By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – A reserve regiment etched into the archives of Canada’s most historic battles are adding some fresh blood and a familiar face.
Lt.-Col. Steve Young relieved Lt.-Col. Rob Duda as commanding officer of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders at the Cornwall Armory on Nov. 16.
The regiment – known as the Glens – welcomed Young during a change of command ceremony.
“It’s a great honour,” said Young, incoming Lieutenant-Colonel. “There is a significant challenge in ensuring the traditions are perpetuated, and the regiment continues to support the community the way it has since 1804.”
The Glens are currently facing dwindling numbers and the need to recruit new soldiers is a top priority for Young. For the new commander maintaining the stability of the famed regiment is a welcomed challenge.
“We’re light now and we need to bulk up the junior ranks. As people retire and move on we need constant new blood, and that is the main focus over the next three years,” he said. “Our job is to train new generations for next time we’re called into duty.”
Outgoing Lieutenant-Colonel Duda has been with the Glens since 1992. He commanded the SD & G Highlanders for nearly four years. His new military role will be as a staff officer at 4 Canadian Division’s headquarters.
“We’ve sent soldiers to serve in Afghanistan, support to the G8 and G20 operations and domestic operations during disasters,” he said. “Being able to support Canada when Canada needs us – is the major achievement of my time as commander.”
Duda said the 1812 battle re-enactments taking place throughout recent Remembrance Day celebrations are a real highlight of his tenure. He also trumpeted that Queen Elizabeth is now the first Colonel-in-Chief of the SD & G Highlanders. The Prime Minister announced it during the bicentennial commemoration of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm in Morrisburg.
In April, 2012, Young joined the Glens as the deputy commander officer and transferred to the infantry. With 34 years of military experience and a legendary regiment behind him, he’s ready to lead.
“It’s a family –once a Glen, always a Glen,” said Duda.