Message from the Commanding Officer
Lieutenant-Colonel (LCol) rank insignia

Hello Highlanders –

We’re well into May now – and finally the weather has caught up with the calendar!   And the end of the Training Year is in sight.  Although we have about 4 weeks of training left, we’re already seeing soldiers depart, or getting ready to depart, for training and courses this summer.

This has been a year like no other.  But I’m going to leave those musings for another day.  Today, I’m going to take this opportunity to bring you up to speed on several items of note:

  1. Ruck March Challenge – the Ruck March was completed last week – 09 May. We decided last fall to follow the 15th Bn CEF in their march from Somain, France to Engelskirchen, Germany, as part of the Allied Army of Occupation, and subsequently back to England, Halifax and ultimately Toronto, where the Bn was demobilized on 09 May, 1919.  I’ve mentioned previously that this event resonated with the Regiment and the Regimental Family.  We had over 120 individuals participate – soldiers, NCOs, officers, retired members, the Cadets, the Honouraries, and even an IODE rep.  This far exceeded my expectations. In total, we marched over 18,794 kms.  Congratulations go out to MCpl Wang as the “Top Rucker”.  MCpl Wang marched an extraordinary 936 kms.  Well done MCpl Wang.  Honorable mentions go out to Pte Di Grado with 897 kms.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t also congratulate 4 Pl, B Coy for winning the team competition.  This platoon marched 4,872 kms.  Well done to everyone who participated in this epic event.
  1. MCpl Robertson – is currently deployed on operations overseas, and received a Comd JTFI Coin for some outstanding work. The contingent has had a challenging time due to COVID.  Due to close contacts, at one point in time 80% of the personnel were in isolation.  As the Tpt NCO, MCpl Robertson developed new SOPs for maintenance, movement operations and Force Protection.  Well done MCpl Robertson!  You’ve done the Regiment proud.  Keep up the good work, stay safe, and we’re looking forward to your return later this summer. 
  1. Pipes & Drums – the Pipes & Drums participated in a video recording of the 32 CBG March “Minstrel Boy”. This tune was selected by the first Commander 32 CBG (the Regiment’s own BGen Young) as the CBG March.  The Pipes & Drums have had a challenging time during the COVID pandemic.  While the Rifle Coy and Trg Coy have been able to conduct some in-person training, the musicians have been restricted to virtual training only.  For those who haven’t seen it, here is a link to the video:

    Click the image above to see the video 

  1. Reserve Summer Training – as mentioned above, soldiers and officers are getting ready for RST. We have approximately 50 soldiers who will be completing their Infantry qualification course; we have seven young Cpls who will be taking the Infantry Section Commander Course; two 2Lts who will be taking their Pl Comd qualification course, and a smattering of soldiers and officers going on other courses.  Best wishes to all.  You have been prepared, and are ready for the challenges you’ll face this summer.  I expect that all of you will come back qualified, and ready for your next bound. 
  1. Regimental History – we spent a fair bit of time on the weekend of 23-25 Apr 21 on our Regimental History. Friday with Col Beal and the 1st Bn 48th Highlanders during their time in Sicily and Italy; and then Sunday with the Act of Remembrance Ceremony.  There was a lot of interest in these events on the part of the serving soldiers.  Our Regiment is going to be in good hands for many years to come.  Highlanders – I’d encourage everyone in the Active Unit to take a few minutes to register with the Regimental  Association – there is no cost to join, nor any annual dues.
    Here’s the link:


 And on that note, I’ll sign off the net.  Stay safe, stay healthy, stay positive.


Niner – Out

R.A. Alkema



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