In January 1874, Lieutenant-Colonel Walker Powell, the Adjutant-General of Militia, recommended the establishment of a military college where officers "could secure a superior military and scientific education." The Canadian government supported the idea, and plans were made to establish a military college at Kingston, Ontario. Naval buildings at Point Frederick were utilized to accommodate the new institution.
On 1 June 1876, the Royal Military College at Kingston admitted its first 18 cadets. The first commandant of the college was a British officer, Lieutenant-Colonel E.O. Hewett of the Royal Engineers.