Canada US Units Train Together
FAMILIES AND FRIENDS of members of the 98th Committee Group BCT 98th Div Tng Rochester, New York could hardly be blamed for staring in amazement at the change in uniform and insignia the men sported following their return from weekend maneuvers at Camp Drum NY recently Fatigue hats enlisted and officers insignia of rank 98th Div Distinctive Insignia and Group Badges were miraculously transformed into rakish berets distinctive shoulder epaulets and the Canadian Maple Leaf.
This exchange of uniform accoutrements was symbolic of the exchange of friendship and comradeship in arms which resulted from the unique merger of the 98th Comm Gp with the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada a Toronto based unit of the Canadian Reserve Forces in a three day series of training exercises weapons competition and social activities.
The novel weekend was the culmination of months of planning between Colonel Sanford Liebschutz Cdr of the Group and Lieutenant Colonel Donald Pryer of the Queen’s Own Rifles and their respective staffs which began in the fall of 1972.
Since the 98th was the host unit a myriad of details had to be accomplished before training could begin in earnest therefore reveille on Saturday came early for key officers and NCOs As a result of their efforts the scheduled training on US Weapons such as the M 16 rifle M 60 machine gun M 79 grenade launcher and an introduction and practical exercise at the gas chamber proceeded flawlessly with experienced committee group members serving as instructors round robin instruction was presented to mixed groups of American and Canadian soldiers.
Lieutenant John Glayser of the Queen’s Own Rifles proved to be an adept pupil as he bagged 36 hits out of a possible 40 to capture high score on the M16 rifle qualifying range.
While weapons and CBR training were being conducted approximately 30 Canadian and American Reservists were indoctrinated to the mysteries and surprises of Survival Escape and Evasion training The instruction took on added flavor of authenticity since the instructor was a US civilian Jon Faber a native of Holland and an experienced ex Dutch Resistance fighter who had occasion to practice the principle during the Korean War.
The men who participated came away from the course with a greater understanding of and respect for nature as a vast storehouse of shelter food and clothing for an individual who is well trained in survival tactics.
Ceremonial plaques and portraits were exchanged by Col Liebschutz and Lt Col Pryer which will be displayed in each unit’s center as a means of reminding future members of the Group and the Queen’s Own Rifles of the common sense of unity and purpose that brought them together.
Sunday morning dawned cool and clear and the weatherman provided another day which proved to be ideal for the instruction the Canadians received at the M72A2 LAW and the men of the 98th obtained on the FCN 1 the basic Canadian infantry rifle While the enlisted men were engaged in these pursuits the officers held an informal pistol match firing the US 45 caliber pistol and the Canadian 9 MM submachine gun The competition was intense but good natured and at the completion of the contest each side generously claimed that the other had emerged victorious.
The day concluded at noon with an impressive awards ceremony during which the officers and men of the Queen’s Own Rifles who had qualified with the M16 rifle were awarded the coveted expert and sharpshooter marksmanship medal Staff Sergeant Anthony Calarco of the Group was the leading American scorer with the FCN 1 Canadian rifle and received an official recording of the Queen’s Own Rifles Bugle Band for his marksmanship skill.
In reviewing the weekend Col Liebschutz remarked This has been an opportunity to establish many personal friendships between the members of both commands More importantly the joint exercise has shown that the United States Army Reserve and the Canadian Forces Militia can serve as strong forces not only to deter aggression against both countries but to further cement the strong bonds between our own countries
WHITE or dark meat Sergeant Prospects of eating of foreign object was initially unappetizing to Lieutenant Robert Benson left 98th Comm Gp as Sergeant Brain Budden of Queen’s Own Rifles presents giant puffball (Calvatia Ciganted.)
The Army Reserve Magazine – February 1974