Class Notes

“Nothing more precious that helping those little children to learn and to have fun…”

Edited by 25366 Mike Shewfelt

8488 Michael Chreptyk, born 29 January 1948, credits his years on the family farm in Pleasant Home, Manitoba, with instilling in him the values of integrity, honesty and hard work that he learned from his parents and which would hold him in good stead in future years.

He was accepted into the military in September 1966 and spent his first two years in Royal Roads Military College before graduating from the Royal Military College in 1970. Having trained as a Military Engineer, he was posted to 4 Field Squadron in Lahr, Germany in 1971 and especially enjoyed the assignment as a Troop Commander. During that posting he got married to his wife, Judy.

In 1974 they were posted to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering focusing on training new officers. His final posting was to 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa as the Second in Command. Chreptyk’s years in the military were fast paced, challenging, and exciting. The fundamental values of teamwork and accountability that were instilled in the military served him well later.

In 1979 Michael Chreptyk had the opportunity to go to work with the Ontario Hydro Nuclear Division. He had taken Chemical Engineering (Nuclear option) in RMC and even though the military was a rewarding career, he chose to switch careers as the nuclear field promised its share of challenges and opportunities. He was transferred to the Bruce Nuclear Power Development near Kincardine, Ontario and has been there for 35 years.

The nuclear business is highly technical but its operational performance depends on leadership and teamwork. After several years as a Training Officer and Commissioning Engineer, he was selected into operations management. During the following twenty years, he held several operations positions. The most rewarding was ten years in the Shift Manager position in charge of a multi disciplined team responsible for operating the Bruce A nuclear power station.

In 2008 he retired as a permanent nuclear employee; however, a few months later he returned as a contractor. For six years he was the Lead Examiner for testing the Bruce A certified Control Room staff on a full scope simulator. Though he can emphatically say he has never had a boring day in his 44 years in the workforce, there comes a time to retire and to seek other worthwhile activities. He retired on 31March 2014.

He and Judy started their family in 1976 with the birth of Jennifer followed with the births of Lisa and Erin over the next five years. Their daughters are their greatest joy and accomplishment. They have all gone to university, have entered into worthwhile careers, and two are now married with children. There is nothing more precious that helping those little children to learn and to have fun. That will be their focus for many years as well as continuing their travels around the world with family and friends.

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Ex-Cadet Looks Back on Rewarding Career

Edited by 25366 Mike Shewfelt

3334 Major General (Ret’d) Dave Wightman, CMM, CD entered the Canadian Services College Royal Roads in Victoria BC as an officer cadet in September 1950. He graduated from RMC Kingston in May of 1954. Dave underwent RCAF pilot training in the summer months, earning his wings at RCAF Station Centralia in August 1952. Following graduation from RMC he converted to the T33 jet at Portage La Prairie and then attended McGill University, obtaining his BSc in Electrical Engineering in 1955. He spent three years instructing on Harvard aircraft at RCAF Station Claresholm, Alberta, where he learned way more than he taught! He then flew the Lancaster, the Neptune and the Argus on Maritime Patrol and on developmental testing for five years from both Greenwood Nova Scotia and Summerside PEI.

In 1963 he was selected to attend the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB in California. He served as an Engineering Test Pilot at the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment in Ottawa and on promotion to Wing Commander in December of 1965 was appointed Senior Test Pilot for the remainder of his tour there. One of the many highlights of this tour was flying the Canadian Aviation Museum’s Sopwith Snipe World War I biplane for several weeks leading up to the Rockliffe Centennial Airshow on 10 June, 1967. He also flew the Neptune, the Argus, the T33 and the CF104 out of Uplands during the same period!

In the fall of 1967 he attended the newly integrated Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto. Upon graduation he flew the F86 Sabre and the CF104 Starfighter and in 1969 became CO of 422 Strike Attack Squadron at 4 Wing Baden Sollingen Germany. This squadron held alert on nuclear armed CF104s at the height of the Cold War. Posted back to Ottawa in 1971 he was appointed Director of LRPA Requirements in the Long Range Patrol Aircraft Project Office. This culminated in the procurement of the Lockheed P3 Aurora to replace the Argus as Canada’s maritime patrol aircraft. A year in Quebec City followed, then a posting back to Germany as Commander of 4 Fighter Wing at Baden Sollingen. Returning to Canada in 1977, he assumed command of the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment at Cold Lake AB where he supervised all flight test activities for the Canadian Forces. In 1979, on promotion to Brigadier General, he was posted to Holland to join the NATO Airborne Early Warning Program Management Agency as Chief of the Military Factors Division, responsible for setting up the multinational force and the bases from which the NATO E3A would operate.

From 1981 to 1983 he served as the DND representative in the Privy Council Office which proved to be a fascinating education in how the Canadian Parliamentary system works. In 1983 he was promoted to Major General and served three years as Commander, Canadian Forces Europe (CFE) in Lahr, Germany. CFE was the only truly integrated formation having both operational and supporting air and land force units as well as a large civilian component under command. MGen Wightman retired from the forces in 1986 at the conclusion of what he still considers the most rewarding and satisfying appointment of his entire career. He returned to Ottawa where he became Senior Vice President of European Helicopter Industries Canada. In 1988 EHI successfully sold DND the EH101 helicopter as the replacement for the Sea King helicopter. (Twenty-five years later we’re still waiting!)

In 1989 MGen Wightman was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister Aviation in the Department of Transport, where he served 6 years until his retirement. He was responsible for the safety regulation of all commercial and private aviation, the operation of the Air Navigation System and the Air Traffic Control System and the promotion and monitoring of aviation safety in Canada. While at Transport Canada he convinced nine public service unions, the aviation industry and the Government of Canada to privatize the Air Navigation System and create NAV CANADA. He also sought and obtained the agreement of the hundred or so countries of the International Civil Aviation Organization that smoking be banned completely on all international flights.

MGen Wightman retired in 1995 and moved to Pender Island on the West Coast in 1997.

He served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Vancouver Island Ex-Cadet Club for 6 years and is still an active member of that branch. He initiated and continues to manage the Royal Roads Paverstone Project which now has 820 engraved granite pavers installed at the Military Colleges Plaza at Royal Roads University.

Dave Wightman lives in Victoria BC with his wife Tannis. They will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on June 5, 2014 and Dave will celebrate the 60th anniversary of his graduation from RMC at Reunion Weekend in September 2014.

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E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003) presented March 22, at the Carleton Heritage Conservation Symposium held at the Lord Elgin Hotel, Ottawa, ON. Her talk, “Mind the Gap: Heritage & Conservation at the R22eR Centennial,” considered best practices and lessons learned. She had presented on Regimental Art and had suggested and helped organize the Regimental art show held during the Royal 22e Regiment symposium at RMC Saint-Jean in Oct 2013.

One Comment

  • Keith McK eyes,

    April 2, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I appreciate this article more than many others.
    Other classmates have done very well – Bill Valevand, Nigel Brodeur, John Nneurotsos , Ross Hamelin, to name a few. I am concerned about the term “veteran”, which , by some standards, does not apply to veterans who have not served on the battlefield.
    Some of our classmates served in Korea in 1955 ie: they’re veterans. Peacekers ( most of.
    My classmates qualify) are not well defined.
    Would air crew who flew into and out of these zones qualify as veterans? Whynot??
    I realize that DND would hesitate. in defining veteran, avoiding benefits to those not entitled to them,lacking battle experience.
    I fail to see why my grandfather, who served in England (not ;France) during WWI isa veteran,where Dave Wightman, John Neurotsos, etc are not.,
    H
    I believe The RMC owes it to its graduates to define what a veteran really is – ie what we signed up for, not where DND assigned us.

    Please forgive my format etc. I don’t have the time or patience to correct errors made in haste and obvious to any intelligent reader.