Brigadier-General R.R.E. MacKenzie, OMM, CD
Chief of Staff Army Reserve
Brigadier-General Rob Roy MacKenzie was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1963, and spent his early childhood in Regina, Ottawa and Victoria. In 1976, his family moved to Vancouver, where in 1985 he joined The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada as a Private. He commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1986 and the following summer he won the Canadian Infantry Association Sword as the Top Candidate on his Lieutenant qualifying course.
After completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of British Columbia in 1989, BGen MacKenzie transferred to the Regular Force and joined the Second Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Winnipeg. He completed the basic parachutist course, served on United Nations peacekeeping operations in Cyprus and then served on two missions in Central America as a United Nations Military Observer: first in Guatemala, and then in El Salvador.
On return to Canada in 1992, he was posted to the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada in Winnipeg as the Regular Support Staff Officer and Adjutant. He also taught and completed several courses and graduated from the United States Army Ranger School.
In 1994, BGen MacKenzie joined the 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Calgary, where his duties included command and staff appointments and service as Senior Liaison Officer during the 1997 Manitoba Flood. Posted to The Canadian Parachute Centre in Trenton, he qualified as a military freefall parachutist, and conducted all static-line and freefall basic, jumpmaster and parachute instructor courses run by the Canadian Army. In 1999, he was posted to 39 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters in Vancouver as the G3 (Operations) Training.
In May 2000, BGen MacKenzie returned to the Primary Reserve and The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. Following completion of the company commander’s course, he was promoted Major. He then completed the Militia Command and Staff Course at the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College in Kingston, and the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Course at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto.
In May 2005, BGen MacKenzie was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and assumed command of The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada. In 2006, he was selected as one of only two Canadian Forces Reserve officers to attend the United States Reserve Components National Security Course at the National Defense University, Washington DC, where he returned the following year as a Seminar Leader at the request of the faculty.
After leaving the Regular Army, BGen MacKenzie began his second career as a Police Constable with the Vancouver Police Department (VPD). He attended the Police Academy at The Justice Institute of British Columbia, where he was awarded The Oliver Thomson Memorial Trophy for Physical Fitness. He then served as a member of the Patrol Division in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, while holding secondary duties as a police firearms instructor and recruit field trainer. He was next assigned to the VPD Emergency Response Team (ERT) where he remained through the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Together with his many police certifications, he has completed the Canadian Army Sniper Detachment Commander’s Course and the Master Sniper Course. He has held assignments as a patrol Sergeant in the Operations Division and is currently a Sergeant/Investigator in the Professional Standards Section.
Following his command of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, BGen MacKenzie deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 to serve in a key position as Officer Commanding the Operational Coordination Centre – Provincial, as part of the Joint Task Force Afghanistan Headquarters in Kandahar. On return to Canada, Brigadier-General MacKenzie served simultaneously as Assistant Chief of Staff – Operations 39 Canadian Brigade Group and Director of the Regional Liaison Officer Program – Joint Task Force Pacific.
Shortly after promotion to Colonel on September 7, 2010, he was selected nationally and volunteered for a second deployment to Afghanistan, where he served until the end of 2011 with the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan as the Senior Advisor to the Afghan Border Police, a specialized police organization with 23,000 members.
On May 27, 2012, he was appointed Commander 39 Canadian Brigade Group. He was promoted to his current rank on September 11, 2013 and appointed Deputy Commander 3rd Canadian Division. In July 2014, he completed the Combined Joint Force Land Component Commander’s Course at the United States Army War College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He assumed his current appointment as the Chief of Staff Army Reserve at Canadian Army Headquarters in September 2015.
BGen MacKenzie’s awards include Officer of the Order of Military Merit, the General Campaign Star – South West Asia with 3 bars, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, United Nations Peacekeeping Medals, the Canadian Forces Decoration and a Chief of Defence Staff Commendation.
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