Dear Members of the Communications and Electronics Branch/The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals:
This note is intended to advise our C&E Branch members of the status of one of our genuine heroes – Colonel Don Pruner, OMM, CD. Colonel Don Pruner has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia with a very short-term prognosis.
Colonel Pruner served honourably in World War II as an infantry soldier in NW Europe in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s) and was Wounded in Action and medically evacuated. After the war, he graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours degree in the Communications and Electricity option of Engineering Physics.
During his fourth year of engineering at university, he re-enlisted in the Canadian Army Regular in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. Col Pruner served in the war in Korea in 1952 as both a battalion signal officer and a signal troop officer at brigade HQ. During his thirty-four plus years of military service in the Canadian Armed Forces, he was promoted and employed in progressively more responsible positions in operations, management, training and administration, primarily, but not exclusively, in the field of communications and electronics. In his final appointment, he was selected as Canadian Forces Attaché in Israel with a secondary accreditation to Cyprus.
Colonel Pruner’s knowledge, experience and good humour were instrumental in the creation of the integrated Communications & Electronics Branch based on the former RC Sigs, and telecommunications components of RCEME, RCN, and RCAF that were the founding elements of the new Branch. As Chief Instructor and A/Commandant at the Signals School during the transition from single service to an integrated training establishment he and his colleagues were required to effectively and smoothly recreate the trades, officer and NCO courses that would be responsive to the operational requirements of the new Canadian Forces.
As Director General Communications and Electronics Operations (DGCEO) a few years later he was responsible for the Communications & Electronics (C&E) plans and operations staff that would respond to the readiness, deployment and operational support responsibilities of the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff including the C & E component of the newly formed Joint Staff (J6). It was Colonel Pruner’s extensive experience and professional approach to this challenge that guaranteed there was no degradation in the communications and electronics support to operations. His efforts ensured that the credibility and profile of our Corps/Branch was maintained and enhanced during this tumultuous period.
Colonel Pruner continues to remain active in supporting our C&E community. And he is often sought out for his sage counsel and wide breadth of experience. He is always among the first individuals to provide sponsorship to important Corps/Branch activities such as the building of our C&E Museum.
Colonel Pruner has dedicated his life to serving his country and his precious Royal Canadian Corps of Signals/Communication and Electronics Branch. He has served courageously in WWII and Korea and in key strategic and operational positions in the Corps/Branch. Most importantly, he has provided leadership to several generations of young officers and soldiers by acting as a mentor and counsellor. Colonel Pruner remains one of the original builders/designers of the C & E Branch. And he is a living example of a dedicated, courageous, and devoted member of our RCCS/C&E Branch.