LCol “Moose” Marks takes command of 419 Squadron

The CO’s call sign, and his hockey sweater, are part of the Change of Command. From left: Allison Grover, LCol Mike “Twitch” Grover, Lachlan Marks, LCol Colin “Moose” Marks, William Marks, Amy Marks.
Photo: OS Erica Seymour, 4 Wing Imaging

BGen Sean Boyle presented the RCAF Commander’s Commendation to LCol Marks for his work on the Interim Fighter Capability Project.
Photo: OS Erica Seymour, 4 Wing Imaging

Jeff Gaye

There’s a new Moose in town.

LCol Mike Grover passed command of 419 Squadron to LCol Colin Marks last Friday. By squadron tradition, every Commanding Officer adopts the call sign “Moose” in homage to 419’s first CO, John “Moose” Fulton.

419 Squadron conducts Fighter Lead-In Training (FLIT) for Canada and other countries, with an instructor cadre made up of Canadian, British, French and German pilots.

At the parade, LCol Grover spoke of the unique nature of the squadron, noting that there were six nations represented on the parade square.

He told LCol Marks “you are taking on a great squadron with a big, rich history.” He told the squadron LCol Marks brings extensive and diverse flying experience, and his previous posting on the interim fighter project will “bring an evolution to the next generation fighter” to 419 Squadron’s FLIT mandate.

The Reviewing Officer, 4 Wing Commander Col Paul Doyle, told LCol Grover he has “a great deal of pride to extend my sincere appreciation for everything you’ve done, and for your unparalleled contributions to the RCAF over the last three years.”

Col Doyle welcomed LCol Marks and his family back to Cold Lake. “You have a proud and distinguished unit,” he said. “Your predecessor has built some momentum and put some energy into the squadron, your challenge will be to find ways to maintain that, sustain everything that the Moosemen do, and to build on the incredible capacity the squadron has.”

“I know you will be up to the task.”

In his acceptance, LCol Marks said the squadron’s history, and the responsibilities attached to the “Moose” call sign, mean a lot.

“I am incredibly humbled by the trust that the RCAF and the fighter force command have put in me, and I’m also incredibly inspired by the Moose Squadron legacy I’m about to inherit,” he said.