Thank you for a warm welcome home!
I want to thank Lcol Jean-François Denis for being a leader. He provided enthusiastic and purposeful leadership to the RMR and we wish him godspeed in his new assignment as CO of 34 Signals Regiment.
The Regiment I am now privileged to command in good health. For the past few weeks I have been around the RMR more than usual, and I am happy to note that every time I have been in the armoury almost every soldier I saw had a rifle in his or her hand. So the Regiment hasn’t forgotten about the important stuff. And in the time I spent commanding the brigade school I am proud to report that the RMR was my go-to unit. The RMR executed all assigned tasks, and stepped into the breech repeatedly to cover off tasks other units couldn’t. Meanwhile, the Regiment is generating soldiers and leaders at an acceptable rate, and flying the flag – literally – at polar opposite ends of the earth. And so, since I feel the RMR is fundamentally healthy and effective, I am not going to rush into imposing a new way of doing business.
Be advised, though, that there will be some Back to the Future. I grew up in an RMR that was proud of its traditions, such as saluting the plaque and not walking on the parade square unless asked to do so by the RSM. I own RMR mess dress and blues, and I will want all my officers and NCOs to be properly dressed according to the occasion. The RMR I grew up in conducted the battle fitness test as a race and built its own field firing ranges. We taught our Regular Force partner unit how to conduct urban operations and demonstrated to the brigade that training on a US facility was not only feasible but optimal. In short, we respected our traditions, understood our purpose, achieved our objectives, and consistently pushed the envelope of the possible. I know we have the talent and drive to continue to do so going forward.
Since we are somewhat new to each other, I will close by telling you four things about me:
- Quality work, precision and rigour – doing things right – are how I define success;
- I think a good way to focus on the essentials is to carry live ammunition;
- I will work as hard for you as you work for me; and
- I believe that giving and receiving actionable feedback is the cornerstone to learning and improving. So talk to me. I want to hear what you have to say.