Officer Cadet Recruit Joining Instructions 2019 Welcome Letter


Dear Future Officer Cadet,

On behalf of the Commandant, Brigadier-General Sébastien Bouchard, it is my honour to congratulate you on your selection to the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC).  It is a proud moment for you, and for Canada, as you embark upon a career in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).  Doing so, through the demanding developmental and educational environment of RMC, is an unparalleled opportunity to establish an exemplary foundation in leadership, fitness, and bilingualism while attaining a world class undergraduate degree; less than four hundred Canadians receive this honour each year.

As the Director of Cadets, I am responsible for the military training, career progression, and your overall welfare as a member of RMC.  This letter is to provide you with information to introduce you to the College program and the expectations RMC has of you.

Upon arrival at RMC on 24 August 2019, you will commence the First Year Orientation Program (FYOP).  FYOP begins with the ceremonial march through the Arch signifying the arrival at the College and the beginning of the four year training period.   FYOP is a demanding period as you learn military skills and RMC specific knowledge that will enable your success in the College environment.  The intensity of the experience is heightened by the necessity to simultaneously start formal academic classes.  Upon completion of FYOP, Reunion Weekend will take place marking the successful transition into RMC as a full-fledged member of the Cadet Wing.  Your family and loved ones are encouraged to attend.

As part of the Reunion Weekend, all guests supporting the Class of 2023 are offered a bilingual information session on Friday, 13 September at 11:00 a.m.  Immediately following the information session, guests are invited to watch the First Year Obstacle Course; a significant college tradition dating back as far as 1880.  This is the first of two important events for the Class of 2023 during the weekend.  It demonstrates the capabilities, confidence, and teamwork developed over the short three weeks since arriving at the College.  The following day, the ceremonial badging parade signifies the class’ official entry to RMC.  A more complete schedule of weekend events and a map of the College grounds is enclosed for your information.  You will also find more information at the College website as we get closer to the date.

You will be able to visit with family and friends after the obstacle course on Friday evening, badging parade on Saturday, and the Arch Ceremony.  I encourage you to visit the RMC Foundation before attending RMC to hear how the RMC Foundation is enhancing excellence in the attraction, education and training of the students of the Royal Military Colleges. Since Reunion Weekend is very popular with our alumni, accommodations should be booked as soon as possible if you plan to have family and friends attend the events.

Following Reunion Weekend, the academic year will continue as usual and you will be subject to fitness testing, military classes, and regular academic schedules.  As you should already be aware, the college is structured into four pillars: physical fitness, academics, bilingualism and military.  In order to graduate from RMC you must be successful in all four pillars.  In the fitness pillar, you must pass the CAF FORCE test and the RMC Physical Performance Test (PPT).  In the academic pillar, you must obtain a Baccalaureate degree in Arts, Science, or Engineering that is being offered by the College and is appropriate for your designated military occupation.  In the bilingualism pillar, you must obtain a Canadian Public Service BBB profile in your second language.  Details reference the qualification standards in relation to official languages can be found at the following link:  Second language evaluation in the public service. In the military pillar, you must complete a certain level of military training and hold different leadership positions at the College over your four years.  Specific details for the minimum standard in each pillar will be expanded upon following the completion of this letter.  Understand that the information being provided to you is the minimum standard and cadets are expected to perform above that minimum.

The Royal Military College is a very historic institution with deep roots entrenched in the history of our country.  As a graduate of RMC you will also become a part of the history of the institution.  For a brief historical overview of the College please visit History - RMC Museum. I would also encourage you to consider reading the following books which provide a much more in depth history of RMC and will provide you with a far greater understanding of the historical significance of the institution to our country.  Traditions of Excellence is a coffee table book that was produced to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the College.  The book highlights the history of the College and is available through the RMC Club, and the CANEX, the general store located on campus.  For a much more detailed historical account of the history of RMC the following publications are recommended: Canada’s RMC: A History of the Royal Military College and To Serve Canada: A History of the Royal Military College Since the Second World War by Richard Preston, and the RMC Parents Handbook that will be mailed to you.

Included in this package are the joining instructions for the College, a map of the College grounds, the minimum standards for each pillar, a list and timetable for major events related to FYOP, a list of major events related to the academic year, and an eight week physical training program designed to prepare you for the fitness challenges at RMC and for your career in the Canadian Armed Forces.  This information can also be found on the RMC website). Additionally if you intend to try out for a varsity sports team, please contact the varsity team manager ( to register for tryouts.    

As you walk under the Memorial Arch, dedicated to those who have gone before you and given their lives in the service of Canada, I hope that you will be both happy and excited to be where you are; however, know and accept the challenge that is ahead of you.  We are training you to lead that which this nation holds most dear: her daughters and sons.  It is a heavy responsibility and one that we take very seriously, but it is a responsibility that we will help you prepare for through the four pillars of military, academic, physical fitness, and bilingualism training delivered here at RMC.  Enjoy your time in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu on module one of the basic military officer qualification course and I look forward to seeing you in August.

Yours sincerely,
C.A. Heilman
Director of Cadets

Date modified: