Due in large part to their natural construction abilities and their presence in the Canadian wilderness, the beaver has long been the symbol of military engineers in Canada. The first cap-badge of the Canadian Engineers, that is the Militia component of the Engineers of the Canadian Army, had the beaver at its center.
The official mascot of 25 Engineer Squadron (formerly of 8 Field Engineer Regiment) is Sapper Bentley F. Beaver, a stuffed toy beaver who is dressed with a beret, dress uniform and identity discs.
Some members of the unit have claimed that Bentley is “The most decorated rodent in NATO”. This is because he has accompanied members of the unit on tour, and therefore he would be eligible for the medals for his presence on the deployment had he been a “real” member.
This is a partial list of medals and decorations Bentley would be entitled to:
- Sacrifice Medal
- South-West Asia Service Medal
- General Campaign Star – South-West Asia
- Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
- UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia Medal
- UN Protection Force (Yugoslavia)
- NATO Former Yugoslavia Medal
- NATO Non-Article 5 Medal for Operations in the Balkans
- 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal
- Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal
- Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
- Canadian Forces Decoration (with Bar)
- Alberta Centennial Medal
Bentley routinely joins members of the unit while they vacation in Canada and around the world.
The present Bentley F. Beaver is actually not the first mascot with this name. 8 FER had a previous toy beaver with the same name and rank that accompanied members on tour, however, he was lost in unknown circumstances.