Episode 033 – WO Justin Thorn

At 17, Warrant Officer Justin Thorn joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in June of 1988. During his 26 years in the Canadian Forces he has completed several taskings and exercises abroad, most notably in France, England, and the United States. Additionally, he has deployed twice domestically during the Ice Storms of January 1998, and during the Toronto winter deployment of January 1999.

Warrant Officer Thorn has held several notable Regimental positions: section commander, platoon warrant, and Company Quartermaster. During his Class B service from 1995 – 2002, he was the Recruiting NCO and Regimental Quartermaster for 5 and 2 years respectively; this service earning him a Commanding Officer’s Commendation. He has also taught on numerous recruit, machine gun, driver-wheel and leadership courses.

Currently Warrant Officer Thorn is the Company Sergeant Major of Buffs Company, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Of note is that The QOR is the only Reserve infantry airborne unit in Canada; Warrant Thorn also serving in various capacities within the airborne contingent. Warrant Thorn completed his Canadian Basic Parachutist Course in August 1990. He obtained his British jump wings in 1992 and U.S. wings in 1994.

Some of Warrant Officer Thorn’s significant military related memories are:

  • Marching The QOR’s 50 person guard onto Rue (road) de Queen’s Own Rifles in Bernieres-sur-Mer, Normandy, France on 6 June 1994 in celebration and remembrance of the Regiment’s D-Day landing exactly 50 years earlier.
  • Being awarded top candidate on his Senior Leadership Course in 2002
  • In December 2005 – Canada’s Year of the Veteran – having the opportunity to participate in several ceremonies commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of Canadian Hong Kong Prisoners-of from War World War II. This included the humbling opportunity to escort several Hong Kong Veterans at graveside ceremonies to pay respect and honour those who had fallen.
  • Being selected to, and subsequently meeting, the QOR’s Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall – current QOR Colonel-in-Chief – during a post-ceremony gathering in 2012.

Beyond his military career, Justin has a degree in Bachelor of Arts (Honours Political Science). Commencing in 2002, he joined the Peel Regional Police. Warrant Officer Thorn has served in numerous capacities within Peel Police, including: uniform patrol, training officer, traffic enforcement, criminal investigation, neighbourhood policing and bike/cycling patrol duty, and as an Acting Sergeant. Additionally, he currently leads a Scouts Canada Troop in Toronto; an organization that has seen him work with several Scouting sections during 35 years of membership, with 25 years of this service as a Scout leader.

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Scan 4

Then Rfn Thorn immediately following his QL2 Basic graduation parade on the balcony of Moss Park Armoury, 1988

Scan 3

Then Rfn Thorn on his QL4 Machine Gunner Course, Meaford, 1990.

Scan 2

Then MCpl Thorn ‘on the advance’, Meaford, 1990s


Then Cpl Thorn with his father at a Regimental birthday weekend involving parachuting and rappelling demonstrations, c. 1993.

Scan 1

Then Sgt Thorn during a summer field exercise in Petawawa, 1990s


Then Sgt Thorn with wearing a AN/PRC headset at the end of an evaluation exercise, c. 1999.

Sab Judy JRT 2

WO Thorn with friends.


1812 PM CDS

Members of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada including WO Thorn with The Prime Minister and the the CDS at a War of 1812 Reception at Fort York in Toronto


You Outrank Me Now


The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada tour Europe.


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