The City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer was appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel by the Canadian Armed Forces in recognition of her work in the community, commitment to honouring military veterans, and support of local reservists.
The Commanding Officer of 41 Signal Regiment nominated Veer.
“I am extremely honoured to have been given the distinguished appointment of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel with the Canadian Military,” said Veer. “I am eager to serve in this position, in conjunction with my public duties. The sacrifices of our Canadian Armed Forces and the many veterans that served our country are what have allowed me to serve our community as Mayor. Past and present heroes in the Canadian Armed Forces have made our country what it is today. They are the reason for the freedoms Canadians enjoy today.”
Honorary Colonel Lloyd Lewis, 41 Signal Regiment said Veer has been a dedicated supporter of troops in her position as mayor of Red Deer.
“I am delighted with her appointment as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment and am excited about the enthusiasm and profile that she brings to this important role in the Canadian Army Reserve.”
Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Flavel, Commanding Officer, 41 Signal Regiment said the soldiers of 41 Signal Regiment are honoured to welcome Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Veer in their ranks.
“Mayor Veer’s remarkable career and contributions to Red Deer will certainly be an inspiration to all of our soldiers with her demonstrated ‘service before self’, leadership, and boundless energy.”
Honoraries are a tradition going back more than a century in the Canadian Armed Forces. They are typically prominent private citizens who volunteer to act as advocates for their regiments, communities and guardians of regimental traditions and histories.
The first Honorary Colonel appointment in Canada was that of Lieutenant-Colonel the Honorable J.M. Gibson, a Provincial Secretary in the Ontario Government. He was appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel to the 13th Battalion of Infantry in 1895.
Early in the 20th century in Canada, Sir Robert Borden described the practice of appointing Honoraries as “of greatest advantage to the Militia to be able to enlist the interest and sympathy of gentleman of position and wealth by connecting them to Regiments.”
That sentiment remains true today. The Honorary is seen to be the guardian of regimental traditions and history, promoting the regiment’s identity and ethos and being an advisor to the Commanding Officer on virtually all issues excluding operations.
“As an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel, I will endeavour to foster ‘esprit de corps’ and support the 41 Signal Regiment and its leadership, and work to develop and strengthen the ties between our local military and communities, businesses, and industry throughout Alberta,” said Veer. “I will fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to me, which include providing a link between the local and provincial Squadrons and the community, and raise the public profile of the Regiment with utmost pride. Thank you to the Canadian Armed Forces for this honour.”
The appointment is effective immediately, and is a three-year term serving as an ambassador. A formal installation ceremony will be planned soon pending provincial health protocols. The 41 Signal Regiment has squadrons in Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary.