The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part V: Sentences

Word today of Robert Semrau’s much-delayed sentence: reduction in rank (to Second Lieutenant) and dismissal from the Canadian Forces (but not dismissal with disgrace). Semrau has thirty days to appeal, but my guess is he won’t. This sentence is remarkable considering that only a few months ago there was plenty of speculation that Semrau might […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part IV: Shoes

In a recent article in the Life section of the National Post, Cristina Alarcon, a pharmacist, ostensibly attempts to wear the shoes of Captain Semrau on that dusty battlefield in Afghanistan. I take the opportunity to suggest that the author is slipshod and should try again: Greetings Ms. Alarcon, I read your thoughtful attempt to […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part III: Memories

Back in 1998, I was called as a witness in a military Summary Trial. I had spent the summer as an instructor teaching Basic Training in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Basic Training is only slightly less exhausting for the instructors than for the students. Even though I was young and at my peak physical condition, an understrength […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part II: Small Mercies

The coverage story on a recent issue of Macleans takes an in-depth look at what is currently known about the circumstances surrounding the murder trial of Captain Semrau. It is an interesting read and includes a brief look at several similar cases in the United States, all of them seemingly motivated by a sincere sense […]

UAV FAIL

As is being reported at the Wall Street Journal online, apparently insurgents in Iraq have armed themselves with $26 off-the-shelf receivers in order to capture live video feeds from US Predator Drone UAVs. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to […]

The Great War & Patrolling/Raiding

Our local Military History Bookclub is currently reading the two-volume history of the Canadian Corps in World War I by Tim Cook. We’ll be reviewing the first volume, At the Sharp End, in January. Volume two, Shock Troops, will follow in February. And in an excellent coincidence, author Tim Cook will be visiting the University […]