RMC celebrates history and future at Reunion Weekend 2018

Remembrance ceremony
Members of the Royal Military College (RMC) Old Brigade and Ex-Cadets march from the RMC parade square through a line of RMC Officer Cadets to the Memorial Arch for a remembrance ceremony on September 16, 2018, in Kingston, Ontario. Photo: Steven McQuaid

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The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) honoured its past and looked to its future during its annual reunion weekend, September 14 to 16, as roughly 400 ex-cadets returned to Kingston to see the 238-strong Class of 2022 begin their journey as future leaders in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Guests saw first year officer cadets work as teams to overcome the infamous RMC obstacle course, then watched those same muddied officer cadets march onto the College’s historic Parade Square in pressed and polished RMC uniforms for the badging parade. The parade is one of the most significant events of the weekend, as each officer cadet receives their RMC cap badge from members of the Old Brigade—ex-cadets who joined the Canadian Military Colleges (CMC) 50 or more years ago.

“As today’s officer cadets accept these badges from members of the Old Brigade, they also accept the responsibility that comes with being part of this historic institution, and the personal challenge to build a foundation of academic achievement, fitness, leadership and bilingualism,” said Brigadier-General Sébastien Bouchard, Commandant of RMC.

OCdt Matthew Ditmore of Kingston, Ontario, said, “Being accepted into the cadet wing was a very proud moment for me and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”

OCdt Zoe Chee of Toronto, Ontario, more than agrees. “Our first formal parade as part of the cadet wing is the beginning of being able to live our dreams as a reality.”

Many RMC graduates have distinguished themselves as leaders, including Senator Joe Day, astronauts Mark Garneau and Chris Hadfield, and Senator Romeo Dallaire. Today, the majority of Canadian General Officers and Flag Officers are graduates from CMC.

“I have every faith this fine group of young Canadians who joined the College today will live up to the ideals and the example of all those who have marched on this Parade Square before them,” said BGen Bouchard.

During the reunion weekend, a new plaque was added to the RMC Wall of Honour, which recognizes former RMC cadets and associates who have made significant contributions to Canada.

This year’s honoree was the late Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Bruce “Ike” Buchanan, who attended RMC from 1934 to 1939, and was awarded the Military Cross with two bars for his actions as an artillery officer during the Second World War. He went on to be elected mayor of St. Stephen, N.B., and later to the province’s legislative assembly.

The reunion weekend culminated with a ceremony at RMC’s iconic Memorial Arch to honour members of the CMC community who lost their lives in service to Canada. This was followed by the unveiling of the Vimy Oak, a new monument to honour RMC graduates who served during the First World War, including those who were part of the Canadian Corps at the time of Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917.

More than 200 new officer cadets join RMC each year in one of 19 undergraduate programs as part of the Regular Officer Training Program.

The College first opened its doors to officer cadets in 1876, and has since become a bilingual, world-class military university acknowledged as a leader in defence research.

Image gallery

  • Remembrance ceremony
  • Royal Military College obstacle course
  • Royal Military College obstacle course
  • Royal Military College obstacle course
  • Royal Military College obstacle course
  • A First Year officer cadet smiles after completing Royal Military College (RMC) obstacle course and receiving their RMC coin
  • Badging Parade
  • Lieutenant Colonel Bruce “Ike” Buchanan’s plaque
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