RMC Students, Faculty and Alumni figure prominently in hosting Annual CDAI Graduate Student Symposium

By: 13987 Bryan Bailey – Executive Director – RMC Club of Canada

For the 16th consecutive year, RMCC again expertly hosted the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) Institute’s Graduate Student Symposium which was themed as “Canada’s Security Interests”.

The conference was officially opened with words of welcome on behalf of the Principal and Commandant. Dr. Pierre R. Roberge, Dean of Continuing Studies & Vice Principal Academics delivered a welcome on behalf of the Principal which was followed by 15004 Colonel Karl Michaud who represented the Commandant.

S146 General (retd) Ray Henault, (photo left) former CDS and current CDA Institue President, then addressed the symposium. He was very thankful of the three major sponsors which included RMCC. He also specifically acknowledged Colonel, Dr. Howard Coombs who has been instrumental in successfully coordinating the event with the College for the past four years.

After the introduction of the Key Note speaker for the morning, he turned the floor over to Mr. Ferry de Kerckhove, Former High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan and Ambassador to Indonesia and Egypt who delivered his address “The strange world we live in – Le monde étrange qui est le nôtre”. He certainly lived up to the high expectations promised by General Henault as he was exceptionally passionate, animated as well as being articulate and thought provoking. He made mention of the recent trend in contemporary security challenges as now being mainly intrastate in nature as opposed to formerly being state centric and militarily defined. He also made reference to the “fusion of soft and hard power” as a new way of approaching security issues. As noted by General Henault, his address was not only very informative but served as a superb spring board for the nine symposium security panels.

RMC Club and Foundation Members were very high profile as evidenced by the fact that they collectively represented five of the nine panel moderators. The five individuals were:

1. RMC’s former principal, Professor Emeritus, H24263 Dr. John Cowan, Past President CDAI (photo left) and presently a RMC Foundation Director,

2. 8816 Marius Grinius, Club Executive Committee Member

3. M050 Colonel Tony Battista, Club Executive Committee Member,

4. 14356 LCol Michael Rostek, former Club Executive Director, and

5. 9969 BGen (Retd) Serge Labbé, who also performed double duty as the Dinner’s Key Note Speaker.

Other Club notables were 4377 LGen (Retd) Richard Evraire, who is member of CDAI’s Executive, and 8045 BGen (Retd) David Jurkowski, who represented the symposium’s major sponsor, Bombardier

Many of RMC’s faculty were intimately involved in supporting the Symposium which again attracted exceptionally talented graduate students from a wide variety of academic institutions across the country. It was also a great opportunity for several RMC graduate students to participate by delivering papers. For other RMC under graduate students, it was a convenient professional development opportunity as the benefited from the excellent presentations and debate.

The following five RMC students delivered papers and presentations as part of this year’s symposium:

1. “Cultural Factors in Intelligence Studies”, SLt Veronique Laprise

2. “The Unjustifiable Aspiration of the Canadian Parliament to Vote on All Future Military Missions”; Krystel Carrier

3. “Lifting the Shadows: Media, Political Awareness, and Public Relations as Enablers for Special Operations Forces”. OCdt William Buss, CD

4. “The Duty to Humanity: Problems of the Standards of Humanitarian Intervention and the Case of Syria”. Kaleigh S. Heard

5. “Canadian Approaches to Cyber Security”; David Alexander Chee

RMCC once again provided warm hospitality and superb support to the event. Finally, as noted by many, this year’s symposium was marked by strong attendance and exceptionally high quality presentations which yielded an exceptionally enriching experience for all.