The Army is the family business for this father and son

Article / June 16, 2017 / Project number: 17-0150

By Simon Leblanc, Journal Adsum

Valcartier, Quebec — Private Sébastien Tousignant, a member of 55 Field Ambulance in Québec City, was not planning to have a career in the army until he found out that the trade of medical assistant existed in the Canadian Army.

“That’s what convinced me to set out on this adventure,” said this 17-year-old young man, whose father, Major Michel Tousignant, has 25 years of service.

Twenty-five years after putting on the uniform for the first time, Maj Tousignant watched his son take his first steps as a military member.

“My dad is kind of like a role model. Even before I started my military career, seeing him in the army was something special and made me proud,” said Pte Tousignant.

Having just completed his Basic Military Qualification, young Tousignant is also studying natural sciences at Garneau college and intends to study medicine at university, thus taking after his mother, who is a nurse.

Not knowing what his future in the military holds for him, he has two options in mind: enter the Regular Force after university or combine a civilian career as a doctor with part-time employment in the Reserve Force. One thing is for sure, just like his father, he intends to gain experience as a non-commissioned member before considering the option of a career as an officer.

“If you’re motivated, anything’s possible. I try to put all I’ve got into everything I do, and I think that’s how you can accomplish great things,” said Pte Tousignant.

Maj Tousignant admitted he was surprised to see his son enroll: “There was nothing that would have lead you to guess that Sébastien wanted to move his career in this direction. It was even more surprising because I didn’t push him to choose a career in the military.”

He thinks kids should learn how to fly with their own wings. Of course, he is very happy with his son’s decision and plans to support him in this adventure. Now he sees himself more as a mentor.

Currently posted to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters as a G3, Michel Tousignant began his military career in 1992, when he joined Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal, a Reserve unit. Over the next four years, he was deployed to Bosnia twice with the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment. After his transfer to the Regular Force, he served from 1996 to 2001 as a corporal in the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment. He then spent a few years studying at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean before becoming an officer, thus realizing a dream he had cherished for a long time.

In his interview with Adsum, Maj Tousignant indicated that it was funny for him to see his son follow in his footsteps, because a few years ago he was the one who started learning tae kwon do in order to share his son’s passion for the sport.

Father’s Day is celebrated annually in more than 40 countries around the world to honour fathers, male parental role models and their positive influences on society. Celebrated in various forms as early as the 11th century, it was established in North America in 1910. In Canada, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, when people typically spend time with their fathers or father figures in their lives, such as stepfathers and family friends.

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