So long, Farewell, Auf wiedersehen, Aurevoir to DCdt and CCWO.

XXXVIII Director of Cadets Heading Off To Ottawa

By: WJO

There was Change of Command at RMC earlier today (5 July). LCol Tony O’Keeffe signed off after a two year stint as Director of Cadets.

The Chateauguay Quebec native and 29 CF veteran moved into the DCdt position after being Chief of Staff for one year.

To say he has been a presence at the college would be a gross understatement. He was a true champion of high achieving cadets and the worst enemy of those cadets who under achieved – and were content with it.

We were on the sidelines over his two years on the job but not so out of the picture that we didn’t see a great deal of what was going on, in particular, during the school year(s).

The Commandant, Commodore Bill Truelove outlined many of the accomplishments which occurred under the leadership of Tony O’Keeffe:

  • he re-established cadets in leadership within the Cadet Wing and held them responsible and accountable for the day to day running of their Wing;
  • increased the level of Wing fitness by doubling the number of IM evenings, increasing the frequency of PPT testing (PPT scores have never been higher for ALL years),
  • he added DCdts challenge activities, emphasizing competition and warrior spirit, and focussing on improving the scope and magnitude of the PE programme;
  • was instrumental in obtaining operational leaders to engage into the PME programme to bring operational experiences direct to the Cadet Wing; and, engaged career managers and Environmental leaders to send their best and brightest to RMC as Military Wing staff;
  • he oversaw the re-introduction of College dress for the cadets along with re-establishing a proper walking out dress standard;

The combined effect of these efforts has had a significant improvement on pride and ownership of RMC within the Cadet Wing.  We also noted how quickly he always credited his staff and / or the Cadet leadership for all these significant achievements.

In all of this, Tony demonstrated tremendous professionalism, commitment, spirit and above all else, incredible leadership. His record of achievement should put to rest once and for all the assumption that the Director of Cadets should be an Ex cadet.

We will not be surprised that one day in the future, some young man or woman will do something really remarkable on the national or international stage. When they are asked who was the inspiration, they will single out a former Director of Cadets at the Royal Military College of Canada by the name of Lieutenant Colonel Tony O’Keeffe.

Tony’s  military occupation is  Aerospace Control Officer and he is now headed to Ottawa for a desk job with the air force.

As the Romans used to say: Hail and farewell. It’s been grand.

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CCWO Change of Appointment Ceremony

By: WJO

RMC was the scene of two very impressive ceremonies today (5 July).  The high profile event was the Change of Command for Director of Cadets.

Just as significant was Chief Warrant Officer Change of Appointment Ceremony.

Half of the Command Team of RMC,  CWO  J.M. Chiasson leaves the college after an incredible two year tour as the College Chief Warrant Officer.

Commandant, Commodore WS Truelove put it best at the official ceremony.

“Committed, fit, strategically aware and always focussed on the welfare of all of the men and women – military and civilian, who contribute so much here at RMC, Mr Chiasson is the epitome of what the Canadian Forces looks for in its Senior leaders.”

Chief Warrant Officer Chiasson was born in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia; he grew up in Montreal and joined the CF in September 1977.  He has a gift for down-to-earth communication regardless of the rank, position, sex, or age of the other person. One could ask for no better role model for the cadets and staff at RMC.

We do not have the Job Description for the College Chief Warrant Officer but we are sure that first and foremost his role has to be the “eyes and ears” for the Commandant.  One always had the impression that he was always tuned in with what was going on – in and around the college – day & night.

His next Senior Appointment is with Canadian Defence Academy located at Ridout Row as the Formation Chief Warrant Officer.

Commodore Truelove concluded his farewell address. “I know that you will continue to bring your strategic perspective and vision to the many important issues, and I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.”

A classy warrior like soldier who walked the talk 24/7 – we will miss him.