The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s) is a Canadian Army Reserve infantry battalion with a storied past, a proud present, and a bright future. Its home since raised in 1903 is Major John Weir Foote VC Armouries, Hamilton, Ontario.
The Regiment fought with distinction in Canada’s major 20th Century wars, earning 34 Battle Honours. Since the 1990s, over 130 Argylls served overseas on Canadian military operations, including Cyprus, Bosnia and other parts of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, Sudan, and Afghanistan. Some Argylls may well be deployed overseas today.
While reserve service is a part-time vocation, Reservists may volunteer for full-time deployments and in the event of an emergency such as a war or invasion may be required to serve full time in Canada or overseas.
In 2013, the Regiment received its 35th Battle Honour, Afghanistan, in recognition of its contribution to that campaign.
The Infantry’s job is “to close with and destroy the enemy, by day or by night, regardless of weather, season or terrain”. While no easy task, the Regiment is well equipped and its soldiers train to the very highest standard, are mentally and physically robust, and fiercely proud of their regiment.
The Argylls bring some of the most powerful, high-tech weaponry to the battlespace, including its primary weapon, the C7 rifle. It quickly switches from semi-automatic to automatic fire, and is equipped with a laser-enhanced scope and grenade launcher. Other weapons include the C6 medium machinegun, the C9 light machinegun, 84mm (Carl Gustav) anti-tank gun, and the 66mm light antitank weapon.
As infantry soldiers, Argylls must think on their feet, react and interact, use their initiative, and play multiple roles – sometimes a police officer, most other times a soldier in the classic sense.
Argylls are also re-builders and healers, deploying in the wake of hurricanes, floods and earthquakes to bring medicine, food and hope.
Argyll Recruits begin their military careers with Basic Training, learning the core skills and knowledge they need to succeed in a military environment. Training emphasizes basic military skills, weapons handling, first aid and ethical values. Physical fitness is an integral component of military service, so a large part of the course is fitness training.
Following graduation, Argylls continue to develop their soldierly skills, advancing to handling heavier weapons like machine guns, anti-tank weapons and grenades, and learning communications, camouflage, fieldcraft, moving and fighting by day and night, reconnaissance and other patrolling, and digging-in.
Moreover, individual training quickly escalates into collective training by section, platoon, and company, culminating in the all-arms battle group in the deliberate attack, advance to contact, quick attack, fighting patrols, defensive operations, and domestic operations.
Ongoing training continuously sharpens the Regiment’s Infantry skills, keeping it and its members mission-ready.
All training places a strong emphasis on live-fire tactical exercises at the section, platoon and company level, providing Argylls with outstanding, realistic and exciting training in field operations.
Training runs on an annual cycle:
Annual training culminates in a one to two week long large-scale field training exercise with other units, and arms such as Armoured and Artillery units. Recent 4th Canadian Division exercises saw Argylls training hard in offensive operations in the Arctic and CFB Petawawa, and conducting domestic operations training in the Welland Canal area.
Developing leaders and broadening the skills and experience of its soldiers is a high priority for the Regiment.
Soldiers who excel attend specialty skills courses such as parachutist, recce patrolman, machine-gunner, anti-tank gunner, signals operator and driver.
The Regiment selects Argylls with strong leadership potential to attend promotion qualification courses. With promotion comes the challenge of taking responsibility for those under command, and the opportunity to exercise leadership skills.
“I have been a soldier for nearly 40 years, working with many different units, teams and soldiers. My best experiences, my best friends and some of my most rewarding challenges were as an Argyll.”
LCol Tom Compton, former Commanding Officer
“Reservists make great employees, second to none. Dedicated, committed and hard working.”
Stephen Mangotich, former general manager, AIM, Hamilton Operations
Few civilian jobs require the leadership and people managing skills demanded by the Army. Even at the most junior levels, say the second-in-command of a Rifle Section of eight soldiers – a Master Corporal – being a leader is a demanding job that puts a young person in a position of responsibility for the tactical employment, welfare and administration of seven other soldiers.
Organizations want employees who are quick to grasp new ideas and techniques. Reservist training and development specifically prepares Argylls for any challenge.
Employers like people who get things done. Reservists are trained to take action no matter how difficult the task
Few jobs are as demanding as being in a real or simulated combat situation.
Planning is vital to every military activity so Argylls have plenty of experience deciding how to achieve objectives as effectively as possible, within time and resource constraints.
Employers want staff who can resolve problems for them. Reservists learn how to look at a problem from all angles, taking into account the resources available, risk factors, and so on.
Argylls have experience working in numerous teams as well as with people from all walks of life and cultures.
Reservists also develop a whole range of practical skills, such as health and safety. Weapons and parade drill help give them precision, coordination and accuracy - useful skills if they use expensive machinery or technology in their civilian careers. On top of which they learn military skills that enable them to routinely practice resourcefulness, perseverance and the ability to improvise in unfamiliar or difficult circumstances.
Argylls possess personal qualities such as reliability, integrity and confidence.