Committee Bio: Ken Holmes

Ken Holmes
Officer at Large History & Heritage

Ken Holmes joined the CF ROTP in 1961 and graduated in Chemical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. Upon completion of officer training at RCSME he was posted to 1 Fd Sqn Petawawa where he served as Troop Commander and DCO and left in 1970 to attend the US Army Advanced Engineer Officer Course in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

On completion of this training he was posted to CFSME as Mine Warfare and Demolitions Platoon Commander and Base EOD Officer from 1971 to 1972 whereupon he attended the Royal Military College of Science in England. Completion of that year-long course saw Ken return to Canada to NDHQ as an Equipment Staff Officer. Early in that tour he completed Land Forces Staff College at Kingston in 1974 and was promoted to the rank of Major.

In early 1977, Ken was assigned to NATO’s Central Army Group Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany but returned to Canada that summer to attend the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto. Completion of that course saw him return to Germany as CO of 4 CER in Lahr where he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1980. He returned to Canada as Senior Staff Officer Field Engineers at FMC HQ. His five year tour at that headquarters included subsequent Senior Staff Officer appointments where he was responsible for Combat Development and Quartering. This was followed by a one year assignment to the Directing Staff of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College Toronto. Ken then commanded CFSME from 1986 to 1989. On completion of that tour he was posted to Ottawa with the Directorate of Construction Engineering Requirements where he was responsible for management of Major Construction projects. Ken retired in 1992.

Since retirement from the CF, Ken has been active with the Military Engineer Family at the local and national level and has held National Executive positions in the MEAC and CMEA for more than 20 years. An avid student of Military Engineering history, he also works as a volunteer researcher with the Canadian Military Engineer Museum. Ken acts as the Canadian Military Engineer Historian and is the author of “Volume III, The Canadian Military Engineers,” “Customs and Traditions of the Canadian Military Engineers,” “The History of the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering,” “The Canadian Military Engineers Book of Remembrance” and co-authored “Yet Another River to Cross - The Royal Canadian Engineers in the Italian Campaign.” He was awarded the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation for his work as the CME Historian.