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December 03, 2006

A Commonwealth moment.

News of our Brothers-in-Arms from Canada and Australia.

The Canadians lost a Regimental Sergeant Major in Afghanistan. That is the equivalent in the US Army of losing a Command Sergeant Major, the senior Non-commissioned officer in a battalion-and-higher unit.

CAPT H sent me this, from the Globe and Mail:

Suicide bomber robs regiment of its soul. When Robert Girouard was killed, his unit lost more than its Chief Warrant Officer.


From Saturday's Globe and Mail

As Chief Warrant Officer Robert (Bobby) Girouard and Corporal Albert Storm came home to Canada last night, their flag-draped caskets arriving at CFB Trenton in a light rain, there was nothing to tell the non-military observer what a profound loss he was witnessing.

While the army properly grieves every fallen soldier equally, regardless of rank, the death of CWO Girouard was felt keenly not only on a personal level, but also as an enormous symbolic blow.

The 46-year-old husband and father of three wasn't just the senior non-commissioned officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, he was also the unit's Regimental Sergeant Major, the first of about 25 RSMs in the battalion's storied 123-year history to be killed by enemy action.

He and 36-year-old Cpl. Storm, a native of Fort Erie, Ont., and a father of two, died Monday when their Bison armoured personnel carrier was struck by a suicide bomber just west of the main base at Kandahar Air Field.

You should read the rest of Ms. Blatchford's piece, and can do so here.

Canada's warriors have had their own problems with the media not covering them all that well - if at all, topics mentioned elsewhere. What I think interesting in this story is how Ms. Blatchford, recognizing her lack of knowledge on the subject, chose to do some research.

She did do by using the Canadian Army Forums to gain some understanding.

Our own Damian, of The Torch, made a contribution to that thread. One that is illustrative of a good Sergeant Major. His co-blogger, Mark, has more to say on the subject.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

On a more upbeat note - Canadian Armour goes driving in the countryside. In Afghanistan. I do like The Torch's take on it.

Shifting over to Australia, Trias sends us this link showing that just day to day work in the military anywhere is dangerous. At least if you're training like you mean business.

Comments on A Commonwealth moment.
Trias briefed on December 3, 2006 01:32 PM

Leaked memos seem far too often a political ploy to me.

Rumsfield is history now, the new one will be trying to call the shots instead.

Marine Mom briefed on December 5, 2006 11:14 AM

American Marine Mom, long-time resident of Canada, many a bout of "blood spurting from my eyes" (as Glenn Beck says) from living in a country where the government has been contemptuous of the military for decades, until recent election of Conservative Party. About Christie Blatchford: The Blatch is the Best. Probably the best genuine investigative reporter in Canada, began by crashing male sports preserves (hockey locker rooms) and made her second career in crime/courtoom reporting. Always does her homework when no one else does. Glad you have discovered her. The day the National Post let her leave was a tragedy-- the best paper lost the best reporter. But she's worth reading anywhere. Ooh-rah for Christie.