Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Royal Military College (RMC) Saint-Jean is a Canadian military academy located on the site of Fort Saint-Jean, originally built in 1666, which is now part of the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, 40 km south of Montreal. It is the arm of the Canadian Military College system that primarily ensures the smooth transition of selected Cadets from Quebec high schools to university education by providing pre-university (Quebec's separate college-level) programs. The programs are harmonized with those at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC). The four components of achievement are Academics, Leadership, Athletics and Bilingualism. RMC Saint Jean offers a low teacher-student ratio, a physical fitness programme, teaching, and leadership activities. The college has clubs, an intramural sports programme and recreational facilities.


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  • Conduct of the Preparatory Year academic activities, under the functional authority of RMC, as well as military and fitness training and bilingualism.
  • Provision of oversight, under the functional authority of RMC, of the Continuing Studies and Officer Professional Military Education programs.


Royal Military College Saint-Jean

Corresponding to the first two years of college studies in Quebec, preparatory year is a pre-university program of studies. Intended for students who have obtained their high-school certificates in Quebec or the equivalent elsewhere in Canada, the program prepares students to continue their studies at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.

Military education for Canadian officers is focused on the four components unique to the military colleges: military training, physical fitness, bilingualism and academic excellence.

About 200 students per year receive training at RMC Saint-Jean in a two-year, general military, college diploma program:

  • 130â€"140 cadets in the preparatory year
  • 60â€"70 in the second year

The RMC Saint-Jean allows Quebecers who have already completed a year at certain colleges to switch into the first year at RMC Saint-Jean. RMC Saint-Jean offers courses in French to the French-speaking cadets and in English to the English-speaking cadets.

Although the college does not offer university-level courses as it did before 1995, credits can be applied to programs at RMC or other universities. So that students can move seamlessly from one to the other, the academic programs at the two institutions are harmonized. At the end of the first or preparatory year, students who opt for the “General” program (science, arts, business) stay on at CMR for another year. Students studying engineering go to Kingston, Ontario into the first year at RMC.

The preparatory year ("prep year") cadets acquire the necessary academic standard needed to attend RMC. Although the program is intended mainly for students from Quebec, the preparatory year is open to students from Canada who need to upgrade their studies before beginning university courses. The academic function of CMR is to educate its cadets up to the second year of a college degree. The remaining studies are to be completed at the RMC in Kingston.

Divided into two semesters, the academic year is composed of 75 teaching days and a final examination period, followed by a supplemental examination period.

In preparation for continued university studies at RMC, students select either the Social Sciences programme (for students pursuing degree in Arts) or the Science programme (for students pursuing a degree in Engineering or Science). Each programme is offered in both official languages. The two programmes share core courses: four in literature; three in philosophy; two in Second Language Studies; three in physical education. These core courses are supplemented with courses specific to each programme.


Royal Military College Saint-Jean

The preparatory year students register in either the social sciences or science program. The programs are offered in both official languages. The social sciences program features courses in sociology, history, political science, mathematics, computer science, chemistry and physics. The sciences program includes courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and history. The core courses in both programs include: literature, humanities, second language, and physical education.

The mandate of the preparatory year is to develop in its students good work habits, academic diligence, critical facility, and team spirit.


Cadets wear a variety of uniforms depending on the occasion and their environment: ceremonial dress (semi ceremonial); full dress (formal occasions); outside sports dress; service dress Air Force; service dress Navy; service dress Navy without jacket; Service dress Air Force without jacket; service dress Army without jacket; and combat dress.

In winter 2009, Royal Military College officer cadets returned to wearing a distinctive Dress of the Day (DOD) uniform which consists of a white shirt, black sweater/light jacket, as well as black trousers/skirt with a red stripe down the side. The headdress is a black wedge with red piping.

Mess dress is worn in the Senior Staff Mess for formal occasions such as mess dinners.

Proficiency Badges

The gold thread crossed pistols are awarded as a military badge for marksmanship when marksman levels are achieved for the pistol; a crown is awarded in May to the top score in the College. The gold thread crossed rifles are awarded as a military badge for marksmanship when marksman levels are achieved with a rifle; a crown is awarded in May to the top score in the College. The gold thread cross swords in a laurel wreath military proficiency badge is awarded if the following conditions have been met by the student: a mark of at least B in military assessment; positive leadership qualities in the summer training report; an academic average of at least 70%; a mark of at least B in physical training; a satisfactory mark in the bilingualism profile; A crown is awarded to the top Cadet having received this award, by year. All students are awarded at least a blue start for a start at bilingualism. As they achieve proficiency, they receive a silver or gold star. An academic distinction badge is awarded to a student with an academic average of at least 80% at the end of the year. The crossed bats are physical fitness badges are awarded upon reaching a certain number of points on the regular physical fitness test. As cadets learn and demonstrate leadership skills, they are appointed to different positions. Since all cadets are technically officer-cadets in the Canadian Forces, "Bars" distinguish differences in rank and responsibility. The number of bars increases from 0 to 5 as students are promoted. There are five no-bar positions and 152 bar positions.


Awards are granted to outstanding cadets:



Founded in 1966, the mission of the Canadian Forces Management Development School (CFMDS) is to apply management and leadership training and consultation to the defence team. The CFMDS is housed at the RMC Saint-Jean.


The Non-Commissioned Members Professional Development Centre (NCMPDC) was created on 1 April 2003 and is located at Campus St-Jean. The courses that are offered at the centre are the Intermediate Leadership Qualification (ILQ), the Advanced Leadership Qualification (ALQ) and finally the CPO1/CWO Chief Qualification (CQ). All courses include both distance learning and a residential portion. The distance learning portion lasts 9 or 10 weeks depending on the course and allows the candidates to remain with their respective units. These courses also prepare the candidates for the residential portion which last three weeks and takes place on the RMC Saint-Jean site.

The NCMPDC courses were created as a result of the NCM Corps 2020, which is the strategic guidance for the professional development of the Canadian Forces Non-Commissioned Members.

More than a thousand members of the Canadian Forces transit through the NCMPDC each year in order to perfect their knowledge and skills following or before their promotion to the ranks of warrant officer (petty officer 1st class), master warrant officer (chief petty officer second class) or chief warrant officer (chief petty officer first class).

The NCMPDC is a unique professional education establishment within the CF. It is the only pan-CF school that is for NCM's taught by NCM's and as of September 2007 commanded by an NCM.

Since May 2009, NCMPDC is under the command of the Canadian Forces College (CFC) in Toronto, which offers a similar professional development curricumlum but for officer from the ranks of major to brigadier-general.

On April 20, 2012, the auditorium at the Non-Commissioned Members Professional Development Centre (NCMPDC) was named after Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard, MSC who was the first Regimental Sergeant Major in the 123-year history of the Royal Canadian Regiment to be killed by enemy action; He was previously stationed in Germany, Kosovo, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

Regular Officer Training Plan

In addition to a university education, Officer Cadets receive military training, occupation training and second language training and a career after graduation. The full-time salary includes full dental care, as well as vacation with full pay. Upon successful completion of the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP), Officer Cadets are awarded a university degree and granted commissions as Officers in the Canadian Forces. Normally, graduates serve at least five years with the Canadian Forces. The application deadline to ROTP is in January for Basic Officer Training in July and admission the following September.

Typically, successful applicants enter the Canadian Military College (CMC) System as an Officer Cadet, where they receive an education that balances academics, leadership, bilingualism and athletics. If there are more qualified candidates than the CMC System can accommodate or the choice of programme is not offered, such as Nursing, Physiotherapy and Pharmacy, successful applicants would be eligible to apply to any Canadian university where books, laboratory fees, and student fees are covered, and students receive a monthly salary.

Since an application to ROTP is also an application to the Canadian Military College System, all candidates are assessed against an aptitude test, a medical examination, and an interview. Military Potential is an assessment of Aptitudes, Personality Traits, and the choice of occupation. Academic Performance is evaluated, with a candidate's top six most recent marks related to the requirements of the chosen programme. Officer Cadets are obliged to maintain satisfactory academic and military performance throughout the programme.

Squadrons of the Cadet Wing

The undergraduate student body, known as the Cadet Wing, is sub-divided into three smaller groupings called Squadrons, under the guidance and supervision of senior cadets. The squadrons are currently named in honour of local communities. Squadrons are subdivided into flights and sections.

In the 1960s, the three squadrons were named Cartier, Maisonneuve and Champlain in honour of historical figures.


When they arrive at the Officer Cadets Division, the officer-cadets have already chosen their service. They are soon separated into three squadrons (Richelieu, Iberville or Tracy).

The preuniversity programme features modern, diversified teaching methods: workshops, introduction to research methods, laboratories, group projects, oral and multimedia presentations. The staff provide academic support in the form of workshops, tutorials, and supplementary courses.

The cadets live in the Cartier Building or the Champlain Building and eat in the Dextraze Pavilion (completed in 1993). The cadets can not leave the campus unless it is a weekend, however some weekends are used for military training.

During the week, the daily routine consists of inspection, running, breakfast, classes, sports, and studies. The officer-cadets attend academic classes and undergo military training. The military training is in the form of drill, cartography, compass use and two major field exercises each year. The cadets can take roles as cadet squadron leader, deputy cadet squadron leader, cadet flight leader and section commander. Outside classes, bilingualism is promoted by French / English weeks.

On the weekend, with the exception of military training, the students are largely free.


In Fall 2007, the federal government reopened the military college at Saint-Jean. The military college was slated for closure in 1995. On July 9, 1994, the federal and provincial governments agreed to maintain it as a non degree-granting college.

The reopening of RMC Saint-Jean in 2007 greatly differs from the original college which opened in 1952 and from the RMC of Canada located in Kingston. The new RMC Saint-Jean emcompasses the Canadian Forces Management and Development School, one of the oldest CF training establishments in the country. It is also the home to the Non-Commissioned Member Professional Development Centre, which develops the prospective future senior leaders of the Canadian Forces NCM Corps.

Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, inaugurated the Royal Military College Saint-Jean on May 24, 2008, and she presented the new college coat of arms to the Commandant, Colonel Francois Pion.

The Commandant of Royal Military College Saint-Jean reports to the Commander, Canadian Defence Academy (CDA). RMC Saint-Jean also has its own board of governors. Cadets at RMC Saint-Jean are issued scarlet uniforms. The first-year program at RMC Saint-Jean is freeing up beds at RMC allowing more Regular Officer Training Program (ROTP) cadets to attend RMC rather than civilian universities.

Features and buildings

Richelieu Squadron uses Cartier Block and Lahaie pavilion. Vanier, DeLéry, Dextraze, and Massey Pavillons along with the Old Mess are shared. The campus provides state-of-the-art technological support: library, well-equipped laboratories, ample supplies of learning materials, and Internet access. RMC Saint-Jean infrastructure is currently used by the Canadian Forces located at ASU Saint-Jean and by a non-profit corporation called Campus du Fort Saint-Jean (Quebec), which arranges for the upkeep of many of the educational facilities and leases them out to educational institutions such as the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) for their local program while also renting out others for short events such as large banquets or conventions. The Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings lists six recognized Federal Heritage Buildings on the Royal Military College Saint-Jean grounds:

Designated buildings

Other Buildings


The museum is located in Fort Saint-Jean on the campus of the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. The museum mandate is to collect, conserve, research and display material relating to the history of the CMR, its former cadets and its site, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Guided tours are offered. The museum contains collections of military memorabilia, military artefacts, maps, models, videos and historical objects. The site has been occupied since 1666 by different garrisons, a shipyard and a military college. The CMR Ex-Cadet Foundation manages the museum which recognizes more than 325 years (1666â€"1995) of military history at the fortifications located on the Richelieu River. The flora and centennial trees enhance the site. The RMC Saint-Jean art collection includes a bronze sculpture of a cadet 'Truth Duty Valour (1976)', by William McElcheran (Canadian 1927-1999) “Presented to ‘le college militaire royal de saint jean’ by the commandant, staff & cadets of R.M.C., Canada on the occasion of the sister College’s visit, 12â€"17 May 1976”

H18424 Lt Cdr (Ret`d) David Daniel Ruddy founded the CMR Museum in 1965 in order to exhibit artefacts from Fort Saint-Jean and souvenirs from Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean. He was the CMR Museum Director from 1965 to 1988. In 1965 artefacts and documents were moved from the CMR library to the old guard house built in the 19th century by the Royal Engineers.

The museum club began as a club for cadets in 1972 with the head of the museum club serving as Curator. Officer Cadets were part of the team that converted the old guard house into a proper museum. Office Cadets designed diorama(s) used in the museum and the business card from the museum featured a picture of one of the officer cadet's model soldiers on it.

The museum was opened in the old guardhouse at the northern entrance to the College from 1974â€"1998. The three small cells were used to display the historic periods (1666-1951) and the large cell the drunk tank was for the display of memorabilia from CMR, which had opened in 1952. The CMR museum was opened on special occasions until it was recognized as an official museum of the Canadian Forces in May 1973.

The museum was closed from 1998â€"2003. The Museum Committee of the CMR Ex-Cadet Club Foundation was founded on January 22, 2003. When the museum was accredited a Canadian Forces Museum, the Museum Committee became an independent entity separate from the Foundation.

In 2006, while Hélène Ladouceur served as curator, the museum site moved from the old guardhouse to the entrance of the former Protestant Chapel. LGen(ret.) and Senator Roméo A. Dallaire presided over the official opening, which took place on March 29, 2006.

Eric Ruel became the museum curator in 2006. The museum web site was created in June 2007.

In May 2012, while Eric Ruel served as curator, the museum relocated in the historical pavilion «les Forges». The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 10:00 to 17:00, from May 24 until September 1.

Archaeology Digs have taken place on the site from 2009 to 2013 through the Quebec Archaeo Month, an initiative of Archéo-Québec. Funded by the Directorate of History and Heritage of the Canadian Forces as part of a five-year agreement between the Fort Saint-Jean Museum, Laval University and the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, the Archaeology Digs are supported by the Corporation du Fort Saint-Jean and archaeologists from Parks Canada. The museum is a member of the Canadian Museums Association, Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), Virtual Museum of Canada and the Organization of Military Museums of Canada Inc. The museum is an accredited museum within the Canadian Forces Museum System. The museum has formed a cooperating association of friends of the museum to assist with projects.



Naval, Military, & Air memorials



With college numbers and rank held as commandant

Notable people

Hall of Fame

Royal Military College Saint-Jean inaugurated its Hall of Fame in 7 September 2013. Potential candidates must have studied at, been employed as a member of the faculty or staff at, or have had a notable involvement with Royal Military College Saint-Jean over the course of its existence since 1952. The Hall of Fame contributors include the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean Ex-Cadet Foundation, the Class of 1963 and the Fort Saint-Jean Branch of the RMC Club.


Shown with college numbers.


  • Roch Carrier, author of Le Chandail de hockey or The Hockey Sweater, and later National Librarian of Canada.
  • Jacques Castonguay
  • Janine Krieber, wife of former Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion.

In fiction and popular culture

The College's central place in Canadian military circles has made it the setting for novels, plays, films and other cultural works.

  • 4377 Lt. Gen. Richard J. Evraire, CD (CMR/RMC 1959) wrote the play Chambre 204 (Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu: Editions Mille Roches, 1982) inspired by his time at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean.



  • H15198 Dr. Jacques Castonguay “Pourquoi a-t-on fermé le Collège militaire de Saint-Jean?” Montreal, Art Global, 2005
  • H15198 Dr. Jacques Castonguay "Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean" Meridien 1989
  • H15198 Dr. Jacques Castonguay "Le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean: une université à caractère différent" Septentrion, 1992 ISBN 2-921114-78-X, 9782921114783
  • H15198 Jacques Castonguay "The unknown Fort, Editions du Levrier" 1966
  • H15198 Jacques Castonguay "Les defies du Fort Saint-Jean, Editions du Richelieu" 1975
  • Peter J.S. Dunnett, "Royal Roads Military College 1940â€"1990, A Pictorial Retrospective” (Royal Roads Military College, Victoria, British Columbia, 1990)
  • 4377 Colonel Richard J. Evraire, CD (CMR/RMC 1959) "Chambre 204" (Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu: Editions Mille Roches, 1982)
  • Jean-Yves Gravel. "La fondation du Collège militaire royale de Saint Jean." Revue d'histoire de l'amérique française 27, no. 2 (sept. 1973).
  • H16511 Dr. Richard A. Preston "To Serve Canada: A History of the Royal Military College since the Second World War", Ottawa, University of Ottawa Press, 1991.
  • H16511 Dr. Richard A. Preston, "Canada's Royal Military College: A History of the Royal Military College" Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1969.
  • 4669 Toivo Roht (CMR RMC 1960) "Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, Royal Roads Military College and Royal Military College of Canada 1955â€"2006" 2007
  • H1877 R. Guy C. Smith (editor) "As You Were! Ex-Cadets Remember" In 2 Volumes. Volume I: 1876â€"1918. Volume II: 1919â€"1984. Royal Military College of Canada Kingston, Ontario. The Royal Military Colleges Club of Canada 1984

See also

  • Canadian Military Colleges
    • Royal Military College of Canada
    • Royal Roads Military College
  • Royal Naval College of Canada
  • Canadian Interuniversity Sport
  • Canadian government scientific research organizations
  • Canadian university scientific research organizations
  • Canadian industrial research and development organizations


External links

  • Royal Military College Saint-Jean
  • Fondation des Anciens du CMR de St-Jean (in French)
  • Campus du Fort Saint-Jean (in French)

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