Incoming commanding officer Lt.-Col. Guillaume Grenier-Lachance about to dismiss his troops after a ceremony of 1 Service Battalion change of command parade at the CFB Edmonton Garrison, Tuesday, June 25, 2019.
Dignitaries and military personnel gathered at the Canadian Forces Base Edmonton Tuesday morning for a ceremony commemorating a change of command of a field unit responsible for support and maintenance.The 1 Service Battalion bid farewell to outgoing commanding officer Col. Heather Morrison and introduced her successor, Lt.-Col. Guillaume Grenier-Lachance, during the ceremony, which took place in the spacious Steele Barracks Parade Square. The ceremony featured a marching band, presentations of honours and addresses from dignitaries.Morrison was emotional while giving her final address as the regiment’s commanding officer, calling the Edmonton base her “army home.”“As I stand here today, I will tell you without reservation that it is infinitely harder to say goodbye than it was to say hello two short years ago,” she said.
Outgoing commanding officer Lt.-Col. Heather Morrison waves while being driven away in a military Jeep with her family during a ceremony of 1 Service Battalion Change of Command Parade at the CFB Edmonton Garrison, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
“(The 1 Service Battalion) is where I’ve always wanted to serve and it is where I have learned so much.”Later in the ceremony, Morrison’s two sons, Angus, 8, and Liam, 5, presented their mother with her promotion to the rank of colonel. Applause rang through the hall as Morrison knelt to receive her newly decorated tunic from her sons.Abiding by convention, Grenier-Lachance gave only a brief address to his new unit.“In keeping with tradition for the incoming commanding officer, I’ll keep my comments brief — I’ll take one minute and eight seconds of your time,” he joked.Troops from the 1 Service Battalion are expected to deploy to countries including Latvia, Iraq, Kuwait and Ukraine under Grenier-Lachance’s command.
Incoming Commanding Officer Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Grenier-Lachance at the CFB Edmonton Garrison, June 25, 2019. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia
In addition to its usual training and deployment tasks, the 1 Service Battalion also aids in disaster relief, including at last year’s wildfires in interior British Columbia and the 2013 Calgary floods.Last August, the 1 Service Battalion celebrated the 50th anniversary of its formation. The unit was originally located in Calgary before moving to Edmonton in firstname.lastname@example.org/jasonfherring