The Minute Book
Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Strength of the Militia (1885)
Topic: Canadian Militia

The Military Strength of the Dominion

The Val d'Or Star; 8 April 1885

At the present crisis we often hear the question asked as to the condition and actual strength of the military force of the country. Regarding the efficiency of the enrolled volunteer force, with the exception of some pet city corps, we far very little indeed can be said. If our own local battalions are any criterion, the country now, in this time of need, finds the want of a well-disciplined and equipped body of men. Sufficient money has been yearly expended by the government to have things otherwise. But, it is needless to find fault and recriminate on the errors and foolishness of the past.

The trouble is upon us, and it must be bravely and patriotically met. As we intimated in our last, the time is approaching when somebody will have to render to the people a strict account for all the shortcomings of the past. In his annual report, Dec. 30th, 1884, Major-General Middleton, commander of the forces, says the total strength of the active militia on the 31st of December last including all branches, was 37,036.

The officers and men composing this force are distributed among twelve military districts, of which four are in Ontario, three in Quebec, one each in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and the Northwest territories, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. There are altogether 194 companies, of which 180 are normally in twelve military districts and eight are made up of the Royal Military College cadet corps (one), the Cavalry School corps (one), the regiment of Canadian Artillery (three) and the Infantry School corps (three).

  • Of cavalry, the force in the cities is composed of 225 officers and men (including the Cavalry School corps 43); and that in the rural districts of 1,462, making a total of 1,987.
  • The field artillery numbers 1,440 — 722 in the cities; 718 in the country.
  • The garrison artillery has a strength of 2,472 — 1,550 in the cities (including the regiment of Canadian artillery), and 922 in the country.
  • Of engineers there are 243, of whom 198 (including the Royal Military College cadet corps, 64 strong) are in the cities and 45 in the country.

The entire strength of the infantry is 30,894, of which 7,414 (including the Infantry School corps, 315) belongs to the cities and 23,480 to the country.There is thus a total strength for the cities of 10,409, and of the rural militia of 26,627.

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 14 April 2014

The US Army's "Soldier's Rules" (1993)
Topic: Discipline

The US Army's "Soldier's Rules" (1993)

US Army Regulation 350-41, Training in Units, 1993

1.     Soldiers fight only enemy combatants.

2.     Soldiers do not harm enemies who surrender. Disarm them and turn them over to your superior.

3.     Soldiers do not kill or torture enemy prisoners of war.

4.     Soldiers collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe.

5.     Soldiers do not attack medical personnel, facilities, or equipment.

6.     Soldiers destroy no more than the mission requires.

7.     Soldiers treat all civilians humanely.

8.     Soldiers do not steal. Soldiers respect private property and possessions.

9.     Soldiers should do their best to prevent violations of the law of war. Soldiers report all violations of the law of war to their superiors.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 13 April 2014

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform
Topic: Tradition

The Battle of Minden, by by Dawn Waring (Source)

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform

Major T.J. Edwards, M.B.E., F.R.Hist.S., Some Military Customs and Survivals, The Army Quarterly, Volume XXXIX, October 1939 and January 1940

Wearing of Emblems with Uniform.— the custom of wearing emblems in various forms to commemorate important events is very ancient and is not entirely prohibited in the [British] Army, although "King's Regulations" prohibit the wearing of unauthorized ornaments and emblems with uniform. General authority is, however, given for all ranks when not on duty to wear their national emblem or flower on their respective Saint's day, i.e.—

  • Rose on St. George's Day (23rd of April) for English personnel.
  • Thistle on St. Andrew's Day (30th of November) for Scottish personnel.
  • Leek on St. David's Day (1st March) for Welsh personnel.
  • Shamrock on St. Patrick's Day (17th of March) for Irish personnel.
  • All ranks are permitted to wear a poppy on Armistice Day (11th of November).
  • Minden Day (1st of August). Of the more particular types of emblems worn perhaps the "Minden Roses" are the best known. … There are six "Minden" regiments.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2014 4:37 PM EDT
Saturday, 12 April 2014

Battle Precepts for Infantry and Armor
Topic: Military Theory

Battle Precepts for Infantry and Armor

Brig.-Gen. S.L.A. Marshall (U.S. Army) in "The 100-Hour War", published in "Army" magazine of the Association of the United States Army. (republished in the Canadian Army Journal, Vol 12, No 4, Oct 1958)

1.     Leading means moving to the point of main danger if decisive pressure is to be maintained. There is no excuse for holding back.

2.     When orders can't get through, assume what the orders would be.

3.     When in doubt, hit out. The short route to safety is the road to the enemy hill.

4.     Don't attack head-on; there is usually a better way.

5.     When troops are truly exhausted, hold back and rest them.

6.     Waste no energy in useless movement. Maintain the pace of the attack so long as physical resources seem sufficient.

7.     If the force designated to attack is not suitably armed to overrun the position, pull off and call for what is needed. Avoid useless wastage.

8.     Don't delay the battle because of supply shortages which lie beyond its probable crisis.

9.     Keep your sense of humour if you would save your wits.

10.     When trapped by sudden fire, movement means salvation more surely than a foxhole.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 11 April 2014

Quetta: The Indian Staff College
Topic: Officers

Quetta: The Indian Staff College

The Road Past Mandalay, John Masters, 1961, pp. 75-77.- quoted in Sword of the Raj, Roger Beaumont, 1977

… The capital of Baluchistan, the encyclopedia informed anyone who wanted to know. A variation of the word kwat-kot, signifying "fortress." (Come now, mind your language there, Britannica.) … 536 miles by rail north of Karachi; 5,500 feet above sea level. Pop.: 60,000 odd. (Not so damned odd, Britannica; just Baluchi tribesmen and army types.) Largely destroyed by earthquake May 31, 1935. Ringed by mountains. Standing eighty miles back from the Afghan frontier. A garrison town. Probably very hot in summer and very cold in winter. A dull place, the encyclopedia hinted.

It was right and wrong. The physical description was correct enough, especially the bit about the cold. The pass leading to Afghanistan is called the Khojak, and a diabolically cold, dry wind often blew in over it, chapping lips and freezing ears and drying the skin so that women poured olive oil into their bath water; and I had seen men and girls in Saint-Moritz clothes skiing down the wide avenues, and a string of camels coming slowly up in the opposite direction, snow on their heavy, supercilious eyelids, and the dark mountains towering out of the slanting snow above them all.

But Quetta was not dull. It was electric. Something in the air produced pregnancy in the childless, nymphomania in the frigid, larceny in the respectable, and scandals of wonderful variety…

There was the Musical Beds Scandal of the mid-1930s, when four officers in a remote outpost had passed three wives around in a year-long orgy—the odd man out, a week at a time, doing all the military work.

There was the Bhoosa Scandal. Bhoosa is chopped, dried straw, usually baled, used for fodder for the army's mules and horses, and the scandal was too complicated to explain here, but it involved two sets of scales, one accurate and one inaccurate, and midnight openings and illegal substitutions among the bhoosa stacks. And the Coal Scandal, when a quartermaster sergeant sold government coal to the local cinema proprietors (what they did with it I cannot imagine; they certainly didn't heat their movie houses), and pocketed the proceeds. And the Car Scandal, involving a chap who registered and insured an old heap as the military vehicle he was entitled to, and got a receipt for a new car, and bought a race horse, and won many races and much money with it. And a girl with unruly hair and disposition, known as the Passionate Haystack; and another as the Lilo (a form of inflatable rubber mattress); and another as the Sofa Cobra. There was a Vice Queen who collected other ladies' husbands and cut a notch in her bedstead for every conquest. No one knew why the bed was still standing.

And a major who leaned forward with a choked grunt at a ceremonial dinner party and hauled out of its shell the left breast of the lady sitting across the table from him. And another who applied for short leave, paid his debts, handed over his job to a brother officer, and shot himself. (His colonel had twice warned him about homosexual advances toward the troops, and told him that the next time he'd go to court martial. The third time had arrived.)

And there were hailstorms of stunning violence, when donkeys lay dead in the streets and camels lay stunned at the edge of the surrounding desert. And flash floods that swept away trucks, guns, and men, if they were caught in the usually dry river beds. And frequent earthquakes. And tremendous chukar shoots on the mountains, duck shoots far to the west, skiing, jackal hunts with the pack of foxhounds, point-to-point races, a race course with regular meetings. And the Staff College.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 10 April 2014

Walking Out Dress (1942)
Topic: Canadian Army

New Well-tailored Dress Uniforms To Be Issued to Privates in Army

Made of Khaki Serge, Latest Issue Is Designed
for Off-duty Wear and to Augment
Present Battle Dress 'Working Clothes'

The Montreal Gazette, 14 January 1942

The thousands of young soldiers in the Canadian Army will soon vie for placed as the best-dressed men in the Dominion as a result of the official announcement made last night by the Department of National Defence that they are to be outfitted with dress uniforms to augment the battledress they already possess.

Emphasis was placed on the fact that the new uniforms, which are smartly tailored and are designed for off-duty wear, are not replacements for battledress. Persistent rumours have circulated to the effect that such replacements are on the way but last night's announcement referred to the Canadian fighting dress as the most practical ever designed for battle conditions.

"It is decidedly not a replacement," Maj-Gen B.W. Browne, Adjutant-General, declared in Ottawa. "The walking-put dress is just what the name implies. It is a best suit to be worn when work is done for the day. The young men who form Canada's army today are typical young Canadians—the type of chaps who wouldn't think of going out for the evening in their working clothes and who like to wear the best suit on Sundays. Because they are in the army, there is no reason why their standards should be changed. Hence the issue of an extra uniform.

Because of the fact that two suits have more than twice the as long a life as a single one, economy also enters the picture, it was pointed out.

The actual ate of issue has not been definitely established, due to the necessity of designing the many sizes in which it will be made. It is expected, however, that deliveries of the new dress uniforms will start in toughly six weeks time.

Smartly cut, quite like the jackets and slacks worn by officers even to the brass buckled belt, the new outfits are tailored in regulation khaki serge. The tie to be worn with them is a beech brown in colour and collar pins form a part of the issue.

Low Shoes Allowed

Black socks, considerably finer than those which are now issued to soldiers to go with the battledress, and black, low shoes complete the walking out dress. The use of shoes rather than of boots issued with other uniforms is a major concession to smartness. The familiar khaki wedge cap or, if the soldier possesses one, the colourful wedge cap authorized already, completes the uniform.

The jacket has four pockets, with breast pockets being of the rectangular pleated pattern. The side pockets are large ones of the patch type. They differ only from those of the officers' tunics by being stitched all of the way around instead of bellowed. A deep bent in the centre back seam insures a good fit when sitting.

Old soldiers who remember the day when it was next thing to heresy for a private to be caught walking about with a swagger stick, are due for a shock. The swagger stick will be part of the issue to all soldiers.

Another feature of the new dress uniform will be the wearing of regimental collar-badges. It isn't so very long ago that these were a familiar sight.

Complete issue to soldiers will consist of a serge jacket, serge trousers, two collars, one collar pin, a brown necktie, black socks, black leather low shows and a waterproof coat.

Ottawa Citizen, 9 February, 1945

Army Will Withdraw Walking Out Dress

Issuance of the familiar walking out uniform of the Canadian Army, the open collar serge dress jacket and matching trousers has been cancelled, according to the latest district orders.

All such items of clothing on charge units and individuals will be withdrawn immediately by Ordnance to the returned stores section, according to instructions. Badges of rank or trade will be removed from the jackets and retained for re-issue to units.

Military authorities had no additional comment to add to the the situation at this time. Whether the calling in of the walking out uniforms mean that this dress will be removed entirely from the uniform list of the Canadian Army or whether there is possibly a re-issue in prospect for a later date could not be determined.

The Maple Leaf, 3 March 1945

Canadian Army drops 'zoot suits'

Ottawa---Khaki serge walking out uniforms introduced into the Canadian Army in 1942 and never popular with soldiers are being withdrawn from service, packeted and sent as mutual aid to the armies of liberated countries, it is learned here.

France, Greece, or Yugoslavia will probably receive these "zoot suits," which were issued only to men serving in Canada.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The National War Memorial
Topic: CEF

Canada's Great Response;
the National War Memorial

Silent Witnesses, Herbert Fairlie Wood and John Swettenham, 1974

Down the street from Parliament Hill, at the centre of Confederation Square, stands the National War Memorial. It is the most impressive monument erected in Canada and may best be viewed from Elgin Street to give as its background the Parliament Buildings and the distant Gatineau Hills.

In 1925 a competition for the design of a national memorial resulted in the selection of a model submitted by an Englishman, Vernon March. March's theme was "the great response of Canada" and uniformed figures representing all services, passing through a granite arch, eloquently portray the response of the Canadian people. These bronze figures, each about eight feet high, are purposeful; they pass through the archway and symbolize the going of the people to the triumph of their achievements overseas in a spirit of self-sacrifice and with no suggestion of glorifying war.

The figures were completed in 1932 but Confederation Square was being redesigned at the time; in 1933 the government decided to display the figures in London's Hyde Park and it was not until 1937 that they were shipped to Ottawa. More than five hundred tons of granite were then hauled to the site and construction began.

The memorial rests on a massive block of reinforced concrete which in turn is based on steel columns, sunk to bedrock. Little can affect it. Each year, since King George VI unveiled the memorial in the spring of 1939, on the morning of Remembrance Day (11th November) the traffic of Confederation Square is silenced and a solemn ceremony is conducted at the foot of this cenotaph. Wreaths are laid by the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the President of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Chief of the Defence Staff and a mother who has lost sons.


Researching Canadian Soldiers of the First World War


Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment in the First World War

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Soviet Principles of Military Art
Topic: Military Theory

Soviet Principles of Military Art

From the Soviet Military Encyclopedia, as presented by W.P. Baxter in Soviet Airland Battle Tactics, 1986

1.     High military preparedness for fulfilling of missions under any conditions for starting or conduct of war.

2.     Surprise, decisiveness, aggressiveness of military activity, continuous striving to achieve and retain the initiative.

3.     Full use of the various means and capabilities of battle to achieve victory.

4.     Coordinated application of and close cooperation between major units of all the armed forces and branches of service.

5.     Decisive coordination of the essential force at the needed moment and in the most important directions and for the decision of the main mission.

6.     The simultaneous destruction of the enemy to the entire depth of his deployment, the timely accumulation of forces, the clever manoeuvre of forces and means for the development of military action at a rapid tempo, and the destruction of the enemy in a short period.

7.     Calculation and full exploitation of the moral-political factor.

8.     Strict and uninterrupted leadership.

9.     Steadfastness and decisiveness in fulfilling assigned missions.

10.     Comprehensive security of combat activity.

11.     Timely restoration of reserves and combat capability of forces.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 7 April 2014

Now that's soldiering
Topic: Leadership

Now that's soldiering

Sandhurst Academy Sergeant-Major J.C. Lord, MVO, MBE, in a speech to the British Staff College

"I am going to relate to you something that happened to me which I think highlights this business. In my parachute battalion we had a Corporal Sheriff. He was a good corporal but he had his share of rockets and so on. He didn't make sergeant when there was plenty of promotion flying about but he was a good battalion and a good company man. He joined us in 41, fought with us in North Africa, Sicily and Italy and finally at Arnhem, and it was at Arnhem that he was wounded. We had been in the prison camp for I should think about three months with no knowledge of him at all when I was told that he was in the reception hut, and so I scrounged a few cigarettes which were available, because I was told he was in bad shape, and went up to the hut.

"I shall never forget it. As I opened the door everything stopped: there was a deathly silence and everybody looked round as they do under those circumstances. The hut was full of foreigners of various nationalities, a smell of unwashed bodies and a strange atmosphere. I looked around and saw Corporal Sheriff in some strange uniform — if you could call it a uniform — which had been supplied to him. He was sitting cross-legged on the floor, head hanging down, looking very dejected.

"I walked across towards him and you could have heard a pin drop. I went up to him and I said something to the effect, "Hello Corporal Sheriff, how are you getting on?" And in front of all those foreigners he stood up. It was three months since we had seen one another and he had no particular cause to love me. In front of all those foreiegners he stood up and he stood to attention and you could almost hear their astonishment.

"He turned his head towards me and said, "Hello Sir, it's good to hear your voice." He was blind. Even in those circumstances he was a member of the family, he felt he belonged again and he was back in the bosom of the family. Now that's soldiering, that's spirit, that's understanding. That's all the things I've been trying to say."

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 6 April 2014

Frugality in an Age of Austerity
Topic: Canadian Army

Frugality in an Age of Austerity

In Defence of Canada; From the Great War to the Great Depression, James Eayrs, 1964;
as quoted in
Wait for the Waggons: the Story of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, Arnold Warren, 1958

… I was a Captain commanding the Supply Details. We had a Horse Transport Company. We had harness. The troops were trained to take the harness apart, put it back together, and hang it up in the Quartermaster's Stores. That is about as far as it went. We never did have a horse. We never did have a waggon.

We had a Mechanical Transport unit… They had no equipment whatsoever—absolutely none. From 1926 until the outbreak of war we never had one item of mechanical transport issued to us. Not a motorcycle, not a van, not a truck…

Training was possible only by using our own imaginations and ingenuity. … I heard … about 1933 or '34 … that the Post Office had decided to write off two vans. … I went down and begged them, and got them. A firm in town had a big, solid-tired flat-top, which I got from them. … We had a couple of motor-cycles which we purchased out of our own funds, and in order to train our motorcyclists we produced a device with rollers which were held in place by a heavy steel and timber form which sat on the floor … We taught motorcyclists without going anywhere…

We got no pay. We waived our pay into the regimental fund—every cent of it. … When we attested a private soldier, he signed a waiver of pay along with his attestation card, or he wasn't accepted. … We used the money to buy equipment, to look after our weekend exercises, and to assist the sergeants and the other ranks to have some comforts in their common quarters. …

I got the Army printing done on the Board of Education presses operated by the apprentices that came in for training. I got my annual exer cises printed in the same way. There was no money for things of that kind. We bought our own typewriter for the Orderly Room and we coaxed someone to come in and type. Really my Orderly Room was at home.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 5 April 2014

Fuller on Operational Staff Duties
Topic: Staff Duties

Time, time, and the saving of it, should be the soul of every order and instruction, of every report and of every message.

Fuller on Operational Staff Duties

Armoured Warfare; An Annotated Edition of Fifteen Lectures on Operations Between Mechanized Forces, by Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, 1943

Orders, Instructions, Reports and Messages

Maj.-Gen. John Frederick Charles Fuller,
(1 September 1878 – 10 February 1966)

As I have pointed out more than once, orders, instructions, reports and messages will have to abandon their many official frills and step out stark naked unto the reality of war. The object of an operation order is to impart information you cannot actually convey by voice. It may be the word "move," or "halt," or it may be a long rigamarole; in either case it is seldom necessary to turn it into a ritual so holy that it is considered almost sacrilegious not to begin an operation order with "information" … "intention," and so on, etc., etc.

All order will have to be as brief as possible, and not as formal as possible. They should be based on a profound appreciation of possibilities and probabilities, which, as I have explained, will generally lead to a series of alternatives. Therefore an order should not be suited to one operation but to several possible phases of this operation. It should possess a central idea and several radii working out towards the final circumference — victory to you and defeat to the other man.

If we wish to prepare ourselves for mechanized warfare, it is time we broke away from existing conventions, substituting common-sense for ritual. A methodical soldier may be able to find everything, like a tidy person. This is excellent, but what is infinitely better is being able to make use of things instantaneously — anything, ground, tanks, infantry, broomsticks. What above all the fighting soldier requires is not a brain which works by rules, but a brain which rules by work — that is, immediate action.

A great deal of this training in spontaneity of action will depend on our orders and instructions. In the future much more must be left to the initiative of the individual than in the past. Though the central idea must be maintained, actions should be as flexible as possible. Reports must be as brief as possible and should always, when possible, suggest actions. To state that the enemy is blowing his nose may be interesting, but to report that he is looking eastward and is open to a backside kick from the west is something of real importance. Messages should be in code, and when sent in clear between units in battle they should generally be in clear. Time, time, and the saving of it, should be the soul of every order and instruction, of every report and of every message.

The Frontenac Times

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 4 April 2014

Combat Arms School Graduation Address 1976
Topic: Officers

Image from the magazine of the Canadian Armed Forces: Sentinel, Vol. 6, No. 2, February, 1970.

Graduating Ceremony
Combat Arms School August 1976

Address By Major General Bruce F. Macdonald, DSO, CD
Colonel Commandant RCAC
At Graduating Ceremony, Combat Arms School August 1976

Armour Newsletter, No 7, January 1977

Your Honour, (The Lieutenant Governor), General McGregor, Colonel Nicholson, Distinguished Guests, Visitors, Officer Candidates, Ladies and Gentlemen.

You young gentlemen by your presence and your performance here today do credit and honour to Canada, to the Armed Forces and to yourselves. I congratulate you.

I am sure your training program has been vigorous and difficult. Indeed I hope this is the case for you are all embarked on a difficult, hazardous and demanding profession. Those who aspire to lead Canadians in combat must be stressed and tested in their training. If the training is easy then it is not good.

You are fortunate to be getting your training here. This Combat Arms School is unique. For here you train as you will fight — not as Infantry, Armour or Artillery but as members of the ground team of combined arms.

Let me, for a moment, address myself to those of you who will join the Regular Forces:

a.     You have not chosen an easy profession.

b.     Your effectiveness rests on three bases, namely moral, mental, and physical fitness. Guard them well.

c.     You walk in the steps of some giants of history; men of the category of Wavell, Eisenhower, Marshall and Montgomery.

d.     Indeed, in a Canadian context we are all honoured today to have here with us General Jean Victor Allard. It might interest you to know that General Allard started his military career as a Second Lieutenant in the Three Rivers Regiment. Following a most distinguished wartime career he remained in the Regular Forces and became Chief of the Defence Staff.

If you are going to be professional soldiers you should expect to face some criticism and misunderstanding. Let me suggest what some of the charges may be and what your reply might be:

a.     People may charge that you, as a soldier, like war. This is like suggesting that the doctor who spends his life in the study and cure of cancer likes cancer.

b.     Some people may comment upon the futility of armed forces and allege that they contribute to the danger of war. May I suggest that you quote to them the following maxim "Love without power exposes the world to the frightening hazards of power without love".

c.     Thirdly, people may comment on how expensive the military are. I urge you to ask how expensive is unpreparedness? I think the record of history is entirely clear. It indicates that had the Allies been prepared to fight in 1914 or 1939 both of these wars could have been avoided — at a vast saving in lives and treasure.

d.     Last Spring I heard an address by Dr. Luns, the Secretary General of NATO. He made the point that the greatest act of provocation is to be unprepared for war. This is a very great truth. It should be remembered by all.

Finally, I wish to address a few words to those of you who upon graduation are proposing to enter Canada's militia:

a.     You also have chosen a challenging avocation.

b.     You are citizen soldiers who walk hand in hand with your Regular Force colleagues who are the soldier citizens.

c.     Your greatest enemies are frustration and public apathy. Remember that all the problems you confront have been experienced before. They happened in the days before 1914 and again in the days before 1939.

You who choose to serve in Canada's Reserve Forces are the present day embodiment of some one and one quarter million Canadians, living and dead, who proudly wore the uniform of the Armed Forces of Canada in World War II. You can serve proudly for you fill a great and fundamental need; though at any point in history this may not be recognized by some.

God forbid that there should be either war or revolution but the lesson of history is terribly clear. Heretofore there has always been war and revolution; there is nothing to suggest that the nature of man has changed.

In closing let me offer you this final thought. Sometimes it is suggested that Canada does not need armed forces in peacetime because if war comes we will be able to find the necessary experts. It is true that we can recruit doctors, engineers and the logisticians from civilian life. However, what is not understood is that we cannot find and we cannot hire from any civilian profession men who are skilled in the art of leading and training men for war. This is the special expertise possessed only by those of you who are trained in the art of military leadership. Men like you cannot be hired, they must be grown and educated in Canada, in peacetime.

Yours is an honourable profession that bears great responsibility. You must be proud of your task, you must be worthy of your great responsibility. I salute you for what you have done, for what you are doing and for what you will do.

Good fortune to all of you.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 3 April 2014

Canada Has Mutiny
Topic: Discipline

Canada Has Mutiny

Sixteen Men Confined in Halifax Barracks
Resisted Arrest and Rioted
Gunners Refused to Assist in Capture of Two Recalcitrant Members of Artillery

The Montreal Gazette, 4 August, 1906

Halifax, N.S., August 3.—(Special)—An incipient mutiny among the Royal Canadian Artillerymen broke out at the Citadel last evening, no less than sixteen men being placed in the guard room, under close confinement, as being the cause of the trouble.

The military authorities are angry about the matter, but from facts gleaned by your corespondent, it appears that one of the garrison police entered a saloon on one of the upper streets for the purpose of arresting two members of the artillery boat crew, who were in dishabile. One of the soldiers resented this and struck the arresting soldier a severe blow on the face. After a scuffle the offending men ran to the barracks, as did the guard policeman, who called for assistance to arrest the soldiers.

Several of the gunners on being warmed for escort duty refused to act. Extra assistance was obtained and with the aid of an unarmed picket and guard the mutineers were placed in confinement.

This caused further trouble and the rioting soldiers smashed the windows in the guard room, where they were in confinement, and tried to escape. Two of them succeeded, but were recaptured during the evening.

Besides the mutinous prisoners two senior non coms were placed under arrest for drunkenness. The prisoners will be arraigned in the morning.

Mutineers are Sentenced

By Associated Press
Dawson Daily News, 7 August, 1906

Halifax, Aug. 7.—The three men accused of being thre ringleaders in the recent mutiny of the Canadian artillery soldiers, have been sentenced today to ten days in the cells of the military prison at Melville Island.

The remainder of the prisoners, except two non-commissioned officers, are confined to the barracks for seven days, where they will do fatigue duty and be compelled to answer to their names every half-hour, night and day

The non-commissioned officers were reprimanded, which means that for six months their chances of promotion are taken away.

The matter proved at the hearing to be more a question of turbulence and riot, and perhaps of high spirits, with little of a serious nature excepting so far as it is undermining of discipline.

The men declare they are well satisfied with the punishment, if it will only result in the remedying of abuses complained of.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Wednesday, 2 April 2014

CGS Message to Canadian Army
Topic: Canadian Army

Private Heath Matthews of 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment awaiting medical attention outside a regimental aid post, June 1952.

A Message to the Canadian Army from the Chief of the General Staff

Major-General Guy G. Simonds, Commander 1st Canadian Division in Italy, 1943.

Canadian Army Journal, Vol 6, No 5, December 1952

There are few national activities of our country in which Canadians ought to take greater satisfaction than in the record and achievements of the Canadian Army. To serve it has always been my greatest pride and I believe that every soldier who has the privilege to belong to it should share that feeling. I believe the Canadian Army today is fulfilling its duty to Canada in a manner fully in keeping with its high record of service in the past. If I did not hold that conviction, I would not continue as its head. The high tributes paid to Canadian troops serving in Korea and Europe have not come from me or from any other Canadian officer or civilian. They have come unsolicited from Supreme Commanders and a number of highly responsible observers, whose impartiality is beyond a doubt. Canadian soldiers serving at home are every bit as good as the Canadian soldiers serving abroad. Many have already served in Canada, Korea and Europe. The appreciation of their service is probably less openly expressed because they are not in the position of being compared with other armies by impartial critics. Canadians are notoriously critical of their own institutions. In recent weeks and months the Army has been the target of unremitting attacks from many sources. We have been criticized for the indiscipline of Canadian soldiers. We have been criticized for too much discipline. We have been criticized for extravagance and criticized for not providing a whole host of things which cost a very great deal of money. We have been criticized for lack of morale and accused of complacency and arrogance when we have shown or proclaimed a pride in the Canadian Army. We must expect and welcome constructive criticism. No one of us would claim that the Canadian Army is perfect and the expansion of the last two years has accentuated faults and weaknesses. These faults and weaknesses call for our full attention and the application of corrective action and improvement. Dishonesty, lack of integrity or indifference to sound administration are intolerable and will continue to be ruthlessly removed from the Canadian Army as diseased flesh from its body. None of this should give cause for any discouragement or depression. The only justification for the existence of the Canadian Army is to defend democracy of which free public criticism is an essential element. Some of this criticism has been, and will continue to be, unfairly biased and irresponsible but that will be as clear to the citizens and taxpayers outside the Army as to those serve in it. The Canadian Army today is certainly not perfect and in several respects falls far short of the standards which I hope and believe we can attain. I have made our policies and objectives abundantly clear to General Officers of Commands and to Commanders abroad. I have confidence that these will be conveyed to all the Army and pressed with loyalty and vigour. I charge every soldier to apply himself in all those matters where we clearly need improvement but not to be discouraged or depressed by criticisms which are neither founded on truth nor justified in the light of our positive achievements.

G.G. Simonds
Chief of the General Staff

Canadian Army Battle Honours

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Canada buys anti-tank missile
Topic: Militaria

TOW missile being fired by the Armoured Defence Platoon of the 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry at CFB Shilo. Photo by Mr. Doug Devin. From the back cover of the Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.

Canada buys anti-tank missile

$30 million cost

A TOW missile crew in action during Exercise CARBON EDGE in Germany in September [1976]. (ILC 77-934) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.

By the Canadian Press
Ottawa Citizen, 11 January 1974

The armed forces will spend about $30 million on a new anti-tank weapon comparable to anything that was used by either side in the recent Middle east hostilities.

The forces have announced they are acquiring TOW—tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided—an American missile being used by several countries, including Israel.

TOW is a highly accurate, semi-automatic missile system capable of destroying a tank at ranges from 70 yards to about two miles.

Col. Philip Neatby of Regina and Ottawa, director of land plans and of armor in the armed forces, said in an interview Friday that the highly-sophisticated weapon involved a computer attached to a missile by wires.

The forces will start taking delivery in 1975 of 150 of the anti-tank units, which weigh 200 pounds and can be mounted on vehicles, helicopters and on the ground. It will be used by Canadian NATO. forces in Europe as well as infantry and reconnaissance units in Canada.

Announcement of acquisition of the new weapon comes only a short time after the Middle East war focused attention on the tank and anti-tank weapons. Both sides had big losses and there was some talk that the role of the tank was on the way out.

But Col. Neatby said the tank will be very much a part of land forces at least until almost the end of this century.

elipsis graphic

It would not be until the summer of 1976 that the first TOW missiles would be fired in a demonstration at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. By 1977 the weapon system would be deployed with Canadian army units in Canada and Europe.

Members of 2 PPCLI's Armoured Defence Platoon prepare to fire the TOW missile at CFB Shilo. (IW 77-341) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.

Sgts George Genge, Marc Bouchard and Peter Anderson compare mock-ups of the TWO missile (background) and the SS-11, which TOW replaces. (GN 76-4807) Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel magazine 1977, Vol. 13, Number 2.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Monday, 31 March 2014

Royal Canadian Rifles: Officers' Duties (1861)
Topic: British Army

The Royal Canadian Rifles

Canadian Military Heritage, Vol II, 1755-1871, Rene Chartrand, 1995

"In 1842 and 1843 the [British Army] regiments that had been brought in to deal with the 1838 emergency withdrew. In 1844, however, the regular British garrison in the Province of Canada, with its 7,700 soldiers, was still three times larger than it had been in 1837. But each year there were a few hundred fewer soldiers. Some did not wait for their regiment to return to England before they left Canada, preferring to go to the United States! The Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment was formed in 1840-41 precisely to put a stop to the exodus. It was not a Canadian regiment, as its name would suggest, but rather a unit of veterans from line regiments, and it was pat of the regular army. But its soldiers were not rotated; it was a Sedentary regiment whose companies were placed along the border to watch the United States, of course, but even more so to prevent deserters from going there."

Standing Orders of the Royal Canadian Rifles

May 1881

Officers on Regimental Duty.

The uniform of The Royal Canadian Rifles, as presented in Canadian Military Heritage, Vol II, 1755-1871, Rene Chartrand, 1995. (Reconstitution by Derek Fitzjames.)

Officers are specially warned against that worse than useless mode of visiting a guard, which consists only in receiving its salute.

1.     When the number of Officers at a post admit of it, there be a Captain and a Subaltern on duty.

The Captain from Rouse on Sunday morning until the following Sunday at the same hour;—the Subaltern from Rouse on one day will Rouse the next.

2.     If the number of Officers will not allow of the Captains having at least two weeks and the Subalterns five days clear, then the Orderly Officers' duty will be taken from the Senior Captain to the Junior Subaltern.

3.     As it is difficult to draw up a Report suitable to all posts and circumstances, a form for the time being will always be found for reference in the Orderly Room. The Report any portion of be numbered by paragraphs, and in the event of the duties not being performed, the number of the paragraph must nevertheless be inserted, and opposite to it the reason for the omission. The Captain will send in a report of what he has done with any remarks he has to make. He may call upon the Orderly Officer to perform any of his own duties, and in like manner he may notify to the Subaltern that he will take certain portions of the duties of the latter. In these cases, he will add to his own report what duties he has performed for the Subaltern, who is to be considered a sort of auxiliary to the Captain.

4.     As the Captain is on for a whole week, he need not confine himself to Barracks but the Subaltern must not leave them unless temporarily obliged to do so from the nature of his duties.

5.     When an Orderly Officer is stationed out of Barracks, he must confine himself to his quarters when not actually out on duty. Orderly Officers will attend all parades and drills with their Companies, unless otherwise ordered.

6.     An Orderly Officer visiting a guard, acts for the time being as on guard. He should enter the guard room, examine the boards of orders, and everything under charge. He will visit the sentries by day and night, observe whether they are officer soldier-like and alert on their posts, and personally ascertain that they know their orders. Officers are specially warned against that worse than useless mode of visiting a guard, which consists only in receiving its salute. Guards must be turned out at least once by day and once by night,— the day reckoning between guard-mounting and retreat, the night between that time and reveille. Ten o'clock p.m. is, from the custom of the service, recognised as the earliest hour for the night visit. The Orderly Officer, however, will not confine himself to any particular time, if he has reason to suspect laxity or irregularity.

A loose way of doing sentry duty appears to be very readily fallen into by old soldiers, and the Lieutenant-Colonel calls not only upon the officers on duty, but all officers and non-commissioned officers, to notice and report any instance of this that they observe on their walks.

7.     In the event of any complaint being made against rations of provisions, fuel, light, or forage, at the time of inspection, the Orderly Officer will stop the issue and report at once to the commanding or senior officer in barracks. (For further information in a ease of this kind, see Commissariat Regulations.) Any complaint made of rations after they are cooked, will be noticed in his report, unless the grievance was one that he was able to remedy then and there.

8.     The Orderly Officer will refrain from ordering men any punishment for irregularities that may come under his notice, but he will direct a report in writing to be made to the Captain of the Company, who will either dispose of the matter or submit it, if necessary, to the Commanding Officer. When such a case is settled by the Captain, he will write upon the report the punishment he ordered, and forward the same to the Orderly Room.

9.     The practice of the Orderly Officer allowing men who have been reported absent from Tattoo, but returning before "Lights out," to go to their rooms, has a bad tendency and must be discountenanced. Once a man is reported absent, he is guilty of a breach of regulations, and should be confined and brought before the Commanding Officer.

10.     It is not the duty of the Barrack Orderly Sergeant to look Orderly Officer when the bugle sounds. The Officer himself must find his way to barracks by the time his presence is required.

11.     The men will not commence their meals before the second bugle, but they are never expected to wait beyond that time, whether an Officer makes his appearance or not.

12. When there is a Captain and Subaltern on duty together, the latter will forward his report through the former.

13.     When visiting meals, barrack-rooms, cook-houses, rations, and school, the Orderly Officer may for the time lay aside his sword, though not his pouch-belt, which is the badge of duty.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Sunday, 30 March 2014

Advice to Officers
Topic: Humour

Advice to Officers

Gallant Gentlemen; a portrait of the British Officer 1600-1956, E.S. Turner, 1956

One of the most telling, and enduring, satires at the expense of the British officer appeared in 1782. It is attributed to Francis Grose, a one-time adjutant of militia. His Advice to Officers of the British Army has been reprinted many times, and deservedly

Admirably pinned down is the subaltern, whose failings change but slightly from one generation to another. In his advice to commanding officers, the writer says:

"The subalterns of the British army are but too apt to think themselves gentlemen; a mistake which it is your business to rectify. Put them, as often as you can, upon the most disagreeable and ungentlemanly duties; and endeavour by every means to bring them upon a level with the subaltern officers of the German armies."

Then the writer offers his advice to subalterns:

"The fashion of your clothes must depend on that ordered in the corps; that is to say, must be in direct opposition to it: for it would show a deplorable poverty of genius if you had not some ideas of your own in dress.

"Never wear your uniform in quarters, when you can avoid it. A green or a brown coat shows you have other clothes besides your regimentals, and likewise that you have courage to disobey a standing order…

"If you belong to a mess, eat with it as seldom as possible, to let folks see you want neither money nor credit. And when you do, in order to show that you are used to good living, find fault with every dish that is set on the table, damn the wine, and throw the plates at the mess-man's head … if you have pewter plates, spin them on the point of your fork, or do some other mischief, to punish the fellow for making you wait.

"When ordered for duty, always grumble and question the roster. This will procure you the character of one that will not be imposed on.

"Never read the daily orders. It is beneath an officer of spirit to bestow any attention upon such nonsense … it will be sufficient to ask the sergeant if you are for any duty.

"When on leave of absence, never come back to your time; as that might cause people to think that you had nowhere to stay, or that your friends were tired of you."

No rank or category of officer escapes without a well-placed barb in a tender spot. For example:

The aide-de-camp: "Let your deportment be haughty and insolent to your inferiors, humble and fawning to your superiors, solemn and distant to your equals."

The quartermaster: "The standing maxim of your office is to receive whatever is offered you, or you can get hold of, but not to part with anything you can keep."

The surgeon: "Keep two lancets, a blunt one for the soldiers and a sharp one for the officers: this will be making a proper distinction between them."

The paymaster: "Always grumble and make difficulties when officers go to you for money that is due to them: when you are obliged to pay them endeavour to make it appear granting them a favour, and tell them they are lucky dogs to get it."

The chaplain: "At the mess always provide yourself with a spare plate to secure a slice of pudding, pie or other scarce article which else might vanish before you were ready for it; for the good things of this world are of a very transitory nature, particularly at a military mess."

The adjutant: "When at any time there is a blundering or confusion in a manoeuvre, ride in amongst the soldiers, and lay about you from right to left. This will convince people that it was not your fault."

The major: "In exercising the regiment, call out frequently to the most attentive men and officers to dress, cover or something of that nature: the less they are reprehensible, the greater will your discernment appear to the bystanders, in finding out a fault invisible to them."

No one who has served in the Army can have failed to see the latter technique applied--more usually by sergeant-majors and drill sergeants.

The satirist, it will be seen, uses the phrase "If you belong to a mess." By no means all regiments kept up an officers" mess as it would be recognised today; such communal life as the officers enjoyed was usually found in taverns. The mess proper was largely a nineteenth-century growth. A general who inspected the Buffs in 1774 wrote in his report: "The officers eat and live together in friendship, Major Nicholson excepted." No clue is given as to why Major Nicholson was thus invidiously named. It may be that he had taken to himself a wife, but as a major he would be perfectly entitled to do so.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Positive Command Climate
Topic: Officers

The United States Military Academy (USMA), Color Guard on Parade. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Positive Command Climate

Duty, Honor, Company; West Point Fundamentals for Business Success, Gil Dorland and John Dorland, 1992

Duty Honor Company:
West Point Fundamentals for Business Success

, Gil Dorland and John Dorland

The [Positive Command Climate] program … details specific actions a leader can take to build a positive command climate. These concepts, noted in Manual of Common Tasks, are not altogether new; they are very similar to the leadership fundamentals that were ingrained in us as cadets.

1.     Communicate a sense of vision or focus.

2.     Maintain a proper focus in all training activities.

3.     Establish high, attainable, clearly understood standards.

4.     Encourage competition against standards rather than each other.

5.     Allow subordinates the freedom to exercise initiative.

6.     Establish accountability at the proper level.

7.     Show confidence in subordinates.

8.     Encourage and reward prudent risk taking.

9.     Achieve high performance through positive motivation and rewards.

10.     Underwrite honest mistakes.

11.     Share decision making with subordinates when appropriate.

12.     Give clear missions and indicate where subordinates have discretion and where they do not.

13.     Listen to your subordinates and seek their ideas.

14.     Demonstrate concern about the welfare of subordinates.

15.     Establish and model high standards.

16.     Practice what you preach.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Friday, 28 March 2014

Organization of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1976)
Topic: Canadian Army

Regimental Standing Orders
The Canadian Airborne Regiment

Chapter 1: Section 8 - Organization

1.12     General

a.     The Canadian Airborne Regiment is a Mobile Command formation and a lodger on Air Command Base Edmonton. The base is divided into two parts — Griesbach, the home of the Regiment and Lancaster Park, the air base. Most of the aircraft used by the Regiment are located at Lancaster Park. with 435 Transport Squadron flying C-130 (Hercules), 440 Transport and Rescue Squadron flying CC-138 (Twin Otter), a detachment of 450 Transport Helicopter Squadron with CC-147 (Chinook) helicopters, 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron with CH-l35 (Huey) and the CH-136 (Kiowa), and 4 Air Reserve Wing flying CC-138 (Twin Otter) aircraft. Also located at Lancaster Park, is a training drop zone, DZ Buxton.

b.     The Regiment draws its paratroopers from the combat arms, combat support arms and services throughout the Canadian Forces, and all three elements are represented. All regimental members are volunteers who serve a normal two year tour of duty. although a significant number request extension beyond the normal tour.

c.     The regimental establishment (less 3 Mech Cdo) is 1044 all ranks which includes six units and a staff that performs most functions of a combat group headquarters. Each unit in the formation is commanded by a major. The Regiment is organized as follows:

(1)     The Airborne Headquarters and Signal Squadron. Including Regimental Headquarters, this unit totals 90 all ranks (15-75). The squadron comprises a headquarters, support troop and a radio troop. The squadron provides internal and external communications for the Regiment.

(2)     Commandos. The infantry component of the Regiment consists of two identical Airborne Commandos. They are actually two small infantry parachute battalions each of 278 man strength. One is Anglophone and the other is Francophone. Each Commando consists of a headquarters company and a reconnaissance pIatoon and three rifle companies. Each rifle company consists of 61 all ranks organized into two rifle platoons, a support weapons platoon and a small headquarters.

(3)     First Airborne Battery. The Battery has 80 all ranks (8-72) and consists of a battery headquarters, including the Battery Commander's tactical headquarters and two identical troops each equipped with three 105 MM Pack Howitzers (L5) and six 81 MM medium mortars. The unit is trained to deploy and operate with either the howitzers or the mortars.

(4)     First Airborne Engineer Field Squadron. The squadron has 81 all ranks (4-77) and consists of a headquarters, a field troop, and a support troop. Heavy equipment inventory includes two D-4 dozers, two graders, a crane, a front-end loader and specialized snow compaction equipment, all of which can be dropped or are being trialed for parachute delivery. The squadron possesses a bridging capability employing the light airtransportable floating bridge.

(5)     First Airborne Service Support Unit. This group provides first and second line logistic support for the Regiment. It consists of 231 all ranks (9-222) organized into five platoons; administration, transport, maintenance, supply and medical. Unit personnel parachute into the area of operations to form the Regimental Echelon and normally air land at the Forward Administrative Area to provide first and second line support respectively.

d.     Also located in Edmonton, but not part of the Regiment, are the Canadian Airborne Centre and Canadian Forces Parachute Maintenance Depot. The former trains basic and advanced parachutists and conducts trials on personnel and heavy equipment delivery. The Parachute Maintenance Depot packs and maintains all types of parachutes and the associated equipments.

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT
Thursday, 27 March 2014

Principles of Training (1953)
Topic: Drill and Training

Corporal T.C. Mackenzie [Loyal Edmonton Regiment], Sergeant R.W. Williams [Calgary Highlanders], Private N.E. Smith [North Nova Scotia Highlanders] and Gunner H.D. Gingell [13 Canadian Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery], who all received Military Medals, at Buckingham Palace, London, England, 27 June 1945. Photographer: Harold D. Robinson. Mikan Number: 3205673. From the Library and Archives Canada virtual exhibit "Faces of War."

Principles Of Training

Army Information Digest (U.S.), reprinted in the Canadian Army Journal, Vol 7, No 3, October 1953

Supervision over replacement training by Army Ground Forces [in World War II] was guided by five basic principles, established early and adhered to throughout World War II. In general, these principles are applicable to the Army's training today:

1. The individual must learn to work and fight as a member of a team. Throughout all aspects and levels of training this concept of teamwork is constantly emphasized.

2. The troop commander himself is responsible for training, rather than the specialist who might actually conduct it. This reflects the basic military principle of personal leadership.

3. General military proficiency is stressed. Create the soldier first, the technician later.

4. Rigid performance tests are given to insure uniformity, adjustment to exacting standards and the earliest efficient completion of the training mission.

5. Realism characterizes all training whenever possible. Live ammunition and rugged training areas are concrete expressions of this fundamental requirement.

The Senior Subaltern

Posted by regimentalrogue at 12:01 AM EDT

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