It was an emotional farewell for Lieutenant Colonel Lance Knox, 49th (Sault Ste. Marie) Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery commanding officer.
A ceremony marking transfer of command from Knox, who is retiring from the military, to Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lambert, was held at the Sault Ste. Marie Armoury Saturday.
His voice breaking with emotion in a speech delivered to military brass, cadets, Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano and other dignitaries as well as the general public, Knox said “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in uniform.”
Knox, who took over command of the regiment in 2015, was the first local reservist who had served in Afghanistan to lead the regiment, having served in that country from April 2010 to December 2010.
Previously, Knox retired as an Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) official in 2017.
“I’m hoping to do some travelling and explore Canada with my wife, and golfing,” said Knox, whose son Jacob is a bombardier with the 49th, speaking to SooToday after Saturday’s ceremony.
Lambert was also emotional as he thanked his family and the regiment for their support, delivering a speech as he formally accepted command.
“It’s unbelievable (to take command),” Lambert told us.
“Each one of us have emotional ties to the soldiers. To me it’s about people, about families, that’s what the regiment is to me, a family,” said Lambert, 44, a Korah Collegiate math teacher.
“My wife and daughter have really supported me in what I’ve done, working on my Master of Defence Studies (through the Royal Military College in Kingston, anticipating completion of his studies in August).”
Knox poured considerable effort into bringing on new recruits during his time as regiment commander, an effort which Lambert said he intends to carry on.