Annex B – VCDS Mandate Letter

1080-2 (VCDS)

October 1 2016

Distribution List

Mandate Letter – VCDS Special Staff Assistance Visit Royal Military College of Canada

Reference:  A. CDS letter “Staff Assistance Visit to Royal Military College of Canada” dated 31 August 2016

  1. The Chief of the Defence Staff has expressed growing concerns with the climate at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC) and has ordered the Vice Chief of Defence Staff (VCDS) to assess the situation and provide initial recommendations to him by December 2016.  The VCDS in cooperation with Command Military Personnel Command (Comd MILPERSCOM) has convened a Special Staff Assistance Visit (SSAV), composed of the retired and serving senior Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members identified below. The mandate of the SSAV is to investigate the climate, training environment, culture and program construct at RMCC and the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) and provide their assessment and recommendations by 31 December 2016.  The SSAV will be composed of:
    1. Team Leader – Vice Admiral (retired) Greg L. Maddison;
    2. Team Deputy-Leader – Major-General (retired) David.G. Neasmith;
    3. Member – Colonel Virginia C. Tattersall (Chief of Staff);
    4. Member – Chief Warrant Officer Colleen A. Halpin;
    5. Member – Chief Warrant Officer J. Christian Thibault;
    6. Medical Advisor - Colonel Annie M.C. Bouchard;
    7. Legal Advisor - Lieutenant Colonel Marla J. Dow;
    8. Chaplain Advisor – TBD; and
    9. Information Management Advisor – TBD.
  1. Purpose and Conduct of the SSAV. This SSAV is an administrative, fact-finding investigation being conducted for the purpose of providing an objective assessment of the factors affecting the overall climate of RMCC.  The SSAV will submit a report to the CDS (through the VCDS) that will identify issues and make recommendations. The SSAV will conduct its investigation through a review of applicable policy/process/ guidance and extensive interviews with those key or representative members of the chain of command, military and civilian staff, and officer cadets at MILPERSCOM, CDA and RMCC who are willing/prepared to participate. The SSAV is required to provide its assessment and recommendations to address all of the objectives set out in the CDS direction to the VCDS.
  2. Should the SSAV encounter an issue that is considered significant but falls outside the scope of the SSAV mandate, the Team Leader will consult the VCDS in order to determine the way ahead.  Moreover, the Team Leader may consult with the VCDS at any time to clarify any matter related to this mandate. If an SSAV member receives evidence that permits the member to reasonably believe that an offence has been committed, the matter shall be referred by the SSAV COS to the RMCC Director of Cadets (DCdts), who shall obtain any necessary legal advice from the Deputy Judge Advocate (DJA) Kingston.
  3. Individuals shall not be interviewed by SSAV members in relation to the subject matter of the investigation, charge, arrest or detention under any of the following circumstances:
    1. they are currently the subject of a related military police investigation;
    2. they have been charged with, or is under consideration for possible charges related to, any offence under the National Defence Act or other Canadian law; or
    3. they have been arrested or detained in respect of an alleged act or omission, which could constitute such an offence,
    However, where the gathering of such information is considered critical to the successful completion of this investigation, the RMCC DCdts shall be notified and legal advice sought.
  4. If during the course of an investigation, a matter arises which raises issues involving the requirement for a military police investigation or other military police-related conduct, COS SSAV shall forward the matter to the DComd CF MP Gp for disposition.
  5. If during the drafting of the report, the SSAV team leader conclude that the report – in answering the questions asked at paragraph 6 below – could adversely affect a person by suggesting professional misconduct, incompetence, or malfeasance, or otherwise harm the person’s reputation, the COS SAV will consult the legal advisor to the SSAV to determine whether a notice of adverse evidence should be issued.
  6. Areas of Assessment.  The SSAV will assess the climate, training environment, culture and program construct at RMCC as follows:
    1. Command and Control.  How does the current command and control (C2) structure and management authority effect governance of RMCC?  This includes the C2 structure of the Military Wing, the leadership practices within the Cadet Wing, and governance in relation to the Academic Wing.  Also, what is the effect and impact, if any, of the current C2 structure at CMP/MILPERSGEN/CDA on the C2 of RMCC?  What is the level of confidence that the officer cadets have in the leadership of RMCC;
    2. Selection and Responsibilities of RMCC Staff.  How are personnel selected and trained for positions within the Military Wing of RMCC?  How are the roles and responsibilities of these positions defined and communicated to the personnel filling them?  Does this selection and training process support the mission of RMCC;
    3. Stressors on Cadets.  What are the significant stressors affecting the Officer Cadets?  How do the stressors affect the Officer Cadets? Do the stressors affect any groups of Officer Cadets to a greater or lesser degree?  Are Officer Cadets willing and able to identify and seek assistance to deal with the stressors;
    4. Morale.  What is the state of morale within the Military Wing, the Cadet Wing and the Academic Wing/Support Staff? Does the morale of any of these groups affect the morale of any of the other groups and, if so, how and to what extent. What are the factors leading to this state of morale;
    5. Support to Cadets.  What are the support mechanisms available to the Officer Cadets?  Including but not limited to: mental health support, physical fitness resources, chain of command and peer-based counselling and support. How are Officer Cadets made aware of these support mechanisms?
    6. Training and Learning – Four Pillars.  What are the selection criteria for RMCC Officer Cadets? Do the selection criteria ensure that an officer cadet can succeed in the context of the Four Pillars? What is the basis for these pillars?  Who has the authority to set the standards for each?  How are the standards communicated to the Cadets?  What is their understanding of the standards and the relevant priorities?  To what extent are these standards met?  Does the training and learning environment at RMCC support the accomplishment of these standards?  If not, which pillar or pillars are not satisfied and why not? If not, in which pillar or pillars are the standards not met and why not?
  7. Additional Areas of Assessment.  Should the SSAV encounter information pertinent to the intent of the investigation suggesting that additional findings should be presented, the Team Leader must consult with the VCDS to seek an amendment to this mandate letter.
  8. Recommendations.  Recommendations may be made to address any concerns identified in the areas of assessment. Such recommendations must be directly related to the SSAV assessment, and submitted in written form as part of the SSAV report.
  9. Continuity of Participation. To ensure the credibility and rigour of the process, SSAV members may not be replaced and shall continue with their duties until completion of the SSAV.
  10. Information Management.  Information management will be key to the SSAV’s success. A subject matter expert will be provided to assist the SSAV in the management of that information. All information will be safeguarded in compliance with the applicable security policy.
  11. Security.  The SSAV final report will be designated PROTECTED B.
  12. Public Affairs. The VCDS is the only authorized spokesman for the SSAV. Media inquiries will be referred to the CDS PAO.
  13. Requests for Information.  All requests by the public for information concerning the SSAV must be referred to the Directorate of Access to Information and Privacy at NDHQ.
  14. Logistics Support:
    1. Finance.  All authorized expenditures shall be cost captured to the financial account Fund: L101 Fund Centre: 0150CV Cost Centre: 015CV GL: 2106 Commitment #: C015) CV710.  This is inclusive of all travel as per CFTDTIs, procurement and general O&M activities.  This instruction constitutes expenditure initiation authority for this activity.  Existing internal functional signing authority shall be used to ensure controlled and effective expenditure management processes;
    2. Contracted Services.  Directed Contracts will be established for the hiring of two retired General/Flag Officers to lead the SSAV.
    3. Travel.  Temporary Duty Travel within Canada for the members and the advisors assigned to the SSAV as determined necessary by the Team Leaders for the purpose of SSAV business must be authorized by the VCDS.  Individual Travel Authorization forms will be sent to the COS for furtherance to the VCDS for approval;
    4. Accommodation. All SSAV members will be quartered in commercial accommodation to facilitate team routine, discussion, cohesion and confidentiality.
    5. Workspace.  The SSAV will be provided furnished offices and interview rooms within RMCC lines.
    6. Logistics Point of Contact.  Any logistical requirements will be coordinated through the Team Logistics Officer, Major Vandor, (613) 541-5010 ext 2087.
  15. Timings.  Key timings are as follows:
    1. SSAV commences NLT 2 November;
    2. SSAV is clear of RMCC prior to commencement of exams;
    3. Information Brief to CDS and VCDS NLT 31 December; and
    4. Final Report Submittted (TBC).

M.A.G. Norman

Distribution List


SSAV Team Leaders
SSAV Team Members



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