Royal 22e Régiment: Wikis


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Royal 22e Régiment
Cap badge of Le Royal 22e Régiment
Active 14 October 1914-
Country Canada
Branch Land Force Command
Type Line Infantry
Role Mechanized Infantry (two battalions)
Light Role Infantry/Paratroop (one battalion)
Reserve (two battalions)
Size Five battalions
Part of Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ Le quartier général - Quebec City
1er Bataillon - Valcartier
2e Bataillon - Quebec City
3e Bataillon - Valcartier
4e Bataillon - Laval
6e Bataillon - Saint-Hyacinthe
Nickname The Van Doos
Motto Je me souviens (I Remember)
March Quick: Vive la Canadienne
Slow: Marche lente du Royal 22e Régiment: La Prière en famille
Mascot Goat named Bâtisse X
Colonel en Chef HM The Queen
Colonel du Régiment Général Maurice Baril, CMM, MSM, CD
Plume Red
Left of Bearskin cap
Abbreviation R22eR
Soldiers from the Royal 22e Régiment exercising the Freedom of the City in front of Quebec City's City Hall, on July 3, 2006.

The Royal 22e Régiment is an infantry regiment and the most famous francophone organization of the Canadian Forces. The regiment comprises three Regular Force battalions, two Primary Reserve battalions, and a band, making it the largest regiment in the Canadian Army. The ceremonial home of the regiment is La Citadelle in Quebec City, where the regimental museum is housed. The regiment is nicknamed the Van Doos, a mispronunciation of vingt-deux ("twenty-two" in French.) The regiment's regimental headquarters is located in Quebec City, with all three of its regular battalions stationed at various bases in the province of Quebec. The regiment serves as the "local" infantry regiment for Quebec.



The Royal 22e Régiment parading on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1927

The ancestor of the regiment was formed in the early days of the First World War as part of the British Army, when volunteers from all over Canada were being massed for training at Valcartier, Quebec, just outside of Quebec City. The first contingent of 30,000 volunteers, which became the 1st Canadian Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, were grouped into numbered battalions, regardless of origin. The existing reserve regiments were not mobilized, due to the belief of the Defence Minister, Sam Hughes, that a new "efficient" structure was required. In the process, the new structure failed to create French-speaking units, such as those that had existed in the reserves. Over 1000 French-Canadian volunteers were scattered into different English-speaking units. This was not an oversight. Ontario (Hughes's political base) was in the process of forbidding teaching in French, or of French, in the school system (Regulation 17), causing outrage in French Canada and a lack of support for the war of the "King and country" that was perceived as seeking to destroy the Francophone community in Canada.

The second contingent was based, more logically, on battalions raised and trained in the various military districts in which they had been recruited, but still on an impersonal numbered basis (with the exception of some with a Highland or Irish identity). Considerable political pressure in Quebec, along with public rallies, demanded the creation of French-speaking units to fight a war that many viewed as being right and necessary, despite Regulation 17 in Ontario. When the government relented, the first such unit was the 22nd (French Canadian) Infantry Battalion, CEF. The 22nd went to France as part of the 5th Canadian Brigade and the 2nd Canadian Division in September 1915, and fought with distinction in every major Canadian engagement until the end of the war. While other French-speaking units were also created, they were all broken up upon arrival in France to provide reinforcements for the 22nd, which suffered close to 4000 wounded and killed in the course of the war. Two members of the 22nd were awarded the Victoria Cross in that war, Lieutenant Jean Brillant and Corporal Joseph Kaeble.

After the war, the 22nd Battalion was disbanded on 20 May 1919, sharing the fate of the other numbered battalions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. However, in the post-war reorganizations of the army, public pressure, such as resolutions by the Legislative Assembly of Quebec as well as the City Council of Quebec City, demanded that a permanent French-language unit be created in the peace-time Regular Force, and accordingly a new regiment was created, made up of veterans of the 22nd Battalion, on 1 April 1920. Initially the regiment, which was given the guard of the Citadelle of Quebec, was simply the 22nd Regiment, but in June 1921 King George V approved renaming it The Royal 22nd Regiment. In 1928 the anomaly of a French-language unit with an English name was resolved, and the regiment became the Royal 22e Régiment.

In 1940, the regiment became the first Francophone Canadian unit to mount the King's Guard in London, and was the first of the three current Regular Force regiments to do so.

In the Second World War the regiment was part of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade and the 1st Canadian Infantry Division and was involved in intense combat in Italy, (where Captain Paul Triquet earned the Victoria Cross) and later in the Netherlands and northwest Germany.

During the Korean War, 1951–1953, the regiment expanded to three battalions, each serving in turn as part of the Canadian brigade in the 1st Commonwealth Division. Thus the "Van Doos" represented one-third of Canada's infantry contingent throughout the war.

Pte. Patrick Cloutier, a 'Van Doo' perimeter sentry, and a Mohawk warrior face off during the Oka Crisis in 1990.

During the Cold War the regular battalions of the regiment served, in turn, in West Germany as part of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, with the 1er Battalion serving permanently from 1967 until the withdrawal in 1993.

The regiment also served during the Oka Crisis. During the life of the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1968–1995) the 1er Commando was manned as a French-speaking sub-unit by soldiers of the Royal 22e Régiment. In 1997, the regiment courted public controversy when photographs were published of Sandra Perron, Canada's first female infantry officer, tied to a tree and left barefoot in the snow, before being punched by Captain Michel Rainville.[1]

In the 1950s, the Canadian Army promoted a scheme of administratively associating reserve infantry regiments with a regular one. Although this project did not make much progress in most of the army, three reserve regiments did join the Van Doos, becoming battalions of the Royal 22e Régiment:

Old regiment name Formed New battalion name Joined R22eR
Le Régiment de Châteauguay 1869 4th Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (Châteauguay) 1954
Les Fusiliers du Saint-Laurent 1869 Les Fusiliers du Saint-Laurent (5th Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment) 1954 to 1968
Le Régiment de Saint-Hyacinthe 1866 6th Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment 1956

In the case of Les Fusiliers du Saint-Laurent, the battalion designation was in a subsidiary title, but it became nevertheless, administratively, part of the Royal 22e Régiment. However, in 1968, Les Fusiliers du Saint-Laurent dropped the subsidiary title, and ended their administrative association with the R22eR.


The 3rd Battalion, along with an attached mechanized company from the 1st, provided the basis for the Canadian ISAF contingent in Kabul, Afghanistan, from February to August of 2004.

In August 2007 a battle group based on the 3rd Battallion of the Royal 22e Régiment returned to Afghanistan, replacing the 2nd Battalion The Royal Canadian Regiment in Kandahar province. The battle group was made up of a company from each of the regiment's three regular battalions. It also included combat support and service support from all the units of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec. There was a reconnaissance squadron from the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, a composite tank squadron from Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) (with troops from the other two armoured regiments), a battery from the 5e Régiment d'artillerie légère du Canada, an engineer squadron from 5e Régiment du Génie de Combat

The Royal 22e Régiment also provided about 150 trainers (OMLT) for the three Afghan "Kandaks" serving with them. As well it provided a protection company for the PRT in Kandahar.

The regiment distinguished itself in Kandahar through its determined and successful efforts to establish Afghan police sub-stations, protected by ANA and Canadian presence, in an ever-widening secure zone in the former Taliban home districts of Zhari and Panjawaii. The battle group, and its associated OMLT and PRT elements, lost 10 men KIA during its 6-month tour.

A second Vandoo battlegroup, this time based on the 2nd Batallion, deployed to Kandahar from March to November of 2009 and was the vanguard of the much-vaunted "key villages" [1] program, wherein Canadian soldiers cleared urban areas of Taliban activity during sweeping combat operations and then installed sub-units permanently in those hamlets, guarding the approaches to Kandahar City. The composition of this battlegroup was nearly identical to previous incarnations, and it was able to rely heavily on the recently-deployed CH-146 Griffon and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to perform a wide variety of airmobile operations, as well as traditional mechanized manoeuvres.

Over the course of the seven-month roto 7, 10 soldiers from the battlegroup were killed in action ("roto 7" denoting that this was the eighth consecutive Canadian battlegroup deployment in Kandahar since 2006, as rotations are numbered starting at "0"). An additional five soldiers, all belonging to the battlegroup's parent organization, Task Force Kandahar, also died during that period. The vast majority of these soldiers were killed by the Taliban's lethal employment of anti-vehicle or anti-personnel improvised explosive devices.


Battalion Home Brigade Notes
1er Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment CFB Valcartier 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment Quebec City 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Mechanized infantry
3e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment CFB Valcartier 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Light infantry, Includes a parachute company
4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment (Châteauguay) Laval, Quebec 34 Canadian Brigade Group Reserve, Dismounted infantry
6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec 34 Canadian Brigade Group Reserve, Dismounted infantry
La Musique du Royal 22e Régiment CFB Valcartier Land Force Quebec Area Regular Force professional band

Battle honours

  • The Great War: Mont-Sorrel*, Somme 1916 '18, Flers-Courcelette, Thiepval, Les Hauteurs d'Ancre*, Arras 1917 '18, Vimy 1917, Arleux, Scarpe 1917 '18, Côte 70*, Ypres 1917, Passchendaele, Amiens, Ligne Hindenburg*, Canal du Nord, Cambrai 1918, Poussée de Mons*, France et Flandres 1915–18*
  • The Second World War: Débarquement en Sicile*, Valguarnera, Adrano, Catenuova, Sicile 1943*, Débarquement à Reggio*, Potenza, Le Sangro*, Casa Berardi, Torre Mucchia, Cassino II, Ligne Gustav*, Vallée de la Liri*, Ligne Hitler*, Ligne Gothique*, Borgo Santa Maria, Passage du Lamone*, Ligne Rimini*, San Martino-San Lorenzo, San Fortunato, Cesena, Italie 1943–1945*, Apeldoorn, Nord-Ouest de l'Europe 1945*
  • Corée 1951–53*

* Translated to French in 1958 from original English awards in 1957.

Victoria Cross recipients

  • Corporal Joseph Kaeble – 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force – Neuville-Vitasse, France – 8 June 1918
  • Lieutenant Jean Brillant – 22nd Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force – near Amiens, France – 8 August–9, 1918
  • Major Paul Triquet – Royal 22e Régiment – Casa Berardi, Italy – 14 December 1943

– Awarded posthumously

A note on the name

Because it is a proper name, "Royal 22e Régiment" is never translated, though "Royal 22nd Regiment" is sometimes used incorrectly. However, battalion names and sub-units should be translated. For instance, "2nd battalion, Royal 22e Régiment" and "2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment" are both correct.

Order of precedence

Regular Force:

Preceded by:
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Royal 22e Régiment Succeeded by:
Governor General's Foot Guards

Reserve Force:

Preceded by:
Le Régiment de la Chaudière
4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment (Chateauguay) Succeeded by:
6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment
Preceded by:
4e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment (Chateauguay)
6e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment Succeeded by:
Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal


See also


  1. ^ Desbarats, Peter. "Somalia cover-up: A commissioner's journal", 1997
  • Ducimus, The Regiments of the Canadian Infantry. St. Hubert, Quebec, Canada: Mobile Command Headquarters, Canadian Armed Forces. 1992. p. 248p.. ISBN 0-9696421-0-5. 

External links



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