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New commandant played football at RMC

July 15, 2013

The incoming commandant at Royal Military College is returning to the campus where he returned punts and kickoffs on the football field more than 30 years ago.

Dr. Harry Kowal was Harry Kowal, mechanical engineering student from Petawawa and a backup receiver, when he played for the Redmen in their final two seasons, 1981-82. Three years after RMC won the Canadian college championship in 1979, the football program was cancelled.

Kowal rose to the rank of Brig.-General and in the past 10 years has held several appointments, including commandant of the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering at CFB Borden, where he later served two years as commander of 16 Wing. He’s also commanded the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at Cold Lake, Alta.

Kowal graduated from RMC in 1984 and later earned Masters degrees in defence studies (RMC), aerospace engineering (Tennessee) and strategic studies (Deakin University in Australia). A licensed professional engineer and a qualified flight test engineer, Kowal also holds a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute.

The 13th commandant in the history of the college, Kowal, now retired from the Canadian Forces, replaces Dr. Joel Sokolsky. The appointment was announced Monday by Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

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