Professional development with the expertise of the Logistics pros
27472 OCdt (IV) Eliza Bruce
This past Monday (5 Feb), all the Naval, Air, and Army Logistics Officer/Naval Cadets from all academic years were cordially invited to an informal professional development session orchestrated by Maj. Chris Thibault, Special Advisor to the Director of Cadets, mentor for OCdt Yoonjae Kim (IV), who worked with him as the Cadet Coordinator for the event. Maj. Helga Grodzinski – Course Development and Delivery Support Manager – Division of Continuing Studies.
The theme was about the Logistics Branch and its element-specific specializations, put on by high-ranking officers/NCMs in the branch who imparted their extensive knowledge and experiences to us throughout the evening.
We were honoured by the presence of BGen. V. Tattersall, DCOMD MPG, who started off the evening with an introduction of the accompanying personnel, who were as follows: LCol Simon Poudrier (air supply), LCol Deb Graitson (air movements), Capt(N) George Forward (sea logistician), Col B.J. Johnson (LBI) (air movements), Mr (Col ret’d) Dan Vermeersch (army finance), Maj Gerry Doyle (ammunitions), CWO Eric Strong (army transport), and Col Steve Larouche (Army HR).
We were all able to split off into groups and courteously interrogate them individually about anything we could think of, picking their organizational/managerial brains for stories, advice, anything that could prepare us for specific leadership scenarios or knowing what to expect upon graduation, in 5 years, 10 years, etc.
Included were examples of overseas operations, domestic challenges, creating a healthy team-leader dynamic in a wing, battalion, or ship, recommendations for posting preferences based on career path goals and specialization, dealing with last-minute demands and the unforeseen, and day-in-the-life narratives for various positions through the Logistics specializations, as well as all the generalities shared by each element as to types of responsibilities.
Having such an opportunity to meet with higher-ranked personnel in our classification who could speak from a wide scope of experiences was the kind of exposure that is very valuable to us novices before we set out into our respective military careers, which will—as we learned over the evening—turn out very different than we might expect, but in a good way!
For many there, and I can certainly speak for myself, it served to affirm our suitability for our current military occupation of choice. As well as to give us context for the greater logistics machine working within and for the CAF.
Mingling with such accomplished members kindled in us a sense of pride in our up and coming logistics heritage, now celebrating its 50th anniversary, and gave us a greater appreciation for the important task we will carry no matter what base on which we end serve.
Servitum nulli secundus.