Posted by Colin Heggie on Nov 05, 2019
Long-time Vernonite Richard Hamilton was installed in 2018 as Honorary Colonel of the BC Dragoons, following a career including The Bay, Seymour Equipment & Kal Tire, alongside his decades of involvement with the Dragoons.  He was introduced by his friend Michael Wardlow.  His role is community outreach.  Richard introduced the Dragoons’ current Commanding Officer, LtCol Kevin Mead, who was raised in Kelowna.  Kevin joined the military in 1994 & has had three overseas tours.   The role of the BC Dragoons is to generate trained armoured reconnaissance reserve troops.  There are presently about 130 members, including many new recruits.  They receive extensive training in the use of armoured vehicles, such as our Coyotes, Leopards & Light Armoured Vehicles.  These come in a variety of specifications, with sophisticated weapons, navigation & reconnaissance tools, but they definitely aren’t built for comfort!  Committed reservists really have a full-time job in addition to their civilian jobs.  Following an active (overseas) engagement, where they bond tightly with each other & with regular troops, they often find the return to civilian life challenging.  The Vernon Military Camp originated with 1884 Okanagan meetings, the return of Boer War soldiers, & the 1914 Military Act.  Dragoons participated meaningfully in both World Wars, & still play an important role in the Canadian Army.