HMCS Halifax Bos’n named Sailor of the Quarter
By Ryan Melanson,
The first MARLANT Sailor of the Quarter title of 2017 was recently awarded to LS Andrew Nelson, a bos’n currently posted to HMCS Halifax, for his hard work ethic, positive attitude, and dedication to his role as a junior leader of the ship’s Deck Department.
LS Nelson has eight years of service in the RCN, and is originally from Upper Stewiacke, NS. He said he was honoured to be chosen, even though it involved the “nerve-wracking” experience of being the centre of attention when Cmdre Craig Baines and CPO1 Daniel Mercier visited Halifax’s shore office on April 12 to make the official presentation. Along with the title of Sailor of the Quarter and the framed certificate, he also received a $50 gift certificate to Falls Lake Cottages and Campground.
“I was actually quite surprised to find out I was chosen, but it’s pretty cool, it’s nice to get that recognition,” he said.
The award is presented for outstanding dedication and contributions to Canadian Fleet Atlantic through the end of 2016 and early 2017, and LS Nelson said his highlights from that period of time include an experience sailing with the Spanish tanker ship ESPS Patino off the Eastern Seaboard last fall, participating in exercises Spartan Warrior and Cutlass Fury.
“I was on the Patino through September to the beginning of October last year, and that was an awesome experience,” he said, with his role involving replenishments at sea with RCN ships and working in the cage with Spanish counterparts.
He’s also found satisfaction in recent months through mentoring the more junior Halifax sailors in his department during their WOD and NEPT training, with his leadership skills consistently earning the praise of his superiors. He’s also been commended for his actions outside of the base, volunteering his time for community work and collecting donations for charity.
And in a unique addition to those accomplishments, LS Nelson has also become sought after across the fleet for his sewing skills, which have been put to use making uniform modifications to meet standards for the new Naval Combat Dress. It’s a task he’s been happy to help with.
“I’ve been pretty steady with the sewing; it’s something I’m still doing almost every day,” he said.
Prior to being posted to Halifax roughly two years ago, LS Nelson spent nearly five years as a member of the crew of HMCS Athabaskan, and his earlier naval career also included a short stint sailing in HMCS St.John’s and an overseas deployment in HMCS Toronto. He was able to briefly return to Athabaskan recently for the destroyer’s decommissioning sail; as the ship’s final quartermaster, he said getting that chance to say goodbye was significant.
In the narrative written to nominate LS Nelson for the award, Lt(N) Taryn McGillis described him as someone who shows great pride in his work, completes all tasks to a high standard, and often goes above and beyond what is expected of him
“LS Nelson’s exceptional professionalism, maturity, knowledge and work ethic make him an outstanding role model and a significant contributor to the success of HMCS Halifax. He continuously exemplifies the core values of the RCN at work and at home and is regarded by all as an outstanding member of the ship, the Fleet and the community,” she wrote.