LCol A.I. "Andy" McQuilkin, CD

    • LCol Andy McQuilkin, CD

    LCol Andy McQuilkin, CD will retire on 27 Dec 2017 after serving 41 plus years of loyal and dedicated service to the CAF and the CME Branch (see bio attached).
    A DWD ceremony will take place on Sat Nov 4th in the Capital City Yacht Club, Sydney BC (for details contact Major David Proctor).
    Messages, anecdotes, best wishes, or photos can be sent to Major David Proctor at  David.Proctor2@forces.gc.ca<mailto:David.Proctor2@forces.gc.ca>


    Andy joined the Canadian Forces in 1976. He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a degree in Chemical Engineering and was commissioned into the Canadian Military Engineers in 1980.

    As a combat engineer he commanded at the troop level in 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa, Ontario and as an exchange officer with the British Army on the Rhine in 25 Engineer Regiment in Osnabruck, Germany He was there for 2 years during which time he served as a Field Troop Commander and Squadron Operations Officer and had tours in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands.

    In 1984, at the end of his Falkland Islands tour, he was posted to 21 Field Engineer Squadron in Flin Flon, Manitoba as the Regular Support Staff Officer to the Reserve Engineer Squadron located there. Posted from 60 degrees South latitude to 60 degrees North latitude!

    LCol McQuilkin returned to Kingston in 1986 and attended Queens University and the Royal Military College of Canada as a graduate student, earning a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering specializing in Explosives. In 1987 he was posted to the Defence Research Establishment in Suffield, Alberta for 4 years as a Research Engineer. While there he worked on mine detection and mine clearing techniques and research on new explosive formulations and applications. The results of this work are still used today by the Royal Canadian Engineers.

    Posted to CFSME in 1991, he was employed as the Operations Officer and as a Tactics Instructor. While in Chilliwack he organized and ran the CFB Chilliwack Adventure Club, instructing young soldiers and their families in rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. In 1995 he was posted to England to attend the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham where he earned a second Masters Degree in Defence Technologies.

    In 1996 he was posted to Ottawa where he worked for 3 years in the Directorate of Military Engineering as a Project Manager responsible for design, development and procurement of equipment for Military Engineers and as the staff officer for Military Engineering Research and Development. This was followed by a secondment to Operation ABACUS as the Canadian Forces prepared its response to possible grid failures in the event of anticipated Y2K disruptions.

    When it became clear that the clocks would, in fact, continue ticking as we entered the new millennium, Lieutenant Colonel McQuilkin returned to the mountains and whitewater rivers of British Columbia as the Operations Officer for 44 Field Engineer Squadron in Trail, BC. He stayed with the Fightin’ 44th for 5 years, during which time he was involved with domestic operations, fighting wildfires and he helped to organize Exercise Kootenay Castle 2002 with 600 Regular and Reserve Force Engineers from Canada, the US, Britain and Australia participating in a two week exercise which culminated with building a 300 metre floating bridge across the Columbia River in Trail.

    In 2004 he was posted to Chilliwack with the Canadian Forces Reserve Restructuring Implementation program to assist with the creation of a new Engineer Squadron in BC. 54 Engineer Squadron in Chilliwack was combined with the existing BC Squadrons, 6 FES in North Van and 44 FES in Trail, to form a new Regiment; 39 CER.

    In July 2006 he was posted to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in the Golan Heights, Syria for 13 months as the Canadian Task Force Commander for Operation Gladius, and Military Advisor to the Force Commander.

    On completion of his tour with the UN, LCol McQuilkin was posted in August 2007 to Joint Task Force Games in Victoria, BC where he planned and coordinated the Engineering for the Canadian Forces support to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. This involved the design, location and construction of camps and workspaces to accommodate over 4000 military personnel.

    With the successful conclusion of the Winter Olympics, he was posted to 39 CER, the unit he helped to create, as Officer Commanding 44 Engineer Squadron, Trail. In 2014, LCol McQuilkin assumed Command of the British Columbia Dragoons, a Reserve Armoured Recce Regiment, in Kelowna, BC. His post Command duties have included, Director of the Joint Task Force Pacific Regional Liaison Officer Program coordinating Canadian Armed Forces support to the British Columbia Government for Domestic Operations, and as a member of the Directing Staff for the Reserve Army Operations Course, with the Canadian Army Command and Staff College in Kingston.

    In his leisure time, Andy enjoys a wide range of outdoor sports and has long served as an organizer and leader of outdoor sports associations, including as a founding member of the Medicine Hat windsurfing club, President of the Chilliwack Outdoor Adventure Club, and currently as a trip leader and Executive member of the Alpine Club of Canada’s Okanagan Section. Until recently he was active with the BC Search and Rescue (BCSAR) as a Rope Rescue team leader and instructor, Mountain Rescue team member and Swift Water rescue technician.

    LCol McQuilkin’s decorations include the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, Syria, Special Service Medal, and the Canadian Forces Decoration.

    Andy is married to Janice and they reside in Kelowna, BC. Together they continue to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, from rock climbing and hiking to backcountry skiing, ice climbing, windsurfing, kiteboarding and kayaking.