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Near, James Robert
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Major James Robert Near (1950- ) commanded the Area Readiness Training Company at the Land Force Central Area Training Centre in Camp Meaford, Ontario in 1997. Born in Woodstock, Ontario, he graduated from Carleton University in 1973 with an Honours B.A in Political Science. He joined the Regular Forces in 1973 and was posted to 2nd Batallion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick. He accompanied 2 RCR to Cyprus on UN peacekeeping duties, and in 1981 he was posted to 3 RCR in Germany. Returning to Canada in 1984, he served in various planning capacities in Chief Land Doctrine and Operations in NDHQ. After promotion to major in 1986, Near, in 1987 returned to Regimental Duty as Administration company Commander with 3 RCR, serving in Winnipeg and Baden Soellingen, Germany. In 1989, he was posted back to NDHQ to work in the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence. In 1991 he was posted to Germany a third time to be Canadian Liaison Officer to the Bundeswehr's 4 Panzergrenadier Division. He also served as GI of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. He helped oversee 4 CMBGs closeout from Germany, including being project officer for the acclaimed history book War Without Battles - Canada's NATO Brigade in Germany 1951-1993. From 1993 to 1997 Major Near served on the Army staff in Ottawa in the Directorate of Land Force Development. In 1997 Near returned to the field to assume command of the Area Readiness Training Company at the Land Force Central area Training Centre in Camp Meaford, Ontario. There he was responsible for evaluating combat readiness of LFCA militia units as part of the Land Force Reserve Restructure project.