Article written by Second-Lieutenant Alexander David Ray
Westmount, Quebec – 09 May 2021: On a normal year, every May, the men and women of The Royal Montreal Regiment conduct their annual church parade and march through the streets of Westmount, colours flying and drums beating in celebration of the accomplishments of the past training year. However, this past year has been anything but normal, the challenges of the pandemic have put a strain on our society, on the Armed Forces and consequently on the RMR. Nevertheless, the 2020-2021 training year was a demonstration of the RMR’s tenacity and readiness to operate successfully in adverse conditions.
Even though the members of the RMR could not gather as they normally would, masks donned and distance kept, morale was high as the troops met one last time before heading off to their summer courses.
The day began with mandated lectures, opening with a speech on Suicide Prevention from Sgt Oleshko. This was followed by a presentation on Harassment Prevention and Resolution by 2nd Lieutenant Bugel and to finish the RMR’s CO, LCol Shone delivered a presentation on Defence Ethics and Sexual Misconduct.Following lunch, the members of the RMR formed two guards and marched onto the parade square. After taking over the parade, the CO called forward those members being awarded medals, promotions and trophies.
Several promotions were awarded to deserving members of the regiment. These promotions included Lt McLaughlin and Lt Perchun promoted to the rank of Captain.
MCpl Cowling and MCpl David were promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Cpl Mai was promoted to the rank of MCpl. In addition, Pte Skalkogiannis, Pte Hipson, Pte Osegueda, Pte Enriquez, Pte, Ion and Pte Rudderham were promoted to the rank of Corporal.
Once the promotions were completed, the floor now turned to those being awarded trophies for exemplary activity.
The Barre Trophy awarded to the best recruit went to Pte Cortez.
The Colonel Trent Cup Awarded to a soldier of the RMR who has consistently set the standard in physical fitness (RMR Fitness Challenge) was awarded to Pte Enriquez.
Best Rifle Shot was awarded to MCpl Randall-Coss.
The Capt G.B. McKean, VC, MC, MM Trophy awarded to the best soldier was awarded to Cpl Wooden.
The Soldier Trophy awarded to the most improved soldier went to Cpl Youk.
The Hampstead Trophy presented to the member who has done voluntary work for his community was awarded to Cpl Tsoy.
The Commander’s Coin was presented to Sgt O’Driscoll for her outstanding dedication and work ethic within the RMR. During Exercise Castor Mecanise she acted as section commander where she led multiple section attacks. Her excellent leadership skills earned her one of the best ranked section attacks in a Regular Force battalion.
The Commander’s Coin was also presented to Cpl Tobas. During the 2020 – 2021 training year. While deployed on OP LASER, Cpl Tobas was prepared to complete any and all tasks assigned to him which helped the RMR platoon achieve its objectives within their CHSLD. Cpl Tobas has also been officially and unofficially involved in almost every course the RMR has run over the last year. Most recently, as a Driver Storesman on PLQ 2101, Cpl Tobas once again demonstrated professionalism and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing schedule as he completed his tasks on the course and as a member of the CQ.
A third member to receive the Commander’s Coin was Cpl Yeung. During the 2020 – 2021 training year While deployed on OP LASER, Cpl Yeung would go on to volunteer for more than three back to back BMQ courses as a Driver Storesman for the 34th CBG Battle School. At the RMR, Cpl Yeung is a valuable member of the CQ who is always happy to assist in any way possible and, on multiple occasions, volunteered for last minute tasks even when already assigned other responsibilities.
Finally, Maj Ruiz-Laing, 2Lt Pulliam-Therrien, Cpl Yousefi-Tehrani and Cpl Lefebvre were recognized as Sentinels with respect to the training they received. The Sentinel Program plays an essential role in detecting, preventing and supporting military members in distress.
To finish the parade the CO called the parade to attention, the officers fell out and the parade was dismissed.
Normally, following dismissal, members of the RMR would socialize in their respective messes. This year, the messes are closed due to social distancing measures, nevertheless, the events of the day brought members together one last time, celebrating this past year’s accomplishments and keeping on with traditions in a time when it is difficult to do so. Regardless of the conditions this past year, the RMR moves forward.