LCol John Summerfield will be departing the Canadian Forces on 07 February 2012 after 39 plus years of service to Queen and country.
Born an “Army Brat” in London, Ontario, LCol Summerfield’s military career started in April 1972 in the Reserves as a Guardsman in the Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG). After a year in the ranks he was selected for Officer training where he completed BOTC at CFB Shilo and Phase II and III Infantry at CFB Gagetown, NB. While with the GGFG he attained the rank of Capt and commanded the GGFG PDD Company in 1975 and 1976.
In 1976, after various militia courses and call-outs and armed with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Ottawa, he joined the Regular Force in Sep 1976. A 2Lt again, he was posted to CE at CFB Uplands, ON before proceeding to the CMEO classification training course at CFSME in CFB Chilliwack, BC.
Regimental tours included RHQ Tp, Park Support Tp and Field Tp Commanders in 4 Fd Engr Sqn/4 CER, Lahr GE; Operations O, Airborne Sqn Commander and finally DCO in 2 CER, Petawawa, ON; DCO of 4 CER (second tour); and lastly CO of 4 ESR in Gagetown, NB (which included deploying the unit to Fort Irwin CA as the OPFOR Engineer at the US Army National Training Centre). Aside from NATO exercises, participation in RVs 81, 83 and 85 rounded out his field time. CE postings included Design O (Uplands) and Design and Production O (Petawawa).
Having progressed through the ranks of Lt and Capt during his first German tour, he was promoted to Maj in 1985 and started a series of staff postings interspersed by sojourns 2/2 Lieutenant-Colonel John Summerfield, CD - Biography back to field units. These included tours as DGMEO/DMER 3 and 2 (nonexplosive engineer equipment and minor requirements respectively); D Mil E 2 (engineer support to deployed, domestic and emergency disaster (DART) operations); Land Staff as DLFR 3-11/D Engr Coord (Army engineer planning/advice and coordinator for Army Engineer matters respectively); DGOR War Games Team Leader and DGOR Director Corporate Services (LCol AWSE); DCDS (and later CEFCOM) J9 CIMIC (strategic/operational civil-military cooperation); and finally, within ADM(IE) as DGME/DEEM 2 (Unexploded Explosive Ordnance (UXO) project management) and DGRP as A/DRPP 2 (Strategic Real Property (RP) Management) concurrent with DRPP 5 (Strategic RP Development Planning and Range and Training Area/UXO Coordination) at the rank of LCol.
Advanced courses included fun ones such as Parachute, NBC Operator, NATO EOD Staff Officer, Periodical Editors, NATO ENTEC Engineer Battalion Commander and NATO CIMIC. More serious career/staff courses included the Combat Team Commanders in Gagetown; CF Land Forces Command and Staff College in Kingston, CF Command and Staff College in Toronto and US Armed Forces (now Joint Forces) Command and Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.
LCol Summerfield is ending his military career as he started having transferred to the Primary Reserve from the Regular Force in 2009. With the circle now completed, he and his wife Virginia plan on residing at their home outside of Winchester, ON while watching over the military careers of their two sons and the teaching career of their daughter. Although open to offers, he has no immediate plans to take on outside employment but has a number of projects including making a valiant stab at the current “Honey-Do” list and finally getting to build the kit car purchased in 1989 and refurbishing the 1948 Chevy and 1940’s tractor currently in his mother’s shed.