Maj J.A. Berry, CD
After more than 30 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Military Engineers Branch, Maj Jason Berry, CD, retired on 29 January 2021. A DwD ceremony will be held on 27 May 2022 at the Edmonton Garrison Officers’ Mess in the upper bar starting at 14:00 hrs. Anecdotes and retirement wishes may be sent to Maj D.R. Amundsen at David.Amundsen@forces.gc.ca.
Maj Jason Berry joined the CAF in Kingston, ON, in 1990 as a naval Reservist. The majority of his naval career was spent at Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic) in Halifax, NS, where he served with multiple sections including EOD, Dive Training, and Underwater Engineering. During his time at FDU(A), he participated in the Swiss Air 111 dive recovery operation, a number of legacy EOD operations across the Atlantic, and aid to civil emergencies such as OP ASSISTANCE in Winnipeg in 1997. In addition to his time at FDU(A), Jay also served on the CAF Parachute Demonstration Team, the Skyhawks, during the 2001 season. While he was tasked to a number of ships over the years, his fondest memories of his time in the Navy were onboard HMCS Cormorant and the decade with the FDU.
In 2004, after 14 years of Reserve service, Maj Berry attended Queen’s University to become an officer under the University Training Program for Non-Commissioned Members (UTPNCM). After acceptance into the program, Maj Berry transferred to the Regular Force and was posted to Kingston, ON, to complete an engineering degree at Queen’s University. After graduation, he was posted to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering (CFSME) in Gagetown, NB, for officer phase training, EOR, and IEDD operator courses. Following CFSME, Jay was posted to 1 CER for his first regimental tour. His initial year at the Regiment was a busy one, commanding EOD Tp, the Regimental combat dive team, and Resources Tp while also supporting the winter Olympics on OP PODIUM. After serving as a Tp Comd, he became a Sqn Operations Officer for the newly formed EOD Sqn and began high readiness training for the Mission Termination Task Force to Kandahar, Afghanistan. When the EOD requirements for the mission were scaled back, he was eventually reassigned to the new mission in Kabul, CCTM-A Roto 0, as the TF CIED O and J3 Ops 2. As with any new mission, Roto 0 was fraught with challenges and saw a considerable breadth of tasks from IEDD exploitation to house construction under live-fire.
Upon returning from tour, Maj Berry became 2I/C of 12 Fd Sqn before being posted to Land Forces Western Area (LFWA) in Griesbach as a Project Development Officer in 2012. Within three years, the LFWA Engrs transformed into 3 CDSG Engineering Services then into RP Ops Unit (W) HQ. From there, he became 2I/C of Engineering Services Sqn in Edmonton. In 2018, Jay was promoted to Major and posted back to 1 CER. There, he served as OC of 15 Support Sqn, of 12 Field Sqn and finally of 17 Armoured Sqn, before retiring from the best CER in January 2021.
Jay has built his life and career around challenging himself physically and mentally, whether earning an engineering degree, being a surface rescue diver on the Navy’s manned submersibles, a jumper on the Skyhawks parachute demonstration team, a member of a Nijmegen team, a combat diver, or an EOD operator. However, the most complex intellectual challenge has been effectively capturing and managing the scope of the CAF’s infrastructure challenges to enable better business decisions at all levels. The most rewarding aspect of his career has undoubtedly been as an OC, where he had the honour to serve alongside some of the finest soldiers in the Engineering Corps.
Jay will remain in St. Albert with his wife, Alison, and three children; Liam, Jameson, Lachlan. He currently works for Real Property Operations (West) as a Regional Ops and Plans Officer