RETIREMENT – CAPTAIN JAMES A. TRASK, CD, SIGS – 00341

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Retirements | 0 comments

 

1. ON 10 JANUARY 2023, CAPTAIN AL TRASK, CD, WILL RETIRE FROM THE CANADIAN ARMED FORCES (CAF) AFTER 40+ YEARS OF LOYAL AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE ROYAL CANADIAN CORPS OF SIGNALS, THE COMMUNICATIONS AND ELECTRONICS BRANCH, AND CANADA.

2. CAPT TRASK’S JOURNEY BEGAN AT 17, ON 7 OCTOBER 1982 WHEN HE JOINED 11 SVC BN, A RESERVE UNIT IN VICTORIA, BC. IN FEBRUARY 1986, HE WAS INVITED TO JOIN THE REGULAR FORCE AS A 211 RADIO OPERATOR (RAD OP). WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT WHAT RAD OPS DID, HE WAS TOLD THAT THEY WORKED IN THE BUNKER THAT WAS LOCATED AT NANAIMO BC. EAGERLY HE JOINED ONLY TO FIND OUT LATER, THAT THE ONLY BUNKER HE WOULD WORK OUT OF WAS ONE HE HAD DUG FOR HIMSELF.

CAPT TRASK STARTED HIS CAREER IN CORNWALLIS AND THEN HEADED OFF TO KINGSTON TO COMPLETE HIS TQ3 TRAINING AS A RAD OP. FROM THERE CALGARY WAS HIS DESTINATION, WORKING WITH 1 CMBG HQ & SIGS SQN. AFTER 3 YEARS AND A DEPLOYMENT TO THE GOLAN HEIGHTS AS PART OF UNDOF, HE WAS POSTED TO 1 PPCLI AS A CP OPERATOR. WHILE WITH 1 PPCLI HE COMPLETED ANOTHER TOUR, THIS TIME TO UNFICYP IN NICOSIA CYPRUS WHERE MANY HOURS WERE SPENT ON THE BEACH. AFTER 6 YEARS IN CALGARY AND MANY MONTHS IN WAINWRIGHT, HE WAS HEADED OFF TO BC FOR CFS ALDERGROVE IN
JUNE 1992.

WHILE POSTED TO ALDERGROVE, HE WAS EMPLOYED AS AN AIR-GROUND-AIR OPERATOR. IT WAS HERE THAT HE WAS INTRODUCED TO THE NAVY WAY OF LIFE WITH A FAMILIARIZATION TOUR ON BOARD HMCS YUKON FOR A TRIP TO PEARL HARBOR. WHILE IN ALDERGROVE HE ALSO TAUGHT THE NAVY ABOUT SOME ASPECTS OF ARMY LIFE WHILE HIKING THE WEST COAST TRAIL AND CANOEING THE BOWRON LAKE CHAIN. AFTER THREE YEARS IN BC AND A PROMOTION TO MCPL, IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER MOVE, THIS TIME IT WAS BACK TO KINGSTON IN JULY 1995.

FIRST STOP WAS AT 79 COMM REGT, WHERE HE LEARNED ABOUT LONG-RANGE COMMUNICATIONS VIA SATELLITE AND HF RADIO. VERY SHORTLY HE WAS ON HIS WAY TO PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI AS PART OF UNMIH. AFTER A SHORT BREATHER AT HOME WHERE HE MET HIS FUTURE WIFE LILLIAN MCLEOD, ONCE AGAIN HE WAS OFF, THIS TIME TO ZGON BOSNIA AS PART OF SFOR. UPON HIS RETURN, IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER CHANGE: MARRIAGE AND A POSTING TO CFSCE AS A QL3 AND QL5 SIG OP INSTRUCTOR. AFTER MOLDING NUMEROUS YOUNG SIG OP’S, HE WAS PROMOTED TO SGT AND POSTED TO CFJSR IN THE SUMMER OF 2001. LIFE WAS ABOUT TO CHANGE AGAIN, HIS FIRST SON WAS BORN IN THE SPRING OF 2001, AND THEN SHORTLY AFTER 9/11 HAPPENED. IN MARCH 2002, HE WAS HEADED TO KANDAHAR AFGHANISTAN FOR HIS FIRST OF THREE TRIPS THERE. HE WORKED WITH 3 PPCLI AS THE MT DET COMMANDER, ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF HIS CAREER. HIS SECOND SON FOLLOWED IN 2004 AND HE WOULD RETURN AGAIN TO KANDAHAR IN 2005 TO SET UP A MT DET TO SUPPORT THE CANADIAN MOVE BACK TO KANDAHAR PROVINCE. IN 2006 IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER MOVE, THIS TIME TO PETAWAWA WITH A PROMOTION TO WO AS PART OF THE DEAL.

HE WAS POSTED TO THE RCD AS THE SIG WO AND STARTED TO LEARN ABOUT THE PETAWAWA TRAINING AREA ONE STEP AT A TIME. HE WOULD MOVE HIS FAMILY TO BURNSTOWN ONT WHERE THEY STARTED FARMING ON LILLIAN’S GRANDPARENT’S FARM. FROM THERE HE WOULD SPEND A WINTER IN FORT BLISS TEXAS IN 2008 AS PART OF THE TRAINERS FOR 3 RCR’S ROTO TO AFGHANISTAN. AFTER HELPING TO PREPARE NUMEROUS RCD SQN’S FOR DEPLOYMENT, IT WAS TIME FOR ANOTHER TRIP TO KANDAHAR IN 2010. THIS TIME HE WAS THE S6 FOR THE OPERATIONAL MENTORING AND LIAISON TEAM. THE TRAINING BEGAN WITH A TRIP TO BYDGOSZCZ POLAND AND THEN FORT IRWIN IN BARSTOW CALIFORNIA.
ON RETURN FROM TOUR ANOTHER PROMOTION WAS IN THE WORKS, HE WAS PROMOTED TO MWO IN JUNE 2011 AND APPOINTED AS SSM OF 2 ASG SIG SQN, WHICH WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF HIS CAREER. FOR THREE YEARS HE TRAVELLED ALL OVER ONTARIO TO MEET WITH THE DETACHMENTS OF THE SQN AND HAD MORE MEALS OUT WITH THE CO’S THAN WITH HIS WIFE.

IN 2014, ANOTHER BIG STEP WAS TAKEN AND CAPT TRASK TOOK HIS COMMISSION THROUGH THE CFR PROCESS. AS A CAPTAIN, HE WORKED WITH SSU (CENTRAL) AS A TROOP OFFICER, AND OPS O. HE WOULD THEN JOIN 77 LINE REGT AS OPS O AND THEN SQN 2I/C.

IN 2018 WHILE STAYING ON THE FARM, HE WAS POSTED TO THE NCR WITH CFEWC AND FILLED THE ROLES OF OPS O, ELINT O, AND FINALLY AS THE IO&C O.

3. AL AND LILLIAN WILL REMAIN ON THE FAMILY FARM FOR THE NEAR TERM WHILE THEY PLAN THEIR RETIREMENT HOME AND HE PURSUES A NEW PART-TIME CAREER IN CYBER SECURITY.

4. CAPT TRASK WILL FONDLY REMEMBER THE GREAT PEOPLE HE HAS WORKED WITH, AND ALL THE PLACES HE HAS TRAVELED ACROSS CANADA AND THE WORLD. A DWD WILL BE TAKING PLACE AT THE CFS LEITRIM ALL RANKS MESS ON 25 NOVEMBER 2022 STARTING AT 1300. RSVPS AND ANY CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES CAN BE SENT TO CAPT ISRAEL ST-GEORGES AT [email protected]

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