Branch Events- 2012

Branch Luncheons and Guest Speakers for 2012:

January 11 Luncheon - Dr Paul Chan - “SLOWPOKE 2 at RMC” RMC's nuclear reactor
February 1 Luncheon  - Terry Telford - Kingston Military Family Resource Centre
March 7 Dr John Grodzinski - The War of 1812
April 4 Luncheon - Michael Rostek
May 2 Luncheon - Presentation by members of RMC St Jean Branch and AGM
May 10 Spring Formal: Guest Speaker Dr. Brian Osborne -"Consequences of 1812"
June 6 Luncheon - BGen Tremblay
July 4 Luncheon - Col. Stephen Carscadden - CO, CFB Kingston
August 1

Luncheon - Yvan Gagnon, retired RMC politics professor, ex-cadet -  "Making Sense of Politics, Anywhere, Anytime".

August 10 Banyan
September 5

Luncheon - Dr Joel Sokolsky - The impact of the federal government's austerity program on the academic program of the College.

October 3 Luncheon - Rem Westland
November 7 Luncheon - SSM - Art Neadow
November  23 Fall Formal at Minos
December 3 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 army.

Past Events - 2012:

DECember luncheon

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 routine.

 We welcomed two second year cadets from the College, Derrick Frank and Karl Grodzinski.

 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 cities.

 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.


september luncheon


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 audience:

  • 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:

    • bureaucratic (government processes);

    • military, which is unique among all Canadian universities;

    • university/academic.

  • 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.


July luncheon

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 effectiveness.

 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.

June luncheon

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 eliminated.  

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 was approved. 

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

may luncheon


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.




april luncheon

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.


March luncheon

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:


february luncheon

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;

January luncheon

"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).




At ease!