Diner-conférence avec le commandant du CMR de Saint-Jean; le 4 avril 2014
Nous vous rappelons qu’un diner-conférence organisé par le Chapitre Fort Saint-Jean, en collaboration avec la 2e Division canadienne, aura lieu au Manège militaire Côte-des-Neiges de Montréal (Mont-Royal) le vendredi 4 avril 2014, de 11h30 à 13h30.
Il s’agit d’une première édition, pour laquelle nous avons le plaisir d’accueillir comme conférencière le colonel Jennie Carignan, commandant actuel du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean et première femme commandant d’un collège militaire au Canada. La conférence, d’une durée de 45 minutes, portera sur le nouveau visage du Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean depuis sa réouverture et sur le leadership que les élèves-officiers du CMRSJ sont appelés à développer.
Les frais d’inscriptions s’élèvent à 25$, payable à la porte. Prière de faire votre réservation auprès de 9950 Léo Gravelle à firstname.lastname@example.org . En cas d’annulation après cette date, veuillez noter que vous serez tenus d’acquitter les frais liés au service de traiteur. Nous vous attendons au: Manège militaire de Côte-de-Neiges, 4185 Côte des Neiges, Montréal
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After the march: SSM K. Nykorak, Lt T. Runnings, 25162 Lt C. McNaughton, 22198 Maj E. Kerckhoff, Lt T. Smith
Royal Canadian Dragoons Represent Canadian Armed Forces in Bataan Memorial Death March
Article submitted by: 25162 Lt Colin McNaughton
From 19 Mar 14 to 25 Mar 14, 23 members of The Royal Canadian Dragoons (RCD) had the honour of representing the Canadian Armed Forces at the 25th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
This 42.2 km (26 mile) ruck march is a commemoration of the forced journey undertaken by US and Philipino soldiers captured by the Japanese after the fall of the Phillippines during World War Two. The original Death March began on April 9, 1942 and took POWs on a 128 km route through the Phillipine jungle. Thousands died along the route, killed by their captors or succumbing to sickness. Those that survived the March were only greeted by more dreadful conditions at their respective camps. The Bataan Memorial Death March is intended to remember their sacrifice.
In preparation for the gruelling task ahead, members of the RCD Team conducted more intense daily PT that stressed aerobic fitness and toughening their feet for long distances. Deploying several days prior to the event allowed the team time to get accustomed to the heat and altitude, as ruck marching in Petawawa in January provides a distinctly different experience than New Mexico! During their work-up training in New Mexico, the team discovered the difficulties of rucking in the altitude, as well as the difficult terrain strewn with rocks and riddled with switchbacks. The trail proved itself to be an eye-opener for the difficulties thay lay ahead.
On 23 March, the event’s opening ceremonies honoured the surviving and the deceased soldiers who suffered the Bataan Death March. At 0700hrs, over 6000 soldiers, including wounded warriors and civilians began their 26 mile trudge through the desert. As members of the military heavy category, the Dragoons each marched with a 35lb rucksack. Though the RCD routinely participate in endurance competitions such as the Cavalry Cup and the Petawawa Ironman, the conditions at White Sands were unique. The 25 degree temperatures were not staggeringly high, however the sun beat down relentlessly. The considerable change in altitude had a tremendous impact on the competitors and the slopes of the course The pitch of the march up and around the mountain averaged 5%, however it carried on for approximately 11 miles; enough to make it a challenge all its own. Though it did not make it impossible, the change in altitude coupled with the soft sand made the task much more difficult to complete.
Just as participants were finishing off the downhill portion of the march, they approached the 21 mile marker. This two-mile stretch of deep sand, known with dread as ‘The Sandpit’, required a colossal effort for each step to be made. The final four miles seemed to never end, and many participants were humbled by the many wounded warriors, including a triple amputee, who marched on without complaint.
One of the prime sources of motivation for the teams were the survivors of the actual Bataan Death March, present at the start and finish lines to shake hands and thank those who marched in memory of their comrades. The physical toll of the Bataan Death March provided the participants with perspective, resolve, and new-found respect for perseverance.
As Dragoons crossed the finished line with smiles on their faces, and some grimaces, an overwhelming sense of accomplishment was embraced by all. The feat they had all tackled was not for the faint of heart; it took guts and determination. Three of the teams completed, while one was disqualified as a member dropped out for medical reasons. Cpl Tham, Cpl King, Cpl Hardiman, Cpl Jannack and Cpl Fletcher completed the march third (of the 25 teams in the Military Heavyweight division who managed to complete the march) while Cpl Farr, Cpl Doucet, Cpl Latter, Cpl Aube, and Tpr Froese finished sixth. The final team through, Maj Kerckhoff (22198), SSM Nykorak, Lts Smith, Runnings, and McNaughton (25162) placed 13th. Capt Roach, Cpl Boyd, Cpl MacBean, Pte Riaz crossed the line as individuals once their team was disqualified. With an opportunity to compete again in the future, it’s a certainty that the Dragoons, and whomever else in 2 CMBG that is fortunate enough to get the chance, will continue to represent Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces well. The Bataan Memorial Death March was an exceptional chance to challenge ourselves and our abilities, standing side by side with our allies in a physical and mental ordeal. Many of this year’s participants are already looking forward to next year’s training!