MGen ES Fitch, OMM, MSM, CD
Born and raised in Montréal, Québec, Fitch enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in September 1966 and earned a degree in Civil Engineering at Collège Militaire Royal (St Jean)/Royal Military College (Kingston).
After commissioning in 1971 he had the usual variety of junior officer postings in Construction Engineering (Valcartier and Mont Apica, Québec), Combat Engineering (4 Combat Engineer Regiment, Lahr, Germany) and teaching at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering (Chilliwack, BC). As a middle-grade officer he held staff appointments, attended advanced training, and commanded 1 Combat Engineer Regiment. More senior staff and instructional appointments followed. On promotion to Brigadier-General, he held the appointment of Commander Land Force Western Area from July 1999 to July 2001, then Acting Assistant Chief of the Land Staff from July to November 2001. Major-General Fitch was Project Manager, Land Force Reserve Restructure 2001 - 2006.
In August 1995, Major-General Fitch (then Colonel) commenced a tour of duty as the Force Engineer, United Nations Protection Force (Zagreb, Croatia). On Transfer of Authority to NATO/IFOR, 20 December 1995, he served the remainder of his year in Sarajevo as Assistant Chief Engineer for the Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). Major-General Fitch was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his work in the Former Yugoslavia, for facilitating the NATO entry into that theatre. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in June 1999 and was presented with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003. MGen Fitch was the CF Patron of Shooting and has been appointed a Life Governor of the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association.
On 1 July 2006, MGen Fitch ceased full-time service and moved to Victoria, BC. In Nov 06 he was called up from the Supplementary Reserve to in support of Op PODIUM, the Canadian Forces contribution to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. His primary duty evolved into the leadership of the Games Red Team. At the end of March 2009 MGen Fitch was promoted to the rank of civilian after 43 years of service to Canada; he continued to serve Joint Task Force Games until the completion of Op PODIUM. Since June 2010 he has been enjoying active retirement in Victoria, BC.
Fitch currently serves on several volunteer Boards of Directors of not-for-profit organizations and was recently awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for community work. None of this would have been remotely possible without the devoted support of his family and, especially, his dear wife Sharon.