Newest graduates celebrated at Royal Military College of Canada

News Release

May 19, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Ceremonial graduation events concluded today at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC), on historic Point Frederick in Kingston, Ont.

Dignitaries, parents, and visitors celebrated the hard work and dedication of approximately 300 new graduates from the prestigious military university. During today’s ceremony, RMC graduates were commissioned as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces, where they will be expected to lead with distinction in the larger defence community.

Events over the last two days included the convocation ceremony, Sunset Ceremony and the Commissioning Parade, for which General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, was the Reviewing Officer.

On Thursday evening, the traditional Sunset Ceremony featured memorable performances, including a choreographed demonstration by the precision drill team, traditional drumming by the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year cadets, a historical re-creation of the sights and sounds of late 19th century British-Canadian military, and the final ceremony of lowering the national flag at sunset. A spectacular fireworks display concluded the evening. On Friday morning, spectators enjoyed a fly-past by an RCAF CC-130 Hercules.


“The graduating officer cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada today become commissioned military officers  ̶̶  joining the ranks of previous graduates who have distinguished themselves in all aspects of Canadian military service and society. These outstanding officers have established a reputation for excellence that has earned the respect and admiration of people around the world. Congratulations to the class of 2017!”

-Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

“I want to extend my congratulations to all members of the 98th graduating class of the Royal Military College of Canada. This is an important accomplishment, but it is only the beginning. I encourage all of the graduates to challenge themselves and the people they lead to constantly improve and achieve excellence. Remember that leadership is a privilege, not a right—you will be judged on how well you take care of your people and their families, while accomplishing the various missions set before you.”

-General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

Quick Facts

  • Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan, in his role as RMC Chancellor, presented the graduating students with their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at RMC’s 108th convocation, which took place on Thursday, May 18. 

  • RMC presented Mr. Pierre Lavoie with a Doctor of Law honoris causea and Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Philip W. Somers, OMM, CD, a Doctor of Science honoris causea

  • Upon completion of the parade, the traditional ‘march through the arch’ took place. Since the 1980s, officer and naval cadets march through the Memorial Arch only twice – once when they begin their studies at RMC, and again when they graduate. 

Associated Links


Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

Lieutenant (Navy) Jennifer Fidler
Public Affairs Officer
Royal Military College of Canada
Phone: 613-541-6000 ext. 6484

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