The following is a letter from retired navy lieutenant Chris Theal, Royal Military Colleges Foundation president, to the Royal Military College graduating class of 2020.
As an ex-cadet, I remember my final days leading to graduation, the excitement to finally be done four years of intense academics and training, and the anticipation of finally starting my career as an officer in (the Royal Canadian Navy). The end of exams seemed like light-years away and in an instant, they were done and drillfest was the last hurdle prior to stepping into the real world of service.
As a grad of the class of 1992, what we could never have imagined today was not being able to see you, our future leaders, walk through the Memorial Arch to mass celebration, or see you grace the stage after four long, hard years of work to get your degrees.
Nothing in your training or education could have prepared you for the times that we are living in now. Each and every one of you has taken this disruption of normality in stride, with poise and grit. You have demonstrated perseverance; an ability to adapt and overcome in the face of uncertainty; to leap over obstacles; and these traits set you up so well to succeed in your future careers as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces.