New CO for the 1st Battalion 0
CFB/ASU PETAWAWA – The new commander of 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (1RCR) encouraged his troops to be proud of their past accomplishments but to focus on the task at hand in the present.
During a recent change of command parade held outdoors before the Y101 drill hall, Lieutenant Colonel James Price took over command of 1RCR from Lt.-Col. Peter Scott who has been appointed as directing staff for the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston.
No stranger to Base Petawawa, Lt.-Col. Price said he was thrilled to take command.
"Needless to say I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to be accepting command of this fine battalion and to become once again part of the 2 Brigade (2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group) family," he said. "Command is always a privilege as well as an honour."
He said he was both humbled and grateful for the opportunity that has been given him.
"To the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, I'll have many more opportunities to speak with you during the coming months, so permit me to leave you with one thought. Cherish and always remember the past, and the accomplishments you have made but please do not dwell on them," Lt.-Col. Price said. "Let's concentrate on the present, the here and now, and always work towards anticipating the future. By doing this we will strive towards becoming the best LAV (light armoured vehicle) battalion that we can."
For the ceremony, over 300 troops marched onto the parade square against a backdrop of LAVs and under bright blue, cloudless skies. The Duke of Edinburgh's Company, Bravo Company, Charles Company and Echo/Foxtrot Company were inspected by reviewing officer, 2CMBG commander Col. Simon Hetherington before outgoing 1RCR commander Lt.-Col. Scott addressed his troops for the final time.
"I stand before you humbled and saddened," Lt.-Col. Scott began explaining that he was humbled to have been given the opportunity to command 1RCR and saddened to now be giving that up.
He thanked the troops for their efforts in returning to a training tempo following their return from Task Force 1-10 in Afghanistan. He took over command upon the 1st Battalion's return. He stated that they have accomplished lots and should be proud of what they have done since returning to Canada.
"Your greatest achievement was definitely Exercise Cold Response in Norway," he said. "It was one of the best exercises I've been on. From recce (reconnaissance) and the snipers leading the way to Foxtrot Company simply blowing me away by getting us there and back," he said.
He complimented the troops for their commitment, their drive, their level of fitness and skill and "for the love that each of you has for soldiering."
Admitting that leaving the parade square would be a very sad moment, he concluded by telling the troops that they were definitely in good hands.
Lt.-Col. Price followed in his father's footsteps and joined the military, being sworn into the Canadian Forces under the Direct Entry Officer Program in 1989. Following his infantry officer training, he was posted to 1RCR where he served as a rifle platoon commander before being posted to 3 Commando, The Canadian Airborne Regiment. With the Airborne, he deployed both to Somalia and to Rwanda.
Later in his career, Lt.-Col. Price deployed to Afghanistan alongside 2RCR as an Operational Mentor and Liaison Team Kandak Senior Mentor for which he was awarded the Chief of Defence Staff Commendation. He was reunited with 1RCR upon his return from Afghanistan and made their deputy commanding officer. Lt.-Col. Price redeployed to Afghanistan with Task Force 1-10 as the Battle Group second in command for which he received another Chief of Defence Staff Commendation. He was then posted to Ottawa in the Canadian Forces Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force before being appointed 1RCR's commanding officer.
Lt.-Col. Price has a bachelor's degree and teacher's license from Acadia University, and is currently working on his masters degree in leadership with the University of Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the United States Marine Corps University and the United States Army Ranger course.
He is married to Raelene Young.
Anthony Dixon is the news editor at The Daily Observer