Soldiers fear JTF2 to get Nazi name

Crusader74

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Soldiers fear JTF2 to get Nazi name

Defence minister's proposed new moniker for elite unit can be shortened to 'SS'

Published: Monday, December 18, 2006

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor wants to change the name of the Canadian Forces' top counter-terrorism unit, but the move is causing concern among some in the military because of the possibility the new moniker could be linked to Nazi Germany.

Mr. O'Connor is looking at renaming the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2 as the First Special Service Regiment. But some in the defence community are worried the abbreviated version of that, the 1st SS Regiment, could turn into a public relations nightmare because of the potential Nazi connotations.

The SS was considered the Praetorian Guard of the Nazis and renowned for its brutality on and off the battlefield.

Chief of Defence Gen. Rick Hillier told military personnel about the name change at a "town hall" meeting last week

Afterwards, the Citizen received calls and e-mails from defence personnel concerned about the potential for JTF2 to be saddled with a Nazi label.

Other soldiers pointed out that JTF2 has worked extremely hard over the last 13 years to make its name known among allied special forces units and they questioned the wisdom of changing it now.

Defence Department sources confirmed a name change is being considered and added that First Special Service Regiment is one of the potential new labels. They did not detail what other names are being considered, if any.

Earlier this year, the military created the country's first special operations command to oversee JTF2, as well as the recently created Canadian Special Operations Regiment, a special operations aviation squadron and an expanded nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological response unit.

Mr. O'Connor's plan would see JTF2 and the special operations regiment referred to as the 1st and 2nd battalions of the First Special Service Regiment.

But some in the military point out that JTF2 is unique in the Canadian Forces since it is the country's only Tier One counter-terrorism/special operations unit. That Tier One standing means it is on par with elite foreign special forces units such as Britain's Special Air Service. Giving JTF2 a battalion designation in a regiment diminishes that uniqueness and ignores the last 13 years of its history, some soldiers argue.

Asked about Mr. O'Connor's plans to change JTF2's name and the concerns about the Nazi SS designation, Etienne Allard, the minister's director of communications, responded: "Canada's new government is in the process of reviewing the future needs and priorities of the Canadian Forces. When the Canada First defence strategy is approved by the government, announcements will be made at the appropriate time."

Defence Department sources, however, argue it is highly unlikely the new name would be referred to as the 1st SS Regiment or as an SS Regiment. They pointed out, for instance, that the existing Royal Canadian Regiment is not called the RC Regiment when referred to in an abbreviated form. Instead, it's called the RCR. The department sources expect the new regiment will be called the 1SSR when it is discussed in military circles or in the public

They also noted that JTF2 can trace its historical lineage to the First Special Service Force, better known as the Devil's Brigade, a joint U.S.-Canadian commando unit that operated with distinction during the Second World War.

This is not the first time a name change for JTF2, established in 1993, has been considered.

The military looked into renaming JTF2 in 2002 after Liberal MP David Pratt suggested the special forces unit be called something more descriptive. The name Joint Task Force 2, he said, was confusing to some parliamentarians as it gave little indication that the unit was a special forces organization. To add to the confusion, the Canadian military has a tendency to dub various organizations as a "joint task force" even though they are unrelated to the elite unit.

Mr. Pratt, then chairman of the Commons defence committee, wrote then-Liberal defence minister John McCallum with the suggestion that JTF2 be called the Canadian Special Service Force or the Second Special Service Force. The names were in reference to the First Special Service Force of the Second World War.

Mr. McCallum rejected the special service force label since it was too closely linked to the U.S., but he did order a review of the JTF2 name. A decision, however, was later made to stick to the status quo after JTF2's soldiers voted overwhelmingly to keep their original name.

At the time, military spokesman Maj. James Simiana said JTF2 was the most popular moniker among those serving in the unit. "After 10 years of history, the name JTF2 has a high recognition factor by other government departments, Canadian Forces members, allies and indeed the public," he pointed out.

JTF2 also reflects the joint aspect of the unit since its ranks are open to service from members of the army, air force and navy, Maj. Simiana noted.


http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...24&k=90695&p=2
 

LibraryLady

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The U.S.A has its own "SS". Its called the Secret Service.:doh:

They don't use that moniker for themselves, do they?

For me, 'SS' will always mean just one thing. Have a hard time when I see it used to designate this place, too.

LL
 

Chopstick

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Well if Joy Behar can equate Donald Rumsfeld to Hitler..We can call our little forum SS? :doh:
(sigh) Im just so damn confused.:(
 

Pete031

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JTF 2's name has been forged in battle, and is now a well known unit of the special operations community. I don't know why they would strip away their identity.
 

Crusader74

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I can't see them changing they're name after the Unit Members saying they Don't want to Change it.....
 

Pete031

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Well I was watching army news today here in Snowy Canada... Looks like it is going to be official. The two SOF units are going to become a regiment with at least 2 battalions... This will probably throw a fuck into a lot of things. I can't imagine what what changes will be made to day to day life in either unit. But the CSOR is only at company strength right now. Going to take a lot to get it to battalion strength, with all the units rotating overseas right now. Pretty shitty idea in my opinion.
 

Crusader74

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Well I was watching army news today here in Snowy Canada... Looks like it is going to be official. The two SOF units are going to become a regiment with at least 2 battalions... This will probably throw a fuck into a lot of things. I can't imagine what what changes will be made to day to day life in either unit. But the CSOR is only at company strength right now. Going to take a lot to get it to battalion strength, with all the units rotating overseas right now. Pretty shitty idea in my opinion.

So JTF is getting a name change Pete??:eek:
 

Pete031

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Well I am not sure whether or not it will actually get a name change, or what they are now considering... But it will become 1st battalion of whatever the new regiment is, and the CSOR will be the 2nd battalion.
Sucks IMO
 

Crusader74

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Well I am not sure whether or not it will actually get a name change, or what they are now considering... But it will become 1st battalion of whatever the new regiment is, and the CSOR will be the 2nd battalion.
Sucks IMO

Im sure the Guys are pissed at that decision.
 
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