About the Royal Military College of Canada

The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) is part of the re-focused Canadian Defence Academy (CDA), which continues to exist now as an ‘education group’ composed of RMC, Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean), the Canadian Forces College (CFC), and the Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside Profession of Arms Institute; with the mandate to uphold distinction in the Profession of Arms.

As per its 2003 Charter, CDA exists to champion lifelong learning, and to promote the professional development of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). CDA will continue to devote efforts to ensure that the CAF Profession of Arms and Professional Development System remains credible and affordable.

RMC was founded in 1874 when the Dominion Government, led by Alexander Mackenzie, passed an act in Parliament to establish a military college "for the purpose of providing a complete education in all branches of military tactics, fortification, engineering, and general scientific knowledge in subjects connected with and necessary to thorough knowledge of the military profession." On June 1, 1876, the Military College of Canada opened its doors to the first class of eighteen officer cadets. RMC will celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of its opening on June 1, 2026.

"The Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, 1959," passed by the 25th Ontario Legislature and given Royal Assent on March 26, 1959, empowers the College to confer degrees in Arts, Science, and Engineering. RMC now offers a wide variety of programmes in these three areas, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels offered both on site through traditional studies and by distance learning.

The graduates of RMC have established a reputation of service and achievement throughout the world out of all proportion to their numbers. From the North West Campaign of 1885, through the South African War, the First and Second World Wars, Korea, the Persian Gulf, to the latest peace keeping operations the graduates of RMC have distinguished themselves in all aspects of Canadian military service. Ex-cadets have been similarly prominent in a wide variety of civilian professions.

The Administration Building was opened in 1878. It was renamed the Mackenzie Building in honour of Canada’s second Prime Minister, Alexander Mackenzie, the founder of the Royal Military College of Canada.

Alexander Mackenzie was the founder of the College. In spite of the dislike of his many followers for standing armies, he personally rejected permanent militia schools in favour of a cadet college to produce career officers. He probably regarded this as the first logical step towards providing Canada with an effective military force.

Richard Preston, Canada’s RMC: A History of the Royal Military College
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