Media - Department of Applied Military Science

The AMS advantage: A key enabler of success in the modern operating environment

By Suzanne Lebeau, as published in The Maple Leaf Vol 10. No 11, 25 April 2007 with edits to correct outdated links

The Department of Applied Military Science (AMS) is a department of the Royal Military College and its primary purpose is to support the CF by developing officers and noncommissioned officers (NCO) to be key players in the capability development process. To meet its mandate, AMS offers three programs, the Land Force Technical Staff Programme, Masters of Defence Engineering and Management, and the Army's Technical Warrant Officers' Programme.

All programs at AMS involve rigorous academic, as well as practical military components that produce officers and NCOs with a broad base of knowledge in science and technology. More importantly, over the course of the program, graduates acquire in-depth knowledge in order to solve complex real life military issues using lateral, critical and creative thinking processes both individually and in team based problem solving scenarios. These are important tools that are in high demand as the CF deals with the operational realities confronting soldiers in the asymmetric environment of Afghanistan.

In order to deal with the new paradigm of the contemporary operating environment, AMS is developing the concept of officers and NCOs as multi-disciplinary teams. As senior NCOs take on greater roles within the context of this team based approach to solving problems they will need the advanced skills provided by the programmes offered at AMS. This trend toward better-educated NCO has already begun in some of the Land Force's most important positions. It is interesting to note that all current, Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (CMBG), chief warrant officers are master gunners, a qualification standard now met through the ATWO program.

Anyone interested in programmes offered at AMS go to their Web site or by contacting Suzanne Lebeau at 613-541-6000 ext 6158 or e-mailing,

Leaders with "the AMS advantage"

By Suzanne Lebeau, as published in The Maple Leaf, Vol 10, No 23 8 August 2007 with edits to correct outdated links

Students from the Department of Applied Military Science (AMS) at the Royal Military College (RMC) located in Kingston, Ont. graduated July 3, after an intense and challenging academic year. The graduation represents the culmination of an intensive year of study by the students, which is designed to prepare them for the challenges of developing, improving and managing capabilities for the CF.

The knowledge and skills the grads gain while at AMS are especially important given Canada's current involvement in Afghanistan. As Dr. John Scott Cowan, principal of RMC, and the guest of honour at the graduation points out, "We are entering a period in which irregular warfare is now often the order of the day."

The realignment of CF priorities to cope with the current operating environment is an immense and complex undertaking requiring new capabilities. Moreover, advanced technology, which is a key enabler of battlefield success, needs to be developed, refined and quickly integrated into the current force structure. It is therefore not surprising that increasingly, commanders are looking towards leaders with "the AMS advantage" to help them realize this complex change.

To meet this challenge students undergo a demanding year of education in the fundamentals of science and technology, they acquire in-depth knowledge on a variety of subjects in order to solve complex real life military issues using lateral, critical and creative thinking processes both individually and in team based problem solving scenarios. The graduates from AMS programmes also understand the need for the soldiers, specialist and researchers to work towards achieving a common goal.

"You master the skills required for project management engineering and project direction, in completing this course it provides you with the "Advantage" required to achieve these challenges," said Captain Devon Matsalla, a former AMS student.

A key part of the learning experience provided to AMS students is the opportunity to study present and future trends in military technology within government and private sectors. "I am definitely benefiting from the "AMS Advantage" in my employment as trial director for the Munitions Experimental Test Centre (METC)," says Chief Warrant Officer E. DeGready, a former student.

For information about the programmes offered by AMS visit our Web site or contact Suzanne Lebeau at 613-541-6000 ext. 6158

The Master Gunner qualification… so much more than gunnery

By: LCol Sylvain Beauséjour, Curriculum Director AMS.

One of the Applied Military Science (AMS) programme offered at the Royal Military College of Canada, is called the Army Technical Warrant Officer Programme (ATWOP). The ATWOP primary purpose is to support the Canadian Forces by providing Warrant Officers with a solid academic foundation in science & technology plus management and critical thinking skills to become key players in operational capability generation and management for the Land Forces. Based on the former Master Gunner course which was offered in Gagetown until 2003, the ATWOP has evolved into much more than gunnery. It entails broad military subjects such as Communications, Information Management, ISTAR, Vehicles, Weapons, Defence Management, Trials and System Engineering to name a few. It prepares Warrant Officers to serve at the operational and strategic level in the institutional Army.

When asked to comment about the value of their qualifications in their new functions, ATWOP graduates provided some very interesting testimonials. For example, MWO Ted Gombert, a member of the Engineer Branch and a graduate from last year, became the very first NCO Project Director for a major project (Army Heavy Equipment Replacement and Mechanical Breaching Systems) within Land Force Headquarters. When asked if the ATWOP contributed to his effectiveness in his new posting he unhesitantly answered yes and commented on how rewarding it is to bring his new skills to the Capability Development world.

WO Alain Bernard (now commissioned), is a member of the Armour Corps and a 2006 graduate. He was amazed to realize how much the Programme helped him to, not only understand all the technical aspects of a working group on the cooling of the electronics on the Leopard 2A6Ms, but also to propose a working solution that made some wonder why they had not thought of it first.

A member of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and graduate from last year, WO Dave Aldred participated in a Joint Tactical Data Link Advisory Panel. He commented on the value of the military communication, information system and ISTAR courses in contributing to his understanding of the complex issues facing a Joint, Interagency, Multinational and Public (JIMP) oriented command structure.

These three graduates, like many others, are facing challenges far more complex than gunnery and being equipped with the "AMS Advantage" certainly benefits both the CF and themselves. More and more, our Land Force needs experienced Warrant Officers who can combine their valuable operational experience with their newly acquired technological, managerial and critical thinking skills to become key enablers of our future operational capabilities. They truly are our "tomorrow's leaders" today.

For information about the programmes offered by AMS, visit our Web site or contact your career manager.

Master Gunner

The Master Gunner's badge is proudly worn by graduates of the Army Technical Warrant Officer Programme.

Date modified: