Strengthening The Army Reserve
The Black Watch has seen its official establishment increased by one Rifle Platoon as part of the Canadian Army’s recent initiative titled Strengthening The Army Reserve (or STAR for short). We are very pleased by this formal recognition of our Regiment’s success at recruiting and force generating soldiers for the Army’s mission. The entire team at Canada’s Senior Highland Regiment is enthusiastically embracing the challenge of swelling our numbers.
My return to service inside our Regiment has been eventful and a tremendous reminder of how hard today’s citizen soldiers work to maintain their standards of professional competency. The soldiers of A Company have been tasked all over the Brigade: supporting the training of a composite rifle company under direction of 4e R22R, leading the training of a composite Brigade Recce Platoon, training the Brigade entry to the Canadian Patrol Concentration and providing a section of soldiers to the Brigade Arctic Response Company Group. Coordinating all of these training activities and ensuring maximum participation, not just of our own soldiers, but of soldiers from across all the units of the Brigade has been a heavy challenge but one that the officers and senior NCOs have proven themselves equal to meeting.
Training is not the only source of excitement on Bleury Street this fall, our grand old Armoury is also undergoing significant renovations in the final months of 2016. The building which has served us faithfully for over a century is getting a new roof over the Parade Square and the foundation will be repaired and resealed. Ancillary work to improve drainage around the building will also be completed. All of this work will limit access and functionality at least until the New Year but we are hard at work to ensure training carries on uninterrupted, and to ensure the many groups of our Regimental Family continue to be able to use at least some of the building.
Looking forward, I am very pleased to announce that the Black Watch Pipes and Drums will participate in the Black Watch Military Tattoo on Saturday April 8th, 2017 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Tattoo will take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal and promises to be a grand event. Many details remain to be worked out and I am still unable to confirm the full extent of the unit’s participation in this civilian-run event but I will be sure to use all of the Regiment’s communication means to get the word out as we have more information.
Finally, I would like to welcome home several members of our unit who have been deployed on various missions overseas over the last year. Canada’s contribution to operations in eastern Europe and the Middle East have all included Black Watch soldiers and officers proudly wearing the Red Hackle as we contribute to the fight against terrorism and revanchism.
Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas E.C. MacKay, CD