The Rocky Mountain Rangers
|The Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|Active||1885 - Present|
|Part of||Royal Canadian Infantry Corps|
|Garrison/HQ||JR Vicars Armoury|
|Motto||Kloshe nanitch (Keep a good lookout)|
|March||The Meeting of the Waters|
|Engagements||World War I
World War II
The Rocky Mountain Rangers is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. The regimental headquarters are located at JR Vicars Armoury in Kamloops, British Columbia. It had an alliance with The Green Howards in the United Kingdom.
The Rocky Mountain Rangers draw on the heritage of the militia unit of the same name raised on the eastern reaches of the Rocky Mountains during the North West Rebellion of 1885.
Commanded by Major Stewart, a former cavalry officer, the Rocky Mountain Rangers was a body of mounted irregulars, consisting of cowboys and ranchers from what is now southern Alberta. After rebellion had been quelled, Major Stewart requested the unit be placed on the General Service list as a permanent militia unit. He was not successful and the unit was disbanded after being in existence little more than three months. There is no official lineage to The Rocky Mountain Rangers Regiment currently located in British Columbia. The connection is in name only. The South Alberta Light Horse reserve regiment is officially considered the unit perpetuating the Rocky Mountain Rangers of 1885
On July 1, 1898, five independent rifle companies were formed in the interior of British Columbia at Kamloops, Nelson, Kaslo, Rossland, and Revelstoke. These units were named by their location (Kamloops Rifle Company etc.) The independent companies were renamed the Rocky Mountain Rangers in 1900 but remained independent companies. No regimental headquarters was established at this time. The same year saw nineteen men from the unit depart to fight in the Second Boer War.
On April 1, 1908 an additional company was formed in Nelson, this unit with the three southern companies were amalgamated to form the 102nd Regiment with headquarters in Nelson. An independent company was formed in Armstrong. The Rocky Mountain Rangers were reduced to two companies in Kamloops and Revelstoke. In 1909 these two remaining companies were amalgamated with the others to form the 102nd Regiment Rocky Mountain Rangers. In 1912 a reorganization of the regiment saw the companies in Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo and Revelstoke disbanded, the headquarters relocated to Kamloops and the Armstrong company amalgamated. Later that year, the Revelstoke company was reinstated and more companies added at Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Vernon and Penticton.
With the advent of the First World War, the 102nd Regiment Rocky Mountain Rangers was placed on active service for local protection duties. In 1916 the unit raised the 172nd Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force for overseas deployment. On arrival overseas the battalion was dispersed to augment other Canadian infantry units. Although the men did not fight as Rocky Mountain Rangers, the regiment was awarded battle honours by virtue of their contribution in the battles of Arras, 1917, Hill 70, Ypres 1917, Amiens, Hindenburg Line and Valenciennes. Princess Patricia presented a set of unofficial colours to the 172nd battalion in 1916. The Battle Honours were emblazoned on the colours after the war.
The 102nd Regiment continued to serve in a reserve capacity for much of the war. One of its tasking was to staff internment camps at Revelstoke, Mara Lake and Vernon. The 102nd also provided substantial numbers to the 54th (Kootenay) Battalion of the CEF. In 1917 the 172nd Battalion was reduced to nil and disbanded to be perpetuated by The Rocky Mountain Rangers. In 1920 the regiment renamed The Rocky Mountain Rangers and reorganized to four companies. The unit organization remained basically the same until the start of the Second World War.
In August 1939 the regiment was called out for local defense duties, to guard vulnerable points along the CPR/CNR railroads. This task was taken over by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police by early 1940 as the regiment was down to almost nil strength due to reinforcement drafts to other active units.
In June 1940 the regiment, redesignated The Rocky Mountain Rangers CASF, was ordered to mobilize to full wartime strength. The active service 1st Battalion was employed on west-coast defense duties in various communities in the Vancouver area, Prince Rupert and on Vancouver Island. During one notable deployment, the battalion marched from Kamloops to Vancouver as a training exercise under simulated war conditions. The 500 km march took 14 days with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius. This march was re-enacted by the unit's serving members in 1998.
The situation developing in the Pacific presented a real and immediate threat to the Pacific coast and the BC interior. To meet this threat the reserve unit, now re-designated the 2nd Battalion, was assigned to the 39 (Reserve) Brigade Group and tasked to provide protection of vulnerable industrial points along the CPR railroad lines in the interior and to recruit and train as part of a brigade group in defence of the west coast. With its headquarters remaining in Kamloops, the battalion was spread along the main and southern CPR rail lines from Ashcroft in the west to Fernie in the east.
In 1943 the 1st Battalion, then part of the 13th Infantry Brigade, sailed from Vancouver Island to the American base on the island of Adak in the Aleutian Island chain where the battalion underwent specialized training for the assault on the Japanese-occupied island of Kiska. The Rocky Mountain Rangers formed the core of the 16th Canadian Combat Team for the assault on Kiska. The force sailed from Adak on 13 August for a scheduled assault on Kiska two days later. As it was, the Japanese had abandoned the island several days before under the cover of fog and darkness, leaving a cannon which was later brought back to Vernon Military Camp (now Vernon Army Cadet Summer Training Centre). The Rangers remained on the island until the middle of January 1944, unfortunately losing an officer and several men to booby traps and friendly fire. This operation is commemorated every year with the unit's Christmas dinner being designated as Kiska dinner. Later that year the 1st Battalion sailed to Europe as part of the 13th Infantry Brigade. Upon arrival in England the Rangers were welcomed and hosted by the British infantry regiment The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales Own Yorkshire Regiment), the beginning of a close relationship which continues today. The two regiments were officially designated allied regiments in 1948. As in the First World War the 1st Battalion was broken up to augment other under strength Canadian units. Once again over 5000 Rocky Mountain Rangers fought overseas with other Canadian units.
In 1946 the unit was reverted to reserve status with HQ in Kamloops and companies in Kamloops, Prince George, Salmon Arm, Armstrong and Revelstoke. In 1952 the company in Revelstoke was relocated to Whitehorse. This company became inactive three years later. In 1959 the Armstrong company headquarters was relocated to Revelstoke. This organization remained until 1970 when the companies in Prince George and Salmon Arm were reduced to nil strength. In 1978 the company in Revelstoke was relocated to Salmon Arm. In 1998 the company in Salmon Arm was reduced to nil strength and relocated on paper to Kamloops.
The original Regimental Colour presented to the regiment by Princess Patricia in 1916, though never consecrated, now hang in St Paul's Cathedral in Kamloops. In 1983 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented the first official consecrated colours to the regiment in a ceremony at Kamloops. A replacement Regimental Colours was presented in 1998 following the official reversion to green facings used by the rifle regiments in place of the blue facing used by line infantry regiments.
The Freedom of the City of Kamloops was presented to the regiment in 1982 and in Salmon Arm in 1992.
Lineage of the Rocky Mountain Rangers:
|1898||Independent rifle coys of Rocky Mountain Rangers||Independent rifle coys of Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|1909||102nd Regt, Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|1914||172nd "Overseas" Bn, CEF|
|1917||Absorbed by 24th Reserve Bn, CEF|
|1920||The Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|1941||1st Bn, The Rocky Mountain Rangers, CASF||2nd (Reserve) Bn, The Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|1944||1st Canadian Infy Training Bn, Type A (Rocky Mountain Rangers), CASF|
|1945||No. 9 Canadian Repatriation Depot, Type "T"|
|1946||Disbanded||The Rocky Mountain Rangers|
|CASF||Canadian Active Service Force|
|CEF||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
 Battle honours
 Recent activities
In 2008 the unit saw the deployment of 12 of its soldiers to Afghanistan, and has since deployed troops in further support of the Canadian effort in Afghanistan. 2008 also marked the unit's 100th anniversary, making it one of the first reserve units in British Columbia to do so. In addition to Afghanistan related deployments, Rocky Mountain Rangers also provided support to the 2010 Winter Olympics. In February 2011, 39 Canadian Brigade Group announced that the Rocky Mountain Rangers would be standing up a detachment of company strength in the community of Prince George, forty years after the unit there had been reduced to nil strength. The Rocky Mountain Rangers are currently increasing recruiting efforts in the community to reach platoon and then company size.
 Cadet corps
The Royal Canadian Army Cadets, are a Canadian national youth program sponsored by the Canadian Forces and the civilian Army Cadet League of Canada. Administered by the Canadian Forces, the program is funded through the Department of National Defence with the civilian partner providing support in the local community. Many Army Cadet corps receive additional support from affiliated Regular or Reserve Army units. While cadets may wear the badges and accoutrements of their affiliated unit, cadets are civilians, they are not members of the Canadian Forces.
Recognized as Canada's oldest youth program, there are approximately 21,000 army cadets in about 450 corps across the country. Together with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, it forms the largest federally-funded youth program. Cadets are encouraged to become active, responsible members of their communities. There are several Royal Canadian Army Cadets corps spread across British Columbia that are affiliated to the Rocky Mountain Rangers.
|950 RCACC||Merritt||December 13, 1921|
|1787 RCACC||Salmon Arm||February 28, 1941|
|2276 RCACC||Fort St. John||September 3, 1946|
|2305 RCACC||Kamloops||January 26, 1948|
|2458 RCACC||Revelstoke||October 1, 1952|
|2510 RCACC||Sicamous||January 1, 1954|
|2618 RCACC||Prince George||January 13, 1958|
|2887 RCACC||100 Mile House||September 1, 1971|
|2941 RCACC||Clearwater||October 15, 2002|
|3063 RCACC||Enderby||March 31, 2000|
|3064 RCACC||Williams Lake||September 1, 2000|
|JR Vicars Armoury, 1221 Mcgill Rd||1902 David Ewart||Kamloops, British Columbia||* Housing The Rocky Mountain Rangers, this Neo-Gothic style structure is centrally located|
 The Rocky Mountain Rangers Museum and Archives
|Rocky Mountain Rangers Museum and Archives|
|Location||JR Vicars Armoury, 1221 McGill Road, Kamloops, British Columbia Canada|
The museum collects and preserves artifacts, documents, records and material relating to the history of The Rocky Mountain Rangers in peace and war, and its history within the context of the military history of Canada, both for Regimental personnel and the general public. 
 Order of precedence
The Royal Regina Rifles
|The Rocky Mountain Rangers||Succeeded by
The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry)
 See also
- "The Rocky Mountain Rangers". Official Lineages, Volume 3: Combat Arms Regiments, Part 2: Infantry Regiments. Directorate of History and Heritage. October 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2012.
- A-AD-266-000/AG-001 Canadian Forces Museums –Operations and Administration 2002-04-03
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The Rocky Mountain Rangers|
- Rocky Mountain Rangers homepage
- Okanagan Military Museum, Rocky Mtn Rangers page
- About the Rocky Mountain Rangers