Faces of the 5th Canadian Division

Each week, the 5th Canadian Division will profile a #5DivSoldier that helps keep the #MightyMaroonMachine going while remaining #StrongProudReady for any and all challenges.

Beaupré, Petty Officer 1st class Nicole

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicole Beaupre at the 100th anniversary of Camp Hill Veterans Memorial hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 20, 2017. Photo: ©2017 DND/MDN, Canada.

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”  - Mahatma Gandhi

Hometown: Trenton, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 27 years

Home Unit:  5th Canadian Division, G8 (Financial Policies & Procedures)

Who is your role model?
This is a hard question to answer. I have had many role models throughout my career that inspired me to be the sailor I am today. On my personal side it was my mom. Throughout my childhood, volunteering and giving back to those in need was part of our family life that I have carried forward into my own family.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I knew in Grade 7 that I wanted to join the Canadian Armed Forces. The recruiters came to our school for Career Day, that night I went home and told my mom that I was joining the military. The following week I joined the 397 Trenton Air Cadets and immediately after graduating from high school I was off to CFB Cornwallis for Recruit School.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
I have spent most of my career on training bases or with the Navy. When I was posted to the 5th Canadian Division, I was welcomed and immediately accepted as part of the family even though I am in a Navy uniform.

What is your most memorable experience?
I have been able to see the world throughout my career. I have visited 23 countries and lived in Germany for four years. It has all been quite a memorable experience. For the past six years, I have been involved in an amazing volunteer outreach program with Camp Hill Veterans Memorial. As the coordinator for the program I seek volunteers to help support the events held at Camp Hill, which consist of 6 ceremonies throughout the year and two garden clean-up days. This has been one of my most rewarding experiences in my career.

Why have you stayed in the CAF?
Being in the CAF is who I am, I have never considered it my job, it is a part of me.

What message would you like the Canadian public to know about the Canadian Army?
If you are looking for a career that is challenging and fosters personal growth, opportunities to travel the world, build a close network of family and friends and potentially make a difference in someone else’s life through humanitarian aid, safety and security, then the Canadian Army is the place you want to be.

 

Fader, Sergeant Neil

Sergeant Neil Fader (right), in a Chinook helicopter air-lifting an LG1 Howitzer. Photo: ©2017 DND/MDN, Canada.

"The Army will challenge you physically and mentally so be prepared!!"

Hometown:  Halifax, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 13 years

Home Unit: 5 Canadian Division Training Centre 

Who is your role model?
Sergeant (Retired) Hoyt, because he held a position within the artillery that I was very interested in and strived to hold myself. He also was much respected within the artillery and I want to be just like him for those reasons.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division? 
The best part of being a part of the Canadian Army is the comradery and deployment opportunities. As part of 5th Canadian Division Training Centre, I’m happy to be playing a major role in the molding of future soldiers that are joining the military.

What is your most memorable experience?
Being employed as a member of the Honour Guard Company in Seoul, South Korea as part of the Canadian Contingent to conduct multiple parades for high-ranking officers and conducting base security operations while employed there. 

Why you have stayed in the CAF?  
The opportunities to deploy to anywhere in the world and travel while working for my country and serving as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Fudge, Corporal Kristopher Bruce

Corporal Kristopher Bruce Fudge, from the 2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, trains with the 5th Canadian Division combat shooting team at the 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown range and training area on August 18, 2017 in preparation for the 2017 Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration.

"This is such an amazing experience. I would recommend taking part in Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration to anybody who wants to improve their marksmanship skills."

Hometown: Roberts Arm, Newfoundland

Years of Service: 4 years

Home Unit: 2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Corner Brook, Newfoundland

Who is your role model? 
Sidney Crosby. Sidney Crosby is my role model because he’s a great hockey player, has great work ethic and is from the East Coast.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined to have an excellent job that permitted me to continue working on my university degree.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
Getting a chance to participate in so many different exciting events/competitions. For me, the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration is one of my most memorable moments.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
The Canadian Armed Forces gives me the opportunity to continue improving myself physically and mentally.

 

Gravina, Trooper Jeff

Trooper Jeff Gravina, an Armoured Reconnaissance crewman from the Prince Edward Island Regiment, participating in Exercise STRIDENT TRACER 2017, a large Army Reserve combat training exercise held at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown from August 18-27, 2017. Photo: 14 Wing Imaging Services. ©2017 DND/MDN Canada.

"There are a lot of real people. The Army is made up of a lot of real people."

Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island

Years of Service: 1 year, 3 months

Home Unit: The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC)

Who is your role model?
My parents, Adam and Sara Gravina, inspire me a lot.

My role model in the Canadian Armed Forces is Warrant Officer Chad Wilkie of the Halifax Rifles and an instructor on my Armoured Reconnaissance crewman’s course, because he is enthusiastic and passionate about teaching us the proper ways and ensuring that we are efficient.

What do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I am an Armoured Reconnaissance crewman, a war fighting function that uses vehicles to gather information, often in enemy territory. There are a lot of complex tactics and strategies that are used to operate while remaining undetected.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The people you meet and the experiences that you have at work. You meet people that you wouldn't normally get an opportunity to. There are people on my course that I have really gotten to know in an in-depth level while working in close quarters together. They are all-around just really cool people.

What is your most memorable experience?
The courses that I have taken thus far because that is where all of these great people and great experiences have come together whether in barracks, in the classroom or on our off time.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
It is a great job, it pays well and there are a lot of different work opportunities.

What would you say to someone that is considering a career in the CAF?
Give it a try, give it your best shot. Really push yourself to do the best you can and at the end of the day. It is definitely a worthwhile experience. It is not all fun and games, it is stressful at times but when you go through those stressful times you get to the end of it, you realize how exciting the experience really was.

What would you like the Canadian public to know about their Army?
There are a lot of real people. The Army is made up of a lot of real people.

Gray, Captain Sarah

Captain Sarah Gray, Armour Officer with The Halifax Rifles (RCAC), plans during Exercise STAGED RESPONSE in May 2017 in Truro, Nova Scotia. Photo: Warrant Officer Jerry Kean, 5th Canadian Division Headquarters. ©2017 DND/MDN Canada.

"I am currently the Course Officer for Development Period 1 Reconnaissance Crewman at 5th Canadian Division Training Centre. This course is challenging as it teaches young soldiers how to operate as a member of a crew, from shooting the C6 General Purpose Machine Gun to driving the LUVW [Light Utility Vehicle Wheeled] tactically. Teamwork and crew cohesion is an essential aspect of this course and will carry on in their careers as crewmen and women.

 The best advice I can give to any young person in Atlantic Canada, especially if they are going to school, is to consider the Army Reserve as an employment option. As a student, this was the best job I could have asked for. I have had full-time summer employment, great leadership and management training, benefits such as tuition reimbursement and a flexible schedule to attend classes. If I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Hometown: Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: Four.

Home Unit: The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) (Royal Canadian Armoured Corp)

Who is your role model?
I have had several role models whom I looked up to throughout my career. The most recent one I have come to admire is Major (Retired) Sandra Perron, the first female infantry officer in Canada. Her story, to me, is a lesson in leadership – even when facing adversity or change, we must take care and look out for one another. She paved the road for women in the combat arms and I am grateful to learn from her experiences to become a better leader and soldier.

Previous Deployments:
None.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined the Canadian Armed Forces, in particular the Primary Reserves with The Halifax Rifles (RCAC), because I was an Army Cadet for seven years and learned to love the military lifestyle. I am currently the Battle Captain for Reconnaissance Squadron where I plan training in garrison and in the field as well as take care of personnel administration.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division (5 Cdn Div)?
My favourite part about being in the Army in 5 Cdn Div is the challenging and diverse training we get to do. We will be receiving our new vehicle platform, the TAPV [Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle], sometime this year which will bring an exciting new challenge to the Armoured Reconnaissance Reserve regiments in Atlantic Canada. Being in the Canadian Army has also motivated me to take up graduate studies (Masters in Public Administration and Juris Doctor).

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience has been attending the Worthington Challenge over the past 2 years. The first year Primary Reservists were invited to compete 5 Cdn Div won top LUVW crew in Canada. It was a rewarding experience watching our team work so hard and getting the credit they deserved.

Why have you stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I have stayed in the CAF because I love my job and the work we get to do. There is always something new to learn and a new challenge to take on. I couldn’t have asked for a better part time job as I transition into going to Grad school in the fall.

MacPhee, Sergeant William Michael

Sergeant William Michael MacPhee, a Vehicle Technician from 36 Service Battalion (Sydney Detachment) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, works on a grinder in a vehicle shop on July 31, 2017. Photo: ©2017 DND/MDN Canada.

“I like filling the position of Course Warrant for the RCEME [Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers] Common at 5th Canadian Division Training Centre because these future technicians we train are just starting their careers. This is the first trade-related course they will take, so we (course staff) get to be the ones to introduce them to the RCEME Corps.”

Hometown: New Waterford, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 17

Home Unit: 36 Service Battalion (Sydney Detachment)

Who is your role model?
Warrant Officer Guy Thivierge (Vehicle Technician)

Previous Deployments:
Golan Heights: Operation DANACA ROTO 82 (2004-2005)
Afghanistan: Operation ATTENTION Roto 3 MCT (2013-2014)

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I’ve been interested in the CAF ever since I was in Air Cadets. Now I am a Sergeant, Vehicle Technician in the Corps of the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
Leadership training and experience. I believe long-term involvement in the Canadian Army can build skills that will make you a more capable person.

What is your most memorable experience?
My first deployment.

Why have you stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
This job can challenge you. It is rewarding and a whole lot of fun.

Matheson, Sergeant Natalie

Sergeant Natalie Matheson, a Mobile Support Equipment Operator from 36 Service Battalion (Sydney Detachment) prepares a vehicle for a task on July 31, 2017 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. ©2017 DND/MDN Canada.

“There is never a shortage of learning in the CAF, that’s the best part. You’ll never have to become complacent with what you’re doing; because there is always another opportunity waiting for you, you just have to push yourself and you’ll achieve success.”

Hometown: Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: Ten

Home Unit: 36 Service Battalion (Sydney Detachment)

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined the CAF to give my life a change of pace and give myself more challenging experiences. I am a Mobile Support Equipment Operator and I’m currently an instructor at 5th Canadian Division Training Centre (Detachment Aldershot).

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The best part of being a part of the Canadian Army is having the ability to improve myself both on a personal and professional level. I also have an excellent opportunity to train the fresh minds coming through my trade and to help improve them as soldiers and people in general. At the end of the day it’s a very rewarding feeling.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience, I would have to say there isn’t just one for me. Anything that involves hands-on training (especially in a field setting, taken from your daily routine, working with your platoon with a great level of morale) those are the best experiences for me.

Why you have stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
It keeps me motivated to keep pushing farther for myself, the mentality and of course knowing that the unlimited amount of experiences you can gain is just an arm’s reach away.

Meikle, Sergeant Corey
Sergeant Corey Meikle of 3 Intelligence Company

Sergeant Corey Meikle of 3 Intelligence Company, Halifax, Nova Scotia. ©2017 DND/MDN.

“It’ll all work out… ”
This quote speaks to the tenacity and ingenuity of us Reservists in overcoming obstacles in creative ways to ensure that tasks are completed and the commander’s aim is met.

Hometown: Fall River, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 12 years, 7 months

Home Unit: 3 Intelligence Company, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Who is your role model?
A series of fictional characters who exhibit the best traits of humanity relative to the environment they are in.

Deployments:
Operation LENTUS 17-1 IC Intelligence Support Team

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
At the time it was the best part-time employment option available, because of the diverse training opportunities and range of experiences that could be had. Part of me wanted to offer service to the country, and the reserves offered that.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The work ethic: “Do your job, do it well, and carry on.”
The work environment: One that is professional and caring of the soldiers in it. Promotes professionalism overall and works to overcome individual deficiencies.

Why have you stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces?
Job security, pay and benefits. When the employment situation arises, the rewarding experience of instructing and training Intelligence Operators.

Murray, Master Corproral Jesse

Master Corporal Jesse Murray, a Combat Engineer from 4 Engineer Support Regiment, shows a new member how to detach the 25mm cannon from the turret. © 2017 DND/MDN

Watch your thoughts for they become words
Watch your words for they become actions
Watch your actions for they become habits
Watch your habits for they become character
Watch your character for it becomes destiny
- Lao-Tze

Hometown: Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 9 years

Home Unit: 4 Engineer Support Regiment, based in Oromocto, New Brunswick

Who is your role model?
My biggest role models would have to be my two grandfathers, the one on my father’s side who served in the First World War and was present at Vimy Ridge, and also my grandfather on my mother’s side who was in the Second World War and who took part in the liberation of Holland and many other great feats earning him an oak leaf. Also I would like to mention my uncle who served from 1959 to 1985 with the Airborne Regiment serving in Cypress and many other locations during his time.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined the CAF to make a difference in this world and country, fight an enemy that destroys ways of life at home and outside this great country. I am a Combat Engineer who loves to share his knowledge and better the next generation of soldiers.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The best part about being in the Canadian Army is being part of a military that is known for greatness in the battlefield and has earned respect around the world. Being a part of 5th Canadian Division is rewarding because we support the whole division and have plenty of opportunity to pass on great leadership principals and truly affect the younger generation of soldiers in a positive way.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience in 5th Canadian Division was being a part of Phase 4 2014 training and actually influencing young officers in complex engineering tasks and passing on excellent leadership principles that I know they won’t forget.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
I love my country and the people I work with and for. My son lives in Canada and what better person to protect his way of life then his dedicated father?

What message would like the Canadian public to know about the Canadian Army? 
We are here for you and will sacrifice ourselves and our comforts to protect yours. We love our country and the people in it. It’s not about payment, it’s about deeds and pushing through challenges.

Odartey-Wellington, Captain Felix

Captain Felix Odartey-Wellington, Public Affairs Officer for 36 Canadian Brigade Group rappels from a tower on September 13, 2017 at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in New Brunswick during a training exercise.‎ Photo: Tammy Williams

"There are so many opportunities in the Canadian Armed Forces. Explore and find your own path to a fulfilling career."

Hometown: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 7

Home Unit: 36 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Who is your role model?
My father, Major-General Neville Alexander Odartey-Wellington (Ghana Armed Forces).

Deployments:
Exercise TRADEWINDS 2016, Jamaica

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I’m a Public Affairs Officer (PAO). I joined because I grew up in an Army environment in which the Canadian Armed Forces is highly regarded. It made sense to join the CAF when I immigrated to Canada from Ghana.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
Great training opportunities, great comrades, great seeing what the exciting things that the various trades do in my role as a PAO.

What is your most memorable experience?
Graduating from the rigorous Reserve Basic Public Affairs Officers course.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
The Reserve Force alternative in the CAF allows me to pursue my passion for military life while actively handling my responsibilities and interests as a Communication professor at Cape Breton University. My experience as a PAO makes it possible for me to bring real-world communication experience to the classroom. 

Piercey, Corporal Devon

Corporal Devon Piercey of 2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment

"Always strive to be better than the best."

Hometown:  Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland

Years of Service: 2.5 years

Home Unit:  2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment

Who is your role model?
Corporal Brian Pinksen. He was the first soldier of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment killed in action since the end of the First World War and he gives me the motivation to train to be the best every day. He made the ultimate sacrifice to protect Canada and he will never be forgotten.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canandian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined to serve and protect the country and the people. I know while I make sacrifices, people at home will be safe from all the dangers in the world.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The adventure and ability to learn new skills that I can pass on to new recruits.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience is a night shoot during my Infantry Weapons Detachment course. It was an amazing display of destructive power by the C6 Machine Gun in the sustained firing role.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
The constant ability to travel all over Eastern Canada and meet new and exciting people.

What message would like the Canadian public to know about the Canadian Army?
The Canadian Armed Forces is hard work and can be dangerous but it is the best opportunity to have an exciting and rewarding career, one in which you feel like a part of something bigger than yourself.

Ross, Sergeant Ian James Taylor

Sergeant Ian Ross (left), an armoured reconnaissance patrol commander from the Prince Edward Island Regiment identifies targets for artillery fire during Exercise STRIDENT TRACER 2017, a large Army reserve combat training exercise held at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown from August 18 to 27, 2017.

"Come prepared, come fit, hit the ground running and don't stop until the job is done."

Hometown: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (Downtown)

Years of Service: 7 years

Home Unit: Prince Edward Island Regiment

Who is your role model?
My brother, who is currently serving with the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, because he served in Afghanistan and encountered a lot of challenges during and after his deployment. Despite all these challenges, he persevered, was promoted to the rank of Major and has held some very respectable commands over the years.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I originally joined the CAF based on the mentorship that my brother provided me and I chose to stay in because of the friends that I have made over the years and the influences that they have had on me.

I am an armoured reconnaissance patrol commander. In combat operations, armoured reconnaissance soldiers operate in front of the brigade they support, often times in enemy territory where they tactically observe and gather information about the enemy that is useful to the Commander when planning for potential battle. My role puts me in charge of a patrol (two  vehicles) and I am responsible for coordinating their tactical and administrative movements.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The Army becomes a second family to you which includes all of the good and the bad parts of being a family and regardless, we stay together through thick and thin.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience is when I deployed by UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter to do a long range patrol in Fort Pickett, Virginia on an exercise.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
The CAF provides a great atmosphere and positive influences for personal development.

What would you say to someone that is considering a career in the CAF?
Come prepared, come fit, hit the ground running and don't stop until the job is done.

What do you want the Canadian public to know about their Army?
The Canadian Army hands down provides the best training that you will find anywhere else in the world. We get better training than any other military in the world.

Tell, Master Corporal Remo

Photo: ©2017 DND-MDN, Canada

"In the CAF, no two days are the same, there is always something that challenges you as a soldier and you work anywhere in the world with fellow Canadians and people from different countries around  the world."

Hometown: Sydney, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 11

Home Unit: The Cape Breton Highlanders

Previous Deployments:
Afghanistan 2010 Op Athena

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I was always interested in the Army and I was looking for a career that would challenge my abilities, physically and mentally.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
As a reservist, I get to pursue two really cool careers: an Infantry Section Commander with the Cape Breton Highlanders and a nurse at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. The CAF education reimbursement program also helped cover my tuition in university. As well, I can train as a reservist while attending university in my community. The CAF has given me many qualities and experiences that civilian employers are looking for.

What is your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience is deploying to Afghanistan and working with people from different cultural backgrounds.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
I continue to serve in the CAF because I like the camaraderie and want to continue to serve my country.

Walcott, Sergeant Melissa

Sergeant Melissa Walcott at the Canada Army Run in Ottawa, Ontario on September 20, 2015. Photo: Zoomphoto.ca

“The military is a great career that includes benefits, stable pay, family support, education and experiences like no other. There truly is something for everyone!”

Hometown: Pugwash, Nova Scotia

Years of Service: 20 years (6 reserve, 14 regular force)

Home Unit: 5 Canadian Division - Headquarters

Who is your role model?
From a professional side, Lieutenant-Colonel Eleanor Taylor. As a previous Officer Commanding of 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, she showed me how to earn respect, maintain confidence and lead effectively. LCol Taylor is strong, courageous, kind and fair. I was honored to have worked under her command in 2009 and am happy to be part of the Division Headquarters with her currently.

From a personal side, my kids, husband and family are what keep me going. They show me every day that life is worth living, how to enjoy it and that when things are difficult, you still have to keep going. They are what keep me healthy and strong.

Previous Deployments:
Afghanistan 2007

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I was looking for a challenging job. With the military, I was able to get an education while being employed to serve our country. Currently I am an Army Communications and Information Systems Specialist, but I started my career in the Reserve as an Infantry Soldier and a Medical Technician.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
The people. Some of my truest friends, support system and role models have been those I have met in the military.

What is your most memorable experience?
Being selected by the Commander of the Canadian Army to be an honoured guest for the Army Run 2016. Having the support of my Chain of Command and being recognized for something I worked and trained hard for was really an amazing experience.

Why you have stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
The experiences and opportunities. I have had many firsts while being in the military and there are so many things I would have never done in the civilian world.

Wheeler, Captain Robert

Captain Robert Wheeler gives a tour of the 5th Canadian Division Training Centre to members of the Canadian Women’s National Hockey Team at 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown in Oromocto, New Brunswick on June 11, 2017. Photo: ©2017 DND/MDN Canada.

“There is truly no life like it. The opportunities are endless and the skills I have learned are plentiful and a positive influence to any employer.”

Hometown: Meadows, Corner Brook, Newfoundland

Years of Service: 36

Home Unit: 2 Battalion Royal Newfoundland Regiment

Who is your role model?
Gen (Retired) Rick Hillier, another proud and successful Newfoundlander.

Previous Deployments:
Operation ATHENA Roto 3, Kandahar in 2007

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I wanted to be a team player with something bigger and the reserves was a perfect fit.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
In the beginning it was a part-time activity and it quickly became my focus which eventually led to some very interesting training opportunities that have created many fond experiences and great friends.

What is your most memorable experience?
NATO tour in Afghanistan, 2007 was a life changing experience. It was very humbling and rewarding to be a part Task Force 107, Operation Athena.

Why you have stayed in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
The Army Reserves has been very rewarding to me and all the skills I have learned I want to give back to the next generation of young soldiers.

White, Corporal Renée Marie

Corporal Renée Marie White in training on June 2015 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Photo: provided by Corporal Renée Marie White.

"Examine your current situation: if you’re making more than $25 an hour in an exciting and dynamic job, and have more than 4 weeks paid leave with full medical, dental and a great pension then keep doing what you are doing."

Hometown: North Bay Ontario and currently Halifax

Years of Service: 6

Home Unit: 36 Combat Engineer Regiment, Sydney, Nova Scotia

Who is your role model?
Sergeant Wendy Melee. Sgt Melee has been a positive role model to me because she has not only provided me with training, but she has been instrumental by helping me through some difficult times. She has given me the best advice and encouragement. When she says “you’re the bomb!”, it always makes me feel better.

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I’m a Clerk in 36 Combat Engineer Regiment. I joined for stability, great benefits and pay, and excellent training.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
Pay, benefits, and training opportunities that give you highly sought-after skills in the civilian workplace such as team work, leadership, self-motivation and attention to detail.

What is your most memorable experience?
Always Remembrance Day.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
I found the CAF fulfilled the motivations that drew me to join in the first place. There has also been great friendships, as well as a culture that values fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Williamson, Lieutenant-Commander Kelly
Lieutenant-Commander Kelly Williamson

Lieutenant-Commander Kelly Williamson, Senior Public Affairs Officer, 5th Canadian Division Headquarters during her deployment to Operation RENAISSANCE in Nepal in 2015. Photo: ©2017 DND/MDN, Canada.

"Always be yourself … but take risks, be brave and never be afraid to make mistakes. We often learn more from failure than we do from success and adversity should motivate and encourage people to find creative ways to get the job done."

Hometown: St. Andrews, New Brunswick

Years of Service: A lot…trust me…ok: 21

Home Unit: 5th Canadian Division Headquarters

Who is your role model?
Besides my parents for obvious reasons …
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She was one of the longest-serving British Prime Ministers of the 20th century and nicknamed the Iron Lady for her uncompromising principles and leadership style; and Vice-Admiral (Retired) Nora Tyson of the United States Navy. I had the honour and pleasure to support Vice-Admiral Tyson during Exercise RIMPAC [Rim of the Pacific] 2016. It was an inspiration to learn from her and watch her effectively lead a combined, multinational coalition with partners from more than 26 nations.

Previous Deployments: 
Ex RIMPAC 2004 & 2006 Afloat; Operation HESTIA (Haiti) 2010; Operation ATHENA (Afghanistan) 2011; Operation NANOOK 2012 (Churchill, Manitoba); Operation RENAISSANCE (Nepal) 2015; Ex RIMPAC 2016 as Coalition Staff; NEPTUNE TRIDENT 2017-1 (West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea).

Why did you join and what do you do in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)?
I joined the Canadian Armed Forces because I am a patriot. I initially served in the Royal Canadian Navy as a Maritime Surface Warfare Officer. I sailed in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Algonquin where I earned my Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate and Naval Officer Professional Qualification. I then sailed in HMCS Vancouver where I served as the Above Water Warfare Director but I always had a passion for people and storytelling and had always wanted to serve as a Public Affairs Officer.  In 2009, after spending time as the Flag Lieutenant to the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific, I transferred into the Public Affairs Branch. I have been a Public Affairs Officer since 2009, and now work with diverse teams to effectively communicate with Canadian and International audiences about the Canadian Armed Forces.

What is the best part about being in the Canadian Army / 5th Canadian Division?
Being part of a mission-focused team of consummate professionals.

What is your most memorable experience?
There are so many incredible experiences, it’s hard to choose just one. In 2010, my deployment to Haiti taught me to be resourceful and to find ways to get the job done under very austere conditions. During my deployment to Nepal, I worked with an incredible team of soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen, and civilian partners and witnessed the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. We were in Nepal to provide relief from a major earthquake and found ourselves caught in a major 7.8 aftershock two weeks later.

Finally, the capacity building, community engagement and outreach we undertook in West Africa as part of NEPTUNE TRIDENT 2017-1 can only be described as spiritually rewarding. It was inspirational to meet with people throughout West Africa and in particular in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast working to make their countries a better place. These deployments taught me to be grateful for everything we enjoy and sometimes take for granted as Canadians, and to work to leave the world a better place, one person at a time.

Why you have stayed in the CAF?
The people, the challenge and the satisfaction of serving Canadians.

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