33 Signal Regiment (Canada)
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (October 2010)|
33 Signal Regiment began on 12 October 1922 as the 3rd Battalion, Canadian Corps of Signals. It was redesignated as the 3rd Divisional Signals Regiment in 1926 and was divided into signal companies for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions in the Second World War. Following the war it became the 3rd Signal Regiment until 1970 when it was allocated to Canadian Forces Communication Command (authorized on 1 April 1965) and redesignated as 703 Communication Regiment. Its mandate was to provide operationally trained communications personnel and to support the Regular Force in ongoing peacetime tasks and activities. On 1 June 1976 the unit was renamed 763 (Ottawa) Communication Regiment. The newly formed 76 Communication Group took command of 763 Communication Regiment from 70 Communication Group on 1 April 1977. The Regiment was housed at Wallis House Armoury in Ottawa and its support services were provided by CFB Ottawa. In the summer of 2010 it was renamed 33 Signals Regiment following its entrance into 33 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG).
33 (Ottawa) Signal Regiment specializes in tactical and strategic communication, employing voice, electronic and telecommunication systems. Their mandate is to provide individual and collective support to Canadian Forces operations, both domestic and international. Many of their members have served in various UN and NATO peacekeeping missions around the world. This unit also provides communication support to the Army Reserve. Some units in the Communication Reserve also provide manning support to the Navy Transportable Tactical Command Centres.
In July 1982, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth approved a regimental badge having a right arm rising from three rivers; the Ottawa, Gatineau, and the Rideau, the definition used by the local indigenous inhabitants for identifying the locality. The trees acknowledge the importance of logging, the original commerce of the area. Combined, they reflect the traditional source of unit members as the Ottawa Valley. The arm holds a single reflex bow to show the operational environment. A double curve motif formed from a two-string wampum completes the design. In Algonquin legend, such a motif exuded power that could be oriented inwards, such as seen on women's and children's clothing to protect the wearer, or outwards as a way to transmit the bearer's power to others, not as electromagnetic energy (as we do today) but as an intangible such as information, providing the recipient with the power of knowledge. It also forms the figure "3", significant through the unit's history. String wampum was used by natives to pass messages, with the rarer purple beads being for the important parts, and the white beads for the rest. A such, it was a primitive version of encryption, and the reason that all messengers found with one were tortured: it was important. The motto, tigoapi, tigamoa, is Algonquin for "anyplace, anytime". The overall design is, from the Ottawa, secure communications for others, anywhere, anytime. The Algonquin had no word for "where": they used "place".
Training is a year-round activity and soldiers are expected to attend up to two weekend training activities per month. Training is conducted at E.J.G. Holland VC Armoury and other locations. Once fully trained, soldiers can apply for various full-time and part-time employment opportunities available throughout the year.
The regiment is not without distinction, having won the Malloch Trophy, symbolic of the best signals unit in Canada, both pre and post-war more than any other unit in the history of the competition.
The regimental unit has served in most places the Canadian Forces are stationed across the nation and on deployed operations including Bosnia, East-Timor, the Middle East and Afghanistan.
The regiment has a strong history of supporting domestic operations ranging from Operation Recuperation in 1998 (North American ice storm of 1998), to Operation Abacus in 1999 (Y2K), Operation Nanook (annual northern sovereignty operations), and Operation Cadence in 2010 (support to the G8/G20 Leader's Summit).
The regiment has also shown continued support to local community and charity events such as the Scott Tokessy Baseball Tournament, the Canadian Blood Services Blood Bank and, most notably for the past 25 years providing communications links and a safety presence for the Canadian Ski Marathon.
On March 24, 2010, Justin Fogarty was formally appointed honorary lieutenant-colonel of the 33 Signal Regiment. HLCol Fogarty is a partner with Davis LLP, and co-chair of their Business Solutions and Restructuring Group.
Shortly following his appointment, HLCol Fogarty formed the Regimental Council of the Regiment, made up of 33 distinguished members from the business community to advise the Command Team at 33 Signal Regiment, promote the relationship between the business community and the Army, provide assistance on different initiatives important for the regiment and to assist in fund-raising initiatives for soldiers and their families.