Canada's RMC: A History of the Royal Military College (Heritage) (Paperback)
A little less than a hundred years ago Alexander Mackenzie founded the Royal Military College of Canada and ever since it has been producing leaders for this country. From its inception it has been distinctive among military colleges and academies for two reasons: it was the first to be established in a colonial dependency and it had a double function, the preparation of cadets for civilian careers as well as for military commissions. This is the first complete history of the college, an impartial discussion of its strengths and weaknesses, of its academic development and military tradition.
Professor Preston trances the turbulent career of the college from its beginnings, through the political upheavals of the 1800s and the following years when it was reformed to produce an important nucleus of the Canadian Expeditionary Force officer corps in World War I. The democratization of Canadian education in the between-wars period was matched at RMC: it began accepting Canadians from all levels, a process that was developed further with the introduction of the Regular Officers Training Plan after World War II.
Closed during the war, the college reopened again in 1948 despite attempts to prevent its revival or fundamentally change its nature. The author was the first new civilian appointment at the reorganized college and reports at first hand the development of the school: the tri-service scheme, the addition of specialized humanities course, and the attempt to combine traditional discipline with modern conditions in an academic atmosphere.
Professor Preston has provided an account of an integral part of Canada's development, a definitive history which describes the part played by this national college in the shaping of a nation.