Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Princess Louise Fusiliers is a light infantry unit of the Canadian Forces Reserve. The Regiment traces its history to the founding of Halifax in 1749, and has carried on the tradition of citizen-soldiering through two world wars and numerous campaigns. Today, the Fusiliers are a well-equipped and well-trained component of the Total Force.
It is a tremendous honour to be appointed as Regimental Sergeant Major of the Princess Louise Fusiliers. The Regiment has a proud history of service to the country around the world, and to the community locally. Around the world, PLF soldiers have participated in almost every major conflict and peacekeeping operation, recently seeing 10 of our soldiers return from Afghanistan as part of Task Force 1-10. In the community, PLF soldiers have helped with disaster relief after the Halifax Explosion, assisted with recovery operations for SwissAir, and aided the cleanup after Hurricane Juan.
For those of you who are considering a career in the Princess Louise Fusiliers, it is a choice that will see you improving your own life as you help others and contribute to the stability of the world.
For those of you who are members, your continued success depends on concentrating on the basic tasks of soldiering: SHOOT, MOVE and COMMUNICATE. What we demand from each of you is:
Shoot: the ability to engage the target with effective, accurate, discriminating fire at all ranges from point blank to 500m,
Move: the physical fitness and endurance to complete a BFT then complete a PWT3 (i.e. approach march then engage the enemy), and
Communicate: the ability to send and receive basic reports, AND engrain the habits of communicating and operating with Other Arms and Services through teamwork.
We identify and develop our junior leaders and encourage high quality leadership at all levels. Leadership at its most basic requires three things of the leader: integrity, professional competence and setting the example. There is a quote from Air Commodore Len Birchall which I find particularly relevant, where he talks about leadership in combat:
"If you ever have to lead troops into combat... you will find that you appear before your men stripped of all insignia and outward signs of authority to command. Your leadership is judged not by your rank, but by whether your men are completely confident that you have the character, knowledge and training that they can trust you with their lives"
Our Regimental Family includes every current and former Fusilier. This year, we are planning a number of special events centered around the Regimental Reunion Ball on 4 June 2011. I hope to see lots of former members there!
Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier!
Michael L Gray, CD
Chief Warrant Officer
Regimental Sergeant Major
Based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, this infantry regiment traces its local roots as a Halifax unit of Militia back to June 18, 1798 when Sir Edward Cornwalis formed a local Militia under his own command. Ten companies were formed at the Grand Parade in the city and were made a collective battalion.
As an officially constituted unit of Canada, The Princess Louise Fusiliers were authorized in 1867. During the unit's history, it has undergone several name changes. On November 5, 1869, the regiment was named the 66th The Halifax Battalion of Infantry. Originally consisting of six companies, it later gained two more.
Ten years later, on November 14, 1879, the regiment was once again renamed, this time to the 66th Battalion 'Princess Louise Fusiliers', named for Princess Louise, wife of the Governor General at the time. It was shortly after this point in which the regiment received its first battle honour, when they helped suppress the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. Soldiers of the unit served in North West Canada with the Halifax Provisional Battalion. Fourteen years later, in 1899, the regiment provided some of its soldiers to a company raised in Nova Scotia for the 2nd (Special Service) Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment, which was raised for service in South Africa during the Second Boer War. May 8, 1900 brought about another name change, this time to 66th Regiment 'Princess Louise Fusiliers'.
During the First World War the 66th Regiment provided soldiers to the locally raised battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). At the end of the war, as a result of the Otter Commission headed by General William Otter, the regiment perpetuated the 64th Canadian Infantry Battalion of the CEF. As a result of the unit's contributions of soldiers and this perpetuation, the regiment holds five battle honours of the First World War. In May of 1915 the regiment was renamed to its current name, the Princess Louise Fusiliers. The onset of WW II saw more action for the Fusiliers, when they were sent to Italy to help defeat Germany and her allies. The Regiment fielded 2 machine gun companies as well as 4.2 inch mortars, and fought through Italy and North West Europe to the war's conclusion. During the conflict, the regiment received nine more battle honours, bringing their total count to 16. Their most recent battle honour, received in 1999 following a lengthy struggle by unit officers to discover the necessary supporting documents, was for the unit's actions at Arnhem in 1945.
In Afghanistan, on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007, Master Corporal Chris Stannix was killed along with five other Canadian soldiers when their vehicle was hit by an explosive device. Corporal Shaun Fevens was injured in the explosion and transported to a military hospital in Germany.
The Princess Louise Fusiliers have received 16 battle honours since the unit's inception in 1869. They are:
World War One
World War Two
PLF Orderly Room
Corner of Agricola and Cunard
PO BOX 99000
STN FORCES (HALIFAX)
Regional recruiter for Mainland Nova Scotia
Regional recruiter for PEI and Cape Breton
(902) 563.7100 ext7110