Branch Luncheons and Guest Speakers for 2012:
Luncheon - Dr Paul Chan - “SLOWPOKE 2 at RMC” RMC's nuclear reactor
Telford - Kingston Military Family Resource Centre
Dr John Grodzinski
- The War of 1812
Luncheon - Michael Rostek
Luncheon - Presentation by members of RMC St Jean Branch and AGM
Spring Formal: Guest
Speaker Dr. Brian Osborne -"Consequences of 1812"
Luncheon - BGen Tremblay
Luncheon - Col. Stephen Carscadden - CO, CFB Kingston
Gagnon, retired RMC politics professor, ex-cadet -
Sense of Politics, Anywhere, Anytime".
Luncheon - Dr Joel Sokolsky - The
impact of the federal government's austerity program on the academic
program of the College.
Luncheon - Rem Westland
Luncheon - SSM - Art Neadow
Fall Formal at Minos
Luncheon at Vimy Officer's Mess - LtCol James Ostler (Armoured Corp), an
ex-cadet, who has just returned from a 13 month mission in Israel and
Palestine where he was part of a small contingent training the Palestine
The December meeting of the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club had to change
venue and date as the Senior Staff Mess at RMC is closed for renovations for
six months. We gathered at the Vimy Officers' Mess and followed the same
We welcomed two second year cadets from the College, Derrick Frank and Karl
Our speaker was LCol James Ostler, an ex-cadet, and currently a staff
officer at the Army's Directorate of Doctrine here in Kingston. In September
he returned from a 13 month posting to Israel and Palestine where he was
Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff for Task Force Jerusalem as part of
Operation 'Proteus'. James described the work of this task force in support
of the development of security agencies within the Palestinian Authority
under an American State Department program with the backing of the Israeli
government. Canada is into its thirteenth rotation as part of this program and
provides manpower resources equal to that of the Americans. The Canadian
contingent lives in Jerusalem but works in Ramalah and other West Bank
In a very unbiased way, James described the evolution from independent and
unruly clans to modern Palestinian police battalions with structure and
discipline. The base has been well established but future progress will
depend on the political will of all parties.
Dr. Joel Sokolsky, Principal of RMCC, spoke to
the largest gathering of Branch members this year
at the monthly luncheon on 5 September 2012.
As part of the College's plan to maintain the essential
aspects of "RMC 2012" he made the following points to a very interested
the academic program that started this month is the one
planned last year and before the new austerity-inspired plan was developed;
an ongoing and demanding dynamic at the College is the
balancing of three distinct cultures:
RMCC is the university of the Canadian Armed Forces and,
as such, must have the cadet wing as its core to support other varied
programs for the CF and its officers;
the College's involvement in hosting international
conferences, implementing cadet visits abroad for competitions & conferences
and a cadet internship program within federal government ministries and
agencies will continue;
the College is still awaiting approval or instructions
from Ottawa concerning the staff reduction proposal implementation
and sabbatical implementation; (under current federal government lay-off
rules, if a faculty member is released, the program that was being taught
must disappear too);
what appears to be 'questionable growth' to some
bureaucrats is really the addition of programs in the late 1990s to meet the
needs of the CF identified during that period and requested by Ottawa;
the Officer Professional Military Education (OPME) program
is no longer being offered by the College; these programs will be offered in
other ways outside the sphere of the College.
He also addressed an article in the Kingston Whig
Standard today regarding a study of College governance. The study has been
requested by the faculty association and will be conducted by a group of
three assembled by a Canadian faculty oversight organisation. The initiation
of the study reflects the concern of some faculty members about recent
changes in the College's organisation and governance.
Col. Stephen Cadden spoke
to the members of the Kingston Branch of the RMC Club at their regular monthly
meeting on 4 July 2012. He gave a very informative update on the state of CFB
Kingston particularly in light of the federal government's austerity program
that will result in many changes across the Canadian Forces. The mission of
the base will remain unchanged, to provide the highest possible standard of
support to all the varied units that call CFB Kingston 'home'.
The various components are called lodger units and are
comprised of eight army units, 13 joint units including RMC, six from the
reserves and cadets, one air force unit and more than three miscellaneous
units. There are over 8400 members to be supported making this the largest
base in Canada. Notably the ratio of support staff to supported members has
fallen from 1:2.8 to 1:13.5 over the last 17 years without a drop in
Although there will be 90 positions lost over the next
three years, this will have a negligible effect on the staff due to job
transfer processes. On the other hand, the Base will receive more units
transferred from other bases. 1 Engineer Support Unit with about 100 personnel
will be relocated to Kingston in 2013. The staff of 1 Div HQ will increase by
about 50 positions and the Army Intelligence Unit will move here with up to
200 positions. The positive message is the base is growing and will be an even
more significant part of the Kingston communities.
All aspects of the Base contribute well over $700 million
to the economy of Kingston every year. This is equivalent to $1.38 million per
day! Real estate transaction fees and related legal fees alone amount to $2.5
million every year.
There are also innumerable personal contributions to most
aspects of Kingston society by CF members and their families. These include
support of sports, charities, parades, festivals and many more.
Members were pleased to hear this update and to see all
the positive contributions of the Base and its people.
Members were treated to remarks by the Commandant, BGen
Eric Tremblay, describing the depth and breadth of changes at the College
under the federal government's austerity program. The savings will be about
five million dollars per year. The changes will result in a reduction of 21
faculty positions and 20 non-faculty positions. Most affected incumbents will
retire over the period of adjustment. Fourteen other vacant positions will be
The Commandant assembled a council of department heads,
deans and the principal to recraft a plan that was initiated in Ottawa. The
end result of this is a reasonable plan that preserves the status on the
College as a legitimate university with no faculty or department eliminations.
Some courses will be discontinued and some class sizes may increase. This plan
The athletic program is being reviewed. Some varsity sports
may be reclassified as recreational while some recreational clubs may become
varsity sports. The objective is to improve the potential for varsity sports
to be competitive with other universities.
In accord with the language policy of the federal
government, department heads and deans will need to become bilingual.
Additional training will be required. The job descriptions of some of the
College's senior military positions will be revised to improve efficiency.
The Course Training Plan for cadets will be reoriented to
ensure that graduates from RMC are more ready to assume leadership roles as
officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.
A new promotion program to increase the number and
quality of applicants to the College is being initiated with the support of
the RMC Club of Canada. It will be called RMCC Liaison. The Commandant will
visit each of the Club branches to explain and promote the program.
The impression given is that the College will emerge more
focused on its unique role and will be an even stronger university.
may- Annual general meeting
Click here for Minutes
On 2 May 2012 we welcomed a delegation of five members from
the Fort St Jean Branch of the RMC Club and the Branch's administrator. Claude
Tassť, president of the Branch spoke to us about the growth and activities of
RMC de St Jean since it reopened in 2008. The College will celebrate its 60th
anniversary on 13 November 2012. There are now 193 officer cadets in three
years from prep to second year. Francophones make up 51% of the student body
while 49% are Anglophones. Eighty-five percent are males and fifteen
percent are females. There are currently six exchange cadets from military
colleges around the world.
The academic program is similar to that of a Quebec CEGEP.
Courses in sciences and social sciences are offered. The total staff to cadet
ratio is 1:1. Recruiting is one of the challenges being faced by the College.
Claude invited members of our Branch to attend meetings and
events in St Jean sur Richelieu.
Michael Rostek, the new Executive Director of the RMC
Club of Canada was our speaker on 24 April. Instead of hearing his views on
the alumni association, our members were favoured with a description of the
visioning project which Mike lead before taking his new post with the Club.
His team worked within the Canadian Forces and developed innovative
processes to anticipate what armies would be like 30 years from now. These
processes imagined needs of the future and how these needs could be
translated into organizations and equipment. He described the four stages to
the process: concept, design, build and manage. Because of the nature of a
process that looks into the future, the team used experienced army officers
as validators. This approach is now being used the both the Canadian navy
and air force. He feels that the methodology developed by his team also has
application for many types of organisations including our Club.
Prior to the lunch, Rod McDonald made a formal presentation to Commandant Eric
Tremblay, of a copy of "Currie Hall" a video lecture by Dr John Cowan in which
he outlines the history of the Hall, General Currie and the many Corps
honoured on the walls of the Hall.
Rod also thanked Kingston Branch for their contribution to
the vide production. BGen Tremblay thanked Rod and reminded the members
present that they have an ongoing duty to share their heritage knowledge and
memories through events like the luncheon and projects like the video. He
invited members to continue to reach out to him.
We were joined at the March monthly meeting by two cadets.
OCdt Dan Hoyt is the Cadet Wing Ops Officer who will be joining and Artillery
Regiment after graduation. He is from Paris, ON. Joel Morris is headed for the
Air Force and is from Revelstoke, BC. He is the CSL of #2 Squadron. Both said
a few words to the members.
Our speaker was Maj. John Grodzinski, an assistant
professor in the History Department at the College. He spoke to us about
aspects of the War of 1812 between British North America and the United
States. He clearly established the context of the war which was related to the
dying years of Britain's war with France and Napoleon.
His main focus was on naval activities in Lake Ontario and the main actors
- Prevost and Yeo for the British and Chauncey for the Americans. Britain had
naval superiority on the oceans but had to start from scratch on the Great
Lakes so held no advantage over the Americans on these inland waterways.
Following a number of naval encounters, neither side gained any particular
advantage and the border remained unchanged.
John recommended two books that are available at the
'Novel Idea' book store in Kingston:
Hitsman, J. Mackay. (Updated by Donald E. Graves).
The Incredible War of 1812: A Military History. Toronto: Robin
Brass Studio, 1999.
Malcomson, Robert. Lords of the Lake: The Naval
War on Lake Ontario, 1812- 1814. Toronto: Robin Brass Studio, 1998
Hickey, Donald R. Don’t Give Up the Ship! Myths
of the War of 1812. Toronto: Robin Brass Studio, 2006
The following are two web sites about the War of 1812:
Terry Telford, Marketing and PR Coordinator for the
Kingston base Military Family Resource Centre described the broad range of
services offered under this program. Members were interested to learn that it
is not fully funded by government and that KMFRC is required to fundraise 30%
of their operating costs. Based on Lundy's Lane, they will soon open a
satellite office in Kingston.
Among the programs described were support for those in
uniform and their families particularly around events like pre and post
deployment, and transfers. mebers asked many qiestions, and we were delighted
to have the participation of many of our spouses!
Check it out; www.familyforce.ca/sites/kingston
"Slowpoke-2" was the subject of our meeting presentation on
11 January 2012. This is the small (20kw) nuclear reactor at the College and
was described by Dr. Paul Chan, professor in the Chemistry and Chemical
Engineering Dept. and Chair Designate of the Slowpoke Committee. Paul
described the structure of the device, the inherent safety features and the
value it is to the College and to the DND. It has been in service since 1985
and will need to be refuelled in eight to ten years. About half of the
projects undertaken with the Slowpoke are for DND research and testing. It is
a valuable tool for undergraduate and graduate teaching and for graduate
student research. Paul's talk prompted many questions fielded by Paul, and
Club members Lee Bennett (recently retired from the department) and Ron Mann
(retired from the department).