Sailor of the Quarter praised for engineering skills
By Ryan Melanson,
LS Mike Gallant has taken a long path to his current role as a MARTECH with Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic).
He first joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a teenager in the 1970s – he spent time at sea with HMC ships Nipigon, Frasier, and Preserver, met his wife through the service, and came away with nothing but fond memories. When it came time to start a family, however, he looked to the private sector for stability and the guarantees of staying close to home.
Now, after a successful 25-year career with Purolator, and with his kids all grown up, he’s back with the RCN and making a big impact. So much so that he was recently presented with MARLANT’s Sailor of the Quarter award for the final quarter of 2019. Cmdre Richard Feltham, Commander CANFLTLANT, and acting Formation Chief CPO1 Yves Dumont were on hand at the dive unit to make the presentation on February 3.
“It’s a big surprise. I wasn’t expecting anything like this, but it’s definitely nice to be recognized,” LS Gallant said after accepting the award.
He was specifically lauded for his work as the senior engineer on the dive tender Sechelt, which includes the important duty of administering technical training to other members, ensuring a professional, competent, and confident engineering crew for the vessel. He’s said to have taken complete ownership of all his assigned tasks onboard the dive tender, and when Sechelt required refit work in Shelburne, he volunteered to drive to the site to ensure the boat was properly fixed up and prepared for transit back to FDU(A).
Beyond the work with Sechelt, his superiors noted that LS Gallant enthusiastically takes on leadership roles within the unit when they come his way. He regularly explains daily section and unit goals to his peers and subordinates, and leads in the repairs of the small boats and engines that are required to keep the unit running at full capacity.
Outside of his day job, he’s been a regular volunteer at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Hospital, as well as with the annual Air Show Atlantic. He’s also given his time in support of the NDWCC United Way program, and recently volunteered to be a driver for the annual Christmas Daddies charity run.
LS Gallant has been with FDU(A) for approximately one year, and said the close-knit nature of the unit, along with the opportunities to use his engineering skillset, has made for a great experience.
“For my trade, you can’t get a posting any better than this,” he added.
“I wouldn’t be having any of this success without the people around me. I’ve had a lot of experience in the Navy over a number of different decades, and this is by far the best workplace I’ve had.”
Cmdre Feltham said the FDU(A) command team made it clear through the nomination process that LS Gallant is exceptionally deserving of the award, and he was proud to name him the Sailor of the Quarter for Q4 2019.
“We get a lot of files sent to us as nominations for these awards, because we have a lot of good people in our Navy. It’s clear that LS Gallant has shown great dedication to his unit, and he’s done incredible work with Sechelt to keep that machine running,” Cmdre Feltham said.
After taking a few minutes to relax and celebrate with his colleagues, LS Gallant said he’ll be right back to work getting ready for his next exciting tasking, a 10-day Arctic deployment to Op NANOOK taking place this March.