BEHIND THE LINES: Courage in Red PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 September 2014 13:58

BY BOB JALDON

 

REGINA, CA. — They call themselves the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The “Depot” Division is the training academy (like our PMA) of the RCMP. Like our special forces, the RCMP are trained for warfare, combat and counter-terrorism. They are Canada’s best-trained fighters — well-disciplined in mind and body. From he earliest days when the north and west mounted police supressed the whiskey trade, to the life of an RCMP cadet and the force’s current work in international peace operations all over the world, the tradition lives here.

Service horses are bred in Ottawa. Upon reaching the age of three, the horses are trained for grand parades and ceremonies. Every year the Sergeant Major’s parade and the seasonal sunset retreat ceremonies are held, a spectacle that tourists wouldn’t want to miss. The Centre Trading Post has a variety of RCMP licensed products, gifts and memorabilia for sale.

In the early 1880s, tens of thousands of men and women who have joined the RCMP have passed through the gates of Regina’s “Depot” Division. In order to wear the iconic red serge, cadets from all over Canada spend months in training on the same grounds as many of their predecessors have for more than 125 years. A lot a cadets don’t graduate because of the rigid training both in mind and body. Separation from their families is also one reason for dropping out. Some go through long periods of depression, another reason for self-expulsion.

There are many attractions in Regina, but to me the RCMP beats them all. Do you know that Robert Ryan (“Battle of the Bulge” and “The Wild Bunch”) starred in a movie dedicated to the brave and courageous RCMP? “Here come the Canadians” was the movie. Also, Alan Ladd, a famous cowboy actor in the 1950s, starred in the movie “Saskatchewan”. These films were shown even before Jorge Yeo was born.

At the RCMP training grounds, you can join the drill staff as the cadets are placed through their paces. The parade features a roll call, inspection of the troops and marching drills accompanied by the cadet band.

It’s not easy to be an RCMP, the fightingest men and women of Canada.