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 – 18 May 2022: Raised on the South Shore (Longueil) and now living in Kingston, Ontario, Warrant Officer (WO) Rémi Nay, CD., joined the RMR in 2000 and served as a Rifleman until transferring to the Regular Force in 2004 after attaining the rank of Master-Corporal in the RMR. His current posting has him serving as Human Resource Manager for the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters as part of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC).
While he never deployed during his time with the Regiment, he has subsequently deployed to two distinct war zones in the world: Afghanistan in 2007-08 and then as part of Joint Task Force Ukraine in 2019-20 (which was peaceful at the time, unlike now!).
WO Nay chuckled as he offered advice to young soldiers and new recruits making their way in the Regiment: “Have great hockey skills!” Admittedly hockey does remain a strong part of RMR culture, there is no denying it.
He gave a one-word answer upon being asked what he liked the MOST about serving in the RMR, simply stating “Camaraderie.” It is a word often glossed over by civilians, but anyone who has served in the military understands the profoundness of his words.
The only thing he would say when prompted to reflect upon what he liked LEAST about serving in the RMR was “Showers could be more practical (too small)” – no arguments from anyone who has been part of 60 soldiers who have 10-minutes to shower after PT, using the four shower heads, and need to get back on parade fully dressed in uniform!
WO Nay shared that the coolest thing he ever did in the RMR was “Preparing some live chickens during Winter Warfare training.” That kind of training can be quite a shock to the system of a lot of recruits who have never had to butcher and prepare their own meals before, but it is valuable survival training.
His favourite memory of serving with the RMR was “Participating in a live-fire exercise in Fort Drum.”
When asked if he had anything else that he’d like to share, he noted that “Coming from a first generation of immigrants, needing to learn French was very difficult. When I joined it was the first time I had to work and interact in English. It was quite challenging.”