Anyone who knows the Army understands the vital role and influence of the Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM) in any unit – both as the Commanding Officer’s key advisor on the soldiers’ morale and welfare, and as the soldiers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ chief mentor and advocate. In British Columbia, the Canadian Army is represented by 39 Canadian Brigade Group, which musters approximately 1,500 predominantly part-time soldiers who belong to units based in civilian communities from Vancouver Island to the Southern Interior and Prince George. Since many of these soldiers are potential Commissionaires and Detention Guards, the opportunity to meet with their RSMs was well worth taking. As a result, when Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Mark Arden, Brigade Sergeant-Major and a good friend of Commissionaires BC, extended an invitation to address the RSMs’ professional development conference, we were delighted to accept.
The meeting took place on Saturday March 19th 2016 in the Bay Street Armoury, Victoria. Since some Reserve units are based on Vancouver Island, the Commissionaires presentation was conducted jointly by Ron Warmald, Manager Human Resources for Commissionaires Victoria, the Islands and Yukon Division, and Dan Thomas, Office Manager, Commissionaires BC. Since several of the RSMs were active or former Commissionaires, they proved to be a very receptive and well-informed audience. The presentation was tailored to their needs, and included a survey in order to strengthen our own awareness of serving veterans’ expectations and interests. We emphasized the suitability of Commissionaire employment to help veterans who are retiring from military service integrate into the civilian world, or as a complementary income stream for part-time Reserve soldiers.
Like the military itself – but unlike many other civilian employers – Commissionaires provides a formal recognition program for loyal and distinguished service. In terms of loyalty, our friend and host CWO Mark Arden will retire from the Forces on May 8th, 2016 after approximately 40 years of service. His successor as Brigade Sergeant-Major, CWO Sean Parker, is our former Site Supervisor at Kelowna International Airport (YLW), where he now works as a Duty Manager. An appreciation event was held at YLW to recognize the years of proud service our Commissionaires have provided there – a recent example of the bonds Commissionaires build with their colleagues and clients.