GATN In the News

Photo Credit: Peter Hellberg

First Woman Appointed Hon. Lieutenant Colonel for The Halifax Rifles

Group ATN Associate Corinne MacLellan Named to Honorary Council

(HALIFAX, NS) -- On the recommendation of the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan has appointed Corinne MacLellan as the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel (HLCol) for The Halifax Rifles (RCAC).  MacLellan is the first woman to hold the HLCol position with The Rifles and completed her honorary orientation at Gagetown in May of 2019.

As an associate of Group ATN, MacLellan has worked extensively throughout the Centenary period of the Great War (2014-2018) to heighten awareness of Canada’s rich military history and conducted seven delegate missions to the battlefields of Belgium for Visit Flanders.  She recently completed the multi-year contract term with Visit Flanders, a destination management arm of the Belgian Government.  Primarily responsible for promoting Canadian visitation to the Flanders region of Belgium, MacLellan was able to report a 120% increase in travel to the region last year.  Overall Canadian traffic has resulted in a cumulative economic impact of approximately 31 million euros.

“This is a well-deserved recognition from Minister Sajjan and, as her colleagues at Group ATN, we know first hand that The Halifax Rifles and the Canadian Armed Forces will be well served with Corinne’s engagement in this role,” said Thomas McGuire, Vice President of Group ATN.

In 2015 Corinne was invited to sit on the Board of Governors of the Army Museum Halifax Citadel, chairing communications during a record setting period for attendance and renewed interest in the Army’s role in society.  As a member of the Board of Governors for Commissionaires NS, MacLellan has committed her volunteer time to support veteran’s employment and support resources. 

MacLellan was also co-director for both the Last Steps and Canada Gate memorial projects which now link Halifax as the central place of deployment for Canadian war and peacekeeping efforts, together with the location of the Nation’s costliest battle at Passchendaele, Belgium.

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Melville, Commanding Officer of The Halifax Rifles (RCAC), commented on the significance of the appointment, “The Ministerial confirmation of Ms. MacLellan as our HLCol marks the first time a woman will hold an honorary position for The Halifax Rifles, our entire unit is looking forward to a dynamic three year term ahead.”

The tradition of Honorary appointments dates back to 1895 and was described by former Prime Minister Robert Borden as a guiding influence on regimental leadership and arms length advisory to the Canadian Armed Forces.   Initial honorary appointments typically last for three years.

Following her orientation at Gagetown, MacLellan commented on the confirmation saying, “I’m looking forward to being a part of this historic pre-Confederation institution and supporting these incredible young men and women in their mission.” MacLellan added, “The Halifax Rifles carry the legacy of remarkable service to Canadians and today can be found actively engaged in several Armed Forces operations.”

A Primary Reserve armoured reconnaissance regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces, The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) are headquartered at Windsor Park.