Canadian Rangers Complete Leadership Course

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Seven Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario graduated from the Canadian Ranger Patrol Leader course at Garrison Farnham, near Montreal.Front row from left: MCpl. Byron Corston from Moose Factory, MCpl. Jarrett Morriseau from North Caribou Lake, MCpl. Marlene Chickekoo from North Caribou Lake. Rear row from left: Cpl. Darlene Beardy from Bearskin Lake, MCpl. Judy Meekis from Sandy Lake, Rgr. Brandan Sawanas from Sandy Lake, and Cpl. Michael Tait from Sachigo Lake.
Seven Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario graduated from the Canadian Ranger Patrol Leader course at Garrison Farnham, near Montreal.Front row from left: MCpl. Byron Corston from Moose Factory, MCpl. Jarrett Morriseau from North Caribou Lake, MCpl. Marlene Chickekoo from North Caribou Lake. Rear row from left: Cpl. Darlene Beardy from Bearskin Lake, MCpl. Judy Meekis from Sandy Lake, Rgr. Brandan Sawanas from Sandy Lake, and Cpl. Michael Tait from Sachigo Lake.
Seven Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario graduated from the Canadian Ranger Patrol Leader course at Garrison Farnham, near Montreal.Front row from left: MCpl. Byron Corston from Moose Factory, MCpl. Jarrett Morriseau from North Caribou Lake, MCpl. Marlene Chickekoo from North Caribou Lake. Rear row from left: Cpl. Darlene Beardy from Bearskin Lake, MCpl. Judy Meekis from Sandy Lake, Rgr. Brandan Sawanas from Sandy Lake, and Cpl. Michael Tait from Sachigo Lake.
Seven Canadian Rangers from northern Ontario graduated from the Canadian Ranger Patrol Leader course at Garrison Farnham, near Montreal.Front row from left: MCpl. Byron Corston from Moose Factory, MCpl. Jarrett Morriseau from North Caribou Lake, MCpl. Marlene Chickekoo from North Caribou Lake. Rear row from left: Cpl. Darlene Beardy from Bearskin Lake, MCpl. Judy Meekis from Sandy Lake, Rgr. Brandan Sawanas from Sandy Lake, and Cpl. Michael Tait from Sachigo Lake.

THUNDER BAY – Thirty six Canadian Rangers from across Canada have completed a pilot course designed to help modernize the Canadian Rangers.

“We need a leadership standard for Rangers from coast to coast to coast,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Bruno Plourde, commanding officer of 2nd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, which commands the Rangers of Quebec. “And that’s what this course was designed to do, to give them a national standard for training and service delivery. Their role in the military is changing.”

The eight-day course was conducted at Garrison Farnham, near Montreal, using Canadian Army instructors who work with Rangers across Canada..

The Rangers are part-time army reservists who provide a military presence in remote and isolated communities across the Canadian North, where there are about 5,000 Rangers in more than 200 small communities, many of them indigenous settlements.

The Rangers were created in 1947 at the height of the Cold War when their role was to act as the eyes and ears of the military and use their traditional on-the-land skills to assist southern troops in operating in the demanding conditions of the remote North. That mission remains but their role has expanded with the growing numbers of southern troops who are visiting remote northern areas to conduct a variety of military tasks.

Corporal Marlene Chickekoo of North Caribou Lake, Ont., on the firing range.
Corporal Marlene Chickekoo of North Caribou Lake, Ont., on the firing range.

The increased military activity means Rangers now need common standards to communicate and operate with southern troops as well as with Rangers from other parts of Canada, Colonel Plourde said. “That’s what we are working towards.”

“It’s been an excellent course,” said Master Corporal Byron Corston, a Ranger from Moose Factory, a Cree community on the James Bay coast in northern Ontario. “We need to be able to communicate with the army in a way we haven’t before. This training means I can now sit in an army briefing, take notes, and be able to pass things on and be able to contribute to the briefing. Being able to communicate in standard ways means I now have a format that’s going to be in place all across Canada. In the future I should also be able to go up to Inuit communities and be on the same page with Rangers there a soon as I arrive.”

The course taught a range of subjects, including principles of leadership, how to plan and conduct on-the-land patrols, organize training activities, construct an emergency landing strip, operate a safe firing range, as well as standard military administrative skills.

But meeting other Rangers was equally important, MCpl. Corston said. “It was the first time I came to a course and met Rangers from all across Canada while meeting in one place. Just learning the different things these guys do while on patrol was something. They do a lot of things different to the way we do things.  We learned from just talking to each other.”

The Rangers, who live mostly in small communities, learned that, while they are part-time reservists in remote areas, they are part of a big military organization, said Captain Caryl Fletcher, the officer commanding Rangers in northern Ontario.”This course has been a win-win for everybody, for the Rangers and for the instructors who came here from different areas,” he said. “What they learned here will make the Rangers better patrol leaders and as a result that means they will be better able to serve their communities and Canada.”

(Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group at Canadian Forces Base Borden.}

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Sergeant Peter Moon is the public affairs ranger for the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. Canadian Rangers are army reservists who provide a military presence in Canada's remote and isolated regions, including Northern Ontario. They provide skilled assistance in emergencies such as searches, plane crashes, forest fires, and floods. They also operate the Junior Canadian Rangers, a youth programme for boys and girls aged 12 to 18.