The Week That Was…Staff Perspective

The Commandant and Principal both returned from a highly worthwhile visit to the International Army Academy Forum in Hefei, China last Saturday.

They barely had time to get over the jet-lag when a couple of high profile events took place on Tuesday.

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Canada AM hit the road, broadcasting live from Kingston, Ont. on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The special show included an exclusive live interview with RMCC commandant BGen Al Meinzinger. (Check three minute interview at 12:25 to 15:25).  Note: At the time of posting the link was available but we have no control when CTV disconnects.

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Photo: Brad Lowe

RMCSJ Visit to Kingston, Two Words Says it All: Win, Win

By: WJO

The Commandant, Colonel Jennie Carignan and a delegation from Royal Military College St Jean visited Royal Military College of Canada last Tuesday, 29 Oct. The purpose of the visit was to familiarize the RMCSJ leadership with RMCC.

Included with the RMCSJ delegation were: Academic Director – Lieutenant-General (Ret) Michel Maisonneuve, Lieutenant-Colonel Edith Guimont, Deputy Commandant; Director of Cadets – Major Alain Proulx, and Chief Warrant Officer France Dupuis among other key staff members.

BGen Meinzinger was clearly pleased with the results of the visit. “From my perspective the visit of our RMCSJ team-mates was a huge success. This key engagement allowed us to share ideas and elevate the awareness of each other’s challenges and initiatives.”

For her part the RMCSJ Commandant echoed similar sentiments.

“This very productive visit to RMCC allowed each member of our delegation to meet with their counterpart, which helps create a dynamic dialogue between Canada’s two Military Colleges”‘ said Colonel Carignan . “For my part, my meeting with BGen Meinzinger and with his staff will go a long way in ensuring we offer the best possible support to our officer cadets.”

Both BGen Meinzinger and Col Carignan are only a few months into their current positions. Consequently, this was surly an eye opener for both of them. The two are graduates of RMCC – 1989 and 1990 respectively. However, needless to say there has been a great deal of changes on the peninsula since they marched off the parade square over 20 years ago.

The two academic leaders of both institutions are graduates of RMCC too.

Lieutenant-General (Ret) Maisonneuve Class of  1976 is one month shy of six years as serving in his present position, as Academic Director at RMCSJ.  Dr. H.J. (Harry) Kowal, BGen (Ret) Principal – Class of 1984 moved into his RMCC office just over two months ago. “It was my first time meeting in person the leadership from RMCSJ and I also spent invaluable time with Michel Maisonneuve gaining a better appreciation for some of their academic issues.”

LGen (Ret) Maisonneuve has not been a stranger to RMCC; in recent years he has been spotted frequently attending various visits, parades and other functions.  He also makes an annual visit to the Kingston campus, this year scheduled for Nov 21, to speak with officer-cadets who moved on from RMCSJ to RMCC to see how the transition has taken place for each individual.

“I am pleased with my visit to RMCC, which allowed me a first face-to-face exchange with the Principal, BGen (Ret) Harry Kowal,” said Michel Maisonneuve. “It is important that the academic and bilingualism programs of both Colleges dovetail seamlessly and these visits help us reach this goal.”

RMCC Director of Cadets, LCol Patrick Lemyre and members of his staff were spotted in a small group discussing mutual areas of concern with their counterparts. “Discussions between the two D Cadets are always very useful,” explained Major Alain Proulx, D Cadets at RMC Saint-Jean. “These discussions help ensure both Colleges are aligned to make the Cadets’ transition from RMC Saint-Jean to RMCC as smooth as possible.”

Photo: OCdt Curtis Maynard

Thirty-three year CAF veteran, Chief Warrant Officer France Dupuis was completely at ease during the visit. She has had overseas deployments as an Imagery Technician (formerly known as Photo Tech) which includes Bosnia, Kosovo, Aviano, East Timor and Eritrea. Her military experience also includes being deployed north to Canada’s Arctic and at sea aboard HMCS Ships Vancouver and Protecteur while they were deployed in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

“This was my first visit since my appointment as RMC Saint-Jean Chief Warrant Officer last summer,” she explained. “This visit gave me a better understanding of RMCC as a whole as well as the issues at stake.”

Chief Petty Officer First Class Keith E. Davidson (RMCC College Chief Warrant Officer) had little to say for the record. However, his relaxed body language and his usual cheerful demeanour spoke volumes on his take of the get together.

With the obvious success and good will on both sides, it is a no brainer that there will be similar meetings in the future.

“Without question, the first official visit of Col Carignan and her team to RMCC has served to strengthen the bonds between the two colleges,” said BGen Meinzinger. “Moving forward, we will continue to look for opportunities to assist one-another in achieving our missions in a manner that will be mutually reinforcing.”

Following lunch the RMCSJ visitors headed over to Rideout Row and the Canadian Defence Academy. There they received a CDA briefing pertinent to the military colleges.

 MORE PHOTOS FROM THE RMCSJ VISIT BY CURTIS MAYNARD