A new commander takes over 2CMBG
Submitted photo Change of Command ceremonies for 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) were held on June 28. Presiding over the official signing of command scrolls is 4th Canadian Division commander Brig.- Gen. Jocelyn Paul (center) as outgoing commander Brig.-Gen. Michael Wright (left) hands the brigade over to Col. Jason Adair. Looking on is division sergeant-major Chief Warrant Officer Keith Olstad (back left) and 2CMBG formation sergeant-major Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Mercer.
GARRISON PETAWAWA - The new commander of 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group takes over a formation that has deployed troops to multiple trouble spots across the globe.
In a change of command ceremony on the evening of June 28, Col. Jason Adair became the brigade's 15th commander since it was redesignated in 1995 as he officially took over from Brig-Gen. Michael Wright.
As the sun was dipping on the horizon, guards representing each unit of the brigade marched onto Worthington Parade Square to witness this transition of command authority. The brigade, which deploys as Task Force Tomahawk, is in the middle of its current assignment as the Canadian Army's High Readiness Task Force.
That has resulted in approximately 1,700 soldiers deployed on missions to the Ukraine, Latvia, Iraq, Kuwait, South Sudan, Egypt, Israel and Afghanistan. Soon Petawawa troops will be assigned to Mali where Canada has committed a total of eight Chinook helicopters and 250 personnel for the next 12 months to provide medical evacuations and other support to the United Nations.
In his remarks, Brig.-Gen. Wright thanked the brigade's sergeant-major, Chief Warrant Officer Shawn Mercer for his sound advice, loyalty, friendship and sense of humour. He also praised the brigade's headquarters and the command teams calling them the finest senior officers and NCO's in the Canadian Army. He added the past year has been a rewarding experience and a highlight of his career.
“It's been a privilege to be given the opportunity to command at all and I truly appreciate the opportunity to command a brigade,” said Brig.-Gen. Wright. “I will look back on this time with fond memories. The soldiers of this brigade have inspired me every day and they've been outstanding ambassadors.”
Overseen by 4th Canadian Division commander Brig.-Gen. Jocelyn Paul, the ceremony involved the traditional signing of command scrolls as well as the passing of a tomahawk. He thanked the personnel of the brigade for their extraordinary efforts over the past year.
“Your performance and conduct has been remarkable and has contributed to the reputation of the Canadian Army and the Canadian Armed Forces abroad,” said the division commander.
Brig.-Gen. Paul noted that as their brigade commander, Brig.-Gen. Wright has demonstrated that he deserves all the trust that the Army has put in him. He noted that Col. Adair comes to Petawawa with an impressive career and is the man best suited for this complex position.
As Col. Adair took over the parade, he pledged to do his very best as brigade commander over the next two years noting that 2 Brigade's reputation as outstanding warriors precedes them.
“You have a swagger in your step and you radiate quiet confidence,” said Col. Adair. “I’ve known your reputation for years. I am honoured to count myself in your ranks.”
He remarked that 100 years ago, in the final days of the First World War, this brigade was in pursuit of German forces across the Western Front. Seventy five years ago, he added, they were preparing to land in Sicily. This generation of warriors will be up to the task, just as their predecessors were, the commander added.
“This brigade will continue to do its part to achieve this division's mission,” he said. “Soldiers continue to operate around the globe holding the line as our forebearers did on behalf of our country.”
Joining the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI) in 2000, Col. Adair served as a platoon commander on Operation:Apollo in Afghanistan. He was posted to 2 PPCLI in 2004 where he served as a company second-in-command, adjutant, operations officer and company commander. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2006 and 2008 and to Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
After attending the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Col. Adair was posted to Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command as the Staff Officer to the commander and J-5 Middle East. He also served at the United States Central Command where he was employed as a planner. In 2013, he became the chief of staff of the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and then commanded 3 PPCLI from 2014 to 2016. He was seconded to the Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat of the Privy Council Office and served as the special advisor to the Minister of National Defence.