Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) will be hosting its annual Reunion Weekend in Kingston on the weekend of Sept. 14 – 16.
The prestigious institution uses the occasion to welcome back former officer cadets. The weekend will be highlighted with a variety of activities, including the annual obstacle course and a parade in which first-year officer cadets officially become part of the Cadet Wing. Established in 1876, RMC trains future officers of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) while conferring degrees in arts, science and engineering. RMC prepares officer cadets for a career in the profession of arms and continues the development of other CAF members and civilians with an interest in defence issues.
The festivities open on Friday, Sept. 14 at 1:30 p.m. when the first-year officer cadets conclude their orientation program with the challenging obstacle course. This will be followed by a coin presentation ceremony in which members of the “Old Brigade” present each first-year officer cadet with an RMC commemorative coin engraved with their College number. The “Old Brigade” is comprised of ex-officer cadets who entered the College 50 or more years ago.
On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Traditional Badging Parade will begin at 10 a.m. with the official presentation of cap badges acknowledging the first-year officer cadets’ start at RMC. Cap badges are presented by members of the Old Brigade. Officer Cadet awards for leadership, academics and athletics will also be presented.
At 1:30 p.m., there will be a Wall of Honour ceremony that recognizes former officer cadets and other distinguished individuals associated with the Canadian Military Colleges for outstanding achievements and contributions to Canada and the world. This year’s honouree is the late Lieutenant-Colonel Norman Bruce “Ike” Buchanan.
On Sunday, Sept. 16, a memorial ceremony to honour former Canadian Military College cadets who lost their lives in service will be held at the Memorial Arch. Led by members of the Old Brigade, ex-cadets will start from the parade square, march along Precision Drive, pass the Wall of Honour and continue to Cavalry Gate before turning left onto Highway 2. The parade will then proceed along Highway 2 to the road leading into the Memorial Arch. Officer cadets will line the route along Valour Drive. On completion of the memorial service, the ex-cadets will march back to the parade square.
The weekend concludes at 12 p.m. with the official unveiling of the Vimy Oak Memorial. This new monument honours the RMC graduates who served at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The monument, formed of sandbag walls reminiscent of First World War trenches, features a white oak sapling descended from fallen oaks that once grew on the battlefield at Vimy Ridge. A Canadian soldier gathered acorns from the oaks after the victory. The contribution of RMC graduates to the victory at Vimy Ridge was significant. At the time of the battle, nearly 23 per cent of the commanders and staff of the Canadian Corps were graduates of the college.