11947 Doug Poucher: Exemplifying the importance of physical activity

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11947 Doug Poucher: Exemplifying the importance of physical activity

By: 27182 Officer Cadet (IV) Carmen Kiltz

After almost 42 years in the Navy, LCdr (Retired) Poucher is fairly certain that he is the last one of the RMCC class of ’79 to have been in the CAF.

The former three squadron member sits relaxed in his seat and speaks modestly of his career in the Forces and his experiences with CISM (Conseil International du Sport Militaire). Although he has now retired, he continues to participate in physical activity to complement a healthy lifestyle.

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As an advocate of the importance of physical activity on a productive career (and life in general), I listen eagerly and cannot help but feel impressed with his stories. I certainly see the former CISM triathlete and runner as an example to look up to.

Mr. Poucher has been involved in endurance sports for over forty years. He began with cross-country and track and field in high school and progressed in running throughout university. He competed in the CF National Running Championships from 1984-1998 and was a member of the first ever CF CISM running team for ten years.

Poucher, who calls Victoria B.C. home, wanted a “change in pace” and began cross-training. He competed in Canada’s first ever triathlon in Victoria in 1980, and eventually became a member of the CISM core triathlon team in 2009.

The endurance athlete competed in the 2012 CISM Triathlon Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland and most recently took part in the CISM Triathlon nationals in Gatineau, Quebec. This was his last race as a member of the CAF.

The former MARS (Maritime Surface and Sub-Surface) and then Navy Logistics Officer notes that staying in shape becomes second nature, and will help you perform and work better.

“You get more stamina, endurance, and concentration,” Poucher says. This certainly makes sense, considering the nearly 42 years he has spent serving.

Within these approximately four decades of service, the CISM athlete has sailed both oceans, been a supply officer on three ships, experienced the “perfect storm” at sea, took part in various deployments, and worked at RMC.

Mr. Poucher worked on board the HMCS Protecteur in 1984, HMCS Annapolis in 1984-86, and HMCS Huron in 1994-97.

Serving on the HMCS Heron, the LOG officer experienced what he referred to as the “perfect storm.”

“It was pretty severe,” he said, “waves were coming above the sixty-foot mast, and we lost six lifeboats.” On the Beaufort scale out of twelve, the storm had a ranking of ten.

“We had to be strapped into our bunks,” he said, amused. The vessel was also experiencing stability issues, and suffered damage to the quarterdeck.

The Royal Roads grad took part in deployments to Kosovo, Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Syria.

Back on land, he began work at RMC as the College LOG officer, where he had many of the same responsibilities as on ship. This included taking care of transport, administration, supply, NPF (non-public funds), and messes. One of the challenges, he recalls, was bringing in the new “5’s” uniform for the cadet wing.

While serving at the CDA HQ he was the J7 Strategic Plans Officer.

On his second tour at the college, LCdr. Poucher, as an operations officer and worked diligently to coordinate all college events including Graduation, Reunion Weekend, foreign delegations, security, and various other activities.

The long-time service member continued to train alongside his work schedule, and even started a biathlon team in Yellowknife during one of his postings.

With these memories behind him but not forgotten, Mr. Poucher now has plans to do part-time or volunteer work, and is looking forward to moving to Vancouver Island in British Columbia. He will continue to stay active and cross-train in order to reduce injuries. In other words, he is looking at doing “everything in moderation, including moderation.”

This motto is something we can all look up to, as it has certainly served him well and continues to do so into his retirement.

Thank you for sharing your insight on the importance of physical activity on productivity and lifestyle, and best of luck in your retirement!