By Ryan Melanson
The Royal Canadian Navy’s newest crop of sailors have cleared one of the first milestones of their military careers, graduating from the Atlantic De-centralized Basic Military Qualification (BMQ) course during a ceremony at 12 Wing Shearwater, N.S., on November 4.
“It’s a very solid feeling. I feel very proud of my accomplishments today,” said Sailor 3rd Class (Recruit) (S3(R)) Judah Charles of Toronto, who’ll soon begin training to become a sonar operator. His family moved to Canada from Trinidad eight years ago, and he said he’s been considering a Canadian Armed Forces career for years. Now 22 years old, the allure of job security and education opportunities, coupled with the chance to serve his country, won him over.
Despite the extra complications of COVID-19 health precautions, experiencing BMQ in the Halifax area, which allowed for ship tours and other Navy-centric activities, added to the excitement, he said.
“I’ve always wanted to join the Navy and come to the East Coast, so this was perfect for me and I got a real preview of what my future is going to hopefully look like.”
A total of 37 recruits graduated from the East Coast BMQ, with Lieutenant Commander (LCdr) Paul Smith, Acting Commandant of Naval Fleet School (Atlantic), awarding each of them their graduation certificates.
“This is a big day for this group. You can still see the smiles through the masks. They’ve made it through a big step in their training and…