Chuck Ansell: Getting to know Robert Morningstar (feature photo) – B Div. Sergeant Major
Article by Chuck Ansell
Master Warrant Officer Rob Morningstar was born in St Catharines Ontario, and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in the fall of 1990 as a member of the Royal Canadian Artillery.
While serving at CFB Petawawa he deployed in 1993 with the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery as a member of the United Nation disengagement force during Operation SNOWGOOSE in Nicosia Cyprus. Shortly upon his return, the seasoned soldier deployed in 1994 with the Royal Canadian Dragoon Battle Group as part of the Mortar troop during United Nations Operations in Visoko Yugoslavia during Operation CAVALIER. In 2003, while employed at the Canadian Peace Support Training Centre, he was suddenly deployed to Syria as the Training NCO for the Canadian peacekeeping contingent during Operation DANACA where upon completion was posted back to the 2nd Regiment.
MWO Morningstar deployed in 2007 as the Reconnaissance Sergeant for the Artillery Battery during combat operations in the Panjwayi District as a member of JOINT TASK FORCE 1-07 AFGHANISTAN Roto 3 led by the 2nd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment. He subsequently returned in 2010 for a second tour of duty as the Technical Warrant Officer for the Artillery Battery during combat operations south of Kandahar City with JOINT TASK FORCE 1-10 AFGHANISTAN Roto 9 led by 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment.
Upon completion of his French course in 2016, MWO Morningstar was posted to the Chief Warrant Officer Osside Institute as a facilitator for the Intermediate Leadership Program located at the College Militaire Royal located in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu Quebec.
Currently, MWO Morningstar works at the Royal Military College in Kingston Ontario where he was selected to fill his present role as B Division Sergeant-Major.
Rob is married to Christine and has 4 children whose ages range from 23 to 9; Robbie, Ryan, Kailey and Bryson.
What is there in your military background (training and /or experience) that makes you a good fit for RMC?
Being a “field guy” for most of my career, I believe I have a fairly good understanding of life outside the walls of RMC. RMC has its own culture and it doesn’t necessarily reflect life at a Combat Unit, Wing or Ship, so being able to introduce that reality to the N/OCdts prior to them marching through the arch for the final time will better prepare them for that transition to unit life.
What is the top priority for you entering this position?
- I don’t have a specific #1 priority but I do have 3 expectations for my staff and N/OCdts which I have made known on a number of occasions:
- Do your job to the best of your ability – be it at class, parades, while mentoring, coaching etc
- Do be professional – self-discipline and pride in oneself and the organization should steer your actions on and off duty
- Strive for excellence not mediocrity and genuinely care for the well-being of those that are struggling to reach their own goals
What, if anything, has impressed you the most about the current cadets and how they
perform on a day-to-day basis?
What impresses me the most is the energy the N/OCdts bring to the campus especially during collective Cadet Wing events (Obstacle Course, Harrier Race, ME&T etc). Their sense of Squadron pride is at its highest during these events and it’s fun to just sit back and watch them compete against one other. I do admire their willingness to listen and being open minded enough to try different things as well as putting into practice some of the ideas given to them by their Sqn Comds and NCMs.
At the same time, is there anything that you’re NOT impressed with to date?
Every institution has it challenges but I sincerely believe that we can overcome these obstacles together as a team. So to answer the question – no.
If you had a chance to pass on a few words of wisdom to ALL the cadets – what would they be?
Have the courage to make a command decision, it is yours so own it, if it falters learn from it and move on.