by Lt Sheila Tham
Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) William Belanger-Croteau is a Naval Warfare Officer who is filling the Deck Officer position with Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Summerside, deployed on Operation CARIBBE.
When approached to discuss his role in the Royal Canadian Navy, he said, “I’m 26 years old and the Navy has trained me to drive a ship around the world and represent Canada; I think that’s pretty cool.”
A native of Rimouski, Que., he originally joined the Reserve Force with that community’s Naval Reserve Division, HMCS d’Iberville, and spent seven years there before joining HMCS Summerside, which is based in Halifax.
It’s actually his second CARIBBE, having deployed last year with HMCS Goose Bay and the year prior he went on Operation TRIDENT JUNCTURE across Europe. He’s enjoying his role as the Deck Officer on Summerside.
“You get to do more work with your hands. I like being in charge of all the weapons, boats, a group of boatswains and I like working with my team outside.”
“As a kid you read all kinds of books about pirates and island hideaways, I think it’s really interesting to be able to visit those islands and see what they are really like,” he says.
HMCS Summerside made a stop in Curaçao in November for Op CARIBBE, but unlike past sails, the crew wasn’t permitted to leave the ship due to COVID-19 precautions. He okay with that, though – he’s had lots of opportunities to travel with the Navy. His past port visits…