The history of the Royal Military College has its roots on 3July 1952 when an announcement was made by the Secretary of Defence that the ‘Malay Regiment Training Depot’ in Port Dickson was to be upgraded as the ‘Malay Regiment Training Centre’ with the additional establishment of the ‘Pre-Officer Cadet Training Unit’ (Pre-OCTU) and a ‘Boys’ Company’.
It was not until 1953, when the then British High Commissioner to Malaya, the late Field Marshal Tun Sir Gerald Templer, envisioned future leaders of the then Malaya, that these two establishments that the ‘FEDERATION MILITARY COLLEGE’ was formally formed. Hense, the formal birth of the currents ‘ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE’ on 17 December1953.
Since its inception, the College has undergone various changes. To-date, more than 10,000 Puteras have graduated from the College and have taken their places as leaders of the country.
Role and Charter
The original role of the ‘Boys’ Company’ was to be a feeder institution for potential officers for the Armed Forces. Those who could not make it were to be potential Non-Commissioned Officers. When the ‘Federation Military College’ was formed, its role included preparing young Malayans (then) for the Public Service and other professionals as well as leaders in the commercial and industrial of the country. Its charter has not changes since then ‘Preparing young Malaysians to take their places as officers in the Armed Forces, in the higher divisions of the Public Service and as leaders in the professionals, commercial and industrial life of the country’.
Federation Military College, Port Dickson: 1952-1961
The original site of the College was at the 5th Mile Coast Road, Port Dickson. The first intake of 74 ‘Budak Boy’ were recruited in August 1952. When it first started, the initial intake was form the Malay medium schools, who joined the ‘Boys’ Company’ in Form I and Form II. When the ‘Federation Military College’ was formed in 1953, the intakes in 1954 were taken only from the English medium schools. When Form VI was started in 1960, the intakes were changed to Form III and Form IV, with a few taken directly into Form V.
The College continued its role as a feeder institution for potential officers for the Armed Forces. A number of boys left the College after Form V either to join the Cadet Wing, to further their studies in other places or were unable to continue their studies in Form VI in the College. A number later joined the Cadet Wing after their first year in Form VI.
During those years, boys who did not perform well and who were considered still young, were relegated or remained in the same Form for another year. A number took the Cambridge School Certificate Examinations/Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia twice.
Federation Military College, Sungai Besi: 1961-1966
The College moved to its present campus in Sungai Besi camp in April 1961, which was officially declared open by His Majesty, the Yang DiPertuan Agong on 20th June 1961. The building cost of the campus was RM7 million and it was then the pride of the nation.
The intakes continued to be taken into Form III and Form IV. However due to the poor performance of a number of Form III boys in the Lower Certificate of Education examinations, the intake into Form III was discontinued with effect from 1964.
Royal Military College, Sungai Besi: 1966-1996
The name of the College was redesigned as the ‘ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE’ in 1966. In 1971 the long-used term ‘Boy’ was replaced with the term ‘Putera’ and the ‘Boys’ Wing’ was redesigned as ‘Putera Division’. On 3rd June 1981, the College received its Regimental Colour from His Majesty, Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong.
In 1980, the intake into Form I was introduced when it was decided to bring the College in line with the other fully residential schools in the country. At the same time Form VI classes were discontinued.
During that year, the policy requiring all Puteras (except for those from Sabah and Sarawak) to join the Armed Forces on completion on their studies in the Putera Division was introduced. Initially, those who were not offered scholarships to further theirs studies and qualified to join the Cadet Division, were required to join the Armed Forces. Eventually, all Puteras had to join the Armed Forces with those eligible being offered scholarship by the Armed Forces. This policy was aborted in 1985 when the response to join the College and the performance of the Puteras declined during those years.
Due to the renovation work on its buildings, the intake for Form I was discontinued in1986 and it was back to the intake for Form VI. In 1994 the original intake into Form II was re-introduced. In 1997 the intake for Form IV was discontinued and all new Puteras were taken into the College into Form II.
A number of Puteras who did not make the grade set by the College in the Lower Certificate of Education examinations were required to leave the College and to continue theirs studies in other schools.
Royal Military College, Sungai Besi: 1995- Currrent
In 1995 the Cadet Division, which was part of the College, was relocated to Ulu Tiram camp to facilitate the formation of the newly established Armed Academy. On 20th May 1997, the College officially handed over its Sungai Besi campus to the Armed Forces Academy and officially moved its Headquarters to Ulu Tiram camp, to be co-located with its Cadet Division. The Putera Division remained at the Sungai Besi campus and was placed under the ‘local administration’ of the Armed Forces Academy.
The formation of the Armed Forces Academy, co-located in the campus of the College, the move of the Cadet Division to Ulu Tiram and the handing over the Sungai Besi campus and the subsequent move of the College Headquarters to Ulu Tiram raised concern on the future of the College albeit the Putera Division. It was not until late 1998 that a decision was made to maintain the Royal Military College as an entity (less the Cadet Division) and to remain in the Sungai Besi campus.
The Putera Division thus became the Royal Military College in its exclusivity. The current Royal Military College consists of the Putera Division with other elements supporting the esistence of the Putera Division. (The former Cadet Division was redesigned as the Army College, whose main commissioned officers for the Malaysian Army). The College is now an Armed Forces institution and the administration of its facilities comes directly under the Armed Forces Headquarters (Previously it was an Army institution and its facilities were administered by the Army Headquarters).
The policy guidance is still provided by a Board of Governors with the Secretary-General Mnistry of Defence as its Chairman.
When the College was established in 1953, its original staff was less than 10 (consisting of British teachers with the exception of one Malay Language teacher). Today, the staff consists of nearly 60 military and civilian teachers.
The first Malaysian Senior Military Officer was appointed in 1961. In line with the Malaysianization of the College, Malaysian civilian and military teachers took over the appointements held by the British civilian and military teachers. In 1995 the first Malaysian Director of Studies was appointed. In 1967 the first Malaysian Army Officer took over the post of the Commandant from the British Army Officer.
The Products of The College
To-date, more than 10,000 Budak Boys/Puteras have graduated from the College. A number continued their stay in the College by joining the Cadet Division and commissioned as officers in the three services of the Armed Forces. The remainder have continued with their studies in other institutions of higher learning and taken up their places as leaders in the public sector and other professions within and outside the country. A few ventured into business and other professions on leaving the College.
We have had Ministers, Politicians, Generals and Admirals, Chief Sectaries, Secretaries General and Department Heads as well as Chairman, Chief Executives in the private sectors, Vice-Chancellors and lecturers in the various institutions of higher learning and other professionals etc. who hailed from the Royal Military College.
Regretably, as at today, not that may Old Puteras hold such office. It has always been the vision of the Royal Military College to not only prepare young Malaysians to take their places as officers in the Armed Forces, in the higher divisions of the Public Service and as leaders in the professional, commercial and industrial life of the country’ but to produce citizens of integrity and excellence.
The RMC moved to its new premises at Bukit Belimbing (Belimbing Hills), which is adjacent to its former site on the 28th December 2013. The new campus with its modern facilities including having its own Guard House is designed to accommodate up to 1500 Puteras.
The International Bacaulerate (IB) program is to be introduced in 2015. Qualified Puteras who completed their SPM examinations shall be given the opportunity to pursue the IB program, thus spending a total of four years in RMC.
It has always been the vision of the Royal Military College to not only prepare young Malaysians to take their places as officers in the Armed Forces, in the higher divisions of the Public Service and as leaders in the professional, commercial and industrial life or the country’ but to produce citizens of the integrity and excellence.