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.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Montreal, Sergeant (ret’d) Chung Yu served in the RMR from 1988 (yes, he’s another one of the “88” boys of RMR legend and lore) to 2013. He currently works as an IT professional in civilian life and remains connected with the Regiment as an active member of the RMR Association (Branch 14).
He has a wealth of expertise and experience gained over his 25-years of military service. Besides his basic Infantry and leadership courses, he also qualified to drive AVGP’s (Armoured Vehicle General Purpose), serve as Close Protection for VIP’s and dignitaries, be a First Aid Instructor, and perform TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care).
His operational experience includes both domestic and foreign deployments, starting with the Oka Crisis in 1990, then deploying on Roto 0 to Bosnia in 1993, and finally serving on Task Force 1-09 in Afghanistan.
It can be hard to narrow down so many memories to one singular ‘favourite’, but when pressed to say what was the coolest thing he ever did in his military service he said it had to be the Close Protection course he took at Blackwater. Based on his extensive experience, Sergeant (ret’d) Yu’s advice to new soldiers is ”Be persistent in training and opportunities will appear, the army is a big machine but you can make your own career.”
His favourite memories from his years his service was the post-exercise routine when all the weapons had been cleaned, oiled, and secured in the vault, the equipment had been organized, cleaned and returned to the Quarter-Master, and the troops were dismissed from their duties to the Junior Ranks Club, and they could all relax and swap war stories over a couple of beers. When asked what he like the most and the least about serving in the RMR, he got straight to the point with one-word answers for both: “Family” and “Drill” – we’ll leave you to determine which was his favourite.