Capt P.A. Walsh, CD
After more than 33 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Military Engineers, Capt Andy Walsh retired on 02 Dec 2019. Anecdotes, congratulatory messages, and pictures can be sent to MWO Brown: Lisa.Brown@forces.gc.ca.
I joined the Canadian Armed Forces on 26 August 1986 as a 041 Field Engineer. After completing basic training in Cornwallis, NS it was on to Chilliwack, BC to conduct QL3 training. Upon successful completion of the QL3 course in 1987 it was off to start my military career in 22 Fd Sqn, CFB Gagetown. While I was posted to 22 Fd Sqn I was employed as a bridging troop member and also took the Armored Engineer course receiving the AVLB qualification. During my time in Gagetown I saw the light and remustered to 042 Field Engineer Equipment Operator (FEE Op).
In the summer of 1990 it was off to Germany to 4 CER in Lahr. Shortly after arriving I was promoted to Corporal and then back to Chilliwack for the FEE Op QL5A. In the fall of ’91, 4 CER started preparing to go to Cyprus to remove all the minefields using experimental mine rollers with the new armored engineer vehicle, AEV. The Cyprus deployment was stood down and the Yugoslavia peace keeping mission was starting to take shape. As the unit was already prepped to deploy, we were the first unit to deploy into Yugoslavia making for a very memorable train move. After completing a seven month UN tour it was back to Germany to start preparing for the closure of CFB Lahr.
The summer of 1993 had us moving once again back to Gagetown; now 4 ESR. During the posting to Gagetown I completed my Combat Leaders Course and back to Chilliwack twice, once for my road grader course and the next, and last, time for the FEE Op QL6A. After receiving two Christmas gifts in the form of promotions (MCpl 1993 & Sgt 1995) it was time to move again, completely unexpected.
The summer of 1996 saw us heading west to Edmonton and into 1 CER. While in 1 CER I was deployed twice to Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Winnipeg floods and the Quebec Ice Storm as well as too many exercises in Wainwright to mention. I was also heading back to Gagetown, this time to CFSME for my FEE Op QL6B completing the last of my career trades training. During my time in Edmonton I also had the opportunity to return to Germany to conduct cross training with the German armored engineers. Promoted to WO in the summer of 2000, I was employed as the Heavy Equipment Troop (HET) Warrant hitting one of the milestones of my career.
After spending five years in Edmonton, it was back to Gagetown one more time in 2001, this time to CFSME to teach with the HET. After spending 6 years at CFSME it was time to move again but before leaving the Engineer school I was promoted to MWO and was employed as the 42 Fd Sqn SSM in 4 ESR. During my time in 4 ESR I was part of the Optimized Battle Group with 2 RCR and went on various exercises with them. After a year as 42 Fd Sqn SSM it was over to 45 Sp Sqn as SSM and at this time I was selected to deploy to Afghanistan as the Task Force Engineer SSM. In the fall of 2008 I started work up training with 1 Brigade and deployed from Feb – Dec 2009. Upon my return I was once again posted back to CFSME as the Tactics SSM to help develop young officers and senior NCOs. I then moved from Tactics to FETS to be employed as the gap crossing & survivability SM and then to Lauvina Wood as the HET Tp Comd. At this point I decided to move to the dark side and took my commission to Captain in 2012 and became the Fd Engineer Standards Officer (FESO). After two years as the FESO I was posted to CTC HQ to be the G7 Engineer officer which fortunately only lasted for a year. In 2016 I was posted to my current position with Real Properties Operations Detachment Gagetown as the Production Officer.
I am married to Georgina (28+ years) and have two boys, Blair (34) and Alex (26). Our oldest son and his girlfriend live in Edmonton, AB with our two grand-children, Brody 2 ½ years old and Paige 3 months old. Our youngest son lives in Whistler, BC and enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding and golfing. My hobbies include motorcycles, snowmobiles, camping, golfing and mountain biking.