With The Flair Only a Mounted Unit Can Provide
There’s a new boss in the driver seat of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment, and he’s eager to expand the regiment like never before. Lt.–Col. Christopher Hunt was promoted on parade at the Calgary Military Museum on June 4, 2016, which included a mounted roll-past by the soldiers and officers of the King’s Own. His goal as commander is to use social media as a key tool in recruiting new soldiers for the regiment, and expanding community outreach programs.
“We’re looking for new soldiers, we want to train more soldiers, we want to grow,” Hunt said in an interview with CBC. “And we’re actually looking at plans to expand our footprint and better engage some of the surrounding communities of Calgary.”
The outgoing commanding officer, Lt.-Col. Ross Wickware, was given a fanfare-filled departure from the regiment, as he crossed the parade square for the last time, mounted on a Sherman tank. He waved enthusiastically to the crowd, then shared a high-five with his wife as they rode off parade.
Wickware says that Hunt is right for the job, in part because he’s already began expanding awareness about the regiment using social media. He notes that recruitment is already on the rise thanks to the regular use of social media, a crucial tool in today’s age.
“Our soldiers are now making videos of their adventures and posting them on the internet and that’s actually creating a swell of people that want to come and soldier with us,” said Wickware. The regiment’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts are slowly filling up with media from the soldiers’ experiences, both on and off the field.
Most recently, the regiment has shared shots from their latest field exercise in South Dakota, and a charity event for the Special Olympics AB. One of the regiment’s soldiers participated in a 600-Km cycling journey retracing Canada’s military history in Italy, and shared updates along the way. It’s this type of outreach that Hunt hopes will bring more attention to the work the regiment does.
In his speech at the parade, Hunt highlighted his intent to ensure that Calgarians get to know the King’s Own, and to ensure that citizens are “proud to be our neighbors”. With their increased social media presence, and upcoming events like rappelling off the Calgary Tower, Hunt hopes the regiment will continue to grow and be an integral part of the community.
(Follow the regiments activity on their Twitter at @KingsOwnYYC, or on Facebook at @KingsOwnRegimentAssociation.)