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Borden Welcomes New Base Chief

September 2008

After 25 years service in the Canadian Forces, Chief Warrant Officer (CWO) Christian Thibault reached a milestone in his career when he was appointed as the Base Chief Warrant Officer for CFB Borden and the Canadian Forces Support Training Group on July 18, 2008.

CWO Christian Thibault was raised in Saint-Simon de Rimouski, Quebec and joined the Canadian Forces as an Administrative Clerk in November 1982. At the time, full time jobs in eastern Quebec were hard to find.  “Most of the people I knew either worked more than one job or relied on employment insurance to make ends meet,” says CWO Thibault.  “I saw the Canadian Forces as an opportunity to see and doing exciting things”.

Although CWO Thibault, comes from a strong military background (seven uncles, one aunt, two brothers, one sister and several cousins who have served), he never planned to make the Canadian Forces a career. His initial plan was to just complete five years.  As time went on, he continued to take his military career in five-year increments.  “I would set myself some goals and try to achieve them within the next five-year period,” says CWO Thibault.

He was posted to 440 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Edmonton in February 1984, where he remained until posted to the Reception and
Dispatch Section and later in the Records Section, also at CFB Edmonton.

CWO Thibault was promoted to Sergeant in May 1989 and returned to 440 Squadron as the Chief Clerk.

CWO Thibault was posted to CFB Calgary in July 1990.   He served in Croatia in the Former Yugoslavia as part of the United Nations Protection Force from August 1992 to March 1993, as a part of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment.

In July 1993, CWO Thibault was posted back to CFB Edmonton, this time with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians), where he was promoted to Warrant Officer.  He served in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the former Yugoslavia, from April to November 1994 along with the Strathcona Battle Group.

In July 1996, CWO Thibault was posted to CFB Kingston with the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston.  When
promoted to Master Warrant Officer in November 1998, he assumed the duties of the CFB Kingston Base Superintendent Clerk.

CWO Thibault was next posted to the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College at Fort Frontenac at CFB Kingston in July 1999, serving as the Fort Sergeant Major.  Along with the formation of the Land Force Doctrine and Training System Headquarters, CWO Thibault took on the additional roles of Headquarters Sergeant Major and Formation Superintendent Clerk.

CWO Thibault assumed his present rank in June 2002 and became the Wing Administration Branch CWO at 4 Wing Cold Lake in Alberta.

In 2005, CWO Thibault was appointed Member of the Order of Military Merit, a moment he considers to be the proudest moment of his career.  Reflecting on the investiture, CWO Thibault adds, “It was not so much the personal recognition, but it was a rare occasion I had to share an important moment with my whole family.  My wife was with me at Rideau Hall and so were my parents.”  This made it extra special for CWO Thibault as he had spent his entire career away from home.  This was the only occasion where his parents had to
experience a part of his military career.

CWO Thibault was posted to National Defece Headquarters in Ottawa as the Directorate of Human Rights and Diversity Chief Warrant Officer in July 2006.  Two years later, he assumed his current assignment as Chief Warrant Officer for CFB Borden.

Since his oldest brother will be retiring this fall, CWO Thibault will be the last of his immediate family still serving in the Canadian Forces.  One of his cousins is also currently serving at Borden with 400 Tactical Helicopter and Training Squadron.

As for any advice he can give for young people thinking of a career in the Canadian Forces, CWO Thibault advises, “Life in the military is challenging but also very rewarding.  You get out of it what you invest in it.  If you have self-discipline, a strong work ethic and a desire to
experience more than the average job has to offer, this is for you.  Learn new skills, see the world, experience new cultures, and before you know it, you wonder where the time has gone…”

CWO Thibault and his wife, Rene, have two children, Kelsey and Jacques.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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