LCol Chad Rizzato, CD
After 27 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and the Canadian Military Engineer Branch, LCol Chad Rizzato, CD, will retire on 31 January 2020. A depart with Dignity ceremony will be held at the Edmonton Garrison Officers Mess on 8 November 2019 at 1300hrs. Anecdotes and retirement wishes can be sent to Maj Dave Peckham, David.Peckham@forces.gc.ca . If you plan on attending please RSVP to Maj Peckham before 1 Nov to ensure ample food is available.
LCol Chad Rizzato was born and raised in a coal-mining town in Cape Breton. The day after graduating from high school in 1992, he left for basic officer training in Chilliwack, BC. He attended the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, ON from 1992 to 1996, obtaining a Bachelor of Chemical and Materials Engineering degree.
Upon completion of basic engineer officer training in Chilliwack in 1997, then 2Lt Rizzato was posted to 2 CER in Petawawa, ON. At 2 CER from 1997 until 2002 then Lt and Capt Rizzato completed just about every junior officer position from troop commander to unit adjutant to unit dive officer. While posted to 2 CER, he commanded at the troop and dive team level for four domestic operations (Operation ASSISTANCE for floods in Manitoba in 1997; Operation RECUPERATION for the Ice Storm in Eastern Ontario in 1998; Operation OTTER to replace a washed-out bridge in Renfrew County, Ontario in 1998; and Operation PERSISTENCE for the Swiss Air crash off Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia in 1998). He also completed Operation KINETIC, a NATO tour to Kosovo as part of KFOR in 1999-2000.
From 2002 until 2005, Capt Rizzato was a tactics instructor at CFSME in Gagetown, NB where he trained 75 young combat engineer officers in the aftermath of 9-11. During this time he also led a CFSME team on the Nijmegen March for the 100th Anniversary of the Corps of Engineers in 2003. From 2005 to 2007, Maj Rizzato was posted to LFCA HQ in Toronto, ON. During this time he completed two more domestic operations (Operation OBELISK and Operation CANOPY for flooding in Kashechewan, Ontario in 2005) and the third of three Iron Man competitions in Petawawa.
From 2007 until 2009, Maj Rizzato was posted to 1 CER in Edmonton, AB as a Field Squadron Commander where he deployed three armoured engineer troops on three consecutive rotations to Afghanistan. As a Squadron Commander, he deployed on yet another domestic operation, Operation PONTOON during the flooding of the Fraser River in Lower Mainland, British Columbia in 2007. Then, in 2009, he became the DCO for the engineer unit on Operation ATHENA in Kandahar, Afghanistan. On 3 July 2009, Maj Rizzato was seriously injured (breaking six vertebrae in an IED that killed LAV driver Cpl Nick Bulger) and received the Sacrifice Medal.
In 2010, Maj Rizzato was posted to CEFCOM where he played a part in four international operations. These included the closure of Camp MIRAGE outside Dubai, the closure of the Kandahar mission, the stand-up of the Kabul training mission, and the joint operation off the coast and in the skies over Libya in 2011. In 2012, Maj Rizzato completed JCSP in Toronto and was posted to LFWA HQ in Edmonton. In 2013, when LFWA became 3rd Canadian Division, LCol Rizzato commanded the parade.
From 2014 to 2016, LCol Rizzato led ADM(IE) Transformation in the West as Commanding Officer, Real Property Operations Unit (West). As Joint Engineer with JTFW, LCol Rizzato was part of three iterations of Operation LENTUS. These included floods in Manitoba in 2014, forest fires in Saskatchewan in 2015, and forest fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta in 2016. He also took part in Operation PROVISION, the Canadian Armed Forces response to Syrian refugees in 2015. From 2016 to 2017, LCol Rizzato was a student on a year-long French course. From 2017 to present, he has been transitioning to civilian life with Transition Centre Edmonton. While at the Transition Centre, he took part in a Government of Alberta project to house homeless veterans, an effort for which he received a Premier’s Public Service Award.
LCol Rizzato is currently an MBA student at the University of Alberta. He is happily married to his spouse of 25 years, Carey. Together, they are raising two beautiful daughters, Nori, who is 11, and Liana who is nine.