:08 am

    The article stated: “As leaders we are engineered to face adversity head on and promote the welfare of those men and women under our care”
    I refer to the statement of Dr Richard Gabriel (author of Crisis in Command: Mismanagement of the Army, and several other books) at the international symposium on military leadership at Royal Roads in 1981. Rick stated one very important aspect of military leadership in combat: that was, to lead men to their deaths. At that time there was quite a discussion on the subject by generals and behavioral scientists from around the globe. (“Men” is used because the PSel Branch was still studying the introduction of women into the combat arms which did not occur in Canada until after 1987 when I was Comd PSO and Behavioural Sciences Advisor at FMCHQ.)
    Even in peace time the command, control and leadership of men and women at times requires putting them, as well as the military leader, between a rock and a hard place and definitely in harm’s way. Civilians always have one option, which is not really available to those who serve in the military forces; that is to walk away.

  • Don W McLeod

    April 30, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    There is no doubt however that the College as an entity will have to continue to prove itself! Nothing is a given!

  • 6559 Gerry Mueller

    May 7, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    “In absolute terms there is no other Canadian academic institution that requires anything more than an academic pass.”
    There are now coop programmes at many Canadian universities (and one could argue that Summer training for Ocdts with their chosen arms/units is, in a sense, coop), but I can only speak from direct experience of those at University of Waterloo, and specifically Engineering, where I was a faculty member for almost 2 decades. Students have to pass not only their academic courses, but also obtain passing grades on their six work-terms, and performance is established by both an employer evaluation, and a written report on some aspect of their work, which is graded by faculty members. The work that Waterloo students do in industry, especially in their more senior years are not just “summer jobs”, many students work on significant engineering projects, and in upper years it was not unusual to have students report on work in which they managed other personnel, and substantial budgets (it was not unusual to see 6 and 7 figure budgets in 1980’s dollars!)
    I cannot speak for other institutions, but certainly Waterloo Engineering demands significantly more than simply passing academic grades from its students.