Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Regiment has just returned from another month in Wainwright. Although Exercise STEELE SABRE required soldiers to spend more time away from loved ones, the training the team achieved in a short period of time was significant. In addition to validating the live fire proficiency of all fighting troops in the Regiment by day and by night, both tank squadrons conducted squadron-level live fire training and we were able to leverage this exercise to validate the Strathcona Cambrian Patrol Team. We were also very fortunate to host the Colonel of the Regiment, Senior Serving Strathcona and various 'Friends of the Regiment' in the field. In an effort to avoid the snow, we deliberately trained in September: Mother Nature did not let us down - temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius on several days! The exercise culminated with an old-fashioned smoker at which we hosted a handful of soldiers and leaders from our Allied Regiment, The Queen's Royal Lancers.
Next Bound. Although the Regiment will continue to be designated the Immediate Reaction Unit for the Brigade through to March, the RSM and I intend to slow the tempo down until Christmas as much as possible. Please note the following key dates/activities:
- 7-11 Oct: Thanksgiving Long Weekend
- 10-29 October: Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE, Wainwright (B Squadron)
- 16 October-4 November: Leopard 2 Commissioning, Germany (this will affect only 10 soldiers from A and B Squadron)
- 21-29 October: Cambrian Patrol Competition (Wales)
- November (dates TBC): Exercise PATRICIA ACES, National Training Centre, Fort Irwin, California (this will affect only 16 soldiers from Recce Squadron)
- 21-25 November: Chile Small Unit Exchange (12 soldiers from A and HQ Squadrons)
- 1 December: Black Hat Mess Dinner/Career Manager Visit (details will be distributed separately)
- 3 December: Regimental Children's Christmas Party (all Strathcona's both serving at the Regiment and ERE - are invited)
- 14 December (TBC): Christmas Sports Day
- 15 December (TBC): Muster Parade/Soldiers' Christmas Dinner/At Home
- 16 December-8 January 2012: Christmas Leave
Strathcona Command Announcement. In spite of my best efforts to extend my tenure at the Strathcona's to a third year and eliminate all potential successors through any means at my disposal, it would appear the Army has other plans. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Peyton will be honoured to again work with Strathcona soldiers and will replace me this coming summer. Paul is a truly exceptional officer who genuinely cares about his troops and their loved ones - the Regiment will be well served by Paul's leadership, professionalism and experience. Congratulations, Paul. We look forward to having you, Tiffany and the boys return to the Regimental Family this coming summer. We will communicate details for the change of command via ENews once known.
Tactics School Command Announcement. We are also very pleased to announce that Lieutenant-Colonel Dwayne Parsons has been named as the next Commanding Officer of the Tactic's School in Gagetown. Dwayne will bring to this job his extensive operational and training experience, and his common-sense approach that will benefit tomorrow's combat arms leaders as they progress through training. Congratulations on this tremendous achievement, Dwayne.
Awards Announcements. I am also honoured to announce the following award recipients (note that others are pending and will be announced once official):
- Major Rob Hume: Mentioned-in-Dispatches for his courageous leadership in combat operations;
- Colonel Roy Forestell: Meritorious Service Medal for world-class leadership and unwavering dedication as Canadian Defence Attaché to the United Arab Emirates and Syria from 2004 to 2011;
- Lieutenant-Colonel Don Senft: Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding leadership as the Joint Task Force Games DCOS Plans and J5 in support of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics;
- Lieutenant-Colonel Shane Gifford: Chief of Defence Staff Commendation for outstanding leadership as ACOS Joint Task Force Afghanistan;
- Master Warrant Officer Lee Taylor: Selected as the Canadian Army Representative at the US III Corps Deputy Commanding General Change of Appointment Ceremony (Fort Hood, Texas, August 2011);
- Corporal Richard Morrison: Named as the Army Representative to the National Remembrance Day Ceremony (Ottawa, November 2011);
- Master-Corporal James Hamilton: Named as Land Force Western Area Representative to the Canadian Army Run (Ottawa, September 2011); and
- Bison Transport: Chief of Defence Staff Medallion for long-standing support to the Strathcona Mounted Troop and Canadian Forces.
Strathcona Ladies Functions. As you may or may not be aware, a number of Strathcona spouses have worked hard in recent months to create opportunities for the loved ones of Strathcona soldiers to gather in a fun social environment. This group has grown considerably in size this past year and includes the spouses, girlfriends and family members of Strathcona soldiers of all ranks and hat badges (including support trades at the unit). The Strathcona Ladies will gather next at 6:30 pm on the 13th of October (Sarcee Room, Harvey Building) to prepare Taste of Home Packages for the 60 Strathcona soldiers that will be deployed around the world over the Christmas period. Further, there are other exciting events planned for the next six months. If there is anyone who would like to be added to the Strathcona Ladies email distribution list, please contact Kathy Batty at firstname.lastname@example.org or join their Facebook page by searching for 'Strathcona Ladies'.
CWO Bill Crabb and I wish you and your families the very best this Thanksgiving Weekend.
T. (Trevor) Cadieu
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)