September 22, 2003


Maj. Robert Rogers is in the news again. Turns out he was the one what done in young Nathan Hale, too.

Rogers is, of course, the man behind the military "ranger" tradition that would have profound impacts on the British, American and Canadian armies. His "Plan of Discipline" would be a keystone document for the next two centuries, borrowed and adapted by John Moore for his light infantry reforms back home (although he also borrowed from the French voltigeur and European jager traditions, as well) and by the founders of America's special forces. In Canada, the Rogers tradition is perpetuated directly by the Queen's York Rangers (a reserve reconnaissance regiment) and indirectly through the numerous other Canadian units that still follow the "rifles" traditions (green dress uniforms, etc.)

While Americans are ambivalent about Rogers (great soldier who picked the wrong side in the revolution, etc.) he is a hero in Canada, almost a founding father. Rogers' successor and protege as CO of the Queen's Rangers, John Simcoe, would emigrate after Yorktown with his entire unit to Canada, where he founded the city of Toronto (York) and became the first governor of what would become the province of Ontario.

Posted by BruceR at 10:52 AM