Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment

Time on the Rhine

Pro Patria, Issue No. 66, April 1989

We, the Subalterns of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, would like to use this forum to sort out any rumors suggesting that service in Canadian Forces Europe (CFE) is even remotely Swannish. We do understand how some of the activities of our Subalterns, which Canada-bound subbies may have heard of through post cards and letters, may have been construed in this manner, but it's just not true.

Even though:

a.     Baden-Baden and the area surrounding it is one of the most famous resort areas in West Germany, being home to the world famous Baden Casino (second only to Monte Carlo) and the Caracella Baths (Roman Style);

b.     most of the Subalterns live no more than 5 kms from a number of nudist beaches;

c.     Jon Vance was able to downhill ski in the morning, drive back to CFB Baden and parachute into DZ Baden (yes there is a parachute club on the Base) and still have time to catch the last few rays of sun at a nudist beach;

d.     Shawn Benoit is able to drive his Porsche 911 Targa to work every morning at 240 km/hr with no fear (well, very little) of a speeding ticket; and

e.     the cost of a one litre glass of the world renowned German beer is approximately $1.75.

Yes, the climate in Europe is perhaps a notch lower than harsh. Yes, Lts Koch, Boucher and Whitehead, along with Capt Hanley, were able to downhill ski in Tignes, France on August 8th in nothing but shorts and sunglasses (and skis). It is true that John Pinsent was walking along the shores of the Mediterranean, in shorts and a T -shirt on Christmas Day. With all of this; we still miss the character building -30 degree temperatures of Winnipeg and Shilo.

Of course, including those mentioned above, CFB Baden does have a few geographic advantages for those living here. It was possible, for example, for Glen Sylvester to purchase a five dollar plane ticket for the one hour flight to London (England) where he spent a week touring England and Scotland before flying back to Germany for the same price. Lts Boucher and Benoit along with Capt Hughes, were able to drive to Paris for New Years, and count down to midnight at the Arc de Triumph. Mike Pennell had the opportunity to safari for a week in Kenya, and Mark Dabros visited both Greece and Spain on two separate trips.

It may sound like serving at the "pointy end" is a bit soft, but hey, there is a lot of soldiering going on over here, too, (yes, that is a lead in for a future story on "The Hardships of Exercises in Europe").

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3rd Battalion

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