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RCD vs. LdSH (RC)


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I've searched and scrolled through all the pages of the armour forum, however I can't find what I'm looking for specifically.

I am an officer cadet pursuing the armoured trade in the regular force.

My question is, what are the pro's and con's of RCD and LdSH (RC)?

Keep in mind that I am young and single, and being from the area, I know Petawawa isn't the place to be if you are both those.  ;D

Any personal stories or input would be greatly appreciated.
Usually there is only a geographical difference between most military units.  However, in this case, there is a large difference.  The RCD has become a recce regiment (some would call it a surveillance regiment) and the LdSH(RC) has become a direct fire regiment.  Although it does have 1 recce sqn, it also has several direct fire sqn (currently Leopard but will have MGS) and a coy of inf (organized as a TOW coy) attached to it. All armour officers are trained the same way, so you begin with the same set of skills, albeit, the LdSH staff in Gagetown slightly longer to learn direct fire skills.  Do a search of the armour forum for many additional details.
Being a Strat and a ex RCD I would have to say go Strat. Just because of Location.  However if morale and good unit cohesion is important to you than go RCD..
gifrank said:
Being a Strat and a ex RCD I would have to say go Strat. Just because of Location.  However if morale and good unit cohesion is important to you than go RCD..

Obviously morale and good unit cohesion are very important to me.  I'm sure the LdSH (RC) can't be that bad.  I am really leaning towards LdSH (RC) strictly because of location.  I'm actually from Pembroke, and I know what the location there is like.  Not the best at all, especially when you are young and single.

Thanks everyone for your input, and if anyone wants to try to sell me furthur, please do so!
It has been my experience thus far (and heard it from several ex Strathconas, now RCD) that LdSH(RC) was, is, always will be an Officers Regiment.  I know in my Unit, my Troop leaders have always been friendly, approachable (through proper channels) and seldom got the vibe that they believed they were miles above me. I would never consider re-badging from the RCD - it is an outstanding organization.  I'm sure the LdSH(RC) is the same to those in that Unit.  It all boils down to what you're looking for.  I am envious of the Strathconas for many of the luxuries they have that the RCD will never have, such as their historic (operational) fleet of armoured vehicles, their famed Horse mounted Troop, and the extra money that comes from their wealthy benefactors.  You know what Pembroke / Petawawa is like, and if you have the urge to expand yourself, go LdSH(RC).  We're all part of the Corps.
Thought I heard at one point, Strathconas are known for keeping there fleets of vehicles in unbelieveable shape in terms of maintenance.
Depends on who you're getting the information from.  I've found that all Armoured Units tend to bi!@* and moan about the others WRT to vehicles.  "When we got to such and such theatre, the vehicles that blankety blank Regiment turned over to us were deplorable....."  I think it's safe to say that ALL armoured crewman know that their vehicle is their bread & butter and that they are best served by keeping it in good shape, cause if your vehicle is grounded.......... so are you.  ;)

Thanks for your very insightful response.  This is of great help to me making my decision.  In terms of calling LdSH (RC) an "officer's regiment", could I ask you to elaborate furthur.  Being an officer cadet, and soon to be 2ndLt., I can tell you that I will step into my role, with training, however no experience.  I know experience is crucial in the military (that is why I am participating with the reserves during school, to gain valuable career experience to allow me to continually improve), and therefore I can tell you that I will NOT be that "cocky 2ndLt. who thinks he/she knows everything!". 

I am hoping that I will be able to be developed and supported when needed by the senior NCO's, and my superiors.  It has been my experience that with NCO's, as with anyone, if you are respectful and do not pretend to know everything, they will support you when needed.  Now I am not saying that I will pass of my duties, I completely understand that in taking my position, I adopt many duties that are MY duties, and that I can only be gently "guided" certain times while doing these duties.  I hope you get my drift where I'm going with this paragraph...

I am not trying to get off topic, just looking for furthur clarification as to what you meant by an "officer's regiment".

Thanks again

I wouldn't say the Regiment's officers were "cocky".  It's difficult to explain, but I'll give it a try as best I can. If you go back to Britain at the height of it's power, when Officer's bought their commissions, the result was you had the rich, educated upper crust of society in the officers positions while the enlisted men were the rabble of society.  There was a very real rift between the officers and men.  The impression that I've gotten (mainly from ex-Strathcona's now RCD so take this with a grain of salt, there could be some bitterness from them) is that the officers of this Regiment are similar (Not saying they think they are better, but would rather go along the lines of the separation between their rank/position is much more defined than other Regiments)  Perhaps I could say without offending anyone that they are more formal than the RCD in this regard.  Perhaps this is an "urban military myth" about the officers.  Again, I only have 5 years experience and none with the LdSH(RC), so you'd really have to find the good folk of the Regiment to give you an in depth explanation of that Regiment.  There's always going to be rivalry between Regiments and I believe it's a good thing as it fosters pride in your own Regiment (Just always remember that we're part of the same team)  I can say that for the most part, the officer's of the RCD are very approachable to their men, and our cohesion is very good.  Like I said though, you know what Pet / Pembroke has to offer to a single young guy, so perhaps it would be good for you to go west.  (Another point of Strat envy.............. TANKS!  :'( )

Just wait around, I'm sure you'll get more posts from many others to help you along.  Slim and Allan Luomala are proverbial fountains of knowledge, very informative and carry a few decades of experience to draw from. Both are LdSH(RC)
Quag said:
I am not trying to get off topic, just looking for furthur clarification as to what you meant by an "officer's regiment".

The officers in that Regiment have a tendency to care more about their own interests than the welfare of their own troops.....

This has been relayed to me over the years by persons who were or still are in the LDSH(RC).

Some say it started when the 8CH from Germany was begining to roto back to Canada and the majority of the officers at the time went out west, instead of going to Pet or the school.

Hopefully this has stopped.

Hey well i can tell you from being in both regiments that i prefer the RCD i am a proud dragoon as well the recce role and subsequent training is excellent our regiment has true morale and our PT standard is very high not to put down the strats but again i served in the LDSH (RC) and now a dragoon and i cannot see myself in any other role than the recce one now . good luck to ya
LOL - Mitch, Welcome to Army.ca  -  One of the steals we got from the Strats!  ;)  You did the Regiment proud on Ironman.
Hello Everyone,

Thank you very much for taking the time (especially Reccecrewman with his very detailed, and extremely informed explanation) to provide me with information and your personal stories.  They have benefited me, and hopefully other people that read this post, a great deal.  I completely understand what you mean now about the "officer regiment". 

I know I am only one, however I can assure everyone that this is not the way I will carry out my duty.  I believe it should be crucial for an officer to stay close and approachable with his troops, and not create a grossly defined seperation in rank, as the officer is there to SERVE his/her troops.  Without the troops, an officer is nothing.

Back on topic, thank-you Mitch83 and Franko for your input.  I have taken note of it.

Any other stories, antidotes, or "salesman tactics ;D"?

Thank you

I'm a Dragoon officer on ERE right now and I have greatly enjoyed my Regimental service.  As such I'd advise you to go RCD, but I'm hardly a biased observer.  I have never served in the LdSH but I did hang out with them a bit in the Fall and they were a good bunch of guys. 

One thing about location.  As an officer you will not remain in Petawawa or Edmonton indefinately.  You will move every three years or so.  Another thing to remember is family support.  If you get married and live in Pet, being from Pembroke means that you have instant babysitters/etc.  That may look far off right now but there it is.  Regarding the single life, if a group of subbies can't organize weekend trips to Ottawa then they don't deserve girlfriends.  When you go on deployment it is also handy to have family near as well.

Regarding tours, the RCD have been very busy for the past three years.  Of the cohorts of subbies who arried in 02, 03 and 04 I'm having a hard time thinking of one who did not deploy but was able to do so.  Not all went as Troop Leaders, but most did.  The Recce role is in demand operationally, while the DFS bit is still in development and "waiting parts".  That in itself may be attractive (new role), but in the short term Recce Tps are the ones that deploy.

I wouldn't obsess about it, as its not like you really have a choice.  >:D



p.s. Do you play hockey?
2Bravo said:
p.s. Do you play hockey?

Haha...yes..quite competitively.  I've played Tier II Junior A.

Thanks for your input, it puts a new spin on things.
If I was in your shoes I would go RCD. Like 2B said you are from that area. Its always nice to be close to home. As for being stuck in Pet you will only be there for a few years as an officer and then shipped off somewheres anyways. But if you want to see the west coast well then LDSH would be the way to go. I know alot of guys at the school re badged to go there just for its location. Then I see alot of guys re badge RCD because its closer to the east coast. It all up to you and what you want. Down here at the school guys change cap badges all the time depending on the location on were they want to go. And from what I hear both regt are about the same now. This is from the Cpl level. Moral is the same throughout. But the LDSH do have alot more money than the RCD. They do have a riding troop. So it all comes down to what you want. So do what ever suites you best. You must be on course now, ask some of the officers at the school what they thought of each place.
There is an homey old saying that goes: "Same dog, different leg". Or "same shit, different pile". I have been RCD (88-93, in Pet and Gagetown), 8CH (93-96, Gagetown) and LdSH(RC) (96-present, Edmonton and Gagetown (in the school)). People are people, and I have seen great Strats (officers and NCM'), shitty ones (of both), great and shitty RCDs, Hussars, RBC, etc, etc. Each Regt has it's "quirks" and I will admit the the Strat's have a little bit of the DYCO (dashing young cavalry officer) mentality, which can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on time and place. The Mounted troop is a pretty good thing, from a pride and historical aspect, but a bit of a drain on manning (even though someone pointed out it is "only" 17 PY's..... you give me "only" 17 of your PY's for an exercise or a tour, or a full year, and let me know how you miss them).

Here's a thought: have you thought about going 12e RBC? I used to have a bit of a hate on for the RBC (borne of ignorance and jealousy), but have come to see that if you want to advance in the CF, you definitely have to be bilingual, and you aren't going to get that level of functionality without doing time in the "Douxieme". They have a level of esprit de corps and cameraderie that put the other 2 regiments to shame (IMO), and have a much better work ethic on the whole (sorry all the Dragoons and Strats who think that they can do no wrong).

I was initially going to weigh in by saying go RCD, as that was my first Regiment (like first loves, you don't really get over your first Regt), and I had a very good go at the Regt and in C Sqn RCD in Gagetown, and it seemed to get worse as I changed Regiments. But I have come to realize that it was the change in the CF more than the change in the individual regiments (change in drinking policy, older soldiers joining, soldiers hanging out together less, more frequent tours, exercises getting shorter, Generation XBox joining, soldiers getting older and family taking priority over socializing, and on and on). As mentioned, we are in an era of "velcro hatbadges" (as I call it), whereby you can change hatbadges a lot easier than before (and people do it for their own reasons (location) moreso than prior, where service needs dictated a change in Regt affiliation rather than personal preference). Having said this, it seems to be a LOT easier to do this at the School, rather than trying to move from Regt to Regt. I have seen quite a few officers rebadge here at the School (for both service and personal reasons), so it isn't like you are joining a "clan" and it takes an act of parliament to change that decision.

As mentioned, there are pro's and con's for each Regiment (location being number one in my mind), but each have their own merits, and it is really up to you which one will suit you more. And it's not like you are "stuck" with your decision for your whole career: as an officer, you will move around a lot (probably more than you care to after you start having a family life), and you will see that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

The Mounted troop is a pretty good thing, from a pride and historical aspect, but a bit of a drain on manning (even though someone pointed out it is "only" 17 PY's..... you give me "only" 17 of your PY's for an exercise or a tour, or a full year, and let me know how you miss them).

Allan, it was I who said it and you are comparing apples and oranges. 

Your Regiment is manned according to its organizational structure (with or without the SMT).  Therefore, the SMT is not a drain on the Regiment's "operational" resources.  Moreover, the SMT provides an excellent opportunity for young soldiers to conduct an "ERE posting" and do something differently.

In essence, you get rid of the SMT and you also get rid of the 17 PY's and you sentence young troopers to years of Regimental service with no chance of doing something different.  I'm surprised you don't understand this.
Quag said:
Haha...yes..quite competitively.  I've played Tier II Junior A.

Thanks for your input, it puts a new spin on things.

When you clear into F104 you should wear your DEU.  Introduce yourself to the CO's secretary and ask to see the Adjt.  Bring your CADPAT along and change after coffee before heading down to the Sqn lines.  Your will have received your accoutrements at the badging but make sure you stop by AO HQ Sqn to settle your officer's fund account.  We have at least one Cent Room happy hour a month and coffee everyday at 0900 after PT. 



Disclosure: I should start by saying I did 22 years in the 8CH(PL) and 7 years and counting as a Strat - Tpr to WO -. Pet/Cornwallis/Lahr/Gagetown/Edmonton/St. Jean etc.

My advice - for what it is worth - would be to go 12RBC.

1. You will, at a young age, be fully immersed into a language you will need to become fluent in, and - trust me on this - this should be done BEFORE the life of an armoured soldier destroys your hearing through diesel engines, track vibration, loud radios through headsets and gunfire.

2.  Quebec City is a vibrant, friendly town full of well educated and cultured young ladies - if you look for them.

3. Close to home, close to Gagetown, close to Ottawa, close to Kingston: your four most important places in the next thirty years of your life.

4. So you wanna see the west?  Go RSS Vancouver someday.  As for the prairies, we will see you here at CMTC soon.  ;D

As always, I am open to criticism from others on my logic.