The Canadian Forces have derived many of their traditions and symbols from the military, navy and air force of the United Kingdom, including those with royal elements. Contemporary icons and rituals, however, have evolved to include elements reflective of Canada and the Canadian monarchy.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001 by Resolution 1386, as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement. Its main purpose was to train the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and assist Afghanistan in rebuilding key government institutions, but was also engaged in the 2001–present war with the Taliban insurgency.
The Royal Canadian Dragoons, along with Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), contributed troops to 56 Reconnaissance Squadron for duty with the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from March 1957 to January 1959, equipped with Ferret scout cars. The Officer Commanding, Maj. R. Barry Tackaberry, the Second-in-Command, Capt. J.A. Beament, the 2nd Troop Leader, Lt J.G.H. Ferguson, and the 4th Troop Leader, Lt J.B. Long, as well as half of the NCOs and soldiers, were Dragoons. Other squadrons of the regiment served there and in Cyprus. The regiment contributed several other recce squadrons to UNEF until its demise in 1967.
The regiment was part of the initial deployment to Cyprus as part of OPERATION SNOW GOOSE, Canada's long contribution to UNFICYP, and conducted other squadron-sized tours as well as a regimental deployment from March to September 1989. Tpr. Joseph H. "Fess" Campbell died in Cyprus on 31 July 1964.
The regiment served at Fort Beausejour, Iserlohn, Germany from November 1957 - November 1959
The regiment served at CFB Lahr, West Germany, as part of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from 1970 to 1987 equipped with Centurion, rented German Leopard 1 and Leopard C1 tanks and Lynx tracked reconnaissance vehicles. During this time, the Canadian Army ceased conducting regimental rotations to 4 CMBG, going instead to a man-for-man individual rotation system.
During the 1990s, the regiment conducted deployments to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with the UN as part of UNPROFOR, and with NATO as part of IFOR, SFOR and in Kosovo with KFOR.
The Royal Canadian Dragoons contributed both reconnaissance and tank crews to the Canadian task forces that served in Afghanistan from 2002 to 2014.
Tpr Wilson Mark Andrew
Service Number: B21009978
Born: Dec 15, 1966 London, Ontario
Region: London and Area
Discharged: Killed In Action
Service: CF (Canadian Forces)
Battle Group:ISAF (International Security Assistance Force)
Regiment: The Royal Canadian Dragoons
Service Details :
Deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2006 with an armoured unit in the Royal Canadian Dragoons.
The Sacrifice Medal was created in the context of increased casualties in overseas operations to fulfill the desire of Canadians and the Government to provide formal recognition, through the award of an official medal emanating from the Crown, to those who die as a result of military service or are wounded by hostile action. This honour replaces the Wound Stripe
The Medal may be awarded to members of the Canadian Forces, members of an allied force working as an integral part of the Canadian Forces such as exchange personnel, civilian employees of the Government of Canada or Canadian citizens under contract with the Government of Canada, on the condition that they were deployed as part of a military mission under the authority of the Canadian Forces, that have, on or after October 7, 2001, died or been wounded under honourable circumstances as a direct result of hostile action on the condition that the wounds that were sustained required treatment by a physician and the treatment has been documented.
The Medal may also be awarded posthumously to any member of the Canadian Forces who served on or after 7 October 2001 in the Regular Force, Primary Reserve, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service or Canadian Rangers, or any member of the Supplementary Reserve who served in or with one of the components aforementioned on or after 7 October 2001, and dies under honourable circumstances as a result of an injury or disease related to military service.
When a death is obviously related to service, the SM will be issued immediately. When the cause of death is not clear, the SM will only be issued once Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) has officially determined that the death was related to military service, in such a case, delays are to be expected before the SM can be awarded.
This general service award has been created as a means to recognize - in a timelier manner - those who serve in operations in the presence of an armed enemy. Rather than creating a new honour for each new Canadian Forces operation as it arises, the General Campaign Star and General Service Medal - with their theatre or service specific ribbons - can be awarded in future to honour participation in any operation that meets the criteria.
The General Campaign Star (GCS) is awarded to members of the Canadian Forces and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who deploy into a defined theatre of operations to take part in operations in the presence of an armed enemy.
The GCS is always issued with a ribbon specific to the theatre or type of service being recognized, and each ribbon has its own criteria.
The GCS with South-West Asia ribbon is awarded to Canadian Forces members and members of allied forces working with the Canadian Forces who served either:
with the Canadian contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan for at least 30 days cumulative between 24 April 2003 and 31 July 2009, in the theatre of operations which consisted of the political boundaries and airspace of Afghanistan; and/or in the theatre of operations consisting of the political boundaries of Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and those parts of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea that are west of sixty-eight degrees East longitude and north of five degrees South latitude, as well as the airspace above those areas for at least 30 cumulative days commencing on August 1, 2009, provided that the service has not been recognized by another service medal.
Canada's involvement in Afghanistan convinced him to join, and it was early 2003 when he went off to basic training, at 35 years of age. Had he not been deployed to Afghanistan, his goals would not have been achieved. He embraced the army, from it's disciplines and skills, to it's challenges and commitments. Training and exercises for some were trials of endurance but for Mark they were the personification of his passions. Although he enlisted later in life, he still set the bar high for his younger comrades. Mark, referred to as 'old man Wilson' by most, always scored top marks in all areas of his training. Mark always told us that if he didn't excel above the others, he would take a verbal beating by all his younger comrades.
He was a qualified gunner and driver. Once outside the wire, he was part of the ISTAR Squadron, a reconnaissance unit involved in all activities of the Afghan war. During the following weeks and months, he and his unit were fully involved in Operation Medusa. This operation has been quoted as being some of Canada's fiercest and bloodiest battles since the Korean War. Mark was said to be fearless by his fellow comrades, and always volunteered for any duties needed.
On October 7th, Mark was manning the gun of an RG31 Nyala, and on an early morning run to pick up a group of RCR Snipers in the Zhari District within the Province of Kandahar. His vehicle was hit by an IED and Mark was killed instantly, and no other injuries were reported.
Mark loved his job in the military. He fully believed in our mission in Afghanistan, and if he could, he would do it all over again. Mark was 39 years old, weeks away from his 40th birthday. He was Canada's 40th Casualty.
2003 CFB Petawawa
Mark left London to attend Sir Sandford Flemming College in Lindsay, where he studied Fish and Wildlife, and also Law and Security. Mark's passion for the outdoors eventually led him north. Mark moved up to Killarney Ontario, where he met, and married his wife, Dawn. There they owned a Bed and Breakfast, and Mark also operated an outfitting company, renting canoes, kayaks, tents and other camping gear to the outdoor enthusiasts.
This love for the outdoors was reflected in all aspects of his life, whether he was portaging, rock climbing or leading tours in the hills of Killarney for his outfitting business. Rugged elements and rough conditions were a welcome rush for Mark that surfaced a spirit and drive in him to conquer more. Mark always had an optimistic attitude, and many, many, say his great smile was contagious to all. Between Killarney and London, Mark and his family built many memories with their families and friends.
Although Mark Andrew Wilson began his military career relatively late in his life, joining Royal Canadian Dragoons in 2006 at age 39, his friends and fellow soldiers say he had the energy and determination of any young soldier.
Affectionately nicknamed "old man" by his younger troops, Wilson was respected for his maturity, his life experience and his competence, said Lt.-Col. Stephen Cadden, his commanding officer.
Although Wilson was originally placed in a replacement pool, Harrison said his commander hand-picked him to go to Afghanistan. Wilson arrived in Afghanistan in August 2006. He left behind his wife, Dawn, and sons, Josh and Ben, from Sudbury, Ont.