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Snipers in the Toronto Star today

  • Thread starter Thread starter autumnweapon
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just read an artical in todays toronto star. whats up with out guys/gals snubbing our own snipers for helping out americans in afganistan. its pretty sad that our own troops are so against this. it gave me second thoughts about who is beside me when I get in to infantry. I thought part of the job was protection of others. I know we all have our american jokes, but we help those on our team and we do not turn our backs on our own. :rage: :cdn:


Three Canadian snipers watch over Canadian troops conducting operations in an Afghanistan valley in 2002. The Forces' ombudsman is probing claims that colleagues resented the snipers' U.S. ties.


> Miro Cernetig 

> Graham Fraser 

> Richard Gwyn 

> Stephen Handelman 

> Chantal Hebert 

> James Travers 

> Ian Urquhart 

> Thomas Walkom 

Snipers say U.S. ties angered comrades
Military probe claims they were deemed traitors
Hailed as heroes by U.S. troops in Afghanistan


OTTAWAâ ”Hailed as heroes for their crack shots in the mountains of Afghanistan, a group of decorated Canadian snipers were considered traitors by their fellow soldiers for the simple reason they worked alongside American troops.

That's the troubling allegation behind a new probe under way by the Canadian military.

André Marin, the Canadian Forces ombudsman, has been given the task of finding out why the snipers were treated so poorly by their colleagues.

In an unprecedented request, Gen. Ray Henault, chief of defence staff, has asked Marin to probe the treatment that is blamed with forcing a few of the snipers from the military.

"It's the first referral we've received by the chief of defence staff," Marin said yesterday.

"The chief of defence staff is concerned about the nature of the complaints that he's heard and he wants an independent investigation to get to the bottom of it," Marin told the Star.

"These are very serious allegations," Marin said.

For the countless American soldiers whose lives were saved by sharp eyes and crack shots of the snipers, the Canadians were seen as heroes.

But other Canadian soldiers resented their close affiliation with the American troops and made no secret of it when the snipers returned to their base in Afghanistan and then home to Canada, a source told the Star.

The ombudsman said the abilities or the heroism of the snipers is not being questioned.

"They did a fabulous job over there. Everyone recognizes that they were heroes," Marin said.

The snipers, members of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, 3rd Battalion, were sent to Afghanistan in late February 2002 as part of the first deployment of Canadian Forces in that country after a U.S.-led coalition launched its war against terrorism.

More than 20 kills were unofficially accredited to the snipers during Operation Anaconda in Shah-i-Kot Valley.

Five of the snipers were nominated for one of the highest awards given by the United States military â ” the Bronze Star, two of them with Vs for Valour, marking exceptional bravery. But in what was a signal of the troubles they were encountering, awarding of the American medal was delayed by Canadian protocol officials.

News of the investigation was bittersweet for the father of one sniper, who suggests his son, now on medical leave, was denied the assistance he needed after the mission ended.

"It's dangerous work and as far as I'm concerned they need to be treated properly.

"They need counselling, they need all sorts of things," said the father, who asked not to be identified.

Asked if his son was denied those services because others resented his close work with the Americans, he responded, "I think that's a fair statement."

"I know how my son was treated in Afghanistan and upon his return to Edmonton. It wasn't appropriate," he said.

Maj. Rita LePage said the forces conducted its own internal investigation into the snipers' complaints but wanted an independent probe to ensure nothing was overlooked.

Marin said he's been given "carte blanche" for the investigation and hopes to report on his findings in a few months.

On a separate front yesterday, Marin also warned that the military will have a hard time adding 8,000 new recruits unless it overhauls a recruitment process marked by long delays and inflexible rules that turn away good candidates.

Marin launched a probe of military recruitment after receiving 570 complaints over the past five years from people frustrated by the hiring practices.

"What we're hearing so far are complaints about delays, about the too-rigid interpretation of entrance rules, about the need to show a little more compassion before rejecting applications," Marin said.

Marin said yesterday the system is ill-equipped to make good on the Liberal election promise of adding 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists.

One of the main gripes is that applicants are left waiting for months, even up to a year, before they learn whether they've been accepted into the military â ” a delay that forces many to accept work elsewhere.

However, the officer in charge of recruiting said most applicants find out in seven weeks whether they've been accepted.

Col. Kevin Cotten made no apologies for the strictstandards.

"We're talking about enrolling somebody into the military of the country, not somebody to flip hamburgers," he said.

with files from Canadian press

Pretty sad about the snipers.  Isn't there a lot of American and Canadian interaction, such that snubbing these PPCLI snipers would mean snubbing many units?  Or do the Canadians and Americans generally work separately?

As for the 'strict recruiting standards,' isn't there a problem with at least the physical standards being too lax? 
If this is true, maybe the PPCLI guys were peeved because they didn't see much action and they are the ones who wanted to bail out the Americans.

Just a thought....
As with anything, there is more to the story than what the press is reporting.  We should not draw any conclusions from the content of the press release.  It will all become apparent in time but we have to patient.

Morpheus32, your post makes you sound like morpheus from the matrix ;)
Maybe we should ask him if he can get Neo to join the CF. ;D
My father says that after the group he was with in Vietnam returned to Canada they caught a great deal of flack from other members of their units. The junior ranks were not a problem it was their peers, senior NCOs and Officers. Could it be that in a peace time military those with "trigger time" on a two way range get shunned out of envy.

Sour grapes from a minority?
But I was shocked when I read it yesterday and it must be serious if the C.D.S. went to the Ombudsmen to investigate the allegation's.
There is so little information in the press release that I would caution anyone trying to draw any conclusions or comparisons.  There is much more to the story that is not mentioned and will come out in time.  It is prudent to wait and see what the report has to say rather than speculate out of hand.  There is no conspiracy or intrigue here.  Just be patient and let it run its course.  Our troops at all ranks did an outstanding job in Afghanistan and it is a shame that the press seeks to tarnish the reputation of the finest unit I had the privilege to serve with on operations.

I am trying to think up a witty retort with a matrix theme but it is just not coming.....

I will simply add my $.02 to what Morpheus has already said.  My likely involvement in the investigation precludes me from saying anything substantive.  I will simply say that those who are prone to jump on a one-sided and ill-informed media bandwagon do themselves no favours where credibility is concerned...

As Morpheus said, there is much more to this "story" than meets the eye.  Let's all "sum-up" and let the investigation run its natural course.  Enough of the hypothesizing from people who weren't there.  Let it lie for now....
A serious note then a bit of levity.
Over the last year or two our network has been receiving e-mails from Afghanistan and Iraq. The ones from Iraq were particularly  of interest because our former PM Cretin said that we didn't have any troops there. The foremost thread in all these messages was "DO NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING THAT YOU READ IN THE NEWSPAPERS". I know from personal experience that this is true. When I came home from Korea on a stretcher and was met by my family a picture was taken and the next day there was an article in the Toronto Star that bore no relation to the facts of my being wounded. It was a work of fiction.

Now the levity part it addresses our relations with our friends to the south.
Some friends of mine were with the Highland Battalion in the 27th Brigade in Germany during 1952. They were under canvas on one side of a road and during the night an American Engineer Unit arrived and camped on the other side of the road. Every morning the Pipe Band would sound reveille by playing "Johny Cope". The Americans were not all that happy about being awakened by a Pipe Band early in the morning but they got used to it. One morning no Pipe Band, the Americans all slept in. They had become so used to being awakened by the pipes they didn't bother with their usuall arrangements. The CO of the American unit came over to talk to the CO of the Highlanders, Punchy Pane, I believe it was. He wanted to know why the Pipe Band hadn't played that morning. Punchy explained to him that the Band would be gone for a couple of weeks as they had gone to play at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
I for one admire those men for their courage and their execution of arms as trained and will stand by them any day. :salute:
I agree with Morpheus and Mark C. here. Although I was not in Afgh at that time, I strongly suggest that there is more to this story than meets the eye.  We should wait this one out. Devil 39 are you able to say anything......?Cheers.
This has nothing to do with supporting the troops or not.   It has everything to do with wildly speculating about what happened as there is such limited information available publicly.   To be honest, for the guys that served in Afghanistan, the wild speculation and commentary is frustrating.   There is alot more to the story and many of the comments made on a number of boards demonstrate that the writers know nothing about what actually happened.   All I ask is be patient.   Trust that the "team" at all ranks in Afghanistan did the job right.   There is no conspiracy or cover up or intrigue.   I lived through the Somalia crap as a member of the CAR and I'll be damned if I'll let the same thing happen to another honourable group of soldiers.   Just be patient and let it run its course.