RMC celebrates 111th convocation and commissioning

"Feu de Joie"
The Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada perform a 'Feu de Joie' during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam Dargavel

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Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) celebrated 288 graduates on May 17 and 18 at the historic Point Frederick, the RMC campus peninsula in Kingston, Ont.

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Defence and RMC Chancellor, presented the graduating students with their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The graduates received their degrees from RMC’s Engineering, Science, and Arts departments.

Senator and ex-Cadet Joseph Day, who received an honorary PhD at the 111th  Convocation, joined other keynote speakers in offering the class of 2018 some sage advice as they move towards their future careers.

“Convocation is the embodiment of every RMC officer cadet as it represents the fruition of all of their hard work,” said Officer Cadet Colin Bond. “It marks the end of a four-year journey at RMC for officer cadets, and a new beginning towards their future careers as CAF Commissioned Officers. It is a time to celebrate and to reflect on the hard work it takes to graduate from RMC.”

Image gallery

  • Senator Joseph A. Day
  • Harjit Singh Sajjan confers undergraduate degrees
  • Harjit Singh Sajjan confers an undergraduate degree
  • Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk and Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond inspect cadets on parade
  • "Feu de Joie"
  • The graduating class passes through the Memorial Arch at RMC
  • Precision Drill Team performs
  • RMC Taekwondo Team performs during the Sunset Ceremony
  • a traditional "drum-in"
  • RMC Colour Party handover
  • The Canadian Armed Forces flag being lowered during the RMC Sunset Ceremony

The Sunset Ceremony, which traditionally follows convocation, represents a passing of the torch to a new colour party that will perform in all parades for the next year, starting with the Commissioning Parade the day after. The ceremony featured the SkyHawks – the Canadian Forces Parachute Demonstration Team, a ceremonial drill and colour party demonstrations, as well as a performance by the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year drummers. Performances by Highland dancers and RMC’s prestigious band ended with the finale of the ceremony – fireworks at sunset.

“Taking part in this ceremony as a member of the honour guard was truly a fantastic public performance opportunity in front of approximately 1000 spectators,” said Naval Cadet Zachariah Dunbar. “While the Sunset Ceremony is an exhibition, it contrasts on so many levels with the Commissioning Parade. It is necessary to attend both to get a true idea of what the end of the year means for the university and its students.”

The Commissioning Parade is part of the formal presentation of an officer’s commission in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the name of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Upon completion of the parade, Officer and Naval Cadets will ‘March through the Arch’ as CAF officers, signifying the conclusion of their time in the Cadet Wing at RMC.

The Class of 2018 received their commissions from the Reviewing Officer, Lieutenant-General P.F. Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army, and from other senior General and Flag Officers of the CAF.

“Marching out of the RMC memorial arch symbolizes the completion of the cadets’ time at RMC as students,” explained Naval Cadet Louis Murphy. “As first, second, and third-year officer cadets watch the graduating class receive their commissions and march off the parade square to the memorial arch, their hearts are full of joy and promise  ̶  proud of the accomplishments of those that came before them, as they will soon be the ones receiving their own Queen’s commission.”

Before the graduating class marches through the arch, they form a sword arch beside the parade square for the rest of the Cadet Wing to march under.

“The Cadet Wing is a team, perhaps even a family, and the graduating class could not have done it without their peers. The rest of the college keeps faith with the graduates, which is key for the continued success of Naval and Officer Cadets at RMC,” summed up NCdt Murphy.

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