History

The Royal Canadian Regiment

Prepared by: Capt Michael O'Leary, CD (2011, updated 2013)

The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR) was authorized as a unit of Canada’s Permanent Force, now known as the Regular Force, on 21 December 1883. Created for the purpose of instructing the Canadian Militia, the Regiment was originally known as the Infantry School Corps. The Regiment’s first garrisons, each occupied by a company plus the supported Instructional Cadre, were at Fredericton, St Jean (PQ) and Toronto. A fourth Company was established in London, Ontario, in 1888.

Shortly after its formation, “C” Company of the Regiment saw action in the North-West Rebellion of 1885. In 1898, the Regiment provided men to the Yukon Field Force, which assisted with the policing of the Yukon Territory during the gold rush.

During the 1890s, the Regiment saw three changes to its title:

  • May 1892 – “Canadian Regiment of Infantry”
  • May 1893 – “The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry”
  • April 1899 - “The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry”

The Royal Canadian Regiment formed Canada’s first contingent to the South African War when, in 1899, a 2nd (Special Service) Battalion was formed for service in South Africa during 1899-1900. A 3rd (Special Service) Battalion was also formed to provide the Halifax garrison between 1900 and 1902. Both of these units were comprised primarily of Militia soldiers who volunteered to serve in The RCR for the purpose of the operational deployment or garrison task.

In November 1901, the Regiment changed its name one more time, becoming “The Royal Canadian Regiment.”

At the outbreak of the First World War, The RCR was assembled at Halifax where Regimental Headquarters and six of the Regiment’s ten companies had been located since 1905, having replaced the last British Army garrison in Canada. The RCR was brought up to wartime strength in late 1914 as it started its first task which was to serve for a year as the garrison battalion in Bermuda until August 1915. The RCR then proceeded to England and onward to France as a battalion of the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division.

The RCR was awarded 16 battle honours for its actions during the First World War, including the Somme 1916, Vimy Ridge and the Pursuit to Mons. One member of The RCR, Lieutenant Milton Fowler Gregg, was awarded the Victoria Cross.

In 1919, the Regiment received a singular honour when King George V granted the Regiment the right to wear Queen Victoria’s cypher – “VRI” – on its buttons and badges in perpetuity in recognition of its service in the First World War. This made the RCR the only Commonwealth regiment to wear a deceased sovereign’s cypher with no requirement to change cyphers following the coronation of a new King or Queen.

The RCR sailed for England shortly after the start of the Second World War where it trained for three years as a battalion of the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. The Regiment entered combat when it landed on the beaches of Sicily on 10 July 1943 – a date still commemorated within the Regiment as “Pachino Day.” The RCR fought their way through Sicily and Italy over almost 18 months including participation in the battles at Ortona, the Hitler Line at Pontecorvo and the Gothic Line on the Adriatic coast.

In February, 1945, The RCR joined the final push to liberate Northwest Europe, fighting their last battle at Apeldoorn, Holland. In the closing days of the war, a second battalion of the Regiment was created in Canada, its planned employment being in the Pacific Force. With the capitulation of Japan, this requirement disappeared and, following the return and disbandment of the overseas battalion, the newly created 2nd Battalion became the single battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment in the post-war Canadian Army.

On the outbreak of the Korean War, The RCR still consisted of a single Regular Force battalion. During the three years of the war, two new battalions would be formed for the Special Force which fought in Korea, and all three battalions would serve in Korea in turn. The 2nd Battalion deployed in 1951, the 1st Battalion in 1952 and the 3rd Battalion in 1953. Following the Korean War, the 3rd Battalion was disbanded and the 2nd Battalion remained a unit of the Regular Force.

In July 1954, The Royal Canadian Regiment gained a Reserve Force battalion, formed by the amalgamation of The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun) and The Oxford Rifles. This new unit was designated the London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment).

The Oxford Rifles

The Oxford Rifles originated in Woodstock, Ontario, on 14 August 1863, when the '"Twenty-second Battalion Volunteer Militia Rifles, Canada" or "The Oxford Rifles"' was authorized. In its early years, the unit was called out for service on the St Clair frontier during the Fenian Raids in 1866. The unit also provided some soldiers to the Canadian Contingents for South Africa.

From 1920 until 1936, the unit briefly had a two-battalion structure, with one battalion part of the Non-Permanent Active Militia and the second battalion on the Reserve establishment (i.e, without personnel). During the Second World War, the 1st Battalion, The Oxford Rifles, CASF, was mobilized for active service in March 1942. It served in Canada in a home defence role until January 1945 when it embarked for Britain where it was disbanded in England later that month.

Having undergone several changes in naming, the regiment was redesignated The Oxford Rifles on 1 June 1945. On 1 October 1954, it was amalgamated with 'The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun) and redesignated 'The London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment)'.

The Oxford Rifles perpetuated the 71st and 168th Canadian Infantry Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and carried the honours, awards and accomplishments of those units into the regimental history of The RCR.

The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun)

The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun) originated in London, Ontario on 27 April 1866 as the 7th Battalion Infantry, "Prince Arthur's Own". During the regiment’s early years, two companies were called out on active service in April 1870 during the Fenian Raids, serving on the St. Clair frontier. The unit also mobilized in 1885, serving in the Alberta column of the North West Field Force and provided troops to the Canadian Contingents in the South African War.

Undergoing several changes of name, including a brief period as a three-battalion regiment titled the Western Ontario Regiment during the early 1920s, the unit was designated The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 1 August 1924.21 On 15 December 1936 it was amalgamated with the 'Headquarters' and 'A Company' of the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC, and redesignated The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun). During the Second World War, the regiment formed a second battalion; the 1st Battalion served as part of the Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) and the 2nd Battalion remained in the Reserve establishment.

The 1st Battalion, The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), CASF, was mobilized in 1942 and served on home defence duties as part of Pacific Command, taking part in the August 1943 expedition to Kiska, Alaska, with the 13th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group. The unit arrived in Britain in May 1944 where it was redesignated the 2nd Canadian Infantry Training Battalion, Type A (Canadian Fusiliers), CASF, and remained so until being disbanded in August 1945.

Following the Second World War, the Reserve battalion of the Canadian Fusiliers regained its single-battalion designation: The Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (Machine Gun). On 1 October 1954, it was amalgamated with 'The Oxford Rifles.

The Canadian Fusiliers perpetuated the 1st, 33rd and 142nd Canadian Infantry Battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and carried the honours, awards and accomplishments of those units into the regimental history of The RCR.

2nd Machine Gun Battalion, Canadian Machine Gun Corps (CMGC)

The 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC, of the Canadian Militia originated when the 2nd Machine Gun Brigade, CMGC was authorized on 1 June 1919. The battalion was disbanded on 14 December 1936 with its HQ and companies amalgamating with a number of Militia units.

The 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC, of the Canadian Militia perpetuated the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion, CMGC, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force and carried the honours, awards and accomplishments of this unit into the regimental history of The RCR.

CEF Perpetuations

Through the amalgamations with The Canadian Fusiliers and The Oxford Rifles, the following units of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (1914-1919) are perpetuated by The Royal Canadian Regiment:

  • 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion, which fought in France and Flanders as part of the 1st Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division until the end of the war.
  • 33rd Canadian Infantry Battalion, which provided reinforcements to the CEF and was later absorbed by the 36th "Overseas" Battalion, CEF.
  • 71st Canadian Infantry Battalion, which provided reinforcements to the CEF and was later absorbed by the 44th, 54th and 74th "Overseas" Battalion(s), CEF.
  • 142nd Canadian Infantry Battalion, which provided reinforcements to the CEF and was later absorbed by the 23rd Reserve Battalion, CEF.
  • 168th Canadian Infantry Battalion, which provided reinforcements to the CEF and was later absorbed by the 4th Reserve Battalion, CEF, and the 6th Reserve Battalion, CEF.
  • 2nd Battalion, CMGC, CEF, which was organized in France in March 1918 from the 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Canadian Machine Gun Companies. It provided machine gun support to the 2nd Canadian Division in France and Flanders until the end of the war. Disbanded on 15 November 1920.
In 1958, formal amalgamation with The Royal Canadian Regiment was completed and the Reserve battalion was redesignated the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (London and Oxford Fusiliers). In 1959, the Regimental Executive Committee of The RCR confirmed the receipt of formal authority from the Army by which the Regiment would carry all of the perpetuations of the amalgamated regiments; to include the “1st, 33rd, 71st, 142nd and 168th CEF Battalions and 2nd M.G. Bn. CEF"

One of the most significant effects these perpetuations had on The RCR was to increase the list of battle honours carried by the Regiment for the First World War. The combined awards of First World War battle honours for The Royal Canadian Regiment, the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion and the 2nd Battalion, CMGC, represent 49 separate unit battlefield actions and are represented by the 25 battle honour names carried today by The RCR for the Great War. (Additionally, The Oxford Rifles were awarded eight Great War battle honours in 1930. These, however, are not related directly to the perpetuated CEF battalions and likely based on the total number of soldiers from the perpetuated units who were known to be at these battles, though possibly dispersed between a number of units.)

One member of the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion, Lieutenant Frederick William Campbell, was awarded the Victoria Cross. Although chronologically earlier than Milton Gregg’s award, it was through the amalgamation of Regiments in 1954 that this became the second such award to be commemorated with the history of The RCR. In addition to the recognition of Campbell’s VC by The RCR, the Regiment maintains an equal responsibility to recognize all other honours and awards received by members of the perpetuated units.

The 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (London and Oxford Fusiliers) was established in 1954 with garrisons in London and Woodstock. A third location in Stratford was established in 1965, followed five years later with the close of the Woodstock garrison in 1970. In 1970, with a major reorganization of the Army, the Reserve battalion was re-designated as the 4th Battalion, The RCR, when a new 3rd Battalion was created in the Regular Force establishment. Since 1970, the Reserve Battalion has maintained its garrisons in London and Stratford, Ontario.

Throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, and into the 1990s, the Regular Force battalions of The Royal Canadian Regiment served in Canada, Germany and on 13 separate unit rotations in Cyprus. Between 1977 and 1995, the 3rd Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment was also a regimental unit of The RCR. As well, a regimental Battle School which trained new infantry soldiers for the Regular Force battalions existed as a separate CF unit between 1978 and 1997.

In 1983, the Regiment marked its centenary with events in all battalions and a major reunion gathering in London, Ontario. In July of that year the Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, reviewed and addressed the Regiment on parade in London during a trooping of the colours from all four battalions and the affiliated 3 (Airborne) Commando.

The Royal Canadian Regiment has served Canada at home and abroad; including domestic operations ranging from assistance to civil authority during the FLQ Crisis (1970), Akwesasne (1990) and Oka (1990) to emergency response at the Manitoba Floods (1997), the Ice Storm (1998), and Hurricane Juan in Halifax (2003). It was for Op RECUPERATION, the response to the Ice Storm in 1998, that formed elements of all four battalions of the Regiment were deployed simultaneously on a single operation.

Since the 1990s, the Regular Force battalions of The RCR have provided formed units and sub-units to Canada’s missions in the first Gulf War, the Former Yugoslavia, Africa and Afghanistan. All four battalions and the Regiment’s extra-regimentally employed (ERE) personnel have provided individual augmentation to many of Canada’s UN and NATO missions. The Afghanistan mission has included the deployment of formed battle groups based on each of the three Regular Force battalions, and the 4th Battalion has seen the deployment of up to 30 of its officers, NCOs and soldiers at a time depending on available tasks in each operational cycle.

The Royal Canadian Regiment is Canada’s senior Regular Force infantry regiment. Through its amalgamated regiments, the regimental lineage of The RCR dates from 14 August 1863; although 21 December 1883, the creation of the Infantry School Corps, is celebrated as the regimental birthday by regimental tradition.

In 2012, the Canadian Government decided to create battle honours for the War of 1812 and award perpetuations of the recipient War of 1812 units to current units of the Canadian Army. Federal Government announcements identifying awards and the units receiving the perpetuations were made in August and September 2012. As a result of these ammouncements, The Royal canadian Regiment added the Battle Honours “Detroit” and Niagara”, as well as the Honorary Disticntion “Fefence of Canada 181-1815” to its list of honours. These honours represent the perpetuations of the following units of that conflict:

  • 1st Regiment of Middlesex Militia (1812-15)
  • 1st Regiment of Oxford Militia (1812-15)
  • The Loyal London Volunteers

    The four battalions of The Royal Canadian Regiment continue to serve Canada, with regimental garrisons at ASU London (Home Station and 4RCR), CFB Petawawa (Regimental HQ, 1RCR and 3RCR) and CFB Gagetown (2RCR). Extra-Regimentally Employed Royal Canadians serve in units, training establishments and headquarters across the Canadian Forces, both in Canada and abroad.

    Pro Patria

    Prepared by: Capt Michael O’Leary, CD (2011, updated 2013)
    Cap Badge of The Royal Canadian Regiment

    "An eight-pointed diamond cut star; upon the star a raised circle surmounted by the crown; within the raised circle, the block letters "VRI", the Imperial Cypher of Queen Victoria."
    (Description of the badge of The RCR as presented in Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army, published by the Army Historical Section, 1964)

    Regimental Affiliation:
    Royal Regiment of Fusiliers  Wikipedia-Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

BATTLE HONOURS OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT

Wars and Operations Battle Honour Date
War of 1812 Detroit
Niagara
Defence of Canada – 1812-1815
Défense de Canada
15 Aug 1812
19 Dec 1813 to Sept 1814
North-West Rebellion Saskatchewan
North West Canada 1885
South African War Paardeberg
South Africa 1899-1900
First World War
Summer Operations, 1915. (March-October) Ypres, 1915
Gravenstafel Ridge
St Julien
Festubert, 1915
22 April – 25 May 1915
22-23 April 1915
24 April – 4 May 1915
15-25 May 1915
Local Operations, 1916. (Previous to the Allied Offensive) Mount Sorrel
2-13 June 1916
Operations on the Somme. (1 July – 18 November, 1916) Somme, 1916
Pozieres Ridge
Flers-Courcelette
Ancre Heights
1 July – 18 November 1916
23 July – 3 September 1916
15-22 September 1916
1 October – 11 November 1916
The Arras Offensive (9 April – 15 May, 1917 Arras, 1917
Vimy, 1917
Arleux
Scarpe, 1917
Hill 70
9 April – 4 May 1917
9-14 April 1917
28-29 April 1917
3-4 May 1917
15-25 August 1917
The Flanders Offensive (7 June – 10 November, 1917) Ypres, 1917
Passchendaele
31 July – 10 Nov. 1917
12 October 1917 and/or 26 October – 10 November 1917
The Advance in Picardy (8 August – 3 September, 1918) Amiens
Arras, 1918
Scarpe, 1918
8-11 August 1918
26 August – 3 September 1918
26-30 August 1918
The Breaking of the Hindenburg Line (26 August – 12 October, 1918) Drocourt-Quéant Line
Hindenburg Line, Battles of
Canal du Nord
Cambrai, 1918
2-3 September 1918
12 September – 9 October 1918
27 September – 2 October 1918
8-9 October 1918
Picardy (17 October – 11 November). Pursuit to Mons 11 November 1918
FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1914-18 FRANCE AND FLANDERS, 1914-18
Second World War
LANDING IN SICILY LANDING IN SICILY 9-12 Jul 43
Agira 24-28 Jul 43
ADRANO ADRANO
Regalbuto
29 Jul – 7 Aug 43
29 Jul - 3 Aug 43
SICILY 1943 SICILY 1943
Landing at Reggio
Motta Montecorvino
Campobasso
Torella
San Leonardo
The Gully
Ortona
9 Jul 43 – 17 Aug 43
3 Sep 43
1-3 Oct 43
11-14 Oct 43
24-27 Oct 43
8-9 Dec 43
10-19 Dec 43
20-28 Dec 43
CASSINO II CASSINO II Gustav Line 11-18 May 44
11-18 May 44
LIRI VALLEY LIRI VALLEY
Hitler Line
18-30 May 44
18-24 May 44
GOTHIC LINE GOTHIC LINE
Misano Ridge
25 Aug-22 Sep 44
3-5 Sep 44
RIMINI LINE RIMINI LINE
San Martino – San Lorenzo
Pisciatello
14-21 Sep 44
14-18 Sep 44
16-19 Sep 44
LAMONE CROSSING LAMONE CROSSING
Fosso Vecchio
2-13 Dec 44
16-18 Dec 44
ITALY 1943-45 ITALY 1943-45 Apeldoorn 3 Sep 43 – 22 Apr 45 11-17 Apr 45
NORTH-WEST EUROPE 1945
Korean War
United Nations Operations - Korea, 1950-1953 KOREA, 1951-1953
Afghanistan War Pashmul, - 2006

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2017 REGIMENTAL STANDING ORDERS



S Coy March, The British Grenadiers



T Coy March, John Peel



Why Does Canada Celebrate Victoria Day?

By Gwyn Evans - May 22, 2022 / 4:00 am | Story: 369589 (Gwyn Evans is the research and communications co-ordinator with the Museum and Archives of Vernon.)

The Victoria Day Long Weekend is long-standing tribute to Queen Victoria and has been celebrated in Vernon for decades LONG LIVE THE QUEEN


HRH Queen Victoria

Although many of us now think of the May Long Weekend as the beginning of camping season in B.C., the history of Victoria Day is a bit more complicated.

In 1845, the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Canada decided to officially recognize the birthday of Queen Victoria on May 24 with public celebrations. But it wasn’t until 1901, following the Queen’s death, that May 24 became officially known as “Victoria Day” in her memory.

At the turn of the 20th century, the settler population in Vernon eagerly celebrated Queen Victoria’s birthday, as well as her reign in general.

On June 22, 1897, Vernon celebrated the Diamond Jubilee with a series of sporting events, including baseball, lacrosse, trap shootings and tug-of-war.

Other outlying communities, including Enderby, came to compete in the day’s activities, and it is noted that Vernon won all events except the tug-of-war.

May Long Weekends in Vernon were also marked with sporting events and special activities in celebration of the queen’s birthday. On May 24, 1895, a cricket match was held between Kelowna and Vernon, with the SS Fairview offering special trips between the two cities for individuals who wished to attend.

In 1900, Enderby hosted Vernon and other nearby communities for a series of foot, horse and canoe races. A football match was also held between the community of Lumby and employees of the Coldstream Ranch, followed by a grand ball in Morand’s Hall.

Queen Victoria’s passing in 1901 was announced in large font on the front page of the January 24th edition of the Vernon News, as the City mourned the loss of its “Most Respected Sovereign.” Later that year, Vernon officially celebrated “Victoria Day” for the first time, with — you guessed it — sporting events, including three-legged and ladies races.

Queen Victoria: The woman who redefined Britain’s monarchy

A headstrong head of state

Queen Victoria restored the reputation of a monarchy tarnished by the extravagance of her royal uncles. She also shaped a new role for the Royal Family, reconnecting it with the public through civic duties.

At just 4ft 11in tall, Victoria was a towering presence as a symbol of her Empire. She and her husband Albert and their nine children came to symbolise a new, confident age. Read more





4RCR COUNCIL

Terms of Reference

Overview
29. The 4 RCR Council deals with matters unique to 4 RCR’s status as a Primary Reserve unit. The Council’s focus is to ensure the overall well-being of the 4th Battalion within The RCR and to ensure that 4 RCR’s interests are represented at The Regimental Council. The 4 RCR Council9 exists as a separate component of The Regimental Council, reporting through the 4 RCR Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel to the Colonel of The Regiment, but dealing only with matters pertaining to 4 RCR. The 4 RCR Council is represented at The RCR Senate by the 4 RCR Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel as well as any serving RCR General Officers from the Primary Reserve. The CO and RSM of 4RCR will represent the 4 RCR Council at the Regimental Executive Committee.

Prior to 2014 it was known as the 4 RCR Board of Governors.

Role
30. The aim of the 4 RCR Council is to provide the CO of 4 RCR with advice and guidance on all matters that might affect the long-term well-being of 4 RCR.

Composition
31. The 4 RCR Council consists of the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel and the following:

Chairperson – a member of the Council appointed by the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel.

Members:
Past Honorary Lieutenant-Colonels of 4 RCR;
CO 4 RCR
RSM 4 RCR
Former CO’s of 4RCR
Former RSM’s of 4RCR
Any advisors approved as Council members; to include the President of the Home Station Branch of The RCR Association and a representative from The RCR Museum Board of Directors. Other individuals selected and approved for membership by the Council.

32. Past Honorary Lieutenant-Colonels, CO’s, and RSM’s may decline active membership in the 4 RCR Council. These personnel will not be expected to attend Council meetings nor will they be Part of the Council’s voting quorum however they will be kept informed on the work of the Council through meeting minutes.

Work Focus
33. In support of 4 RCR’s distinct nature, the 4 RCR Council will focus its activities on the following:
Assisting the CO to select a suitable candidate for the position of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel;
Participation in matters that relate specifically to 4 RCR’s status as a unit of the Primary Reserve;
Assisting the CO in the management and use of NPF (The Fusilier Fund) as required;
Assisting the Battalion with specific projects or activities; and
Assisting the Battalion with community outreach.

Executive Committee
34. The Executive Committee is a working group of the 4 RCR Council. It consists of the Chairperson and three members elected from the Council, one being the Council Secretary. The purpose of the committee is to oversee or carry out specific tasks agreed to by the Council. This includes conducting research and making recommendations on pertinent matters. The committee will also determine the agenda for Council meetings.

Meetings 35. 4 RCR Council meetings will take place quarterly. Executive meetings will take place quarterly as a minimum but may be called at any time by the chair.




4RCR COUNCIL
Membership List

Last Name First Name Rank E-mail Phone Posn
Anderson MartinLColmartin_anderson@rogers.comMember
Bassarab Rusty LColrbassarab@cogeco.caMember
Bell Dave Captdavidbell@tcc.on.caWebmaster
BoonArtCWO190 Queen St, Stratford, ON,N5A 4N7Member
BurkeJeffCWOburkeja54@outlook.comMember
Campbell Mark BGen mcamp@rogers.comMember
Cook John Lcol John_cook_9@yahoo.ca 519-668-7595Member
DenneDonColdjdenne@msn.comAssn Rep
Ellyatt David CWO dellyatt@police.london.caMember
Graham Barry Lcol barrygraham533@hotmail.com Member
Griffin Declan Lcol dgriffin@wightman.caMember
Hutton GeoffMaj geoff.hutton@sympatico.caMember
Klausnitzer Henry CWO hklaosni@london.ca Member
LucasCurtisMWOcurtis_is@rogers.comMember
Mombourquette John Capt fj3@rogers.com Secretary
O'Brien Gary Bgen gary.obrien@hotmail.comChairperson
O'Leary Mike Captm.m.oleary@gmail.comMuseum rep
Olgelsby John Lcol Member
O'QuinnJohnMajjohnandglad@rogers.comCadet rep
PrinceMattMajmatt.a.prince@gmail.comMember
Rennie Bob CWO bobandninaare@gmail.comMember
ReintjesPeteLCol peter.reintjes@forces.gc.caCO
RobinsonJosephLcoljwrobins2@gmail.comMember
St. GeorgeGaryCWO519-453-5321Member
Stapleton Mike MWO mstaple362@rogers.comMember
Talach Rob CWO rtalach@ledroitbeckett.com Member
Weldon Doug Lcol doug.weldon@yahoo.ca Member
Willaert Gary Lcol rcrgary@yahoo.ca Member




4rcrcouncil.ca is the official website of 4RCR Council
Former Serving Members

4RCR Council is continually updating its former members database to provide former serving members with social events, re-unions, mailings and to provide a means for former members to keep in contact with each other.

NEW FORMER SERVING MEMBERS:

All former members who have served with The London and Oxford Fusiliers, 3RCR(M) or 4RCR are invited to REGISTER for publication in the Former Serving Members List.
Please include:

  1. First and Last name
  2. Rank on release
  3. E-mail address
  4. Phone number
  5. Unit(s)you served with
  6. Years served (From-To)

Only your Name, Rank and E-mail Address and phone number (if supplied) will be published on our Former Serving Members List.

You will be sent a password to enter the Former Serving Members List once your application has been approved.

CURRENT FORMER SERVING MEMBERS:

Contact information verification
4RCR Former Serving Members List

For The 4RCR Council to keep you updated on coming events such as The RCR Reunion events and newsletters it is important that you verify your Email address annually to keep our records up to date.

Please send us the following by clicking on the link below:

  1. Name
  2. Last serving rank
  3. Email address (preferably 'Home' if possible)

davidbell@tcc.on.ca



Former Serving Members List




New Commander-in-Chief: King Charles III

Photo by Mishall Rehman
Canadian Military Family Magazine

With the grandeur that is to be expected, King Charles III was officially proclaimed sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in a ceremony that dates back hundreds of years.

The ceremony, which took place Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, at St. James’s Palace in London, called upon the Accession Council to acknowledge the new monarch on behalf of the British government, a process carried out according to the constitution.

With this declaration, King Charles is now not only the sovereign of the United Kingdom but also the head of the Commonwealth, which comprises 2.4 billion people and 54 countries.
Continued...




RCR Regimental News

Subject: F.Y.I.: The RCR Afghanistan Memorial

Submitted By: Brian Colgate/Barry Graham 2023-01-08

For those not on Facebook, this is from The RCR Association page:

The Royals have large silver memorials for each of the major combat events throughout their history.

The Afghanistan Memorial, after visits to all battalions and to an Association gathering in Ottawa has come to its home at the Regimental Museum at Wolseley Barracks in London.

Jimmy Cox wrote:

There are two principal points I would like to make about this Memorial. First, we should recognise that it exists as a result of the work of many members of The RCR Association, but it was Colonel (Ret'd) Sandy McQuarrie, the current Chair of The RCR Association, who expressed the original need for an Afghanistan Memorial, while serving as the Association's Executive Director in recent years past.

That idea was taken up by the Regimental Senate, who established a committee chaired by the current Colonel of the Regiment, MGen Denis Thompson (Ret'd), then Vice-Chair of The RCR Association. The then Regimental Major, Tim Robinson, was a member of that committee and he became a central figure in the leg-work to come with design options, and then pursue production through to the final product. Many Royal Canadians, serving and former serving, including Sandy McQuarrie, were involved in fundraising for the Memorial. See a Global TV video in which Greg Lawlor and LCol Eleanor Taylor describe a significant fundraising event held in Halifax.

Facebook Interview

The second point is that this Memorial is every bit as meaningful, relevant and significant as the regiment's memorials commemorating our service in past wars. It is sometimes difficult to see recent events in the same light and with the same degree of significance as past historical events that have enjoyed compounded aggrandizement over years, decades and even centuries. It must be said though, that the Afghanistan Memorial, being newer and perhaps larger than our other memorials, deserves an equal place of honour in our regimental consciousness and history.

Afghanistan was Canada's longest war and the regiment's longest sustained martial contribution in both regimental and Canadian history. Taken in context, those who fought in our frontline battle groups and OMLTs faced intense combat every bit as demanding as our historical heroes. Royal Canadian veterans of the Afghanistan campaign have earned their exalted place in regimental history, alongside those we revere from past wars. This Afghanistan Memorial reminds us of both of those who fell in Afghanistan, and that we continue to have heroes among us. We are grateful for their contribution to regimental history, as signified by this magnificent Memorial.

Pro Patria.


4RCR Council Report





4RCR CO's Report

NTR




The RCR Regimental Museum

RCRM DIGITAL
January 2021

We are very happy to welcome everyone from everywhere to our community!

We continue to remain active online while observing the restrictions recently enforced by the Province of Ontario. Our website offers interactive activities, online or printable games, as well as lessons for elementary and secondary levels. The online guided tours and drop-in Wednesday live streaming will resume once the Province of Ontario rescinds the current stay-at-home order. Until then, educational videos are available through the museum's Youtube channel.

Stay connected and become a Subscriber.

The museum is not charging membership fees, but financial donations are appreciated (payments by cheque preferred, credit cards also accepted).

COLLECTIONS

Stories from the Collection highlight artifacts in our holdings, as well as the fascinating stories they bring to light. This month's story features The Royals of CFB Baden-Soellingen. It was 3RCR's hockey team, and they competed in the Canadian Forces Europe Hockey League (CFEHL) from 1977 to 1984. The team won the CFEHL championship in 1980 and 1981. Were you or someone you know involved in this league? We would love to hear your story, just email us!

EVENTS

Season 2 of the RCRM Speakers Series was launched on 21 Jan, with Professor Gord Heath and his reflections on The Trauma of War and the Rise of Religious Pacifism in the Interwar Years, 1919-1939. This season will explore various aspects of loss in the context of military conflict. Complex facets of the dynamic between mourning and commemoration, deprivation and rejection or disposal of war by-products surface.

PODCAST

All 10 episodes of the RCRM Speakers Series Season 1 are now available via Simplecast, Apple Podcasts or Spotify.




The RCR Association



Monthly Newsletter
January 2023

BREAKING NEWS (OR SOME BACKGROUND)

This monthly newsletter issue is late, but there is a reason – waiting for planning updates on the Reunion.
This year is the 140th anniversary of the birthday of our regiment, and several events to celebrate this will occur in 2023. Perhaps the major one will be the 140th Reunion. For the few who may have missed previous announcements, it will be held in London, Ontario, from Friday, 4 August, to Sunday, 6 August.
So far, quite a bit of planning has been completed, but detailed planning is now underway. Much of the previous planning, and that going forward, is being done by faculty and students in Fanshawe College's School of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Support received so far has been superior and no doubt will continue to be so.
Perhaps one major issue is the fee to be charged for attending. We will be using many of the facilities in Fanshawe College, and as you might expect, there are fees for rental, setup, A/V equipment and meals. An initial budget puts the Reunion's cost in the range of $180k. If 500 folks attend, the attendance fee would be $355 per person. Clearly, this figure is less than ideal.
As Chair of the Association and the lead planner for the Reunion, my goal is to get the fee to $120 per person. To realize this, we will need to bring in donations of $120k. I suspect your reaction to this information ranges through various swear words. I assure you that we will not be asking members to donate. (Although you can if you wish.) We will be asking firms and other organizations to help.
A fundraising plan has been written, and efforts to seek donations have begun. However, getting more folks involved will be valuable in reaching the goal of $120k. If you know of a firm or organization that you believe might be receptive to an "ask," please provide the details at thercrassociation@gmail.com. (As an aside, one member has already made a sizeable donation.)

REUNION PLANNING STATUS

During the semester before the end-year break, Fanshawe students provided some valuable material for the reunion - including a reunion logo and a video "teaser" produced by Jacob Gal. You will be able to see the logo soon on The RCR website but the teaser is available now. You can see it HERE.
The major events scheduled during the reunion include an informal reception and buffet supper on Friday night (I promise no speeches as it is a time to greet old friends.) On Saturday, we will have a short AGM in the morning, a BBQ lunch at Wolseley Barracks with a chance to visit the museum and the equipment displays, perhaps a premier of the Milton F. Gregg documentary, a semi-formal dinner with special VIPs in attendance and a dance. Sunday will include a parade, further opportunities to visit the museum and another BBQ.
Since this reunion takes place in what is likely to be hot and muggy weather, relaxed casual dress is encouraged.
A nine-hole golf tournament at Fanshawe Golf Course is scheduled for Friday afternoon for the golfers amongst us.
Fanshawe is preparing a registration website where you will be able to register yourself and guests, book accommodation, select your meal choice for the Saturday night dinner and raise any questions. It will be available shortly and you will be advised when it is online. (We realize that not everyone has a computer.) If you know of a Royal Canadian who does not communicate electronically, let us know and a letter will be sent with a registration form.
The plan is to start registration in early February when the site is available. Registration will close on 15 July so that we can finalize details like meals and setup of the facility. No last-minute, 'walk-in' attendance will be allowed as it only increase the difficulties of conducting the reunion.
A request to allow selected participation at different events has been received. Given the administrative difficulties this will cause, a decision has been made to not allow this - registration is for the whole event.
If you have any questions about, or suggestions for the Reunion, please let us know.

OTHER NEWS

Departed Comrades

News of yet another Royal Canadian being SOS (Struck of Strength) and TOS (Taken on Strength) our List of Departed Comrades is always a sad event, especially if it was a close friend. For the past few months, we have had many notifications of deaths usually on one of our FaceBook pages or groups (i.e. The RCR Association or My Military, The RCR.). FYI, Regimental HQs is responsible for ensuring that the names are captured and recorded. If you learn of the death of a Royal Canadian, let the Regimental Adjutant know. Send the details (name, date of death and a link to the obituary (if available) to scott.robinson@forces.gc.ca. You can access the List of Departed Comrades on our website HERE. (The List will be updated to include deaths in 2022 shortly.) The Association has sympathy cards that can be sent to the family. If you want one sent, contact Mark Blais and give him an address.

The RCR Museum Speakers Series

Did you know that The RCR Museum holds a series of online events mostly dealing with our history or other subject of interest. It is easy to join and best of all, there are no fees. Go to the Museum's website and look for RCRM Digital. Click on that box. There you can select the Button "Join our Mailing List" or you can choose a podcast that interests you.

White School, Black Memories

John Barnes' book is selling well. If you have not read it, you should! Go to this Amazon SITE to get a copy. Of interest, is John's decision to make a donation of all his income from the book to Homes For Heroes

Pro Patria
Alexander (Sandy) McQuarrie

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Addendum from Alexander (Sandy) McQuarrie

It is clear to me that my communication skills could be improved.

After the last newsletter was distributed, a member informed me that he does not golf, lives in London and is not prepared to pay for events he will not attend. It is a reasonable reaction (and a reminder to me that I need to ensure communications to members are more specific.) First, the golf game is an event that those who want to participate will pay for their game. It is not part of the Reunion fee.

Second, the Reunion attendance fee will provide a great buffet supper on Friday night, a 3-course meal on Saturday night, and two lunches on Saturday and Sunday. Taxes and gratuities are included for all meals.

If you have been out to have a nice dinner recently, you will know that restaurant prices have ballooned due to higher food, delivery, preparing and serving costs.

As always, your Association is here to serve Royal Canadians. Comments and useful suggestions are always welcome.


Pictorial

31 Canadian Brigade Group - 31e Groupe-Brigade Du Canada, Meaford, On,
06 Nov 2022




31 Canadian Brigade Group - 31e Groupe-Brigade Du Canada is feeling ready at Camp Grayling.
March 11-13, 2022.

Grayling, MI, United States · 4th Bataillon, The Royal Canadian Regiment conducted Exercise ROYAL SHOOTER at Camp Grayling, Michigan, from March 11-13, 2022. The exercise included small arms and medium support weapons live-fire ranges, including 84mm Carl Gustaf anti-tank shoots. PRO PATRIA!
Sgt Parker, #4RCR

31 Canadian Brigade Group - 31e Groupe-Brigade Du Canada is feeling proud at 4 CDTC - CI 4 Div C.
August 27, 2022

Meaford, ON
· End Ex!
Members of Bravo Company as #ExAG22 was completed at 4th Canadian Division Training Centre #Meaford on August 27, 2022. Ex ARROWHEAD GUARDIAN 22 was executed by nearly 200 Canadian Army Reserve personnel from across #31CBG including composite line infantry companies formed with troops from the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada, Grey and Simcoe Foresters, Essex and Kent Scottish and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's). It also included critical support elements from 31 Signal Regiment and 31 Service Battalion. Check out #ExAG22 for more!
Sgt Wybo, #4RCR

          

31 Canadian Brigade Group - 31e Groupe-Brigade Du Canada is feeling strong in Cedar Springs.
July 16, 2022

· 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (#4RCR) held Exercise ROYAL LANDING at Cedar Springs Range & Training Area on July 16, 2022. Ex ROYAL LANDING was this year’s iteration of an annual unit event celebrating Pachino Day, which recognizes the RCR’s battle honour earned as the first unit to capture an airfield in Sicily during the Second World War. The event consisted of a four-team timed competition combining a Kim’s game, 4km march, confidence course, falling-target shoot, and an evening BBQ for members to bond and celebrate their history. The troops also had an opportunity to say hello to neighbours in the area, as the ruck march route travelled through the local community. Thanks to the residents of Cedar Springs, Ontario for the warm welcome, and BZ to the troops who participated in the competition!

Cpl Aaron Beier, #31CBG Public Affairs / affaires publiques du #31GBC 4th Bataillon, The Royal Canadian Regiment, a mené l'exercice ROYAL LANDING à Cedar Springs le 16 juillet 2022. Cet exercice était la version de cette année d'un événement annuel de l'unité célébrant la Pacino Day. Cette journée reconnaît l'honneur de bataille du régiment en tant que première unité à capturer un aérodrome en Sicile pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. L'événement comprenait quatre équipes dans une compétition chronométrée. Il combinait un jeu de Kim, une marche de 4 km, le parcours de confiance, un champ de tir à cible tombante et un barbecue pour que l'unité puisse se lier les unes aux autres et célébrer leur histoire. Les soldats ont également eu l'occasion de dire bonjour aux voisins de la région, car le parcours de la marche passait par la communauté locale. Merci aux gens de Cedar Springs pour l'accueil chaleureux, et bravo aux troupes qui ont participé à la compétition! 4th Canadian Division - 4e Division du Canada Armée canadienne Canadian Army

Military inspections are a family affair
May 26, 2022

Note: The CO at the front, the troops in column of two and the Sergeant Major bringing up the rear in true military fashion.


In Hospital


NTR
Recent Passings

A Soldier Died Today

by A. Lawrence Vaincourt

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast,
And he sat around the Legion, telling stories of the past.
Of a war that he had fought in and the deeds that he had done,
In his exploits with his buddies; they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes, to his neighbors, his tales became a joke,
All his Legion buddies listened, for they knew whereof he spoke.
But we'll hear his tales no longer for old Bill has passed away,
And the world's a little poorer, for a soldier died today.

He will not be mourned by many, just his children and his wife,
For he lived an ordinary and quite uneventful life.
Held a job and raised a family, quietly going his own way,
And the world won't note his passing, though a soldier died today.

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state,
While thousands note their passing and proclaim that they were great.
Papers tell their whole life stories, from the time that they were young,
But the passing of a soldier goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our land
A guy who breaks his promises and cons his fellow man?
Or the ordinary fellow who, in times of war and strife,
Goes off to serve his Country and offers up his life?

A politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
Are sometimes disproportionate to the service that he gives.
While the ordinary soldier, who offered up his all,
Is paid off with a medal and perhaps, a pension small.

It's so easy to forget them for it was so long ago,
That the old Bills of our Country went to battle, but we know
It was not the politicians, with their compromise and ploys,
Who won for us the freedom that our Country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger, with your enemies at hand,
Would you want a politician with his ever-shifting stand?
Or would you prefer a soldier, who has sworn to defend
His home, his kin and Country and would fight until the end?

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin,
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.
For when countries are in conflict, then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.
Perhaps just a simple headline in a paper that would say,
Our Country is in mourning, for a soldier died today.

© 1987 A. Lawrence Vaincourt

Dear Fellow Royal Canadians,

There were several death over the past weeks of former serving members of the Regiment. They were:

WO (Ret’d) Mary Josephine Harrison (fmr FinO 4RCR) on December 9, 2022.
https://lfpress.remembering.ca/obituary/mary-harrison-1086821542

MWO (Ret’d) Rudolf Simon Fries on December 20, 2022.
https://lfpress.remembering.ca/obituary/rudolf-fries-1086850453

Maj. (Ret’d) Richard Murray Publicover on . January 8, 2023.
https://lfpress.remembering.ca/obituary/richard-publicover-1086969214

There were/are no formal funeral services for any of the deceased but Celebrations of Life are expected in the future for Josie Harrison and Rick Publicover (see obituaries).

Pro Patria,

Michael P. J. Stapleton CD
President
Home Station London District Branch
The RCR Association


In Memorium
NTR



Member Submissions
We Are Canadian

The following link takes you to the song We Are Canadian recently composed by Ellis Craig, an 83-year-old resident of a retirement home in Perth, Ontario.
A stirring and patriotic ribute to all Canadians but especially those who have fought for and served this great land.
http://canadiansatarms.ca/we-are-canadian/

Note From Webmaster:

This is YOUR page to keep informed on members health, welfare and happenings.
Your input is very important and submissions should be sent to: davidbell@tcc.on.ca Subject: website submission.
Please send submissions before the last week of the month so we can post them up by the beginning of the next month.
Photos should have date taken, event or function and persons depicted.



Canada's broken tanks evince an unserious security partner

Opinion
by: Adam Zivo-Washington Examiner
January 25, 2023 06:00 AM
submitted by:Allen Ditter/Barry Graham
2023-01-26

When it comes to sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that his government is "not there yet." As it turns out, the reason why Canada may not be "there" is that of a decade of neglect. Canada's tanks are mostly broken and unusable.

This is yet another example of how chronic under-investment in defense has made Canada an unreliable security partner. Despite repeated warnings, successive Canadian governments have simply freeloaded off of the United States and other NATO allies.

Canada’s meager tank fleet is a relic of the War in Afghanistan. In 2007, Ottawa deployed its old Leopard 1 tank fleet to the Middle East but quickly realized that new equipment was needed. It subsequently purchased over 80 lightly-used Leopard 2s from the Netherlands, which were essentially abandoned after Canadian combat operations in Afghanistan concluded in 2011. In a stupendous error, Ottawa had assumed that Leopard 2s would have the same maintenance needs as Leopard 1s. However, the newer tanks required six times more maintenance hours and, as such, there were only half the technicians needed to keep the fleet from decaying. Critical components were also chronically unavailable, rendering many tanks unrepairable. Despite a decade of half-hearted efforts to fix the problem, two academic papers published by the Canadian Forces College in 2018 and 2022 suggest that only 15%-20% of Canadian tanks are fit for battle.

Canada’s fighter jets are not much better. In 2010, the previous Conservative government announced plans to replace Ottawa’s aging fighter jet fleet with new F-35s. When the Trudeau Liberals were elected in 2015, they canceled the F-35 procurement on partisan grounds and instead acquired 18 second-hand F-18 fighter jets from Australia. That purchase has been widely criticized over the years as many of those outdated jets remain unusable due to radar refurbishments that will take years to complete. Earlier this month, the Liberals changed their minds and, in a painful example of waste and pointless delays, decided to procure the F-35s they had axed seven years ago.

The Canadian military is falling apart. Only 65.4% of the army’s hardware and 60.8% of the air force’s fleet are fit for service. Only the navy has bucked this trend: 98% of its ships and equipment are ready for deployment.

Money matters.

Canada currently only invests 1.5% of its GDP into defense, which falls far short of NATO’s 2% minimum GDP target. After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Liberals touted a paltry 5% spending increase, which pales in comparison to new post-invasion funding commitments announced by other NATO members. Meanwhile, recruitment problems have created a crippling shortage of up to 10,000 regular force members, causing the Canadian Armed Forces to halt non-essential operations until it refills its ranks. For years, the U.S. repeatedly criticized Canada for "freeloading" and urged its northern ally to pull its weight.

Unfortunately, those warnings were ignored.
Refers...


Senior military leader concerned by Canada's absence from American-British-Australian security pact

By: Lee Berthiaume · The Canadian Press · Posted: Jan 15, 2023 1:42 PM EST
Submitted by: John Cook
2023-01-16

There are concerns at the highest levels of the Canadian Armed Forces that this country won't have access to the same cutting-edge military technology as its closest allies because it is not part of a security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The trilateral treaty, nicknamed "AUKUS" after the three countries involved, was announced in September 2021 in what many have seen as a bid to counter China's growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific region, where Canada has growing economic and security interests.

While much of the attention around the pact has centred on American and British plans to provide nuclear submarine technology to Australia, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie told The Canadian Press in a recent interview that isn't the whole story.

Auchterlonie is the commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command. In that role, he is responsible for managing dozens of military operations at home and abroad while closely monitoring the threats and challenges facing Canada and the Armed Forces.

  • ANALYSIS As 2023 dawns, Canada's top soldier confronts a long list of worst-case scenarios
  • ANALYSIS More than a decade ago, the army had a plan to rebuild. It went nowhere
"The fact is that [nuclear submarine] technology has existed for a while, so the sharing of that is not a big deal," he said.

"The issue is when you start talking about advanced technology in terms of the artificial-intelligence domain, machine learning, quantum, all of these things that really matter moving forward. Those are conversations we need to be in on. And the issue is: Why are we not included in this? Is it resistance to get involved? Is it policy restrictions that we have? Or are we just not going to invest? That's the question. So it is a significant concern."
Continued...



Project Enlist Canada
"Monster blasters like the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle topped the list of weapons most capable of creating harmful blast overpressure effects."

Submitted by: Brian Colgate/Barry Graham
2023-01-15

Hands up if you've ever fired the 84mm or, even more concerning, been an ARSO on an 84 range.

Still certain that you've never had any sort of brain injury?

Help us understand the issue by pledging your brain to Project Enlist Canada.

Visit: https://www.projectenlist.ca/donate-your-brain

Project Enlist Canada is proudly supported by CAMH, Le Sentier - The Trail, Anthem Sports and Entertainment, and The Royal Canadian Legion - National Headquarters

#concussion #concussionawereness #TBI #ProtectYourBrain #concussionrecovery #tbi #braininjury #postconcussionsyndrome #traumaticbraininjury #headinjury #braininjuryawareness #brainhealth #concussions #pcs #tbiawareness #tbisurvivor #mentalhealth #veteran #veterans


Combat engineers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division blast through a concrete wall during demolition training at Curry Demo

A five-pronged Defense Department study involving more than 600 soldiers and Marines as human test subjects is inching the department closer to fulfilling a congressional mandate to include blast exposure from training and combat operations in a service member’s medical record.

The study, which began in 2018, found that even firing weapons repeatedly in conventional stateside training could produce symptoms of traumatic brain injury. And while monster blasters like the Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle topped the list of weapons most capable of creating harmful blast overpressure effects, even sniper rifles could do damage over time, officials said.

“In addition to breaching [weapons], of which we have longstanding research data that suggests [they are] problematic for temporary health and performance changes, there’s also these other categories of weapons that people are training on every day,” Kathy Lee, Warfighter Brain Health Initiative Lead for the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, told Sandboxx News.

The work is timely. An academic paper published in January 2022 found that up to 22% of troops from recent conflicts suffered from mild traumatic brain injury, or mTBI, and the most prevalent cause was long-term exposure to explosive weapons.
Continued...


Toronto Star: Transition from Military to Civilian with PTSD

‘You’re going from 100 miles per hour to full stop’: it’s tough to transition from military to civilian life

By: Elaine Smith Special to the Star Tue., Jan. 3, 2023
Submitted by: Brian Colgate/barry Graham
2023-01-07

Ever watch trapeze artists at the circus?

One minute, they’re secure on their trapeze, swinging merrily along; the next, they’re hurtling through the air toward another trapeze, attempting to make the transfer look smooth, even as they hang on for dear life.

That is how it feels for veterans when they leave military life. One day, it’s uniforms, salutes and 0700 hours; the next, it’s jeans and T-shirts, handshakes and 7 a.m., with no comrades, no common goal and no idea how to fit into this other world with its sometimes unfamiliar rules and customs. Throw in some post-traumatic stress disorder, other mental health problems or physical injuries, and transitioning to civilian life can be a major challenge.

Oliver Thorne is the executive director of Veterans Transition Network, an organization that helps military personnel nationwide come to terms with the trauma they have experienced and forge new paths. He has seen the challenges these men and women face in making the transition.

“Think about a military veteran who joined at 18 and has had a 20-year career,” said Thorne. “This is where they spent their formative years. They built a value set, formed a support system, and developed a career and a vocation. Moving from that to the relative chaos and disorder of the civilian world can be really challenging.”

When retirement from the military is prompted by a diagnosis of complex PTSD, the transition is doubly challenging, as Lt.-Col. Christian Lillington can attest. Lillington, a veteran in his 40s, retired in 2019 after 26 years in the army. A native of Cape Breton who now lives in Wasaga Beach, Ont., Lillington joined the military right after high school. He was searching for a position with a larger purpose than earning a living.

“I wanted something that was not just a job,” Lillington said. “The military was a complete career with a greater purpose of serving others, my country and my community.”

Intelligent, skilled and ambitious, Lillington moved through the ranks and had diverse opportunities. He served domestically, as well as in the Canadian Arctic and with the UN in Eritrea. He did two tours in Afghanistan and participated in military exercises worldwide. Lillington retired as commandant of the 4th Canadian Division Training Centre in Meaford, Ont. It was his diagnosis of complex PTSD that pushed his decision to retire.

Throughout his career, despite losing colleagues to illness, in training accidents and in conflict, Lillington thought he had no choice but to get on with his work.

“When they’re deployed, the Canadian military are some of the best in the world,” he said. “Unfortunately, (the military) struggles with creating conditions that allow people to heal and return to work. The big military machine works very rapidly. There’s not a lot of time to wait for people to recover.”

Lillington kept moving along, always hurting. The impact was cumulative. It became harder and harder to cope with the pain of his losses. He was reluctant to accept that he was injured and did what he could to function and survive.

He did enter counselling briefly, but stopped when he was transferred to Ottawa, fearful it would prevent further advancement. Instead, he acted out, “did the whole spectrum of healthy and unhealthy coping.” He drank, used drugs and got involved in fights. He channelled his pain into anger. That affected his relationship with his wife and four children. His marriage fell apart.

“I negatively coped for years with no intervention,” Lillington said. “It was the bravado of the time. The warrior mentality that is reinforced is a positive thing in training, but it can also limit the ability to incorporate positive self-care into people’s lives. It just looks weak.”

Lillington was finally forced to face his illness after a young man from his hometown in Cape Breton went missing from the base where they were assigned. His body was discovered after six days, a suicide. As the commander, Lillington had to tell the parents. That was it. “I hit the proverbial wall,” he said.

He went to a clinic on base to seek help and was sent to a treatment program. Lillington has since had the chance to take part in Veterans Transition Network programming, as well as Can Praxis, a mental health recovery program for veterans that incorporates equine therapy and mindfulness. He also has a new life partner, his “biggest fan and critic and the glue that holds us together.”

In his retirement, Lillington found “it’s extremely tough to adjust. You’re going from 100 miles per hour to full stop and you lose that sense of purpose, identity and time management.”

Yet, he is meaningfully reshaping his world, working for Veterans Transition Network as a peer support worker and as a programming facilitator for a mindfulness chronic pain management program. He also runs Warriors4Life Canada, a website that provides resources for others in transition who are struggling with mental health issues.

“There is a lot of pressure to rehabilitate and find a second career,” Lillington said, “but people need time to heal.”

Thorne agrees.

“Overnight, people can lose their careers, sense of identity and support system,” he said. “Helping them grieve the loss of their former identity helps them move on.”



* Activists are holding rallies across the country to oppose Canada’s plan to buy several new fighter jets. In Montreal, a demonstration took place downtown, where chants of “no new fighter jets,” could be heard outside of the offices of Canada’s Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault. The No Fighter Jets Coalition — a group of 25 peace and justice organizations in Canada– says that F-35 jets are “killing machines and bad for the environment,” in addition to being an unnecessary and excessive expense.

Russian military back to harassing the Canadian Arctic


Russian missions in the Arctic briefly tapered off after its invasion of Ukraine, but its subs and bombers are once again showing up on NORAD radar screens

By: Tristin Hopper, The Province
Published Nov 25, 2022
Submitted by: John Cook

TOP STORY
Although Russia continues to lose roughly 300 soldiers every day in its invasion of Ukraine, in recent months Moscow has managed to scratch together enough military hardware to start harassing Canada again.

Ever since the height of the Cold War, Russia has made a point of using its submarines and long-range bombers to loiter on the edge of Canadian and Alaskan territory. While the missions briefly tapered off after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Russian subs and Tu-95 “Bear” bombers are once again showing up on NORAD radar screens.

“We have seen a reduction this year … however, some of those activities have now resumed,” NORAD’s deputy commander, Lt.-Gen. Alain Pelletier, told a Canadian Senate committee earlier this week.

Article content
The original purpose of having Soviet bombers loitering in the Arctic was so that Moscow would have a head start in the event of nuclear war.

During the 1960s, the United States was doing the exact same thing; Operation Chrome Dome was a decade-long effort to ensure that nuclear-armed B-52 bombers were constantly flying 24-hour patrols on the edge of Siberia.

But even as nuclear deterrence was delegated to intercontinental missiles – and even after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 – the probing flights have continued.

A 2016 analysis by the Arctic Yearbook found that the flights particularly ramped up in 2007, with roughly nine Russian bombers per year being intercepted by either U.S. or Canadian fighter jets
Continued...


Russian moves in Arctic put pressure on Canada


Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, February 10, 2019 10:39AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:42PM EST
Submitted by: John Cook
2023-01-06

Recent Russian moves in the Arctic have renewed debate over that country's intentions and Canada's own status at the top of the world.

The newspaper Izvestia reported late last month that Russia's military will resume fighter patrols to the North Pole for the first time in 30 years. The patrols will be in addition to regular bomber flights up to the edge of U.S. and Canadian airspace.

"It's clearly sending strategic messaging," said Whitney Lackenbauer, an Arctic expert and history professor at the University of Waterloo. "This is the next step."

Russia has been beefing up both its civilian and military capabilities in its north for a decade.

Old Cold-War-era air bases have been rejuvenated. Foreign policy observers have counted four new Arctic brigade combat teams, 14 new operational airfields, 16 deepwater ports and 40 icebreakers with an additional 11 in development.

Bomber patrols have been steady. NORAD has reported up to 20 sightings and 19 intercepts a year.

Commercial infrastructure has kept pace as well. A vast new gas field has been opened in the Yamal Peninsula on the central Russian coast. Control and development of the Northern Sea Route -- Russia's equivalent of the Northwest Passage -- has been given to a central government agency. Russian news sources say cargo volume is expected to grow to 40 million tonnes in 2020 from 7.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Canada has little to compare.
Continued...


Satellite images show huge Russian military buildup in the Arctic


By: Nick Paton Walsh, CTVNews via CNN Digital Contact
Published Tuesday, April 6, 2021 5:08PM EDT
Submitted by: John Cook
2023-01-06

Russia is amassing unprecedented military might in the Arctic and testing its newest weapons in a region freshly ice-free due to the climate emergency, in a bid to secure its northern coast and open up a key shipping route from Asia to Europe.

Weapons experts and Western officials have expressed particular concern about one Russian 'super-weapon,' the Poseidon 2M39 torpedo. Development of the torpedo is moving fast with Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting an update on a "key stage" of the tests in February from his defense minister Sergei Shoigu, with further tests planned this year, according to multiple reports in state media.

This unmanned stealth torpedo is powered by a nuclear reactor and intended by Russian designers to sneak past coastal defenses -- like those of the U.S. -- on the sea floor.
Continued...



The world passed a geopolitical 'turning point' in 2022, says Gen. Wayne Eyre

As 2023 dawns, Canada's top soldier confronts a long list of worst-case scenarios

By: Murray Brewster · CBC News · Posted: Jan 03, 2023
Submitted by: Barry Graham/Brian Colgate

It might be a stretch to describe Gen. Wayne Eyre as a modern Cassandra.

Still, over the latter half of 2022, Canada's top military commander delivered — in public and before House of Commons committees — increasingly stark warnings about the future geopolitical landscape, where the war between Russia and Ukraine could go and the intentions of other disruptive international actors, such as China.

Whether he's been disbelieved or dismissed — like the Trojan priestess of Greek mythology — has depended largely on his audience.

Last October, he told a Commons committee that the West was already "at war with China and Russia" and that the two global powers were out to remake their world in their own political image.
During a separate appearance before a different panel of MPs, he warned that Canada's hold on its Arctic archipelago is "tenuous" in the face of great power competition.

"There's just not enough Canadian Forces to be able to do everything"

- Gen. Wayne Eyre

It's almost unprecedented to hear a Canadian chief of the defence staff speak publicly in such uncompromising terms.
Continued...



Putin's Wish List for 2023

Putin prepares for next stage of Ukraine war: Nuclear combat readiness raised, troops boosted 350,000 to 1.5million, navy armed with hypersonic missiles, and military sent west to tackle NATO-wannabes Finland and Sweden

  • Vladimir Putin has warned Russia will strengthen its nuclear arsenal
  • He vowed to spend whatever necessary to turn the tide in his failing invasion
  • Despot will also increase troop numbers and form units on Russia's west
  • Read more: Zelensky heads to the White House
By JACK NEWMAN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:02 EST, 21 December 2022 | UPDATED: 12:21 EST, 21 December 2022
Submitted by: David Bell
2022-12-24

Vladimir Putin has dramatically escalated the Ukraine war again by raising his nuclear combat readiness and bolstering his troops by 350,000 to turn the tide on his failing campaign, raising fears of a global conflict.

The war-mongering despot warned the Kremlin will invest whatever necessary to increase its nuclear arsenal and vowed his much-hyped Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles will be available to his forces within weeks.

New military units will be formed on Russia's western borders to terrorise and scold Finland and Sweden for seeking to join NATO in the face of Kremlin aggression.
Continued...





Lesson of The Month




Famous Quotes of the Month

When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either  a new car or a new wife.
~ Prince Philip

Humour in Uniform



Poetry Corner



Wake Not The Weary

Submissions to Poetry Corner

We are eagerly seeking submissions of a military nature to our Poetry Corner.
I know many of you have little gems of military trivia hidden away.
Please share them with your fellow members.

Send submissions to:

The Editor, Poetry Corner




4RCR Recruiting



Wolseley Barracks, London



Stratford Armoury, Stratford
Join Our Team

Looking for full-time or part-time work? We are hiring and provide excellent career opportunities. Please do not hesitate to call or email our recruiter who will be pleased to answer any questions you may have and provide direction on how to apply to our Regiment.

Our Team Recruiter

Name: London Reserve Recruiting Garrison
Phone: 519-660-5275, Ext. 5300
Email: londonrec@forces.gc.ca

Or contact

Phone: 1-800-856-8488
Find a recruiting centre near you.

When We Train

September to June:

Thursday evenings
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
one weekend per month.
Full-time summer employment is available from May to August.

Trades In Our Unit

Infantry Soldier
Infantry Officer
Financial Services Administrator
Human Resources Administrator
Chaplain

Equipment

Weapons:

Browning 9-mm Pistol C6 7.62-mm Medium Machine Gun C7A2 5.56-mm Automatic Rifle C9A2 Light Machine Gun Carl Gustav 84mm Short Range Anti-armour Weapon (Medium) Grenade

Vehicles:

Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS) Militarized Commercial Off-The-Shelf (MilCOTS) Light Support Vehicle Wheel (LSVW) See a list of Canadian Army weapons and vehicles.




Who We Are

4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (4 RCR) is a Primary Reserve Infantry unit based in London and Stratford, ON. The RCR was founded on 21 December 1883 as Canada's first truly-professional regiment of infantry and has fought gallantly in every conflict Canada has been involved in. 4 RCR, specifically, has drawn its soldiers from the London, Woodstock and Stratford area for more than 150 years.

Today, 4 RCR is a proud and active unit that strives to set the example in all matters of leadership and soldiering. 4 RCR’s role is to rigourously train its soldiers and officers, as part of 31 Canadian Brigade Group, to be ready for operations both domestically and around the world. The unit, in the past, committed more than 20% of its strength to Canadian operations in Afghanistan and nowadays actively augments operations domestically and in Europe. The role of the infantry is to close-with and destroy the enemy: often under challenging conditions. While the job of an infantryman is a demanding one, it is also a highly rewarding, exciting and fun career and the battalion offers a highly supportive and close-knit family network to all its members.

Benefits of Joining

When you join our unit, you will receive competitive pay for your part time or full time work as well as be eligible for on the job training that could benefit you in civilian life. Also, there are medical, dental and educational benefits available to Army Reservists.

Here are all the details:

  • Serve part time in the CAF
  • Competitive pay
  • On the job training
  • Medical and dental benefits
  • Paid education
Command Team

  • Commanding Officer: Lieutenant-Colonel B.W. Griffiths, CD
  • Regimental Sergeant Major: Chief Warrant Officer Jeff Burke, CD
Contact Us

London

4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Wolseley Barracks
701 Oxford St East
London, ON N5Y 4T7

Telephone: 519-660-5275, Ext. 5259

Stratford

4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Stratford Armoury
80 Waterloo Street
Stratford, ON N5A 4A9

4RCR Contacts

London

4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Wolseley Barracks
701 Oxford St East
London, ON N5Y 4T7

Telephone: 519-660-5275, Ext. 5259
Email: @forces.gc.ca

Stratford

4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
Stratford Armoury
80 Waterloo Street
Stratford, ON N5A 4A9

Contact 4RCR Council

BGen (ret'd) O'Brien, GJP, Chairperson,
519-902-0315,
obriengary1@outlook.com

Capt (Ret'd) Mombourquette, JV, Secretary,
519-439-9848,
fj3@rogers.com


Contact Webmaster



Regimental Contacts

The RCR Regimental Site
The RCR Association        
The RCR Regimental Warehouse
The RCR Museum

THANK YOU FOR VISITING WITH US


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