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Honorary-Colonel Brian Rainville

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Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada Regimental Association
1 Valour Place, Cambridge, ON, Canada

Commanding Officer

Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Poland joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989, at age 17 in Sarnia, Ontario, in the rank of private.  Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in undergraduate studies in Political Science at the University of Western Ontario (“UWO”) in London.  While in his first year of studies, he was selected from the ranks, and appointed as an officer with the 1st Hussars, an Armoured Corps Regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.


After graduating with a B.A. (Hons) from Western in 1993, Mark completed two years of full time service with the Canadian Forces, during which time he deployed to Bosnia-Hercegovina as a member of the United Nations Protection Force.  During his deployment, he served in the rank of Lieutenant as both a Squadron and Regimental liaison officer with the Royal Canadian Dragoons.

Upon redeployment in 1995, Mark was promoted to the rank of Captain.  He enrolled in the Faculty of Law at UWO.  He completed his legal studies in 1998 and was granted the degree of Bachelor of Laws.  After articling, Mark was called to the Bar as a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada.  He began his practice as a civil litigation lawyer but soon transitioned to the field of criminal defence law.  Mark then joined the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General in 2003 and took up a position as an Assistant Crown Attorney in the Waterloo Region in 2004.  In October, 2005, Mark obtained a Master of Laws Degree (LL.M) in criminal law.  In October 2012, after a brief appointment as a Deputy Crown Attorney, Major Poland was appointed as the Crown Attorney of Dufferin County in Orangeville.  In July 2015, he became the Crown Attorney for the Waterloo Region.  In this capacity, he supervises an office consisting of 22 lawyers, and 12 support staff.  His professional practice is focused on leading the prosecution of criminal cases in both the Ontario Court of Justice and in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. 

Concurrent to his civilian legal career and academic pursuits, Mark has maintained his commitment to serve in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves.   Upon his call to the Bar in 2000, Mark transferred from the Armoured Corps, and joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General (“JAG”) of the Canadian Forces.  He initially served as a Deputy Judge Advocate.  In 2007, he was appointed as Counsel in the office of the Director of Defence Counsel Services.  In July 2008, Major Poland completed the Joint Reserve Command and Staff Programme.  In May 2010, Major Poland left the JAG and returned to the Armoured Corps, and was appointed Regimental Second in Command of the 1st Hussars.

In September 2012, Mark took up a position with the Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada (RHFC), and completed the Army Operations Course.  In December 2013, he was appointed Deputy Commanding Officer, RHFC.  In 2014, he completed the Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron Commander’s Course.  Concurrent to taking command of the RHFC, Mark completed what he hopes is the final occupational transfer of his military career.  He currently serves as an Infantry officer, and will take a brief pause from his duties as Commanding Officer in order to take the Dismounted Infantry Company Commander’s Course in November 2015. Mark was appointed Commanding Officer of The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada on 3 October 2015.

Mark has been awarded the UNPROFOR medal, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) with clasp, and the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals.

Mark has been married to Susan Poland (Dubé) for 10 years.  He has an 18 year old step-daughter, Shelley, and 7 year old twins Brent (Lucas) and Sophie.  Mark’s son is named after his brother, Corporal Brent Poland, a C9 Machine Gunner with Hotel Company, 2 RCR, who was killed in action in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on April 8, 2007. 

Officer Biographies

Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Poland


Honorary Colonel

Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel Brian Rainville, CD is a retired high school teacher and Principal with the Waterloo Region School Board.

His interest in the military surfaced in 1960 when he joined the Army Cadets in Sturgeon Falls. Four years later he enlisted in the Algonquin Regiment as a Corporal and was an instructor at the Army Cadet Camp Ipperwash during the summers of 1964-66.


In 1966 he was accepted into Biology at the University of Waterloo. During that time he enrolled in the Canadian Officers Training Candidate (COTC) program at Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfrid Laurier University). Col Rainville joined the Highland Fusiliers of Canada in 1968 and was commissioned the same year.

He served in all command and administrative positions within the regiment, rising through the ranks to Major. He was promoted LCol and appointed Commanding Officer (1983-86).

Following his command, Col Rainville transferred to London Militia District, London as a senior staff officer (SSO) and also did a stint in Toronto as SSO Operations and Training at LFCA HQ. He was appointed Deputy Commander of LMD in 1990 and, in 1992 was promoted Colonel and appointed LMD Commander, a post he held until late 1995.

Col Rainville was appointed Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Regiment in June 2012.  He was appointed Honorary Colonel of the RHFC on 3 October 2015.

He and his wife, June, reside in Waterloo.

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Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada Regimental Association