Maj D.J. Callaghan, CD

    • Maj D.J. Callaghan, CD

    Maj D.J. Callaghan, CD, will retire on 22 February 2021 after more than 33 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Military Engineer Branch.  Anecdotes and retirement wishes may be sent to the OPI, Maj C.D. Gagnon at:

    Major Dan Callaghan was born in Hamilton ON, and raised in Burlington and Thunder Bay. After 6 years in Sea Cadets, he joined 736 ResComm Sqn Thunder Bay while finishing high school. Once done, he joined the Regular Force as a Boatswain and did basic training in Cornwallis. Joining his first ship in Aug 86, HMCS Gatineau while in refit, he had time to meet Gina. He became interested in diving so he completed the Ships Dive course after which he joined HMCS Huron for the second part of the coast transfer. For many reasons, he released after 3 years, notably to get “PATA leave”, which did not exist at that time, as Dan and Gina were married, and parents to Meghan by then.

    While out of the Reg Force, he re-joined the Reserves in Victoria with 741 ResComm Sqn as a Radio Teletype Operator. This was only for a short time as in order to pursue diving further, he rejoined the regular force as a Field Engineer and after QL3 was posted to 1 CER Chilliwack. Serving in 1 CER both in Chilliwack and Edmonton he participated in tours to Kuwait and Bosnia, many domestic operations, completed the Basic Para, Cbt Dive and Cbt Dive Supervisor courses and the Mountain Man competition. Then given 1 day to come up with a reason not to get posted to CFSME by the RSM, Dan, Gina and Meghan were posted across country.

    One of the best and rewarding achievements he had was working in Combat Training Section and as Staff on several QL 3 courses. Other cells he worked in included the HQ as Training Coordinator, Gap Crossing and Survivability. During his time at CFSME, he picked up the running bug, participating in many half and full marathons and eventually a 100km race.

    Leaving CFSME after a 5-year posting and joining 4 ESR as 22 Fd Tp WO, later to be 42 Sqn SQMS, he participated in tours to Pakistan with the DART, and his 1st tour to Afghanistan and leading range clearance in Goose Bay PTA. However, while in Afghanistan, he CFR’d upon returning to Canada, a lobotomy (thanks to SSM) and 1 last task as OPI to a Dive Prelim they were posted to 2 CER.

    In 2 CER he went to 25 Sp Sqn as the Ops O and deployed as the Tactical Exploitation Team lead in the C-IED Sqn and returning to the position of 25 Sp Sqn 2 IC. While in 2 CER he also completed the 2 CMBG Iron Man competition.

    As it was time to move outside the brigade, Dan and Gina were posted to Kingston for the first time. Meghan had finished university and was out on her own at this time. At CFJOSG, he was employed in the J5 shop and then to the J3 ESCC. While at CFJOSG, he participated as Ops O/2IC of a mission closure and a theatre deactivation team to Sicily for OP Mobile and the design tactical recce for OSH Jamaica. He was posted to 1st Cdn Div as the Trg O in the J3 branch for a year where he participated in many exercises as SDO and conducted several IHRT events. 

    Then promoted to Major, Dan and Gina accepted a NATO posting to JFCBS in Brunssum, Netherlands. There he was posted to the Engineer Division as the EOD SME. Dan and Gina managed a great number of trips throughout Europe including climbing clock towers in almost every city or so it seemed.

    They returned to Canada after 3 years to Kingston. Dan was posted back to 1st Cdn Div and the J3 Branch Dan and Gina will remain in Kingston and after more than 33 years of service he will move right into a job as a Robotic Process Automation Analyst/Developer for WithyouWithme Services, contracted to DND on a project over at CADTC.