Four cadets were ‘on the cusp of graduation’: RMC

The four cadets who died in an early morning crash into the waters of Lake Ontario off the shores of Royal Military College. From left to right: Cadet Jack Hogarth, Cadet Andrei Honciu, Cadet Broden Murphy, Cadet Andrés Salek. Photos supplied by Royal Military College.

The four officer cadets who perished in an incident involving a vehicle that crashed into the waters of Lake Ontario in the early morning hours of Friday, Apr. 29 2022, were “on the cusp of graduating”, according to Royal Military College administration.

The fourth-year cadets were travelling in a single vehicle, and lost their lives when their car entered the waters on the shore of the college’s campus at Point Frederick. They have now been identified as Officer Cadet Jack Hogarth, Officer Cadet Andrei Honciu, Officer Cadet Broden Murphy, and Officer Cadet Andrés Salek.

According to Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commandant of RMC, Officer Cadet Jack Hogarth was completing a Bachelor of Arts in Military and Strategic Studies, preparing to be an Armoured Officer in the Canadian Army. Officer Cadet Andrei Honciu was completing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, preparing to be a Logistics Officer in the Canadian Army. Officer Cadet Broden Murphy was completing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, preparing to be an Aerospace Control Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. Officer Cadet Andrés Salek was completing a Bachelor of Arts in Military and Strategic Studies, preparing to be an Armoured Officer in the Canadian Army.

“These four amazing young adults are fourth-year students and were set to graduate with their university degree and commissioned as officers in the Canadian Armed Forces,” Kurtz said. “The entire RMC community is devastated by this tragic loss. The Principal of RMC, Dr. Harry Kowal, and I extend our deepest condolences to their loved ones. As parents ourselves, we can only imagine their pain, and we will continue to provide them the support they need in the tough days and weeks ahead.”

According to Jill Carleton, RMC Alumni Association President, the investigation is ongoing and includes support from the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, Kingston Police and the Ontario Provincial Police offering their assistance.  

“Support is being offered to Naval/Officer Cadets and staff on campus. Social workers, Padres, and Kingston Health Services are all on hand to try to help individuals comprehend this incredible loss,” Carleton said.

“The loss of four young souls on the cusp of graduation is an unbearable tragedy that no one can truly grasp. Their memories will be with their classmates as they walk through the Memorial Arch in a few weeks,” Carleton continued.

“I am heartbroken that four officer cadets lost their lives far too soon at RMC Kingston this morning. I offer my deepest condolences to their families, classmates and loved ones as they grieve such a profound loss, which is felt across our Canadian Armed Forces and country,” said the Honourable Anita Anand, Canada’s Minister of National Defence.

General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, echoed those sentiments. “I am devastated by today’s loss of four of our nation’s young leaders. My heart breaks for their families, friends, and all those touched by this deep loss, during this most difficult time. The entire Canadian Armed Forces family grieves with their loved ones and will support them in any way that they need during the challenging and emotional days ahead.”

Mayor Bryan Paterson, who is also a professor at RMC, offered his condolences to the community. “As a member of the RMC community, I am absolutely heartbroken to hear of the tragic loss of four officer cadets early this morning. As Mayor of Kingston I want to express my sincere condolences to their families, friends & everyone at RMC. We stand with you and offer our full support.”

This tragic incident comes on the two-year anniversary of the loss of six lives, four of whom were RMC graduates, on helicopter STALKER 22. “We feel the incredible impact these two tragedies hold in our hearts, and we grieve with you; the families of the Cadets, the College staff and community, and of course the Officer Cadets of the College,” Carleton said.

The Royal Military College of Canada is comprised of approximately 2,300 military and civilian staff, faculty and students. The deceased officer cadets were four of 280 (N/OCdts) students in the Class of 2022.

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