Veterans and currently serving Canadian Armed Forces members came together in Petawawa on Aug. 13 to mark the 70th anniversary of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) and the tenth anniversary of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR).
Ceremonies started on Friday, Aug. 13 with CSOR conducting Exercise ENDURING DAGGER to showcase the unit’s capabilities. The festivities continued with a unit parade and barbecue with the veterans of FSSF.
On Saturday, the First Special Service Force Association held a memorial in Petawawa at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 for the fallen of FSSF. Representatives from CSOR and the United States Special Forces attended the memorial to pay their respects.
The FSSF was founded in 1942 as a joint U.S.-Canadian Special Forces unit that served in operations in the Pacific Theatre during the Second World War on the Aleutian Islands and later quickly moved to the European theatre. In Europe, FSSF took part in 251 days of combat operations and broke the Nazi Winter Line.
“We are delighted to be in the Pembroke/Petawawa area to celebrate the 70th Anniversary Reunion of the First Special Service Force. Many of these men were from Northern Ontario where their experience in logging and mining helped prepare them to endure the rigour required by this elite group of combat soldiers whose accomplishments in battle are legendary. We are honoured to be able to celebrate 70 years of friendship and the lineage with U.S. and Canadian Special Operations Forces,” said Corliss Olson, President, First Special Service Force Association.
CSOR, established in 2006, traces its roots from FSSF. Several members of CSOR have received high awards and medals including the Star and the Medal of Military Valour and the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. CSOR continues the battle honours of the FSSF.
“The men and women of CSOR are proud of the accomplishments achieved over our 10-year history. We are humbled to stand next to the veterans of the FSSF and strive to match their dedication to mission success and service before self,” said LCol. Steven Hunter, Commanding Officer, Canadian Special Operations Regiment.