On Monday, November 20th 2023, the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Bill Blair, released the second status report of the External Monitor, Jocelyne Therrien, on the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)/Department of National Defence (DND) implementation of the Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR, otherwise known as the Arbour Report). Mme Therrien’s second report included the following update on the status of the recommendations relating to the Canadian Military Colleges:
Royal Military Colleges
The IECR raised concerns about the CAF’s military colleges. In the December 2022 update to Parliament, then-Minister Anand agreed that “the culture in these institutions must change significantly” and consented to an external review of the colleges (#29), one that would include the IECR’s recommendation to remove the Cadet Wing responsibility and authority command structure (#28). The review is about to be launched and the panel will have 12 months to provide its report. In my opinion, the process has been objective, including the involvement of a reputable executive search firm to provide an initial list of qualified candidates. The review board will consist of five external members, whose names will be released once the contracts have been awarded. Two members internal to DND/CAF will be part of the review board.”
The Minister’s press release is available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2023/11/defence-minister-bill-blair-releases-second-status-report-of-the-external-monitor.html
The External Monitor’s full report is available here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/second-external-monitor-report.html#toc14
RMC Alumni Association Response
The Royal Military Colleges of Canada Alumni Association (RMCAA) is working on your behalf with our consultant partners from BCG to bring together a comprehensive, evidence-based submission aimed at the strategic renewal of the Canadian Military Colleges.
As you know, the evidence gathering is ongoing and your strong participation is appreciated. Building on the insights provided through more than 1,400 responses to the survey on alumni experiences, the team has been reviewing individual alumni submissions, conducting one-on-one interviews, and drawing on external expert advice, including from military academies in the US, UK, and Australia. Our Steering Committee has met three times, and has additional meetings planned to complete their roles of directing the work, challenging the team, and advising the RMCAA Board.
As noted in the External Monitor’s report, we expect the CMC Review Board to begin its work soon. However, as of the time of writing, the RMCAA does not know the membership of the Review Board, the full scope of its mandate or timelines for engaging stakeholders. Once we know these points, the RMCAA will be able to finalize our plans for completing the submission. These final steps will include:
- Establishing a deadline for any remaining submissions from individual alumni, classes, or branches to our response mailbox at: email@example.com
- Completing a communications and engagement plan to support the submission. This plan will include key engagements with branches, classes, and other key stakeholders in the Canadian Military Colleges alumni community.
We continue to welcome your feedback and questions and your perspectives. You can reach our Arbour response team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
J Scott Stevenson, 16598
Chair – Advocacy & Promotion Committee
Lead – RMCAA Response to Arbour Report
Royal Military Colleges of Canada Alumni Association