The Courier

Royal Military College (RMC) Kingston – Photo from Wikimedia Commons 

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced the members and mandate of the Canadian Military Colleges Review Board. The Review Board, comprised of five external education and culture experts and two Department of National Defence (DND) / Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members, has one year to make recommendations pertaining to Recommendation 28 and the first part of Recommendation 29 of former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Arbour’s Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR) Report.

The Review Board will analyze the benefits, advantages and disadvantages, both to the CAF and Canada, of continuing to educate Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) naval/officer cadets at Canada’s two military colleges – Royal Military College (RMC) Kingston and RMC Saint-Jean. It will focus specifically on reviewing the current quality of education, socialization and military training at the colleges and consider and assess different education and training models. Employing a documented, evidence-based approach, and following broad consultation with subject matter experts both in Canada and abroad, the Board will make a recommendation on whether the military colleges should continue in their current form or in a different form. It will also assess whether the Cadet Wing responsibility and authority command structure should be modified or discontinued as a leadership development practice.

“We have an obligation to provide our people with environments where they can reach their full potential – and external perspectives are valuable in achieving this goal,” said Blair. “The review of the Canadian military colleges will enable meaningful culture change at these institutions and is an important milestone in our work to build a Canadian Armed Forces where all members feel protected, respected, and empowered to serve.”

The Board will be led by the Chairperson, Dr. Kathy Hogarth, and supported by Dr. Chantal Beauvais, a young adult socialization expert; Mr. Michael Goldbloom, a culture evolution expert; Dr. Renée Légaré, an executive expert; Dr. Martin Maltais, an academic expert; Ms. Suneeta Millington, a DND executive; and Colonel Kyle Solomon as the military representative.

Approximately 175 Canadian education and culture specialists applied for the five external to DND/CAF board positions. Board members were chosen for their range of perspectives and background, as well as for their independence and impartiality.

In the meantime, per Madame Arbour’s Recommendation 29, the Chief Professional Conduct and Culture (CPCC) has engaged with the RMC Kingston and the RMC Saint-Jean authorities to address long-standing culture concerns at the military colleges, including concerns regarding misogyny, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. As Madame Arbour recommended, the Exit Survey of graduating cadets has already been adapted to capture cadets’ experiences with sexual misconduct or discrimination. This survey was conducted a few months ago and the findings are currently being analyzed.

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