The Irish Regiment of Canada welcomed their new honorary colonel and honorary lieutenant colonel during a ceremony held at the Sudbury Armoury on Dec. 14.
Huntington University president and vice chancellor Kevin McCormick will take on the rank of honorary colonel, while Northern Life publisher Abbas Homayed will serve in the capacity of honorary lieutenant colonel.
Both men will serve three year terms in their current ranks, advocating for the soldiers and their families while acting as a guardian of regimental traditions and history, promoting the regiment's identity and ethos and being an advisor to the Commanding Officer on virtually all issues excluding operations.
Units select individuals, often former serving members, who they believe will best promote the interests of the unit and request the approval for the Honorary appointment through the chain of command.
"I am honoured to be the Honorary Colonel of the Irish Regiment of Canada, which has existed for more than 100 years and is so active in the community and around the country," said McCormick.
McCormick makes the leap from honorary lieutenant colonel, where he served a pair of three year terms alongside honorary colonels John Gaudreau and Herb Petras.
Homayed will fill the role vacated by McCormick, working alongside as lieutenant colonel for the next three years.
"I am deeply honoured with the appointment of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel," said Homayed. "With over 100 year of history, tradition and honour aren’t just words for this regiment. This unit is an integral part of our community’s past and present and I am proud to have the opportunity to be a part of that."
Homayed says that you don’t have to look far to see how engaged the members of the regiment are in the community and their contribution in volunteering in many worthy causes.
"I am looking forward to assisting in these initiatives," said Homayed.
McCormick highlighted the importance of his and Homayed's roles to be there for the soldiers in the Regiment, along with their families, and to give them the recognition that they deserve.
"You know what, they're not looking for recognition, they're just looking to do the right thing for the community, country and the world," said McCormick. "I think Abbas and I are both going to be active in shining a light on them to ensure that all the skills they have and the sacrifices they've made are honoured and they're given opportunities in various employment sectors."