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A Different Type of Commitment
By: Barry Hayes
Royal Military College
Royal Military College

Some people think they have to jump out of a plane to fight terrorism in Afghanistan right away. Others think boot camp is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No girls. No life. The misconceptions come in large numbers, but the truth about life choices as a basketball player at the Royal Military College may shock you. In a time where thousands of students across the country continue to deal with student loans and their impending debt, while dealing with the uncertainty of finding a job after an undergraduate degree, RMC may possess a viable option for some.
There are varying degrees of living in Kingston, Ontario while playing university basketball at RMC. While these options may vary, life as a basketball player for the Paladins stays the same. Self-discipline, hard work, and maximizing potential are expected on the court.

Unfortunately, over the past few years the men’s basketball program has fallen on hard times as the Paladins’ last conference win was recorded almost three years ago. Inheriting years of futility is Scott James, now entering his second year as head coach. The huge rebuilding effort gets a boost with his first recruiting class, headed by Halifax point guard Justin Hill, to mix with the return of four starters. However, there is still a long way to go before James is content with putting his stamp on the program.

We are still a long way away from winning a lot of games at this point,” says James.

We significantly upgraded this year at the point guard and 2-guard spots, while our front line is definitely CIS calibre, but we are still battling ourselves in believing we can be successful and trying to put in a consistent effort all the time.”

There are three ways to get into RMC.

Current players like having a guaranteed job after graduation, small class sizes, great diversity, and intimate surroundings where everyone knows everyone,” says James.

In terms of career potential, a 2nd Lieutenant starts somewhere in the neighbourhood of about $48,000/year. After 5 years and promotions go to plan, a person can be making up towards $80,000 as a captain.”

ROTP (Regular Officer Training Program)
- live on campus
- everything educational (e.g. tuition, books, etc.) is paid for
- you are paid a salary of roughly $500+ per month
- medical and dental coverage
- annual vacation with pay
- required 5 years of military service after graduation with a starting salary of $48,000

RETP (Reserve Entry)
- live on campus
- after successfully completing courses, you are reimbursed 50% of tuition (approx. $762)
- paid for summer military training
- if you maintain a 70% average, alumni support provides $2,500 to first-year students and $1,000 for second, third, and fourth-year students
- you become an officer in the Reserve force with no guaranteed career in the Canadian Forces and no mandatory military service required

- do not live on campus
- do not receive funding
- do not require uniform
- do not require a military commitment of any kind
- wear a golf or collared shirt with khakis while everyone else is in uniform

The most important information for anyone considering RMC is the deadline for applications,” added James.

Applications must be received at Canadian Forces Recruiting Centres in specific cities by January 15 of that academic year. One must have a minimum of 70% academic average, of which English and Math are required to be 70% or higher.”

Another unique opportunity existing for players is to represent Canada abroad at international basketball tournaments for military members (e.g. World Military Games and World Military Basketball Championships).

More information on the basketball program at the Royal Military College can be found at: