SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Military personnel from throughout Canada, and the world, deployed to Springhill Feb. 2 to pay tribute to Colonel Roger Cotton during his official military funeral.
A funeral procession made its way up Main Street to the funeral at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.
Following the funeral, there was a ceremonial 21-gun salute in front of the Miners Memorial.
Born in Oshawa, Ont. on Jan. 16, 1965, Cotton was raised in Springhill and passed away on Jan. 19, 2019 after losing his battle with cancer.
He joined the Canadian Forces in 1983 under the Regular Officer Training Program and attended St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, now DalTech, in Halifax, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
After completing amour officer training, he joined the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Petawawa in 1987.
He Married Elizabeth Quinn, also from Springhill, that same year.
Colonel Cotton has held various regimental command and staff appointments in both tank and with command of the 3rd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group Reconnaissance Squadron during Operation Palladium in Bosnia.
Other key appointments included instructional duties at the Canadian Forces Officer Candidate School in Chilliwack, B.C., Chief Instructor of the Tactics School in Gagetown, N.B., and appointments as Directing Staff, and member of the Formation Operations Centre of Excellence at the Canadian Army Command and Staff College in Kingston.
Formation-level staff appointments included G3 Plans and G3 Operations of 2 Canadian Mechanized Group in Petawawa, J5 of Joint Task Force Afghanistan Headquarters, and J5 of the Combat Training Centre in Gagetown from June 2008 to July 2010.
He participated in overseas missions in Cyprus in 1989, Bosnia in 1995 and 2001, the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia in 2001 and Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011.
Colonel Cotton completed Command and Staff Course 31 at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto in 2004 where he was awarded a Master’s Degree in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.
He has been awarded the Chief of Defence Staff, Commander Canadian Army, and Commander Combined Joint Operations Command Commendations.
He also completed Italian language training at the Canadian Forces Language School in Asticou, Quebec.
He was then posted in Rome, Italy as the Defence Attaché at the Canadian Embassy.