The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) has announced, His Excellency, The Right Honourable David Johnston, the 28th Governor-General of Canada, will be the next Colonel of the Regiment of the RCR.
“I am deeply honoured to be appointed Colonel of The Regiment, The Royal Canadian Regiment. The RCR has long served Canada faithfully. The Regiment’s storied history has contributed so much to Canadians’ pride in the men and women who serve in our armed forces,” said Johnston in a press release issued June 18.
Johnston is set to replace Major-General (Retired) James Ivan Fenton during a ceremony held in Kingston, Ont., on August 5, 2018.
“I will be honoured to welcome the Right Honourable David Johnston to the Royal Canadian Regiment on behalf of all members of the Regiment serving and retired. Mr. Johnston is exceptionally well suited to assume the Colonel of The Regiment appointment having served as an Honorary Colonel and indeed as Commander in Chief,” said Fenton in a press release issued June 18. “He is well known for his ideals and personal qualities as a statesman and a gentleman. The Regiment can only benefit from his guidance and experience.”
The Colonel of the Regiment holds the position generally for three years and becomes responsible for the conduct of regimental affairs and represents the regiment to the public. The Colonel of the Regiment is second in order only to His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Phillip was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Canadian Regiment on December 8, 1953.
Johnston remained Governor General of Canada from October 1, 2010, to October 2, 2017.
The RCR consists of three regular force infantry battalions located in Petawawa, Ont., and Gagetown, NB, with one reserve battalion in London, Ont. Together, they form part of the 4th Canadian Division (4 Cdn Div). 4 Cdn Div is one of six major formations reporting to Army headquarters in Ottawa. It is responsible for providing combat-ready land forces in accordance with assigned tasks, conducting general purpose training in preparation for various land operations, and providing support services to other organizations as directed.
In Ontario 4 Cdn Div includes all Regular and Reserve Force units, with the exception of a portion of North Western Ontario, which falls under 3rd Canadian Division (3 Cdn Div).
Johnston was born in Copper Cliff, near Sudbury, Ont., on June 28, 1941, the son of Dorothy Stonehouse and Lloyd Johnston, the retail manager of a local hardware store. He later attended Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963.
Johnston was selected twice for the all-American hockey team, on his way to being named to Harvard’s athletic hall of fame. He would go on to receive a Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University.