Annex F – Command and Control and Governance


An individual body of the Canadian Forces that is organized as such pursuant to section 17 of the National Defence Act, with the personnel and materiel thereof.Footnote 87
An element of the Canadian Forces, other than a command, comprising two or more units designated as a formation by or on behalf of the Minister and grouped under a single commander.Footnote 88
Commanding Officer:
except when the Chief of the Defence Staff otherwise directs, an officer in command of a base, unit or element, or any other officer designated as a commanding officer by of under the authority of the Chief of the Defence StaffFootnote 89

Areas of Assessment

  1. The VCDS mandate letter asked the SSAV Team to respond to the following questions with respect to command, control, and governance:
    1. How does the current command and control (C2) structure and management authority effect governance of RMC? This includes the C2 structure of the Military Wing, the leadership practices within the Cadet Wing, and governance in relation to the Academic Wing.
    2. Also, what is the effect and impact, if any, of the current C2 structure at CMP/MILPERSGEN/CDA on the C2 of RMC?
    3. What is the level of confidence that the N/OCdts have in the leadership of RMC?
  2. Command and Control of RMC. Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian Forces consists of those of the following elements that are from time to time organized by or under the authority of the Minister of National Defence (MND): commands, formation, units, and other elements.Footnote 90
  3. The MND has organized the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) as a unit.Footnote 91 The officer appointed to command RMC is a Commanding Officer (CO), and holds the appointment of “Commandant”.Footnote 92 The Commandant exercises command over all officers and non-commissioned members at RMC.Footnote 93 The Commandant is also responsible, as a CO, for the whole of the organization and safety of his or her unit,Footnote 94 and must issue standing orders regarding matters that are specific to that unit.Footnote 95
  4. The MND has allocated RMC to the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA), a formation.Footnote 96 Commander CDA exercises command over all units allocated to the formation.Footnote 97 The Commandant of RMC is responsible to the Commander CDA.Footnote 98
  5. The MND has allocated CDA to Military Personnel Command (MILPERSCOM).Footnote 99 Commander MILPERSCOM exercises command over all formations and units allocated to the command, and is responsible to the CDS for their control or administrationFootnote 100 Comd CDA is responsible to the Commander MILPERSCOM.Footnote 101
  6. Military Personnel Generation (MILPERSGEN) is apparently a grouping of CDA and the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group (another formation allocated by the MND to MILPERSCOM),Footnote 102 but has not been organized in accordance with the National Defence Act, and therefore has no formal existence within the Canadian Armed Forces.Footnote 103
  7. Governance of RMC’s Academic Program. The Governor in Council may, in the interests of national defence, establish institutions for the training and education of officers and non-commissioned members, employees of the Department of National Defence (DND), candidates for enrolment in the Canadian Forces or employment in the DND, and other persons whose attendance has been authorized by or on behalf of the MND.Footnote 104 Such institutions must be governed and administered in the manner prescribed by the MND.Footnote 105
  8. The Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Military Colleges (QR(Canmilcols)) establish the governance structure for RMC, including:
    1. setting out the roles and objectives of the Canadian Military Colleges (identified as RMC, the Royal Roads Military College (RRMC), and the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean (CMR), although both CMR and RRMC were closed in 1995; CMR subsequently re-opened in 2008);
    2. identifying the MND as the Chancellor and President of each of the colleges;
    3. stating that the officer in the DND holding the appointment of Assistant Deputy Minister (Personnel) (Now Chief of Military Personnel) shall exercise command and control over the colleges, with command at each being exercised by its Commandant;Footnote 106 and
    4. creating an Advisory Board, General Council; Academic Council, Faculty Review Council, Faculty Council, and Faculty Board, specifying the function and composition of each.Footnote 107
  9. While a few of the provisions contained in the QR(Canmilcols) are orders issued by the CDS, the majority are Ministerial regulations, and therefore have the force of law. The QR(Canmilcols) are supplemented by the Queen’s Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O).Footnote 108
  10. The QR(Canmilcols) also refer to the RMC Senate, empowered in The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959, to grant degrees and honorary degrees in arts, science, and engineering. According to that Act, the Senate consists of the President, the Commandant, the Director of Studies [RMC Principal], the Chairmen of the Academic Divisions [Deans], and the Registrar as Secretary; the QR(Canmilcols) identify the Senate as being composed of the President, the Commandant, the Principal, the Deans, and the Registrar.Footnote 109
  11. QR(Canmilcols) also establish the Faculty Council and Faculty Board. The role of the Faculty Council is to make recommendations to the Commandant on matters of an educational nature,Footnote 110 while the Faculty Board makes such recommendations to the Faculty Council.Footnote 111
  12. The SSAV Team was provided with Terms of Reference (ToR) for the Faculty Council and Faculty Board, as well as a Deans’ Council, and an Academic Integrity Council, each described as a standing committee of the Senate. These indicate that the Faculty Council is the decision-making body on all academic matters that are not matters of Senate, and that the Faculty Board’s responsibilities include making recommendations to the Faculty Council concerning any matter; and, in particular, those of an academic nature.Footnote 112 The ToR for the Faculty Board also state that it will elect a Faculty Board representative to Senate, who will also be the RMC’s Colleague to the Council of Ontario Universities.
  13. According to its ToR, the Deans’ Council acts as the decision-making body on all academic matters that are not matters of Senate (with matters of the Senate being contained in the Senate bylaws) or Faculty Council. The Deans’ Council is identified as the final authority for academic appeals related to academic integrity violations, except for appeals involving a sanction of expulsion, and provides academic advice to the Commandant in the form of recommendations concerning any matter of an academic nature.
  14. The Academic Integrity Council ToR refer to Academic Regulations 23 (Undergraduates) and 5.7 (Graduates), and state that its role is to advise the Faculty Council, Deans’ Council, and Senate on all aspects of academic integrity, as well as to determine whether an academic integrity violation has been committed, determining the appropriate academic sanction and – for cases involving a sanction of expulsion – to make an automatic appeal to the Senate (the Deans’ Council is otherwise the final authority with respect to decisions made by the Academic Integrity Council).
  15. The arrangements described in these various ToR are inconsistent with The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959 and the QR(Canmilcols). For example, neither identifies the composition of the Senate as including an elected representative, nor provides explicit authority for Senate subcommittees or bylaws; the QR(Canmilcols) also make no reference to either a Deans’ Council or an Academic Integrity Council.
  16. The MND has also established an RMC Board of Governors (BoG), to which the QR(Canmilcols) again make no reference. According to the ToR issued by the MND,Footnote 113 the role of the BoG is to:
    1. provide advice and recommendations to the MND, as chancellor and president of RMC, on matters relating to RMC;
    2. approve the academic programme on behalf of the MND; and
    3. review and assist in the strategic direction of RMC, and assist Commander CDA and the Commandant on matters relating to RMC.
  17. The BoG’s responsibilities are listed in its ToR as follows:
    1. on behalf of the MND, the Board reviews and approves the academic programmes offered at RMC on the basis of their quality and suitability for academic recognition by appropriate accrediting bodies.Footnote 114 As an advisory bodyFootnote 115, the Board assists and guides Commander CDA by activities which include, but are not limited to, reviewing and advising on:
      1. RMC's military programme;
      2. the quality and suitability of RMC's physical education and sports programmes;
      3. the implementation of the second official language programme for N/OCdts;
      4. whether or not established procedures for promotions of university teachers have been carried out appropriately;
      5. RMC's Strategic Research Plan;
      6. RMC's business and long-range development plans;
      7. strengthening lines of communication and co-operation with the alumni and the community at large and, where appropriate, initiating or enhancing fundraising measures to encourage donations to the RMC Foundation for the benefit of RMC;
      8. student body issues for which a recourse mechanism does not exist in the established chain of command, either at the request of the Commandant or upon request by the students themselves; and
      9. the compilation of aggregate assessments and reports concerning the operations of RMC.
  18. The BoG is responsible for recommending candidates to the MND for appointment to the position of Principal. The BoG provides advice to the Commander as requested, provides the minutes of BoG meetings to the MND, and shall meet with the MND annually or as required by the MND.
  19. While the Commandant’s duties are set out in the QR(Canmilcols),Footnote 116 the MND has issued Ministerial Directives with respect to the Principal (appointed by the Governor in Council).Footnote 117 These state that the Principal takes precedence next to the Commandant in all aspects other than command,Footnote 118 and is responsible to the Commandant for:
    1. the control and direction of the Academic Wing;
    2. the proper and efficient teaching of the academic subjects prescribed by the courses of study approved by National Defence Headquarters; and
    3. the proper and efficient conduct of Second Language Training prescribed by the instructions approved by National Defence Headquarters.
  20. The Directives also assign to the Principal various other responsibilities, including, in particular:
    1. provide corporate leadership in the management of a national university dedicated to the education and development of leaders committed to serving Canada, through a program that consists of four components, Academics, Leadership, Physical Fitness and Bilingualism. Of these four, the Principal is primarily accountable for the Academic and Bilingualism components;
    2. the development and execution of the strategic concepts, planning and broad executive management necessary to maintain the long standing tradition of RMC as an institution of academic excellence;
    3. provide the academic leadership in identifying and meeting the educational and professional needs of commissioned officers and non-commissioned members, and prepare and motivate N/OCdts for effective service through the design, development and delivery of a curriculum of under-graduate and post-graduate studies in both official languages;
    4. provide the intellectual leadership in managing the interface between the military culture of the CF and the institutional culture of a national university;
    5. ensure that RMC has the capacity to conceptualize, develop and implement corporate solutions to the development of the CF officer cadre, using leading edge approaches and techniques as well as the appropriate technological tools to maintain RMC’s academic integrity and support the achievement of the strategic objectives and operational goals of the CF;
    6. ensure that RMC maintains nationally and internationally recognized academic integrity and quality standards as an accredited degree granting institution; and
    7. as chair of the Faculty Council and Faculty Board, forward recommendations to the Senate for the establishment of new courses of study or amendments to existing courses to better achieve the objectives of RMC.
  21. RMC, as one of several measures taken to enhance recognition of the quality of its academic programs and degrees, is a member of “Universities Canada”. The criteria for membership in this association include:
    1. having the powers it purports to exercise pursuant to authority granted by the Crown or statute;
    2. a governance and administrative structure appropriate to a university;
    3. an approved mission statement and academic goals that are appropriate to a university;
    4. offering programs of undergraduate and/or graduate study that animate its mission and goals and lead to a university degree;
    5. satisfying the Universities Canada Board of Directors that it is providing education of a university standard; and
    6. a commitment, in all institutional policies and practices, to equal treatment of all persons without discrimination, on the basis of any grounds identified in applicable human rights law.Footnote 119
  22. RMC also participates in the Quality Assurance Framework developed on behalf of the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance, a body established by the Council of Ontario Universities, and operating at arms’ length from both Ontario’s publicly assisted universities and the Ontario government.Footnote 120 The Quality Assurance Framework oversees the quality assurance of academic programs by accrediting new programs and conducting cyclical reviews of existing programs.Footnote 121 In addition, RMC seeks accreditation of its various engineering programs by Engineers Canada, the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada and licence members of the engineering profession.Footnote 122
  23. Notwithstanding its voluntary participation in these university associations and programs, RMC – in contrast to other Ontario universities – is subject to federal rather than provincial law. Applicable law includes not only the National Defence Act and QR&O (as well as the QR(Canmilcols)), but also other federal legislation, such as the Canadian Human Rights Act. Footnote 123 Conversely, provincial law – like Ontario’s new Sexual Violence and Harassment Plan Act – does not apply.Footnote 124 Such issues are instead dealt with at RMC in accordance with the Code of Service Discipline set out in the National Defence Act,Footnote 125 as well as relevant QR&O, DAODs, or other orders and directives.


  1. The governance structure of RMC is probably more complex than that of other CAF units. It includes the usual chain of command, and a parallel chain of command (the Cadet Chain of Authority, discussed further below) operating in conjunction with the Training Wing, the Academic Wing, and the various academic governance bodies established by the MND. Although the RMC Senate grants degrees pursuant to Ontario legislation, RMC is a CAF unit, operates in the interests of national defence, and is subject to federal law As a result, while those at RMC are subject to the legal and policy framework applicable to all of the DND and the CAF, the MND has also prescribed the manner in which RMC will be governed and administered through the QR(Canmilcols), Ministerial Directives for the Principal, and the ToR for the BoG.
  2. These instruments have been issued or amended at different times. Some aspects of them now conflict, while in other areas there are gaps; as a result, there is less than clear authority for some academic bodies, actions and decisions.
  3. Given this complexity and lack of clarity, it is unsurprising that the SSAV Team heard confusion as to whether the military or academic aspect of RMC should take precedence:
    1. “Leadership has to decide if this is a military university or a civilian university with a military component.” (Interview with member of Training Wing)
    2. ““Pressure cooker effect”: RMC is both university and military unit, with swings back and forth between priority given to military and academic requirements: leads to attempts to increase requirements in each.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  4. Several members of the Academic Wing expressed particular concern that military staff may have insufficient understanding of the academic requirements specific to a university.
    1. “Does not believe DND/CAF CoC understand how universities must operate. CDA/MILPERSGEN is looking mostly from military perspective and has difficulties to reconcile the dual mandate (Academic and Military) of RMC.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
    2. “[T]here is a significant cost to pursuing, and maintaining a university accreditation, the process is not well understood at the DND/CAF strategic level and that the actual faculty have to be active, on a daily basis, in order to preserve that accreditation. ... [D]ecision makers need to respect what RMC is not: it is not a military school, it is not a training course, it is not an operational unit, ship or wing. The institution of RMC cannot respond well to a "flick of the stick" or 'toss of the tiller" and takes time to adjust how it operates, because it is so complex.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
  5. From an N/OCdt perspective, the confusion often plays out in the relationship between the Academic and Training Wings.
    1. “There is trouble in communications between the Wings. Causes schedule conflicts.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “Communications and mutual understanding between Military Wing (usually here for two years) and Academic Wing (here for a much longer period) is poor.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
  6. Some aspects of RMC’s governance structures may contribute to this confusion and lack of communication. As described above, several of the academic bodies established by the QR(Canmilcols) have ceased to function. Others have taken on functions for which they lack explicit authority, or have been added without any obvious source of authority. The SSAV Team understands that the BoG may initiate a review of its ToR, given a perceived lack of clarity regarding its role.
  7. While QR(Canmilcols), as Ministerial and Governor in Council regulations, combined with CDS orders, may only be amended through a lengthy review and approval process, this lack of flexibility serves as a necessary check on the natural desire of those newly arrived at RMC to effect change, particularly in the unfamiliar territory of academic governance:
    1. “Different Commandants try to level their marks so priorities, policies and practices keep changing.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “[F]rom an Academic Wing perspective, a Commandant who comes in with a "First 100 day Campaign Plan" loses the Academic Wing on day 1 because an academic programme doesn't change in 100 days. ... [L]eaders: "Need to have a gentle hand on the tiller".” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
    3. “RMC operates in a fragile equilibrium. Need to treat the environment as a system and take care not to dislocate or disrupt things without upsetting that equilibrium. Have to be cautious when making changes to the system. Capacity to absorb change is limited.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
  8. Interaction with CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters. The SSAV Team received a number of documents describing the interaction between CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ and RMC and CMR SJ. For example, Commander CDA/MILPERSGEN issued a CDA Directive in July 2015, emphasizing that the Canadian Military Colleges (Canmilcols) are a key component of the CAF’s capability to produce educated officers, and providing guidance for N/OCdt training across the Four Pillars ROTP-RMC/CMR SJ programme. It noted that the Programme Review Board (PRB) had been established to ensure that the programmes were consistent with CAF objectives and employment requirements, and gave direction to the Commandants with respect to achieving the effects of Officership 2020. The Directive went on to set out the requirements of the Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM) to be implemented by both RMC and CMR SJ, as well as recognizing the requirement for CDA to establish of a formal system of evaluating the ROTP programme.Footnote 126 The Directive was reissued in July 2016, with additional direction.Footnote 127
  9. The PRB is intended to meet in early fall and late spring, and includes Commander CDA/MILPERSGEN, the RMC and CMR SJ Commandants, the RMC Principal and CMR SJ Academic Advisor, CDA’s Chief of Staff (who also serves as Director of Professional Development) and representatives from Director General Military Careers, as well as various commands. The results of the PRB are briefed to the Professional Development Council and the BoG.Footnote 128
  10. The SSAV Team was provided with the Records of Decision from PRB meetings in late 2014 and early 2016.Footnote 129 These touch upon several of the issues identified by the SSAV Team (for example, the requirement to review the competencies required for the military staff at the CMCs to ensure that the Colleges obtained the correct people to fulfil the required roles),Footnote 130 suggesting that CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ may lack the capacity to address such issues in a sufficiently timely fashion.
  11. This was corroborated by some of those interviewed by the SSAV Team, who considered that CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ is “overloaded”: it is able to deal with professional development, or training, but not both. According to those observers, this situation has been exacerbated by the loss of the Canadian Forces Leadership Institute which previously operated within CDA, as RMC, CMR SJ, and the Canadian Forces College (CFC) are now the sole source of advice with respect to education in the CAF. The SSAV Team understands that the possibility of CMR SJ returning to degree-granting status has been raised, which – if it proceeds – could increase the requirement for CDA/MILPERSGEN coordination. The SSAV Team also received a handful of other comments with respect to the role of CDA/MILPERSGEN and MILPERSCOM in relation to RMC:
    1. “Individual remarked that past few years are first time he has seen effective C2 exercised by CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ. Should strengthen this C2/oversight over time, not cut cords.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
    2. “On top of CDA, MILPPERSGEN is another level of HQ that ha[s] input on RMC and doesn't necessarily know how a University operates.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)
    3. “In some cases, there are also constraints upon the exercise of financial and staffing authority (MPG has limited HR staffing authority to the Commandant personally). Generally staff about 60 casuals/year (e.g. sessional instructors), and these have to be approved by the Commandant. Staffing for indeterminate employees takes about a year, resulting in an impact upon those required to carry the load). Commander MILPERSGEN reviews any expenditure over $25K that has not been business planned (e.g., if wish to hire contractor for IT capital replacement). If wish to contract through PWGSC, only CFB Kingston and MILPERSGEN POCs have this authority.” (Interview with member of Corporate Wing)
    4. “From an academic perspective, MILPERSGEN is "noise in the wall." Although + E2ER and MOSID reviews seen as positive engagements, unclear that MPG facilitates the mission and may sometimes hinder it. There is a recent practice of withholding authority. Many matters must go to Commander CDA. For example, MOU within academic's authority must go to Commander for review before it can go for legal review. Appears to be level of risk aversion beyond the constraints generally imposed within DND/CAF. For example, questioning of attendance at RMC by foreign student (would assist if CDA would provide direction and guidance as to which students may be accepted from which countries). Why is CDA on the RMC campus? (Staff HQ sitting on university campus.) About 15-20 years ago, deans (there were no VPs) were very engaged with Ottawa, but establishment of CDA means that there is no longer broad academic engagement with Ottawa. Need BoG, must give it certain authority, but must still work within chain of command (BoG does not appear to have huge impact). Staff in Mackenzie building has tripled in the last 25 years, and seem to be asking the Academic Wing for remits. Academic Wing has very light administrative support: if create more military positions, will they create more demands upon Academic Wing? Could have more clear guidance as to what RMC is intended to do, and more empowerment to allow RMC to do it.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)


  1. As indicated above, RMC consists of several wings, directorates, and other staff. However, in view of the SSAV Team focus on the Cadet Wing, it is unsurprising that most comments focused on the interaction between the Training Wing and Academic Wing. While DCdts is a member of the Faculty Council and Faculty Board, with other senior members of the Training Wing also being included in the Faculty Board, the SSAV Team otherwise heard little about structures, mechanisms, or persons responsible for ensuring clear and shared understanding of RMC’s purpose and the coordination necessary to achieve it. This issue is discussed in more detail in Annex I, Four Pillars/Programme.
  2. The SSAV Team assesses that the governance of RMC’s academic programme is no longer well-served by the outdated and sometimes conflicting patchwork of QR(Canmilcols), Ministerial Directives, and BoG ToR.Footnote 131 In particular, the absence of authoritative academic governance instruments appears to have encouraged the ad hoc adoption of practices borrowed from universities established under other legal frameworks.
  3. The SSAV Team shares the concern that CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ may lack the capacity to address other issues arising at the military colleges in a timely fashion, and accordingly considers that its role, structure, and chain of command may benefit from review. The SSAV Team notes, however, that initiating simultaneous change in multiple areas can be disruptive for organizations, so that it may be preferable for such a review to follow any review of the governance of RMC’s academic program, with both taking into account (if appropriate) the possibility of a CMR SJ return to degree-granting status.
  4. Recommendations. The SSAV Team therefore makes the following recommendations:
    1. Review of RMC Academic Governance Framework. (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that a comprehensive review be conducted of the QR(Canmilcols), Ministerial Directives for the Principal, and the BoG ToR in order to ensure – to the extent possible within the CAF’s legal and policy framework – that RMC’s academic programme is governed in a manner similar to other Canadian universities, while RMC continues to function as a CAF unit and in accordance with the law, orders and directives applicable to the members of such units; and
    2. Review of CDA/MILPERSGEN Structure. (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that – subsequent to the review of the RMC governance framework – a review of the CDA/MILPERSGEN role, structure, and chain of command be conducted, with both reviews taking into account (if appropriate) the possibility of a CMR SJ return to degree-granting status.
  5. Command and Leadership of the Cadet Wing and N/OCdt Confidence in the Leadership of RMC. While the Commandant’s duties include the proper and efficient operation and administration of RMC in accordance with QR(Canmilcols) and such other orders and instructions as may be issued from time to time, the Director of Cadets (DCdts) is responsible to the Commandant for the day-to-day exercise of command and control over the staff and students assigned to the Military Wing (now referred to as the Training Wing), including:
    1. the performance, supervision, discipline, assessment, evaluation, welfare and morale of the N/OCdts;
    2. the direction of the military training and the physical education and athletic programs;
    3. the development of the military ethic in the N/OCdts at RMC;
    4. the conduct and direction of the extra-curricular recreational and social programs; and
    5. the coordination of all ceremonial functions and military parades.Footnote 132
  6. The QR(Canmilcols)authorize the Commandant to organize the N/OCdts, and to have seniority and hold such appointments within RMC as may be determined by the Commandant.Footnote 133 The Commandant has done so by way of the Cadet Wing Instructions (CADWINS), which describe the Cadet Wing and the Cadet Chain of Authority (CCoA). The Cadet Wing consists of the Cadet Wing Headquarters and four Divisions, with each Division consisting of three Squadrons.Footnote 134 Seniority is created amongst the N/OCdts by leadership appointments within the CCoA (referred to as “bar positions”) which allow those N/OCdts to exercise leadership over their subordinates within the Cadet Wing under the supervision and mentorship of the Training Wing. This ensures the efficient functioning of the Cadet Wing, and provides an opportunity to practice leadership in a training environment.Footnote 135
  7. N/OCdts at Leadership Level (LL) 4 hold senior appointments within the Cadet Wing (referred to as “bar positions”), while N/OCdts at LL3 hold junior appointments.Footnote 136 The duties of each bar position, along with the N/OCdt or RMC staff position to whom the N/OCdt holding the bar position is responsible, are described in CADWINS.Footnote 137
  8. The QR(Canmilcols) require the Commandant to make rules (known as the Code of College Conduct) to govern the N/OCdts.Footnote 138 The Code of College Conduct complements the CCoA, and is unique in that, while sanctions may be imposed by the Commandant or a member of the Training Wing, they may also be imposed by senior N/OCdts.Footnote 139
  9. As CAF members, N/OCdts are also subject to the National Defence Act, QR&O, QR(Canmilcols), Canadian Forces Administrative Orders, Defence Administrative Orders and Directives, Canadian Forces Base Kingston Standing Orders, and College Standing Orders.Footnote 140 As a result, action may be taken under the Code of Service Discipline (Part III of the National Defence Act) if a breach of any of the rules contained in the Code of College Conduct constitutes a service offence.Footnote 141


  1. In relation to the selection of those in the CCoA, N/OCdts reported that the process for selecting those to hold the most senior of the bar positions (e.g., Cadet Wing Commander, and Cadet Division and Squadron Leaders) involves the submission by interested N/OCdts of a memo with a CV, followed by an interview with members of the Training Wing and approval by the DCdts and/or Commandant. However, the SSAV Team heard from N/OCdts that some N/OCdts, such as Cadet Flight Leaders, are permitted to select N/OCdts to hold subordinate bar positions within their Flight. Several N/OCdts (16) expressed concern that this degree of involvement in the selection process lacked transparency and potentially allowed those N/OCdts holding senior bar positions to give preference to their friends.
  2. In terms of the exercise of authority by the CCoA, while some N/OCdts had experienced examples of poor leadership by those holding bar positions (e.g., verbal abuse during the First Year Orientation Program; targeting of N/OCdt for frequent room inspections; “giv[ing] out “ORs” like candy”), or experienced unease with applying corrective measures to address the deficiencies of friends, N/OCdts nonetheless expressed a desire for the Training Wing to be less directive in its interaction with the CCoA:
    1. “There is too much direction and a lack of mentoring between the Training Wing and the CCA. It would be preferable for the Training Wing to identify an end state for the CCA to achieve, and then step back and assist the CCA in identifying how to get there and moving towards that goal. This would allow the CCA to develop and implement the plan (seeking Training Wing assistance where required), and possibly to fail and learn from that failure.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “Training Wing should give intent, why doing and [desired] effect and allow N/OCdts to get on with but mentor” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  3. The SSAV Team heard from many N/OCdts that they were dismayed by the number of rules at RMC, particularly in relation to dress and parking.Footnote 142 A second N/OCdt concern was inconsistent enforcement of those rules. With respect to dress, N/OCdts noted that they were always required to be in uniform or to wear the required walking out dress, even when in quarters or in the mess, pointed out that this requirement has no equivalent in any other CAF unit, including CMR St-Jean and CAF training units, and suggested that the dress rules added to the overall sense of stress:
    1. “OCdts feel trapped, and this is not helped by walking out dress associated with LL1. There is no CAF analogy in for these requirements. If issue is that do not want OCdts to look sloppy, this can be achieved at lesser standard. If impose these restrictions, OCdts will get cabin fever or will break rules (and if breaking rules, will not sign out, compounding problem). Changing dress rules would improve morale and reduce motivation to break rules (3rd Year holding bar position also does not want to be "that guy" who enforces rules). Fundamentally disagree with dress rules. Unclear why must wear suit to go to Tim's or grocery store: doesn't teach OCdt how to use judgement to dress appropriately for occasion; it teaches OCdt how to wear what's on card showing authorized dress.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “WRT dress code: if part of point is that downtown is intended to be escape, then unhelpful to impose dress standards. Everyone knows that you're in RMC and wants to talk about it; also imposes financial requirement to buy suits. Wearing 4s also makes OCdts targets of verbal and other abuse, and feel that cannot retaliate because in uniform.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    3. “A "professional" look doesn't mean suit or tie (in my opinion). We are not treated as adults. No explanations are ever given nor how important things are.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    4. Having to follow dress standards has some military value, but the value of wearing 4s or a suit to go into down or buy groceries is unclear, and the anonymity of more casual dress is more relaxing (no longer under the microscope). At St-Jean, the dress standard for both years is relaxed because of public perceptions WRT military. (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  4. From a N/OCdt perspective, the dress rules provide little training value and are accompanied by a number of negative consequences. Comments made to the SSAV Team by a number of N/OCdts suggest that this significantly reduces the prospect that they will be followed or enforced by the CCoA.Footnote 143
    1. “[C]ivilian dress standards should be relaxed because they don't teach OCdts anything ("It's a rule for the sake of having a rule")”. (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “Senior N/OCdts don't enforce the walking out dress and quite frankly, next year, I won't either.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    3. “We need to enforce the rules that really matter.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  5. Some N/OCdts again articulated a preference for the Training Wing to identify desired outcomes along with their supporting rationale, enabling the CCoA to enforce principles instead of an extensive and detailed set of rules:
    1. “An unintended consequence of the number and the very prescriptive nature of the rules is that the OCdts feel as if they're being "babied" (e.g., rather than telling OCdts that they cannot wear tank tops at the gym, the Training Wing should explain that the end state is to be appropriately dressed, and make the CCA identify and deal with any departures from this outcome). If the OCdts were given more input in developing the rules, they would be more likely to abide by and enforce them.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “CADWINS are full of detailed rules that are not normally enforced (but OCdts can still get in trouble for them, depending upon your CCA): norm is NOT to follow rules, even though each OCdt signs form each year acknowledging that they have read CADWINS. [The n]umber and type of rules mean that it's necessary for those in CCA and CoC to use their judgement in terms of which are enforced.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    3. “Training Wing primarily interacts with the very few senior bar positions and with those struggling (e.g., corrective measures, etc.). This colours their interaction with Cadet Wing (e.g., dress rules reflect assumption that OCdts, without detailed guidance, cannot be trusted to dress appropriately; however, view may skewed by those given corrective measures for going out in sweats and tank top. Feel as if OCdts are being treated like babies (e.g., walk-throughs on Mon, Tues, Thurs.; rule that wallet cannot be left on top of desk, etc.). No issue with room standard, but there are many other rules to control behaviour. As well, requirement to march everywhere at RMC has no analogy anywhere else in CAF. OCdts are reassured that RMC is different from rest of CAF. If this is the case, why is it so? ... Rules that don't seem to have any actual effect.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  6. CADWINS authorizes those in the CCoA to issue corrective training and those holding more senior bar positions to recommend the application of sanctions (approved by the Squadron Commander). However, several N/OCdts referred to the recent introduction of a “sanctions matrix,” a table identifying a number of conduct deficiencies and the appropriate sanction (denial of privilege) to be applied in response to each, depending upon the N/OCdt’s LL.Footnote 144 While introduction of a sanctions matrix has standardized punishment across the Squadrons, some N/OCdts noted that it has also removed leadership flexibility in terms of choosing the measure best to address the deficiency:
    1. “Biggest issue at RMC is micromanagement! Understand disciplinary matrix was meant to standardize but what leadership value am I learning to follow a chart? We are always [being] looked at (top down) and it takes my leadership abilities away. Never told the "why".” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
    2. “[The] Imposition of [the] sanctions matrix has resulted in loss of ability of senior leaders to impose appropriate punishment (e.g., requirement for OCdt who was oversleeping to wake up bar position every morning, fully dressed and shaved). Understand that matrix was imposed in order to achieve consistency and check excesses, but it removes all discretion. The wearing of 4s and Gs is now common, particularly for parking offences.” (Interview with a N/OCdt)
  7. As a member of the Academic Wing acknowledged, providing N/OCdts with more discretion may increase the likelihood of failure, and therefore create risk for the Training Wing; however, willingness to incur failure was in his view fundamental to achieving RMC’s purpose:
    1. “Must empower subordinates to fail, but this is more difficult now because those supervising want to be assessed as succeeding. “Requires big-time culture change, and how do you achieve this?”... Military Wing cannot supervise OCdts; OCdts MUST supervise themselves. Otherwise, will create society of babies. This would have occurred in the past. More military supervision would drive problems underground. However, mentoring should occur. Need to get OCdts to point where they will tell peer that their shoes are not shiny. Class attendance is an example of enforcing rules. OCdts fake attendance. Should use this as an example. Must be willing to set bar and let people fail (e.g., OCdt who stole computers was court-martialled but granted commission). "Peer loyalty is a triple bond, whereas everything else is a single bond." If supervise OCdts all the time, RMC will not graduate officers. Must re-socialize OCdts upon graduation.” (Interview with member of Academic Wing)


  1. While the application process for senior bar positions includes significant Training Wing involvement and approval, the selection for subordinate bar positions appears to be heavily influenced by N/OCdt recommendations to the Squadron Commander. This raises concerns about the lack of transparency, and the potential that friends will be favoured in the process. The following recommendation is offered by the SSAV Team:
    1. Bar Position Selection. (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that RMC should ensure the selection process for bar positions continues to include N/OCdt recommendations – the Training Wing should carefully reviewthem to ensure that each N/OCdt is the “best fit” for the bar position in question, including (where appropriate) assigning N/OCdts to hold bar positions in other Flights and Squadrons in order to reduce the requirement to exercise authority in relation to friends.
  2. Although the SSAV Team heard some reports of poor leadership practices on the part of those in the CCoA, several N/OCdts stressed that the Training Wing should be less directive in its dealings with the CCoA, instead identifying the desired outcome and its rationale, allowing the CCoA (with Training Wing mentoring) to determine how to achieve it. Many N/OCdts also identified related concerns with respect to the numerous and detailed rules found in CADWINS (particularly those which lacked obvious training value from a N/OCdt perspective), as well as the lack of flexibility associated with the sanctions matrix. These observations are of particular concern because they suggest to the SSAV Team that N/OCdt skepticism about the relevance of the rules contained in the CADWINS may be significantly reducing the training benefit of being required to follow and (when participating in the CCoA) enforce rules. This may impact the extent to which their RMC experience prepares them to serve as CAF officers. The following recommendation is offered by the SSAV Team:
    1. Comprehensive review of CADWINS. (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that a review of CADWINS be initiated, involving participation by representatives of the Cadet Wing as well as the Training Wing, to identify any rules which could be replaced by desired outcomes, and that a similar outcome-based approach be adopted by the Training Wing in giving direction to the Cadet Wing.
  3. N/OCdt Confidence in the Leadership at RMC. The SSAV Team assesses that – as with morale (discussed in detail in Annex E) – N/OCdt confidence in RMC leadership is variable, and influenced by a range of factors, many of which have been discussed in this report and its annexes, and not all of which are within RMC’s control. The SSAV Team notes that leadership in a CAF unit is nonetheless a shared responsibility, with all those closest to the N/OCdts – whether military or civilian – being uniquely placed to enhance their confidence by modelling positive leadership traits and styles on a daily basis. The SSAV Team considers it unceccesary to make a specific recommendation in relation to this issue, as it is addressed by many of the recommendations contained elsewhere in this report.

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