From 14458 BGen (ret’d) Dr. Harry Kowal, RMC Principal

RMC has been a member of the International Society of Military Sciences (ISMS) since its founding in 2008. ISMS holds an annual conference and last October the conference was held Warsaw, Poland celebrating the 10th anniversary of ISMS.  I took the opportunity to present a paper outlining my perspective as to how RMC is responding to the Special Staff Assistance Visit (SSAV) and the Auditor General (AG).  The paper is entitled “The Royal Military College of Canada: Responding to the Call for Change” and has been recently published in a special edition of Security and Defence Quarterly, which is an international open access journal.  I am providing the link below for those interested in reading it.  As I conclude in the paper, “I am confident that the action RMC is taking today will ensure RMC’s success for years to come.”,109259,0,2.html


  • 11766 James Philip Doherty

    May 28, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Dear Harry,
    In the aftermath of the SSAV and the AG reports that stimulated a call for change and improvements, I am truly moved by your paper which is brilliantly clear and replete with positive initiatives that will absolutely strengthen the foundations of the institution. While RMC’s comprehensive action plan will improve training, education, and cadet life at the College, the real proof of RMC’s effectiveness as Canada’s premier leadership institution is in the quality of our graduates as Officers in the Canadian Armed Forces first and foremost, and then, following their military careers, as leaders in many other domains in Canada. As a former Director of the Canadian Astronaut Office, I noted your impressive fact that 5 of 14 Canadian Astronauts are RMC graduates. While this statistic speaks volumes about the capabilities of our graduates to excel at the toughest and most competitive job selection process in Canada, I now realize that this extraordinary success rate merely scratches the surface. RMC’s ability to ingrain foundational skills that make our graduates great Astronauts is equally effective to prepare other RMC alumni to excel as strong and effective leaders at the highest levels in their chosen professions such as business, finance, academia, law, medicine, politics, and engineering to name a few. This widespread success becomes all the more compelling when one realizes that RMC grants 1 undergraduate degree for roughly every 600 undergraduate degrees in Canada each year – our alumni represent less than 0.2 percent (Ref: Stats Can). Thus, the outstanding performance of our graduates as Astronauts and as leaders in other domains is vastly out of proportion to our numbers. I happen to be writing an article for e-Veritas on this subject that will complement your paper very well. While you are clearly stirred to positive action by the SSAV and AG reports, it is important for Canadians to know that, true to its purpose, RMC continues to prepare men and women with leadership abilities to exercise command not only to protect our borders, the security of our citizens, and our values and freedoms as a nation, but to forge great leaders for Canada in every walk of life.
    With much admiration and gratitude for your concerted efforts,
    11766 Colonel (retired) James Philip Doherty, OMM, CD, P.Eng.

  • Dr H.J. Kowal

    May 29, 2019 at 12:59 pm


    Thank you so much for your positive feedback and very kind remarks. The RMC leadership is represented by many hands and we all are doing our utmost to take the action necessary to ensure RMC remains an institution of excellence. Your astute observation on statistics speaks volumes to the value added from the RMC experience. I look forward to reading your paper.