2. WHELAN JOINED THE CAF IN APRIL OF 1984 WHEN HE JOINED AS A RESERVIST AS PART OF A SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM (SYEP) WITH 763 (OTTAWA) COMMUNICATIONS REGIMENT. AT SOME POINT OVER THAT FIRST YEAR HE FOLLOWED HIS BROTHER GLEN TO A RECRUITING CENTRE AND APPLIED FOR THE REGULAR OFFICER’S TRAINING PLAN (ROTP). AFTER GOING ON A VISIT TO ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE IN KINGSTON AND HAVING A LUNCH OF BREADED PORK CHOPS HE KNEW HE HAD FOUND HIS PLACE TO ATTEND SCHOOL. HE WAS ACCEPTED AND AFTER A SUMMER IN CHILLIWACK HE WENT ON TO GET EDUCATED AT MILITARY COLLEGE IN KINGSTON.
OVER THE YEARS HE HAS HAD GREAT POSTINGS WITHIN CANADA AND OUTSIDE CANADA. HE HAS MANY FOND MEMORIES OF MEETING MANY GREAT PEOPLE AS HE WAS POSTED/DEPLOYED TO MANY DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. HIS POSTINGS HAD HIM MOVING SINCE 1985 FROM CHILLIWACK (SUMMER 1985), TO KINGSTON (85-90), PETAWAWA (90-92), TO OTTAWA (92-95), WEST TO CALGARY (95-97), UP TO YELLOWKNIFE (97-00), DOWN TO COLORADO SPRINGS (00-04), BACK TO OTTAWA (04-06), BACK WEST TO EDMONTON (WITH A 9 MONTH TRIP TO KANDAHAR) (06-09), BACK TO OTTAWA (09-10), OVER TO TORONTO (10-11), BACK TO OTTAWA (11-13), FINALLY BACK TO KINGSTON (13-15), BACK TO OTTAWA (15-18), ACROSS THE POND TO MONS BELGIUM (18-21) AND THEN BACK TO OTTAWA. ALTHOUGH NOT LISTED AS POSTINGS HE HAS SPENT MANY MONTHS IN SOME OF THE NATIONS’ NICEST TRAINING AREAS SUCH AS PETAWAWA, SUFFIELD, WAINWRIGHT, BORDEN AND THE GORE TRAINING AREA. HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO ENJOY TOO MANY GREAT JOBS THROUGHOUT THAT TIME, OFTEN SURPRISED AT WHAT THE INSTITUTION AND CORPS WAS WILLING TO LET HIM HAVE FUN DOING. LUCKY ENOUGH TO HAVE BEEN A COMMANDING OFFICER ON THREE OCCASIONS (1 CMBG HQ & SIGS (2006- 2008), TFK HQ SIG SQN (2008-2009), CFJSR SIG REGT (2013-2015)) WHERE HE WAS PAIRED UP WITH COMMAND TEAM PARTNERS BEYOND COMPARISON (RSM RICHARD, RSM BROWN, SSM DUDRA, RSM HENNESSEY AND RSM MUNN). AT ALL THESE PLACES HE MET MANY GREAT SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRPERSONS AND OFFICERS FROM OUR GREAT MILITARY AS WELL AS FROM OUR ALLIES.
3. HE WOULD LIKE TO THANK HIS FAMILY, ESPECIALLY HIS WIFE LISA, THEIR SONS OWEN AND BRIAN FOR ALL THE SUPPORT AND UNDERSTANDING THAT HAS COME WITH BEING MARRIED TO AN ARMY GUY. HE WILL LIKELY FIND HIMSELF CONTINUING TO WORK WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENCE FOR A FEW YEARS BUT KNOW THAT HE HOPES TO BE ABLE TO GO ANYWHERE, ANYTIME (WITH 2 SHORTS).
4. HIS LAST DAY IN UNIFORM IS PLANNED FOR 31 MARCH 2023, AND THERE IS A PLANNED DWD AT THE WARRANT OFFICER’S AND SERGEANT’S MESS, LOCATED AT 4 QUEEN ELIZABETH DRIVE, OTTAWA, ON THE AFTERNOON OF 22 MARCH 2023 (1230HRS FOR 1300HRS). MR. REJEAN RICHARD (EX-RSM) WILL BE COORDINATING THE DWD WHICH WILL ALLOW ALL TO SHARE A BEVERAGE AND STORIES WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY. THERE WILL BE NO COST FOR ATTENDANCE AT THE DWD, BUT PLEASE RSVP TO MR. RICHARD AT [email protected] AND IF YOU WISH YOU CAN PROVIDE STORIES THAT CAN BE SHARED WITH ALL GATHERED. VVV.
Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. It has been an honour and a true privilege to have been part of one of your many command teams. I will forever remember the great times we had with 1 CMBG HQ and Signals Squadron, this to include our travels in and around Wainwright, Edmonton and Abbotsford. Especially during each of your troops night-outs; those that we were all invited to. I thank you for having given your troops the required time to train and prepare for the Great Canadian Death Race (not debt race) during working hours. For them, bringing back the trophy for being the fastest 1CMBG team was their dream. You allowed them, your Signallers, to outperform Infantry BN’s and other Combat Arms Units earning them great praise and respect amongst their peers. Knowing that you truly admired my driving, when Trevor was not around, I thank you for allowing me to terrify you on occasions. On a more serious note. For me, The best way to describe your leadership style is by highlighting the following (a few of many): turned down a promotion to LCol more than one year early to complete your COship, told Col Vance NO Sir, with regards to a certain impromptu dog and pony show request without being fired. For always giving it your all in support of your troops, officers and their families. The way in which you always sought and listened to our council. The way you always balanced your work and family responsibilities; I will always remember our return from Wainwright when little Brian was so excited to see you arriving. I also thank you for the way in which you never hesitated to voice your views based on real time and real facts, even if it meant ruffling some feathers from time to time. I thank you as well for allowing me to leave your command team early to pursue a new career in uniform. Last but certainly not least, I thank you for providing your troops those famous 2 day short per month. For these many reasons, everyone who had the opportunity to work along side of you, young and old, admired you and they will well into the distant future. That my friend is the greatest gift ever. In my opinion, the return on your investment for being grounded, honest and aware has been paid you in dividends. Everyone under your command did absolutely all that they could, to include myself as your RSM, to surpass all your expectations. I know that I speak for many. Thank you so very much for your outstanding leadership and council over the years.
Your friend, Rej!
Congratulations Gary on such a illustrious career. Here’s to everyday being Saturday.