The Military Museums and the Spruce Meadow’s Heroes Behind the Heroes Obstacle Course

Lieutenant Richard M. Yang

With the yearly festivities surrounding July 1st, this year saw Recce Squadron LdSH(RC) deployed to Calgary for a visit to The Military Museums and organizing a family-oriented military obstacle course for the Spruce Meadow’s Heroes behind the Heroes run.  This aim of this run, which incorporated various running distances from 2 km to 10 km, was to raise money for the Military Families Fund.  The festivities culminated on 1 July when over 200 runners from across Calgary and surrounding communities participated in the obstacle course run.

Under the leadership of Warrant Officer “J” Pargeter, the Obstacle Course work party safely arrived in Calgary on 29 June and was welcomed by D’Arcy, the Spruce Meadow’s “Ops O”. Spruce Meadows was kind enough to provide us with lunch and we immediately began the construction of the Obstacle Course. The highlights consisted of a 20-foot tall climbing wall simply called “The Obstacle,” “Ambush Alley,” where soldiers ambushed participants with super soakers, and “Hamburger Hill,” where the participants climbed up a steep hill towards a machine-gun bunker.  MCpl Hugh “History Buff” Hayes and Master Corporal John “Master Gamer” Nancarrow were happy to swap their Coyotes for four gear Tractors as they cruised down Spruce Meadows in style. The final piece of the puzzle came together when the remainder of Recce Sqn proved the obstacle course on 30 June.  Trooper John “Ninja” Williams completed the 5km Obstacle Course in record time. Subsequently he “volunteered” to run the Obstacle Course again on 1 July, representing the Squadron and Regiment magnificently.

The Heroes Behind the Heroes race commenced on 1 July with a start by Dave Rodney, MLA Calgary-Lougheed.  Trooper John “Sweet Sugar Shawn” Williams led the parade of participants on a warm up dance (documented).  To the amusement of the crowd and his peers, John did an outstanding job motivating the crowd for the warm up.  Trooper Devin “Super Soaker” Nancekivell did a great job ambushing runners and was featured in the Calgary Sun.  The Spruce Meadows Run and Obstacle Course was a great success!  We are all in agreement that next year’s Obstacle Course should be meaner and more aggressive.  In that case Master Corporal Mike “the Drill Instructor” Boodhoo will be welcomed back as the OPI for Hamburger Hill for his Marine-like motivation speeches!

The Military Museums saw the new members of Recce Squadron indoctrinated into the esteemed traditions of the Regiment. The Regimental tour guide, Sergeant Todd Giberson walked us through the shadows of Boer War, First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and the War in Afghanistan.  Among the highlights of the Regimental tour was the walk-through of the Battle of Moreuil Wood with miniatures. This depiction gave us a good appreciation of the close proximity of Cavalry tactics in the early 20th Century.  

The days spent in Calgary were very rewarding for Recce Squadron as new members were formally indoctrinated into the histories of LdSH(RC) and saw the Regiment interacting with the public in a positive way.  It was a great starter for Spruce Meadows and the Calgary Stampede. As Recce Squadron steps into the IRU role for potential domestic operations in western Canada, the fun times spent in Calgary serve as a reminder of the unpredictability in the profession of arms and a reminder of our duties to serve those that have given so much to us.