May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada, a time to reflect on and celebrate the contributions that Canadians of Asian descent have made and continue to make, to the growth and prosperity of Canada. Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated across Canada since the 1990’s. It is also a good time to pause, reflect and learn more about the distinguished service of Canadians of Asian Heritage who have served or continue to serve in The Royal Montreal Regiment (RMR). In honour of Asian Heritage Month, the RMR Foundation is publishing profiles of service of some of our members of Asian descent who have served (and continue to serve) in our ranks.
Westmount, Quebec – 23 May 2022: A South Shore boy through & through, Captain Rici Be grew up in Longueil and now lives in Brossard with his wife and children. He joined the RMR as our Padre in 2018 (still serving in the role) and in civilian life he serves as a regional religious minister, youth mental program coordinator, and a church ministry consultant. He recently returned from Romania where he was volunteering to help settle Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war of Russian aggression.
His military qualifications are typical of his role as Padre: Sentinel, Harassment Advisor, Return to Duty Coordinator, etc. He was a driving force in expanding the Sentinel program within the RMR. The Canadian Armed Forces Sentinel Program is a peer support network made up of trained and supervised volunteer members of all ranks. The program is designed to play an essential role in the detection, prevention, and support for military members in distress. Military personnel going through a difficult time may find it challenging to ask for help for many reasons. The program initially started in 2007, and steadily grew to 2,000 members in 2016. At present, there are more than 3,000 qualified Sentinels available with even more Canadian Armed Forces members ready to offer their support to those who need it.
Captain Be’s advice to young soldiers and new recruits is “Get your kit in order and keep track of it. Ask questions at the right time.”
Upon being asked what he liked the MOST about serving in the RMR, he replied by saying that “The diversity is amazing. The wealth of cultural experience and interactions from all the members contributes to shape global-sensitive citizen and members of society. Exercise wise, I have not visited/joined many because weekends are prime time for church activities but the annual Call To Arms exercise is definitely a highlight for me. I love seeing the unit back together.” The only thing he would say when prompted to reflect upon what he liked LEAST about serving in the RMR was “Bring back sports team’s nights.” – ‘nuff said!
Captain Rici Be shared that the coolest thing he ever did in the army is “The privilege and honour to officiate Remembrance Day ceremonies for men and women of quality who will go down in history as heroes. The opportunity to be part of our soldiers lives: the highs and lows, their life milestones, etc. It is something I treasure.”
His favourite memory of serving with the RMR is “The continuous warm welcome that I receive in all three messes.” When asked for any final words, Captain Be shared: “Since the RMR is so diverse, I believe it is our duty to model this quality as its ambassadors wherever we serve, are deployed, gather, or parade.”