Language selection


PSYOPS Was Something New!

Heroes Remember

PSYOPS Was Something New!

Being the first one on anything is always difficult. Being the first rotation to Afghanistan forces in Kandahar, the infrastructure is not there, the support is not there so you are learning everything for the first time. When the follow on battle groups come in its much easier because you have set up the baseline, you’ve set the base for operations, equipment, everything else. So the mission in ’06 for PSYOPS no one had understood what PSYOPS was. The missions prior had some PSYOPS attachments but they worked for the national command element not for the battle group and the battle group was using us for the first time and weren’t sure how to employ us properly. Initially we didn’t have vehicles, they re-appropriated our vehicles for other uses. They took away some of our resources that we were supposed to have on arrival and made them available to the battle group as required and operationally they needed to make changes which happens anytime you’re there but it was a bit of a fight to get them to provide us with the equipment we needed to do our jobs. And that was a little frustrating at the start but we had just taken over from the American PSYOPS team so the battle group had never experienced that before. They didn’t understand the role necessarily, exactly what we were there to try to do and our job was to influence people through the use of different media, to get people that were leaning towards our side to completely commit to our side, to get people that were uncommitted to lean towards our side and to provide information for the NATO forces. So it was a very new thing for Canada to have this psychological operations team working with them so it was painful. It was like, getting supplies and equipment was kind of like herding cats, you’d win one here, you’d win one there. I had to borrow, beg, steal to get vehicles, to get my team mounted to go out on operations. We were kind of an afterthought so you were always fighting to have relevance with the battle group and that hurt a bit because they weren’t sure how to employ us and I think as we proved ourselves on the mission, they were able to understand a bit more what our role was and how we were employed and what we could do to be an enabler for them. And loud speaker operations were a very good thing where we would call people to leave the area. Where NATO forces moving in, if you’re a non-fighting element you should leave now, protect yourselves, get your children, get your animals, leave and we would broadcast these messages if we were going in to do cordon and searches because we didn’t want to have collateral damage. And so once the battle group saw that we could be an effective tool to be used then we became a little more relevant to the battle group.

As part of this newly developed unit, Mr. McCue expresses the roles and responsibilities of their team when working beside the battle group during operations.

Robert McCue

Mr. Robert McCue was born August 22, 1972 in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. During his youth, he joined the air cadets and contributes this as a turning point towards a military career. Joining the Reserves, Mr. McCue became a part of the South Alberta Lighthorse Unit formerly known as the South Alberta Regiment. He accepted a deployment to Bosnia in 2003 as an infantry section commander, holding rank of sergeant. Later, he accepted a position with a newly developed unit, PSYOPS and deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. During this time Mr. McCue worked for Canada Post. Having a strong interest in military history and respecting the contributions made by his grandfather during WWI, Mr. McCue had the opportunity to travel as part of the delegation to Vimy in celebration of the 100th anniversary, an honour he will cherish for a lifetime. Mr. McCue presently resides in Edmonton, Alberta with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
April 3, 2017
Person Interviewed:
Robert McCue
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI)

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: