HMCS Charlottetown’s financial whiz named Sailor of the Quarter
By Ryan Melanson,
As the junior pay writer on board HMCS Charlottetown, LS Justin Daoust said his finance-focused trade sometimes has him feeling out of place among the engineers, electricians and other sailors who make up the ship’s company.
“It’s not a seagoing trade and it’s not a job that would typically make you think of the Navy. Even though it’s an important support role, I often don’t think of myself as a natural sailor.”
According to his superiors, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. LS Daoust was recently named the East Coast’s Sailor of the Quarter for Q3 2017, and was described as someone who makes meaningful contributions to the betterment of both his section and the ship as a whole.
He’s used his Bachelor of Commerce degree along with additional training to work above his pay grade, performing the functions of a ship’s senior pay writer, a job normally held by a PO2. He’s even been involved in mentoring and training his colleagues to help them be more familiar with RCN pay policies and protocols. His coding background also helped to develop multiple programs, spreadsheets and trackers for the ship, including for things like supply replenishment status and fitness activity among the crew. While deployed on Op REASSURANCE through the summer and fall of 2017, he was also responsible for processing more than 1,600 pay transactions.
“This is my first ship where I’ve had my first experiences sailing, so I still feel like a new guy around here. To be recognized in this way is pretty amazing,” he said after being presented the award from Cmdre Craig Skjerpen, Commander CANFLTLANT, and Fleet Chief CPO1 Daniel Mercier.
Working in financial services with the CAF, he once assumed that his experiences would be similar whether wearing the RCN, RCAF or Army uniform, but after spending a year with Charlottetown and becoming a valuable member of the crew, he realizes that’s not the case.
“I’m really starting to appreciate the Navy, learning about how operations work on the ship, and the amount of training and knowledge that’s required on board. The uniform is becoming more meaningful to me” he said.
The Sailor of the Quarter award goes to those who’ve demonstrated outstanding dedication and contributions to their ship and the overall Fleet. Aside from his main trade, LS Daoust also earned the recognition through his involvement in the replenishment at sea team and his advanced first aid skills, as well as filling the important role of MFRC liaison during the ship’s deployment.
His supervisor and command team called him a key driver of Charlottetown’s successful 2017 program, and LS Daoust said he’ll continue to help out and soak up knowledge wherever he can.
“I tend to look to the experienced people around me for guidance and to throw myself in wherever I can. I’m always trying to learn.”