CWO (RSM) Mark Shannon, CD joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in April 1989 at the age of 30. He has deployed outside of Canada on 3 separate occasions: in 1992 as a driver he was deployed to Cambodia as a member of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia; in 2003 as a Platoon Second-in-Command (2IC) in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) peacekeeping mission as part of Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and in 2008 as a Civilian Military Operator as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Additionally he has deployed domestically twice: the Ice Storms of January 1998; and during the Toronto snow storms of January 1999.
CWO Shannon completed the Canadian Basic Parachutist Course in August 1990. He additionally obtained U.S. parachutist’s wings in 1991 and his British parachutist’s wings in 1994. He has spent time above the Arctic Circle with The Canadian Airborne Regiment living in a tent where it was -80C degrees and time in the Afghanistan desert where it was +55C. He has held a number of positions within The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada: Section Commander, Platoon 2IC, Intelligence Non Commissioned Officer, Company Quartermaster, Company Sergeant Major, Quarter Master Senior Instructor, Regimental Operations Master Warrant Officer and the Operations Officer. Additionally he has taught on numerous recruit, machine gun, driver wheel and leadership courses. He was previously employed full time as the Operations Officer of the LFCA/JTFC Operation CONNECTION cell whose mandate is to showcase the people, equipment and capabilities of the CAF to the general public.
In April 2011 CWO Shannon reached the pinnacle position for a non commissioned member within his Regiment when he became the Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) for The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. CWO Shannon held the position of RSM for 3 years with The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada before moving on in May 2014 to 32 Canadian Brigade Group (CBG) Headquarters and became the RSM for the Brigade Battle School.
CWO Shannon’s fondest military memories are:
- when he participated in the 16 plane, 1400 personnel parachute descent into France on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day on 6 June 1994
- being selected to be the Platoon 2IC for the 32 CBG platoon that deployed to Bosnia in 2003 as part of Op Palladium and then being “promoted” to Platoon Commander when operations required that his Platoon Commander be re-tasked mid mission
- being the RSM of the only Canadian Reserve Airborne unit and arguably the most combat ready Reserve Infantry unit in the country
- hosting our new Colonel in Chief Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall on her inaugural visit to meet her only Canadian Regiment
- having the honour to represent all Rifleman past and present during my time as the Regimental Sergeant Major for The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada.
CWO Shannon is married to Miranda and holds a degree in Applied Computer Science. He is constantly renovating his 85 year home and he likes to run and is looking to complete many more marathons. He is a true believer that life is about the journey and not the destination.
AWARDS, MEDALS,AND DECORATIONS:
Afghanistan Star – ISAF
Canada’s Peacekeeping Medal
United Nations Peacekeeping Cambodia – UNTAC
NATO Non-Article 5 Bosnia – SFOR
Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
Canadian Decoration – CD and clasp
Canada Command Commander’s Commendation