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CMSS Events

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - Dr. P. Whitney Lackenbauer for the Ross Ellis Memorial Lecture

Lackenbauer to discuss Canadian military’s role in the Arctic at the Ross Ellis Memorial Lecture


Thursday, April 5th, 2012 - Dr. Michael Nieberg for the Ross Ellis Memorial Lecture


Friday, March 30th, 2012 - Dr. Frank Harvey




Tuesday - March 13, 2012 - BGEN Andre Corbould



Tuesday, February 28th - Next Fellow's Lecture Series: Hrach Gregorian and Lara Olson






Rear-Admiral Mark Norman, Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Speaks to the CMSS

             CMSS Speaker December 1, 2011       

Rear-Admiral Norman completed his schooling in Kingston, Ontario. Having originally joined the Naval Reserve as a Diesel Mechanic at HMCS CATARAQUI in 1980, Rear-Admiral Norman transferred to the regular force as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1985.

A specialist in Above Water Warfare, his experience at sea includes a variety of appointments in HMCS NIPIGON, HMCS HALIFAX, Executive Officer of HMCS IROQUOIS, Commanding Officer of HMCS ST. JOHN'S and Commander Canadian Fleet - Atlantic.

His staff experiences feature a variety of both naval and joint appointments. Junior appointments include assignments to Maritime Command Headquarters, the Maritime Warfare Centre, and the Directorate of Maritime Requirements. He has held senior NDHQ appointments as Director - Maritime Training and Education on the Maritime Staff, Director - International Plans on the Strategic Joint Staff, Director Transformation and Strategic Planning in the Chief of Force Development (CFD) organization, and most recently the Assistant Chief of Transformation.

Rear-Admiral Norman is a graduate of Queen's University with a degree in Economics, the Operations Room Officer Course, the Above Water Controller Course, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course, the National Security Studies Program at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, and most recently the US Capstone Program.

Rear-Admiral Norman was promoted to his current rank and appointed Deputy Commander Royal Canadian Navy in June 2011.

When not working, he spends his time with his family, working on his old British car, alpine skiing, losing golf balls, and trying to maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness.




BOOK LAUNCH - The Patrol written by CMSS Masters' Graduate Ryan Flavelle


"Nothing can prepare a person for the reality of bloody, concussive warfare. . . . Those who like war are aptly named warriors. Some, like me, are fated never to be warriors, as we are more afraid of war than fascinated by it. But I have the consolation that I have walked with warriors and know what kind of men and women they are. I will never be a warrior, but I have known war.” 

- Ryan Flavelle.


Ryan's book entitled "The Patrol" was launched at an event held at the University of Calgary on October 26th, at 6:30pm in the EEEL Building. More pictures and descriptions to come!


The Patrol - Book by MSS Student Ryan Flavelle






 Calgary Workshop on the History of Strategy

July 6-7, 2011

Tony Mullis, Col. Dr. Gerhard Gross, Talbot Imlay and Lft. Col. Dr. Stachelbeck at Mawata Armory prior to the dinner.

Tony Mullis, Col. Dr. Gerhard Gross, Talbot Imlay and Lt. Col. Dr. Stachelbeck at the Mawata Armories prior to going in for dinner on the second day of the conference.

The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary, in cooperation with the University’s School of Public Policy and the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs, held the second annual Calgary Workshop on the History of Strategy, July 6-7, 2011, in Calgary, Alberta.

In recent years, there have been many analyses of warfare from the perspective of the battlefield, a trend initiated by John Keegan in 1976 with his book, The Face of Battle. These studies have focused on the tactical level, with the soldier.  However, the tactical approach alone is not enough to explain the results of war.  This symposium was designed to remind both academic military historians and military analysts that strategy is the most important factor in determining the success or failure in war and operations other than war.

The Centre for Military and Strategic Studies intends to disseminate the presentations of this workshop as a special issue in the academic elecrtonic journal, The Journal of Military and Strategic Studies. This journal is open access and available through our quick links.

U.S. - China Cooperation: Prospects and Problems

Rear Admiral (ret'd) Eric McVadon
Monday April 4, 2011
MLT 909, 10:00 AM

Rear Admiral Eric A. McVadon was the U.S. defense and naval attaché at the American Embassy in Beijing from August 1990 until July 1992. He retired from the Navy in 1992 and is consulting, researching, writing, and speaking in North America and Northeast Asia on Asian security affairs, Chinese military matters, and specific security issues involving China, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, South Asia, the Korean Peninsula, and the South China Sea. Eric works extensively with the U.S.policy and intelligence communities and the Department of Defense, directly and indirectly.


Ethical Considerations of Research with Deployed Troops

Dr. Anne Irwin
January 21, 2011
MLT 909, 12:00 PM

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - Cultural and other issues for the RAF

Sebastian Cox
Friday December 10, 2010
3:00 PM, MLT 909

The Battle of Britain: The RAF and the Luftwaffe, 1940

Sebastian Cox & Professor Richard Muller
Thursday December 9, 2010
The Aero Space Museum of Calgary

Global Perspectives on Terrorism


Amos N. Guiora
Thursday November 25, 2010
1:00 PM, Cassio
MacEwan Student Centre

Amos N. Guiora is an Israeli-American professor of law at The S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. He teaches Criminal Law, Global Perspectives in Counter-terrorism, Religion and Terrorsim, and National Security Law. He is a widely cited expert on Legal Aspects of Counter-terrorism, Terror financing, International Law, and Morality in Armed Conflict. He served in the Israel Defence Forces Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was Commander of the IDF School of Military Law, Judge Advocate for the Navy and Home Front Command and the Legal Advisor to the Gaza Strip.

*This Speaker is presented in partnership with Hillel Calgary and the Canada-Israel Committee.

More information on Amos Guiora can be found here.

The Worse Kept Secret: Israel's Bargain with the Bomb 

Dr. Avner Cohen
Thursday November 17, 2010
1:00 PM, CIBC Hub Room, Rozsa Centre

Dr. Avner Cohen is a Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace working on nuclear proliferation in the Middle East with special attention to the Iranian-Israeli rivalry. He is also a Senior Research Scholar with the Center for International and Security Studies (CISSM) at the University of Maryland since 2000. In 2005 he was the Forchheimer Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University. Dr. Cohen is an expert on matters of history and policy regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Canada and the United Nations Security Council 

Dr. Adam Chapnick


Tuesday November 16, 2010
12:30 PM, MLT906

Adam Chapnick is the deputy director of education at the Canadian Forces College and an associate professor of defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada.

He holds a BA (Honours) from Trent University, an MA in International Affairs from Carleton University, and a PhD in History from the University of Toronto. He joined the Canadian Forces College in 2006 and currently teaches courses in Canadian governance and strategic decision-making and Canadian foreign policy and supervises theses on Canadian foreign and public policy and international security. He also plays a leading role in drafting and implementing the College's teaching and learning vision and strategies.

In the Footsteps of Heroes: Images of Canada's Great War Battlefields

Dr. Pat Brennan
Geoff Jackson
Wednesday November 10, 2010
12:30 PM
909 MacKimmie Library Tower

For eight days in early May, Dr Pat Brennan and Geoff Jackson, from the the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies,  carried out an intensive on-site examination of selected battlefields on the Western Front.

Accompany teacher and student as they walk through Flanders Fields and explore the Great War battlefields of Canada and the British Empire. In May 2010 Dr. Patrick Brennan and doctoral candidate Geoff Jackson of the University of Calgary followed the trails of two First World War divisions.



A Drama Never Surpassed: The Marne 1914 


Holger Herwig
Wednesday November 10, 2010
Big Rock Grill 5555--76th Ave SE
Drinks: 6:30 pm Dinner: 7:00 pm Talk: 8:15 pm

It is one of the essential events of military history, a cataclysmic encounter that prevented a quick German victory in World War I and changed the course of two wars and the world: the Battle of the Marne. In remarkable detail, and with exclusive information based on newly unearthed documents, Holger H. Herwig superbly re-creates the dramatic battle, revealing how the German force was foiled and years of brutal trench warfare were made inevitable.

The Marne, 1914 puts into context the battle's rich historical significance: how it turned the war into a four-year-long fiasco that taught Europe to accept a new form of barbarism and stoked the furnace for the fires of World War II.

Tickets: Phone (403) 720-3239
Fax (403) 236-7523
Cost $45 per person (includes drinks, dinner, talk)

*All proceeds from the Big Rock Lecture Series go to fund 8 University of Calgary undergraduate scholarships per year, each in the lecturer's home department.


The Search for Coherence in International Interventions

A Panel Discussion
Thursday November 4, 2010
Evans Room, Rozsa Centre

Colombia: A Reality Check


Juliette Gonzalez, MSS Student 
Thursday, October 7
ConocoPhillips Theatre, Glenbow Museum

Often stories about Colombia focus solely on drugs and conflict. Juliette Gonzalez, a native of Bogota now living in Calgary and studying the policies of her home country, believes there is a gap in what people perceive to be true about Colombia and reality. Join Gonzalez for a look at several aspects of Colombian culture-tour the country's most important cities and learn about influential artists, scientists and politicians who are transforming the future of Colombia.





The Future of Special Operations Forces After Afghanistan 


Brigadier General Michael Day
Friday, September 24, 2010 
2:00 PM
909 MacKimmie Library Tower

Brigadier-General D. Michael Day joined the Canadian Forces in 1983 and was subsequently commissioned into the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI).

Early regimental duty in the Third Battalion was followed by a posting to Toronto where he served with the Toronto Scottish Regiment and Militia District Headquarters before returning in 1990, to 3 PPCLI. In 1992 he was selected for service in Joint Task Force Two (JTF 2) where, after successfully completing selection and his Special Operations Assaulter Course, he served as the first unit Adjutant and subsequently as a Troop Commander.

In 1995, Brigadier-General Day was promoted to Major and subsequently posted to 2 PPCLI where he was employed as the Operations Officer and commanded a Rifle Company. During this time, he completed a second tour in the Balkans, for which he was awarded a DCDS Commendation.

In 1998/99 then Major Day attended the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course following which he was posted to NDHQ as the Staff Officer to Director General Strategic Plans. Promoted to LCol in 2000, he was employed as the Chief of Staff to the CDS's Professional Development Section. Brigadier-General Day assumed the responsibilities of Acting Director Counter Terrorism Special Operations during its initial stand up and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan following 9/11.

Brigadier-General Day returned to Winnipeg as Commanding Officer 2 PPCLI at which time he commanded a Battle Group during his third deployment to the Balkans, closed his unit lines / base and orchestrated the move to the unit's new location in Shilo, Manitoba.

In July 2005, Brigadier-General Day returned for a third posting in the Special Operations Community assuming command of JTF 2. Promoted to his present rank in December 2009, he has deployed on operations in the Balkans (three times), Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East. Brigadier-General Day assumed Command of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in June 2007.

Brigadier-General Day holds a Master of Arts degree in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada and a BA (with distinction) in Political Studies and History from the University of Manitoba. An avid runner and reader, Brigadier-General Day is the husband of an exceptionally tolerant wife, Laura, and the proud father of two boys, Zachary and Harrison.

For more information on Brigadier-General Day please click here.

In Flanders Fields: A Tour of Canada's Great War Battlefields


Dr. Patrick Brennan and Mr. Geoff Jackson

Thursday September 23, 2010
The Military Museums
4520 Crowchild Trail SW

Reception: 1830 hrs
Lecture: 1900 hrs
Cost $10

T: (403) 240-9761

Accompany teacher and student as they walk through Flanders Fields and explore the Great War battlefields of Canada and the British Empire. In May 2010 Dr. Patrick Brennan and doctoral candidate Geoff Jackson of the University of Calgary followed the trails of two First World War divisions.

Operating from leper (Ypres) in Belgium and Arras and Cambrai in northern France, they spend eight days exploring and researching the battlefields. The trip became a pilgrimage over hallowed ground - so peaceful now, so tortured then. They came to dell that they were walking with men long dead. It's a sensation that utterly overwhelms, according to Dr. Brennan. Mr. Jackson's doctoral dissertation will compare the British 62nd and Canadian 4th divisions, while Dr. Brennan is writing a book about the King's Own Calgary Regiment which, as the 50th battalion served with the 4th.


Dr. Patrick Brennan is Associate Professor of History and a fellow of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. He is the author of many articles, book reviews and conference papers and he is currently writing three books on Canada's involvement in the First World War, including a history of the King's Own Calgary Regiment.

In 2007 Geoff Jackson completed his Master's degree at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. His thesis dealt with the topic of the Canadian Corps and their attack on Hill 70 and the city of lens. He is now doing research for his PhD.


Lever of Power: Deception in Warfare 

Ralph D. Sawyer

Friday September 17, 2010 
1:00 PM
MLT909, University of Calgary

Ralph D. Sawyer, one of the leading scholars of Chinese warfare, has also worked extensively with major military and intelligence agencies. After study at MIT, Harvard and National Taiwan University, and a brief period of university teaching, Sawyer has spent the past thirty-five years in international consulting work throughout Asia. Working from a strong technical and intelligence background, he has focused his research on the theory and practice of warfare in China, both traditional and contemporary.