2020-2025 Strategic Plan

2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Introductory Words by the Commandant and Academic Director

In recent years, Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC Saint-Jean) has experienced a phase of rapid growth driven by its optimization plan initiated in November 2013 by the Commander Canadian Defence Academy (CDA), and by its return to university status announced by the Minister of National Defence on May 17, 2016. This important transition period is in line with the vision expressed in Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secured, Engaged, which was officialized in June 2017. It allows the College to optimize its human, material and infrastructure resources, in order to prepare for the full reintegration of its university status among Quebec’s universities. This restoration of RMC Saint-Jean as a degree-granting institution is an important asset that adds to its unique, diverse and international character. The College can now move ahead and become the innovative university it aspires to be to confidently train future leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

To draw on its full potential and contribution within the CAF, RMC Saint-Jean executives began a strategic planning process in the fall of 2019 that includes several consultations. This strategic plan is the result of this work and serves to define the desired state of RMC Saint-Jean for the next five years. It sets out a clear action plan to ensure that we maximize our strengths and seize the many opportunities that have become possible. This strategic plan will serve as a compass until 2025 towards the achievement of the mission consistently with its vision.

During this period, a major transition will take place, making RMC Saint-Jean a higher education institution that can award its own degrees. This strategic plan will enable RMC Saint-Jean to implement strategies to develop renewed and optimized programs, become a recognized military university, provide a fulfilling living and working environment for all, and optimize its organizational resources and processes.

We will thus adopt a culture of committing values and excellence that will enable RMC Saint-Jean to reach its full capacity and maturity in an educational environment marked by francophone spirit and dynamic academic research.

Col Pilon Signature
Colonel Nicolas JJL Pilon
RMC Saint-Jean Crest
Mr Groen Signature
Mr. James Groen
Academic Director

1. History

A 350-year military stronghold on the banks of the Richelieu River, the RMC Saint-Jean site is a true witness to Canada’s Conquest wars that pitted the French against the British and later Canadians against the American invader. Formerly known as CMR, RMC Saint-Jean, opened its doors in 1952; the College was then the only Canadian institution to offer French training to future officers. In April 1971, an affiliation was ratified with the University of Sherbrooke and the agreement allowed studies to be sanctioned by a bachelor’s degree awarded by that institution. In 1985, CMR was granted the right by the province to award its own degrees and until its closure in 1995, it offered eight undergraduate university programs and several graduate programs. Between the closure of the College and its reopening in 2008, military education activities continued on the site managed by the Fort Saint-Jean Corporation, including the Officer Cadet Preparatory Year. The reopening of RMC Saint-Jean in 2008 marked a new beginning. The new program meets the requirements of the Quebec Ministry of Education and Higher Education (Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur) through a partnership with the Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu while ensuring that students can properly join the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston with the necessary requirements. In 2014, the Chief Warrant Officer Osside Profession of Arms Institute, an institution dedicated to educating senior CAF NCMs, joins the College with the mission to maintain excellence in the profession of arms. In 2019, RMC Saint-Jean is once again granted the right to award a bachelor’s degree for its university program in International Studies. Spring 2021 will see the first cohort of graduates of this program.


"Given the impact of technology and the complexity of modern conflict, the capacity for critical and creative thinking and sound judgement is increasingly required in both corps. [officers and non-commissioned members]."

Duty with Honour,



2. Mission

RMC Saint-Jean develops bilingual leaders imbued with exemplary values that serve Canada with distinction.

  • The training students receive fosters the simultaneous integration of military, intellectual and critical, and professional university education.
  • University students receive comprehensive training against four pillars that include university education, bilingualism, leadership and physical fitness.
  • Our institution demonstrates that it meets the needs of the CAF in an active and dynamic way. It is able to advise the CAF based on expertise to help define and accomplish its missions.

3. Vision

A bilingual and innovative university recognized for the excellence of the leaders it develops for service to the country.

  • RMC Saint-Jean sees itself as an institutional tool of creativity and high knowledge, while maintaining knowledge and awareness of a tradition and history, and being a model of order and experience at the service of the country.
  • RMC Saint-Jean is developing all human capabilities to meet the most difficult challenges of today and tomorrow.

In order to perform in this environment, professional military personnel must be able to adapt and be responsive, both in reflection and in action, as well as being champions of critical thinking and logical reasoning - all resulting from the benefits of education. In short, the military require warriors/scientists capable of operating in today’s and tomorrow’s complex battle space. [our translation]

Bern Horn, p, 1, The Defence Learning, Education and Training Handbook. Educating the Leader and Leading the Educated. Kingston. Canadian Academy Press, 2012.


4. Values

The core values sought in civilian and military personnel that reflect the culture we want to foster within the organization and guide decision-making at all times are:

  • cooperation - encompasses team spirit, active listening and collaboration
  • creativity - faces change with an open mind, innovates, is audacious, and maintains academic freedom
  • ethics - demonstrates honesty, integrity, justice, transparency and loyalty to colleagues, leaders and the mission of the institution
  • professionalism - continually develops expertise and demonstrates the highest level of professionalism
  • respect for others - embraces diversity, ensures inclusiveness by demonstrating acceptance, integration and participation

These will help to instill future CAF leaders with the values of truth, duty and valour that are defined as:

  • Truth - leaders who are accountable for their actions, who aspire to the highest standards put forward by RMC Saint-Jean
  • Duty - leaders who serve Canada before themselves, who obey legitimate orders, who know and respect the rules, and support the well-being of their teammates
  • Valour - leaders who respect the dignity of all human beings, show courage in the face of adversity, and defend and support ethical behaviour and decision-making

5. RMC Saint-Jean's Strenghts and Opportunities

RMC Saint-Jean will be able to benefit from its STRENGHTS in carrying out its mission. RMC Saint-Jean:

  • fosters the development of multidisciplinary programs that are not currently offered at RMC in Kingston, which will provide the CAF with useful competencies to meet the emerging and future operational needs outlined in the Defence Policy
  • fosters recruitment in the province of Quebec and other French-Canadian communities
  • provides francophones with equitable opportunities to study in their cultural environment and in their mother tongue
  • fosters the improvement of bilingualism in the officer corps
  • offers a comprehensive program focused on four pillars (academics, bilingualism, leadership and physical fitness) for students to develop the necessary skills as future officers
  • offers a unique academic curriculum that provides learning opportunities adapted to the needs of the CAF (core curriculum)
  • provides a high-level leadership program due to its size, personnel and proximity to military facilities
  • benefits from the international nature of the International Studies program, which allows to offer scientific research products in security and defense
  • enables a personalized approach adapted to student needs thanks to its size, responsiveness and flexibility
  • delivers professional military education to CAF senior non-comissioned members through the Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside Institute
  • benefits from its fully diverse population through its civilian and military personnel, and its university and professional students
  • benefits from the dedication of its employees and their sense of belonging
  • benefits from support services through the Fort Saint-Jean Corporation
  • dwells in a privileged historical location that contributes to its identity and military character that is highlighted by its museum
  • benefits from close collaboration with RMC in Kingston
  • benefits from its proximity to six Quebec universities
  • benefits from the public support towards the CAF Defence Policy

RMC Saint-Jean will seek to maximize its OPPORTUNITIES while reaching its strategic objectives. The RMC will seek to:

  • maximize the number of officers who can be trained at a Canadian Military College
  • benefit from the initiatives identified by the RMC in response to requests from the Special Staff Assistance Visit and the Auditor General of Canada’s Fall of 2017 Report
  • improve the military leadership development program
  • develop new academic programs tailored to the needs of the CAF
  • optimize its university programs in collaboration with the RMC
  • offer distance courses in its areas of expertise
  • support recruitment for sports-study opportunities and the International Studies program
  • develop university research through access to project and research funds
  • create research partnerships with other universities and other military academies
  • strengthen its ties with the Ex-Cadet Foundation
  • expand its sports programs to reflect its growth

6. Goals and Strategies

The development and advancement of RMC Saint-Jean over the next five years will focus on four strategic goals, each of which with specific objectives. The implementation of values will be paramount to the success of each strategy.

Here are their definitions:

Goal 1: Offer revitalized and optimized programs

Strategy: By enhancing the programs offered

The unique character of this innovative military university will be reflected in its ability to maintain, enrich and create programs that enable its increasingly diverse clientele (officers and non-commissioned members) to develop both critical thinking and an excellent understanding of the profession of arms (indoctrination). Developing more formal programs to consolidate the military leadership, the bilingualism and physical fitness pillar, including their integration into the bachelor’s degree, will ensure the institution’s unique vocation in the Quebec and Canadian academic environment. The development of new university-level programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels through educational innovation (mesh, open-ended semesters, technopedagogy, etc.) will also help to assert the college’s unique expertise in culture, conflict and security, and assure that the College can achieve its full potential.


Goal 2: Becoming a recognized military university

Strategy: By developing a university environment and culture

RMC Saint-Jean’s staff encourages innovation by promoting and rewarding research and teaching successes. RMC Saint-Jean continues to develop an organizational and financial university framework (governance and management). It recognizes academic freedom and supports academic activities such as major conferences, research centers and internal grant programs that enable diverse scientific exploration comparable to research conducted in other universities. The college has the strengths to collaborate with key institutional partners to fulfill the assigned missions (whether they are universities, CEGEPS, RMC, military academies abroad, Research Centers, businesses, other agencies of the Ministry of National Defence or the Canadian and Quebec governments). Finally, RMC Saint-Jean professors and researchers are developing state-of-the-art projects and programs, often interdisciplinary, that are relevant to the needs of the CAF and are peer-recognized (the best researchers in the field in the country). By building on the foundations and actions previously listed, the Osside Institute will become an independent professional training school for senior non-commissioned officers programs with impeccable quality training. As for RMC Saint-Jean, the reputation of its programs and diplomas will be enhanced, and the attractiveness for recruiting researchers and tomorrow’s leaders will be exceptional.


Goal 3 : Providing a fulfilling living and working environment

Strategy: Developing a unique experience and living environment

Our students live and evolve on the historic and enchanting Fort Saint-Jean site that hosts and fosters an engaging and dynamic student life. RMC Saint-Jean is an exceptional place to study: students (officer cadets and senior CAF NCMs)) are put at the forefront, and several programs support the development of excellence. A health care facility dedicated to students as well as military personnel is also located on site. The ties with RMC Saint-Jean Ex-Cadet and the Canadian Military Colleges Foundation are strengthened by a sense of pride and belonging and a desire to promote officer life and career. The commitments with the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu are plentiful and valuable as part of the “garrison city” concept, and the college is a cradle of exemplary values for the community it supports. RMC Saint-Jean is at the heart of ecofriendly and environmental initiatives aimed at providing a rewarding and healthy quality of life as part of the community.

Goal 4: Maximizing return on investment

Strategy: Optimizing resources and organizational processes

It is important to ensure sound and efficient management of the resources it is allocated to accomplish its mission, always keeping in mind the objectives and raison d’être of RMC Saint-Jean. As a developing institution in the Quebec and Canadian university environment, as a military unit and as an organization of the federal public service, RMC Saint-Jean is governed by a set of rules and processes to which it must comply. The joint team that ensures its success is composed of civilian and military personnel. Diversity must be taken into account with different rules that apply to each of these groups within the same team. The complexity of the environment in which RMC Saint-Jean operates therefore requires rigor in establishing clear organizational processes that allow a healthy management and the optimization of its resources. RMC Saint-Jean’s strategic plan defines its vision, directions and objectives. The annual business plan is the tool to provide the resources needed to make this strategic plan a success.


7. Objectives

The objectives, synchronized with well-anticipated resources, will achieve the expected goals of RMC Saint-Jean for the next five years. Appendix A presents the objectives with their timeline.



  • 1.1 Certificate in International Studies is offered (Osside Institute)
  • 1.2 Existing academic programs are revised
  • 1.3 Leadership Training Program is established
  • 1.4 International studies program deliverables are completed
  • 1.5 The four pillars are integrated into the baccalaureate
  • 1.6 Bilingualism program is formalized
  • 1.7 Vision for established sports program
  • 1.8 International exchange programs stabilized
  • 1.9 New undergraduate program and certificates are implemented
  • 1.10 Diverse client base within the programs
  • 1.11 Educational innovation culture is established
  • 1.12 New graduate programs are implemented



  • 2.1 Governance Policies are consolidated
  • 2.2 University status fully restored
  • 2.3 Osside Institute recognized as an independent school
  • 2.4 Enhanced university organizational status
  • 2.5 Research vision developed
  • 2.6 Strong recruitment efforts supported
  • 2.7 RMC Saint-Jean’s branding is developed and communicated
  • 2.8 RMC Saint-Jean’s reputation of excellence is enhanced
  • 2.9 Competitiveness of our established researchers
  • 2.10 External partnerships developed



  • 3.1 Cohesion activities are organized and promoted
  • 3.2 Health services are in place on site
  • 3.3 Enhancement and membership program are continued
  • 3.4 Engaging and dynamic student life is developed
  • 3.5 Recognition programs are maximized
  • 3.6 College alumni are mobilized in active life and recruitment
  • 3.7 Links with the Saint-Jean community are developed
  • 3.8 Ecofriendly initiatives are developed and implemented



  • 4.1 A scheme to manage teaching and research funds is implemented
  • 4.2 Organizational and administrative processes are formalized
  • 4.3 Information dissemination and management are simplified
  • 4.4 Continuity of support for 2025 is assured
  • 4.5 Collaborative process between RMC Saint-Jean and RMC in Kingston implemented
  • 4.6 Use and access to site facilities are maximized
  • 4.7 Administrative and management systems modernized
  • 4.8 Faculty is stabilized
  • 4.9 Technical and pedagogical support services are implemented
  • 4.10 Modern sports facilities are in place
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