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Preparation and Training in Germany

Heroes Remember

Preparation and Training in Germany

When I joined, I mean I’m a product of the Cold War, so I grew up with the Russians basically being the enemy, and so when I joined the armed forces, you know, the Cold War had been going on so long that it was a foregone conclusion that yeah, I’d probably go over to Germany to serve. And as I worked my way through basic training and battle school and it was decided I was going to join the Royal Canadian Regiment. Once I finished battle school I went to Winnipeg and joined 3RCR and they were getting ready to go over to Germany in the summer of 1988. It was, it’s kind of hard to describe, I mean you talk to your kids about the Cold War and they have absolutely no idea that, and we were going over there to man positions that had been manned for decades right on the Czechoslovakian border would be were we would go if the balloon ever went up and everybody was really happy and proud to have a chance to go to Germany. Germany was, because of how many NATO soldiers were in Germany, everybody went to a certain training cycle so as Canadians. We always did the fall exercise in the September time frame. We always went to a base called Sennelager which is a British base in the late fall. We always did patrol X training in the mountains and forests of Germany in the spring and then, and the cycle was constant. It was, every year you were pretty much doing the exact same thing. And then garrison duties are courses, running courses, attending courses and so it was always kind of of the same, but it was very busy. Very busy I mean, but instead of being away from home for months on end, we were at home for weeks. And then even the families got accustomed to every year we were gone at the same time. So there wasn’t a fast ball thrown in. And working with other armies, when we deployed to Germany in 1988, the fall exercise or the fall concentration of NATO soldiers from what I remember was the largest concentration of NATO soldiers in Germany since the end of World War Two. So here I am, you know,overseas with 50,000 American, British, you know, NATO soldiers doing this amazing exercise, driving through the German countryside. It was, it was an amazing experience, and very realistic, you know, considering we were there because of the cold war, we were there representing NATO.

Mr. MacDonald speaks about the training and preparation he received as a soldier.

Ross MacDonald

Mr. Ross MacDonald was born April 4, 1967 in Peterborough, Ontario. His parents immigrated from the United Kingdom to Canada in 1960. After graduating from high school, Ross tried the college life, but because of his interest in the outdoors and strong involvement in sports he decided to join the army. At age 20, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in Petawawa, Ontario joining 3 Royal Canadian Regiment. As part of his training, Mr. MacDonald travelled and lived in Germany for two years. In 1992, Mr. MacDonald joined 3 RCR November Company Group on a tour to Sarajevo to provide humanitarian aid and supplies to the besieged city. Because of his service, Mr. MacDonald was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Commendation. Due to medical release, Mr. MacDonald left the military, but continued to work with the soldiers needing support under the OSSIS program, a government position he holds today.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Ross MacDonald
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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