Episode 027 BGen Rob Roy MacKenzie Part I

Brigadier-General 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, at the Infantry School, in Gagetown.

After completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of British Columbia in 1989, Brigadier-General 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, Brigadier-General MacKenzie joined the First 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 Training.

In May 2000, Brigadier-General 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, Brigadier-General MacKenzie was promoted 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, Brigadier-General MacKenzie began his second career as a Police Constable with the Vancouver Police Department. 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 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 is currently a patrol Sergeant in the Operations Division.

Following his command of the Seaforth, Brigadier-General MacKenzie deployed to Afghanistan in 2008 and 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.

Promoted to Colonel on 7 September 2010, he was selected nationally and volunteered for a second deployment to Afghanistan, wherehe 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 27 May 2012, he was appointed Commander 39 Canadian Brigade Group. He was promoted to his current rank on 11 September 2013 and appointed Deputy Commander 3rd Canadian Division.

Brigadier-General MacKenzie’s awards include 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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Pte MacKenzie after his first field exercise 11 July 1985 – middle row 3rd from the left


2 Lt MacKenzie – new Patricia in Gagetown

ROB ROY SR Ottawa colors

2 Lt Mackenzie with then Lt Dave Anderson PPCLI Colour Party for the 75th Anniversary (1989) Ottawa


Lt MacKenzie Platoon Commander – Cyprus with WO Waugh



Capt MacKenzie UN Military Observer Cental America –
near the Guatemala / El Salvador Border


Capt MacKenzie UN Military Observer Cental America –
living with the El Salvadorian Army


Capt MacKenzie – days at the Parachute Centre Trenton – freefall course


Capt MacKenzie – days at the Parachute Centre Trenton – Course Officer – far right

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