Formation Master Seaman proud to be a voice for the junior ranks
By Ryan Melanson,
Through her 15 years as both a Reserve and Regular Force sailor in the RCN, MS Rebecca Charlesworth has seen and done a lot.
She has deployed to Afghanistan, sailed on the West Coast, and even stood sentry at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa. Now, she’s using those experiences to help lead and represent the junior ranks members across the formation.
MS Charlesworth took over the Formation Master Seaman/Fleet Club Atlantic PMC position in July of this year, and has since settled into the busy and demanding new job.
“It’s a very interesting role to be in, and I saw it as an opportunity to help the junior ranks and be a voice for them,” she said.
“This means there’s a lot of liaising with different people. I’m often talking to members of the senior ranks on behalf of the junior ranks, so that also requires me to talk to those junior members, check in on what’s going on, and find out if there are any new issues or ideas or good or bad feedback that I should be passing along.”
She’s been working to develop stronger relationships with both her junior ranked peers and MARLANT’s senior chiefs, who she credited for making her job easier and for always putting a high priority on the RCN’s junior members, who can sometimes be tuned in to issues or new ideas on the ground that are far removed from senior leadership.
“The senior chiefs in MARLANT are amazing. They listen, they’re keen to find out what I’ve heard and the research I’ve done, and it’s clear that they really care about the junior ranks,” MS Charlesworth said.
Of course, the Fleet Club itself presents a whole other aspect of the position. The PMC’s office sits right across the hall from the new Slackers Pub, and she’s responsible for keeping up to date with what members enjoy about the facility, what could be made better, and what kind of events and entertainment people want to see. With the new location, and the Fleet Club now right downstairs from the live-in members at Tribute Tower, things have been going great since the move earlier this year, she said.
“It’s my job now to help the Fleet Club keep flourishing, along with our executive committee and volunteers.”
MS Charlesworth grew up in British Columbia, and first became interested in a naval career while sailing with her mother and occasionally seeing training vessels and cadets out on the water. Soon after joining the RCN, however, she developed an affection for the East Coast, and was also drawn to the idea of one day deploying on a humanitarian relief mission, for which ships normally sail from Halifax. It took a little longer than she hoped, but now that she’s in Halifax, she’s proud to be in her current role, and ready to make the most of her new home port.
“Sailing out east is what I’ve been wanting to do for years, so I’m very happy to be here,” MS Charlesworth said.