Profile of Service: Capt Vincent earns commendation

Profile of Service: Capt Vincent earns commendation

Westmount, Quebec – 23 January 2016: Captain Alan Vincent received the 34 Groupe-Brigade commander’s commendation in October 2015 for his “outstanding work, exemplary service, and devotion towards his unit and the Canadian Armed Forces”.

Captain Vincent receiving commendation from Colonel Chafai. Photo: Cplc Julie Turcotte, 34e Groupe-brigade du Canada
Captain Vincent receiving commendation from Colonel Chafai. Photo: Cplc Julie Turcotte, 34e Groupe-brigade du Canada

He joined the RMR in December 1994 and is currently serving as the Regiment’s Operations Officer.  Outside the unit, he is Class B Reservist (Standards Officer : 2nd Division Training Center, Montreal Detachment). Captain Vincent has deployed twice on operations: 1999 – Op Palladium (Bosnia Herzegovina) and again in 2009 for Op Athena (Afghanistan). He also has more qualifications than most, having commissioned from the ranks a few years ago.  Recce patrolman, Communicator, Drivers, Tactical Combat Casualty Care, NCM up to Company Sergeant-Major, Army Tactics and Operations Course, etc. are just some of the highlights of his individual training qualifications.

He says that is is impossible to narrow down to just one single favourite memory of serving with the Regiment,  reflecting that I could not possibly narrow it down to one single event or memory. The RMR has been a dominant factor in my life for the past 21 years. The RMR has given me one of the most valuable things a human being searches for: Friendship. I refer to the bonds of friendship forged with brothers and sisters in arms. Bonds that outlast the years between run ins, allowing the conversations to continue as though they were put on pause a few hours prior when in fact it has been years. So what is my favorite memory? I would say it’s the time spent with those brothers and sisters in arms both in training and on operations, during work and in play. I think of those memories and all I can do is smile.

He admits that “hurry up & wait” is the only thing that he dislikes about the military, explaining No matter how good the plan, how good the time appreciation it always seems that we hurry up to wait.Don’t think that any soldier will ever disagree with Captain Vincent’s observation, and he did note that The diversity of the trade is what I like the most about being in the Infantry. Grunts get to play in a vast world using a myriad array of weapons and technology. There is never a dull day… You might wait a lot, but with friends it’s rarely dull.

He thinks that one of the coolest things he has ever done with the Regiment thus far in his career was a Small Unit Exchange with the RMR’s sister regiment: Other than actual operations, one of the most rewarding activities I’ve done was a SUE with the PWO in 2000 where I was deployed with as the senior member of a section attached to 1PWO A-Coy for a two week exercise (their pre-deployment to Eretria) in Scotland followed by two weeks of “socializing” in Chester, UK.

Born and raised in NDG, Captain Vincent now lives in Chateauguay where he is raising a family.  He commented humbly on being awarded the 34 Groupe-Brigade Commander’s Commendation: I was proud to be recognized for my voluntary service to the RMR. It is warming to know that one’s efforts are recognized and appreciated but recognition is certainly not why persons such as myself volunteer our time. We do it to assist the Regiment that is truly a part of who we are. If giving our time is a way to reimburse what the RMR has given to us than our service and time is a minor cost indeed.

His advice to other soldiers who might want to earn the same commendation in the future is that To quote JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”.  We live in the best country on the planet. To serve is a privilege earned through our efforts. Show pride in yourself, what you do, and most importantly who and what you represent.  I once had a CO that used a certain line often in his addresses to us that I think sums up a good way to go about your duties that will set you apart from the remainder, “Set the standard”. Sound advice.

Congratulations to Captain Vincent, he deserves his commendation – way to set the standard for the rest of us!

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.


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