Annex G – Selection


Chosen for excellence or suitability, choice, picked, got by rejection or exclusion of what is inferior; exclusive cautions in admitting membersFootnote 145
Experienced and trusted adviser.Footnote 146
A professional relationship in which a more experienced person (a mentor) voluntarily shares knowledge, insights, and wisdom with a less-experienced person (a mentee) who wishes to benefit from that exchange. It is a medium to long-term learning relationship founded on respect, honesty, trust and mutual goals.Footnote 147
A short-term relationship in which one person (coach) is focused on the development and enhancement of performance, skills, effectiveness, and potential of another person (coachee). A coach is more job-focussed in directing a person to achieve a specific end result.Footnote 148
Test (person) to determine presence or absence of a quality (esp. reliability or loyalty)…Footnote 149
Provision of specific skills, knowledge and attitudes required to perform assigned tasks and dutiesFootnote 150
The provision of a base of knowledge and intellectual skills upon which information can be correctly interpreted and sound judgement exercisedFootnote 151
Cultural Intelligence:
“…the ability to recognize the shared beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours of a group of people and, most importantly, to effectively apply this knowledge toward a specific goal or range of activities.”Footnote 152

Areas of Assessment

  1. The SSAV Team was tasked in the VCDS mandate letter with assessing the climate, training environment, culture and programme construct at RMC. In the area of Selection and Responsibilities of RMC Staff, the Team was asked to answer the following questions:
    1. How are personnel selected and trained for positions within the Military Wing of RMC?
    2. How are the roles and responsibilities of these positions defined and communicated to the personnel filling them? and
    3. Does this selection and training process support the mission of RMC?


  1. Through the course of interviews and review of input from former staff and Naval and Officer Cadets (N/OCdts), the SSAV Team was able to identify the strengths and shortfalls in the current staff selection, training and task assignments. Recommendations to address the observed shortfalls are detailed in the following paragraphs.
  2. Military Personnel
    1. Observations. The impact of the military chain of command at RMC on the quality of junior officers produced under the Regular Officer Training Plan – Royal Military College (ROTP-RMC) programme cannot be overstated. It is therefore paramount that all N/OCdts be exposed to top-quality leaders and mentors throughout their stay at RMC. Currently, the normal tour length for the Commandant and other key military positions is two years. The short duration of their tour results in constant changes in vision and priorities that are viewed by many as detrimental to the College. It was observed by some stakeholders that it takes at least six months for a Commandant to fully understand their new command. Conversely, the Principal is appointed by the Governor-in-Council for a period of five years.Footnote 153 The short duration of tours has both immediate and longer term effects, as the impact of a Commandant’s decisions is often not fully understood or felt for several years. One key finding of the Team is the lack of synchronization and management of the execution of the Four Pillars which leads to conflicting schedules and priorities that negatively affect the N/OCdts. The SSAV Team also heard from N/OCdts (25 with specific comments) that their level of trust in and respect for the RMC military leaders is directly proportional to their approachability and ability to communicate and connect with them. To that end, the SSAV Team heard numerous comments about the reliance of N/OCdts on the College Chaplains for morale and spiritual support;
    2. The Training Wing Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Members (Sr NCMs) contribute directly to the morale, welfare, and development of the N/OCdts, and therefore need to be easily accessible (“open door policy”). Their role is very demanding and yet unclear to many – the SSAV Team received comments from both Training Wing Staff and N/OCdts that the Sr NCM were under the impression that they were not to provide mentorship to N/OCdts. However, a review of the Terms of Reference (TORs) in College Standing Orders (3.04.22) reveals five instances where Squadron Sr NCMs are called upon to provide mentorship, although primarily in relation to Drill, Deportment and Discipline. Consistent with the definitions above, doctrine would indicate that indeed, the role of the Squadron Commanders and Training Sr NCMs is to mentor and coach. At least 15 N/OCdts lamented this lack of mentorship as a missed opportunity to expose them to Officer/NCM Relationships and five Collège Militaire Royale de Saint-Jean (CMR SJ) alumni expressed their gratitude for the more “hands-on” relationship they enjoyed with the Sr NCMs while in St-Jean;
    3. The SSAV Team also received 90 negative and 42 positive comments on the Training Wing Staff from N/OCdts. Eight N/OCdts reported having no confidence in their Squadron Commander and/or Training NCO. There is a wide-spread perception amongst academic staff and particularly amongst N/OCdts (total of 45 comments) that the selection of Training Wing staff is not well orchestrated. Finally, there were four complaints by N/OCdts related to the lack of bilingualism amongst Training Wing staff;
    4. At this time, RMC military staff is comprised primarily of white males. In the Canadian Armed Forces Diversity Strategy, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) recognizes that “enhancing diversity is a complex undertaking that represents a significant step for the institution as we apply deliberate measures to be more representative of Canadian Society.”Footnote 154 The CDS further challenged Military Personnel Command to increase the representation of women in the CAF by 1% per year; every year over the next 10 years, in order to reach its a goal of 25.1% while also striving to meet its goals for Aboriginal (3.4%) and Visible Minority (11.8%) members (National Defence 2012);Footnote 155
    5. The Commandant, Deputy Commandant, Director of Cadets (DCdts) as well as the College Chief Warrant Officer are selected through the CAF Succession Management process. The remainder of military personnel are currently posted to RMC at the discretion of their individual Career Managers based on the qualifications identified on the Automated Establishment Report. There is presently no screening process for Training Wing staff. There is also no specific merit recognition at ranking boards for serving with the Training Wing. RMC is considered a Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Priority Manning 3, meaning that up to 4% of its military positions may not be filled at any given time. Tour lengths are not specified. Aside from a brief orientation session and basic terms of reference in the CSO, Training Wing staff do not currently receive any special training prior to taking on their roles. In fact, several stakeholders, including members of Training Wing themselves reported a lack of clarity with reference to their roles. Finally, the selection of RMC military staff does not ensure diversity;
    6. Assessment. To ensure that the selection of the RMC staff supports RMC’s mission, it is essential that greater attention be paid to the competencies and optimal employment of those leaders. In terms of selection and career management, the Chief of Military Personnel’s desired Strategic Effect aims to place the right person, with the right qualifications, in the right place, at the right time. For RMC, this means finding the right personnel with the right competencies, at the appropriate rank level, with the proper training and experience to accomplish the mission. Concurrently, each member of the team must have clear terms of accountability (TOAs) along with the authority necessary to carry out their tasks. Additionally, tour lengths have a direct impact on the effectiveness and performance of the incumbents in terms of providing situational awareness and stability. Finally, as discussed in more detail in Annex I, Four Pillars/Programme, a senior officer needs to oversee the synchronization and management of the execution of the Four Pillar programme on a continuous basis in order to ensure unity of purpose and reduce the potential conflicting priorities, thus facilitating time management on the part of the N/OCdts;
    7. Recommendations by Positions
      1. Commandant: (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that the Commandant be appointed for a minimum period of three years with potential for extending that to four or five years to optimize continuity and stability;
      2. Deputy Commandant: (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that a full-time Deputy Commandant position be established. This position could take on the role of programme integrator, overseeing the synchronization and management of the execution of the Four Pillars. Tour of duty should be as per CAF norm;
      3. College Chief Warrant Officer: (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that consideration be given to designating this position as a first level Senior Appointment;
      4. College Chaplains: (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that the tour of duty for RMC chaplains be limited to no more than three years;
      5. Director of Cadets: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) The SSAV Team acknowledges the intent to upgrade this position to the rank of Colonel/Captain (Navy). It is recommended that the Director of Cadets position be designated a key position and be succession managed;
      6. Training Wing Sergeant Major: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) In recognition of the significant responsibilities giving rise to the change in rank of the Director of Cadets position to Colonel/Captain (Navy), it is recommended that the Training Wing Sergeant Major position be changed to Chief Warrant Officer/Chief Petty Officer 1st Class. The position should be designated as a unit level appointment;
      7. Division/Squadron Commanders: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that detailed selection criteria be provided to Career Managers for future incumbents and a screening process be established to allow for RMC leadership to have input on the selection of officers in direct contact with N/OCdts. Officers should have at least one full tour of duty as junior leaders in a tactical unit prior to being assigned as a Squadron Commander. The Squadron Commander and Division Commander positions should be recognized as command positions and those selected should be functionally bilingual, or as a minimum, the leadership teams comprising the officer and Senior NCM should together provide a functionally bilingual combination:
        1. Specific Roles of Division/Squadron Commanders: (Supporting Recommendation) TOAs need to clarify the role and relationship of Division and Squadron Commanders with reference to the development of the N/OCdts. In his blog, Anthony Moore posits that “Millennials [and Generation Z] crave mentorship, leadership, and personal growth from their employer.”Footnote 156 As such, based on the definitions of coaching and mentoring provided above, the SSAV Team recommends the following approach:
          1. Coaching relates to developing the N/OCdts on followership, developing their body of knowledge, applying this body of knowledge to practical skills, time management, etc. (knowledge of what, why and how – savoir et savoir faire); and
          2. Mentoring relates to developing the N/OCdts judgement, overall attitude and approach to others, effective verbal and written communication skills, supervision of others, application of discipline, etc. (knowledge of how to act or behave – savoir être).
        2. Officer/Non-commissioned Member Relationship Development: (Supporting Recommendation) To that end, the SSAV Team suggests that First Year N/OCdts will mostly require coaching whereas N/OCdts holding leadership appointments within the Cadet Chain of Authority and those in Third and Fourth Years will require more mentoring. The assignment of those coaching and mentoring tasks should therefore take into consideration the level of experience and close relationship required to best provide the required effect (strong leadership, trust, loyalty, and open dialogue). For example, considering the significant amount of administrative workload on the Squadron Commanders, these tasks should be a shared responsibility between officers and Sr NCMs. Indeed, the N/OCdts need to learn by example from Training Wing staff about officer NCM relationships, including the leadership team concept and the role of Sr NCMs in the development of junior officers for the CAF.
      8. Division Senior NCMs: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that the four Division Senior NCM positions be upgraded to the rank of Master Warrant Officer/Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class in order to align experience, training and maturity with the important mentorship roles for these positions. It is also recommended that detailed selection criteria be provided to Career Managers for future incumbents and a screening process be established to allow for RMC leadership to have input on the selection of NCMs in direct contact with N/OCdts; and
      9. Squadron Training Non-Commissioned Members: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that all Squadron Sr NCM positions be upgraded to Warrant Officer/Petty Officer 1st Class. It is also recommended that detailed selection criteria be provided to Career Managers for future incumbents and a screening process be established to allow for RMC leadership to have input on the selection of NCMs in direct contact with N/OCdts:
        1. Specific Duties of Squadron Training Senior NCMs: (Supporting Recommendation) It is recommended that RMC ensure that Squadron Sr NCMs contribute directly to the development of the N/OCdts and take an active role in preparing them for the realities of life in the CAF, including the concept of the officer and Sr NCM relationship where the junior officer possesses the authority to command while the latter provides advice, coaching and mentoring based on years of experience. Training Wing staff must therefore capitalize on the opportunity to nurture this relationship throughout the N/OCdts’ four-year stay at RMC;
    8. Diversity considerations.
      1. Observation. As previously stated, the selection of military staff for RMC does not ensure diversity;
      2. Assessment. Diversity representation percentages amongst N/OCdts exceed those of the CAF generally. Those N/OCdts need role models as well as access to military and civilian staff they can relate to and feel comfortable discussing personal issues with; and
      3. Diversity Considerations: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that as part of the selection process for RMC military staff positions, the CAF should ensure a more proportional representation of Employment Equity groups, in particular women, to ensure N/OCdts have leaders and mentors that they can identify with; and
    9. Recognition of effort and complexity.
      1. Observation. Currently Training Wing positions are not seen as high profile. Indeed, only some incumbents are serving in this capacity by choice. Their jobs are complex and demanding in terms of time and emotional commitment to the success of the N/OCdts under their command or supervision. They require a strong command of their second language, a working knowledge of Human Resources policies, counselling techniques, disciplinary procedures, etc.;
      2. Assessment. Training Wing personnel need to be fit and able to lead by example. In order to attract the best suited candidates for Training Wing positions, it is paramount that their roles be well defined, understood and appreciated by Career Managers and the CAF leadership in general. It is equally important that proper credit be given for the unique demands of a posting to the Training Wing; and
      3. Recognition: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that personnel posted to the Training Wing at RMC receive appropriate recognition at Environmental (Navy, Army, Air Force) and CAF Selection Boards for the role, responsibilities and complexities inherent in providing leadership, supervision, coaching and mentoring at RMC.
  3. Military Faculty staff and Post Graduates.
    1. Observation. Military Faculty Officers and Military Post Graduates teach and provide military context to their teaching while also acting as military role models for the N/OCdts. Some stakeholders observed that not all Military Faculty officers provided the exemplary role models sought. It was further mentioned by a some academic and headquarters staff that some Military Faculty Psychology and Leadership (MPL) Department staff lacked recent or any operational experience to provide concrete first-hand contextual accounts to the N/OCdts to support the theoretical body of knowledge;
    2. Assessment. These CAF members are selected by Career Managers in consultation with RMC. There is no defined tour length for Military Faculty personnel. At present all MPL Department Military Faculty are Personnel Selection Officers (PSOs). PSOs with graduate degrees in Psychology but few have experience at the tactical level of military operations; and
    3. Military Faculty. (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that RMC determine the optimal tour length of its Military Faculty personnel in order to ensure a balance between academic credentials and recent military experience.
  4. How Personnel are trained to support the RMC mission?
    1. Observations. In 2016, the Commandant issued his priorities which included a “One College Team” approach. Indeed all RMC personnel (Headquarters, Training Wing, Academic Wing, Athletics Department) provide some level of mentoring and act as role models for the N/OCdts and share a common goal: to produce well educated junior officers/leaders for the CAF. As such, all stakeholders require a good understanding of the College’s Mission, Vision and priorities including Training Wing staff for whom RMC represents a totally new work environment. At this time, the College provides a one week orientation session in the Fall which covers mostly administrative matters, mandated CAF programmes, etc. Additionally, there is no specific training or qualification required of Training Wing staff who engage with the N/OCdts;
    2. Assessment. RMC is not a typical military unit nor is it a typical university. Several Training Wing staff commented on the inadequacy of the current orientation program stating that while the content was helpful, they had to learn on the job where they fit within RMC. If the rationale for the standards and requirements of the Four Pillars programme are not properly communicated, understood and fully appreciated by all stakeholders: unity of purpose cannot be achieved. To compound the issue, all RMC staff, including Training Wing staffl must be sensitized to the fundamental characteristics of the latest generations of N/OCdts. Indeed, the N/OCdt of today may necessitate a different approach to teaching, coaching, mentoring, or learning in general. Anthony Moore posits that “Millennials [and Generation Z] crave mentorship, leadership, and personal growth from their employer.”
      “When it comes to understanding the technology needs, preferences, and uses of today`s undergraduate learners, often termed the Net generation or Millennials [and Generation Z], there is a clear and apparent struggle occurring within higher education.” (Smith 2012)Footnote 157
    3. Recommendations.
      1. Formal Training: (KEY RECOMMENDATION) It is recommended that all Training Wing personnel undergo a training programme commensurate with the expectations of their unique role at RMC (e.g. coaching and mentoring, cultural intelligence, Harmful and Inappropriate Sexual Behaviour (HISB), The Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR), Mental Fitness and Suicide Awareness, etc.)


As detailed above, the SSAV Team found that the selection of Training Wing staff lacked a proper screening methodology based on preferred competencies, aptitudes and personal traits. Further, the SSAV Team identified the need to develop a training package to be completed by all Training Wing staff prior to assuming their responsibilities. In conclusion, the selection and training processes currently in place do not adequately support the RMC mission.

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