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A riderless horse is passing by...

 We've all had leaders and mentors who made indelible impressions upon us during our lives.  Mine would include Rich Davies and Glenn Berry, two of my high school coaches.  In the sense militant, Major Tony Garanzuay, SFC "Smoke" Carter, Major Mike Monahan, LTC Pursel, Colonel Larry Aaron, Colonel Greg Camp, and MG Josue Robles would stand high among mine, along, of course, with the Auld Soldier.

 For CAPT H, one of those people would be Colonel Ian McNabb, of John's beloved Strathcona's.
The badge of Lord Strathcona's Horse

The obit from the Stathcona's page is simple.

Colonel Ian joined the Armoured Corps in 1956 and served three years with the Elgin Regiment RCAC (M). Graduating from the Regular Officer Training Plan, he served with the Fort Garry Horse in Germany from 1962-1965 as a subaltern. From his return to Canada in 1965 until 1970, Colonel Ian served at the Armoured School and Combat Arms School in Borden, during that time deploying to Cyprus. He completed a second tour to Cyprus while commanding B Squadron in the early 1970s, then he served in a variety of staff appointments at Mobile Command, National Defence Headquarters and Militia Headquarters. Colonel Ian commanded his beloved Regiment, the Strathcona's, from 1979-1981. He served as Directing Staff at the Staff College in Camberley, UK and he subsequently deployed on operational tours to Central America and Mexico, where he served as the Canadian Military Attaché. On retirement from the Canadian Forces in the mid-1990s, Colonel Ian worked briefly for the Red Cross, then moved with his wife, Barbara, to Hong Kong, where he ran the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

I think John's words fill out the picture better.

Like I mentioned, he liked 'Style'; he was very much a cavalryman. His preferred PT was 45min on his horse every morning; at one point during my first year, he had all the subbies join him twice a week for a ride. This meant that we were rising an hour early for the privilege of mucking out the stables before we rode; character building yes, but I could have preferred less. Doing things properly, skillfully, and with a bit of panache, was the expected behaviour. We didn't need to boast because we had already exceeded the efforts of others. It's a Regimental thread which began which LCol Sam Steele and the original "Strathcona's Horse" of 1900; Col Ian maintained it with enthusiasm.

The Regt was expected to do things with a bit of a swagger. When deployed to the field, we took a pastry cook, whose task was to prevent excessive weight loss; others laughed but our mess tent was often well-sprinkled by liaison visitors from every other unit each coffee break. The CO also enjoyed hosting Mess Dinners in the field, which could cause snickers from the peanut gallery, until the invites went out. Outside critics complained that we were receiving outside funding since we could afford these extras, but actually the CO was careful with funds. And his DCO was responsible for the Regiment's foraging operations: he could squeeze nickel from a penny, spare change ran away screaming when he headed out on a shopping op.

In 1981, we went to Gagetown for RV 81, followed by an Armoured Corps party week, otherwise known as a gunnery competition. Trophies were to be awarded for Regt, Sqn and Troop scores. To make things more competitive, the scoring system was provisional for the first relay; after that, it would modified and finalised. The final results were LdSH with all three trophies, "A" Sqn took the Sqn trophy and 1st Troop the Troop trophy. Yes, my callsign was LdSH "11"; and my Troop was first on the firing line. The CO was quite pleased and mentioned that he thought the results rather appropriate and suitable.

Cheers
John

Click the pic of  the Strathcona guidon-party below for a bit of "Colonel Ian's" favorite music...




Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of Colonel Ian McNabb, mentor to a young Subaltern John Heinrichs, a friend of Castle Argghhh!

1 Comments

RIP, Colonel McNabb. 
Swagger up to the bar at Fiddler's Green and demand their finest.