In the Midst of Change
by Cpl Mathieu Dube
22 June 2009
After a successful road move back to Edmonton, followed by a well deserved week of leave, the soldiers of Recce Squadron were ready to return to garrison duties after completing Ex DESERT RAM. For most of us, that meant looking to the future and getting ready for Task Force 1-10 and Op PODIUM.
The vast majority of the Squadron went on to learn about 105mm gunnery, Leopard C2 D&M and 25mm gunnery. Every member of Recce Squadron on course was faced with a new set of challenges and new skills they had to master in a very short amount of time.
For the rest of us, garrison duties meant more routine but none the less important tasks. Some of Recce soldiers were tasked as part of a quarter guard for the arrival of the Senior Serving Strathcona, Col Hilton. The soldiers practiced their short parade for three days under the ever-watchful eye of Sgt Mike Bolger. Unfortunately, when the time came to do the actual parade, Recce squadron soldiers had to relinquish the honours and leave the parade to mounted troop. The event at least provided a great opportunity to practice drill and improve their skills.
For others, like Cpl Brenan Dunbar and Tpr Brett Herbert, who volunteered to participate in the Mountain Man competition, garrison duties meant physical training and a lot of it. Their mornings consisted of gruelling Cross-Fit training and runs that will prepare them for the competition in September.
The few of us left without assigned tasks quickly discovered that there was no shortage of work in the Squadron. It consisted of helping the Regimental Quartermaster Stores personnel complete their post ex drills, setting up a reception for A Squadron welcome home parade, and various other tasks, such as shining a 105mm shells. The soldiers of Recce squadron displayed the utmost enthusiasm and professional attitude in the accomplishment of their duties.
June also brought the Melfa River crossing celebration. Soldiers of the Squadron got the chance to get together with the rest of the Regiment and enjoy a nice outdoor BBQ. Everybody was then treated to a 100% accurate historical re-enactment of the battle provided by the Subaltern Officers, followed by the ultimate Tug-of-War that would determine the strongest squadron in the Regiment. Recce took second place behind the ever numerous HQ Squadron.
Unfortunately, good times rarely ever last. After spending almost 10 months working together, the soldiers of Recce squadron will have to part ways at the end of June. Most of us will be going to A Squadron as part of Task Force 1-10 while the rest will be part of Op PODIUM. When the Squadron stood up in the last months of 2008, the vast majority of its soldiers had never been in Recce nor had expertise on its equipment and doctrine. Every member of the Squadron put a great amount of effort into learning and perfecting the required skills that would make Recce a proud and valuable fighting force for Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment. As the month of June comes to an end and summer leave approaches, we, the soldiers of Recce are all looking toward the future with great anticipation and are eager to tackle the next set of challenges set before us.