Halt! Advance one to be recognized

Article written by Captain Alan Vincent, Officer Commanding Bravo Company, RMR

Westmount, Quebec – 22 September 2017: In the dim twilight of an evening patrol you carefully place your steps, setting your foot down slowly, toe to heel to avoid the unnecessary noise of breaking twigs.  You cautiously shift branches and leaves aside to avoid leaving traces of your passage for the enemy to follow.  Your eyes are wide, scanning for out of place movement.  Your detachment members are well practiced and are keeping proper tactical spacing.  Your navigation is spot on, your GPS and pacing confirms that you are 100m out from your intended ORV and you are well within you estimated timings.  All seems well with this operation when suddenly you hear a low grumbling growl that instantly gives you a chill down your spine.  You cannot identify the origins of the sound, you nervously scan your surrounding and signal the rest of the patrol to halt.  There it is again, a menacing, feral growl that freezes you in place.

Those eyes, two glowing orbs of living fire suddenly become apparent not three meters to your front.  They are getting closer but there is still no sound other than the gentle breeze and that guttural growl.  You are transfixed, paralyzed with fear as the silhouette of the beast begins to immerge.  Is that a white line of fur contrasting against the black?  Am I about to get sprayed by a darn skunk?  No, this creature is too big and powerful.  That isn’t one stripe but several stripes of alternating white and black across that menacing visage.  It comes closer and you realize you are face to face with one of the most ferocious animals this side of the Atlantic.  A badger stands ready to pounce not but two meters away from you and his demeanor beacons the reaper to collect more souls this evening.

B Coy “Badger” badge

Why am I telling you a story about a badger you ask?  Well let me answer that question for you.  As of this past August the badger has become synonymous with Bravo Company of The Royal Montreal Regiment.  The company chain of command selected this animal to represent the Company for three distinct reasons.  The first being the simplest explanation: Badger and Bravo both start with the letter “B”.  The second reason for selecting a badger as the symbolic animal for B-Coy was identified during initial searches to find a symbol.  It was discovered that the badger actually symbolizes some tenets that are intertwined with what is expected of an infanteer.  The badger represents a fierce and courageous warrior. It represents the qualities of power, tenacity, protection, persistence, determination and endurance.  All qualities any commander strives for within his fighting force.  The third reason why the badger was selected as the symbolic animal for B-Coy was for more personal reasons.  Badger is the affectionate nick name that several members of the Regiment bestowed upon one of their own, Sgt. Chung-Man YU (retired).  He is one of the most highly regarded NCOs this Regiment has produced in the last 40 years.  He was and still is the embodiment of the modern day warrior.  Forever fit and striving for self-improvement in all aspects of his life, he remains a measuring stick for what is expected from an infantry reservist.  It became quickly apparent that it was a perfect fit to choose the badger to represent B-Coy and honour my friend at the same time.

Sgt (ret’d) Chung-Man Yu gracing the front cover of the Maple Leaf in March 2007

After speaking with various persons within the Regiment it was decided that B-Coy leadership needed to develop a way to quickly demonstrate recognition of notable individual efforts that were observed during the various B-Coy and RMR training events.  The CAF honours and awards system while good, can be a lengthy process and by the time a member receives their recognition the particulars of what they accomplished are rarely remembered by their peers.  Some sort of reward that could be issued to deserving members during the very same exercise that they demonstrated the notable efforts would go a long way to reinforcing positive output within the other members of the Coy.  Hence the B-Coy “Badger” badge was born.

Seventeen “Badger” badges have already been awarded this training year, with two going to former members that were key players within the Coy during their time in the Regiment, four have been issued to serving members of the RMR’s HQ & Services Coy that participated on recent exercises and the other eleven were awarded to deserving current members of the Coy.  The serving members are permitted to wear the badge in uniform while training within the Regiment or on a B-Coy exercise.  Unfortunately as a non-official CAF badge the members are not authorized to wear it outside of the above mentioned caveats.

Early observations show that the “Badger” badge is a huge success.  Recipients wear it with pride and those that have yet to have earned one are wanting to do just that as quickly as possible.

Do you have what it takes to earn a “Badger” badge?  I guess we will have to see… Halt!  Advance one to be recognized.

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