This year has been dubbed “The Year of the Canadian Ranger” by the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to mark the 75th anniversary of the Canadian Rangers.
An event was held on May 23 in Victoria, BC, celebrating their 75 years of service. The event was attended by the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Janet Austin; the Minister of National Defence Anita Anand; and the Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.
“For 75 years, the Canadian Rangers, a unique, versatile and expansive element of our armed forces, have provided invaluable services to their communities and to Canada. Today, and every day, we salute their important work as we recognize 2022 as the Year of the Canadian Rangers. During crises like natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, Rangers have been there to support remote, isolated, and coastal communities. I welcome this opportunity to raise awareness of those contributions and thank the Canadian Rangers for everything they do,” said Anita Anand, minister of national defence.
A History of Service
The Canadian Rangers were formed on May 23, 1947, as a response to new concerns over Canadian sovereignty at the start of the Cold War. However, they find their origins from another organization: the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers. The PCMR was founded in the Second World War to guard Canada’sCanada’s remote coasts but was stood down shortly after the war.
“For 75 years, the Canadian Rangers have been our eyes, ears and guides in the extremities of our nation. Their role will continue to be vital in ensuring our sovereignty and national resilience in the decades ahead as our country comes under increasing threat,” said Gen. Eyre, chief of the defence staff.
Today, the Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Army Reserve. According to DND, currently, about 5,000 Rangers serve in 194 Canadian Ranger Patrols in more than 220 remote and coastal communities.
They are “self-sufficient and agile, they are able to rapidly deploy and perform ground search and rescues, assist in natural disaster responses, and provide a Canadian Armed Forces presence in remote, isolated, and coastal regions.”
Canadian Rangers played a crucial role in the CAF’sCAF’s response to COVID-19. Tasks performed by the rangers included:
- Food and medicine distribution.
- Community wellness checks.
- Monitoring vital infrastructure such as water and septic systems in remote communities.
Celebrations Throughout 2022
Various events at the local, regional, and national levels are being held to mark the occasion.
Canadian Rangers will also participate in this year’s National Sentry Program, which brings military personnel to Ottawa to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial.
“The Canadian Rangers are a unique and important sub-component of the Canadian Army. Over the past 75 years, their ability to deploy rapidly and operate self-sufficiently has made their communities, and the country, safer. The Year of the Canadian Rangers is a well-deserved recognition of the tangible difference they have made,” stated MGen. Michel-Henri St-Louis, acting commander Canadian Army.