Lt.-Colonel Terry Stead, the former commanding officer of the 5th Canadian Ranger Group, received the Canadian Army commendation at a recent training vent in Port Rexton.
Stead was born in Little Catalina in 1962 and joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1979 and progressed to the rank of master warrant officer before commissioning to the rank of captain in 2003. He performed all duties typical of a senior non-commissioned officer in a line battalion, from machine gunner to command of reconnaissance platoons, company quartermaster sergeant and sergeant major of rifle, combat support and combat service support companies.
He saw operational service in Canada during the Oka crisis and the Quebec ice storm and deployed on seven overseas missions, including the United Nations in Cyprus 1985-86, where he was awarded the contingent commander’s and Canadian Chief of Defence Staff commendations, in recognition of courageous efforts in preventing the mass riot of hundreds of Greek Cypriots from entering the UN Buffer zone. He also went to Cyprus, with the UN in 1991; had three tours to Bosnia, with the UN protection force in 1991-92, 1994-95; and a tour with the International Security Force in 1999.
In 2004, he completed the UN military observer course and was posted at the Canadian Forces Infantry School, as the subject matter expert of the small arms (weapons). In 2005, he was posted to Gander as the detachment commander of the 5th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (5 CRPG). Continuing his operational service in 2007, he served with distinction as a liaison officer with 44 Squadron of the British Royal Marine Commandos and as a member of Canada’s operational mentoring liaison team, attached to the Hero Corps of the Afghan National Army.
In 2010, he was promoted to major, appointed as the unit deputy commanding officer and in recognition of his outstanding service inducted as a member of the Order of Military Merit.
His most recent overseas deployment was to Israel in 2011 where he served as part of the American Security Council, employed as an instructional mentor to the Palestinian Security Force.
The citation read: “In recognition of exceptional dedication and leadership demonstrated by Lieutenant Colonel Terry Stead as the Commanding Officer of 5th Canadian Ranger Patrol Group. He skillfully led a large and diverse unit, under exceptional circumstances, building capacity and capability for the conduct of operations in Canada’s North. Despite the tremendous pace of administration, logistics, training, and operations he provided 5 CRPG the focus and clarity of effort to serve with distinction. LCol Stead’s passionate and energetic dedication to service is a rare testament to an individual who has brought great credit to the Canadian Army.”
Comprised of 34 Canadian Ranger patrols and 16 Junior Canadian Rangers patrols across Newfoundland and Labrador, and a headquarters in Gander providing support to over 1,500 personnel, 5 CRPG is the largest reserve unit in Atlantic Canada. The Canadian Rangers provide a military presence in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. Trained in navigation, marksmanship, first aid, communication and survival techniques, the Canadian Rangers are capable of living and working on land under austere conditions.