The Royal Military College of Canada’s (RMCC) class of 2017 celebrated years of hard work and dedication in ceremonial graduation events held at the college last week.
Dignitaries, parents, and visitors gathered to celebrate the approximately 300 graduates of RMCC. The RMCC’s 108th convocation took place on Thursday May 18. As RMC Chancellor, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan presented the students with their bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
RMC presented Mr. Pierre Lavoie with a Doctor of Law Honoris causea and Lieutenant-Colonel (Retired) Philip W. Somers, OMM, CD, a Doctor of Science honoris causa.
“The graduating officer cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada today become commissioned military officers ̶̶ joining the ranks of previous graduates who have distinguished themselves in all aspects of Canadian military service and society. These outstanding officers have established a reputation for excellence that has earned the respect and admiration of people around the world. Congratulations to the class of 2017!” said Harjit Sajjan, Defence Minister.
After two days of ceremonial events, which included the convocation ceremony, Sunset Ceremony, and the Commissioning Parade, the graduates were commissioned as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces on Friday May 19.
The traditional Sunset Ceremony featured performances by the precision drill team, traditional drumming by the Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year cadets, a historical re-creation of the sights and sounds of the late 19th century British-Canadian military, and the final ceremony of lowering the national flag at sunset. The ceremony concluded with a fireworks display.
On the morning of Friday May 19, spectators witnessed a fly-past by a Royal Canadian Air Fore CC-130 Hercules.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, was the Reviewing Officer.
“I want to extend my congratulations to all members of the 98th graduating class of the Royal Military College of Canada. This is an important accomplishment, but it is only the beginning. I encourage all of the graduates to challenge themselves and the people they lead to constantly improve and achieve excellence. Remember that leadership is a privilege, not a right—you will be judged on how well you take care of your people and their families, while accomplishing the various missions set before you,” said Gen. Vance.
Upon completion of the Commissioning Parade, the graduates took part in the traditional ‘march through the arch.’ A tradition of the school since the 1980s, officer, and naval cadets march through the Memorial Arch only twice – when they begin at RMC and when they graduate.