41 Combat Engineer Regiment (41 CER) is a reserve unit of the Canadian Army, responsible for providing Engineer support to 41 Canadian Brigade Group, which makes up the Army Reserve in the Province of Alberta, in 3rd Canadian Division. It is part of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers.
41 CER was formed on Saturday, 6 September 2008 at the Military Museums in Calgary, Alberta. The Regiment was created as a result of the amalgamation of 8 Field Engineer Regiment and 33 Field Engineer Squadron. This amalgamation meant that the new unit retained the history and honours of both constituent units.
The unit is co-located in both Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta and consists of:
- Regimental Headquarters (Edmonton and Calgary)
- 25 Engineer Squadron (Edmonton)
- 33 Engineer Squadron (Calgary)
The Regiment perpetuates several former units of the Canadian Army that were raised from Alberta, specifically:
- 4 Field Troop (Canadian Engineers) (1912–1936) started in Calgary then relocated to Banff and finally to Edmonton
- 2 Canadian Tunneling Company (1915–1918) mobilized in Calgary
- 13 Field Company (1920–1968) stationed in Calgary eventually becoming 13 Field Squadron
- Headquarters, 13 District Engineers (1921–1946) based in Calgary eventually becoming 24 Field Squadron (Royal Canadian Engineers) (1946–1958) based in Edmonton and Yellowknife.
- 9 Army Troops Company (1939–2008) based in Edmonton, eventually becoming 25 Field Squadron
- 6 Field Park Squadron (1946–2008) based in Lethbridge, eventually becoming 33 Field Engineer Squadron
- 8 Field Engineer Regiment (1946–2008) based in Edmonton except for a 12-year period in Lethbridge
- 10 Field Squadron (1940–1946) mobilized in Calgary.
With the standing up of 41 CER in 2008 a Regimental coin was established. The Regimental Coin is an identification symbol and membership token within the Regiment.
On the obverse, the two maple leafs on either side of the Ubique represent one of the two units (8 FER and 33 FES) amalgamated to form the Regiment. On the reverse, the grizzly pawprint refers to the grizzly symbol for the Regiments’s parent formation, 41 Canadian Brigade Group. The lazy E refers to the tactical sign for military engineers. Each poppy refers to a former Militia or wartime engineer unit in and/or from Alberta.
The coins are numbered and ownership is recorded at Regimental Headquarters. They are available through the Adjutant at a nominal cost. All persons who have served in the Regiment for a period of at least six months are eligible to buy a coin. Replacement coins are available, however an explanation of the loss of the original must be provided to Regimental Headquarters. The original registration number will be assigned to the replacement coin. Because of its nature and intended purpose, only one coin may be purchased by an individual, and they shall not be sold to collectors or persons ineligible to purchase one on their own.
Deployments and Operations
Personnel from the unit have been deployed on United Nations and NATO missions throughout the world, including:
- Cyprus (UNFICYP, Operation Snowgoose),
- Croatia (UNPROFOR, Operation Harmony),
- Cambodia (UNTAC, Operation Marquis),
- Bosnia (SFOR, Operation Palladium),
- Afghanistan (Operations Athena and Archer)
In June 2013 members of the unit deployed on Operation Lentus as part of Task Force Silvertip. The aim of the operation was to provide relief assistance in support of the City of Calgary during the flooding there. Members of the unit from throughout Alberta volunteered to serve for the hastily called operation. The operation was an oddity for some in the unit as they were actually deployed to their own home city.
Relationship with Town of Vegreville
41 Combat Engineer Regiment has fostered a relationship with the Town of Vegreville, Alberta, which is located 103 km east of Edmonton. On 29 April 2007 8 FER received the Freedom of the Town, becoming the only unit in the Canadian Forces to have this honour.
The unit started this relationship in large part due to their yearly participation of 25 Engineer Squadron in the town’s Remembrance Day observances. Eventually the unit received permission and blessings from the town to hold annual exercises within the town and the surrounding areas.
In 2007 8 FER built a new bridge in the park containing the town’s famous Pysanka/писанка (Ukrainian Easter Egg). This was completed the same week-end the unit received the Freedom of the Town. On 7 May 2008, during 8 FER’s last change of command parade, the bridge was formally named the LCol Dan O’Keefe Bridge for the then outgoing Commanding Officer. The Town Council had voted to do so in large part due to Lt. Col. O’Keefe’s tremendous efforts at building a relationship with the Town.