General Information

Career Information

Current Events

Transitions (NEWS)

Events / Calendar


Photos and Articles


The Glen (newsletter)

The Regiment


Honours & Awards

Regimental Association

Regimental Museum

Pipes and Drums

Regt'l Organizations


Soldier Assistance

Affiliates, Allies & Friends

Prose and Music


Detailed History

Return to Main Page



Cover Photos 2007 - 2010
Click thumbnails to enlarge

For covers in other years see 2004-2006 | 2007-2010 | 2007-Current

Cover Photo


Nov 2010

Freedom of the City is an ancient military tradition that The Calgary Highlanders have enjoyed in Calgary since 1964. The tradition dates back to medieval times, and  symbolizes a municipality's trust and respect for a military unit. The privilege today permits a unit to march with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and Colours flying through the streets. The current Canadian rite, as it has evolved, often involves the Commanding Officer knocking on the door of City Hall, from which the Mayor or civic official will appear to read a proclamation, such as that reproduced at left. Click here for full view of the proclamation.

Photo courtesy Nancy Desilets,

Oct 2010

To commemorate the Centennial year, the Regimental Pipes and Drums produced their second ambitious recording entitled Airaghardt: ONWARD. The title refers to the Regimental Motto, rendered in both Gaelic and English, a motto shared with the City of Calgary. As with the first recording, the tracks are a mixture of standard regimental tunes, combined with non-traditional music such as a rousing rendition of "Haughs of Cromdale". Also included on the CD are two historical recordings taken from radio broadcasts of the 1st Battalion's return to Calgary from war service in November 1945. This is the second professional music recording by the Pipes and Drums; the first was in 1990. Details of both can be found on this page.

Sep 2010

In July 2008, Major Simon Cox was a captain serving in Afghanistan as a mentor to the Afghan National Army. On 25 March 2010, he was recognized for bravery and leadership under fire by the award of a Mention in Despatches at an awards ceremony in Edmonton. The presentation was made by Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie, Chief of the Land Staff. The citation for his award reads:
On July 28th 2008, the lead element of a joint Canadian-Afghan patrol was pinned down by insurgents in Zhari District, Afghanistan.  With the squad in danger of becoming encircled, Major Cox, then Captain, moved through intense enemy fire to reinforce the isolated Afghans.  Despite fierce enemy resistance, he persistently continued forward, returning a heavy volume of fire to suppress the insurgent position.  Major Cox's courage and selflessness prevented the patrol from being surrounded by a numerically superior enemy.

The Mention in Despatches has a long lineage as a reward for military service. Major Cox joins a distinguished alumni of Calgary Highlanders who have been so honoured in past wars. More information is available here.

Aug 2010

When a local Calgary clothier's store parted with their advertising sign, a giant Scotsman standing in excess of 12 feet tall, The Calgary Highlanders acquired the behemoth and repainted it in Regimental colours. The Highlander has been a fixture at Mewata Armouries for decades. It hung for many years on the east side balcony, beside the Pipes and Drums' band room, and is currently located on the north end of the building, attached to the outer wall of the Sergeants' and Warrant Officers' Mess, overlooking the parade square. Showing signs of wear, and one or two inaccuracies as dress regulations and accoutrements have changed over the years, the giant Highlander - dressed in the uniform of the regimental Drum Major - does not seem to have acquired a nickname.

Jul 2010

Over 80 serving soldiers, volunteer musicians, and friends of The Calgary Highlanders travelled to Europe during the first two weeks of June 2010 to commemorate the Centennial of the Regiment. Among a very full schedule of activities was a stop at Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, just south of Bethune on the road to Arras, on June 8th. Tucked in behind a French military and civilian graveyard, this well-tended Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery is home to 1284 Commonwealth war dead, only 978 of whom were identified. One of those interred at this site is Private Harry Brown, one of the two soldiers of the 10th Battalion to be awarded the Victoria Cross. Regimental Secretary Lieutenant Colonel Tom Manley (in blazer at center) and other members of the regimental delegation are shown paying their respects at the graveside of Private Brown, VC.

Jun 2010

Honorary Colonel Robert Gibson - "Colonel Bob" - takes the salute at the Regimental Birthday on 31 March 2010. It was announced in the Mewata Garrison Junior Ranks Club after the Centennial Parade that Colonel Gibson would be stepping down after serving as both Honorary Colonel and Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Regiment since 2001. His association with the unit, however, extends back to before the Queen's Parade in 1990, and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Vernon, described him to all the troops assembled in the mess as the "best" honorary a unit could hope to have. All serving soldiers will note his hand-written annual Christmas cards as a testament to his sincerity and devotion to the Regiment. Colonel Gibson had promised not to be going too far from the local military scene. The Regiment extends its well wishes and its ever-lasting gratitude to him for his service and the many gifts and benefits that came with it, often behind the scenes, and will miss his familiar and jovial countenance at regimental functions.

Photo courtesy 2nd Lieutenant Eddy Chau

Apr 2010

The helicopter was first used in warfare in the Second World War, and in larger numbers in the Korean War. Originally used for medical evacuation and logistics purposes, the U.S. Army and Marine Corps began to use troop carrier and gunship versions in increasingly large numbers in forward areas in Vietnam. The Canadian Forces similarly have used helicopters of various types since 1945, and in recent years Calgary Highlanders have operated with helicopters both in combat, in Afghanistan, and in training settings. The photo here shows a Calgary Highlander on foot patrol during Exercise DINOSAUR SCOUT on the weekend of 20-21 March 2010. At left is a CH-146 "Griffon" of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron which participated in the exercise. More information about this weekend can be found on this page in the Photos and Articles section of this site.

Photo courtesy Corporal M E Haywood

Feb 2010

Social events are very much part of the regimental schedule, and several appear on the calendar every year. The main photo shows two Second World War veterans of The Calgary Highlanders photographed at the annual St. Julien's dinner in 2002. The inset is Warrant Officer James MacDonald with the newborn son of Master Corporal Mik Morton-Popiel, a former Calgary Highlander, photographed at the 2010 Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess Burns Dinner, held annually in commemoration of Robbie Burns Night.

Photo by Corporal Michael Dorosh, CD; inset by Master Corporal Mik Morton-Popiel, A Company (Para), 3 PPCLI

Dec 2009

Calgary Highlanders on the heavy weapons range in Wainwright during Exercise HEAVY METAL, November 20-22, 2009. A C6 machine gun is firing during the night shoot; HEAVY METAL is an annual familiarization with all the platoon heavy weapons - including 84mm Carl Gustav Medium Anti-Armour Weapon, 60mm Mortar, and .50 calibre Heavy Machine Gun. The exercise also incorporates a live fire defensive exercise which allows an infantry platoon to employ the support weapons for mutual support.

Photo by Lieutenant Colonel Mike Vernon, CD

Nov 2009

Athletics have been a part of military life since time immemorial; Highland Regiments have an especially rich tradition of unique sporting and track events. Highland Games are popular events for Highland soldiers around the world. The caber toss is just one of many events in which soldiers test their physical strength and abilities against each other; the "regimental caber" was photographed at a training year-end competition at Mewata Armouries in May 2009. On a related note, Calgary Highlanders will be included among Canadian Forces personnel engaged in security and general duty missions at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.

Photo by Corporal Michael Dorosh, CD

Sep 2009

Private William Cary Brown was one of only a handful of Calgary Highlanders to be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal - second only to the Victoria Cross - during the Second World War. It was also an extremely rare award for a private soldier. On 23 October 1944, while acting as a company runner, he found a platoon's commander and all NCOs out of action, and directed the fire of the platoon's LMGs onto the enemy. Later, with the company commander and a second platoon commander wounded, he carried ammunition forward and personally directed friendly tank support under heavy fire. The photo at left, found in his company commander's personal post-war photo album, has a notation written on the back in the company commander's hand: "Brownie, DCM: A Man's Man...used to be my runner and went through everything they could throw at him. A Real Pal." Private Brown was accidentally killed in December 1944 at the age of 29 and is buried in grave V.C.13 of the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands.

Photo Collection of Bruce McKenzie, via Calgary Highlanders Archives

Jul 2009

The Battle Honours of the Regiment are proudly emblazoned on the unit's drums. By custom, only a select few of the 42 Battle Honours granted to the unit have been selected for emblazonment. The Regiment's motto, "Onward", was translated into the Gaelic Airaghardt at the time of the Regiment's 80th Anniversary - the English motto comes from the City of Calgary and is shared with the sister unit, the King's Own Calgary Regiment. The Oak Leaf, granted as an Honorary Distinction in lieu of a Battle Honour, is worn as a brass shoulder title on the service dress jacket but also appears on the regiment's drums as a device below the motto scroll. Rope tension drums, once the standard for military musicians, have long ago been abandoned, at least on the competition circuit, and rod tension drums have been the current state of the art for decades.

Photo by Corporal Michael Dorosh, CD


The first Pipe Major of the Calgary Highlanders was Hugh MacBeth, who led the Regimental Pipes and Drums from 1921 to 1923. Born in Scotland, MacBeth had immigrated to Canada, and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War, most notably in the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish), a famous unit of the 1st Canadian Division that was also the parent formation of the 10th Battalion, the forerunners of The Calgary Highlanders. MacBeth also played in The Calgary Highlanders after stepping down as Pipe Major, and is identified in the photo at left as the band's Pipe Sergeant at the time of the Canadian Pacific Railway Scottish Music Festival in Banff, probably in 1927. The CPR held a series of music and folk arts festivals from 1927 to 1931, organized by publicity agent John Murray Gibbon.

Photo courtesy Matthew Chapman

Jan 2009

Private M. Bulyea cleaning a Bren light machine gun, with a Universal Carrier in the background, photographed at Fort de Schooten, Belgium, on 4 October 1944. While the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division paused in its operations in Belgium before tackling the arduous task of advancing northwest from Antwerp and opening up the neck of the Beveland peninsula before ejecting the Germans from the northern shore of the Scheldt Estuary, the Canadian Army's Film and Photo Unit remained active throughout various units. Bulyea's appearance is not untypical for infantrymen living in field conditions; his uniform blouse has been removed in favour of a knit sweater, more practical for working in. While weapons maintenance was a daily necessity, the demands of tracked vehicles on their user's time were also not inconsiderable. The Highlanders employed Universal Carriers in several platoons, including a purpose-organized Carrier Platoon, in addition to the Mortar and Anti-Tank Platoons.

Library and Archives Canada photograph, originally by Ken Bell, Canadian Army Film & Photo Unit

Dec 2008

Traditions old and new on Remembrance Day, 2008. The poppy as a symbol of Remembrance is well known and evident on the cenotaph detail at Central Memorial Park in downtown Calgary on 11 November 2008. While The Calgary Highlanders have traditionally sent small details to various events throughout southern Alberta on Remembrance Day, this year marked the first in recent memory the Regiment as a whole deviated from the usual practice of attending the civic ceremonies usually held at the Jubilee Auditorium. RSM Emmett Kelly coordinated the attendance of the entire unit, under commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Mike Vernon, to attend the service at the cenotaph which was extremely well-attended by the public this year. The Regiment has committed to making the Central Memorial Park cenotaph service its future Remembrance Day priority.

Calgary Highlanders photograph by Corporal Michael Dorosh

Nov 2008

Master Corporal Ben Forrest leads a section of infantry through a simulated Afghanistan village during Exercise RUSTY CLAYMORE in October 2008. The Calgary Highlanders were very happy to welcome home over fifty soldiers safe and sound from war service in the month of October, but continue to train for future deployments. RUSTY CLAYMORE saw the development of fundamental infantry skills, including small unit leadership, infantry tactics, and individual weapons drills including close quarters combat.

Calgary Highlanders photograph by Corporal Michael Dorosh

Oct 2008

This famous photograph of an unfortunately anonymous soldier of the 10th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, captioned only as "Jolly Canadian" in the national archives, has been said by one historian to describe the "post-Passchendaele spirit of the Fighting Tenth." The 10th Battalion is perpetuated today by The Calgary Highlanders, and will be depicted on film in the upcoming motion picture Passchendaele scheduled for Canadian release on 17 October 2008. The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Shot on location largely in Alberta in the autumn of 2007, the story revolves around Actor-Director-Producer Paul Gross' grandfather, Sergeant Michael Dunne, who served in the 10th during the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915 and later during the fighting at Passchendaele.

Library and Archives Canada Photo; "Passchendaele" is the copyrighted property of Alliance Films

Sep 2008

Pipe Major Neil Sutherland of The Calgary Highlanders during the parade of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division in Dieppe on 3 September 1944. The Division had provided the bulk of the combat force (with several hundred British Commandos and 50 U.S. Army Rangers) during the famous Raid of August 1942, leaving behind 2,000 prisoners at the end of the day. The Calgary Highlanders' mortar platoon was sent to Dieppe but did not disembark; Sergeants Bill Lyster and Bert Pittaway were Mentioned in Despatches for shooting down a German aircraft while on anti-aircraft duties offshore. Captain Ted Insinger, assigned to a brigade headquarters, was killed while ashore. The Division returned to the European continent in July 1944; by 1 September the Battle of Normandy had been concluded and Allied forces were across the Seine River in force. The German garrison at Dieppe showed no stomach for a rematch and evacuated the city as the division approached; on 3 September 8,000 men marched 10 abreast through the city to mark the liberation and commemorate the 800 dead buried in the nearby cemetery after the 1942 battle.

Halifax Citadel Collection

Aug 2008

Sergeant Barry Agnew of the Regimental Pipes and Drums on parade, presumably in the early 1980s. Barry Agnew served as a piper in the regimental band and in civilian life is well-known for his work with the Glenbow Museum. He was later commissioned into the regiment, and is currently retired from the Forces and employed as the Curator of the Regimental Museum and Archives. The "CF Green" uniform was adopted throughout the unified Canadian Forces; it replaced Battle Dress in the Calgary Highlanders in the early 1970s. Lacking shoulder straps, a special cloth badge bearing the regimental Oak Leaf had to be devised for wear on the new uniform. As a piper, he wears a black glengarry distinctive from the red-and-white diced pattern worn by rank and file in the regiment, and his rank is distinguished by the three-bar chevron and maple leaf insignia on his sleeve as well as the traditional red sash unique to infantry regiments.

Calgary Highlanders Museum and Archives Photo

Jul 2008

Major Donald MacLauchlan leads a group of Calgary Highlanders across the Louise Bridge in Calgary in December 1939 in the top photograph; below, a comparison shot of the same location in June 2008. Calgary has seen a period of unprecedented growth in recent years, topping one million residents and is among the largest cities in terms of surface area ("urban sprawl") in North America. The 1939 photo shows the future Southern Alberta Institute of Technology building sitting alone atop the North Hill; today it is surrounded by modern construction, including high-rise residences. Louise Bridge itself has undergone modernization in recent years, with concrete guards on the sidewalks. The electric street cars have been removed long ago, and the bridge for their modern equivalent, the Light Rail Transit, can be seen in background of the 2008 photo. After the outbreak of war in 1939, the Highlanders had little in the way of modern equipment or uniforms, and route marches were one of the few forms of training available to them.

Top photo by W.J. Oliver via Glenbow Archives

Jun 2008

While emphasis of media coverage regarding the Canadian Army naturally revolves around our combat mission in Afghanistan, officers and soldiers of all ranks must also remain in Canada to keep the rest of the Army running. The struggle for individual Militia soldiers to balance two careers is an ongoing battle. In recent years some employers such as the City of Calgary have enacted legislation to provide paid time off for military reservists to attend training and respond to calls for deployment. While Calgary Highlanders gain new respect for the Regiment on foreign battlefields, soldiers like 2nd Lieutenant Gavin S. Mills continue to "keep the lights on" at home performing equally vital tasks. Lieutenant Mills joined the Regiment as a non-commissioned soldier in May 1990, participating in the Presentation of Queen's Colour ceremonies that year. Having left the CF, he re-enlisted as a Direct Entry Officer in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in June of 2000 and has performed a variety of roles in the Regiment, including infantry platoon commander, assistant adjutant, both junior and senior Colour Ensign, and was on the Colour Party in 2005 for the Royal Visit by the Colonel-in-Chief, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Most recently, Lieutenant Mills has been employed as the Unit Support Representative for Task Force 1-08. In civilian life, he until recently taught military history, social studies and English at Juno Beach Academy, and is currently employed by the Calgary public school board teaching Honours Social Studies and Honours European History for college credit to Grades 11-12.

May 2008

The 2 PPCLI website has identified Calgary Highlanders Corporal Bryan Rowlandson as the machine gunner in the first photograph of this series of pictures taken on patrol in Afghanistan. As at 6 April 2008, The Calgary Highlanders had 55 soldiers on deployment in Afghanistan.The numbers are remarkable for a reserve unit and speak to a changing culture of commitment both within the Canadian Forces and without. The City of Calgary recently enacted landmark legislation pledging to provide financial support and job security to any of its employees tasked with military duties through the reserves such as operational deployments.

Master Corporal Trevor Reid Photos

Apr 2008

Summer Camp was a traditional Militia activity from the early days of the 20th Century and through to the end of the century. Called "MILCONS" or Militia Concentrations in later years, the purpose of summer training was to collectively train units in battle tasks, as units, as well as part of larger formations and accustom them to relatively longer periods of field conditions than would be possible during the course of the normal training year with its weekend and weeknight training periods. In recent years, summers have been utilized for individual training and courses, and military concentrations have been moved to the spring. This years major Militia concentration is Exercise PRAIRIE DEFENDER and will involved units of 38 and 41 CBG operating together. Full details can be found by clicking the EXERCISES link in the top title bar, which will open a new window with the pertinent information regarding this upcoming training opportunity.

Mar 2008

Technical Quartermaster O.T. Hansen of the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment (Calgary Regiment) looks on in bewilderment at a pile of kit received with the regiment's newly issued Sherman Vc "Firefly" tanks in Dottignies, Belgium, 22 March 1945. The 103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles), formed in 1910, was reorganized after the First World War and split to form both the Calgary Highlanders and the Calgary Regiment. In 1941, the Calgary Regiment mobilized the 14th Canadian Army Tank Regiment, which fought famously at Dieppe and was later renamed the 14th Canadian Armoured Regiment before sailing for the Italian Campaign in the summer of 1943. Equipped with Sherman tanks, the regiment fought in several famous campaigns in support of Canadian, British, Indian, New Zealand and American infantry before moving to Northwest Europe in early 1945, where it finished the war as part of First Canadian Army. In 1949, the unit was renamed to become the King's Own Calgary Regiment, the title it still bears today. In 2010 both the Calgary Highlanders and the King's Own will commemorate their 100th birthday.

Public Archives of Canada Photo

Jan 2008

Corporal Dave Parry on top of a Canadian M113 armoured personnel carrier in the former Yugoslavia during his tour of duty with Roto 4 of UNPROFOR in the autumn of 1994. The M113 is still in use in Afghanistan, referred to as a TLAV. The green armour on the commanders hatch is part of the ACAV (Armored Cavalry Assault Vehicle) kits retrofitted to Canadian vehicles for duty in the Balkans. The ACAV kits had originally been added to US Army M113 vehicles in Vietnam in the 1960s, and provided additional armoured protection for the crew commander (providing all around protection as well as an armoured gun shield for the .50 calibre machine gun mounted at his station) as well as two side-mounted gunshields (one is visible at left) which in US service housed the M60 machine gun. Corporal Parry wears a blue painted kevlar helmet, which phased into Canadian service in the 1990s.

Christian McEachern Photo

Dec 2007

Calgary Highlanders on parade to mark the 80th Anniversary of the raising of the Regiment, 1 April 1990. The FN C1A1 assault rifle became the standard service rifle of the Canadian Army in 1957, replacing the bolt action Lee Enfield rifle, and continued in service into the early 1990s when it was replaced with the C7. In 1990, the distinctive green DEU jacket had only been in service for a couple of years; the uniform today remains largely identical to that worn in 1990, though the Force Mobile Command badge worn on the breast pocket has been replaced with that of Land Force Command.

Calgary Sun Photo

Nov 2007

In October 2007, in conjunction with the annual commemoration of the Battle of Walcheren Causeway, The Calgary Highlanders conducted a Change of Command Parade. From left to right in the photo are: Colonel Art Wriedt, Commander 41 Canadian Brigade Group; incoming CO Lieutenant Colonel Mike Vernon; Regimental Adjutant Captain Hugh McReynolds, attached from The Royal Canadian Regiment; and the Queen's Colour ensign.

Photo courtesy Warrant Officer Bailey

Sep 2007

In the 1950s, the Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery in Ontario produced a series of colour plates depicting officers of Canadian Highland Regiments.  The prints are today collector's items, and are notable in some cases for being more fanciful than truthful.  The print depicting an officer of The Calgary Highlanders, however, does give an interpretation of what the most advanced state of Ceremonial Dress for the Regiment would be if it decided to make such uniforms a priority. The scarlet jacket (or "redcoat") was the standard field dress of the British Army from the late 1600s to the early days of the 20th Century, and continues to be the idealized ceremonial dress uniform of Commonwealth infantry regiments (excepting Rifle Regiments). Many items depicted in the Hiram Walker prints are actually worn today by officers, including the sword ("claymore"), kilt, badger head sporran, red/white hose, sword belt, officers' shoulder sash, tartan plaid, and brooch. Scarlet jackets and feather bonnets, however, are only worn by drummers of The Calgary Highlanders, and the fullest expression of ceremonial dress has never been achieved. The reintroduction of distinctive Service Dress uniforms (the Distinctive Environment Uniform, or DEU) in the late 1980s has provided the Canadian Forces with a distinctive "Army" uniform that is both practical and economical, while still allowing the major components of "Highland Dress" to be worn with pride.

May 2007

Drum Major Pat Gibson, photographed on the balcony at Mewata Armouries in November 1985 by John Skrypnyk of the Calgary Herald. The giant Highlander has been a fixture at the armouries for over two decades. When a McLeod Bros. men's clothing store was being demolished to make way for the Centre for Performing Arts in downtown Calgary, the building's owner gave the sign to the Regiment. Drummer Chris Linford repainted the sign in regimental uniform.

10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association Heritage Section Archives Photo.

Mar 2007

Kayla Miko (recruit-soon-to-be-in-the-year-2021) with "Grandpa" Mark, known to the recruits of the current BMQ course as Master Corporal Nussbaumer. Mark Nussbaumer is a long serving Junior NCO and presently is the Transport NCO of the Regiment.

The Calgary Highlanders are currently preparing to participate in the largest deployment of reserve troops overseas since the PANDA battalions of the 1950s. Some 500 reservists from across Canada are preparing to go to Afghanistan; several dozen Calgary Highlanders will go with them. 

Photo courtesy of Jana & Jesse Miko.

cover012007.png (274388 bytes)
Jan 2007

General A.J.G. de Chastelain, former Chief of the Defence Staff, who served an unprecedented two terms in that office. General de Chastelain, now retired from the military, was honoured at the 2006 Calgary Leadership Dinner by the award of the Leonard J. Birchall Award. General de Chastelain started his military career as a piper in the Calgary Highlanders Regiment Pipes and Drums. Also present at the event, pictured below, was current CDS General Rick Hillier. Former Honorary Colonel Fred Mannix was also honored at the event with the General Sir Arthur Currie Award.

Photos courtesy Brigadier General Ross, via Captain Fiona McLean

The information on this website is intended for a specific audience within a defined geographic area and therefore all content appears in English only.