The signing of the Change of Command Scrolls, presided over by 4th Canadian Division Commander Brigadier General Conrad Mialkowski (seated centre), marked the official handover from outgoing 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) Commander Colonel Jason Adair (seated right) to the incoming Commander Colonel Eric Landry (seated left). Standing in back are 4th Canadian Division Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Keith Olstad (back left) and 2 CMBG Sergeant Major CWO Michael Forest (back right). The 2 CMBG Change of Command ceremony was held at the Normandy Officers Mess on Friday, August 21, and was attended by only a handful of guests to respect COVID-19 precautions. (Photo by Able Seaman Elizabeth Ross, Canadian Armed Forces Imagery Technician)
2 CMBG welcomes new Brigade Commander Colonel Eric Landry
By Lisa Brazeau
Posted on Thursday September 3, 2020
In his final address as 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) Commander, Colonel Jason Adair reflected on the 5,000 Canadian military members who landed at Dieppe 78 years ago. He compared the Canadians who fought there “valiantly, against all odds,” to those he had the honour of commanding for the past two years.
“Today, just like in 1942, our ranks remain filled with spirited Canadians who ... proudly wear the cloth of our nation,” he said. “We choose duty before self and we prepare every day for the worst case.
“Your infectious spirit coupled with your discipline, irreverence, and light heartedness inspires and motivates me, but at the same time it keeps me grounded,” he added. “I’ve learned more from you that I could have ever taught you - I hope I’ve lived up to your expectations. You certainly lived up to mine.”
On August 21, 2 CMBG bid farewell to Col Adair, welcoming incoming Commander Colonel Eric Landry.
Social distancing protocols, which have become the new normal, have caused the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to forego some elements of the traditional Change of Command. In lieu of a parade square filled with soldiers from 2 CMBG, the proceedings were available on the Brigade Facebook page to allow the community to witness this important event.
Col Adair assumed command in June of 2018, and the following September the brigade embarked on the year-long Road to High Readiness.
In March of this year, a contingent of Brigade personnel and equipment had deployed to Wainwright for Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 20, a multinational training exercise to confirm the brigade’s readiness for deployment. Though it was subsequently cancelled due to COVID-19, “we turned the ship around and ensured we readied ourselves for domestic operations and international deployments,” noted Col Adair. “Canada does not defend on the goal line.”
Today the Brigade has 550 soldiers deployed, he said, and will deploy a Task Force based on 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2 RCHA) to the Ukraine in October.
In addition to his great appreciation for the soldiers, sailors, air men and women of the Brigade, he also extended his heartfelt thanks to Brigade Sergeant Major Chief Warrant Officer Michael Forest for his always sound advice, compassion and loyalty; and gratitude to his family for their unwavering patience and support.
Col Adair also praised the Brigade’s commanders, from the Section 2 ICs to the Commanding Officers.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” he said. “Never be apologetic about caring, not coddling but genuinely caring, putting others first and being restlessly passionate and endlessly curious about our profession, ensuring you do everything you can to ready your teams for the worst case.”
Turning to the incoming Commander, Col Adair remarked he could think of “no one better prepared or suited to command this fighting formation.
“You are answering this command with a deep sense of humility. You epitomize what this brigade stands for. You are thoughtful, you are a warrior, and I know that you’ll fulfill the covenant of trust that comes with command.”
The intimate ceremony, held both in person and virtually, was presided over by 4th Canadian Division Commander Brigadier-General (BGen) Conrad Mialkowski and included the traditional signing of command scrolls.
The Division Commander also presented Col Adair with a Commander’s Coin, a representation of “the acts of your leadership, of your attention, of your professionalism and the dedication where you wholeheartedly threw your spirit into everything that this Brigade did.”
Changes of Command ceremonies, BGen Mialkowski said, are bitter sweet occasions, opportunities to both celebrate and reflect. But they are also acts of confidence in the individuals receiving the mantle of leadership.
“Eric, you are exactly the right person, the right leader at the right time,” he said of the incoming commander, describing him as highly motivated, adaptable and professional.
Col Landry comes to the Brigade from his former position as 1st Canadian Air Division Chief of Staff. He is the 16th Commander of 2 CMBG since its reformation in 1995.
In his inaugural address, he recalled his first visit to Petawawa in 1993 to attend the pre-course for the Basic Parachute Course.
“At that time, I never thought I’d be back here 27 years later to accept command of this Brigade,” he said.
He commended the outgoing commander for preparing the Brigade for the challenges ahead; “you really set me up for success.
“Colonel Adair’s determination to improve the capabilities of the Brigade has left me with quite the legacy to live up to; I am grateful to him for leaving me such a daunting task.”
He noted the Road to High Readiness is never easy, especially when travelled during such uncertain times.
“I, however, am confident that the warriors of this Brigade will continue to deliver the highest levels of support to the division regardless of the obstacles in our path,” he added. “I am certain that every soldier and civilian employee will continue to excel and together we will be a force that Canadians continue to be proud of.”