Incoming commandant lays out plans for Royal Military College

The incoming commandant plans to tackle sexual misconduct within the military from the ground up at RMC.

With a final sign-off, a history-making assignment has come to an end for the first female commandant of Royal Military College. Rear Admiral Josee Kurtz has officially handed over command of the college to Brig. Gen. Pascal Godbout.

“When I received the call and was offered the position, I was beyond thrilled. I believe that working here at a college is extremely important because we are shaping the future leaders of the Canadian Forces.”

Kurtz was sworn in in 2021. During her two years at the helm, she navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and was tasked with leading the school community through the tragic deaths of four young cadets last year. Kurtz says sexual assaults and misconduct within the military and RMC were top of her mind when she was sworn in.

“One of the directions and elements of guidance I received at the time was to work at changing the culture, evolving the culture here at RMC into an environment that is more welcoming of everybody and anybody, regardless of their background.”

It’s a focus that will carry over for Godbout, as RMC and Canada’s other military college in Quebec will be undergoing a review, ordered by the federal government. The move was announced late last year in response to the Arbour report that called for major changes in the Armed Forces in the face of ongoing sexual misconduct scandals.

“We are working to shape professional leaders of the institution,” Godbout said. “As such, we need to hold them accountable from the start with a high level of professional conduct. We have people coming from across society, and we need to expose them to the values and ethos of the Canadian Forces, and make sure they embody them in everything they do.”

Godbout plans on hitting the ground running at RMC and keep the college on the cutting edge of the ever-changing landscape of the Canadian Forces.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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