CMR Returns to Saint-Jean
Announced in July 2007, the Defence Minister at the time, Gordon O’Connor, also said that “as of September 2008, military discipline and uniforms will return to this institution, and its capacity will triple.”
Even though, for a time, the uniformed presence was less noticeable, it must be noted that, even after the 1995 closure of Collège Militaire Royal (CMR), there was never a complete interruption of military activities on the campus.
As soon as CMR closed, it became apparent that a preparatory year was essential in order for some high school graduates, primarily those from Quebec, to reach the academic standards needed for admission to the Royal Military College of Canada, in Kingston.
Since 2001, the approximately 100 Officer-Cadets from Preparatory Year known as Escadron Richelieu have shared the site with the Non-Commissioned Member Professional Development Centre and the Canadian Forces Management Development School – all three under the direction of the Canadian Forces Learning and Development Centre.
During the summer of 2007, the federal government announced that the Canadian Defence Academy would undertake the stand up of the Royal Military College Saint-Jean. Maintaining the same units as the Learning and Development Centre, RMC Saint-Jean is tasked with educating and training selected personnel for an effective service career within the Canadian Forces.
The Royal Military College Saint-Jean will offer Officer-Cadets a two-year academic program leading to a CÉGEP diploma – thus opening the door to a Bachelor degree at the Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston) or another university and an officer’s commission within the Canadian Forces. The college will accept applicants into Preparatory Year or First Year of the two-year programme, depending on their province of origin and their academic standing. Officer-Cadets who complete the First Year programme at RMC Saint-Jean will be able to enter RMC of Canada in Kingston or another Canadian university directly into second year.
For Officer-Cadets from Québec, the CEGEP Preparatory programme offered at RMC Saint-Jean, in Science and Social Science, is a natural transition between high school and university. The programme is also offered to students from other Canadian provinces who need to improve their knowledge base before undertaking university studies.
Programmes are offered in both French and English. The College’s location in Saint-Jean has the added advantage of fostering the French language skills of all future leaders.
A formal ceremony to mark the official opening of the College will be held on 24 May 2008 on the campus.
Fort Saint-Jean, founded by Monsieur Paul de Chambly in 1666, has seen a continuous military presence, and the military character of the Fort continues to grow. The Royal Military College Saint-Jean will be a worthy successor to an institution that has shaped many of our society’s current leaders. Under its new mandate, it will also be a major contributor to the education and professional development of all members of the Defence Team, be they officers, non-commissioned members or civilians.
Anyone interested in collegiate studies at RMC Saint-Jean, beginning in August 2008, can obtain further information by checking www.cmrsj-rmcsj.forces.gc.ca or by visiting your local Recruiting Centre. RMC Saint-Jean is open for business!
LGen(ret) J.O.Michel Maisonneuve is currently the Academic Director of the Royal Military College in Saint-Jean.
© Frontline Defence 2008