RETIREMENT – CAPTAIN RALPH T. MACDONALD, CD, SIGS – 00341

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Retirements | 0 comments

 

1. CAPTAIN RALPH T. MACDONALD WILL RETIRE ON 13 JANUARY 2023, AFTER 34 YEARS OF DEDICATED, ALBEIT BROKEN, SERVICE TO CANADA, ITS ARMED FORCES, AND THE ROYAL CANADIAN CORPS OF SIGNALS.

2. RALPH WALKED THROUGH THE FRONT GATES OF CFRLS CORNWALLIS ON 8 NOVEMBER 1986 AND AFTER COMPLETING BASIC AND QL 3 RADIO OPERATOR TRAINING AT CFSCE KINGSTON, WAS POSTED TO THE SPECIAL SERVICE FORCE (SSF) HQ AND SIGNAL SQN, PETAWAWA.

WHILE IN PET HE SERVED IN 3 UNITS (SSF HQ AND SIG SQN, 2 RCHA, AND 427 TAC HEL SQN) EARNING BOTH HIS CANADIAN AND US JUMP WINGS ALONG THE WAY. POSTED TO THE “DIEFENBUNKER” AT CFB PENHOLD, ALBERTA IN 1989, RALPH DECIDED THAT A QL 4 QUALIFIED PRIVATE HAD NOTHING MORE TO LEARN AND LEFT THE CAF TO PURSUE CIVILIAN LIFE. A SHORT 15 MONTHS LATER HE WAS BACK IN UNIFORM, AND BACK IN PETAWAWA AFTER REALIZING THAT A QL 4-QUALIFIED PRIVATE ACTUALLY DID HAVE MORE TO LEARN!

CPL MACDONALD WAS SUBSEQUENTLY POSTED TO CFB GAGETOWN IN 1997 WHERE HE SERVED WITH 2 RCR AND 5 CDSG SIG SQN. WHILE STILL IN GAGETOWN IN 1998, HE ONCE AGAIN LEFT THE CAF TO PURSUE A CAREER AS A COMPUTER TECHNICIAN, DECIDED HE WAS BETTER AT DIGGING HOLES THAN FIXING COMPUTERS, AND PROMPTLY RE-ENROLLED 8 MONTHS LATER. 6 YEARS LATER, SGT MACDONALD WAS POSTED TO 728 COMMS SQN IN ST. JOHN’S NEWFOUNDLAND IN 2004 AND THEN ON TO 5 CDN DIV HQ IN 2005.

IN 2009, WO MACDONALD WAS POSTED TO 5 CDSG SIG SQN, GAGETOWN WHERE HE DECIDED TO RETIRE FROM THE REGULAR FORCE AFTER 22 YEARS AND BECOME A FULL-TIME RESERVIST, RELOCATING TO 36 CBG HQ IN HALIFAX. FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS HE WAS EMPLOYED AS THE G6 OPS WO AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE BDE G6 AFTER HE WAS PROMOTED TO MWO AND EVENTUALLY COMMISSIONED IN 2014. 

IN 2016, CAPT MACDONALD BECAME QUALIFIED AS A MILITARY CAREER COUNSELLOR AND WORKED AT THE CANADIAN FORCES RECRUITING CENTRE, HALIFAX. IN 2018, HE ACCEPTED A COMPONENT TRANSFER BACK TO THE REGULAR FORCE AND WAS POSTED TO 5 CDN DIV HQ IN HALIFAX.

DURING HIS TIME IN THE CAF, RALPH HAS SERVED ON 5 DEPLOYMENTS (IRAN/IRAQ 1988, CYPRUS 1993, HAITI 1996, AFGHANISTAN 2007, 2012). HE WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERY PERSON THAT HE HAS HAD THE DISTINCT PLEASURE AND PRIVILEGE TO SERVE ALONGSIDE. YOU ALL MADE THE SAME CHOICES AS HE DID, TO WEAR THE UNIFORM AND BE PART OF SOMETHING LARGER THAN YOURSELVES, TO PUT YOUR NATION AND ITS IDEALS AHEAD OF YOU, YOUR LOVED ONES, AND, FOR THOSE WE HAVE LOST, ULTIMATELY THEIR LIVES. TO HAVE KNOWN YOU ALL AND CALLED YOU FAMILY IS AN HONOUR THAT FEW ARE BLESSED WITH, AN HONOUR HE WILL CHERISH. 

VVV – PRO PATRIA – AIRBORNE

3. FINALLY, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, RALPH WOULD LIKE TO THANK HIS BEAUTIFUL WIFE OF 34 YEARS, HELEN. SHE HAS EARNED EVERY MEDAL HE WEARS, SUPPORTED EVERY DECISION, GOOD OR BAD, AND RAISED 2 INCREDIBLE, INTELLIGENT, AND CARING SONS ALONG THE WAY (OFTEN ALONE!). RALPH WILL RETIRE IN THE HALIFAX AREA WITH HELEN AND THEIR SONS THOMAS AND NICHOLAS. 

4. A DWD WILL BE HELD AT DOOLEY’S IN SACKVILLE, NS ON 11 JAN 23 AT NOON. PLEASE SEND ANY WELL WISHES, CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES, PICTURES, AMUSING ANECDOTES, OR JUST RANDOM OLD JOKES WITH HIM AS THE PUNCHLINE TO [email protected]. DON’T WORRY HE LOVES THE ATTENTION.

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