OCdts. On Parade

I was delighted to read Big Changes with RMC Selection Process, the interview with Registrar Lieutenant-Colonel McDonald, in the latest issue of eVeritas. When we carried out what has become known as the * Withers Report, way back in 1998, we identified the MOC selection process as a serious problem and our Recommendation 8j was:

“Ensure that officer cadets are matched with MOCs in a fashion which better meets the needs of the CF and the Individual.”

The comment below this recommendation reads:

“MOC selection must not be made at the recruiting centre. It should be an assignment based upon both preference and suitability and should not occur until after an officer cadet has been exposed to some training and a variety of MOCs. There should be an allocation of MOC slots to RMC each year which would accord with the developed projections for critical needs 3.5 years after the allocation date. The CF should preferentially allot MOC slots most likely to create full career tracks for the officers who fill them. RMC officer cadets would be selected for these allocated MOC slots on a competitive basis, in which both a candidate’s overall performance and a candidate’s suitability for a given MOC would influence the likelihood of getting his/her first choice.”
It looks like it has taken a decade for our recommendation to come to fruition; better late than never.

Back then we discovered that recruiting centres were ‘shading the truth’ by telling candidates that they could always make a change after arrival at the College. This practice continued post 1998. Two cases of personal interest are worthy of note.

A young man with extensive nautical experience, who I recommended, wanted Navy Operations but was assigned Infantry and told that there would be no problem to change later. After two successful academic years at the College he withdrew voluntarily when there was no change.

My granddaughter who had been the cadet leader of her Air Cadet Squadron, was a qualified glider pilot, had served on the staff of the Glider Pilot School and was a scholarship level high school graduate wanted an operational classification. She got a Health Administrator classification and, when she found that there was no possibility of change, withdrew voluntarily.

Once again, I note my delight that a wasteful and rather dishonest practice finally has been rectified.


H2951 Ramsey Withers

General (Ret’d)

* The Withers Report was commissioned by the Board of Governors of RMC and chaired by Gen (Ret’d) Ramsey Withers. Prepared within the environment of the post Somalia recommendations, the report was designed to address DND concerns that, at the time, called into question the very existence of RMC. As we now know, the Wither’s Report successfully demonstrated that RMC has an important contribution to make to the future of Canada’s forces and that the changes required to improve its utility were readily achievable.

General Withers is currently the Honourary President of the Royal Military Colleges of Canada and a regular and avid reader of e-Veritas.

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