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Canadian Army Exercise Patches, 2003-2006

January 4, 2014

© Bill Alexander 2014

The Canadian Armed Forces Land Force Central Area embarked on a new three year training cycle for the reserve units of Ontario in 2003. The culmination of the training year was an annual summer concentration called Exercise Stalwart Guardian, held in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Exercise Stalwart Guardian combined reservists from 31, 32, and 33 Brigade Group into one formation known as 3 Light Brigade Group. The Light Brigade Group included composite infantry battalions made up of soldiers from the infantry regiments, which were designated 31, 32 and 33 Light Infantry Battalions. Ontario reservists from artillery and engineer units and area support units also contributed personnel to form composite operational units for the exercises. To identify these units and the exercise staff, small patches were produced to be worn in place of the nationality patch on the cadpat and combat uniforms.

Stalwart Guardian 2003. A member of the First Hussars wearing the 3 CAR patch. DND photo.

Stalwart Guardian 2003. A member of the First Hussars wearing the 3 CAR patch. DND photo.

For 2003 and the two subsequent Stalwart Guardian Exercises, a series of approximately 18 identifying patches were issued for infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, signals, logistics and other supporting branches and exercise control and support staff. Some changes in the series of patches took place over the three summers of Stalwart Guardian exercises, but to date, the changes have not been documented. (For example, 3 Airborne Company was only deployed in 2003.) In 2006, the summer exercise was named Valiant Guardian. A revised order of battle resulted in several new formations and units with the respective patches being issued for Valiant Guardian concentration.

Stalwart Guardian 2003. A member of the Lorne Scots, wearing combat dress, with the 32 LIB patch on upside down. DND photo

Stalwart Guardian 2003. A member of the Lorne Scots, wearing combat dress, with the 32 LIB patch on upside down. DND photo

The Stalwart/Valiant Guardian insignia were a hybrid formation/unit patch. These small patches identified the battalions, composite units, support units and the exercise cadre, much like a regimental or branch title. They were designed like a formation patch, but much smaller. The patches had exercise unit abbreviations embroidered on different coloured backgrounds. The coloured backgrounds often reflected branch or corps colours, as seen with the yellow and red of the armoured units, or the combinations of blue and red for the artillery and engineers. The patches measure 1 inch high by 2 inches wide and have a velcro backing. They were fully embroidered, most including a unit abbreviation embroidered directly on the panel. These patches were strictly controlled, with a limited issue per soldier or participant.

Exercise Stalwart Guardian 2003

Stalwart Guardian 2003. Members of 33 Light Infantry Battalion, including one soldier from the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, wearing a mixture of cadpat and combat dress. All wear the 33 LIB Stalwart Guardian patches. Credit: Department of National Defence photo.

Stalwart Guardian 2003. Members of 33 Light Infantry Battalion, including one soldier from the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment, wearing a mixture of cadpat and combat dress. All wear the 33 LIB Stalwart Guardian patches. Credit: Department of National Defence photo.

A full coloured poster titled DZ PATCES Ex SG 03 was printed for Exercise Stalwart Guardian in 2003.[1] The following patches were illustrated on the poster, but the actual patches were constructed with the unit abbreviation imposed (embroidered) on the fully embroidered backing. Changes were made in the order of battle for SG 04 and SG 05, which changed the series of patches issued for the exercises. No poster or list of patches has been documented for SG 04 and SG 05.

A selection of Stalwart Guardian DZ patches.

A selection of Stalwart Guardian DZ patches.

Exercise Patch

Unit Description
Communications(No Lettering on patch) Communications Equally divided horizontal panels of gray over blue
EXCON Exercise Control White lettering on black
TRG CADRE Training Cadre Black lettering on canary yellow
TRG SP GP Training Group Support Equally divided horizontal panels, white over orange. Black lettering on the orange panel
RGE SAFETY Range Safety Black lettering on an orange panel.
O/Cs  and O/CS(note different lettering size) Observer / Controllers Black lettering on white panel.
EX SP GP Exercise Support Group Black lettering on three equally divided vertical panels, from left to right canary yellow, white and orange.
3 LBG 3 Light Brigade Group White lettering on three equally divided vertical panels, from left to right, green, blue and dark gold.
31 LIB 31 Light Infantry Battalion Two varieties exist, one black lettering on green, the other white lettering on green. (Likely two different year issues.)
32 LIB 32 Light Infantry Battalion White lettering on blue panel.
33 LIB 33 Light Infantry Battalion Black lettering on dark gold.
3 CAR 3 Composite Armoured Regiment Equal horizontal panels of yellow over red, with white lettering on the red portion.
3 ARR 3 Armoured Recee Regiment Patch divided equally from top left to bottom right, yellow on top, red on bottom, white lettering on the red portion of the patch
4 RCA 4 Fd Regt Royal Canadian Artillery (Number 4 was used as 3 Fd already existed in the order of battle.) Patch horizontally divided, red over blue, with white lettering on the blue panel
3 CER 3 Combat Engineer Regiment Three equal vertical panels, blue, red and blue with white lettering
3 CS BN 3 Composite Service Battalion Three equal horizontal panels, blue on top, yellow centre, red bottom, with blue lettering on yellow panel
3 FD AMB 3 Field Ambulance Green over maroon equally sized horizontal panels, with white lettering on maroon panel
3 MP COY 3 Military Police Company White lettering on red panel
3 AB COY 3 Airborne Company (only deployed in 2003) Equally divided horizontal sky blue over maroon panel with white lettering on the maroon panel
Stalwart Guardian / Valiant Guardian Observer / Controller patches. Note the different font size of the "S". The variation is likely attributed to two different years of the SG exercises.

Stalwart Guardian / Valiant Guardian Observer / Controller patches. Note the different font size of the “S”. The variation is likely attributed to two different years of the SG exercises.

Stalwart Guardian / Valiant Guardian Observer / Controller patches. Note the different font size of the “S”. The variation is likely attributed to two different years of the SG exercises.

Members of the composite 3 CER unit bridgelaying during Stalwart Guardian 2005. DND photo LC2005-026-087.

Members of the composite 3 CER unit bridgelaying during Stalwart Guardian 2005. DND photo LC2005-026-087.

Exercise Valiant Guardian 2006

In 2006 the next phase in the training cycle, Valiant Guardian, was held for reserve units in Ontario. Patches were again issued for the VG exercise, but significant changes were made in the organization of the force. This in turn required changes in the series of patches. Similar in style and construction to the Stalwart Guardian patches, the VG patches reflected the new order of battle. (Note: Information for the series of patches has not been found. Some of the following patches may have also been produced for Stalwart Guardian exercises.)

Valiant Guardian 2006 Canadian Rangers patch.

Valiant Guardian 2006 Canadian Rangers patch.

Title Reads

Explanation

Description

3(CA)MNB Unidentified white letters on three equal vertical coloured panels from left to right, green, blue,and gold
CANIC Canadian National Intelligence Center Black letters on diagonally divided patch, from left down to right, green on top, white diagonal stripe, red on bottom
CDN RGRS Canadian Rangers Black letters on three equal vertical coloured panels, from left to right, yellow, white, orange
HSS Health Services Support whiteletters on equal horizontal panels of from the top green, maroon
MEDIA Media blackletters on a purple/blue background
NCE National Command Element red letters on equally divided horizontal panels white over black
NSE National Support Element black letters on equal horizontal panels from top to bottom, blue,yellow, and red
OPFOR Opposition Force black letters centred on a white over red patch, divided from topleft to bottom right.
PAff Public Affairs White on maroon
RGE/CONDUCTING/GROUP Range Conducting Group Equal white and orange horizontal panels, black lettering.
TF31 Task Force 31(31 Brigade composite battalion) Black letters on green
TF32 Task Force 32(32 Brigade composite battalion) White letters on blue
TF33 Task Force 33(33 Brigade composite battalion) Black letters on old gold
VISITORS Visitors red letters centered on awhite over black patch, divided from top left to bottom right

[1] (DZ or Drop Zone patches, is not truly reflective of an airborne capability, but was term used to describe the type of patch issued for the SG and VG exercises.)

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