Randall Wakelam

Randall Wakelam
Randall Wakelam
Associate Professor Emeritus
(613) 541-6000 ext 6615
(613) 541-6056
War Studies Programme

College Address

Royal Military College of Canada
PO Box 17000, Station Forces
Kingston, Ontario, CANADA
K7K 7B4

Brief History

Dr Randall Wakelam teaches military history and leadership at the Royal Military College of Canada.

Retiring in 2009 as a colonel, Dr Wakelam had an extensive military career which began in 1969 as a Reserve musician in Ottawa. After graduating from the Royal Military College in 1975 he flew helicopters for the army, serving in three different squadrons before commanding 408 Squadron in Edmonton from 1991 to 1993. Subsequently he was a member of faculty at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, the military's professional graduate school, and Director of Professional Development at the Canadian Defence Academy in Kingston, the military's 'ministry of education'. Returning to Toronto as Director of Curriculum he was one of the senior planners for the current suite of executive level professional development courses conducted in Toronto.

Dr Wakelam is a Faculty Associate at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, a Fellow at the Queen's Centre for International and Defence Policy and serves on a number of editorial boards. In 2009 he published The Science of Bombing: Operational Research in RAF Bomber Command and in 2010 co-edited The Report of the Officer Development Board: Maj-Gen Roger Rowley and the Education of the Canadian Forces. In 2011 he is published Cold War Fighters: Canadian Aircraft Procurement 1945-1954which examines fighter aircraft procurement in the decade before the AVRO Arrow saga. He is currently preparing a biography of Wilfred Curtis who was Canada's air force chief from 1947 to 1953 before going on to help establish York University.

He is happy to supervise graduate students on topics related to air power generally, the RCAF specifically, military education, command, leadership and military leaders.

University Degrees

  • PhD Wilfrid Laurier University
  • MA (War Studies) RMC
  • BA (Comm) RMC

Research Interests

  • air warfare
  • Canadian military history
  • higher education, including military education and professional development
  • leadership and decision making

Courses Taught

  • WS 540: The Development of Aerospace Power
  • HIE 471: A History of Air Warfare
  • HIE 463: Air Power History 1945-2010
  • HIE 461: Air Power History 1903-1945
  • PSF 402: Leadership et éthique
  • PSE 401: Military Professionalism and Ethics
  • HIE 271: Military History and Strategic Thought
  • HIE 202: Canadian Military History
  • HIF 202: Histoire militaire du Canada


  • "The Bombers: The Strategic Bombing of Germany and Japan" In The Blackwell Companion to World War II. Thomas Zeiler, ed. London: Blackwell, 2012.
  • "Riggers and Fitters: An Air Force View of Logistics." In Enabling War: Historical Perspectives of Canadian Military Logistics. John Conrad and Howard Coombs, eds. Kingston: CDA Press, 2012.
  • "The History of Officer Professional Development." In The Defence Learning, Education & Training Handbook. Dalton Cote, ed. Kingston, CDA Press, 2012.
  • "'Strike Hard, Strike Sure': Bomber Harris, Precision Bombing and Decision Making in RAF Bomber Command." In Canada and the Second World War: Essays in Honour of Terry Copp. Geoffrey Hayes and Mike Bechthold, eds. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012.
  • "Air Power Writ Canadian." In Canadian Aerospace Power Series Volume 3: Combat if Necessary, but Not Necessarily Combat. William March ,ed. Trenton, ON: CF Aerospace Warfare Centre, 2011.
  • "Sir Arthur Harris and Precision Bombing - No Oxymoron Here" Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Vol 14, No 1 (2011), Fall 2011.
  • "McNaughton, Crerar, and Hoffmeister: Recent Canadian Military Biography" Global War Studies: The Journal for the Study of Warfare and Weapons, 1919-1945 vol 8 no 1, 2011.
  • "No Easy Thing: Senior Command in the Canadian Army, 1939-1945" Canadian Military History vol 20 no 1, Winter 2011.
  • "The Rowley Report and the Canadian Army Staff College" with Colonel H.G. Coombs, PhD. Canadian Army Journal vol 13 no. 2, Summer 2010.
  • "Effects-Based Professional Military Education," in Effects-Based Approaches to Operations: Canadian Perspectives. Allan English and Howard Coombs, eds. Trenton: Canadian Aerospace Warfare Centre Production Section, 2008.
  • "The Air Force and Flight Safety: A Culture of Tolerated Disobedience ?" In Volume 3: Historical Perspectives of Mutiny and Disobedience, 1939 to Present. Howard Coombs, ed. Kingston: Dundurn Press, 2008.
  • "How Our Tactical Helicopter Force Came to Be What It Is" The Canadian Air Force Journal, vol 1 no 3 (Fall 2008).
  • "Educating While Transforming: Defining Essential Professional Learning in a Complex Security Environment" Canadian Military Journal, vol 8 no 2 (Summer 2007).
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