RMC celebrates 111th convocation and commissioning

"Feu de Joie"
The Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada perform a 'Feu de Joie' during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam Dargavel

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Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) celebrated 288 graduates on May 17 and 18 at the historic Point Frederick, the RMC campus peninsula in Kingston, Ont.

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Defence and RMC Chancellor, presented the graduating students with their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The graduates received their degrees from RMC’s Engineering, Science, and Arts departments.

Senator and ex-Cadet Joseph Day, who received an honorary PhD at the 111th  Convocation, joined other keynote speakers in offering the class of 2018 some sage advice as they move towards their future careers.

“Convocation is the embodiment of every RMC officer cadet as it represents the fruition of all of their hard work,” said Officer Cadet Colin Bond. “It marks the end of a four-year journey at RMC for officer cadets, and a new beginning towards their future careers as CAF Commissioned Officers. It is a time to celebrate and to reflect on the hard work it takes to graduate from RMC.”

Image gallery

  • Senator Joseph A. Day

  • Senator Joseph A. Day, recipient of an Honorary Degree of Laws addresses the Royal Military College of Canada 2018 Convocation on May 17 at RMC Fieldhouse, Kingston, On. Photo: Steven McQuaidSenator Joseph A. Day, recipient of an Honorary Degree of Laws addresses the Royal Military College of Canada 2018 Convocation on May 17 at RMC Fieldhouse, Kingston, On. Photo: Steven McQuaid
  • Harjit Singh Sajjan confers undergraduate degrees

  • The Honorable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Chancellor of Royal Military College of Canada, confers undergraduate degrees to 4th year Officer Cadets at the 2018 Convocation. Photo: Steven McQuaidThe Honorable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Chancellor of Royal Military College of Canada, confers undergraduate degrees to 4th year Officer Cadets at the 2018 Convocation. Photo: Steven McQuaid
  • Harjit Singh Sajjan confers an undergraduate degree

  • The Honorable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Chancellor of Royal Military College of Canada, confers an undergraduate degree in engineering to Officer Cadet Alvin Ka Him Lai at the Royal Military College of Canada 2018 Convocation. Photo: Steven McQuaidThe Honorable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and Chancellor of Royal Military College of Canada, confers an undergraduate degree in engineering to Officer Cadet Alvin Ka Him Lai at the Royal Military College of Canada 2018 Convocation. Photo: Steven McQuaid
  • Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk and Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond inspect cadets on parade

  • Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army, accompanied by Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond, Canadian Army Sergeant Major, inspect Officer Cadets on parade during the Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Steven McQuaidLieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army, accompanied by Chief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond, Canadian Army Sergeant Major, inspect Officer Cadets on parade during the Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Steven McQuaid
  • "Feu de Joie"

  • The Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada perform a 'Feu de Joie' during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam DargavelThe Lady and Gentlemen Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada perform a 'Feu de Joie' during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • The graduating class passes through the Memorial Arch at RMC

  • Members of the Royal Military College of Canada's Class of 2018 pass through the Memorial Arch during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam DargavelMembers of the Royal Military College of Canada's Class of 2018 pass through the Memorial Arch during the annual Commissioning Parade on May 18. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • Precision Drill Team performs

  • The Royal Military College of Canada's Precision Drill Team performs during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam DargavelThe Royal Military College of Canada's Precision Drill Team performs during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • RMC Taekwondo Team performs during the Sunset Ceremony

  • Members of the Royal Miitary College of Canada's Taekwondo Team perform during the annual Sunset Ceremony May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam DargavelMembers of the Royal Miitary College of Canada's Taekwondo Team perform during the annual Sunset Ceremony May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • a traditional "drum-in"

  • Members of the Royal Military College of Canada's Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) perform a traditional 'drum-in' during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Also pictured in regalia is ALOY elder Bernard Nelson. Photo: Adam DargavelMembers of the Royal Military College of Canada's Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year (ALOY) perform a traditional 'drum-in' during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Also pictured in regalia is ALOY elder Bernard Nelson. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • RMC Colour Party handover

  • The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Colours are entrusted to the newly designated RMC Colour Party during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam DargavelThe Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Colours are entrusted to the newly designated RMC Colour Party during the annual Sunset Ceremony on May 17 to celebrate the graduating Class of 2018. Photo: Adam Dargavel
  • The Canadian Armed Forces flag being lowered during the RMC Sunset Ceremony

  • The Canadian Armed Forces flag is lowered during the annual Royal Military College of Canada Sunset Ceremony on May 17. Photo: Adam DargavelThe Canadian Armed Forces flag is lowered during the annual Royal Military College of Canada Sunset Ceremony on May 17. Photo: Adam Dargavel

The Sunset Ceremony, which traditionally follows convocation, represents a passing of the torch to a new colour party that will perform in all parades for the next year, starting with the Commissioning Parade the day after. The ceremony featured the SkyHawks – the Canadian Forces Parachute Demonstration Team, a ceremonial drill and colour party demonstrations, as well as a performance by the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year drummers. Performances by Highland dancers and RMC’s prestigious band ended with the finale of the ceremony – fireworks at sunset.

“Taking part in this ceremony as a member of the honour guard was truly a fantastic public performance opportunity in front of approximately 1000 spectators,” said Naval Cadet Zachariah Dunbar. “While the Sunset Ceremony is an exhibition, it contrasts on so many levels with the Commissioning Parade. It is necessary to attend both to get a true idea of what the end of the year means for the university and its students.”

The Commissioning Parade is part of the formal presentation of an officer’s commission in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in the name of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Upon completion of the parade, Officer and Naval Cadets will ‘March through the Arch’ as CAF officers, signifying the conclusion of their time in the Cadet Wing at RMC.

The Class of 2018 received their commissions from the Reviewing Officer, Lieutenant-General P.F. Wynnyk, Commander of the Canadian Army, and from other senior General and Flag Officers of the CAF.

“Marching out of the RMC memorial arch symbolizes the completion of the cadets’ time at RMC as students,” explained Naval Cadet Louis Murphy. “As first, second, and third-year officer cadets watch the graduating class receive their commissions and march off the parade square to the memorial arch, their hearts are full of joy and promise  ̶  proud of the accomplishments of those that came before them, as they will soon be the ones receiving their own Queen’s commission.”

Before the graduating class marches through the arch, they form a sword arch beside the parade square for the rest of the Cadet Wing to march under.

“The Cadet Wing is a team, perhaps even a family, and the graduating class could not have done it without their peers. The rest of the college keeps faith with the graduates, which is key for the continued success of Naval and Officer Cadets at RMC,” summed up NCdt Murphy.

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