CWO // Adjuc Gerard Slaunwhite, CD
CWO Slaunwhite enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces on February, 1st 1984 at the age of nineteen years old. From Dominion, Nova Scotia, he made his way to Cornwallis, NS for basic training. After basic training, he was off to Shilo, Manitoba for his QL3 artillery course. On completion of QL3, he was posted to Lahr, Germany for four years. Not a bad first posting for the young artilleryman. This posting would provide many fond memories and lasting friendships. He was a standout athlete, excelling at most sports in the Regiment, highlighted by being a team member of several baseball championships in the Brigade.
He was promoted to Master Bombardier in November 1987 and was 2 i/c of a gun detachment (15 Foxtrot). In 1988, he was posted to Gagetown, New Brunswick where he awaited his transfer to the firefighting occupation. Once accepted, he completed the firefighter QL3 course and was posted to 14 Wing Greenwood in May of 1991. Five years passed quickly and Cpl Slaunwhite was introduced to the west coast Navy. He was posted to HMCS REGINA for four years, during which time he completed two Persian Gulf and several RIMPAC deployments, amassing over 949 sea days from his two tours on the west coast. Promoted to MCpl in December of 1999, he and the family were posted to Trenton, Ontario. He would spend five years there while attached to 86 ASU, enjoying a year and a half of learning the ins and outs of the mobile arrestor gear and working with the airshow team. While in Trenton, he was promoted to sergeant, alternating between Deputy Platoon Chief and Platoon Chief duties. In 2004, he was deployed to Alert for a six-month tour, returning to Trenton in May 2005. Not long after returning, he was posted back to the west coast for the second time; this proved to be the last of his ship tours.
In July 2007, he was posted to Comox where he spent five enjoyable years. He was promoted to Warrant Officer not long after arriving and ran his fire crew during that time. During this posting, he completed a tour in Inuvik and was a senior member at the FOL. In June of 2011, he was posted to 12 Wing Shearwater as a Deputy Platoon Chief. After just one year, he was promoted to Master Warrant Officer, becoming the 12 Wing Fire Chief. This would prove to be one of his most challenging and rewarding opportunities. In 2016, he was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer and posted to Ottawa as the Senior Trade Advisor where he will end his career this June.
With over 35 years in the CAF uniform, he is very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve with all three elements. Also treasured are the many friendships, experiences, and opportunities for travel that came along the way. For now, he, Celeste and their boys will remain in Ottawa. What the future holds for Gerard is uncertain, only that he plans to enjoy retirement, have a well-deserved break, reflect back on his career of 35 year career with fondness and gratitude, spend time at home, try not to get in Celeste’s way, keep in touch with friends, travel, exercise and get some riding time on his motorcycle.
Lastly, he is most appreciative of his family who has supported him throughout his career, most notably his wife Celeste who has always been very supportive throughout Gerard’s career. Gerard and Celeste feel blessed and proud of their three children, Alissa, Jonathan and Jackson, who have made the journey all the more pleasurable.
As a final thought from Gerard “Be good to yourselves and others” and if you ever find yourself in the Ottawa area, be sure to look him up for a drink and a good story.