1. LIEUTENANT-COLONEL NEIL MCKENNA WILL BE RETIRING FROM THE CAF ON 19 AUGUST 2019 WITH 37 YEARS OF LOYAL AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO CANADA.

2. HAILING FROM THE DOCK ROAD, ELMSDALE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND, LCOL MCKENNA ENROLLED IN THE CANADIAN FORCES AS A RADIO OPERATOR IN 1982. ON COMPLETION OF TRADE TRAINING, HE SERVED WITH 1 SQUADRON, 1ST CANADIAN SIGNAL REGIMENT FROM 1983-1987 DURING WHICH TIME HE WAS SELECTED AS THE 1CSR SOLDIER OF THE YEAR IN 1984 AND PROMOTED TO CORPORAL IN 1985. IN 1987, AFTER BEING POSTED TO 743 COMMUNICATION SQUARDON IN PENHOLD, ALBERTA HE WAS PROMOTED TO MASTER-CORPORAL. REMEMBERING WATCHING YOUNG TROOP COMMANDER LIEUTENANTS IN 1CSR, AND THINKING “I CAN DO THEIR JOB”, IN 1989 HE APPLIED FOR, AND WAS ACCEPTED INTO, THE UNIVERSITY TRANING PLAN FOR NONCOMMISSIONED MEMBERS AND WAS SELECTED TO ATTEND ROYAL MILITARY COLLEGE OF CANADA TO FINISH HIS DEGREE IN POLITICAL ENGINEERING (SOME REFER TO IT AS POLITICAL SCIENCE) FROM 1989-1991.

3. OFFICER POSTINGS SAW LCOL MCKENNA POSTED TO 73 COMMGP HQ WINNIPEG (SO TRAINING 92-95), 72 COMMGP HQ HALIFAX (SO OPS/PLANS 95-97), 721 (GLACE BAY) COMM TROOP (OFFICER COMMANDING 97-99), 2CMBG HQ & SIGS SQN (DEPUTY COMMANDING OFFICER 99-01), CFSCE (HQ STAFF 01-02), CANADIAN ARMY HQ (G6 OPS 02-05), US ARMY SIGNAL CENTER FORT GORDON, GA (LIAISON OFFICER 05-08), CANADIAN ARMY HQ AGAIN (EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO DEPUTY COMMANDER CANADIAN ARMY 08-09), NDHQ VICE CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF (OUTCAN COORD 09-11), PETAWAWA (ASSOCIATE DEPUTY MINISTER (IM) REGIONAL LIAISON OFFICER CENTRAL REGION 11-12) AND (COMMANDING OFFICER SHARED SERVICES UNIT (CENTRAL) 12-14), ARLINGTON, VA (ABCANZ ARMIES PROGRAM OFFICE 14-18) AND FINALLY THIS LITTLE GUY FROM PEI FINISHES HIS CAREER AS THE CANADIAN FORCES COMMUNICATIONS & ELECTRONICS ATTACHE WORKING OUT OF THE EMBASSY OF CANADA TO THE UNITED STATES IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

4. LCOL MCKENNA’S SELF PROFESSED CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: DOING THINGS OTHERS SAID COULDN’T BE DONE; SUCH AS BEING A RADIO DETACHMENT COMMANDER AS A NO-HOOK PTE, BECOMING A SIGNALS OFFICER WITH AN ARTS DEGREE, KEEPING COMMTP GLACE BAY OPEN AFTER BEING POSTED THERE WITH A COPY OF THE CLOSURE ORDER TO BE ENACTED ‘ON ORDER’ (IT IS NOW A SQUADRON), SERVING AS THE FIRST CCUNPROFOR G6 AS A LIEUTENANT, SPEAKING FRENCH, BEING PROMOTED ABOVE CAPTAIN WITHOUT TECH STAFF QUALIFICATION (HE TRIED IT FOR A MONTH…DIDN’T LIKE IT), COMMANDING A UNIT WITHOUT JCSP, SUCCESSFULLY WORKING WITH SHARED SERVICES CANADA. ALSO MEMORABLE ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED TO HAVE PLAYED GOLF IN AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SOUTH AFRICA, UK, AND ALL OVER THE U.S, HE HAS MET PRINCESS ANNE, HAD BEERS WITH FUZZY ZOELLER AND HOWIE MANDEL, PLAYED GOLF WITH MR DRESSUP, ATTENDED THE MASTERS (3 TIMES), AND WATCHED THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD FROM INSIDE THE GROUNDS OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE. ADDITIONALLY, HE HAS BEEN HONOURED AND HUMBLED TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE WITH, OVER A NUMBER OF YEARS, WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN ARMS FROM THE UNITED STATES, THE UNITED KINGDOM, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, GERMANY, FRANCE, THE NETHERLANDS AND MANY OTHER NATIONS. LASTLY, AND VERY SERIOUSLY, HIS MOST MEMORABLE CAREER HIGHLIGHT WAS THE OPPORTUNITY OVER 37 YEARS TO WAKE UP EVERY DAY, PUT HIS COUNTRY’S FLAG ON HIS SHOULDER AND SERVE WITH, LEAD AND FOLLOW THE BEST PEOPLE OUR COUNTRY HAS TO OFFER.

5. HAVING MET IN 1983, NEIL IS MARRIED TO SYLVIE BEAUCHEMIN OF ST ANTOINE SUR RICHELIEU QUEBEC. THEY WILL RETIRE IN PETAWAWA, ONTARIO TO BE CLOSE TO THEIR CHILDREN (ALEXANDER AND HIS WIFE KRISTIN, SARAH AND HER HUSBAND JEFF, AND GABRIELLE) AND GRANDCHILDREN (NICHOLAS AND MADISON). NEIL HAS PLANS IN THE FORMATIVE STAGES TO SUPPLEMENT HIS PENSION AND OFFSET GOLF LOSSES VIA SALES EMPLOYMENT AND POSSIBLY JOINING THE PROFESSIONAL DART TOUR. HOWEVER, THE INITIAL MONTHS OF RETIREMENT WILL BE SPENT LARGELY AT THEIR LAKESIDE COTTAGE (THE IRONY THAT NEIL HAS NEVER (REPEAT: NEVER) PASSED A BASIC MILITARY SWIM TEST IS NOT LOST ON HIM) WHERE HE WILL REVIEW, AT LENGTH, THE LIST OF COTTAGE UPKEEP TASKS WHILE TRYING TO SNEAK AWAY TO PLAY GOLF.

6. A DWD CEREMONY IS BEING PLANNED TO BE CONDUCTED AT THE PETAWAWA GOLF CLUB ON SUNDAY, 14 JULY. THIS WILL INCLUDE A FRIENDLY ROUND OF MORNING GOLF (TEE OFF AT 0900) FOR THOSE SO INCLINED. UPON COMPLETION, THE DWD CEREMONY WILL COMMENCE NLT 1500HRS. GOLF COSTS WILL BE $45.00 FOR 18 HOLES/POWER CART AND DWD COST WILL BE $25.00 FOR THE MEAL. ANY FUNDS REMAINING WILL BE DONATED TO CAMP MAPLE LEAF, AN ORGANIZATION, WHICH NEIL HAS SUPPORTED FOR MANY YEARS, BENEFITING CHILDREN OF MILITARY FAMILIES AND OTHER UNDERPRIVILIGED CHILDREN (HTTPS://WWW.CAMPMAPLELEAF.NET/). FOR THE DWD THE BAR WILL BE OPEN AND WILL BE ‘USER PAY’. DRESS FOR GOLFERS IS APPROPRIATE GOLF ATTIRE AND, FOR THOSE ONLY ATTENDING THE DWD, CASUAL CIVILIAN ATTIRE. THOSE WISHING TO ATTEND ARE REQUIRED TO RSVP VIA EMAIL TO ROBERT.SHELDRICK@FORCES.GC.CA NLT 28 JUN 19 AND INCLUDE 356MCKENNA@GMAIL.COM IF THEY WISH TO PARTAKE IN THE GOLF PORTION. CONGRATULATORY MESSAGES, ANECDOTES, STORIES AND PHOTOS ARE ALSO WELCOME AND CAN BE SENT TO ROBERT.SHELDRICK@FORCES.GC.CA NLT 28 JUN 19.