by Lt Sheila Tham
Petty Officer 2nd (PO2) Class Larissa Close is the Chief Boatswain’s Mate in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Summerside, recently deployed in the Central Caribbean on Operation CARIBBE.
“CARIBBE is one of my favourite deployments,” she said. “It’s not too long – just the right amount of time to be away.”
Familiar with deployments, PO2 Close joined in 2006 and has been to 23 different countries over the span of her career.
“I love being a world traveler,” she said. “Going out in a foreign port and meeting all of the other Navies is really cool.”
When asked about her favourite country to visit, she smiled and said, “How do you pick? They’re all great in their own way!”
As a Boatswain by trade, she spends a lot of time working with the various weapons and small boats onboard.
“I’ve always been a hands-on person, I like to be in the action,” she said. This is evident in her career path so far. On top of a myriad of deployments, operations and exercises, she also spent time as a weapons instructor.
“A recruiter came to my high school in grade 10 and the military sounded like a clear path to a good job. I already had the prerequisites and it looked like an alternative to going to school,” she said.
Joining at 17, she started basic training in the summer after high school and hasn’t looked back. Having grown up in Watson Lake, Y.T., she says she didn’t have difficulty doing basic training so young because she always…