7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery has strength of just under 200 part-time soldiers organized into three batteries: 130 Battery, as a headquarters and training battery, 9 Battery, as a gun battery, and 15 Battery as a Light Urban Search and Rescue task. The day to day operations of the regiment are supported by a full-time cadre that consists of approximately ten officers and non-commissioned members who include several members posted in from the Regular Force (the full-time Army). As full-time staff, they prepare training exercises, conduct the unit’s routine administration and ensure that the unit’s plans and orders conform to the larger needs of the Canadian Army.
The weapon of the artillery is the “projectile”, usually taking the form of a high explosive (HE) 105 millimetre shell. These shells, using the C3 howitzers, are capable of engaging targets over 12 kilometres away, with a damage radius of 50 metres. 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery has four, C3 howitzers that are capable of firing HE, Smoke, Illumination, and High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) rounds to engage different forms of enemy and provide support to the infantry and armoured counterparts. [/one_half]
The Light Urban Search and Rescue (L-USAR) task sees soldiers trained in disaster relief skills that can support civilian agencies in response to domestic disasters.
Each soldier is equipped with the C7A2 service rifle, a 5.56 millimetre automatic rifle standard to the Canadian Armed Forces. 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery also possesses an array of light and medium machine guns along with a handful of portable anti-tank weapons. It is also equipped with lightweight combat radios and several transport trucks. Soldiers of the unit are issued operational uniforms and personal equipment in the Canadian Digital Pattern (CADPAT) camouflage.
Soldiers of 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery augmented the Canadian Forces presence at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, as well as provided protection and security during the G20 and G8 summits, the same year. The unit has also deployed individual soldiers to Afghanistan to augment their Regular Force colleagues from 2002-2012. More recently soldier’s have been deployed to the Middle East, Latvia and Ukraine on various NATO missions. In 2020 and 2021 the Regiment has spent much effort in support of the Federal Government’s initiative to combat the spread of the Novel Coronavirus Covid19. Our soldiers have deployed in support of civilian authority all over Ontario as part of Op Laser and Op Vector.
LCol Dean joined the Algonquin Regiment in North Bay as an Infantry Officer over 28 years ago. Upon completion of his post-secondary education LCol Dean returned to the Toronto area when he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and transferred into the 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA as an Artillery Officer. In January 1997 LCol Dean started to work full time for the Canadian Armed Forces as the Recruiting Officer at the 7th Toronto Regiment. After having lead a successful recruiting drive, LCol Dean was employed by the Area Training Center in Meaford as a Qualification Level 3 – Gunnery Course Officer. While serving in Meaford, LCol Dean was approached by Land Force Central Area Headquarters and offered the position of Aide de Camp to the Commander of Land Force Central Area. He served as Aide de Camp from September 1997 to September 2001 looking after the needs of 4 Regular Force Commanders and 3 Primary Reserve Deputy Commanders. LCol Dean was awarded the Land Force Central Area Commander’s Commendation for outstanding dedication and loyalty while working as the Area Commander’s Aide. During his time as Aide, LCol Dean had the privilege of accompanying the Commander of Land Force Central Area over to Bosnia as part of a Command Team visit to SFOR. LCol Dean worked in a number of staff positions at Land Force Central Area Headquarters, in 2008 he was selected for the appointment of Deputy Commanding Officer of the Area Headquarters. During his time as Deputy Commanding Officer, LCol Dean was employed as a key player in administrating the restructure of the Headquarters workforce establishment. In addition to this task he was responsible for managing the Headquarters Annual Budget, tracking the hiring of all full time Reserve Force personnel, and managing the employment of the civilian workforce in the Area Headquarters. After successfully restructuring the Headquarters workforce, LCol Dean was transferred to the G1 Branch in 4th Canadian Division Headquarters where he was employed as a Senior Human Resources Manager working on command succession planning, senior level promotions, strategic intake planning for the Reserve Force, and administration of Provincial level grievances for the Army in the Province of Ontario. In 2014, LCol Dean was appointed the Range Training Area Management Officer in 4th Canadian Division and was responsible for the overall safety, maintenance, development and environmental sustainability of the ranges and training facilities across the Province of Ontario. On 1 April 2016 he was asked to support the stand-up of a new Unit called Real Property Operations Unit Ontario, where he was employed as the Adjutant. LCol Dean was awarded Soldier of the Year by the CO of Real Property Operations Unit (Ontario) for the work he completed in support of the stand-up of this new unit. LCol Dean has recently started employment with the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Centre in Toronto where he is serving as a Senior Transition Advisor with the Federal Public Service assisting veterans moving from active service to retirement. LCol Dean has been volunteering with 7th Toronto Regiment for over 26 years. He has held every officer appointment in the Regiment and was recently promoted to his current rank where he is serving as Commanding Officer of the Regiment. LCol Dean is also employed as an Honourary Aide de Camp to The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, where he was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for support to the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. LCol Dean is a Past Master of David T. Campbell Lodge #706 in Freemasonry, serving as Master from 2017 – 2018, he holds the rank of Knight in the Order of St. George and is an Honorary Colonel in the Order of Kentucky Colonels. LCol Dean’s hobbies include riding his motorcycle, working on his classic sports car, small engine repairs, karate (Brown Belt), golfing, boating, and attending sporting events. He is happily married and has 2 children.
Chief Warrant Officer Michael Bechmanis enrolled with 30 Fd Artillery while attending Carleton University before transferring to 7 Tor RCA in September 2000. During his first few years of service, he completed various courses and tasks, including time with ‘W’ Bty in Gagetown. As well he filled various roles within the Regiment during that time which lead him to being nominated for leadership training. Throughout his career with 7 Tor RCA, he has filled every type of position for the Gunline, Command Post and Recce as he progressed through the ranks. CWO Bechmanis also spent a number of training cycles working concurrently as an instructor with the 32 Bde BSL. He has filled various roles with the BSL, including the Drill Sergeant Major from Aug 20 until Sept 21 when he was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of 7 Tor RCA Regiment.
CWO Bechmanis has deployed on various international and domestic call-outs: Op ATHENA Roto 0 Kabul, Afghanistan in 2003; Op ATHENA Roto 3 Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2007; Op Cadance G8/G20 summit in Toronto in 2010; Op PRESENCE, I-OSH Senegal in 2019 as the Camp Sergeant Major; and Op GLOBE, Cornwall in 2020 as the Camp Sergeant Major. CWO Bechmanis also assisted with the planning and went on the NATO exercise as part of the JTFSC for Exercise Trident Juncture in Norway in 2018.
CWO Bechmanis holds an undergraduate degree from York University in Toronto and a Post-Graduate Degree in Education from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. He has worked as a teacher at both public and private schools within Ontario as well as at some public schools in the UK. He currently works on a contract basis with the CAF. When he isn’t balancing between Regimental and Divisional commitments, he spends his free-time with his family
Mark Clearihue was appointed Honorary Colonel of 7th Toronto Regiment, RCA on 11 May 2020 after serving in the capacity of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel since October, 2016. The son of an RCAF WW2 veteran, HCol Clearihue was born in Owen Sound, ON.
Raised from an early age in the United States, he graduated from Colgate University in 1974 with a Bachelor’s of Arts (Economics). He excelled as a distance runner, was a high school state champion and won 12 varsity letters in Cross-Country and Track while at Colgate. Returning to Canada in 1975, HCol Clearihue entered the banking industry and enjoyed a 39 year career with TD Bank Group where he held successive positions in Financial Analysis, Commercial Lending, Branch Management, and Regional Sales Leadership. His final responsibilities centered on leading TD’s Secured Lending sales teams across Canada. He retired from TD in 2014. HCol Clearihue is a Director of the Juno Beach Centre Association, which oversees the Juno Beach Centre, Canada’s Second World War museum and cultural centre located in Normandy, France. The Centre pays homage to the 45,000 Canadians who lost their lives in defence of Canada during WW2. He is a member of Canada Company, a charitable, non-partisan organization that serves to build bridges between business and community leaders and the Canadian military to help CAF personnel receive well deserved support, care, and recognition. HCol Clearihue is a challenged golfer, an occasional jogger, and a novice cyclist. He is a member at Mississauga Golf & CC and The Classics Golf & CC in Naples, Florida. He and his wife Judy reside in Mississauga. They have two sons and a grandson.
HLCol Jeannette Chau was appointed to this position by Ministerial Order on 11 May 2020.
Jeannette Chau is a former serving officer of the 7th Toronto Regiment. She joined when she was 17 years old and worked her way up to the rank of MBdr before becoming one of the first two female officers in the Regiment. Ms. Chau attained the rank of Captain, the highest a female officer could in a combat regiment at the time. After serving over 11 years she retired from the reserves to focus on her engineering career.
HLCol Chau holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Marketing and Strategic Planning from the Schulich School of Business, York University
HLCol Chau spent twenty years in the telecom industry in progressively senior positions before moving to Professional Engineers Ontario, the licensing and regulatory body for the 89,000 engineers in Ontario.
She is a member of the Limber Gunners, past President of the Mississauga Arts Council, member of various community organizations, and enjoys running and competitive Dragon Boat racing. She is married with two adult children. Her son is a member of the Toronto Scottish Regiment.