23943 Vanessa Harmon, Class of ’08: Tells it the way it is

23943 Captain Vanessa Harmon, Class of ’08: Tells it the way it is

(Another in a series of articles coordinated by 26659 Danielle Andela – e-Veritas Sr. Correspondent)

I graduated in 2008 with a Combined Honours Degree in Physics and Space Sciences and completed my AERE training in Borden by May 2009.

All of my phase training including Phase 4 was with the CF-18s in Cold Lake but since completing training I have had a variety of different opportunities and positions that took me mostly out of my military occupation. My first posting was to the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) where I worked as a Space Robotics Instructor teaching astronauts and ground crew how to use Canadarm, Dextr, and the Mobile Base System on the Space Station.

I also had the opportunity to work in the payloads section monitoring different space station based experiments.


Photo right: Lt. Vanessa Harmon wears an Islamic headscarf on her head and over most of the top half of her battle fatigues in Salavat, Afghanistan April 5, 2011.Photographed by: Matthew Fisher, Postmedia News


In 2010 I deployed to Afghanistan where I was employed with the Civilian Military Cooperation (CIMIC) where I worked closely with the local Panjwai’i district leadership, local people, ANA and ANP facilitate relations between them and military personnel.

Upon my return to CSA, I worked with a team of civilian employees on the RadarSat Constellation Mission Treasury Board submission while the Major Crown Project was in this planning phase.

In 2012 I was posted OUTCAN to Colorado Springs where I worked with NORAD as a Radar Obstruction Analyst evaluating the effect of various construction projects and energy production projects on NORAD’s radar systems from an operational perspective.

I was posted to RMC in 2015 and am currently the 6 Sqn Comd.

The people you meet during the four years you are at RMC will be some of your greatest friends for the rest of your career and the rest of your life. No matter where you go throughout your military career, you will run into people that you knew from here. The experiences that you had with those people will be with you forever and you will always be able to look back with good memories.

Word of advice for Fourth Years:

The opportunities that you have at RMC are completely unique. The training you get, the comradery, the education, the activities and the support are all unparalleled and they can help you grow and learn, making you a better person and a better officer in the Canadian Forces.

Develop the friendships that will last throughout the rest of your life, learn to work within a team and to lead that team, take advantage of the clubs and activities here to help you find things you will continue to enjoy after you leave here and the resources and staff that are here to help you develop in the areas that you struggle.

When you leave here, the opportunities available to you will change but the military has amazing possibilities when you look for them. Your new units have people with incredible experience that can help you learn and transition to become an effective part of a new team. They also have activities and employment possibilities that will give you experiences you can’t get anywhere else.

Get involved, make the best of the great opportunities available to you.