Former NESOPs welcomed back to RCN through Skilled Re-enrollment Initiative
By Ryan Melanson,
The RCN has been making an extra effort to bring recently retired sailors back to the organization, and the two first members to take advantage of this Skilled Re-enrollment Initiative have now made it official.
LS Kenneth Squibb and LS Steven Auchu, both NESOPs with sailing experience, who each retired from the Navy less than two years ago, will soon be back putting their skills to use with the fleet. They participated in an enrollment and re-enrollment ceremony, alongside new recruits, at CFRC Halifax on June 7.
The Skilled Re-enrollment initiative is a result of attrition rates in recent years, which have put extra stress on certain Navy occupations. Letters have been sent to identified members from trades like NESOP, NCI Op, Sonar Op, Nav Comm and Mar Tech, to invite them to re-enroll while keeping their former rank and occupation.
RAdm Craig Baines, Commander MARLANT and JTFA, attended and presided over the ceremony in order to personally welcome the two sailors back into the fold, as well as to welcome the group of new recruits. He said the main goal of the Skilled Re-enrollment Initiative is to ensure those who have recently left the organization are aware that the door remains open should they wish to restart their CAF career. With a need for trained personnel currently existing across a number of trades, the RCN doesn’t want to miss out on a chance to bring back experienced sailors.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to re-enroll. Today we’ve re-enrolled two NESOPS, and these two individuals have important skills that are quite frankly needed on the ships right now, so we’re very happy to have them,” RAdm Baines added.
“After people leave, they go back into the civilian world and experience a different type of work and a different lifestyle. And that’s great, but we wanted to make sure people know that if they do end up changing their mind, or if they find themselves missing the organization, that the Navy is very open to having them come back to us.”
LS Squibb said the extra push from the Skilled Re-Enrollment Initiative, which can include a recruiting allowance in some cases, was a factor in bringing him back to the Navy.
“It was something I was considering, but I was still enjoying my time with my family and I wasn’t sure about it. When I got the letter and heard about this, that definitely had an impact on my decision.”
In addressing the brand new recruits at the ceremony, RAdm Baines recalled his own enrollment in the CAF nearly 31 years ago, and the uncertainty that came with it. He would eventually settle into a career that’s brought him to more than 30 countries and allowed him to serve Canada in exciting ways, but said the friends and colleagues met along the way have provided the biggest highlights of his life in the RCN.
“The people you’re with today, and the people you’ll meet along the way, will be what inspire you to stay and be motivated and be a part of the team. The calibre of people within the Canadian Armed Forces is terrific.”
Along with the NESOPS returning to the Navy, the ceremony welcomed 12 new CAF recruits: Jaclyn Buell, Logan Countway and Sarah Goodman, all from Halifax, Brandon Crawford of Aylesford, Kelly Godfrey of Lake Echo, William Grant of West Porters Lake, Brian McLea of Bedford, Joshua O’Reilly of Kingston, Russell Sabine of Boutiliers Point, David Szasz of Margaretsville, Kristie White of Hammond’s Plains and Mitchell Williams of Hardwood Lands.