Canadian Rangers celebrate 75th Anniversary in Victoria

Canadian Rangers

Guard of Honour Commander Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Pascal Roy, 4th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group Commanding Officer, calls out drill commands during the Canadian Ranger 75th Anniversary Ceremony held on May 23 in Victoria Photo: Corporal Jay Naples, MARPAC Imaging Services

Tim Bryant 
Western Sentinel

The Canadian Rangers marked their 75th anniversary with an open air ceremony in Victoria, B.C. on May 23.

The ceremony was the culmination of four days of celebrations and collective training in honour of the Canadian Rangers, who were formally established on May 23, 1947, as descendants of the Second World War-era Pacific Coast Militia Rangers (PCMR).

“All of you have at least one thing in common – you have all chosen to serve,” said Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General and Commander in Chief of Canada. “You serve your country with pride and conduct yourselves with professionalism and care.”

Governor General Simon was among several dignitaries in attendance, along with British Columbia Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin, Minister of National Defence Anita Anand, and Chief of the Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre.

The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Army Reserves, who live and work in remote, isolated and coastal regions of Canada. They serve as the “eyes and ears” of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), providing a military presence in regions where it would be difficult for a traditional CAF unit to be located. Today, there are approximately 5,000 Rangers in 194 patrols spread across more than 200 remote and coastal communities. Within the Rangers, 26 different languages are spoken.

As part of the ceremony, the Governor General and her fellow dignitaries took time to inspect the 100strong Guard of Honour of Canadian Rangers. Inspiration was the theme of several of the dignitaries’ speeches during the ceremony, including that of Defence Minister Anita Anand.

“From coast to coast to coast, Canadian Rangers are a vital element of the Canadian Armed Forces and on this milestone anniversary we express our immense gratitude for all that you do and have done,” Anand said.

General Eyre said while the Rangers have been Canada’s guides in remote territories for threequarters of a century, their importance was deeper than that.

“You don’t just live in those places; you are of those places,” Gen Eyre said, stressing that the Rangers know their communities’ people, needs, wants and aspirations. “It’s an intimate and profound situational awareness that no amount of training could replicate.”

In the days leading up to the ceremony, five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups participated in training exercises at the Rocky Point Training Area. This was the first time 50 Canadian Rangers and 10 Junior Canadian Rangers from across Canada had gathered in one place, providing an opportunity to share their best practices. The groups conducted a series of training exercises demonstrating four operations common to Rangers in B.C.: helicopter operations, ATV familiarization, boat familiarization and equine mobility. The choice of the four operations was made to demonstrate four of the many different vehicle types Rangers in B.C. often have to use in the performance of their duties.

Canadian Rangers

Canadian Rangers practice hand signals during the ATV training held at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt’s Rocky Point Training Area in Metchosin, British Columbia.

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