Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Calley Gray joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a Marine Systems Engineering Officer more than 16 years ago, while completing secondary school in her home province.
“Even though I grew up in Nova Scotia, I didn’t know much about the armed forces. At first I was attracted by the free university education, then I started exploring my options for enrolling. The Navy seemed like the best choice for me, since I’d spent my whole life living near the ocean and I liked the idea of being assigned near my family.”
Her work is extremely rewarding and offers plenty of challenges. Currently, she is managing the surface fleet program at the Fleet Maintenance Facility in Esquimalt, B.C., and supervises the work periods for all of the operational surface vessels.
“My biggest challenge so far has been the modernization of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg. When a ship is refitted, the systems are completely disassembled and overhauled. For five months, my department worked long hours because we had to meet a tight deadline. The pace was intense, but in the end we reactivated the ship on time.”
For LCdr Gray, the challenges of her chosen profession are many, and so are the opportunities. The RCN has enabled her to study at two of the best universities in the world. First, she completed her bachelor of science in mechanical engineering at the Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston, then a double master’s in mechanical engineering…