2RCR Junior Officer's Handbook

Acknowledgements

This handbook was first published in May 1972. The book was prepared by several of the Junior officers in 2RCR under the direction of Capt J.S. Cox who at that time was Senior Subaltern.

When I was appointed Senior Subaltern in June 1973, my first task was to amend several portions of the book. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many officers of The Royal Canadian Regiment who assisted me in this endeavour.

G.W. Carter
Lieutenant
Senior Subaltern

elipsis graphic

Introduction

Great institutions of long standing seldom divest themselves completely of their early forms and ceremonies and those that do survive the process of evolution are usually but symbols of functions or practices long since dead.

In the case of the Canadian Armed Forces, many of the present day customs are survivals of long ago, and their historical background is little, if at all, understood by the general public who are inclined to dismiss them as meaningless items of military routine.

The purpose of the information contained in this book, though far from complete, is to direct your attention to a few of the more important points of the customs of the service and to give you some background history of The Royal Canadian Regiment and in particularly the Second Battalion.

Basically the Canadian Armed Forces is founded on the solid rock of discipline. Without good discipline he become a rabble and not only a target for defeat, but a target for the growth of false, unsound and dangerous thinking and action.

Before any unit can be considered efficient it must not only demonstrate a high standard of effective fighting efficiency but just as important: a high standard of administration discipline and efficiency.

The information contained in this book is promulgated for the guidance of Junior Officers in Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. The spirit of the subalterns must never be allowed to slip so low that failure to conduct oneself in a professional manner, as outlined in this book, should be ignored or in any way condoned.

elipsis graphic

Junior Officer's Handbook

Chapter 1

A Short History of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Rogue Editorial Note: This short history was drafted in the 1970s, points may need to be cross-referenced with other sources before using it as a reference.

Section 1 – 19th Century

The Beginning

1.01     The Regiment was organized on 21 Dec 1883 and was called Infantry School Corps. It was composed of four Companies. Lt Col J Haunsell commanded "A" Company at Fredericton, New Brunswick. Lt Col G. d'Orsonnens commanded "B" Company at St. Jean, Quebec. Lt Col W.D. Otter commanded "C" Company at Toronto, Ontario. Lt Col H. Smith was the Commanding Officer of "D" Company at London, Ontario. Lt Col J. Maunsell later became the first Commanding Officer after the unit was organized on a Regimental basis. He was succeeded in this appointment by Lt Col W.D. Otter. Over the years the name of the Regiment has changed several times. In 1883 the official name was, of course, "Infantry School Corps". In 1892 this was changed to "Canadian Regiment of Infantry". One year later the Regiment was honoured by being allowed to incorporate the title "Royal" before its name and consequently the name became "The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry". In 1899 the name integrated into "The Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry". Finally in 1901 the name that is proudly borne to this day was promulgated, that of "The Royal Canadian Regiment".

1.02     Rebellion broke out into the open at Duck Lake on 26 March 1885, when a party of North-West Mounted Police (later called RCMP) who were responsible for policing the west, aided by civilian volunteers acre opposed in the execution of their office by a group of halfbreeds and Indians led by Gabriel Dumont. In this ambush, ten of the police party acre killed. The Government of Canada decided to raise a Militia force in order to restore law and order. The force from Eastern Canada was mobilized and raised by "C" Coy, Infantry School Corps, 250 volunteers from the Queen's Own Rifles and 10th Grenadiers from Toronto, plus a party of Governor General's Foot Guards from Ottawa. This force was to be commanded by Lt Col W.D. Otter who commanded the Toronto Station Infantry School Corps at that time. "C" Coy Infantry School Corps consisted of 5 Officers and 85 men and was commanded by Major H Smith.

1.03     The force left Carleton Place (30 miles west of Ottawa) on 30 Mar 1885 and arrived at Winnipeg on 7 Apr 1885 just eleven days after the Duck Lake affair. The journey was made partly over the incompleted CPR Trans-Canada and partly by sled. The speed by which the government troops had arrived had a decided detrimental effect to the cause of the Metis. Eleven days was not much time within which to solidify their control of the area. The force fought engagements at fish Creek most of them minor skirmishes but eventually had to bow down before the sheer weight of the crushing governmental force. As a military affair it was a minor rebellion put down by amateur soldiers under leadership that was far from brilliant. However, since this was the first campaign that the Canadian Army had ever conducted without the assistance of British troops there is some justification for it. The troops themselves had shown in no uncertain tents that they could be mobilized very quickly and despatched to a theatre of operations.

1.04     The casualties in the School Corps force were two killed and seven wounded. The Battle Honours awarded for the campaign were "Saskatchewan" and "North-West Canada 1885".

1.05     In Aug 1896 gold was discovered in the Yukon at Bonanza Creek. As this news spread throughout tie world, thousands of lawless types thronged to Dawson City. The RCMP were considered too few in number to properly enforce law and order and the government decided to send a force from the regular army to help keep the peace. This force was called the Yukon field Force and it was composed of 7 officers and 191 men. Of these 3 officers and 130 men were members of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Infantry. The force proceeded by rail to Vancouver, thence by boat to Fort Wrangel, Alaska, and by river boat to Telegraph Creek. The force then proceeded by foot over the rugged Teslin Trail approximately 1000 miles to Fort Selkirk. They arrived at Dawson City on 2 Oct and assisted the Police in enforcing law and order in the gold strike towns in the area. With the arrival of the troops the towns quieted down and eventually the force was withdrawn and returned to their units in June 1900. Once again the Government had shown its capability of moving large numbers of troops vast distances with great speed.

1.06     By 11 Oct 1899 a state of war existed once again between England and The Boer States. At the outbreak of war the Canadian Government offered the British Government the services of 1,000 Infantrymen. Recruiting commenced immediately from Halifax to Victoria and by 18 Oct 1899 all Coys were up to strength. The Canadian Government offered their services in the form of an Infantry Battalion. On 23 Oct the force was mobilized under the name of 2nd Special Service Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. It was commanded by Lt Col W.D. Otter. The nucleus of this Battalion was regular force.

1.07     The Battalion concentrated at Quebec City and embarked for South Africa on 30 Oct. They arrived at Capetown on 29 Nov 1899. They moved to Belmont to complete their training.

1.08     They saw their first action at Sunnyside, Kapjus on 1 Jan 1900 during a large patrol action. At this time The Royal Canadian Regiment were brigaded with the 19th British Brigade under Major General Smith-Dorian. The Brigade fought at such places as Paardeberg Drift, Poplar Gave, Drienfontien, Israels Poort, Thaba Mountains, Zand River, and Doorn Hop.

1.09     Of all these actions, Paardeberg was the most notable. The main part was fought by The Royal Canadian Regiment. They fought against a superior "Boer" force under General Cronje. General Cronje, himself, surrendered to The Canadian Army; is interesting to note that the date of Cronje's surrender to The Royal Canadian Regiment was 27 Feb 1900, or 19 years to the day of the "Boer" victory over the British at Majuba Hill. To commemorate this fact a painting was created entitled "The Dawn of Majuba". This painting hangs in The National Art Gallery and gives a clear view of the "Boer" surrender to The Royal Canadian Regiment.

1.10     By Nov 1900 the term of enlistment for the 2nd Special Service Battalion had expired. Approximately 150 all ranks embarked for Canada to be discharged. They left on 1 Oct 1900. The remainder, approximately 250 strong, sailed for England there they were feted by the British Government and inspected by Her Majesty Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 30 Nov 1900. This inspection was said to be the last military inspection by Her Majesty prior to her death. The force sailed from Liverpool for Canada on 12 Dec 1900 and arrived at Halifax on 23 Dec. The 2nd Special Service Battalion was disbanded at that time.

1.11     The Battle Honour: awarded for this Campaign were "Paardeberg" and "South Africa 1899-1900". Paardeberg Day – 27 Feb – is celebrated by all members and Old Comrades to this day as a Regimental Holiday, in honour of the victory at the 2nd Special Service Battalion at Paardeberg Drift. The total statistics in this campaign were 68 killed and 115 wounded.

1.12     During the period of the campaign in South Africa, the Regular Battalion carried on with its normal role. The 3rd Special Service Battalion was raised for the purpose at garrison duties at Halifax and was finally disbanded on 1 Oct 1902.

Section 2 – The Great War

1.13     German idealistic philosophy could have had no other result than a world explosion. The obscure events in the Balkans supplied the excuse and by August Europe was aflame. Due to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, war was declared between Austria and Serbia. This precipitated members of the Triple Alliance (Germany, Austria, Hungary) to declare war on Russia, France and Great Britain, who had a mutual defence alliance called the Triple Entent.

1.14     On 30 Jul Canada announced; in the event of war, Canada would provide a contingent of 20,000 to 25,00 men. Mobilization was simultaneously ordered. On 4 Aug the Regiment concentrated at Halifax. At this time the Commanding Officer volunteered the services of the Regiment to form part of the "1st Contingent", however, this was not to be.

1.15     On 11 Aug, authority was granted to recruit to war establishment. On 20 Aug, the British Government requested that Canada provide an Infantry Battalion to relieve the British Garrison at Bermuda. The Regiment, the only fully mobilized unit in Canada, was immediately detailed for this task. The Regiment sailed for Bermuda on 31 Sep 1914 and relieved the 2nd Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. On 12 Oct l914, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught was appointed Honorary Colonel succeeding the Regiment's first Honorary Colonel, Lord Wolseley who had been appointed Honorary Colonel 1 Jul 1399.

1.16     Lord Wolseley had died at Menton, France in Mar 1913. The Duke of Connaught was appointed the first Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment on 4 Apr 1929. The Regiment was relieved of garrison duty in Bermuda on 12 Aug 1915 by the 38th Battalion CEF (now [perpetuated by] the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa). The Regiment had served eleven months on garrison duties and finally was despatched to Europe on 26 Aug 1915. Eight weeks were spent completing their training at Camp Shorncliffe, England. From there the Regiment embarked for France and were in the trenches for the first time at Ploegsteert on 10 Nov 1915. At this time the Regiment was designated as a Unit of Canadian Corps Troops. When the 3rd Canadian Division was formed, the Regiment became a part of the 7th Brigade. The "Shiny 7th Brigade" was made up of The Royal Canadian Regiment, The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, The 42nd Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders of Canada), and The 49th Battalion Edmonton Regiment (now the 49th Royal Edmonton Regiment). The Regiment fought as a unit of the 3rd Canadian Division in nearly every engagement from Dec 1915, until the end of the war in Nov 1918. The most important engagements were Ypres Salient 1915, Menin Road, Mount Sorrel, Some 1916, Flers-Courcelette, Ancre Heights, Regina Trench, Arras 1917, Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Amiens, Arras 1918, Cambrai, Scarpe, Hindenberg Line, Canal du Nord, Pursuit to Mons.

1.17     Lt Milton F. Gregg, VC, who was serving with the Regiment on 21 Oct 1918 on the Cambrai front was awarded the VC. The citation reads; for conspicuous bravery, initiative and leadership. Lt Gregg served in the Regiment again in World War II and achieved the rank of Brigadier. He was appointed Honorary Colonel on 31 Jan 1952 and relinquished the appointment on 31 Jan 1958.

1.18     At 0500 hrs 11 Nov 1918 Lt W.M. King, leading a patrol of "B" Company The Royal Canadian Regiment, entered the city of Mons. This patrol was the first time allied troops had re-entered the city since Aug 1914. The "Old Contemptibles", crack troops of the Regular British Army had fought the memorable rear guard action known as the "Retreat from Mons". This action gave British and the Empire time to mobilize her forces. Lt King's signature is the first entered in the Golden Book of Mons. At 1100 hrs the same day an armistice was declared and all hostilities ceased. The Regiment returned to Canada on 5 Feb 1919 and were stationed temporarily at Halifax for a short period after the cessation of hostilities. The Regiment carried out occupational duties in Belgium and Germany. The total casualties suffered by the Regiment in World War I were approximately eight hundred killed and three thousand injured.

1.19     For its gallantry, the Regiment was awarded twenty-two Battle Honours, ten of which are emblazoned on the Regimental Colours. The ten are: Mount Sorrel, Ancre Heights, Hill 70, Passchendaele, Hindenberg Line, Some 1916, Vimy 1917, Ypres 1915, 1917, Amiens and Pursuit to Mons. The twelve not appearing on the colours are: Flers-Courcelette, Scarpe 1917, 1918, Canal du Nord 1918, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Festubert 1915, Pozieres, Arleux, Drocourt-Queant and Cambrai 1918.

Section 3 – The Second World War

1.20     In defiance of all agreements, in the spring of 1939, Germany occupied Czechoslovakia by force. It was obvious to all that war with German was eminent. By Aug 1939 Hitler was making territorial demands on Poland. Poland resisted these demands and Hitler countered by invading on 1 Sep 1939. Great Britain and France, who were partners in a mutual defence alliance with Poland, declared war on Germany on 3 Sep 1939. In an attempt to display to the rest of the world that she was an autonomous nation rather than a parasitical colony of Britain, Canada deliberately waited one week before declaring war against Gemany even though she knew from the outset that she would. It had became increasingly impossible for countries of the western liberal tradition, with its doctrine of the rights of man and its ultimate foundations in Christian teaching, to live in the same world with the calculated brutalities of Hitlerism. Canadians fought a war for chair traditional institutions of Government, for their liberties as they understood them, for the basic principles of their religion, for that whole way of life which, notwithstanding so many misconstructions and so much overburden, may properly be called liberal Christian democracy. On 1 Sep the Department of National Defence issued a General Order, authorizing the immediate organization of a Canadian Active Service Force, of two divisions. The Royal Canadian Regiment was detailed to the 1st Brigade of the 1st Division.

1.21     In Aug 1939 the Regiment was carrying out field training with Regimental Headquarters, "B" and "C" Companies at Niagara-on-the Lake, "A" Company at Aldershot, Nova Scotia, and "D" Company in barracks at St Jean, Quebec. On 25 Aug all Companies returned to their permanent stations with the exception of "B" Company which remained at Niagara until mid October. Even though war was not officially declared, on 1 Sep (the day Hitler invaded Poland), authority was granted to commence recruiting to war establishment.

1.22     At this time the Regiment concentrated at Valcartier, Quebec and completed reorganization. They sailed to England on 20 Dec 1939. On 29 Apr 1940, the Regiment was inspected by the Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught. This was the last time the 'Old Soldier' would see his Regiment prior to his death.

1.23     On 24 may 1940, the 1st Brigade embarked at Dover, to go to the assistance of the hard pressed BEF at Calais. This action was cancelled because of the rapid deterioration of resistance and the uncertainty of French policy.

1.24     After the evacuation of Dunkirk, the Regiment was despatched to France, via Plymouth and Brest on 13 Jun 1910. France capitulated at this time and the Regiment returned to England without seeing action. The next three years were a period of watching, waiting and training.

1.25     During this period the Regiment was employed as coastal defence and mobile reserve. On 25 Aug 1940, the Regiment suffered its first fatal casualties. Three men of "B" Company were killed when the Company position was bombed by enemy aircraft. On 6 Jan 1941 our Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught died. His funeral at Windsor Castle was attended by one officer, two warrant officers, two sergeants, and two corporals.

1.26     In Dec 1942, The Regiment underwent combined operations training at Inverary in Argyllshire, Scotland. The Regiment was preparing for the subsequent landings in Sicily. In Jun 1943, the Regiment embarked at Gourock, Scotland, destination unknown. However, on 1 Jul 1943, while at sea, all ranks were informed of their destination. The objective was to be the invasion of Sicily. For the remainder of the voyage all ranks were thoroughly briefed as to their tasks.

1.27     On 3 Sep, the Regiment took part in the invasion of the Italian mainland, at Reggie di Calabria. Again came the task of following a withdrawing enemy, this time around the foot of Italy. This pursuit lasted for nearly a month. At Motta on 1 Oct, the Regiment found a hard engagement with the Germans. This action was followed in quick succession by several sharp engagements. Between 3 Oct and 26 Oct, the Regiment took part in the battles at Motta Ridge, San Marco, Hill 400, Campobasso, Busso, Orantino and Castrovignano. The Regiment returned for a well earned rest at Molise on 29 Oct.

1.28     In early December the 1st Division relieved the British 78th Division for the attack on Ortona. The Regiment went into action on 6 Dec and became involved in a month of the bitterest fighting of the whole Italian Campaign. From 6 Dec to 29 Dec the Regiment was continuously in action at the Moro River, Ortona Crossroads and the battle for the Gullies which followed in quick succession. They were successful in all these engagements but casualties were heavy. Of the 756 all ranks who had landed with the Regiment at Pachino, six months previously, less than 200 remained after the battles for Ortona. After the fall of Ortona, the Canadian advance came to a halt. The Regiment with the rest of the 1st Division played their part in holding the static line in front of Ortona, until they were withdrawn from this front in Apr 1944.

1.29     In May and Jun 1944, the Regiment took part in the battle for the Gustav and Hitler Lines which preceded the allied major break-through into the Liri Valley and the liberation or Home. The most notable part played by the Regiment was the capture of Pontecorve, the key town to the Hitler Line, on 21 May. After the Liri Valley breakthrough, the Regiment spent a period of time training in the Piedmonte area. Early August found the Regiment for a short period of time holding the line along the Arno River in the classical city of Florence.

1.30     Their stay in Florence was not to be for long, as greater tasks faced the Canadians. On 25 Aug, The Royal Canadian Regiment. were a leading element in the breeching of the Gothic Line on the Adriatic Coast. From 25 Aug 1944 until 23 Feb 1945, the Regiment was to remain on this front. Commencing with the Metauro River crossing at first light 25 Aug, there followed in quick succession the battles at Sultara, Monte Giana, Abissinia, Riccionl, San Lorenzo in Strade, Rimini Airfield and Cesana. This was followed by a much needed rest and period of reorganization.

1.31     In Dec 1944 the Regiment took part in the bitter fighting of the Po Valley Denial. Commencing with the abortive Crossing of the Lamone River on 4 Dec, there followed in quick order the crossing of the Vecchio and Naviglio Canals and the capture of Bagnacavello.

1.32     After 23 days of continuous fighting that was on a par with the effort at Ortona one year previous, the Regiment faced up to the Senio River. The months of Jan-Feb 1945 were spent in a holding role along the Senio River. On 23 Feb 1915 the Regiment was taken out of the line and moved by stages to the Port of Leghorn, where they embarked for France on 1 Mar 1915.

1.33     After 20 months of almost continuous action the Regiment left the British 8th Army to join their own countrymen in the 1st Canadian Army. Arriving at Marseilles on 9 Mar, the Regiment moved by road to the Schilde in Belgium, where a period of re-organization and re-fitting was carried out. On 12 Apr, the Regiment was in action again, attacking the city of Apeldoorn in Holland. After five days of fighting the city fell to the Regiment.

1.34     This action was the last for the Regiment in World War II. After Apeldoorn the Regiment moved to Garderen where they remained in a reserve position until VE Day, 8 May. On 8 May they moved via Amsterdan to Ijmuiden where they were allotted the task of disarming twenty-thousand Germans, in the futose area. While at Ijmuiden volunteers were called for, to continue the fight in the Pacific against Japan. All officers and over three hundred other ranks volunteered. They eventually left the Regiment in June and returned to Canada. The Regiment prepared to return home, leaving Holland on 3 Sep, the Regiment returned to England. After a short leave they sailed for Canada on 23 Sep, and moved to London, Ontario. On 1 Oct 1945 the Regiment paraded to the Dundas Street Armoury and received the final dismiss.

1.35     The Regiment's battle casualties in this war were three hundred and seventy killed and approximately fourteen hundred wounded, missing, and PW. Twenty others died as a result of accidents or enemy bombing in England. (Total dead: 390).

1.36     The Regiment was awarded twenty seven battle honours for service in World War II. The ten of these battle honours that are emblazoned on the colours are: Landing in Sicily, Motta Montecorvino, San Leonardo, Ortona, Hitler Line, Gothic Line, Lamone Crossing, Rimini Line, Italy 1943-1935, and North West Europe 1945. The other seventeen battle honours that were awarded are: Valguarnera, Agira, Adrado, Regalbuto, Gustav Line, Liri Valley, Misano Ridge, San Martino-San Lorenzo, Pisciatello, Posse Vecchio, and Apeldoorn.

Section 4 – The Korean War

1.37     The aggression of North Korea upon the people of South Korea was looked upon as intolerable by the United Nations. On the second day of invasion, the United Nations security council called upon all United Nations countries for assistance to stop North Korea's aggression. This led to the intervention by the International Armed Forces of the United Nations. It was the first United Nations "Police Action" in history. The war which thus began was Canada's third most costly overseas conflict. Canadian soldiers served as part of a Commonwealth Division under United Nations Command.

1.38     Along those countries which had offered assistance was Canada. On 12 Jul, Naval assistance was offered and eight days later Royal Canadian Air Force assistance was offered. A Canadian ground force was now under consideration but delay was unavoidable as Canada did not have forces in the Far East. 0n 7 Aug 1950 the Prime Minister announced the provision of an Infantry Brigade to be available to the United Nations. This contingent was named the "Canadian Army Special Force (CASF).

1.39     The infantry components of this force were made up on the 2nd Battalion of the three existing Regular Infantry Regiments, The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and The Royal 22a Regiment. 0n 7 Aug 1950 the 2nd Battalion mobilized at Camp Petawawa, Ontario. On 20 Nov they moved to Fort Lewis. Brigadier Rockingham gave an address on "fighting in Korea" to the Battalion on 1; Apr 1951. They were inspected on 15 Apr by the Governor General His Excellency field Marshal The Right Honourable Viscount Alexander of Tunis KG, GCB, GCMG, CSI, DSO and MC. The 2nd Battalion embarked for Korea on 20 Apr 1951 and spent 14 days aboard ship, in which they took concentrated physical training and sea sickness. On 4 May they arrived at Pusan Harbour.

1.41     They moved to Suwon and noticed the first signs of war there as they saw the tanks, half tracks and bridges that had been blown up. On 24 May 1951 the 2nd Battalion relieved the Turks in the line and had their first skirmish with the enemy in the taking of Hill 1107.

1.41     The Brigadier's message that was received read, "You have far exceeded the high expectations I had of your ability in operations. The determination, thoroughness and Speed you have shown in your first operations over the last three days have been magnificent. I know that against heavier opposition you will be equally effective".

1.42     In its first decisive battle with the Chinese at "Chaili", Kakul-song", and the "Chorwan Valley", the day's action cost the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment six killed and twenty-five wounded. On 2 Jun the Battalion moved to a rest area north-west of Uijongbu where they were entertained by variety shows, etc. A highlight was the opportunity to visit The Royal Canadian Regiment's sister Regiment, The Gloucester-s. The Gloucesters held "Gloucester Valley" and for the third tile The Royal Canadian Regiment and the Gloucesters stood together.

1.43     They were together previously in 1901 in England and in 1948 in Jamaica when one Company from the Regiment went there. By 19 Jun 1951 the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment were under command of 1st United States Cavalry Division. For the remainder of June and July the action that took place was primarily that of heavily armed. patrols. On l4 Jul they became under command of the Commonwealth Division. By August the leaves to Japan commenced. The work at the front was confined to improving the defensive positions, i.e., digging, wiring, and more digging. During the winter of 1951 and 1952, a new phase of the Korean war took place, that of concentrated patrolling. By Feb 1952 the advance parties and the parachutist drafts left for Canada. Paardeberg Day was celebrated in Korea by the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment on 27 Feb 1952. The front line remained reasonably static and on 25 Apr 1952 the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment's "Police Action" in Korea was finished and they were relieved by the 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment.

1.44     The 1st Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment commenced organizing for war during the winter 1951 and 1952. In Feb 1952 the advance party was flown to Korea.

1.16     In Mar 1952 the main body sailed for Japan. By April the turnover was completed and the lst Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment had relieved the 2nd Battalion in the line.

Section 5 – The Present

1.46     On 1 Jul 70 the two regular battalions of the Black Watch, (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada were removed from the order of battle and the highland jocks merged into one battalion to be known as Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment. The Battalion's colours were returned to CFB Gagetown from Soest, Germany where the unit had been stationed since 1967.

Section 6 – The Badges

1.47     The hat badge is a silver, eight-pointed star of the Order of the Garter. It is two inches in diameter. In relief, on a pebbled ground with a raised border is The Royal and Imperial Cypher of Queen Victoria, 'VRI". The cypher stands for the words "Victoria Regina Imperatrix" which translated from the Latin means, "Victoria, Queen and Empress". When a royal or imperial cypher forms part of a badge of n Regiment, it is customary for it to change with each succeeding monarch. In 1919 however, King, George V granted permission for the Regiment to wear this cypher for all time, in memory of Queen Victoria and in honour of the Regiment's gallant service during the Great War. The Royal Canadian Regiment is the only regiment in the Canadian Armed Forces permitted to wear a deceased monarch's cypher.

1.48     The collar badge is a Canadian beaver mounted on a scroll bearing the inscription, "Pro Patria", the Regimental motto, in relief. The motto translates to "For country". Since the beaver is symbolic of hard work, the full meaning of the motto becomes "work for your country".

Section 7 – Personalities

Colonel-in-Chief

field Marshal, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, CBE, CD.

Colonel of the Regiment

General Charles Foulkes, CB, CBE, DSO, CD, LLD, DSc; 2 Jan 59 – 26 May 65
Major-General Daniel Charles Spry, CBE, DSO, CD; 26 May 65 – Present

Honorary Colonels

Major-General S.J.A. Denison, CMG; 11 Oct 29 – 8 Nov 37
Major-General, The Honourable A.H. McDonald, CMG, DSO; 9 Nov 37 – 12 Nov 39
Brigadier-General, The Honourable Milton F. Gregg, VC, CBE, MC, ED; 31 Jan 52 – 31 Jun 58

Past Commanding Officers of 2RCR

Lieutenant Colonel W.W Reid, DSIO, ED; 27 Sep 45 – 22 Oct 45
Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Houghton; 23 Oct 45 – l5 Mar 46

Note: On 1 Mar 46 1 & 2 RCR became The Royal Canadian Regiment.

During this period it was commanded by:

Lieutenant Colonel J.H. Houghton, OBE; 1 Mar 46 – 15 Dec 48
Lieutenant Colonel P.R. Bingham; 16 Dec 48 – 9 Aug 50

Second Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment was reformed 7 Aug 50.

Lieutenant Colonel R.A. Keene, DSO, OBE, CD; l7 Aug 50 – 2 Jun 52
Lieutenant. Colonel G.C. Corbauld, DSO, OBS, ED; 3 Jun 52 – 31 Aug 57

(T/CO) 8 Oct 57 – 21 Oct 57

Lieutenant Colonel D.E. Holmes, CD; 1 Dec 57 – 14 Aug 60
Lieutenant Colonel LA. Clancy, MBE, MC, CD; 15 Aug 60 – 20 May 63
Lieutenant Colonel J.W.P. Bryan, CD; 21 May 63 – 30 Apr 64
Lieutenant Colonel J.B.J. Archambault, CD; 1 May 64 – 14 Jul 66
Lieutenant Colonel B. Baile, CD; 15 Jul 66 – Apr 68
Lieutenant Colonel J.A. Conan; Apr 68 – 31 Jun 70
Lieutenant Colonel G. Scott Morrison, CD; 1 Jul 70 – 30 Jul 71.

Section 8 – The Colours

1.49     The Queen's Colour signified allegiance to the crown and is carried on the right of the Regimental Colour. It was described as the Great Union or Union Jack, but is now the Canadian Emblem. In the centre is a roman numeral which denotes one number of the battalion. The border of the centre piece contains the inscription, "The Royal Canadian Regiment", surmounted by the Imperial Crown. The material is made of heavy silk with a gold fringe carried on a single pike which is capped by the Imperial Crown upon witch, stands the British Lion.

1.50     The Regimental Colour, signifying loyalty to the Regiment, is royal blue in colour and is made of heavy silk. The fringe is blue and gold. In the centre of the crimson background is the Gold Imperial Cypher of the ruling monarch at the tine of the presentation of the Colour. The circle around the cypher is inscribed with the title, "The Royal Canadian Regiment", topped by the Imperial Crown. Surrounding the centre-piece is twelve autumnal coloured maple leaves, while the centre adornment is encompassed by a wreath of laurel leaves bearing the Regiment's Battle Honours:

Saskatchewan
North West Canada, 1885

Paardeberg
South Africa, 1899-1900

Ypres, 1915, '17
Mount Sorrel
Somme, 1916
Ancre Heights
Vimy, 1917
Hill 70
Passchendaele
Amiens
Hindenburg Line
Pursuit to Mons

Landing in Sicily
Motta Montecorvino
San Leonardo
Ortona
Hitler Line
Gothic Line
Lamone Crossing
Rimini Line
Italy 1945-1948
North West Europe 1945

Korea 1951-1953

Each of the four corners has a white fleur-de-lis between two gold leaves. Below the upper left hand corner is a roman numeral designating the battalion. This colour is carried an a pike identical to The Queen's Colour pike.

Section 9 – Organizations and Affiliations

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
The Gloucestershire Regiment
The Jamaica Regiment

UK Association

Regimental Executive Committee

RCR Ladies Auxiliary

Section 10 – Regimental Holidays

Pachino Day – 10 July
Paardeberg Day – 27 February
Regimental Birthday – 21 December

elipsis graphic

Chapter 2

The Junior Officer and the Unit

Section 1 – Responsibilities

2.01     All officers have definite duties or responsibilities to carry out in the unit. Perhaps the basic and lost important one is that an officer must acquaint himself with the history, personal characteristics and ability both in work and recreation of those under his command.

2.02     An officer when joining a unit, or returning from detached duty, hospital or leave will on his arrival report to the Adjutant. He will also acquaint himself with all orders issued during his absence.

2.03     An officer when leaving the unit area for a period either on or off duty will always notify the Adjutant, Orderly Officer or immediate superior where he can be located in an emergency. When proceeding on leave he will sign the officers' signing out book.

2.04     It will be normal for an officer to make all requests to the commanding officer through his immediate superior. However, in certain matters an officer may approach the commanding officer through the Adjutant.

2.05     An officer signing any certificate, correspondence or return is responsible for the correctness of the document be is signing irrespective of the fact that it may have been compiled or prepared by some other person.

2.06     An officer will not exchange any duty for which he is detailed without the permission of the Adjutant or his immediate superior.

Section 2 – Command and Leadership

2.07     Although this is a complex and often delicate subject the best approach is use of common-sense. The particular job of each officer is to become a "leader of men" and to be able to command willing and cheerful obedience firm then.

2.08     Undoubtedly what officers most desire is the respect and affection of their men. Neither are obtained by the lazy, soft-hearted officers who seeks popularity by his indulgence to an undue familiarity with his subordinates. Men like to look up to officers as their superiors, they object to being led by their equals.

2.09     To obtain your men's confidence and respect, use scrupulous justice and conduct yourself as an officer at all times. It was Napoleon who said: "He who would command must first obey". Self discipline in all matters is of the utmost importance. At all times maintain respect for those in authority. hover indulge in adverse criticism of superiors.

2.10     An essential qualification of leadership is the efficient execution of personal duties. Any sign of weakness will be quickly perceived by your subordinates and will lead to an undermining of your authority.

2.1.1     Try to be quietly efficient. Bullying or blustering officers who show no tolerance are lacking in the basic qualities of leadership. To be courteous is not a sign or weakness. Moreover courtesy produces cheerful and willing obedience while a high-handed manner brings resentment and in tine, even willful disobedience.

2.12     One of the heaviest responsibilities of an officer is his duty towards his men as to a large degree their comfort and well-being rests on his shoulders. Always be prepared to listen to a soldier's grievances and deal with them in a Just manner.

2.13     The qualities of leadership are many but amongst the most essential are:

a.     Faultless personal example;

b.     Justice uninfluenced by fear, favour or affection;

c.     Forceful character, aided by cheerful enthusiasm;

d.     Judge of character and. understanding of human nature;

e.     Tact;

f.     The willingness to serve those you command.

2.14     Without these qualities an officer will be a leader in name only.

Section 3 – Discipline

2.15     The main object of leadership is to secure discipline by training men to act in accordance with Service laws and regulations and ensuing their observance wherever possible by force of personal example. No military organization is capable of prolonged effort or resistance unless it is a disciplined organization.

2.16     Discipline is transmitted by officers through non-commissioned officers to the men. Because of this an officer must always give his NCOs complete and full support. Never reprove them within hearing of the men or by word or deed undermine their authority.

2.17     When a man fails to maintain a satisfactory standard of discipline, it becomes necessary to resort to varying degrees of punishment.

2.18     Leniency is permitted for a first offense of a minor nature but it must be wade clear that a second warning will not be given. Whatever form the punishment takes it must he decided upon in a conscientious and just manner.

2.19     Discipline is no myth or mysterious unknown quantity; it is a real and vital force which carries a unit through inconveniences and hardships to success.

Section 4 – Parades and Duties

2.20     The strictest punctuality in the performance of all duties and engagements must be observed.

2.21     Read Regimental Orders and Battalion Orders. "I didn't know" is no excuse than an order has been issued in Regimantal or Battalion Orders.

2.22     On parade, officers must never leave the parade ground without asking permission to do so from the officer in command of the parade.

2.23     Before parades are dismissed an officers fall out on command and salute the officer concerning, taking the time from the right, and await his orders.

2.24     Officers should never march a party off parade or dismiss a party without asking permission to do so from the senior officer on parade.

2.25     When on parade or on duty and a senior officer appears, salute and ask his permission to carry on.

2.26     An officer, when asking permission to march off with an armed party (i.e., with rifles), should always do so with the sword drawn, even if when he marches the party off he does so with his sword returned.

2.27     Again, when one officer makes a report to another, or hands over a party to another officer, he should salute him properly in return.

2.28     When a guard is being relieved, do not pass between the Old Guard and the New Guard. never pass through the ranks of another regiment, nor between a Drill Instructor and his squad. Never cross the drill floor when it is being used for drill purposes; go around quietly by the sides.

2.29     Do not get into the canon habit of always trying to exchange duties with other subalterns. Put your service first and your convenience afterwards. Do not grumble and find fault with orders you get. A willing subaltern soon gets favourably known.

2.30     Always look to the comfort of your men before thinking of yourself.

2.31     Get to know your men by name and then make it your business to know all about them, their families, occupations, etc. Always remember that the basis of man management and good discipline is treating the soldier as an individual; the recognition that each man has his virtues and failings.

2.32     You will study military law. Always remember that the primary duty of those in authority is the prevention of offenses. Bringing an offender to justice is secondary to this.

2.33     When reprimanded by a senior officer for slackness, or fault in men under your command, do not attempt to throw the blame on a subordinate who may be at fruit. Take your medicine and pass it on to the defaulter with interest afterwards. Your NCOs and men will like you for it and will try not to let you down. If your whole command has fallen down and brought wrath on your head, pass on the trouble to them and point out the faults, but in doing so say "we", and not "you", did so and so, showing, as is the case, that you recognize and accept your responsibility for the fault.

2.34     Be careful of your conduct at all times, but particularly so if your actions can became known to the men. An officer that reprimands men for faults of conduct of which he himself is guilty does a thing which is mean and base. He cannot hope to command respect.

2.35     Form the habit of making written reports on important duties performed, and giving special orders and instructions in writing, retaining duplicates; you will be protected against being wrongly blamed on many occasions, and against the wily ways of old soldiers. Subordinates will have no loopholes and consequently your orders will be carried out properly. Results will amply repay any little trouble involved, and your results will delight your senior officers.

2.36     Do whatever you have to do at the earliest opportunity, and not at the last minute. Be on parade always five minutes before the fall in.

2.37     You must inspect your men once each day while on duty. When inspecting: your men always do it in a definite order. As you come to each man look him full in the eyes and then inspect him commencing with his head-dress, then tunic, ribbons, buttons, belt, trousers and finally his shoes. You will find in this way you will be able to pick out faults in the dress faster than if you had no definite manner of inspection. Be sure that you know exactly what the proper dress of the men is and the manner of wearing it.

2.38     Whatever duty you are given or undertake, at all times remember that the manner in which it is to be carried out must be planned in advance. For example, if you are detailed to instruct a squad in a certain subject, well in advance study the lessons to be taught making notes if necessary, check and ensure that all stores you will require will be available at the time and place you will want them, check the accommodation to so used, etc.

Section 5 – Relationship Between Officers and Men

2.39     Today there is a closer bond of comradeship between officers and men than ever before. A clearer understanding has grown up under modern democratic principles which in no way impairs discipline or the respect of the men for their officers. Danger will arise only if officers fail to learn to be friendly with their men without loss of dignity or respect, always realizing that "undue familiarity breeds contempt".

2.40     An officer must know his men – their names, interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Always address a man by his name as everyone enjoys recognition.

2.41     Under no circumstances should officers pay individual visits to the Sergeants' Mess. Only on special occasions then the CO and officers are invited formally to an occasion should the Sergeants' Mess be visited. At the bar never pay for a drink or offer to buy your host one. It is not done. Drink with discretion and leave when the CO leaves.

2.42     Make no attempt to form close social liaison with your men or their families. To do so is to invite accusations of favouritism and unfairness.

2.43     Officers should not make a habit of drinking regularly with their men in pubs or public bars as it often has unfortunate results as well as "cramping the men's style".

2.44     If an officer has old friends in the ranks, he can continue to meet them socially if he does so quietly and they appreciate the situation. Old friendships are valuable and should be fostered.

2.45     In spite of the problems presented by today's greater sense of freedom, an officer can still maintain a good relationship with his men by using a little common sense and applying his leadership qualities.

Section 6 – The Adjutant and Senior Subaltern

2.46     The Adjutant is known colloquially as the "Colonel's Mouthpiece". This staff officer of the unit commander carried out such duties as allocated to him. One notable responsibility is that of discipline, instruction, deportment and general conduct of junior officers. The Adjutant is aided in this task by the senior subaltern who is the senior Lieutenant of the unit. The Adjutant through the senior subaltern passes on instructions to the junior officers or may receive suggestions mostly having to do with the behaviour and welfare of the subalterns as a bow.

Section 7 – Orderly Officer

General

2.47     Officers detailed by the Commanding Officer will be placed on the Battalion Duty Officer list.

Tour of Duty

2.48     The Duty Officer's tour of duty will be from 0800 hours to 0800 hours. During this period he will remain within the unit lines, unless his duties require him to leave and the Adjutant or Duty field Officer grant permission.

2.49     Tours of duty may be exchanged only by approval of the Adjutant.

General Instructions

2.50     Unless otherwise instructed the Duty Officer will be available for normal duties.

2.51     The Duty Officer will keep the Battalion Orderly Sergeant, the Battalion Orderly Corporal, the Unit Guard Room, and the Base Telephone Operator informed of his location at all times after 1600 hours.

2.52     The Battalion Duty Officer may consult the Battalion Duty field Officer for advice if it is required.

2.53     The Duty Officer will remain in the Officer's Mess after duty hours, unless required elsewhere. He will sleep in the Duty Officers' Room in the Officers' Quarters.

2.54     The Duty Officer will report to the Adjutant on commencement of his duties, at 0800 hrs daily. The weekend Duty Officer(s) will report to the Adjutant at 1600 hours on the last working day preceding his duty.

Section 8 – Origin of Saluting

2.55     How to salute is one of the first lessons taught to the recruit, be he a cadet at one of our military colleges, or a youngster fresh from the streets of an industrial town; and rightly so; for in the salute we have a symbol of discipline and of true sacrifice expected when joining the service of the nation.

2.56     Broadly speaking it may be said that all salutes indicate submission to a superior, and by placing oneself voluntarily in his power they show one's willingness to carry out his orders.

2.57     At first sight the soldier's ordinary salute with the hand may seem to be merely a conventional gesture designed to enhance the importance of the commissioned officer, but once we try to trace its origin the movements are invested with life and full of interest. There are various theories. The idea that the Queen's Commission is being saluted and not the officer who holds it is not an accepted fact, because in the Royal Navy, Warrant Officers and Midshipmen are saluted but neither are commissioned. Some say the salute is derived from the knight who at a tournament raised his hand to his forehead to shield their eyes from the Saracens, who similarly shaded their eyes when addressing any one of high rank. Even now in the German and Turkish armies the hand is kept in that position the whole time when standing in front of a superior. Others say that from the earliest times it was the custom to stand uncovered in the presence of a superior; so, too, the soldier when in attendance of his officer. Quite recently, in the Guards, men removed their caps when in fatigue dress instead of saluting, and in the seventeenth century the officer took off his hat with a flourish when marching past.

2.58     A book called "The New Art of War", primed in 1740 says: "...When the King or Captain General are to be saluted each officer is to time his salute so as to pull off his hat when the person he salutes is almost opposite him. On the march the sergeants are not to salute but to carry their halberts on left shoulders, the spears pointed downwards, and only take their hats off when they march past. Note: That both Officers and sergeants are not to how when they pull off their hats but to march very upright."

2.59     The custom of standing uncovered as a symbol of trust and respect may itself have been derived from the days of armor. Then two knights met they both uncovered their heads or raised their visors, and so placed themselves in each other's power. But iron casques, shakes, bearskins and the like were not easy to take off or put on, and very soon must have been introduced the convention of the preliminary movement only; you raised your hand to your helmet to show you were prepared to doff it if necessary.

2.60     Up until 1968 the hand was open with the palm to the front and was a comparatively recent innovation. It may be taken to be a relic of the raised and open hand which has been a sign of greeting from almost prehistoric times, denoting as it does that nothing is concealed which might be used as a missile. In effect, it has the same meaning as the handshake of civil life.

2.61     An integral part of the salute is to turn the head and eyes towards the officer and to look him straight in the face. It is quite possible that this is derived from medieval days when no serf was allowed to raise his eyes or look in the direction of his overlord. He was expected to slink up the path and avert his face when that privileged being went by. The soldier – man at arms – was no serf or groveling slave; he was a free man, and had every right to look his superior straight in the eyes.

2.62     The Officer's salute with the sword is full of interest. The motion – the recover – surely a relic of the days of Chivalry when the Crusader kissed the Cross before engaging in combat, and the Cross was the cross hilt of his sword. The second motion may again be taken as a symbol of trust in your superior; you have lowered your guard, your front is open; he may do with what he will. You "recover" and again show your Christianity and gratitude by kissing the cross.

2.63     In the 17th Century officers used to carry short pikes or halberts and the salute during a march past was marked by a graceful turn and flourish. The present motions of an officer's sword when saluting on the march may be relics of this, but more probably they are again symbols of Christianity. The hilt is carried to the right then the left and finally lowered to the front, making nearly a perfect cross.

2.61     The "Present" with the rifle is also a token of trust and submission to the will of a superior; the weapon is held in such a way as to be harmless, you even hold it out so that it may be taken from you if desired. The salute when at the slope or shoulder – by the touching of the rifle with the disengaged hand – is merely the first motion of the 'Present'. Here we may note the difference between the salute of sentry to a field Officer and to one of lower rank, the former is entitled to a full salute while the latter receives the preliminary movement only. Perhaps it is not too far fetched to suggest that sentries do not 'Present' after dark because in the older days it was too dangerous. At the "Present" the weapon is use less and in the dusk it might be difficult to distinguish between friend and foe; it would be safer to keep one's musket ready.

2.65     The convention of holding the weapon so that it cannot be used is world-wide and very old; we find it with desert tribes who grasp their spears with the point to the ground and trail them as a sign of greeting. We found it with the Crusader who handed his sword, hilt foremost, to be touched by his Sovereign before he went forth to war. (This is still done by an Indian Officer when first promoted, or when introduced to any distinguished personage). We even find it with the latest military invention – the tank – which carries its main nuns directed sky-ward during a march past and drops them to point to the earth as it passes the saluting base.

2.66     Royalty and officers of high rank are saluted by the firing of a varying number of guns. This has again exactly the same idea; it dates from the days when it took a considerable time to reload a gun, the shotted charges were fired away and the ship or battery was consequently defenceless for the time being and in the power of the individual to who it was desired to pay honour. The lowering of colours as part of a salute is very ancient. In 1639 orders stated: "If a King or great Prince passeth by, the Ensigne, is to vaile his Colours close to the ground with his knee bending, in token of allegiance and submission". In 1799 it was officially recognized in Army Regulations wherein it stated: "All armies salute crowned heads in the most respectful manner, Colours and Standards dropping and officers saluting". the idea and regulations are still in effect.

2.67     The Naval salute of dipping the ensign is simply a relic of dipping a sail. The sailing ship thereby showed its submission by reducing its speed and allowing itself to be overhauled.

2.68     During a fly past, aeroplanes dive towards the earth as they reach the saluting base – to place themselves within reach of the ground defences.

elipsis graphic

Chapter 3

The Junior Officer and the Mess

Section 1 – General Purpose of the Mess

3.01     The present status of the officers mess has been built up over the years and knowledge of its history and purpose aids in appreciating its importance in service life. It originated in the dark days when subalterns were financially unable to keep company with their superior officers. For the sake of companionship, convenience end economy, all officers should eat and drink together. To avoid having all the expense fall upon the junior officers' pocket, every officer was obliged to pay a portion of his daily subsistence money. As well as enabling yesteryear's junior officer to avoid overburdening expenses, it afforded to them the opportunity to set an example and be trained to improve themselves under the guidance of more experienced individuals.

3.02     Today the mess serves three functions. It is;

a.     the home of an "living-in" officers;

b.     the club of every serving officer, and

c.     the centre of social life for all mess members.

3.03     In order that the officers' mess my function successfully, the junior officers must conduct themselves in an exemplary manner and generate a spirit of co-operation.

Section 2 – Dress

3.04     Junior officers who make their home in the mess must remember that certain rooms and corridors are in frequent use by all mess members. It is therefore necessary, that their dress outside their own living quarters should be suitable to the portion of the mess they are using. Failure to observe this point of etiquette merely advertises the fact that the people involved are lacking in ordinary good manners.

3.05     Those subaltems who "live-out" must ensure, particularly in the evenings, that they are dressed suitably for the rooms may wish to use.

3.06     It is essential that all junior officer be fully acquainted with the order of dress required for certain mess functions. To attend incorrectly dressed is not only a breach of regulations but it brings discredit to the unit they have the honour to serve.

3.07     All junior officers will have a copy of the officers' mess constitution and will be completely conversant with the dress instructions peculiar to the mess.

3.08     It is well to remember that you are, at all times, an officer and a gentleman. Therefore, pay the same attention to the selection and care of your civilian clothing that you would to the correctness of your uniform.

Section 3 – Conduct in the Mess

3.09     By his conduct in an officers' mess, a Junior officer can bring credit, but much more quickly, discredit, to himself and the unit to which he has the honour to belong.

3.10     In a well run mess, the abolition of rank badges would have no influence on the correct behaviour of its members. There is no requirement for parade square formality in the mess. Servility or frowning upon senior officers by subalterns will be strictly avoided. Junior officers will display the ordinary courtesy due their superiors while simultaneously maintaining an informal, comfortable atmosphere throughout my conversation.

3.11     There may be certain officers aim you find difficult to understand or like. Do not let this feeling in any way, impair your good manners. Civility costs nothing and is most certainly a good insurance against hard feelings.

Section 4 – Calling

3.12     In today's modern forces, the custom of "calling" is generally limited to the officers mess. This custom promotes a Merrily spirit and gives the new officer In entry into the social life of the unit.

3.13     The newly commissioned officer's first call will be upon the officers' mess of the unit to which he is first posted. When visiting an officers' mess for the first time, an officer must leave two of his calling cards in the main hall. One is intended for the Commanding Officer, the second for the officers.

Section 5 – Punctuality

3.11     A good officer is never late for an appointment of any kind.

Section 6 – During Working Hours

3.15     Junior officers should not frequent the mess during working hours. A subaltern can always find some sort of self-improvement activity during a slow day and need not Spend time idly at the mess.

Section 7 – Conversation

3.16     Conversation reflects one's personality.

3.17     It is traditional that certain topics are avoided when carrying on a conversation in the mess. These are:

a.     religion;

b.     politics and

c.     women.

3.18     There are occasions when these topics can be reasonably discussed by a group of junior officers. These occasions are left to the good discretion of the subalterns.

3.19     Officers should avoid "talking shop" while in the mess.

Section 8 – Alcoholic Drinks

3.20     The privilege of consuming alcoholic beverages in the officers' mess must not be abused. A subaltern who is excessive in his consumption is viewed with disdain.

Section 9 – Mess Hospitality

3.21     The mess is an officer's home. Therefore when guests are present in the mess, they should be accorded the same degree of hospitality that you would give them in a private heme. A good reputation can be conceived or ruined on the measure of hospitality extended to guests by the members of a mess.

3.22     Introduce yourself to an unfamiliar person in your Mess and if the occasion warrants it, offer to buy him a drink. Make sure the guest feels welcome.

Section 10 – Social Functions

3.23     Subalterns are expected to attend all social functions that they are invited to. If unable to attend, the host, in many cases the PMC, should be notified by the junior officer concerned. That same subaltern should inform the Adjutant of his intended absence.

3.24     Junior officers should mingle with the guests at social functions. Do not hesitate to join conversations or group activities in the mess.

3.25     When departing a social function, pay your respects to the senior guest before leaving. Excuse yourself to the Commanding Officer and PMC prior to departure.

Section 11 – Mess Dinners

3,26     Mess dimers are conducted on various occasions and all mess members are expected to attend. At a mess dinner, the following events happen in the sequence indicated:

a.     A five minute call is played by the piper. This is an indication to those present that the dinner will confluence in five minutes.

b.     At the appropriate time, the officers, led by the CO and the guest of honour, are piped into the dining room by the piper. The officers talk to their places at the table. If the Band is in attendance, the CO will not be piped in, but the Band will play, "Roast Beef of Old England."

c.     Once the officers have reached their places at the table, they stand behind their chairs. At this time the PMC will request someone, usually the unit padre, to say grace. Upon completion of the prayer the officers take their seats by moving the chair to the right and sitting from the left.

d.     No one shall commence eating before the CO. The Band if present may commence playing during this course.

e.     The soup course is next. The soup spoon is moved outwards in taking one's soup.

f.     Next, a fish course usually follows, and the piper may play.

g.     The main course is then served. During this course the piper will usually pay a set of tunes. Officers are not to stop eating, but are expected to pay attention to the talents of the piper and acknowledge his playing. Light conversation my continue.

h.     Dessert is now served.

j.     Elm: dessert is finished the tables are cleared by the stewards and the port is passed. When passing the part, the bottle is passed to the left.

k.     When everyone has poured his port the PRC will stand and announce, "Mr Vice, The Queen". Then, the Vice PMC, usually the Junior subaltern, will stand and say, "Gentlemen, The Queen". At this point, all present stand and repeat the toast, "The Queen", and drink ease of their port. The CO will then announce the toast to the Colonel-in-Chief by stating "Gentlemen, The Colonel-in-Chief, field Marshall, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh". The piper now plays eight bars of the Regimental March, at the completion of which, those present repeat, "The Colonel-in-Chief" and drink their port.

l.     At the completion of the toasts, coffee and cigars are served and the snuff is passed in the Ram's Head by Mr Vice. Hr Vice will treat the passing of snuff with solemnity, heels together, without smiling or talking, except to offer the snuff. The Rams Head should be on the left of the person receiving snuff.

m.     When serving of coffee, cigars and snuff is complete, the piper will play the piobaireachd. Talking, will cease during the piobaireachd. Smoking and sipping port may continue.

n.     Cheeses and fruit will then be served. If the band is present, regimental marches as appropriate may be played at this time.

o.     After the serving of cheeses, the piper will play another set. The CO may drink a quaich with the piper during this set.

p.     The CO may then have a glass of port with the band-master, followed by a glass of port with the chef.

q.     At an appropriate time thereafter the CO will ring the silver bell, which was presented for that purpose by the Royal Hampshire Regiment during the summer of 72. The bell signifies to the PMC that the CO wishes to speak. The PMC will then obtain order and ask the CO to speak.

r.     Upon completion of appropriate activities the CO will leave the dining room with the guest of honour. It is customary for the subalterns to remain behind and finish the port. This privilege must be strongly preserved and all senior officers must be "encouraged" to leave the dining room when the CO does.

3.27     Song singing and lively, animated conversation are to be restrained until after the toasts are completed.

Section 12 – Visitors

3.28     Visitors are to be accorded the best of hospitality by Junior officers. Good manners and friendliness, displayed towards visitors give them I feeling of being welcome.

Section 13 – General Points

3.29     A Junior officer is responsible for his guests when in the mess. Guests should be appropriately attired.

3.30     Read the bulletin board and be aware of all mess activities.

elipsis graphic

Chapter 4 – The Junior Officer in Public

Section 1 – General

4.01     When a junior officer appears in public, his conduct must be beyond reproach and must never bring discredit to his unit and the Canadian Armed Forces. He must be polite and courteous at all tines.

4.02     There are certain general points of behaviour that will be observed by all subalterns:

a.     When in uniform and walking with a lady, it is proper to offer the lady your left arm. This method of escorting a lady allows an officer to return salutes as necessary.

b.     A Junior officer should never frequent public establishments where members of the other ranks have a habit of gathering.

c.     At all public events, and if the officer is in uniform, he will salute when the national anthem is played.

Section 2 – Calling Cards

4.03     All subalterns will be in possession of proper calling cards. Calling cards must be of the correct size, those for officers being 3" by 1 1/2" and being of top quality. Do not use printed cards. Your name must be inscribed in embossed lettering (engraved or thermograved). Junior officers below the rank of captain do not show their rank on calling cards, but have "Mr" prefixed to their names

4.04     The engraving must be done in the style known as "copperplate". Below the officer's name, in smaller script, appears the officer's regiment, former corps or "Canadian Armed Forces".

4.05     An officer's decorations do not appear on his calling cards. There is no wording, other than the individual's name, unless he belongs to a recognized club. (The name of such a club should appear in small script at the bottom left hand corner of the card. A sports club or service club does not fall within the category of a recognized club).

4.06     To ensure your cards are correct in every detail, they should be ordered through the mess secretary and based on the advice of the Adjutant.

4.07     Officers make use of their calling cards in exactly the same way as do private gentlemen. However, there is the additional military use when one calls on a mess. Here the visiting officer leaves two cards. One for the Commander/Commanding Officer (depending on whether or not it is a headquarters or unit mess) and one for the officers. The officer leaving the card writes in ink in his own hand in the upper left-hand corner of one card:

Lieutenant-Colonel John Doe, DSO,
Commanding Officer
X Battalion, The Sharp Shooters

and on the other:

Lieutenant-Colonel John Doe, DSO and Officers
X Battalion, The Sharp Shooters.

4.08     When on officer has been posted away from his base he leaves two cards as in para 4.07 but this time he places the letters "P.P.C." in the lower left–hand corner as well. This abbreviation is "Pour Prendre Congo", roughly translated "On Taking Leave". This act constitues his formal farewell.

Section 3 – Invitations in General

4.09     There are basically two types of invitations:

a.     Formal invitations, and

b.     Informal invitations.

4.10     Both types of invitations require a written answer. Proper etiquette demands that these answers be made promptly.

4.11     An invitation, once accepted, must not subsequently be declined unless in the direst of situations.

Section 5 – Formal Invitations

4.12     Formal invitations are worded in the third person and say be either written or printed. A sample appears below.

Lieutenant I.P. Fraser
and The Officers,
Second Battalion,
The Royal Canadian Regiment
request the pleasure of the company of
at
on

RSVP to Adjutant
Second Battalion,
The Royal Canadian Regiment

Section 5 – Formal Answers

4.13     Formal invitations must be answered in the third person. For example:

Lt John Schicklegruber accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of the Commandant and officers of the 28th Underground Balloon Corps to a Mess Dinner on the 32nd July, 1973.

4.14     If one is unable to accept the invitation, the answer is prepared in the same format as in paragraph 4.13.

4.15     The address of the officer replying to the invitation and the date should be written at the bottom left hand corner of the reply. The envelope is addressed as per the invitation.

4.16     Decorations of the individual officer issuing the invitation should not appear on the invitation. Only the decorations of invited guests should be included.

Section 6 – Informal Invitations and Answers

4.17     Informal invitations may be wither written or received verbally. Correct etiquette requires you to answer the invitation in the same form that you receive it. An example follows:

"Dear Mary,

Thanks ever so much for your kind invitation to dinner on January 27th. I shall be delighted to attend.

Yours truly,

"J. Highstrung".

Section 7 – Etiquette

4.18     Etiquette is the execution of acts of politeness, civility and respect. It includes the full appreciation of the rights and feelings of others. The rules of etiquette give our social society that certain "something," that makes life pleasant. For a gentleman, many of the rules of etiquette deal with the opposite sex and should be practised constantly by the junior officer.

4.19     The following are some of the more important points and rules of etiquette:

a.     A gentleman should rise whenever a lady enters the room;

b.     Ladies should be escorted by a gentleman, both to and from dinner;

c.     A gentleman should open a door for a lady;

d.     A gentleman should always assist a lady to sit;

e.     Poul or abusive language should not be used in mixed company.

f.     A gentleman should always ask the permission of those around him before smoking;

g.     A gentleman will observe the proper method of operating eating utensils at every meal;

h.     A gentleman should:

(1)     eat with his mouth closed;

(2)     not talk with his mouth full, and

j.     One should excuse himself when leaving the immediate company of others.

4.20     The rules of etiquette are not difficult to practise and the observance of these rules will stand the junior officer in good stead throughout society.

Section 8 – Introductions

4.21     When a junior officer brings a friend to the Mess or to the social function, he must always introduce his guest to the host and the other people in attendance.

4.22     Generally speaking, the junior person is always introduced. to the senior person. An example follows:

a.     The junior officer introducing a lady to his Commanding Officer could Say, "Good evening, Sir, I'd like you to meet Joan Hardup. Joan this is Colonel Strict".

b.     Socially, the example reads, "Dad, I'd like you to meet my good buddy, Fred Farble".

4.23     Gentlemen are normally introduced to a lady with the exception that young ladies are usually introduced to senior gentlemen. Some examples are:

a.     "Mother, I'd like you to meet our company second-in-command, Captain Richard Blowhard. "Dick, this is my mother".

b.     "Sir, I'd like you to meet. my fiancee, Miss Lulu La Trots. Lulu, this is Colonel Hover".

4.24     Specifically, junior officers should introduce their guests to the following people in the order listed:

a.     The Commanding Officer and his wife (if present);

b.     The PMC;

c.     The Adjutant;

d.     Your Company Commander and

e.     Other guests.

4.25     If an individual has arrived at a social function alone, it is up to that person to introduce himself to the appropriate people present. Upon arrival at a unit, the Senior Subaltern will usually introduce you to the majority of unit officers. From there on, you are usually on your own.

Section 9 – Correspondence

4.26     When a junior officer leaves a unit for any length of time, he has a social obligation to correspond with his friends and fellow officers in that unit. It can be done by sending greeting cards on various occasions, mailing a short letter to pass on greetings or personal news and by just dropping a short note to the officers mess to be posted on the mess bulletin board. Letters to the Regimental Adjutant serve to keep the regimental executive committee in touch with the junior regimental officers.

4.27     Within the unit, personal notes between officers do not require any special degree of formality. A junior officer may, quite correctly, send a note to a major on a first name basis. This practice does not include notes sent to the Commanding Officer, when the salutations "Dear Colonel" or "Dear Colonel Fraser" should be used.

4.28     Abbreviations should not be used when writing letters.

CFB Gagetown
Oromocto, NB

July 22, 1971

Dear Ron,

This is an example of an informal note, written to a friend. There is nothing special about this type of correspondence, other than it is never used when writing to a senior officer.

It can be closed by an informal phrase. Write soon, buddy.

Yours Aye,

Jim

From: Lieutenant J.S. Cox

CFB Gagetown
Oromocto, N.B.
July 21, 1971

Dear Lieutenant-Colonel Fraser:

This is an example of a DO letter. This type of letter is used when writing to senior officers or when writing to contemporaries on official business.

Note that the sender's name appears in the upper left hand corner while the name and mailing address of the person, to whom the letter is being sent, appears in the lower left hand corner. No abbreviations are used.

These letters are closed with a formal statement.

Sir, I remain,

Your obedient servant,
J.S. Cox
Lieutenant

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian S. Fraser
Commanding Officer
Second Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment
CFB Gagetown
Oromocto, New Brunswick.

Section 10 – Decorations

4.29     Decorations and medals are usually awarded for acts of bravery, heroism, distinguished service, and good conduct. Persons awarded such decorations or medals should always be treated with the respect deserved of that specific award.

4.30 Decorations will be worn only on the following occasions:

a.     State ceremonies;

b.     Investitures;

c.     Royal and vice-regal escort duties;

d.     When in the company of royal vice regal persons or heads of state;

e.     Guards of honour;

f.     Courts martial;

g.     Parades and inspections as ordered;

h.     Funerals and memorial services;

j.     Church services;

k.     When serving as officer of the Guard when boarding ships of var;

l.     Service and civilian ceremonial occasions;

m.     Civilian ceremonial functions when attending as a representative of the Canadian Armed Forces;

n.     Other formal or ceremonial functions as appropriate or where ordered.

Section 11 – Visits

4.31     Visits may take on any one of many formats. In any event, upon completion of a visit with friends, correct etiquette demands that you send the hostess a note of thanks. These are commonly referred to as "bread and butter" letters.

Pro Patria

Follow The Regimental Rogue on facebook.

QUICK LINKS