Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR)

The Royal Canadian Regiment

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3202714)

Lieutenant W. Smith, a platoon commander, and Sergeant F.G. White, a platoon sergeant, both of The Royal Canadian Regiment, resting after the capture of Pontecorvo, Italy, 24 May 1944. Lt Smith is holding a SW Victory or Enfield pistol, and Sgt White is holding a German MP40 sub-machine gun.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3226037)

Private D.B. MacDonald of The Royal Canadian Regiment, who carries a Bren light machine gun, near Campobasso, Italy, October 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3397524)

Private W.G. Turner, Royal Canadian Regiment, having a meal beside their radio set, Motta, Italy, 2 October 1943.

The Royal Canadian Regiment (The RCR) from The RCR Wikipedia Page and The RCR home pages)

The RCR is an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army.  The regiment consists of four battalions, three in the Regular Force and one in the primary reserve.  The RCR is ranked 9th in the order of precedence amongst Canadian Army regiments but is the most senior infantry regiment that has regular force battalions.  The RCR motto is Pro Patria, meaning “for country”.

The RCR was originally authorized as the Infantry School Corps on 21 December 1883, and established its first three company stations at Fredericton, New Brunswick; St Jean, Quebec; and Toronto, Ontario.  In 1887 a fourth company was authorized and the next year was established at London, Ontario. The RCR’s four battalions are currently stationed in Ontario and New Brunswick.  Many of its soldiers have been recruited from Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces and the regiment is considered to be the infantry regiment for anglophone eastern Canada.

The RCR maintains a Regimental Headquarters (RHQ) at CFB Petawawa, Ontario, which has no operational command role but handles regimental affairs outside the responsibility of the individual battalions.  The RCR Museum is located within historic Wolseley Hall in London, Ontario.  Wolseley Barracks in London has been continuously occupied by some element of the regiment since construction of Wolseley Hall was completed in 1888.  At various times Wolseley Barracks has been the home of the Regimental Headquarters, the 1st and 2nd Battalions, and remains the home of the 4th Battalion today.

The Infantry School Corps' first battle honours were earned during the North-West Rebellion in 1885, where it fought at Batoche and Cut Knife Creek.  The regiment later provided personnel to the Yukon Field Force (1898–1900), which assisted the North-West Mounted Police in the Yukon during the Gold Rush.  The regiment served in the South African (Boer) War (1899–1903).  Its Great War deployment was delayed by a garrison assignment in Bermuda from September 1914 until August 1915.  Upon returning to Nova Scotia, its members attested for overseas service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), arriving in France in October 1915 to fight in the First World War.

The regiment's name was changed to The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry in 1893, with a new emphasis on being combat capable.  William Dillon Otter, formerly of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, was the first Commanding Officer.  He would later become the first Canadian-born Chief of the General Staff, the head of the Canadian Army.

During the South African War (Second Boer War), the "2nd (Special Service) Battalion" was raised from across the country to contribute Canada's First Contingent in this war, with Otter in command.  This battalion was quickly disbanded in 1900 upon its return to Canada, even though they were considered by many British officers to be the best infantry battalion in the country.  The “3rd (Special Service) Battalion” was also raised at this time, in 1900, and was employed as a garrison force in Halifax until 1902 when it was also disbanded.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3194539)

Troops of the Royal Canadian Regiment crossing Paardeberg Drift.

In the Boer War, the Toronto company of the 2RCRI fought Canada's first overseas battle at Sunnyside, Cape Colony, on 1 Jan 1900, defeating a Boer commando in an action led by Australia's Queensland Mounted Infantry.  The unit then joined and played an instrumental role in the victory at the Battle of Paardeberg (18–27 Feb 1900), including an advance by night towards the enemy lines, quietly digging trenches on high ground 65 yards from the Boer lines.  On 27 Feb 1900, the Boers, staring into the muzzles of Canadian and British rifles, surrendered, thus removing the commando blocking the way to the first Boer capital, Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.  This date has since been celebrated by the Regiment as Paardeberg Day.  Having delivered the first unqualified good news of the war for the British Empire, the Regiment also distinguished itself on the march north, arriving first at the gates of Pretoria.

During the South African War Private Richard Rowland Thompson was awarded a Queen's scarf, one of the four presented to soldiers of the Dominions, a further four scarves crocheted by Queen Victoria went to non-commissioned officers of the British Army.

In October 1901 the regiment received new colours from the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) during his visit to Canada, and the regiment's name was changed to The Royal Canadian Regiment.  In 1914, the regiment was deployed to Bermuda for garrison duties from Sep 1914 to Aug 1915 when it returned to Halifax and retrained for overseas service.  The RCR arrived in France in Oct 1915 to join the new 3rd Canadian Division.  The regiment combined with Princes Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the 42nd and 49th Canadian Infantry Battalions to form the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade.  Battle honours awarded to The Royal Canadian Regiment for its actions in the First World War included: "Mount Sorrel, Somme, 1916, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Arras, 1917, 18, Vimy, 1917, Hill 70, Ypres, 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Scarpe, 1918, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons, France and Flanders, 1914–18".

Among the honours and awards to members of the regiment in the First World War was the Victoria Cross (VC) won by Lieutenant Milton Gregg.  The RCR also recognizes the VC won by Lieutenant Frederick William Campbell, who was an officer of the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), one of the battalions now perpetuated by the RCR.

The RCR remained a Permanent Force regiment between the wars and returned to its role of providing instruction to the Militia through garrisons in London, Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Montreal, Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

On 1 Sep 1939 the regiment was mobilized as part of the Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) as Canada prepared for participation in the Second World War.  When war was declared on 10 Sep 1939, the RCR had already been allocated to the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade, a formation made up entirely of Ontario units.  Moving to the United Kingdom in Dec 1939 as a component of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, the RCR saw hard training for almost four years.

On 10 July 1943, the RCR landed at Pachino in the opening waves of the Allied invasion of Sicily.  The regiment and its brother units in the 1st Brigade, The Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment and the 48th Highlanders of Canada fought in several battles as the division advanced north and then east towards Messina.  After the 38-day campaign on the island was completed, the regiment was involved in another amphibious landing (codenamed Operation Baytown) at Reggio di Calabria, as part of the Allied invasion of the Italian mainland in Sep 1943.

(Canadian Army Photo)

Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Spry, CO of the 1st Battalion, RCR, on a motorcycle in Italy, 1943.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3396001)

Pioneer platoon of the Royal Canadian Regiment watering their mules near Regalbuto, Italy, 4 August 1943.

(Canadian Army Photo)

RCR Pioneers in Italy, 1943.

The RCR fought in several battles of the Italian campaign, including key engagements in the Moro River valley near Ortona in Dec 1943.  During 1944, the regiment took part the Battle of Monte Cassino in attacks on German defensive lines called the Hitler Line and later the Gothic Line.

The regiment was transferred to northwest Europe in February 1945 during Operation Goldflake and took part in the liberation the Dutch city of Apeldoorn.  The regiment received 28 battle honours for its participation in the Second World War.  The regiment returned home to Canada in 1945.

In 1950 the regiment was called upon to contribute to Canada's forces for the Korean War.  A new Active Service Force (Special Force) was to be raised, and the regiment expanded to a two-battalion, then a three-battalion, organization.  The 2nd Battalion, followed by the 1st and 3rd Battalions, each saw service in Korea.  

The three battalions of The Royal Canadian Regiment served in Korea as part of the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group, 1st Commonwealth Division.  The 2nd Battalion was the first to arrive in Korea (5 May 1951 to 25 April 1952), followed by the 1st Battalion (20 April 1952 to 25 March 1953) then the 3rd Battalion (23 March 1953 to the end of the conflict)

The 2nd Battalion helped stabilize the 38th parallel, most notably at the Chail-li sector.  In October 1952, the 1st Battalion fought the Chinese at the battle of Kowang San (Hill 355 – Little Gibraltar).  It was replaced by the 3rd Battalion, which took over the Jamestown Line on Hill 187, where it fought one of the last engagements before the armistice in 1953.  After the end of the Korean War, the regiment was reduced to two battalions, when the 3rd Battalion was disbanded in July 1954.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3199590)

1st Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment presenting arms as U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower arrives for visit, 3 December 1952.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3205718)

Captain Harvey, adjutant Gloucestershire Regiment (left), visits Captain A.G. Fergus, The Royal Canadian Regiment, 10 June 1951.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3211706)

Lieutenant H.R. Gardner and Corporal Karl E. Fowler, Royal Canadian Regiment patrol members who captured communist prisoners, c1952.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3510658)

2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, playing hockey, Imjin, Korea, 4 Feb 1952. The first official hockey game played by Canadian troops in Korea began when Brigadier J.M. Rockingham dropped the puck between team centers: Pte. W. Wolfe and Pte. R. Halley.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3514550)

2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, playing hockey, Imjin, Korea, 4 Feb 1952.

(Fredericton Region Museum Collection, Author Photo)


The London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment)

In 1954 two London, Ontario, Militia regiments, the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) (MG) and The Oxford Rifles were amalgamated and redesignated The London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment).  This unit thus became the Reserve component of the RCR.  In 1958, it was renamed 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (London and Oxford Fusiliers).

In 1989, the designation of the Reserve battalion was shortened to 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.  This amalgamation also brought to the regiment the perpetuation of several battalions of the First World War CEF, including the 1st, 33rd, 71st, 142nd and 168th Battalions as well as the 2nd Battalion of the Canadian Machine Gun Corps.  The amalgamation also saw the total battle honours for the First World War, based on the combined list of amalgamated components of the regiment, increase.

The Militia battalion (3rd Battalion) was renumbered as the 4th Battalion in 1970 when the Canadian Guards were reduced to nil strength and the soldiers of that regiment's 2nd Battalion (at CFB Petawawa) became the restored 3rd Battalion, The RCR, on the Regular Force order of battle.  At the same time, the 2nd Battalion of The RCR was relocated to CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, and reconstituted from the soldiers of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada as its two battalions there were also reduced to nil strength and removed from the active regiments in the army's Regular Force order of battle.

During the 1950s and 1960s, battalions of The RCR were stationed as part of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group ( 4 CNBG) at Fort York, Germany.  These deployments were executed by 1RCR (1955–57 and 1962–65) and 2RCR (1953–55 and 1965–70).  3rd Battalion was later deployed to Germany, stationed in Baden-Söllingen 1977–84 and 1988–93.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4976243)

1st Battalion, the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada, tank busters near Itzehoe, Germany, with their M40 106-mm Recoilless Rifle. Driver Private Garry McGray, Lance Corporal Bert Hayden, and Private Steve Neary, Sep 1960.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235759)

Canadian Army field training in Germany, ca 1964.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235763)

Canadian Army field training in Germany, ca 1964.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235757)

Canadian Army field training in Germany, ca 1964.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235758)

Canadian Army field training in Germany, ca 1964.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3931018)

Recruits of San Leonardo Platoon, RCR Depot carrying out loading drills on the Carl Gustav 84-mm, 1968.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3931016)

3 RCR Cyprus - Members of 3 RCR in Cyprus leave one of their observation posts during a patrol in the outskirts of Nicosia, Cyprus, 1977.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3931021)

2 RCR Trooping Colours, Fredericton, New Brunswick, 18 June 1983.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4876339)

3rd Battalion RCR, Geroldshofen, Germany, Fallex, 14 Sep 1982.  

All three Regular Force battalions of The RCR were deployed during the October Crisis in 1970 as part of the government's response to the FLQ.  Major John Hasek became the first commander of the Canadian Forces Parachute Team, The Sky Hawks when it formed in 1971.  The three Regular Force battalions were also deployed in to support the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec.

Throughout the Cold War period, The RCR participated in Canada's contributions to United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations.  For battalions of the regiment, this meant rotating tours on the island of Cyprus.  The six-month tours of this mission, named Operation Snowgoose, were executed by elements of the regiment 13 times between 1966 and 1992.

In 1977 the 3rd Battalion was posted to CFB Baden-Soellingen in Germany.  In 1984 the battalion was rotated to Winnipeg.  In 1988 the battalion was rotated back to Baden until the base was closed in 1993 at which time it was disbanded in Germany and subsequently stood up at CFB Borden, Ontario, as a "10/90" battalion.  The "10/90" concept created an infantry battalion in each Regular Force regiment with approximately 10 per cent of its personnel being full-time Regular soldiers, while the remaining positions were filled by Reserve Force soldiers from affiliated units in the region.  These units existed until 1996 when the three 10/90 battalions were stood down and replaced by light infantry battalions on the Regular Force order of battle.  Initially formed without specific regimental affiliation, within the year the light infantry battalion was relocated to CFB Petawawa, Ontario, and officially designated the 3rd Battalion, The RCR.

In 1990, HQ and Duke of Edinburgh's Company (the first rifle company) of the 1st Battalion deployed to Cornwall, Ontario, as part of Operation Kahnawake.  The 2nd Battalion, as part of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (5 CMBG), deployed to the Montreal region to partake in Operation Salon.  These deployments were part of the government's response to the Oka Crisis.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3931019)

RCR Capt John Fife with M113, Op Salon, Kahnawake, Quebec, Sep 1990.

In 1991, M Company and a platoon from P Company from 3rd Battalion, CFB Baden-Soellingen, Germany, and C Company from 1RCR, CFB London, Ontario, served in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the first Gulf War.  These companies were employed on airfield and field hospital security duties.  C Company of the 1st Battalion served in Al Jabail, Saudi Arabia providing security for 1 Canadian Field Hospital, and prisoner of war processing from 21 February to 20 March 1991.  12 Platoon, P Company of the 3rd Battalion served in Bahrain as a security force from 16 January to the end of March 1991.

In 1992, soldiers from the English-speaking N Company of the 3rd Battalion commanded by Major Devlin, based at CFB Baden-Soellingen in Germany, as an attachment to the R22eR, operationally secured the Sarajevo airport during the Yugoslav wars.  This operation saw a redeployment of the entire battle group from Croatia to the Sarajevo Theatre of Operations, under the command of General Lewis Mackenzie.

Queen Elizabeth II made mention of this operational force and its commitment to international peace while she was in the National Capital Region that same year during Canada's 125th, stating:

I am delighted to be here with you once again, to share in this day of national celebration, and, as a member of the Canadian family, to wish Canada a happy birthday on this one hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of Confederation.  We have an occasion, and a country, worth celebrating ... I want to say a special word about the brave Canadian soldiers who today seek to bring peace, under the United Nations auspices, to a dangerous situation in Bosnia.  They serve both Canada and the cause of peace with courage and conviction.  As Queen of Canada, I salute their contribution with pride…You have inherited a country uniquely worth preserving.  I call on you all, wherever you live, whatever your walk of life, to cherish that inheritance, and to protect it with all your strength.  May God bless each and every one of you as you go about that task. And may God bless Canada.

— Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, on the 125th anniversary of Confederation, July 1, 1992

Shortly thereafter the Governor General of Canada bestowed the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation to N Company.  The official warrant stated:

(Award)…to the 1st Battalion of the Royal 22e Regiment Battle Group (Including N Company, 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment) for having opened the airport in the besieged city of Sarajevo in July 1992 (OP HARMONY).  The Commendation was officially presented to the unit by Her Excellency, the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, CC, CMM, COM, CD, Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces during a ceremony which took place at the Citadel in Quebec City on 9 September 2002."

(Author Photo)

2RCR M113 APCs, CFB Gagetown, spring 1995.

The unit returned to Bosnia for a tour with the NATO-led Peace Stabilization Force, SFOR, in 1998 and 1999.

(Corporal Brian Watters, 5 Div HQ PAO Branch Photo)

1999, Cpl Ed Pinto, 2 Int Pl receiving his Bosnia medal at Camp Drvar, India Coy, 2RCR, with HCol Jack Vance presenting, with RCR Capt John Fife escorting.

All three Regular Force battalions served as peacekeepers in the Sinai Peninsula, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The 1st Battalion served in Kosovo during NATO mission Operation Kinetic, Rotation 1, Dec 1999 - May 2000.

In 2000, the 2nd Battalion had the honour of mounting the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace, when a detachment came to London to commemorate the Canadian involvement in the Second Boer War, and to celebrate the re-opening of Canada House.  Later that year, H Company Group of 2nd Battalion deployed to eastern Africa as part of  the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).  As the United States prepared militarily and politically to launch military actions against Iraq, 2 RCR formed a provisional battle group and was warned off that if the government decided to participate, it would deploy.  The government decided against participation and instead decided to return to Afghanistan.  I Company Group deployed to Kabul on 26 May 2003 to form the Defence and Security Company for the construction of the Canadian camp.  It returned to Canada in August of that year after 3rd Battalion Group took on ISAF operations.

On 2 Oct 2003, Sgt. Robert Alan Short and Cpl. Robbie Christopher Beerenfenger were killed, and three others injured when their Iltis jeep struck a roadside bomb outside Camp Julien near Kabul.  They were from 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment.

On 27 Jan 2004, Cpl. Jamie Murphy died, and three soldiers were injured by a suicide bomber while patrolling near Camp Julien in an Iltis jeep.  All were members of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

In March 2004 the same company deployed to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as part of Operation Halo (designated by the US as Operation Secure Tomorrow) to conduct security operations as part of the Multinational Interim Force.  This force was set in place in order to set the conditions for the United Nations to take over.  I Company conducted a relief in place with H Company Group in June.  H Company changed roles to the UN force and redeployed to Gonaïves, Haiti.  It returned to Canada in September of that year.

On 24 Nov 2005, Pte. Braun Scott Woodfield, Royal Canadian Regiment, was killed in a traffic accident involving his light-armoured vehicle (LAV III) northeast of Kandahar.  Three other soldiers suffered serious injuries.

In August 2006, the 1st Battalion deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Athena, replacing the 1st Battalion, PPCLI for a six-month tour of duty in theatre.

On 4 Sep 2006, Pte. Mark Anthony Graham, a member of 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario, was killed and dozens of others wounded in a friendly fire incident involving an American A-10 Warthog aircraft.  Graham was a Canadian Olympic team member in 1992, when he raced as a member of the 4 x 400 metre relay team.

On 29 Sep 2006, Pte. Josh Klukie was killed by an improvised explosive device while he was conducting a foot patrol in a farm field in the Panjwai district. Klukie, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was serving in the First Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment.

On 14 Oct 2006, Sgt. Darcy Tedford and Pte. Blake Williamson from 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario, were killed and three others wounded after troops in Kandahar province came under attack by Taliban insurgents wielding rocket propelled grenades and mortars, according to media reports.  The troops were trying to build a road in the region when the ambush attack occurred

On 27 Nov 2006, two Canadian soldiers were killed on the outskirts of Kandahar when a suicide car bomber attacked a convoy of military vehicles. Cpl. Albert Storm, 36, of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Chief Warrant Officer Robert Girouard, 46, from Bouctouche, NB, were members of the Royal Canadian Regiment based in Petawawa, Ontario.  They were in an armoured personnel carrier that had just left the Kandahar Airfield base when a vehicle approached and detonated explosives.

In February 2007, the 2nd Battalion replaced the 1st Battalion in Afghanistan for a tour of duty.

On 8 April 2007, six Canadian soldiers were killed, and two others were injured  when their armoured vehicle struck a roadside bomb west of Kandahar City, resulting in the worst single-day loss of life for Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.  Sgt. Donald Lucas, 31, Cpl. Aaron E. Williams, 23, Cpl. Brent Poland, Pte. Kevin Vincent Kennedy, 20, Pte. David Robert Greenslade, 20, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Gagetown, NB, were killed in the blast.  Cpl. Christopher Paul Stannix, 24, a reservist from the Princess Louise Fusiliers, based in Halifax, also died.  One other soldier was seriously injured.  Their LAV III hit an "improvised explosive device" around 1:30 p.m. local time.  10 soldiers were riding in the vehicle when it struck the explosive.  Four Canadian soldiers were flown to the hospital at Kandahar airbase.  One was listed in serious condition with non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to the US military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.  A second soldier suffered minor injuries and the other two were not hurt.

The troops were serving with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in the Maywand district near the border with Helmand province, where the multinational force recently launched a major offensive against the Taliban that was called Operation Achilles.

In September 2008, 3rd Battalion replaced 2nd Battalion, PPCLI, as part of Operation Athena, Roto 6, forming the core of the Task Force Kandahar Battle Group.  It served until relieved in place by 2nd Battalion, R22eR in April 2009.  The pre-deployment training of a platoon from the battalion was filmed for the reality television series Combat School.

On 5 Dec 2008, an IED killed W.O. Robert Wilson, 38, Cpl. Mark McLaren, 23, and Pte. Demetrios Diplaros, 25, all members of the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment based in Petawawa, Ontario.  All three were from Ontario - Keswick, Peterborough and Scarborough respectively.

On 13 Dec 2008, three soldiers were killed by an IED west of Kandahar City after responding to reports of people planting a suspicious object.  Cpl. Thomas James Hamilton, 26, Pte. John Michael Roy Curwin, 26, and Pte. Justin Peter Jones, 21, members of 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment from CFB Gagetown, NB, died.

On 20 March 2009, Master Cpl. Scott Vernelli of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, and Pte. Tyler Crooks of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, died when they were hit by an IED while on a foot patrol in western Zahri District as part of Operation Jaley.  An Afghan interpreter was also killed.  Five other soldiers from November Company were wounded as was another Afghan interpreter.  About two hours later, Trooper Jack Bouthillier and Trooper Corey Hayes from a reconnaissance squadron of the Petawawa-based Royal Canadian Dragoons died when their armoured vehicle struck an IED in Shah Wali Khot District about 20 kilometres northeast of Kandahar.  Three other Dragoons were wounded in the same blast.

(ISAF photo by U.S. Air Force TSgt Laura K. Smith)

Canadian Army soldiers assigned to the 1st and 2nd Royal Canadian Regiment with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) perform operational checks of their RG-31 Nyala vehicles and equipment during routine maintenance, Helmand, Afghanistan, 17 Oct 2008.  The soldiers were part of the Operational Mentor Liaison Team that helped to train Afghan National Army soldiers in southern Afghanistan. ISAF was assisting the Afghan government in extending and exercising its authority and influence across the country, creating the conditions for stabilization and reconstruction.


A Canadian soldier with 4th platoon, Hotel Company, 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, provides security with a C9 weapon during training at the Joint Multi-National Readiness Center, near Hohenfels, Germany, 30 Sep 2008.  The soldiers were taking part in Cooperative Spirit 2008, as part of an American, British, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand interoperability test.

In April 2010, the 1st Battalion deployed for Task Force 1–10.

On 18 May 2010, Col Geoff Parker, 42, of the Royal Canadian Regiment was traveling in a convoy of three SUVs with US troops when a suicide bomber driving a mini-van with nearly a ton of explosives packed inside swerved into them.  Five American soldiers also died in the attack that killed the RCR officer, who was on a "recce" visit to Kabul before taking up an assignment there.  Parker was from Oakville, Ontario.

In February 2012, the 2nd Battalion formed the core of Rotation 1 of the Canadian Contribution Training Mission – Afghanistan and deployed to Kabul on Operation Attention until November 2012.

In October–November 2018, an 82-strong contingent from all four battalions and 38 members of the Royal Canadian Artillery Band provided the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace, St Jame’s Palace and the Tower of London as well as Windsor Castle.

The RCR has contributed personnel to Canadian Forces Joint Task Force-Ukraine since 2014.

The Freedom of the City was exercised by the Royal Canadian Regiment in Fredericton, New Brunswick on 2 June 1973 and in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador on 19 June 2005.

On 10 Nov 1983 Canada Post issued 'The Royal Canadian Regiment, The British Columbia Regiment' as part of the Canadian Forces, Regiments, 1883–1983 series. The stamps were designed by Ralph Tibbles, based on a painting by William Southern. The 32¢ stamps are perforated 13.5 × 13 and were printed by Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was appointed as the Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Canadian Regiment on 8 Dec 1953.  Prince Philip has had only one predecessor in this appointment, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, from 1929 to 1942.

The Colonel of the Regiment, through such appointment, holds the pre-eminent position in the conduct of regimental affairs.  He is the senior member of the Regimental Council, an advisor to The RCR Association Board of Directors and The RCR Trust Fund.  The current Colonel of the Regiment is former Governor General of Canada David Johnston, who accepted the appointment on 4 Aug 2018.

On 5 June 2012, Judith Irving was officially appointed first patron of the Regiment.

The RCR badge is "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)

The letters VRI on the cap badge of The RCR stand for Victoria Regina Imperatrix, which is Latin for "Victoria, Queen and Empress".  The right to wear the imperial cypher and crown was granted to the regiment by Queen Victoria in 1893.

When a royal or imperial cypher forms part of the badge of a regiment it is normal for it to change with each succeeding sovereign.  During the period 1901 to 1919, the officially authorized versions of the regiment's cap badge were those with King Edward II's and King George V's cyphers, although the regiment continued to use the "VRI" ensigned badges throughout this time while petitioning for their formal return.  In 1919, King George V granted The Royal Canadian Regiment permission to wear "VRI" in perpetuity – a unique privilege.

RCR Camp flag.

The companies of the battalions of The RCR are lettered sequentially across the regiment:

1st Battalion – A to F, 2nd Battalion – G to L, 3rd Battalion – M to R, 4th Battalion – S, T and X (S Company consists of a Company Headquarters as well as two rifle platoons located in London, Ontario, and 3 Platoon located in Stratford, Ontario.  T Company consists of a Company Headquarters located in Stratford, Ontario, and X Company consists of the Battalion Headquarters personnel.)

In the Regular Force battalions, the first four companies are rifle companies, and the latter two are combat support (weapons) and administration company (combat service support).

When on parade, companies parade in alphabetic order.  Companies are normally addressed by the NATO phonetic alphabet for their designation letter with the following exceptions:

A Coy, 1RCR, is designated and always referred to as "Duke of Edinburgh's Company" or, colloquially, "Duke's Company".

C Coy, 1RCR, is known as "Charles" Company. This unique designation was adopted during the Korean War, as the company was noted for maintaining a very high standard of dress and deportment.

M Coy, 3RCR, is often referred to as "Para" Company, short for Parachute Company, at the discretion of the commanding officer, although this title is not officially recognized by the regiment as other than a colloquial nickname, even as the 3rd Battalion is now airborne-capable

In 1970, following a review of the regular army, several infantry battalions were disbanded.  The Canadian Guards and the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada lost both of their regular battalions, with personnel being distributed to The Royal Canadian Regiment.  The 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment adopted the Pipes and Drums of the Black Watch, becoming the Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.  The 3rd Battalion of the RCR, similarly, adopted the Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards, when they were disbanded.  In 1977 the 3rd Battalion Pipes and Drums were redesignated the Special Service Force Pipes and Drums.

The 2nd Battalion the Royal Canadian Regiment currently maintains the only Pipes and Drums in the Canadian regular army.  The 'Drum and Bugle' and 'Pipe and Drum' bands of the regiment are notable in that all members are trained infantry soldiers employed secondarily as musicians.  The RCR Band, in contrast, was a professional brass and reed band manned by military musicians.  This band was formed in London in the 1950s, transferred to CFB Gagetown in the 1970s and disbanded in the 1990s.  (Wikipedia)

(Author Photo)

LAV III, 2RCR preparing to head out on exercise at 5 CDSB Gagetown, 2 May 2011.

(Author Photo)

LAV III, 2RCR preparing to head out on exercise at 5 CDSB Gagetown, 2 May 2011.

(YSHS, FRM, Bella Doherty Photo)

(Author Photo)

Canadian Infantry Soldier Statue, "The Last 100 Yards", located in front of J7 The Infantry School at 5 CDSB Gagetown, NB.
Locally, the figure is called “Iron Mike” and was sponsored by The Infantry School.

Jump-qualified personnel in parachute units of the Canadian Army wear the maroon beret, provided they are in a designated parachute position.  These are as follows:

Z Battery, 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery,

E and Y Batteries, 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery,

5 Troop, 24 Field Squadron, 2 Combat Engineer Regiment,

5 Troop, 53 Field Squadron, 5 Combat Engineer Regiment,

M Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment,

B Company, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry,

A Company, 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment,

Instructors, packer/riggers and jump-slotted members of the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre, CFB Trenton, Ontario,

Parachute Company, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.

(Author Photo)

Canadian Airborne Regiment flag, Infantry School lines, 5 CDSB Gagetown, NB.

(Author Photo)

Second Battalion Colours Royal Canadian Regiment at Christ Church Cathedral Fredericton

803 Brunswick St, Fredericton, NB

Inside the Cathedral above the main entrance hang the laid up Queen's and Regimental Colours of the Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. These Colours were presented to the Battalion in 1955 at Fort York in West Germany by His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, who had been appointed the Colonel in Chief of the Regiment in December 1953.

(York Sunbury Historical Society, Fredericton Region Museum collection, Author Photo)

Royal Canadian Regiment Victorian shoulder cypher, pre-First World War.

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