Posted by: Jennifer | January 25, 2007

I knew the military was desperate for new recruits…

…but this is crazy.

In a post sometimes reserved for business executives or minor royalty, Rick Mercer may be the first professional comedian to serve as honorary colonel of a Canadian air force unit.

Rick Mercer has been named honorary colonel of 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in Nova Scotia.Rick Mercer has been named honorary colonel of 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in Nova Scotia.

Mercer, who is younger than some of the aircraft in 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, says he is “probably an unconventional choice” for the unpaid ceremonial gig.

Colonel Rick Mercer

“But I’m happy that it’s the guys with the Sea Kings because I always root for the underdog,” he told CBC News Online on Wednesday as word of his appointment spread. “And I’ve always felt perfectly safe riding in Sea Kings.”

The squadron, based at Shearwater near Halifax, consists of 309 men and women and 13 Sikorsky Sea King helicopters.

[..]”He’ll come when we have squadron parades, changes of command,” Boucher said. “He’ll get invited to everything the squadron does, but obviously, being in Toronto, his busy schedule won’t permit him to come to everything.”

One of his roles will be to build squadron spirit, starting with his first official visit in early April, the commander said.

Seriously, this is a good thing. Rick Mercer has done a lot to bring attention to the soldiers who are currently fighting in Afghanistan, and he’s made no secret of his support for the Canadian military in general. 423 Squadron could not have picked a better ambassador.

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