Farewell to I Corps chief
The Canadian I Corps chief of staff to take over as commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada
By: Marisa Petrich/Northwest Guardian
After almost three years at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Canadian I Corps Chief of Staff BGen. Eric Tremblay will be moving on.
“I think in life there’s a time for everything. And now it’s time to go back home,” he said.
Tremblay came to JBLM in August 2008 to serve as the deputy commanding general of I Corps. Since then, he’s worked under three different commanding generals, and seen I Corps deploy and return.
He and his wife, Lt. Col. Brigid Dooley-Tremblay, also a Canadian exchange officer who has worked in the I Corps G-4, will be returning to Canada in July. But when Tremblay begins his next job as commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada, he’ll bring a lot from JBLM with him.
“You feel honored to be part of the team. But also, it’s a great professional experience,” he said of his time at I Corps.
As the first general officer on exchange at JBLM, Tremblay felt the pressure of coming in to a new environment when he first arrived.
“You want to give a good impression. You want to ensure that you bring added value and you make a difference,” he said.
Some of his greatest achievements here came from the transitions — whether he was responding to the energy and vision of a new commanding general or smoothing the reintegration of 18,000 troops returning from Iraq.
These experiences allowed him to improve the synergy and synchronicity of the corps, he said, and optimize efficiency.
Tremblay particularly valued the frequent exchanges of information among professionals, as well as their energy and dedication to their work.
“You learn a lot from who you work with, at any rank level,” he said.
Working with the officers and NCOs at I Corps has helped him to be a better team leader and team member. Beyond that, Tremblay has built lasting friendships in the last three years.
“I think I will miss the friendship,” he said.
All told, everything he’s learned has become part of the important “professional baggage” that he’ll carry with him to the Royal Military College.
“I’m looking forward to take charge of the college and to look in the eyes of those men and women, the future leaders of the Canadian forces,” Tremblay said.
As for the friendships he’s made, Tremblay doesn’t plan on leaving them behind. He fully expects people he’s met at JBLM to turn up on his doorstep in Canada.
“The door will be open,” he said.
Dooley-Tremblay will depart with him, going into long-term strategic planning for Canadian forces.
Canada loans Army officers to Lewis-McChord
A Canadian brigadier general who was assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in an exchange program is headed back to his motherland, while another Canadian officer will replace him.
Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay was the first general officer from a foreign country to take part in the exchange at Lewis-McChord. Officers and other soldiers will say goodbye to him at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. Tremblay had been assigned to I Corps since August 2009, deployed with the unit on its Iraq deployment, and moves on to become commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada.
“I think in life there is a time for everything,” Tremblay, who recently served as I Corps chief of staff, said in a press release. “And now it’s time to go back home.”
He will be replaced by Brig. Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, another Canadian, who will deploy this summer with I Corps Headquarters to Kabul, Afghanistan. Lanthier previously went to Afghanistan as a commander with a Canadian Army task force in 2006.
There are no I Corps officers serving in Canada.
The international exchange program is done across the entire Army. I Corps officials say they also have an arrangement with Australia in which an officer from Down Under works out of the I Corps plans shop at Lewis-McChord.