17602 LCol Michael Patrick, Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division)

E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) interviewed 17602 Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Brian Patrick, M.S.M., C.D. (CMR RRMC 1991), who was recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division).

e-veritas: Which Military Colleges did you attend?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I am an alumnus of both CMR and RRMC. I joined the military in 1986. Since I was accepted into military college ahead of graduating from high school, I was sent to College Militaire Royal in St Jean, Quebec, to undertake a preparatory year. I changed my course of study after my second year to Applied Military Psychology and was transferred to Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, British Columbia, where I graduated in 1991. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Applied Military Psychology and a master’s degree in Defence Studies.

e-veritas: What were your main extracurricular activities while at the college?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: If I’m being honest, my chief extra-curricular activity throughout college was “social research”. I wanted to discover which pub had the hottest wings and the cheapest draft – I’d like to think that I was successful in this endeavour.

e-veritas: You served as Cadet Wing Training Officer (CWTO). Outline your role.

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I served as the Cadet Wing Training Officer in my final year at RRMC. The Cadet Wing is part of the Training Wing which is commanded by the Director of Cadets (DCdts). The Training Wing Staff are responsible for the officer cadets’ military training including officership, physical fitness and drill.

e-veritas: What is your worst or best memory, if any, from Military College?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I do not really recall any bad memories from college, although I’m certain that there were some but they are undoubtedly smothered by the good memories. I made friends at CMR and RRMC who remain closer to me than any I have made since.

e-veritas: You are a graduate of the Baltic Defence College in Estonia, a member (along with RMC) of the International Society for Military Science (ISMC).

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Yes, I have the honour of being the first Canadian Graduate of the Baltic Defence College (BDCOL) having completed the Joint Command and General Staff Course (JCGSC), a course for Senior Staff Officers, in 2002. The college is located in Tartu, Estonia, which is the country’s second largest city and is located in the South – Eastern part of the country. The International Society for Military Sciences (ISMS) was established in October 2008 by RMC and a number of other Defence Colleges to further research and academic education in military arts and sciences. The ISMS organises an annual conference held in November. www.isofms.org.

e-veritas: You were operationally deployed to the Balkans on a number of occasions. .

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Yes. I was operationally deployed with the first Canadian-based rotation, based on the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) into the former Yugoslavia in 1992. In 1996, I was deployed with 2 PPCLI as the Anti-Armour Platoon Commander to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

e-veritas: You were recently awarded a Meritorious Service Medal (Military Division) for “excellence in the art of operational planning [which] helped disrupt Taliban forces and strengthened the Afghan government’s authority within Kandahar province.”`

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I served as the Chief of Operations for Joint Task Force Afghanistan/Task Force Kandahar for ten months between February and November 2009. I had an excellent commander; 15696 Major General Jon Vance (RMC) and a very talented crew of planners, operators and support specialists led, respectively, by Majors Kevin McLoughlan (CMR), 17563 Rob Dunn (CMR), and 21909 Joe Boland (RMC). I would like to think that our accomplishments were entirely a team effort.

e-veritas: What have you been doing since you graduated? Any highlights?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: Upon graduation and the completion of basic infantry officer training in Gagetown, I joined 3 PPCLI in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Here I was privileged to command at the platoon and specialist platoon level. Following this, I was posted to a staff position within the 1st Canadian Division Headquarters in Kingston Ontario. Once I was promoted to the rank of major, in 2001, I served in a number of positions both with my Regiment and the Infantry School and I commanded at the company level. Following completion of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in 2007, I served as the G3 of the 1st Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Edmonton Alberta and, following this, as the G3 of Land Forces Western Area.

e-veritas: What are you up to these days?

17602 LCol Michael Patrick: I am currently the Commanding Officer, Land Force Atlantic Area Training Centre (AATC) in Gagetown, which supports individual training in Land Force Atlantic Area. I enjoy spending as much time as I can with my wife Karen and my children Caleigh and Liam.