By Ranger Master Corporal Chris Vernon
A new soldier has taken the reins of Ontario’s 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3 CRPG) after Lieutenant-Colonel Shane McArthur retired Sept. 7.
Lt.-Col McArthur, who was 3 CRPG’s Commanding Officer since July 2019, handed command of the group over to Lt.-Col Scott Moody during a Change of Command Ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Borden Sept. 7.
Lt.-Col McArthur served in the Canadian Armed Forces for 38 years, many spent in senior leadership positions.
He began his career with the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) where he served for 20 years, and prior to joining 3 CRPG he was the Commanding Officer of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters for six years.
Commanding 3 CRPG was a dream come true said Lt.-Col McArthur but added his tenure at 3 CRPG was challenged by the pandemic.
“I arrived and a few months later everything closed down. I am most proud of the unit’s achievement during the pandemic. What the Rangers did in Ontario’s north was amazing. It defined my command,” said Lt.-Col McArthur.
During the pandemic 3 CRPG provided support for several First Nation communities that were locked down. Members transported essentials goods, conducted wellness checks on the elderly, and collected firewood for residents who use it to heat their far north homes.
Lt.-Col McArthur participated in several overseas tours including Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Middle East, and Sierra Leone, Africa where he served as the Task Force Commander.
However, Lt.-Col McArthur said the highpoint of his career was serving with the Canadian Rangers, many of whom are First Nation.
“The Rangers made it special. Going out on the land and seeing their expertise, which was truly special. Being the commanding officer of the Rangers is a perfect way to enter retirement. I could not ask for better,” he said.
A group of Canadian Rangers representing their patrol communities, guests, and military officials attended the ceremony.
Lt.-Col Moody joined the Queen’s Own Rifles in 1992 as an infantry rifleman before transferring to the 4th Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1995. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Kinesiology and Education from the University of Western.
His overseas deployments include Bosnia-Herzegovina where he served as a dog handler and Afghanistan, where he worked as a Civil-military Co-Operation (CIMIC) operator. In 2009 he received an officer’s commission from the ranks.
In 2020 Lt.-Col Moody was appointed the Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and holds numerous army qualifications, including Basic Parachutist, Basic Mountain Operations, Rappel Master, Jump Master and Civil-military Co-Operation (CIMIC) operator.
“This opportunity was presented to me, and I had worked with many of the amazing members of 3 CRPG. I could not say ‘no’ to this honour,” he said.
The newly appointed Commanding Officer said he is impressed by the number of active patrols 3 CRPG has in the far north, as well as the Junior Canadian Rangers youth program supported by the army and 3 CRPG.
Lt.-Col Moody said he is looking forward to meeting Rangers and Junior Rangers and visiting the patrol communities, and added he will advocate for better resources for Canadian Rangers.
“I also look forward to helping advocate for 3 CRPG in the areas of modernization and expansion,” he said.
With more free time now Lt.-Col McArthur said he plans to complete some home renovations and enjoy his new rural property, but he is quick to add he will miss the people he served with in the army.
“I am going to miss being part of the Canadian Armed Forces and the comradery. I will miss it,” he said.
Canadian Rangers, members of the army’s primary Reserve Force, conduct surveillance in Canada’s remote areas, sovereignty patrols, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, and training of other armed forces personnel with survival skills.
3 CRPG is headquartered at Canadian Forces Base Borden, near Barrie, Ont.