After graduating from RMC in 1972, Don was posted to 1 Fd Sqn Petawawa for two years followed by a tour at 2 Cbt Gp HQ and as Requirements Officer in the CE Section. In 1977 he was posted to FMC HQ in St Hubert as SO3 Fd Engr followed by a tour as SO3 Domestic Ops. During that time, he wrote the first version of the Combat Diver Manual and participated in the first two ROGUISH BOUY Exercises. In 1979, Don was posted the CFB Chilliwack and served one year in Tactics Troop at CFSME before being promoted and posted to Cyprus as Force Engineer. He returned to Canada in 1981 and served one year at Tactics Division at the Combat Training Centre before taking command of 22 Fd Sqn in 1982. In 1984 he was posted to UNDOF serving in Damascus and the Golan Heights as Force Construction Officer in UNDOF.
On returning to Canada in 1985, Don was promoted to LCol while attending staff college in Toronto. He then served on the Directing Staff at the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College from 1986 to 1991 covering the Combat Engineering, Reality of Battle and Staff Writing portfolios. During this time, Don earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Queen’s University.
Don’s last Regular Force posting was as Chief of Staff BC District (now 39 Bde) in Vancouver. On retiring in 1995, he commanded his original regiment, The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada for three years.
Don’s civilian career began in 1995 as a proposal writer responding to RFPs for engineering and logistic support to UN missions, US special operations organizations and alternate service delivery for Canadian bases, mostly on behalf of Raytheon Services Company. He then joined a new Internet Service Provider start-up in Vancouver and consulted with local municipalities on emergency preparation and response training. This led to training development contracts with Cisco Systems, Intel and other technology companies and start-ups, developing training courses for sales managers and technicians. In 2001, with a fellow Engineer officer, Don formed LeadOn Training Solutions to carry on the same sort of work, but at a larger scale. LeadOn Training Solutions developed training materials covering every aspect of Internetworking in which Cisco was involved. Most of this material was classroom instructor-led training and lab exercises, but a significant amount was web-based for worldwide delivery. LeadOn also completed projects for FortisAlberta and FortisBC, developing training materials support transition training for major software implementation projects. LeadOn has since wound down operations and Don is moving in to fulltime fishing mode living at Sproat Lake on Vancouver Island.