Asian Heritage Month: Master-Corporal Sima Mai

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.

Master-Corporal Sima Mai directing GPMG fire on the range in Valcartier

Westmount, Quebec – 13 May 2022: Born and raised in Saint-Laurent, Master-Corporal Sima Mai joined the RMR from in September 2013, where he currently serves as a Section Commander. In his civilian life he works as an Assistant Manager for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) which is quite different from the military qualifications that shaped his military career: Small Arms, Machine Gunner, Radio Communicator… they do not necessarily translate directly to being a successful banker in the civilian world, but the multiple leadership courses required to make it to the rank of Master-Corporal have certainly helped his civilian career.

His advice to young soldiers is straight-forward and practical: “Don’t overthink it.”

When prompted for his favourite memories of serving in the RMR he responded that the coolest thing he ever did in the army was “In 2019 when I got to represent the Regiment in Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day with Corporal Tobas.” But – like a lot of others who have responded, his favourite memories of service with the RMR were from the field Exercise FIGHTING WARRIOR held in 2019 at Fort Pickett, Virginia.

Then Corporal Sima Mai (right) reflecting on the D-Day invasion while standing on Juno Beach with Corporal John Tobas, 06 June 2019

Upon being asked what he liked the MOST about serving in the RMR, he said that “The people.” Of course, not everything about serving in the Infantry is sunshine & lollipops, and anyone who has spent several nights trying to shiver themselves to sleep in a tent with 8-10 other snoring & farting soldiers and otherwise suffering in a generally miserable perpetually wet and hungry condition would agree with him when he stated that his LEAST favourite part of serving was also “the people.” We can get on each other’s nerves during tough conditions!

When asked for any final words, Master-Corporal Mai was straight to the point: “The RMR is the best.”

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