Skip to content

Two new Honorary Colonels at 22 Wing

The Canadian tradition of honouring regional or local dignitaries with an honorary rank in the military goes back to 1857

Two honorary colonels (HCol) have assumed their roles within 22 Wing/Canadian Forces Base North Bay.

Tracie Marsh has taken the helm at 51 Aerospace Control & Warning Squadron succeeding the outgoing HCol Jake Lacourse in a ceremony presided over by 51 Squadron commander, Major Angela Hudson.

Scott Tod, North Bay's retiring police chief has assumed the role from Mayor Peter Chirico at 22 Wing North Bay, with the ceremony under the distinguished leadership of Colonel Richard Jolette, 22 Wing and Canadian Air Defence Sector Commander.

"These ceremonies represent a pivotal moment, underscoring the unwavering commitment and dedication of these honorary colonels to the 22 Wing and CFB North Bay community," says a news release.

"As essential members of the Royal Canadian Air Force family, Honorary Colonels play a crucial role in connecting tradition with progress. Whether they come from a background as former members of the Canadian Armed Forces or as distinguished Canadian citizens, people like Tracie Marsh and Scott Tod bring a rich tapestry of experiences, including recognition as prominent public and community figures."

"We warmly welcome Honorary Colonels Tracie Marsh and Scott Tod, who bring a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to their respective roles. Their willingness to serve is a testament to the strength of our community, and I look forward to witnessing their positive influence as integral members of the 22 Wing and CFB North Bay family," said Colonel Richard Jolette in a statement.

Honorary appointments bring with them certain responsibilities. Their duties include:

  • Fostering esprit de corps
  • Developing, promoting and sustaining strong community support for the unit
  • Establishing and maintaining liaisons with unit charities and associations
  • Assisting the unit in hosting parades and other unit functions
  • Carrying out other duties or providing expertise in matters where they are qualified through background and knowledge when requested by higher authority
  • Assisting the unit through the donation of plaques, trophies for competitions/courses.

Honorary rank is “honorary and advisory,” and honorary rank does not confer authority or command function. Honoraries can provide continuity within the unit on matters of community events and activities, unit traditions etc. – of importance can be speaking to new recruits and young officers on unit history and traditions.

The Canadian tradition of honouring regional or local dignitaries with an honorary rank in the military goes back to 1857 although it was 1895 before the first honorary colonel was appointed. Being an honorary colonel has always been an honour, bestowed upon prominent members of the community for their influence; however, it also involved rallying civilians to enlist during times of war or emergency, and to clothe and even equip troops during times of peace.