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Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC

SeaKingTacco

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daftandbarmy said:
For those who aren't aware of this particular horror show: SWEAT = 'Stupid Women Eating All the Time'. Apparently, they were so proud of this that even made a special pin...

RRMC Memories

Captain Laura Kissmann (Barr) joined RMC in 1984 and then transferred to RRMC in 1986 where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Physics and Physical Oceanography. She spent eleven years in the regular forces in the North Bay Fighter Group / Canadian NORAD Region HQ; Air Command HQ in Winnipeg; Wing Operations in Cold Lake, AB; and the CF Aerospace Warfare Centre in Ottawa. She remains a full-time air force reservist and lives in Carleton Place, ON.

Laura:  I actually am not certain of the date but I think I was the fourth or fifth class of girls.  And people often ask me because I graduated in the first class of girls with Roads, how hard was it at Royal Roads or RMC and I’ve always felt girls were more integrated here at Roads.  And part of that was because you had Royal Rodents who had come in and stayed in fourth year at RMC and they weren’t ready for girls so they’re our seniors and certainly I had a few experiences myself where they had that bitterness and lack of acceptance.  And my year they’d made a pin – I don’t know if you ever heard of this – it was a pin and it was a picture of Miss Piggy and it was the “NO” symbol – and she had the pillbox on – she was dressed like a cadet and I don’t know what it said on it but the symbol at the time was girls at military college were considered SWEAT– “stupid women eating all the time”.

Laurie:  Sweat busters.

Laura:  It was a sweat buster pin, that’s right. That’s right it was the year of the Ghostbusters. I was telling you about the stress – they went around the college and woke us up in the middle of the night and showed us this pin and yeah… you know that wasn’t fun.  In first year I was trying my hardest and you felt like you were keeping up with the guys and being accepted and then – just to have that little reminder that you weren’t really as well accepted there… was hard.

https://everitas.rmcclub.ca/rrmc-memories-9/

I knew both Laura and Laurie (Laura more so, as we were in the same Flight). I was in an RRMC class year that included women, so to me it was always a natural part of life at RRMC. I thought the “SWEAT” and “LCWB” thing was, at very best, a very poor and not very funny joke and at worst, incredibly stupid. It was a good example of how unofficial culture, if not ruthlessly stamped out, can have very negative effects on a unit. I saw the effects of unofficial culture actually lead to the disbandment of the CAR about a decade later.

The women that were in my year, I generally had a great deal of respect for. I knew they had it harder than I did (And I was barely hacking how hard it was), even just from the perspective having to keep up with a physical fitness regime That was designed for males and exceedingly difficult to boot, not to mention fitting in to a culture that was 9/10ths british boys school by design and academically demanding on top of everything else. I hope that I was not one of the “jerks”, but looking back over the decades, I cannot be sure. All that I can say now is that if I made things harder on my female colleagues than they needed to be, I am truly sorry.
 

daftandbarmy

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SeaKingTacco said:
I knew both Laura and Laurie (Laura more so, as we were in the same Flight). I was in an RRMC class year that included women, so to me it was always a natural part of life at RRMC. I thought the “SWEAT” and “LCWB” thing was, at very best, a very poor and not very funny joke and at worst, incredibly stupid. It was a good example of how unofficial culture, if not ruthlessly stamped out, can have very negative effects on a unit. I saw the effects of unofficial culture actually lead to the disbandment of the CAR about a decade later.

The women that were in my year, I generally had a great deal of respect for. I knew they had it harder than I did (And I was barely hacking how hard it was), even just from the perspective having to keep up with a physical fitness regime That was designed for males and exceedingly difficult to boot, not to mention fitting in to a culture that was 9/10ths british boys school by design and academically demanding on top of everything else. I hope that I was not one of the “jerks”, but looking back over the decades, I cannot be sure. All that I can say now is that if I made things harder on my female colleagues than they needed to be, I am truly sorry.

It's not just a RRMC/RMC thing.... they had similar issues in the UK, at about the same time, with integrating women into Sandhurst. And, as described below, the vast majority of male soldiers (like yourself) were not a$$holes:

"While many men in the military are both good people and professional at work, toxic pockets of poor behaviour still cause difficulties. The influence of the Old Boys’ Network — of Eton, of Masonic handshakes — still persists, and in my view explains why the Army is struggling to recruit and retain women in 2020.

Back in 1983, it was made fairly clear to us that many in the Army did not really want us. Among the senior officers at Sandhurst there was a hardcore group of what I call ‘Red-Lighters’, who wanted to stop the progress of women altogether.

We were denied attendance at firepower demonstrations, for example, as ‘it would be all about tanks and armour and women would probably be bored’. We were told never to talk about ‘women’s problems’ and often heard men tell derogatory jokes."

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8558139/Senior-female-Army-officer-reveals-women-march-Stripper-theme-tune.html
 

Eye In The Sky

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PuckChaser said:
CMC should be better than the national average, but being at the national average for post-secondary is not, in itself, a crisis. It means there's a culture problem where the students are still acting like normal university kids than potential military officers and leaders.

If they're at RMC, they are already Officers.  Maybe not 'trained' or 'OFP' but...they are still Officers.  I, for one, expect more from young Officers than I do from BMQ Recruits, the same I as expect more from Snr NCOs than I do Jnr NCOs. 

We need to rid ourselves of this image/concept that they are 'merely students', because they are not.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Eye In The Sky said:
If they're at RMC, they are already Officers.  Maybe not 'trained' or 'OFP' but...they are still Officers.  I, for one, expect more from young Officers than I do from BMQ Recruits, the same I as expect more from Snr NCOs than I do Jnr NCOs. 

We need to rid ourselves of this image/concept that they are 'merely students', because they are not.

Or maybe they are, in which case they should be going to a civi school....
 

SeaKingTacco

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Bruce Monkhouse said:
Or maybe they are, in which case they should be going to a civi school....

Look- they are both students and young, inexperienced officers in training. They are going to get “human relations 101” wrong from time to time. Expect that, regardless of how many lectures, seminars, programs or supervision we throw at RMC cadets.

If we do not, as an institution, have the stomach to correct what is correctable (not all crimes are equally heinous) and get rid of those who cannot get with the program, then we might as well pack it in.
 

PuckChaser

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Eye In The Sky said:
If they're at RMC, they are already Officers.  Maybe not 'trained' or 'OFP' but...they are still Officers.  I, for one, expect more from young Officers than I do from BMQ Recruits, the same I as expect more from Snr NCOs than I do Jnr NCOs. 

We need to rid ourselves of this image/concept that they are 'merely students', because they are not.

Are they? Or are they Officer Cadets, without a commissioning scroll? Save for a few UTPNCMs, they do not become commissioned officers until they march back through that arch in at the end of Year 4. We absolutely should expect more out of them, but we also need to train them at "what right looks like". The only military training they've had in Year 1 is BMOQ Mod 1. Seemingly if there's enough of a critical mass conducting themselves contrary to the values of the Institution, then there's got to be a lot of blame placed on the BMOQ Mod 1 TP and the CMC culture/supervision.
 

FJAG

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PuckChaser said:
Are they? Or are they Officer Cadets, without a commissioning scroll? Save for a few UTPNCMs, they do not become commissioned officers until they march back through that arch in at the end of Year 4. We absolutely should expect more out of them, but we also need to train them at "what right looks like". The only military training they've had in Year 1 is BMOQ Mod 1. Seemingly if there's enough of a critical mass conducting themselves contrary to the values of the Institution, then there's got to be a lot of blame placed on the BMOQ Mod 1 TP and the CMC culture/supervision.

Officer Cadets are "officers" pursuant to the definition of "officer" in s 2(1) of the National Defence Act which reads:

officer means

(a) a person who holds Her Majesty’s commission in the Canadian Forces,

(b) a person who holds the rank of officer cadet in the Canadian Forces, and

(c) any person who pursuant to law is attached or seconded as an officer to the Canadian Forces; (officier)

:cheers:
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=PuckChaser]We absolutely should expect more out of them, but we also need to train them at "what right looks like".
[/quote]

I know where you're coming from but also don't think 1st year of university is where they should be learning what right looks like. They've arguably had 16+ years input already. Me and you can tell them what right looks like in the CAF but I suspect they're either on board already, or think it doesn't apply to them.
 

blacktriangle

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I seem to remember there being condoms available in the RMC barracks because they were worried about OCdts knocking each other up, and that they couldn't be trusted (or bothered) to grab rubbers at the MIR or on the economy like everyone else. Also anecdotal, but from what a few OCdts told me, there was no shortage of sex being had (including relationships between those whom a power imbalance existed, maybe someone who understands RMC better could elaborate what that meant exactly)

Just another reason why the military shouldn't focus on running a degree granting university...let the kids go be kids at a regular school, and then enter RMC when they are ready to focus on becoming leaders.
 

PuckChaser

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Jarnhamar said:
I know where you're coming from but also don't think 1st year of university is where they should be learning what right looks like. They've arguably had 16+ years input already. Me and you can tell them what right looks like in the CAF but I suspect they're either on board already, or think it doesn't apply to them.

We can't simultaneously say we need to be better than the general population but then toss up our hands and throw someone away as a lost cause at 19 years old. Firing everyone that does something wrong doesn't change the statistics, the incidents still happen. What we need to do is train a lot of the behaviours out of people. There's clearly big red lines that can never be crossed, but we're expecting people to know what's acceptable in a workplace without them every having been in a workplace before. Its also a unique situation that doesn't happen in a lot of workplaces where you're living in close quarters with coed coworkers 24 hours a day.

It starts with changing the culture at CMC (the students making their own pins to harass people made me shudder, screamed toxic culture) so that folks feel comfortable being that bystander to stop it at the lowest level. Peer disdain for your actions are a huge driver of change in personal behaviours for most people.
 

daftandbarmy

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PuckChaser said:
We can't simultaneously say we need to be better than the general population but then toss up our hands and throw someone away as a lost cause at 19 years old. Firing everyone that does something wrong doesn't change the statistics, the incidents still happen. What we need to do is train a lot of the behaviours out of people. There's clearly big red lines that can never be crossed, but we're expecting people to know what's acceptable in a workplace without them every having been in a workplace before. Its also a unique situation that doesn't happen in a lot of workplaces where you're living in close quarters with coed coworkers 24 hours a day.

It starts with changing the culture at CMC (the students making their own pins to harass people made me shudder, screamed toxic culture) so that folks feel comfortable being that bystander to stop it at the lowest level. Peer disdain for your actions are a huge driver of change in personal behaviours for most people.

I am continually amazed at how much better younger people these days are at being respectful to those of different genders etc than I was when I was their age.

These people either didn't get the memo or we have inculcated them, unwittingly, with values from the 70s....
 

Jarnhamar

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PuckChaser said:
We can't simultaneously say we need to be better than the general population but then toss up our hands and throw someone away as a lost cause at 19 years old. Firing everyone that does something wrong doesn't change the statistics, the incidents still happen. What we need to do is train a lot of the behaviours out of people. There's clearly big red lines that can never be crossed, but we're expecting people to know what's acceptable in a workplace without them every having been in a workplace before. Its also a unique situation that doesn't happen in a lot of workplaces where you're living in close quarters with coed coworkers 24 hours a day.

It starts with changing the culture at CMC (the students making their own pins to harass people made me shudder, screamed toxic culture) so that folks feel comfortable being that bystander to stop it at the lowest level. Peer disdain for your actions are a huge driver of change in personal behaviours for most people.

That's a fair point about people knowing what's acceptable and what's not in the work place when they've never worked.

My take is someone who goes through elementary school then high-school should be exposed to enough social interaction, rules and conversations that they should have a good baseline of right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable going into the workplace even at 18 or 19. I don't have a lot of sympathy or time for a 19 year old that "doesn't know any better" when it comes to this stuff.

Statistically if we get stricter and do just start firing people for violating the rules then we're bound to start pushing them out of the system faster.

44% the court martials from this month to Feb 2021 include sexual assault as a charge. Seems like a lot.
 

FJAG

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Jarnhamar said:
...
44% the court martials from this month to Feb 2021 include sexual assault as a charge. Seems like a lot.

In the JAG's Annual Report for 2018-2019, sexual assault constituted 5.30% of the charges disposed of by courts martial, up from 4.41% the previous year.

See here.

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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FJAG said:
In the JAG's Annual Report for 2018-2019, sexual assault constituted 5.30% of the charges disposed of by courts martial, up from 4.41% the previous year.

See here.

:cheers:

So, JAG has reformed and started obeying the law and producing the report as mandated by statue?

Was the JAG who refused to do so ever reported to his provincial bar?
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
So, JAG has reformed and started obeying the law and producing the report as mandated by statue?

Was the JAG who refused to do so ever reported to his provincial bar?

:rofl:
 

Kilted

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Are they going to release an approved list of terms to refer to medals or do away with medals altogether?
 

MJP

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Kilted said:
Are they going to release an approved list of terms to refer to medals or do away with medals altogether?

Holy fucking red herring.....
 

blacktriangle

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Kilted said:
Are they going to release an approved list of terms to refer to medals or do away with medals altogether?

Didn't they do away with them already? I still seem to be missing one I'm entitled to, so I thought they just gave up?  ;D
 

Kilted

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reveng said:
Didn't they do away with them already? I still seem to be missing one I'm entitled to, so I thought they just gave up?  ;D

Well maybe...

https://www.mint.ca/store/coins/2020-recognition-medal--magnet-prod3670019

Apparently this is what they decided to do with covid.
 

Eye In The Sky

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PuckChaser said:
Are they? Or are they Officer Cadets, without a commissioning scroll?

Just saw that FJAG already posted the QR & O, Vol 1 piece.  In essence, they are both.

Save for a few UTPNCMs, they do not become commissioned officers until they march back through that arch in at the end of Year 4. We absolutely should expect more out of them, but we also need to train them at "what right looks like". The only military training they've had in Year 1 is BMOQ Mod 1. Seemingly if there's enough of a critical mass conducting themselves contrary to the values of the Institution, then there's got to be a lot of blame placed on the BMOQ Mod 1 TP and the CMC culture/supervision.

I completely agree with your piece in yellow.  That is what I've been advocating for;  educate on the standard expected, enforce the standard expected and hold those accountable who do not abide - including those who 'witness and do nothing'.  Depending on the severity of the conduct, corrective actions could be as mild as a stern talking to, as harsh as a release from the CAF...and anything in between. 

Are BMQ recruits going to get the same "forgiveness" at CFLRS for the same conduct?  I don't think so, I hope not.  The expected standard needs to be made clear and enforced from the get-go, for all.

RMC OCdts/NCdts, which the article is about, don't seem to fit the "the only military training they've had in Year 1 is BMOQ...". 
 
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