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Arbour Report - Recommendation #29: Future of Military Colleges

stoker dave

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In the recent Arbour report, recommendation #29 is to evaluate the future of military colleges. Specifically:

Recommendation #29: A combination of Defence Team members and external experts, led by an external education specialist, should conduct a detailed review of the benefits, disadvantages and costs, both for the CAF and more broadly, of continuing to educate ROTP cadets at the military colleges. The review should focus on the quality of education, socialization and military training in that environment. It should also consider and assess the different models for delivering university-level and military leadership training to naval/officer cadets, and determine whether the RMC Kingston and the RMC Saint-Jean should continue as undergraduate degree-granting institutions, or whether officer candidates should be required to attend civilian university undergraduate programs through the ROTP.

In the interim, the CPCC should engage with the RMC Kingston and the RMC St-Jean authorities to address the long-standing culture concerns unique to the military college environment, including the continuing misogynistic and discriminatory environment and the ongoing incidence of sexual misconduct. Progress should be measured by metrics other than the number of hours of training given to cadets. The Exit Survey of graduating cadets should be adapted to capture cadets’ experiences with sexual misconduct or discrimination.


I believe a separate thread in the MilCol category is justified to separate this recommendation from others that are addressed in the Arbour report.

So, what, if any, is the future of RMC and RMC St-Jean?
 

dimsum

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So, what, if any, is the future of RMC and RMC St-Jean?
Others have mentioned it in other threads:

Make RMC like RMA Sandhurst in the UK - somewhere that all officers, regardless of intake, go after (or before, whatever) their studies to do the "military" aspect of pre-trades training. Roll CAFJOD, etc into that as well.

Do we need separate campuses? Probably not. Put it all in one place.
 

Navy_Pete

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Others have mentioned it in other threads:

Make RMC like RMA Sandhurst in the UK - somewhere that all officers, regardless of intake, go after (or before, whatever) their studies to do the "military" aspect of pre-trades training. Roll CAFJOD, etc into that as well.

Do we need separate campuses? Probably not. Put it all in one place.
But why though? CAFJOD is done online and everything else is done during existing phase training. That would just be an unnecessary posting. RMC does some interesting work in direct support of the CAF under the grad programs but if that's the only reason we keep it open it would make sense to just shift that to DRDC.

I can't tell any real difference between RMC, ROTP and DEO grads after OFP performance wise, so why do we need an RMC at all? I can't imagine the equivalent of what happened o LCol Popov happening at a normal university, and not resulting a referral to the police for sexually harassing kids.

2 Royal Military College bosses downplayed need to combat sexual misconduct: ex-training head - National | Globalnews.ca
 

dimsum

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RMC does some interesting work in direct support of the CAF under the grad programs but if that's the only reason we keep it open it would make sense to just shift that to DRDC.
Having worked around DRDC, I'm not sure they'd want to take the extra load. They were in the middle of a re-org.
 

Navy_Pete

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Having worked around DRDC, I'm not sure they'd want to take the extra load. They were in the middle of a re-org.
I was thinking more along the lines of the things DRDC doesn't currently do, (like IT security) and just roll it up into a new DRDC cell, maybe partner with CSEC, etc etc.

Basically if RMC has been doing something for DND out of convenience, there may be better ways to deliver that real capability than a bespoke university.
 

daftandbarmy

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But what about the tradition of Mil Coll Officers never failing their summer courses, unlike RESO and OCTP candidates?

If they cancel the colleges I assume there will be a Class Action Charter Challenge as a result ;)
 

stoker dave

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I started this thread and am curious to see which way it might go. My two cents:

1. I was at RMC in the mid-80's when 'lady cadets' were first introduced. That was not particularly well done, especially if you have read Kate Armstong's book. The fact that forty years later many of those same problems persist does not speak well of the institution.
2. I work in a specialized field of engineering. There is a program at RMC in that field. I have previously contacted RMC about arranging site visits, collaboration, etc. No response at all. In general, I don't believe the level of research at RMC is particularly high and I don't believe they attract top-tier professors.

So I would welcome this review. The military colleges should stand or fall based on their merit. My guess is the 'old boys' will rally around the (RMC) flag and start a boisterous campaign about the importance of the colleges, history, tradition, etc.
 
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rmc_wannabe

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I started this thread and am curious to see which way it might go. My two cents:

1. I was at RMC in the mid-80's when 'lady cadets' were first introduced. That was not particularly well done, especially if you have read Kate Armstong's book. The fact that forty years later many of those same problems persist does not speak well of the institution.
The problem with legacy organizations is that a lot of what surrounds them are "how we have always done things.." because "the results are right there." I think now that the microscope has been on RMC, most Canadians and honestly a lot of CAF members are wondering if the juice is worth the squeeze anymore. CFRs, UTPNCMs, DEOs, CEOTPs etc. have all become excellent tactical and strategic leaders and officers within the CAF without having had the Four Pillars experience. Which brings me to your second point:

2. I work in a specialized field of engineering. There is a program at RMC in that field. I have previously contacted RMC about arranging site visits, collaboration, etc. No response at all. In general, I don't believe the level of research at RMC is particularly high and I don't believe they attract top-tier professors.

So I would welcome this review. The military colleges should stand or fall based on their merit. My guess is the 'old boys' will rally around the (RMC) flag and start a boisterous campaign about the importance of the colleges, history, tradition, etc.
Was RMC ever supposed to be a research university? I feel as though like everything we do in the CAF, something becomes a good idea, gets implemented with zeal for the first little while, then gets underfunded/taken off the priority list, but never truly dies. Instead, it syphons money and is retained for posterity. Should we have a research university, or should we partner with other universities that have far more money and standing within their fields and do it properly, instead of half-assed

As for tradition, "Tradition is taking advice from the dead at the expense of the living." If there is merit in 2022 in retaining certain traditions, norms, and activities; be all means keep them. If there is anything that doesn't, cut it out like a tumor. I personally feel having RMC become a "trade school" for Officers makes far more sense than having it be a degree granting university. A 4 month course over the summer covering BMOQ/BMOQ-A/CAFJODs/AJSO/ Commonalities in one go for the ROTP/UTPNCM folks, then 2 other 4 month sessions throughout the year for DEOs/CFRs (yes I said what I said)/CEOTPs. If you make everyone a Ring Knocker, no one can claim its a barrier to advancement.

If we're going to be making change, let it be radical change.
 
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btrudy

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Was RMC ever supposed to be a research university? I feel as though like everything we do in the CAF, something becomes a good idea, gets implemented with zeal for the first little while, then gets underfunded/taken off the priority list, but never truly dies. Instead, it syphons money and is retained for posterity. Should we have a research university, or should we partner with other universities that have far more money and standing within their fields and do it properly, instead of half-assed
Running a research program is basically the only way to run a decent undergraduate program, as otherwise you're not going to attract anyone decent in their field.

Might as well be running a community college at that point.

As for tradition, "Tradition is taking advice from the dead at the expense of the living." If there is merit in 2022 in retaining certain traditions, norms, and activities; be all means keep them. If there is anything that doesn't, cut it out like a tumor. I personally feel having RMC become a "trade school" for Officers makes far more sense than having it be a degree granting university. A 4 month course over the summer covering BMOQ/BMOQ-A/CAFJODs/AJSO/ Commonalities in one go for the ROTP/UTPNCM folks, then 2 other 4 month sessions throughout the year for DEOs/CFRs (yes I said what I said)/CEOTPs. If you make everyone a Ring Knocker, no one can claim its a barrier to advancement.

If we're going to be making change, let it be radical change.

My issue with this is that of the four pillars of RMC's ROTP program, the military training aspect of it is by far the weakest. Getting rid of everything but that program seems to me to be not at all in the CAF's best interests.

Frankly, if we expect that there's a requirement for an extended period of military specific training for officers.... just make BMOQ longer and more comprehensive.

I suppose it wouldn't be a terrible thing to move the delivery of that program to the RMC campus mind you, but at that point it should be a detachment of CFLRS.
 

McG

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Others have mentioned it in other threads:

Make RMC like RMA Sandhurst in the UK - somewhere that all officers, regardless of intake, go after (or before, whatever) their studies to do the "military" aspect of pre-trades training. Roll CAFJOD, etc into that as well.
We already have an officer recruit school. Does it need to move just to extend a lifeline to the RMC name?

But RMC does more than just undergraduate education, and I think there is room in the CAF for some areas of study (particularly at the graduate level) that might be treated a little controversially at civilian universities ... fighting platform, combat sensor, & weapons engineering type stuff. A place like the Naval Postgraduate School or the Air Force Institute of Technology in the US.

But such a venue doesn't need to be all in-house, and can be primarly based on a partnership with a civilian university. Think RMCS Shrivenham. Which has mostly been replaced by a Cranfield University campus within their defence academy.

RMC has allowed the repatriation of several programs that previously saw officers spend 1 – 2 years in the UK to become geomatics officers, ammunition technical officers, and army technical officers. RMC can also tailor an individual’s academic program (including coordinating a masters thesis that is relevant to the sponsoring units) to an extent that a civilian university will not. 1 ESU has several sponsored positions and it coordinates with the civil engineering faculty in this regard.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Running a research program is basically the only way to run a decent undergraduate program, as otherwise you're not going to attract anyone decent in their field.

Might as well be running a community college at that point.
If we are were no longer running undergraduate programs at RMC, does that matter? The only programs that would be working out of RMC then would be post-grad or Military training, and I would argue stuff like ATWO and ATSO would be better suited to a Technical School like UOIT or NAIT than at RMC. "College" is what the school was supposed to be and was for many years. Its only very recently in its history that its become "the Ivy league on Point Frederick."

My issue with this is that of the four pillars of RMC's ROTP program, the military training aspect of it is by far the weakest. Getting rid of everything but that program seems to me to be not at all in the CAF's best interests.
Chicken or Egg? Is the Military Pillar weak because its the least valued or because there is more pressure on the other 3? I would gather that if everyone already has their degree coming in, more emphasis can be put on developing leaders instead of ensuring academic success.
Frankly, if we expect that there's a requirement for an extended period of military specific training for officers.... just make BMOQ longer and more comprehensive.
I suppose it wouldn't be a terrible thing to move the delivery of that program to the RMC campus mind you, but at that point it should be a detachment of CFLRS.
Perhaps we have decentralized too much of the Junior Officer development. This might help? I don't know. All I know is doing the same thing over and over again is lunacy.
 

Brad Sallows

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The profession of arms is at least as complex as the professions of law and medicine, and probably more complex. The latter two can dump most of the required information into people at the front end in three years; the former can not because the advanced education would be wasted if delivered long before most of it is used. One difference, then, is that the profession of arms has an educational delta that should be delivered in chunks over a long time. Another is that the presumed undergraduate education prerequisites/gatekeepers for law and medicine are not as relevant to the profession of arms. Much of the education is deliverable (and best delivered) in an academic setting rather than a training area. Claiming that the CAF doesn't need a four-year degree-granting institution is not the same as saying that the CAF doesn't need an institution that delivers four years' worth of education over the course of a long service career.
 

dapaterson

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The CAF needs the ability to deliver ongoing professional education and professional development throughout a military career.

Some may be outsourced; some may be in house; but there is no modern requirement for massive collections of bricks and mortar.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I can get behind that line of thinking @Brad Sallows . We do that with our NCM cadre in the form of DP 2/PLQ, DP 3/4, ILP, ALP, SLP, etc. I notice that we front load a lot of things on for the officers at DP1/2 and essentially plant the seed at 2Lt in the hope it grows into a Major tree bearing fruit.

As to @dapaterson 's comment, to fix the above, would it make sense to have a catalogue of training/professional development that folks can use in a "summer school" type model, where members have certain options they can take from various post secondary institutes to develop their leadership/ability? Maybe even tie in secondments as a form of "practical development" as well.

Its an interesting conundrum that I think will see some creative solutions; but at the same time, I can see fear of the unknown putting a damper on the best of ideas.
 

WLSC

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Others have mentioned it in other threads:

Make RMC like RMA Sandhurst in the UK - somewhere that all officers, regardless of intake, go after (or before, whatever) their studies to do the "military" aspect of pre-trades training. Roll CAFJOD, etc into that as well.

Do we need separate campuses? Probably not. Put it all in one place.
This is my thoughts for the last 6 years. We have enough very good university in Canada so the need that lead to the creation of the RMCC are not there anymore.
 

ResMonkey

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But why though? CAFJOD is done online and everything else is done during existing phase training. That would just be an unnecessary posting. RMC does some interesting work in direct support of the CAF under the grad programs but if that's the only reason we keep it open it would make sense to just shift that to DRDC.

I can't tell any real difference between RMC, ROTP and DEO grads after OFP performance wise, so why do we need an RMC at all? I can't imagine the equivalent of what happened o LCol Popov happening at a normal university, and not resulting a referral to the police for sexually harassing kids.

2 Royal Military College bosses downplayed need to combat sexual misconduct: ex-training head - National | Globalnews.ca
wow I just an read an article about LCol Popov... disgusting to say the least. As a 22 year old NCM applicant, I am worried what officers I am going to be serving under. That sure as hell doesn't fly civvie side... definitely shouldn't fly mil side.
 
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