Army, Careers, Operation, Peacekeeping, Afghanistan
Major S.G.J. Lerch grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. He joined the Royal Canadian Army Cadets in 1982 with the 2483 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Cadet Corp. He then joined the Reserve Force with 11 Service Battalion then the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in 1986. In 1988, Major Lerch transferred to the Regular Force and attended the PPCLI Battle School in Wainwright, Alberta. In 1989 he was posted to 2 Commando, The Canadian Airborne Regiment, where he served as a rifleman for three years. Major Lerch’s first deployment was to Bosnia-Hercegovina in 1997, as a Master Corporal in charge of the Platoon Weapons Detachment with 2 PPCLI. In 1998, Major Lerch received his commission and in 2004 was posted to 3 PPCLI. In 2005 he deployed to Afghanistan with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and was immediately seconded to Task Force Gun Devil (US) and served as the Plans Officer for seven months. Major Lerch returned to Afghanistan in 2008 with the Task Force 1-08 Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT). In this capacity, he participated in numerous combat operations with the Afghan National Army (ANA). He was awarded the Canadian Expeditionary Force Commander’s Commendation for his work during these combat operations. Major Lerch’s third tour to Afghanistan was in 2011, when he was the Operations Mentor with the Joint Regional Afghan National Security Forces Center (JRAC), a formation HQ for southern Afghanistan. Most recently Maj Lerch deployed the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2016/17 where he worked closely with the Congolese Army and UN forces. From 2015 to 2016 he had the honour of commanding Combat Support Company and Administration companies in 3 PPCLI and is currently employed as the PPCLI Regimental Major. Major Lerch has a degree in History with distinction from the University of Victoria. He is married with twin boys and they live in St Albert.