Academics at Military College
There is no doubt about it, Royal Military College offers a very academically rigorous program of study. Typically students at RMC carry seven subjects as opposed to 4 or 5 that civilian university carry. In addition all students must take a Military Leadership and Management course each semester as well as a demanding Physical Fitness courses. There are challenging one hour mid-term exams in each course and formal 3-hour exams at Christmas and Year-End. The photo at the right shows a typical formal exam setting. There is a formal exam protocol where students sit quietly as the exams are placed on the desk in front of them. They are forbidden to even touch the exam booklet until the supervising professor directs the class to begin the exam.
In addition to the two formal Balls each year there are two formal mess dinners to attend. A mess dinner is a very formal setting with a rigorous protocol. It starts by everyone lining up in pairs and marching into the dining room and then standing behind their chairs to wait for the President of the Mess to sit first. Once seated there are five courses to be served. Everyone waits until the last person is served and then watches the Mess President to begin the course before eating. At the end of the dinner the port wine is passed around before the speeches begin. During this entire process that can last three hours no one is allowed to leave the table so its very important to use the washroom before the dinner.
The final formal event is by far the most intense - the
Graduation Parade - especially when you are one of the
graduates. This takes hours and hours of practice in the months
leading up to graduation and the parade itself usually lasts 2
to 3 hours. It is not unusual for one or two cadets to
pass-out on the parade square - often suffering some injury when
their limp body hits the pavement.
You can read my thoughts on the true value of a military college education in Chapter 5 under Education "Military College".