Sir George Williams University. Contingent of the COTC

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Sir George Williams University. Contingent of the COTC

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The Sir George Williams University Contingent of the Canadian Officers Training Corps was organized in 1950 at the request of University principal Kenneth E. Norris. The COTC was a subdivision of the University Reserves Program, subsidized and commissioned by the Department of National Defence. The objective was to introduce students to service life. The COTC offered training opportunities to those who wished to pursue a service career. Official authorization for the formation of the unit was granted in 1951 and quarters were obtained in a building at 1180 Bishop Street. Major John McDonald was the first Sir George Williams Contingent commanding officer, from 1951-1954. Training methods included a theoretical phase in which the intellectual awareness of national security issues was taught, and a practical phase. A mess committee was responsible for organizing special events. In 1956 the contingent moved to 772 Sherbrooke St. West.

As a result of major alterations in defence policy after the Korean War (1950-1953), the Department of National Defence set new goals. One primary objective was to reduce expenditures. It was concluded that university reserves programs no longer provided officers for the reserves in sufficient numbers to support their cost. In 1964, meetings were held between the Department of National Defence, the Military Studies Committee, and the board of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada to discuss the future of all Canadian Officers Training Corps units; 50 per cent of reserve units were reduced that year. The University Naval Training Division, the Canadian Officers Training Corps, and the University Reserves Training Plan ended in 1968. The Sir George Williams University contingent was disbanded May 31, 1968. Major John Hall was the last commanding officer. To allow other means for undergraduates to serve in the reserves, the Reserve Officer University Training Plan (ROUPT) was instituted.


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Created 2015-06-25




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