Master Sailor (MS) Cara Vassallo, of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto, joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) almost 10 years ago. She made the decision to enrol at a very young age.
“I had wanted to join the RCN since I was 17. My mother had to sign the papers for me, and I left for basic training when I was 18. … I wanted to enrol in the RCN to serve my country and see the world, and also to have a steady income.”
She enrolled as a marine technician, an occupation that involves operating and maintaining a ship’s propulsion systems and the mechanical and electrical systems. Her work is essential because those systems enable the ship to operate and to serve Canada’s interests.
On the door of the machinery control room on every Canadian Patrol Frigate (CPF) is a quotation from British war hero Admiral Sir John Jellicoe: “The prelude to action is the work of the engine room department.”
“I completely agree with that statement. I don’t think the CPFs would be capable of operating the way they do and of serving Canada after 25 years of use without the hard work of the Marine Systems Engineering department.”
Being part of the RCN family is a one-of-a kind experience.
“I think the best thing about my work in the RCN is the feeling of belonging to a family when we’re aboard. A ship’s crew is tight-knit, and every time you’re posted to a new ship, it’s as if you have 200 new best friends, because everyone is onboard for the same reasons and…