Areas of Assessment

  1. General. This part of the report summarizes the key assessments and associated recommendations that have been made by the SSAV Team pertinent to the Areas of Assessment in the VCDS mandate letter. The sections that follow and the content within are derived from the corresponding annexes to this report. Each of the annexes contains the full details of the definitions, applicable law or policy, observations, assessments and recommendations that pertain to the questions in the mandate letter. In order to provide a summary and maintain consistency and accuracy within the report, it is recognized that there is a degree of necessary duplication between the annexes and this part of the report. Where recommendations are provided, only those considered as key recommendations have been included in this part of the report. Additional supporting recommendations are contained within the respective annexes. As well, all recommendations are contained in the summary of recommendations at Annex L. It was determined that stressor and morale issues that the Team observed were symptomatic of underlying issues in the areas of command and control and governance, selection and responsibilities of RMC staff, support services and the “Four Pillar” programme, and have therefore been addressed first before addressing these areas.


  1. General. When assessing the stressors affecting N/OCdts at RMC, the only suitable way to glean a good understanding of the stressors felt by the N/OCdts was to study the actual comments and observations of the N/OCdts themselves, as well as the perspectives from other groups who work closely with the N/OCdts. The interviews conducted by the SSAV Team were therefore key to understanding the stressors (real or perceived) affecting them. The assessment deals with the overall “feel” and perception of the stressors experienced by N/OCdts, Staff and supporters of RMC and contribute to the underlying culture and sub-cultures at RMC. Annex D contains the detailed observations on the various stressors affecting the groups within the College. It also includes a series of tables that list, in order of prevalence, those issues which were described as either positive or negative stressors. The SSAV Team’s observations and assessments of stressors are primarily based on what was conveyed during interviews. Many of the measures to mitigate negative stressors are found in the observations, assessments and recommendations in other components of the report as both stressors and morale are seen to be in part, symptomatic of issues that exist at RMC.
  2. It is well known that stress can be positive or negative.Footnote 20 When individuals experience the right amount of pressure, they often do their best work. However, if there's too much or too little pressure, then performance can decline. This relationship is explained by the Inverted-U Model (also known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law) which shows the relationship between pressure and performance and according to the model, there's a "perfect medium" of pressure where people perform at their best. In the case of RMC, there is a concerted effort to include productive stress in the lives of the N/OCdts to ensure that they overcome adversity and strive to reach their potential. This is a balancing act, however, and when the stress is not monitored adequately or effectively understood, it can lead to negative consequences. The SSAV Team is of the view that if the assessments and recommendations in the areas of Command and Control and Governance, Selection and Responsibilities of Training Wing staff, Support and the Four Pillar programme are addressed, this would mitigate the most negative stressors. It is understood that in order to develop as effective leaders, N/OCdts need to face stress, learn how to mitigate it and prioritize their time properly in order to be ready for their first assignments as junior officers.
  3. The significant stressors affecting the N/OCdts. The SSAV Team assesses that the most significant stressors affecting the N/OCdts are categorized as leadership execution and role models at RMC, the Leadership Level Progression Model or incentivized system, dress standards and time management by the College and the N/OCdts. Positive leadership examples and well executed elements of the programme at RMC can have a significant impact on the N/OCdts and boost their sense of belonging and morale. Conversely, poor leadership or role models, training or elements of the programme that come across as irrelevant, can have a very negative effect. The following summarizes the most prominent positive and negative stressors that the SSAV Team heard comments about from interviewees:
    1. Positive stressors. Many N/OCdts responded positively to stressors and identified the following as the most positive: A well planned and executed First Year Orientation Programme (FYOP) led to tremendous team and morale building; positive leadership role models at RMC who use positive reinforcement coupled with solid leadership and mentoring practices; fitness when used as a stress reliever, foster team building and the foundation of healthy living; the ROTP-RMC programme overall as a goal to strive for; and, the intellectual challenges involved in obtaining a degree; and
    2. Negative Stressors. The top negative stressor, not just indicated by the N/OCdts, but also by the Training Wing, was how some leadership was being executed and the associated negative role models. ROTP-RMC programme related issues including the Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM), Professional Military Training (PMT), over programming of time and lack of decompression, too many rules that are not uniformly enforced, and impractical walking out (or off duty) dress standards were the top negative stressors for the N/OCdts.
  4. The effect of stressors on the N/OCdts. The SSAV Team assesses that stressors affect the N/OCdts in various ways. When programmes are executed well, the N/OCdts respond positively, increasing pride and motivation levels. When they are executed poorly, the adverse is true and the N/OCdts can turn to addictive behaviors; or worse they can develop poor ethical standards that are in direct contravention of what RMC is trying to produce. The SSAV Team assesses that there is a risk that if not addressed, there is potential for the inadvertent formation of cynical and self-interested young officers; instead of the desired ethical, self-sacrificing and well-motivated leaders that RMC aims to produce for the CAF.
  5. The effect of stressors on different groups of N/OCdts. The SSAV Team assesses that First and Second Year N/OCdts are affected by the “shock” and adjustment of RMC life while the Third and Fourth Year N/OCdts are affected by the cumulative effect of the various stressors (sometimes leading to cynical or apathetic views).
  6. Ability and willingness of N/OCdts to identify and seek assistance to deal with stressors. The SSAV Team assesses that overwhelmingly, the N/OCdts can identify the many resources available to them to deal with stressors. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to those that seek or want to seek assistance, as many are concerned about being perceived as being weak or having a problem if they do solicit help. If they have good self-confidence, they are more likely to reach out. If they have self-esteem, self-confidence or simple time management issues (which many do), then they are less likely to do so.


  1. General. Morale is defined as the amount of confidence, enthusiasm, determination, etc. that a person or group has at a particular time. Morale is a mental phenomenon, and as such is very difficult to measure its degree. To add to this dilemma, morale can fluctuate through time and circumstances, thus leaving the act of morale building as the only real tangible way in which leadership can assess it and perform its fundamental responsibility in looking after its people. One final difficulty encountered is that different groups and sub-groups face different challenges and have varying resources to cope.
  2. The SSAV Team assessment benefitted from receiving and reviewing the results of the unit morale profile which was conducted in a similar time period, although it did not include the N/OCdts. The information from the unit morale profile allowed the SSAV Team to compare the different approaches (interviews and survey) and provided support for its conclusions on the state of morale at RMC.
  3. The state of morale within the Military Wing, the Cadet Wing, the Academic Wing, and the Support Staff. The overall state of morale at RMC was assessed by the SSAV Team to be between fair and good. There were a number of personnel who seemed to demonstrate high morale, while others demonstrated and stated the opposite. The N/OCdts seemed to be the most varied as the morale state fluctuated between Squadrons and N/OCdts Years (First Years tended to be overwhelmed and insecure while Fourth Years showed some cynicism and a less than optimistic outlook for their futures in the CAF). Some viewed the stressors in front of them as positive challenges and achievements, while others were clearly struggling. The Training Wing also showed morale indicators ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other and were assessed as fair. The Academic Wing was assessed as having between fair and good morale, while the Support staff was assessed as low. Of note, it is particularly low amongst those N/OCdts who struggle with the Four Pillars. Morale is fair amongst the Training Wing while it is relatively good within the Academic Wing. Nevertheless many N/OCdts speak highly of their overall experience at RMC.
  4. The factors leading to the state of morale. There were many factors that led to each group’s state of morale but the following factors were identified by N/OCdts as their main factors leading to their state of morale: varied leadership styles, Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM), relevancy of Professional Military Training, Four Pillars achievement, time management skills, walking out dress standards, understanding and application of Cadet Wing Instructions (CADWINS) and the pervasive nature of cynicism amongst their colleagues. Factors leading to Training Wing’s state of morale were: the pressure of being under scrutiny for every negative circumstance, uneven strength in leadership and experience within their ranks, the unequal application of disciplinary and administrative actions, the level of bureaucracy in their day to day work which often took them away from face-to-face engagements with the N/OCdts, Chain of Command support for them in the conduct of their duties, and the lack of effective communications. The Academic Wing cited the following as factors leading to their state of morale: RMC Academic credibility and reputation, the resource and administrative constraints, the tension and mistrust between military and academia, and on a positive side, the exchanges between the Academic Wing and the N/OCdts. Many in the Support Wing were profoundly affected by the recent deaths and many are experiencing mental distress, cumulative fatigue and are at high risk for burn-out and exhaustion.
  5. How does the morale of any of these groups affect the morale of any of the other groups and to what extent: Clearly in such a small and tight-knit community like RMC, the morale of any one group will greatly and quickly affect the others. Each group has a part to play in the development of officers at RMC, and they must continue to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for the young leaders’ development. The dynamic tension between military and academic imperatives must remain a positive give and take. If the morale of the Training, Academic or Support Wings fluctuates upwards or downwards it will have significant impact on the N/OCdts.

Command and Control and Governance

  1. General. The SSAV Team observed that 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 Minister of National Defence (MND). The SSAV Team’s full analysis describing the command and control and governance mechanisms at RMC, and responding to the assigned Areas of Assessment from the VCDS mandate letter, is included in Annex F to this report. This section provides a summary of that analysis as well as the associated key recommendations for consideration.
  2. Command and Control of RMC. The Minister has organized RMC as a unit.Footnote 21 The officer appointed to command RMC is a Commanding Officer (CO), and holds the appointment of “Commandant” (Cmdt).Footnote 22 The Commandant exercises command over all officers and non-commissioned members at RMC.Footnote 23 The Commandant is also responsible, as a CO, for the whole of the organization and safety of the CO’s unit,Footnote 24 and must issue standing orders regarding matters that are specific to the CO’s unitFootnote 25 The Commandant of RMC is directly responsible to the Commander Canadian Defence Academy (CDA).Footnote 26 CDA is a formation allocated by the Minister to Military Personnel Command (MILPERSCOM).Footnote 27 SSAV Team noted that 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 28 but has not yet been organized in accordance with the National Defence Act, and therefore has no formal existence within the Canadian Armed Forces. Footnote 29
  3. Governance of the RMC academic programme. 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 SJ), although both CMR SJ and RRMC were closed in 1995; CMR SJ 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 Department of National Defence (DND) holding the appointment of Assistant Deputy Minister (Personnel) (now Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)) shall exercise command and control over the colleges, with command at each being exercised by its Commandant;Footnote 30 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 31
  4. While a few of the provisions contained in the QR(Canmilcols) are orders issued by the CDS, the majority are Governor in Council or 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 32
  5. 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 [Principal of RMC], 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 33 Descriptions of the other governance mechanisms for RMC’s academic programmes are provided in Annex F.
  6. The MND has also established an RMC Board of Governors (BoG) to which the QR(Canmilcols) make no reference.Footnote 34 According to the Terms of Reference (ToR) issued by the MND, 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.
  7. While the duties of the Commandant are set out in the QR(Canmilcols),Footnote 35 the MND has issued Ministerial Directives with respect to the Principal (appointed by the Governor in Council).Footnote 36 These, like the QR(Canmilcols), state that the Principal takes precedence next to the Commandant in all aspects other than command.Footnote 37 The Ministerial Directives assign the Principal a number of key responsibilities which are listed in Annex F. Fundamentally, the Principal 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.
  8. RMC, as one of several measures taken to enhance recognition of the quality of its academic programmes and degrees, is a member of “Universities Canada,” and an associate member of the Council of Ontario Universities. 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 38 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 39 Notwithstanding its participation in these associations and programmes, RMC – in contrast to other Ontario universities – is subject to federal law.
  9. The SSAV Team observed that the various instruments that govern RMC have been issued or amended at different times. This has created a complex and at times confusing situation. Some aspects of these instruments 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. The SSAV Team heard that 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 an assessed lack of clarity regarding its role, authority and composition. This concern is discussed in the RMC Four Pillars programme section and in Annex I.
  10. The SSAV Team assesses that outdated and sometimes conflicting direction within the governance framework for RMC’s academic programme – including QR(Canmilcols), Ministerial Directives for the Principal, and the BoG ToR – may make it challenging to manage the programme, so that RMC would benefit from a review and update of this framework.
  11. Interaction with CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters. The SSAV Team received a number of documents describing the interaction between CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ, 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.Footnote 40
  12. The PRB is intended to meet in early fall and late spring, with its results being briefed to the Professional Development Council and the BoG.Footnote 41  The SSAV Team was provided with the Records of Decision from PRB meetings in late 2014 and early 2016Footnote 42 These touch upon several of the issues identified by the SSAV Team,Footnote 43  suggesting that CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ, although aware of issues of concern, may lack the capacity to address them in a sufficiently timely fashion. 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. 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. 
  13. The SSAV Team shares the concern that CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ may not have sufficient capacity to address issues arising at the Canmilcols in a timely fashion, and accordingly considers that its role, structure, and chain of command would 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.
  14. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations with regards to Command, Control and Governance at RMC:
    1. Review of RMC Academic Governance Framework. 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. 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.
  15. Command and leadership of the Cadet Wing. 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). 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 44 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).
  16. The Cadet Wing consists of the Cadet Wing Headquarters and four Divisions, with each Division consisting of three Squadrons.Footnote 45 Seniority is created amongst the N/OCdts by 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 46
  17. The QR(Canmilcols) require the Commandant to make rules (known as the Code of College Conduct) to govern the N/OCdts. 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 47
  18. As CAF members, N/OCdts are also subject to the National Defence Act, QR&O, QR(Canmilcols), Canadian Forces Administrative Orders (CFAOs), Defence Administrative Orders and Directives (DAODs), Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston Standing Orders, and College Standing Orders (CSO).Footnote 48 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 49
  19. In relation to the selection of N/OCdts to leadership appointments, the SSAV Team heard that an appointment to the most senior of bar positions involves review by the Training Wing staff and approval by the DCdts and/or Commandant. Conversely the SSAV Team heard that more junior appointments were not reviewed as thoroughly with concerns being expressed that this part of the process lacked transparency and potentially allowed N/OCdts in senior positions to give preference to friends. While some N/OCdts commented on examples of poor leadership by the CCoA, or unease with applying corrective measures, many expressed a desire for the Training Wing to be less directive in its interaction with the CCoA.
  20. 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 50 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, and pointed out that this requirement has no equivalent in any other CAF unit, including CMR SJ and CAF training units. In addition to details in Annex F, these particular issues are further explored within the Stressors and Morale parts of this report and at Annexes D and E.
  21. The SSAV Team also heard concerns from N/OCdts over the recent introduction of a “sanctions matrix” within the CADWINS which is a table identifying a number of conduct deficiencies and the appropriate sanction (denial of a privilege) to be applied in response to each, depending upon the N/OCdt’s Leadership Level.Footnote 51 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.
  22. The SSAV Team assesses that 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 SSAV Team also assesses that N/OCdts’ 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) enforcing rules. This may impact the extent to which their RMC experience prepares them to serve as CAF officers.
  23. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation with regards to the exercise of command and control within the Training and Cadet Wing of RMC:
    1. Comprehensive review of CADWINS. 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.
  24. 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 unnecessary to make a specific recommendation in relation to this issue, as it is addressed by many of the recommendations contained elsewhere in this report.

Selection and Responsibilities of Training Wing Staff

  1. General. The SSAV Team observed that the proper selection, professional development, task definition, and indoctrination of all staff involved in the development of the N/OCdts throughout their attendance at RMC is paramount to achieving the mission of the college. In particular, the impact of the quality of leadership exercised by the military chain of command at RMC on the quality of junior officers produced under the ROTP-RMC programme cannot be overstated. The SSAV Team assesses that it is paramount that N/OCdts be exposed to the highest quality leadership possible and that those leaders are focused on instructing, coaching and mentoring the N/OCdts throughout their stay at RMC. Additionally, all members of RMC, including professors, coaches, Personnel Support Programme (PSP) and support staff have direct influence on the N/OCdts and can serve as both positive and negative role models. Through the course of interviews and review of the input from former staff and students, the SSAV Team has made observations, assessments and recommendations on the current staff selection, training and task assignments at RMC. Those details are found in Annex G to this report. The following paragraphs to this section summarize the SSAV Team assessments and recommendations in response to the questions posed in the VCDS mandate letter.
  2. Selection and Training of personnel for positions within the Training Wing of RMC. Over the course of interviews and with input from former staff and recently graduated officers, the SSAV Team received indications that the selection process for Training Wing personnel was an area of concern. The RMC leadership confirmed that the screening process for positions other than the Commandant and Director of Cadets was generally deficient although steps were being taken locally and with CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters to address this. The SSAV Team assesses that the selection processes for military staff that, while able to produce some good results, requires some significant work to tighten it up. Assessments and recommendations by position are included in Annex G, but in general there is a need for more clearly identified selection criteria, an upgraded rank structure in some positions in order to provide the necessary level of knowledge and experience, better defined terms of accountabilities and job descriptions. Finally, the SSAV Team assesses that in order to attract the best possible officers and Senior NCMs into the key leadership positions at RMC, there should be appropriate and quantifiable recognition of the unique and important roles and responsibilities they have in these positions, by both the CAF environments (Navy, Army and Air Force) and CAF level Selection (merit) Boards.
  3. The SSAV Team assesses that during their four year stay at RMC, N/OCdts should, as much as possible, learn and experience how the CAF leadership, including leadership or command teams, operate. This must include role models of how officer/NCM relationships develop based on mutual trust and complementary knowledge and experience. Additionally, in order to afford N/OCdts the level of coaching and mentoring necessary for the fulfillment of their potential, it is essential that NCMs entrusted with their development possess the right competencies, qualifications, and experience. If the incumbents are expected to coach and mentor the N/OCdts rather than simply provide instruction on dress, discipline and deportment over the four years of the RMC programme, the SSAV Team assesses that these positions should be upgraded as it is only at the Warrant Officer/Petty Officer 1st Class rank that formal training is provided on these skills. Similarly, Divisions at RMC comprise approximately 250 personnel each in a complex training and education environment. Presently, Senior NCMs at the Division level are Warrant Officer/Petty Officer 1st Class rank. The SSAV Team assesses that these positions should be at the rank of Master Warrant Officer/Chief Petty Officer 2nd Class for the Divisions. Consideration should be given for a CWO to work alongside the Director of Cadets, in particular if that position is upgraded to the rank of Colonel. Furthermore these NCMs should be properly prepared before coming to RMC to understand the environment in which they are going to work in with particular attention to mentoring and coaching skills as NCMs within the Training Wing are not just disciplinarians.
  4. As the CAF endeavours to increase representation of women, visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples, it will become increasingly important for RMC to provide role models with whom N/OCdts will be able to identify, particularly as the Cadet Wing is already more diverse than the remainder of the CAF. As such Training Wing staff should be selected based on their suitability for the unique roles inherent for their positions and mindful of the need to project a diverse and inclusive cadre. These observations also extended to the Academic Wing, in particular a lack of diversity in the more senior academic appointments.
  5. Although not part of the Training Wing, the SSAV Team also heard several concerns regarding the transient nature of military staff, including the frequent changes of Commandants. To that end, the SSAV Team assesses that the term of any future Commandant should be for a minimum of three years but ideally extended to as long as four or five years to ensure strategic continuity of the leadership and programmes at RMC. As well, both key leadership positions and front line leaders at RMC should remain in place for the complete two to three year posting cycle in order to provide the level of continuity that is required to supervise, coach and mentor the N/OCdts and become proficient in working within the unique and complex nature of RMC as an institution.
  6. The SSAV Team offer the following key recommendations on selection and training of personnel within the Training Wing:
    1. Director of Cadets. 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;
    2. Training Wing Sergeant Major. 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;
    3. Division/Squadron Commanders. 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;
    4. Division Senior NCMs. 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;
    5. Squadron Training NCMs. 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;
    6. Diversity Considerations. 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
    7. Recognition. It is recommended that personnel posted to the Training Wing at RMC receive appropriate recognition at Environmental (Navy, Army, and Air Force) and CAF Selection Boards for the role, responsibilities and complexities inherent in providing leadership, supervision, coaching and mentoring at RMC.
  7. Selection of Military Faculty. Military Faculty and officers completing Post Graduate studies act as both professors and military role models for the N/OCdts. The SSAV Team heard that while a number of Military Faculty were viewed in the most positive light, not all were considered to be exemplary role models for the N/OCdts. Some had not been posted away from the RMC environment in many years and they, and others, lacked credible experience in the CAF overall. It was noted in some cases that while officers in the Military Psychology and Leadership (MPL) Department were hard working and conscientious, many lacked the operational or leadership experience to support the theoretical body of knowledge being conveyed to the N/OCdts. There is no defined tour length for Military Faculty at RMC.
  8. The SSAV Team offer the following key recommendation on selection of Military Faculty at RMC:
    1. Military Faculty. 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.
  9. In the area of training, the SSAV Team assess that the members of the Training Wing need the development and implementation of a tailored training programme that includes formal CAF and Environmental courses in a similar manner to Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School (CFLRS) instructors and Combat Training Centre (CTC) Gagetown instructors who must attend this kind of mandatory training before they can be employed.Footnote 52
  10. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation on the training of Training Wing staff:
    1. Formal Training. 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.).

Support Services

  1. General. A key underlying concern with respect to the climate, training environment, culture and the ROTP programme at RMC is the support available to the N/OCdts. RMC has a combined staff, faculty and student complement of close to 3,000 personnel. As described in the Command and Control section of this report and amplified in Annex F, RMC is a complex organization and unlike other units in the CAF. The College is simultaneously a military unit, a fully accredited university, a UNESCO Heritage Site and a Research Centre of Excellence. All of which put demands on the support mechanisms available to and at the College.
  2. Support Services and Infrastructure at RMC. This section outlines the support services and infrastructure that are available to the N/OCdts at RMC. The full description of the available services and infrastructure at RMC, as well as the SSAV Team’s analysis are contained at Annex H to this report. There is a wide variety of support services available to the N/OCdts at RMC. Health services are assessed to be of high quality and meet the Surgeon General’s standards of care. Within the College, in addition to the chain of command and Cadet Chain of Authority, a Duty Officer is available 24/7 on the RMC grounds. RMC has three padres who provide 24/7 duty support, two social workers who provide part time support at RMC, a Harassment Advisor, and a Peer Assistance Group (PAG) made up of N/OCdt volunteers who offer advice and refer other N/OCdts to the appropriate services.
  3. Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston provides medical support through 33 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre and there is a Dental detachment that belongs to 1 Dental Unit. After hours, all CAF members in Kingston receive medical care through the Kingston General Hospital or other health care facilities in the area and there is a 24/7 on call service through the dental clinic. In the greater Kingston area there is a Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston and 9-1-1 emergency services. Like other CAF members, N/OCdts also have access to the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre in Ottawa and the Canadian Forces Member Assistance Programme (CFMAP).
  4. The RMC information technology environment includes a number of information systems and services that support the day to day running of the College, including academic research and library services, but support for these systems has been centralized and is not readily available outside normal working hours. RMC houses a Language Centre that includes a Writing Centre and provides library services through the Massey Library; however, the Massey Library is in very poor condition and is at 240% over capacity. The Athletic Department supports the fitness component of the ROTP-RMC programme as well as providing coaches for varsity teams, and Personnel Support Programme (PSP) staff for various testing requirements and Supplementary Physical Training (SPT). Logistic services that support the N/OCdts are limited and have been negatively affected by numerous cuts in staff and services over the past five years, in addition to the impact of centralization initiatives.
  5. Infrastructure: The RMC infrastructure is generally worn. It comprises a mix of heritage buildings, older dormitories and academic facilities, and newer construction that was put in place to accommodate the significant increase in the Cadet Wing following the closure of RRMC and CMR SJ in 1995. There is limited office space, which is generally considered to be utilized at capacity to accommodate the Academic Wing. The poor condition of some of the dormitories, the state of the Massey Library, issues with the N/OCdt Dining Hall and apparent lack of resources to maintain the infrastructure, was striking to the SSAV Team, especially when considering that N/OCdts must live there over the four year programme.
  6. N/OCdt awareness of support services at RMC. The SSAV Team heard that N/OCdts were aware of the various support services at RMC. The SSAV Team observed that RMC leadership have been proactive in communicating and providing direction to address issues of sexual misconduct. Information on support services, to include emergency services, was displayed prominently in dormitories, and common areas, as well as through electronic media throughout the College.
  7. Analysis. The SSAV Team assesses that while a good variety of support services are available to RMC N/OCdts and they seem to be aware of their existence, there are a number of issues that should be addressed to improve the overall training and education environment at RMC. These issues are detailed in Annex H and the key issues that are part of that analysis are summarized as follows:
    1. Occupational and medical readiness. Every N/OCdt undergoes medical screening at a Canadian Forces Recruiting Center before enrolment. However, as it is not a true occupational medical assessment, it will typically be considered valid only for a period of 24 months. At RMC, N/OCdts will only undergo a health assessment toward the end of their fourth year (unless they are injured, or develop a medical condition), to confirm eligibility for commissioning. The SSAV Team assesses that with a periodic health assessment only conducted prior to graduation, the medical system could be unaware of individual medical issues, in particular during four stressful years of university and an intensive military training schedule;
    2. Mental health services. Mental health services (Social Workers) are offered at RMC. While these services are very accessible, the location is in a busy dormitory and is not conducive to privacy or countering the stigma that remains in relation to mental health issues amongst staff and N/OCdts. The SSAV Team assesses that N/OCdts are benefitting from having mental health services on site, but a more suitable location should be found that is more private, yet still accessible;
    3. Access to health services. Some individuals noted that access to health services at CFB Kingston was difficult and time consuming, in particular for N/OCdts with a full academic load. RMC has recognized this and has been working on resolving this issue with medical staff at CFB Kingston. The SSAV Team assesses that the hours of operation for the clinic at CFB Kingston may not be well-suited to serve the N/OCdts and may compound the distance limitations for physical access. Ongoing efforts by 33 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre to complete an options analysis for RMC should be fully supported;
    4. Peer Assistance Group (PAG). The SSAV Team heard a variety of feedback about the PAG. Although peer support groups can potentially add another layer of social support and create mutual bonding within the N/OCdts, some feedback dealt with confidentiality issues, and the uneven quality of service, and some challenges to trust and confidence in the programme. Some raised concerns over how the responsibilities of being a PAG member added to an already challenging programme at RMC. The SSAV Team notes that confidentiality and boundary issues can have serious consequences. Medical professionals and chaplains are bound to confidentiality, whereas N/OCdts are not. Confidentiality is only based on N/OCdts willingness to keep personal information confidential, which can vary for each individual. It was noted that the training necessary to be a PAG member requires a significant amount of time, as do the periodic demands on PAG members;
    5. Massey Library. It was abundantly clear to the SSAV Team that the state of the Massey Library at the College is of critical concern to all at RMC. This was as unanimous a consensus amongst Academic Wing, Training Wing, N/OCdts and other elements of RMC as there could be. The SSAV Team assesses that the Massey Library is in a state of disrepair, is not adequately supporting the needs of N/OCdts, or any of the programmes at RMC, and lacks the information systems and storage capacity to cater to the needs of the College now, and certainly in the future;
    6. Student Services. The SSAV Team observed that there is no student services centre at RMC. N/OCdts can experience difficulty in knowing where to access learning resources to improve study habits or time management, receive counselling for their undergraduate programmes, get information for their future careers in the CAF, or receive tutoring. The Language Centre is not properly staffed, and the SSAV Team heard that on a regular basis, second language training is stopped for indefinite periods of time due to insufficient numbers of staff. The SSAV Team assesses that N/OCdts would be much better served if there was a Student Services Hub or Portal to enable them to access the services they need for academic and potentially military information purposes. Further it is assessed that the Language Centre needs to be better resourced;
    7. Human Resources. The SSAV Team heard and observed that RMC has some deficiencies in human resources – both military and civilian. Some of these are due to directed reductions and others are due to increases in the programme and activity load at RMC. Considerable pressure is in the area of the Personnel Support Programme (PSP) staff of the Athletic Department to include the staff involved with conducting the Supplementary Physical Training (SPT) programme. There seems to be insufficient administrative support, specifically for the holding platoon members’ administration, and at the College Orderly Room – which has a particularly negative impact on the administration of travel and claims during the summer training period for the N/OCdts. Finally, it was apparent that RMC lacks sufficient capacity in the operations and planning cell of the Training Wing and unit headquarters to deal with the volume and magnitude of demands on a very busy unit, particularly if a significant event occurs;
    8. Financial Resources and Authority. The SSAV Team heard many comments about how the centralization of services and processes within the CAF has resulted in significant limitations to RMC’s responsiveness in dealing with infrastructure renovations and repairs, buying electronic documents for the library, hiring staff, etc. and that the financial authority available to the Commandant and Principal is insufficient. The SSAV Team assesses that several elements of the RMC programme should be considered for designation as Core Business Activities. In addition, the SSAV Team assesses that the Delegation of Financial Authorities for Financial Administration for DND and the CAF should be reviewed, in view of concerns that the financial authority available to the Commandant and Principal does not reflect RMC’s size and complexity. The SSAV Team heard frequently that as a result, delivery of the programmes at the College have suffered – from the ability to obtain books for the N/OCdts, to conducting research in support of the academic programme;
    9. Resiliency Centre Initiative. The SSAV Team noted the initiative by RMC to establish a Resiliency Centre which is planned to reach an Interim Operational Capability (IOC) level in the spring of 2017 and Final Operational Capability in spring of 2018. The SSAV Team assesses that this is a question of establishing a program rather than a Centre and that while this initiative is based upon good intentions, there are concerns amongst health care and mental health specialists over whether this particular approach is appropriate to the aim. The SSAV Team assesses that RMC leadership should re-engage with stakeholders at Health Services as soon as practical to conduct a Needs Assessment before proceeding with this initiative;
    10. Infrastructure. The SSAV team assesses that there are significant issues with the infrastructure at RMC. Concerns were raised over some potential health and safety concerns within the dormitories, usability and noise levels in the dining hall, water leaks, and faulty roofing. It is evident that a significant capital investment is required to address the overcapacity and generally poor condition of the Massey Library. These particular issues should be addressed as a priority by the Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment) and the Canadian Forces Real Property Operations Group; and
    11. RMC staff well-being. RMC has a Health and Wellness Working Group that was re-activated at the same time the SSAV Team arrived at RMC. The SSAV Team also noted that there are cases of compassion fatigue in the RMC staff and the Team was concerned about their well-being because of the high level of stress to which they were exposed. Compassion fatigue, also known as secondary traumatic stress, is a condition characterized by a gradual lessening of compassion over time.
  8. In support of the above assessment of the support services at RMC, the SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations:
    1. Health Readiness. It is recommended that Canadian Forces Health Services Group review the periodic health assessment policy (4000-21) to determine the appropriate period of validity for the enrolment medical assessments of N/OCdts attending military colleges. The Surgeon General should study the feasibility of changing the policy for periodic health assessments for such N/OCdts, ensuring that the enrolment medical assessment is not the only one conducted during those first four years of service. It may be appropriate to mirror the process used for aircrew personnel, allowing a yearly medical questionnaire to be filled out by the N/OCdts and reviewed by a clinician, with a full medical assessment being conducted at the end of the N/OCdts’ second year;
    2. Peer Assistance Group (PAG). It is recommended that the delivery of peer support through the PAG be re-evaluated by RMC with the aim of addressing concerns over confidentiality, early engagement of the existing chain of command, amount of training, and to align with the validated CAF Sentinel programme;
    3. Massey Library. It is recommended that the CAF re-examine the priority and capital investment phasing associated with the replacement of the Massey Library with a view to completing this project much sooner than the current 2035 timeframe. Potential options to integrate a Learning Commons / Student Services Centre should be considered. In the interim, the Canadian Forces Real Property Operations Group should support RMC in finding solutions to the College’s immediate needs with respect to library services;
    4. Student Services Centre. It is recommended that in line with the re-capitalization re-assessment for the Massey Library, RMC together with staff from Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment), assess whether a Student Services Centre is required at RMC and if so, what form it should take;
    5. Language Centre. It is recommended that the existing RMC Language Centre be resourced at levels that will allow for uninterrupted instruction for the N/OCdts at RMC;
    6. Human Resources. It is recommended that CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters and RMC address military and civilian human resources gaps in the areas of the Personnel Support Programme (PSP) staff in the Athletic Department to include the Supplemental Physical Training staff, the establishment of military positions and manning for the Training Wing/RMC Operations and Plans cell, the capacity, establishment and manning of the College Orderly Room, and that a review of the capacity of the maintenance and cleaning staff be conducted;
    7. Financial Authority and Core Functions. It is recommended that CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters and RMC review which elements of the RMC programme should be designated as Core Business Functions, in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines. In addition it is recommended that CMP/Commander MILPERSCOM consider approaching ADM(Fin) to request an amendment to the Delegation of Authorities for Financial Administration for the DND and the CAF in order to increase the level of financial authority available to the Commandant and Principal;
    8. Resiliency Centre. It is recommended that RMC engage with medical stakeholders at Health Services as soon as possible to perform a RMC needs assessment for resiliency training and mental health support as a programme before continuing with the Resiliency Centre initiative. It is recommended that RMC halt ongoing ‘Assist’ training and replace it with the ACE (Assist-Control-Escort) training that is recommended by the specialists for suicide prevention; and
    9. Infrastructure. It is recommended that RMC, the Canadian Forces Real Property Operations Group and CFB Kingston evaluate the overall state of infrastructure at RMC, identify potential health and safety issues, address long standing repair issues and establish priorities for near term operations and maintenance of RMC infrastructure.

RMC Four Pillar Programme

  1. General. RMC provides a unique learning and operational environment through a programme that combines education and professional development for N/OCdts that is based on four areas of concentration, which are described in RMC directives as the “Four Pillars.”Footnote 53 The Four Pillars are made up of academics, military training, personal fitness and bilingualism. Naval and Officer Cadets (N/OCdts) are expected to achieve the minimum standards in all parts of the Four Pillars in order to graduate from RMC with the ROTP-RMC designation, often colloquially referred to as the “AFAN qualification” (which is a human resource administration code for the qualification granted to an officer who has successfully completed the ROTP-RMC programme). The full details of the SSAV Team description, observations, assessments and key and supporting recommendations with regards to the RMC Four Pillar programme are found at Annex I. In short, each of the Four Pillars are described as follows:
    1. Academics. N/OCdts must successfully complete an undergraduate level university degree within the RMC programme of studies.Footnote 54 The degree must be compatible for employment within their assigned Military Occupation as commissioned officers;
    2. Military. N/OCdts are expected to demonstrate appropriate conduct and behaviour; complete a junior and senior leadership appointment within the Cadet Chain of Authority (CCoA); and, complete the critical elements of leadership training;
    3. Fitness. N/OCdts must meet both CAF and RMC standards. They are required to pass the Canadian Armed Forces FORCE test and the Basic Military Swim Standard (BMSS). They are also required to pass the RMC Physical Performance Test (PPT) test, be considered in ‘good standing’ with regards to their PPT results; and, complete the RMC Physical Education syllabus;Footnote 55 and
    4. Bilingualism. N/OCdts are expected to achieve the Public Service Commission standards for functional (BBB) in their second official language.Footnote 56
  2. The Four Pillars programme also applies to N/OCdts who attend CMR SJ in Quebec during their Preparatory and First Years of study. Although CMR SJ does not provide an undergraduate level degree programme, N/OCdts must follow an academic programme that is coordinated with RMC. N/OCdts at CMR SJ are required to achieve the same standards as those at RMC in military training, physical fitness and bilingualism and that are applicable to their year and progression level.Footnote 57
  3. The operational environment at RMC is ‘designed’ to be demanding to encourage N/OCdts to learn and change in striving to achieve excellence in the Four Pillars. It is meant to promote the personal attributes of self-discipline and self-sacrifice in order for N/OCdts to succeed both at RMC and in their future careers as commissioned officers. This ideal is characterized through the RMC motto: “Truth, Duty, Valour.”Footnote 58 This operational environment incorporates a unique Cadet Chain of Authority (CCoA) structure that is separate from, but accountable to, the CAF Chain of Command at RMC. The CCoA is designed to provide opportunities for more senior N/OCdts to take on leadership roles within their Squadrons, Divisions or at the Cadet Wing level overall. The CCoA is described in more detail in Annex F (Command and Control and Governance). To be successful at RMC, N/OCdts are expected to be able to:Footnote 59
    1. Exhibit a very high level of devotion and commitment to both the unit and individual professional development;
    2. Sustain extraordinary efforts over a prolonged period of training to support continued growth in pursuit of excellence; and
    3. Demonstrate a high level of self-discipline and considerable self-sacrifice.
  4. As part of the operational environment at RMC and CMR SJ, CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ implemented a training progression model that consists of four leadership levels (LL) designed to frame and coordinate the development of N/OCdts within the military college education and training system. Progression through these leadership levels is based on meeting prescribed standards within each component of the Four Pillars.Footnote 60 This model began being implemented in 2014 and was put in place in part to address an issue of a dual standard of officers who graduated from RMC – those having met the standards set for the Four Pillars, thereby given the RMC graduate designation (AFAN) – and those still graduating from RMC with a degree and having met the CAF standard for fitness but not having met one or more of the RMC-specific standards in the military, fitness, or bilingualism pillars.Footnote 61 At the time of implementation of the LLPM, statistics for graduating N/OCdts who met the ROTP-RMC (AFAN) standard versus those who did not, yet still graduated with a degree and were commissioned, indicated that just under 20% of graduates between 2011 and 2013 did not achieve the ROTP-RMC programme standard. Footnote 62
  5. Selection Criteria for ROTP-RMC N/OCdts. The process for enrolment of ROTP-RMC N/OCdts through the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group (CFRG) is described in Annex I. In fall 2016, CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters, CFRG and RMC established a selection board process to grant early conditional offers into the ROTP-RMC programme. The SSAV Team assesses that the 146 early conditional offers that were sent out as of December 2016 was a very positive step to addressing some enrolment challenges for both RMC and CMR SJ. Additional Selection Boards were scheduled for January, February and March of 2017 to process the best suited files as promptly as possible in order to meet the Strategic Intake Plan’s requirements but also taking into considerations Employment Equity targets for women, visible minorities and aboriginal representation. The SSAV Team assesses that this practice of early offers should continue and be accelerated if possible.
  6. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation on the selection of N/OCdts for the ROTP-RMC programme:
    1. Early Selection Process. It is recommended that the selection process put in place by CDA/MILPERSGEN headquarters, RMC, CMR SJ and the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group in 2016, including the early offers, should be retained, accelerated if possible, and an annual review of the quality of N/OCdts recruiting process be conducted to identify potential areas for improvement.
  7. Selection Criteria and N/OCdt success rates in Four Pillar programme. The recruiting process can only assess the potential of a ROTP-RMC candidate – there is no guarantee that the N/OCdts will possess the necessary drive or attitude to realize that potential. The SSAV Team assesses that given the limitations of what can be expected through the recruiting process as it exists, it may be more realistic to accept and plan on a certain degree of attrition as N/OCdts progress through these phases of training and development. The SSAV Team also assesses that what does need to occur is an environment where there are clear and relevant standards that are applied evenly, and for those individuals who cannot meet the requirements of the ROTP-RMC programme, provide them with honourable, supported and timely options to exit RMC.
  8. Basis for the “Four Pillar” programme. The SSAV Team assesses that overall, the RMC Four Pillar programme generally has a basis in law having been prescribed by the MND in regulations.Footnote 63 The overall objectives of the RMC Four Pillar programme are consistent with the strategic vision for the CAF officer corps, as described in Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada.Footnote 64
  9. While the operational environment at RMC is designed to motivate N/OCdts to strive for excellence in pursing their academic and leadership potential, the lack of formal recognition outside of RMC of what the ROTP-RMC programme delivers imposes a challenge in motivating N/OCdts to achieve excellence across the components. The SSAV Team assesses that this challenge comes in the form of a lack of sense of legitimate purpose and identity for both members of the Training Wing staff and many of the N/OCdts themselves, who are expected to follow a programme and achieve standards that are not reflected in the CAF Qualification Standards for Development Period 1. Upon commissioning, some N/OCdts perceive that there is little tangible benefit in having achieved the components of the Four Pillars. The SSAV Team assesses that the CAF needs to identify the reasons why those N/OCdts who are part of the ROTP-RMC (and CMR SJ) programme are subject to additional requirements and what the expectations or benefits to the CAF and those individuals may be. The SSAV Team noted that an analysis on behalf of CMP/Commander MILPERSCOM indicated that although ROTP-RMC graduates typically made up approximately one quarter of commissioned officer intake, they account for approximately half of General and Flag Officers ranks. This indicates a degree of correlation between completion of the ROTP-RMC programme and successful service as a senior leader in the CAF.
  10. The SSAV Team assesses that the lack of clarity in the value of the ‘AFAN’ designation is fundamental to some of the systemic issues observed at RMC and needs to be addressed in order to optimize the learning and training environment. The End-To-End Review (E2ER) of the CAF PDS has been directed by the CDS and is being conducted by CDA/MILPERSGEN HQ.Footnote 65 The SSAV Team understands that the scope of the E2ER could be broadened to include a review of the ROTP-RMC programme in relation to the officer Qualification Standard and subsequent Needs Analysis. Once decisions have been made on the approach, it should be integrated into the RMC governance framework.
  11. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation with respect to the basis of the RMC “Four Pillar” programme:
    1. End-to-End Review (E2ER) of ROTP-RMC programme. It is recommended that CMP direct that as part of the End-To-End Review (E2ER), of the CAF PDS, an assessment of the ROTP-RMC Four Pillar programme be conducted in terms of its relationship to the CAF OGS and QS for officer Development Period 1 (DP1) and to identify solutions that will formalize its role within the CAF PDS. Once this is completed, the QR (Canmilcols) should be amended to reflect the results of that review in terms of the course of study prescribed by the MND.
  12. Authority to set the standards for each of the Four Pillars. The authorities to set standards overall, and within each component of the Four Pillar programme are detailed in Annex I. The SSAV Team assesses that while the authorities to set the standards for each of the Four Pillars have some basis either in law, policy or approved directives, the nature of the standards setting process is made fairly complex by virtue of the unique combination of academic and military standards for the RMC programme. The Commander CDA/MILPERSGEN and the Commandant of RMC have exercised the authority to set the standards to be achieved by N/OCdts undergoing the ROTP-RMC programme. Other than the Academic programme, there appears to be limited input by external CAF stakeholders (i.e. Commanders of Commands, Canadian Joint Operations Command) on what standards are set for the other three pillars of the ROTP-RMC programme.
  13. Military (Leadership) standards. A concerted effort was made by CDA/MILPERSGEN and RMC from 2012 to 2016 to create a policy basis for the standards. While this has clarified what standards apply and how, the degree of oversight and review of those standards by CAF stakeholders external to CDA/MILPERSGEN and RMC is unclear. This has contributed to feedback the SSAV Team received that pointed to perceptions of ‘disconnects’ between the Military Pillar standards applied at RMC, and those of the CAF in general. A review of the authorities and process to set the standards in the Military Pillar would be of benefit.
  14. Academic standards. The high level authorities to set the academic standards at RMC are set out through a combination of legal and policy documents and through university programme review and accreditation mechanisms. The SSAV Team assesses that the authority to approve the Academic Programme at RMC has been delegated by the MND through the Directives for the Principal and the BoG ToR. However, while the ToR for the RMC Board of Governors indicates it is responsible to approve the RMC academic programme, it does not appear to do so. In practice, the Principal of RMC, through various internal and external mechanisms, exercises the de facto authority over RMC academic standards. For clarity purposes, this discrepancy should be addressed as part of the proposed review of the BoG ToR and this issue has been explored in more detail in Annex F – Command and Control and Governance.
  15. Physical fitness standards. All N/OCdts must meet the Basic Military Swim Test standard and the Minimum Physical Fitness Standard (MPFS) or FORCE Test in accordance with CAF standards as defined in A-PD—055-002/PP-003 Officer General Standards. The RMC Physical Performance Test (PPT) and Physical Education syllabus however are specific to RMC and conducted in accordance with RMC standards. The RMC PPT is denoted as exceeding the MPFS under the DAOD 5023-1.
  16. The SSAV Team assesses that the authority to set the fitness standards within the Four Pillars was exercised by Commander CDA/MILPERSGEN in issuing the CDA directive. The PPT is part of the published college standards. The CAF policy basis to support the standards requirement of the RMC PPT is unclear. As well, the RMC Athletic programme does not appear to be supported by DFit under the CAF Fitness and Sports Programme. DFit is responsible to fund the centralized staff and RMC does deliver components of the FORCE programme (i.e. conducting FORCE Fitness testing). The PPT should ideally be based on essential tasks or occupation/operational requirements and validated. These should be supported by the Commandant of RMC and approved by Commanders CDA/MILPERSGEN and Military Personnel Command.
  17. Bilingualism standards. The authority to set the standards for bilingualism at RMC currently rests with Commander CDA/MILPERSGEN and is exercised through the current ROTP/RETP Training Policy directive. Further, the requirement to achieve a BBB is clearly laid out in the Officer General Specifications and in A-P3-050-SLT/PH-H01 Training Plan Military Second Language Training Program (MSLTP) Canadian Armed Forces French Curriculum (CAFFC). It is based on the number of hours of instruction provided. Other than the fact that achieving the functional (BBB) standard for N/OCdts on commissioning is above the requirements cited in the CAF bilingualism progression guidelines, the basis is clear.
  18. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations on the authorities to set the standards in each of the Four Pillars of the RMC programme:
    1. Military (Leadership) Pillar and Standards. It is recommended that a review of the authorities and process to set the standards in the Military Pillar of the ROTP-RMC programme be conducted. If possible, this should be done as part of the overall ROTP-RMC Programme review and formalization within the End-to-End Review (E2ER) that has been recommended as part of this report; and
    2. Fitness Pillar and Standards. It is recommended that the RMCC Fitness Pillar programme be reviewed with the aim of formalizing the authorities for setting the fitness standards at RMC and the methodology for enforcing those standards. Further, it is recommended that a Project Management Team, led by DFit with RMCC Athletic Department participation, validate the requirement and construct of the PPT conducted at RMC. This should be done as part of the overall ROTP-RMC programme review and formalization within the End-to-End Review (E2ER) that has been recommended as part of this report.
  19. Communication of Four Pillar standards to the N/OCdts. Communication of the standards expected of N/OCdts is provided through a number of documents, including the QR (Canmilcols), CFAO 9-12 (ROTP), the CADWINS and RMC College Standing Orders. In addition, Commander CDA has provided direction on the Leadership Level standards to be achieved by N/OCdts and the associated expectations in terms of academic, military, fitness and second language performance standards.Footnote 66 For N/OCdt, the CADWINs are the primary means of communicating standards and expectations. These are available on the RMC internal network. Standards are known by the staff members of the Training Wing, PSP and Second Language instructors. The Academic Wing communicates the standards and with respect to academic performance through the annually published RMC Undergraduate Calendar.Footnote 67 The SSAV Team assesses that the standards associated with each of the Four Pillars are communicated well within the orders, directives and instructions at RMC. Furthermore, most of the staff appeared to be cognisant of those standards.
  20. N/OCdts understanding of standards and priorities of the Four Pillars. The SSAV Team observed that the majority of the 209 N/OCdts that were interviewed generally demonstrated a good understanding of the standards expected to be achieved in each of the Pillars. Feedback was less about what the standards were, but more about the achievability, purpose or relevance. This was particularly so for the Professional Military Training (PMT) portion of the military pillar, and the PPT standards for the fitness pillar.
  21. The SSAV Team assesses that cohesion and mutual support amongst the elements of the college responsible for each component of the Four Pillars appears to be less than optimal. This is particularly true between the Academic and Training Wings. While the Commandant has articulated the intent that the college should operate as a unified whole, the reality appears to be that there is noticeable negative tension amongst parts of the college charged with delivering the Four Pillars programme for the N/OCdts. This lessens the quality of the RMC experience for the N/OCdts, and creates difficult working conditions for the staff of RMC themselves. Steps should be taken as a priority to address the level of cohesion and mutual support amongst the Wings of the college, in particular the Academic and Training Wings.
  22. While the ROTP/RETP Training Policy emphasizes that all pillars of the RMC programme carry equal weight; in practical terms, the demands of the academic programme are such that the majority of N/OCdts must place their priority of effort on achieving academic requirements for their undergraduate degree. The SSAV Team found that there was a consistent undertone that the RMC Four Pillar programme was actually more like “One pillar and three good ideas” in terms of their relative importance. This was a prevalent view point from the Academic and Training Wings, and from the N/OCdts themselves. Ultimately, the majority of N/OCdts who do not graduate from RMC are those who are unable to meet academic standards; not meeting the standard in the other three pillars does not prevent graduation from the College or commissioning. This is well known and results in a privileging of the academic pillar above the others in terms of de facto priorities.
  23. With regards to coordination of effort across the Four Pillar programme, the preponderance of feedback from stakeholders at RMC indicated that there is a lack of proactive, systematic college-wide coordination capacity of the requirements and activities across the Four Pillars. The Commandant is considered the ‘final arbiter’ of the time and priority demands at the College, but there lacks a dedicated staff function to manage and synchronize actively the programme demands across the Four Pillars on a continuing basis. The SSAV Team observed that while learning how to prioritization conflicting demands is a valuable skill, N/OCdts are often left to deconflict activities across the Four Pillars on their own due to a lack of synchronization.
  24. The SSAV Team assesses that a synchronization function would likely require engagement with, and direction to, key leadership across the College – thus the position charged with this responsibility should be senior enough to ensure a degree of emphasis on the requirement for coordination in this regard. Although there is an appointed Deputy Commandant of RMC, the position is in fact the Director Advanced Military Studies and is in a dual role.Footnote 68 There is potential in formalizing the Deputy Commandant position and assigning the programme synchronization and corporate management of the College to that position.
  25. The SSAV Team assesses that consideration could be given to re-aligning the components of the Four Pillar programme in order to re-focus on academics and leadership development and potentially improve the synchronization of the delivery of the programme for the N/OCdts. Leadership development could be comprised of an integration of existing elements of PMT, fitness and bilingualism, as well as the leadership practicum within the Cadet Chain of Authority. These are thought to be the skills, attributes and knowledge that contribute towards the development of N/OCdts into effective leaders as officers. In this model, the RMC programme could be communicated as a Two Pillar programme: Leadership Development and Academics but still retain the essential components that make up the existing programme. The alignment of the responsibility to for these components would need to be assessed by RMC to determine the optimal way to deliver the programme.
  26. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations on N/OCdts understanding of the standards and relevant priorities of the Four Pillar programme at RMC:
    1. Unity of Purpose. It is recommended that, as a priority, the Commandant and Principal work deliberately to build a stronger working environment amongst the elements of RMC, in particular the Academic and Training Wings. The intent of the One College Team approach, based in the 2016 Commandant’s Priorities, needs to be internalized by all staff at RMC and an environment of mutual respect, support and cooperation established to ensure that all members of RMC are focused on achieving the unit mission;
    2. Synchronization and management of the Four Pillar programme. It is recommended that RMC create the capacity to synchronize and manage the execution of the Four Pillar programme on a continuous basis. The Commandant and Principal of RMC should consider assigning this role to an existing position, or consider formally establishing the Deputy Commandant position at RMC and assigning this role; and
    3. Alternative ROTP-RMC Programme Delivery Model. It is recommended that consideration could be given to re-aligning the components of the Four Pillar programme in order to re-focus on the fundamentals of achieving academic and leadership development outcomes. Leadership development could be consolidated under the Director of Cadets and could comprise integrated military training and education, physical fitness and bilingualism.
  27. The extent to which standards in the Four Pillars are met by the N/OCdts. The details on the specific standards to which the N/OCdts are held are listed as part of Annex I. Through a review of available documentation and interviews, the SSAV Team observed that the percentage of N/OCdts who have been successful in achieving the required standards of the ROTP-RMC programme on graduation averaged to 78% over the period 2011 to 2016 inclusive. The majority of the programme failures were caused by not meeting one or both of the physical fitness and/or bilingualism requirements.Footnote 69 Footnote 70
  28. The SSAV Team observed that when N/OCdts do not achieve the standards in one or more of the Four Pillars, RMC procedures require that each case be reviewed at a Progress Review Board (PRB). The SSAV Team heard significant concern from the Training Wing and the Academic Wing staffs, that although files were reviewed for decisions, removals of N/OCdts from the ROTP-RMC programme are rare. The SSAV Team observed that this causes concern and frustration not only within the Training Wing, but amongst the N/OCdts due to the perception that other than academics, the implications of not meeting the standards in three of the four pillars are largely inconsequential. This situation creates the perception of a double standard at RMC between those N/OCdts who achieve the requirements of the Four Pillars, and those who do not.
  29. The SSAV Team assesses that the CAF needs to confirm the requirement for ROTP-RMC commissioning plan officers (i.e. those that go through the RMC (and CMR SJ) programme) to achieve the higher standards that are part of the programme as compared to the remainder of the CAF Officers. Generally, standards as stipulated in CDA/MILPERSGEN directives are being enforced at RMC; however, not meeting those standards does not preclude graduation and commissioning, as long as N/OCdts successfully complete their degree programme, pass the FORCE Test and adhere to expected military conduct and deportment.
  30. Approved standards for the ROTP-RMC programme need to be applied evenly. At present the disparity between graduates who have achieved the standards of the Four Pillars and those who have not creates a negative undercurrent within the Cadet Wing and amongst the Training Wing staff who are charged with implementing the programme. The SSAV Team assesses that this has an impact on the morale of RMC, at several levels, and has led to an erosion of pride in the institution and meaning behind the achievement of the standards within some components of the Four Pillar model.
  31. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations on the extent to which standards in the Four Pillar programme are being met by N/OCdts:
    1. Rationale for the ROTP-RMC standards. It is recommended that CMP/Commander MILPERSCOM, as part of the End-to-End Review (E2ER) process, identify the rationale for the higher standards expected of N/OCdts in the ROTP-RMC programme. When established, this rationale should be clearly captured in policy;
    2. Validation of ROTP-RMC standards. It is recommended that CDA/MILPERSGEN conduct regular validation of the ROTP-RMC standards with graduates and their superiors;
    3. Enforcement of ROTP-RMC standards. It is recommended that should a legal or policy basis for the required standards in the military, fitness and bilingual components of the ROTP-RMC programme (Four Pillars) be established (see recommendation above), CDA/MILPERSGEN and RMC should ensure that there is a clear and enforceable basis for removal of N/OCdts from the ROTP-RMC programme; and
    4. Transition out of ROTP-RMC programme. It is recommended that CDA/MILPERSGEN and RMC work with CMP/Commander MILPERSCOM on establishing respectful transition options for N/OCdts who do not meet ROTP-RMC programme requirements with the aim to ensure that individuals who are not able to meet the required standards at RMC, are given clear options, treated with dignity and given the support they require to transition in a timely manner from the ROTP-RMC programme. The Commandant RMC should liaise directly with key CMP/Commander MILPERSCOM staff to ensure transition options are provided to N/OCdts in a timely manner.
  32. RMC training and learning environment support towards achieving standards. The general description of the operational environment that supports the training and education of N/OCdts at RMC is outlined at the beginning of the Four Pillars programme section. Outside of the academic component of the programme, the vast majority of observations and comments provided to the SSAV Team were about the other three components of the Four Pillars. The focus of the following paragraphs will be the summary of observations, assessments and key recommendations that the SSAV Team assess have the greatest influence over the training and learning environments for the N/OCdts at RMC.
  33. The Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM). The Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM) was implemented to address the problem of N/OCdts not meeting the standard in one, or more, of the Four Pillars of the RMC programme, yet still graduating from and being commissioned through RMC. This was seen as diminishing the credibility of the ROTP-RMC programme.Footnote 71 The SSAV Team noted that the implementation of the LLPM has not resulted in improvements to the numbers of graduates who have met the standards of the ROTP-RMC programme. The success rate of N/OCdts achieving the requirements of the Four Pillars on graduation has gone from approximately 80% overall for the years 2012 – 2014 prior to implementation, down to 65% in 2015 and 75% in 2016 following implementation.
  34. The SSAV Team assesses that while the intent behind the LLPM may be sound, in implementation it has led to unintended consequences that have had a disproportionately negative impact on those N/OCdts who struggle to progress at the same rate as their peers in one or more of the Four Pillars. This can result in loss of leadership opportunities in the Cadet Chain of Authority – part of the raison d’être for attending RMC – and stigmatization of those who are unable to achieve the standards at the same rate as their peers.
  35. The result is disruption to the cohesion of the N/OCdts within their respective academic years, and the inadvertent creation of two classes of N/OCdts at the College. N/OCdts who, for one reason or another, do not achieve the prescribed standards for their given leadership progression level, do not advance to roles of higher responsibility within the Cadet Chain of Authority, which along with their Leadership Level, can clearly be recognized by those around them given the insignia on their uniforms. This can have devastating effects on self-esteem and can ironically become a de-motivator as the progression levels are viewed more as a punishment regime than a developmental opportunity by some of the N/OCdts.
  36. Some N/OCdts find the Leadership Level model confusing and it is not evenly applied across the Squadrons, so some are held to their designated Leadership Level, while others are not. The SSAV Team assesses that it may have also become a contributing factor to a culture of cynicism the SSAV Team observed at the College. In the end, the implementation of the LLPM has not solved the problems it was supposed to have solved at RMC. It has introduced unintended negative consequences to the RMC experience for a significant percentage of the N/OCdts.
  37. The four or five years that N/OCdts spend at RMC should be considered as a ‘golden opportunity’ to inculcate them into the profession of arms and build them into self-confident and capable junior officers who will provide value at their first unit. While the LLPM is intended to accomplish this, it is assessed that there are some issues with its implementation that may impede achieving this outcome for some of the N/OCdts.
  38. The SSAV Team assesses that the implementation of the Leadership Level Progression Model should be critically re-examined as a priority and a decision made to either modify this approach, such that it removes the potential for stigmatization and negative associations towards the development and progression of some N/OCdts, or withdraw it completely and return the RMC programme to an academic-year based progression, as it was prior to 2014.
  39. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation with respect to the Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM) Implementation:
    1. Leadership Level Progression Model (LLPM). It is recommended that the Leadership Level Progression Model be critically re-examined as a priority and a decision made to either modify the approach, such that it removes the potential for stigmatization and negative associations towards the development and progression of some N/OCdts; or, withdraw it completely from the college programme and return to an academic-year based progression, as was the case prior to 2014. This review should be convened under the authority of Commander, Military Personnel Command.
  40. Programming of N/OCdt Time. Descriptions of the various concerns that were received by the SSAV Team are detailed in Annex I. While surmounting challenges can be a significant positive stressor and contribute to the development of character and coping strategies, these challenges should be designed into the programme and not introduced haphazardly through inadvertent conflict and competition between the components of the RMC Four Pillar programme and other activities introduced into the N/OCdt timetable. The SSAV Team assesses that the learning environment at RMC would benefit from a more deliberate approach to programming the time of the N/OCdts.
  41. The SSAV Team recognizes that a key objective of the RMC programme and operational environment is to teach individuals how to manage conflicting priorities, time constraints and multiple demands on their energy and mental focus, in order to prepare them for the prevailing and challenging conditions of service as leaders in the CAF. Notwithstanding this intent, the RMC Four Pillar programme demands on the time of the N/OCdts should be applied deliberately and be well coordinated amongst the various components of the Four Pillars at the College.
  42. The SSAV Team notes that particular attention should be given to ensuring that the scheduled study time for N/OCdts is protected from interruptions by activities imposed by the Cadet Chain of Authority, Training Wing, Athletic Wing, and by the behaviour of N/OCdts themselves in the dormitories. The SSAV Team assesses that as part of the deliberate approach to programming N/OCdts’ time, there should be opportunities for decompression, as is consistent with the practice in most CAF units.
  43. The SSAV Team assesses that a key to success in this area would be assigning one office responsible for the detailed coordination of the Four Pillar programme between the components. This could be a role for the Deputy Commandant of RMC, should that position be formally established. Adopting a common, college-wide calendar or timetable would be an essential tool to accomplishing this. Internalizing the “One College Team” philosophy across all elements of RMC to foster cooperation in delivering the best possible programme for the N/OCdts would be very important.
  44. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations with regard to the programming of N/OCdt time at RMC:
    1. Programming of N/OCdt time. It is recommended that RMC create the capacity to do day to day integration, de-confliction and coordination of the delivery of the component activities within the Four Pillar programme. As part of this, the Commandant and Principal RMC should consider implementing the following:
      1. Adopting a single, common, college-wide calendar or timetable;
      2. Reinforcing and internalizing the “One College Team” philosophy across all elements of RMC, including during staff and N/OCdt orientations;
      3. Incorporating opportunities for decompression within the N/OCdt schedules that allow for personal down time and low stress activities that foster group cohesion and build informal support networks within the N/OCdt body;
      4. Ensuring that the scheduled evening study time for N/OCdts is protected from interruptions or disruptions; and
      5. Adding instruction on time management and good study tools and habits.
  45. Professional Military Training (PMT). The Professional Military Training syllabus has been created in house at RMC based on defined Officer Development Period 2 objectives.Footnote 72 The SSAV Team observed a very consistent view, in particular from N/OCdts, that the conduct of Professional Military Training at RMC was considered low value, irrelevant and not a good use of time. There were some aspects of Professional Military Training that were viewed as positive and value added, such as: Environmental or Military Occupation Code (MOC) Weekends; presentations by ex-cadets on leadership and personal perspectives as a junior commissioned officer; and, practical hands on types of experiences, such as the Professional Military Training activities conducted at CMR SJ. It was noted that the Training Wing has put considerable effort into revising the delivery of Professional Military Training and incremental improvements have been made over time. Resolution on exactly what the CAF expects from the ROTP-RMC programme would be greatly beneficial to that end.
  46. The SSAV Team assesses that while the aim to provide military training for N/OCdts to achieve Development Period 2 (DP2) objectives is laudable, in execution, Professional Military Training at RMC is falling short of providing meaningful and relevant training for N/OCdts. It can be repetitive and contributes to over-programming of N/OCdts’ time while providing them with an abundance of theory, yet few practical skills. A revised approach to Professional Military Training should be considered and the curriculum should be focused on content relevant for their initial unit postings such that a newly graduated officer from RMC can ‘hit the ground running’ with common military skills and knowledge that provide value and depth to the slate of junior officers available to Commanding Officers.
  47. The SSAV Team assesses that a review, conducted by a team of key stakeholders, should be stood up to rationalize the existing Professional Military Training syllabus. The review should aim at synchronizing and Professional Military Training to the Basic Military Officer Qualification, First Year Orientation Programme, and Development Period 1 objectives. A number of ‘value added’ skills or qualifications as explained in the paragraph above and detailed in Annex I should be considered to be added. This should result in a formalized ROTP-RMC Training Plan. Part of this review should include looking at the scheduling of Professional Military Training at RMC with a view to concentrating effort into longer, and more meaningful, training and education sessions. Once approved, it should be recognized in the Officer General Specifications, perhaps as a “Basic Military Officer Qualification (BMOQ) (with additions)” and could re-use the ‘AFAN’ designator to denote it. This would also serve to instill practical meaning to the ROTP-RMC designation and likely go a long way to addressing perceptions within the CAF of the value of officer graduates from RMC.
  48. The SSAV Team offer the following key recommendations with regards to the Professional Military Training syllabus at RMC:
    1. Content of Professional Military Training (PMT). It is recommended that a Commander, Military Personnel Command, convene a working group comprising key stakeholders from CDA/MILPERSGEN, RMC, CMR SJ, Canadian Joint Operations Command and training representatives from the three Environmental Commands (Navy, Army and Air Forces) to review and streamline the existing Professional Military Training syllabus, map it to Basic Military Officer Qualification, First Year Orientation Programme and Development Period 1 objectives. The aim would be to create a progressive, relevant and value-added Professional Military Training Plan that would include input from the Environmental Commands and CDA/MILPERSGEN on a set of common qualifications, practical skills or knowledge that would be considered value-added for junior officers arriving at their first units. Details of area that could be considered are listed in Annex I; and
    2. Delivery of Professional Military Training (PMT). It is recommended that delivery of the revised Professional Military Training syllabus be reviewed by the Commandant and Principal of RMC with the aim to determining the best way to schedule it within the restraints of the RMC programme. Consideration should be given to combining instruction periods into larger blocks, potentially on a monthly/semester basis in order to concentrate effort and optimize the learning opportunities for N/OCdts. Creating hands-on training through a multi-day field exercise environment, at least once a year, should also be considered.
  49. Integration of Leadership Development. The SSAV Team heard that the delivery of leadership development for the N/OCdts is not systematically coordinated between the theory given through Military Psychology and Leadership courses, Professional Military training, interaction with the Academic Wing delivering elements of the Core Curriculum; and the experiential practicum of the N/OCdts’ Cadet Chain of Authority leadership appointments. While it was evident to the SSAV Team that members of the Academic and Training Wings responsible for these aspects of leadership development were highly dedicated to the objectives of their respective elements, there were few signs of a deliberate approach to integrate these elements into a more effective overall leadership development experience for the N/OCdts. The SSAV Team heard that this lack of a coherent and integrated approach represented a ‘missed opportunity’ for RMC and the CAF to “professionalize” the N/OCdts for a career as commissioned officers.
  50. The SSAV Team assesses that the leadership development of N/OCdts prior to graduation from RMC would benefit from a more systemic integration of the academic, theoretical, practical and experiential opportunities that exist at the college. In alignment with the above recommendations on the delivery of Professional Military Training, a coordinated and complementary approach to combining the study of military history and technology, the moral, ethical and philosophical foundations of leadership and applying all of these to the practicum of leadership within the RMC environment, would contribute significantly to the ‘professionalization’ of N/OCdts during their time at RMC.
  51. Further, if the focus of front line Squadron and Division Commanders and Senior Non-Commissioned Members was placed on coaching and mentoring the N/OCdts, in line with the theoretical and practical knowledge provided through such an integrated leadership development programme, in cooperation with the Academic Wing professors, the result could be a valued and effective programme to inculcate N/OCdts into the profession of arms, and reinforce the attributes of Identity, Responsibility, Expertise and the Military Ethos.Footnote 73
  52. The SSAV Team assesses that a review should be conducted by a team of key stakeholders charged with restructuring the delivery of leadership development at RMC with the aim to integrate the components of the Core Curriculum, Military Psychology and Leadership studies with a revised Professional Military Training Plan towards a systematic and deliberate approach to inculcate N/OCdts into the CAF profession of arms. This restructuring would need to include the application of theory and knowledge into the practicum of the leadership opportunities resident with the Cadet Chain of Authority, mentored and coached by Division and Squadron Commanders and Senior Non-Commissioned Members. Division and Squadron Commanders could develop leadership development progression plans for each N/OCdt under their command that would document and allow for tracking of each individual’s learning and development over the entire RMC programme period. The SSAV Team assesses that done successfully, an integrated, progressive leadership development programme would likely go a long way to improving the sense of purpose in the leadership learning environment at RMC.
  53. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendations with regard to the integration of leadership development at RMC:
    1. Integration of Leadership Development. It is recommended that Commander, CDA/MILPERSGEN convene a working group charged with restructuring the delivery of leadership development at RMC with the aim to integrate components of the Core Curriculum and Military Psychology and Leadership studies with the revised Professional Military Training Plan. This integrated leadership development approach should focus towards a progressive and systematic inculcation of N/OCdts into the CAF profession of arms. It should be aligned with the practicum of leadership that is part of the Cadet Chain of Authority. It should build in active mentoring and coaching by Division and Squadron Commanders and Senior Non-Commissioned Members; and
    2. Leadership Development Progression Plans. Is it recommended that in line with the outcome of the above recommendation, Commandant RMC consider creating leadership development progression plans that are customized to each individual N/OCdt. The plans would detail development objectives to meet or exceed the standards for the Four Pillars. The development plans would be agreed between each N/OCdt and their respective Squadron Commander, and Division and Squadron Commanders and Senior NCMs would actively coach and mentor N/OCdts towards the attainment of their goals.
  54. First Year Orientation Programme (FYOP). The SSAV Team heard that the execution of FYOP has varied in quality over the years. The Team heard of non-specific incidents of harassment and abuse of authority by N/OCdts conducting the programme, a lack of supervision by RMC staff, and physical training being conducted such that a significant number of N/OCdts ended up getting injured. Most of these accounts related to events that occurred two to five years in the past. The SSAV Team heard that for the most part, the FYOP conducted in 2015 and 2016 were significantly improved and appeared to address the issues raised in previous years.
  55. The SSAV Team assesses that past deficiencies in the conduct of the FYOP have been, in large part, recognized and addressed by the leadership at RMC over the past two years. While N/OCdts should still be given the responsibility to run the programme due to the leadership opportunities it provides, the SSAV Team assesses that this must be supervised, including after hours, by the Training Wing and Athletic Department staff at RMC. Priority should be given to training and instruction in RMC-specific knowledge, skills and traditions and avoiding duplication with Basic Military Officer Qualification content.
  56. The SSAV Team offers the following key recommendation with regard to the execution of the First Year Orientation Programme (FYOP) at RMC:
    1. First Year Orientation Programme (FYOP). It is recommended that RMC continue to improve the execution of the FYOP using the 2016 Training Plan as a start point, while implementing the following measures:
      1. Third and Fourth Year N/OCdts should continue to conduct the programme as this provides good leadership opportunities. They must continue to be given the one-week preparation period;
      2. The programme must be supervised, including after normal working hours, by RMC military and Athletic Department staff;
      3. The content of the FYOP should be rationalized against the content of Part 1 of the Basic Military Officer Qualification course, with a view to eliminating unnecessary duplication and focusing the RMC programme on RMC-specific knowledge, skills and traditions as well as team-building; and
      4. The length of the FYOP should be reduced, commensurate with the preceding steps, in order to minimize the impact on academic classes.
  57. Athletic programme delivery. It was evident from the SSAV Team’s interviews that the members of the Athletic Department are very dedicated to their work and have the welfare of the N/OCdts at heart. The majority of N/OCdts had very favourable views of the coaches and physical trainers and educators at RMC. Trust levels between N/OCdts and their coaches were reported as high. There were however, some issues that the SSAV Team observed with regards to elements of the Athletic programme delivery and its impact on the learning and training environment at RMC. Specifically, the Supplemental Physical Training (SPT) programme is only offered at 0545 hrs in the morning. It is seen as punitive and conducting it early in the morning impacts on N/OCdt preparation time before classes and reduces the time for sleep – in particular for N/OCdts pursing engineering or science degrees. The program is to achieve its intent then it needs to be resourced (discussed in the Support Services section of this report) and delivered during a less disruptive time period.
  58. Bilingualism programme delivery. The SSAV Team observed that overall, the bilingualism component of the RMC Four Pillar programme was considered to be generally successful with close to 90% of the N/OCdts achieving the required functional (BBB) standard by the time they graduate. The SSAV Team noted that notwithstanding the intent of the Language of the Week, it falls short of what it is intended to accomplish. It may be that given that because the majority of cadets are Anglophone and not sufficiently proficient in French they cannot meet the intent of communicating orally and in writing in their second language. Similarly, not all of the staff are sufficiently proficient in both French and English to enforce the Language of the Week.

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