The Ex-Cadet Behind the Articles
Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt
Readers of e-Veritas will recognize the name 17160 Stephen Kalyta. The Oshawa, Ontario, native has written a number of articles over the past year and will contribute more as the fall semester gets underway. In the meantime, he agreed to something a little more personal in order to give a glimpse of the Ex-Cadet behind the articles.
The idea of joining the military was one he held for a long time. “At 15, I was often found lurking around the Peterborough Recruiting Centre,” Kalyta recalled with a smile. “I joined the local Reserve Unit (Hastings & Prince Edward Regiment) in 1984 at age 17.” Still, he wanted more, and so he entered the military college system at CMR in August 1985.
The challenges he found there serve him well in the articles he writes for current Cadets. “I worked very hard and made a lot of personal sacrifices to excel as it did not come naturally to me,” he recalled. “I had to work every day. My gift was tenacity.” That tenacity paid off. Kalyta was DCWC in the first term of his Fourth Year and CSL 3 Sqn in the second term. He looks back with particular fondness on his time as CSL. “I believe I was the Commandant’s CSL in 3 Sqn when he was in his First or Second Year,” he joked. “I am a big fan of him and his wife,” Kalyta added.
Following graduation from CMR in 1990, Stephen Kalyta served as a Logistics Officer at CFB Trenton and BFC Montreal as a detachment commander for 4 CFMCU. During the Rwandan genocide relief effort in 1994, he was responsible for the airlift logistics organization. As he explained, “I was in charge of the Canadian side of the relief effort as 4CFMCU detachment commander. I operated out of Trenton and amassed the largest airlift (at the time) since the Second World War. Over a hundred staff were involved in airlifting 2 million pounds of relief aid to Kigali. I was also the prime Logistics Officer interfacing directly with numerous government agencies, NGO’s, and contractors (Aeroflot, SkyLink, etc.).”
Since getting out he has continued his work in supply management with a number of roles in the business world including Head of Supply Chain Operations for a National Telecom. In that capacity he has a relatively easy time keeping touch with former classmates. “My current business partner, 19330 Michael Della Fortuna, is from the Class of 1994 at RMC. Together we are in a bid to rid the world of waste plastic by converting landfill bound plastic to diesel with Pi Eco Canada. We are also collaborating with US and European partners to tackle the plastic pollution in waterways.” He added, “I have two or three classmates I remain quite close to as well. I also sit on the RMC Club Board of Directors for both the main branch and the Toronto branch.”
As should be apparent from his many articles, Stephen Kalyta’s continued involvement with the Club provides him with a unique perspective on the College. “I worry,” he said, “about the College receiving the recognition it deserves for producing upstanding citizens and officers worthy of the taxpayer’s purse. I would also caution the Cadets not to take that for granted. We have lost Royal Roads forever and CMR St-Jean is only again reaching the full College Militaire status nearly twenty-five years after almost closing.”