Sgt M.I.B. Ridgeway, CD
After more than 30 years of loyal and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Military Engineers, Sgt Matt Ridgeway, CD, will retire on 02 July 2021. On 03 July 2021, he will continue working as a DND civilian with RPOU(A) in Halifax as a WFE tech. A DwD celebration will occur in September 2021. Anecdotes, congratulatory messages, and pictures can be sent to WO D.A. Kierstead at David.Keirstead@forces.gc.ca.
Sgt Matthew Ridgway joined in 1991 as a Boatswain Naval Reservist in Saint John, NB, where he spent six years working part time. In the spring of 1997, he volunteered to go as a boat driver and help on Operation ASSISTANCE, the floods in Manitoba, delivering sand bags and helping the locals. In the summer of 1997, LS Ridgway accepted a position on HMCS Goose Bay as part of the commissioning crew, working the following 12 years full-time with the Naval Reserve conducting various fisheries patrols and MARS IV training for new Naval officers. He participated in notable events such as the Operation PERSISTENCE (Swiss Air flight 111 crash), Exercise BLUE GAME in the North Sea where the King Neptune's Law states that neophytes like him go from being tadpoles to shellbacks after crossing the Arctic Circle, and was on various trips and exercises up and down the eastern seaboard of North America.
In 2002, MS Ridgway was posted to CFFS (Québec) - Canadian Forces Fleet School in Québec City where he was a weapons and payload instructor. For the next three years, he would teach Reserve MARS Officers’ their weapons drills for Above Water Warfare conflicts, conduct small arms and .50 Cal refresher training on the FATS (Fire Arms Training System) for reserve Boatswains, and teach deck operations for route survey and minesweeping on the Kingston class vessels.
In 2005, PO2 Ridgway was posted to HMCS Summerside as the Chief Boatswains Mate, the senior Boatswain aboard. In 2008, he was posted the CFFS Seamanship division at Halifax as the Reserve Standards rep for the Boatswain trade where he was directly responsible for all DP-1 and DP-3 training standards. In 2009, PO2 Ridgway completed a CTOT (Component Transfer and Occupational Transfer) to the CME Water Fuel Environment Technician trade and in 2010, Cpl Ridgway completed the WFE DP1 course at CFMSE and began a new chapter in his life.
Upon completing WFE DP1, Cpl Ridgway was posted to CFB Cold Lake where he would spend the next six years refining his WFE trade skills. During his time in Cold Lake, he became a Journeyman Tradesperson, acquired civilian certifications in water treatment and waste water treatment, travelled to Inuvik multiple times, and completed a seven month tour in Kuwait on Operation IMPACT. Upon return from Kuwait, MCpl Ridgway was posted to CFB Esquimalt as part of the Construction Troop. After a few months, he was brought into the CSO section as a Customer Service Analysist. In the winter of 2017, Sgt Ridgway went to Latvia on Operation REASSURANCE as the Senior WFE Tech. In the summer of 2018, Sgt Ridgway was posted to RP Ops Unit Atlantic Section Halifax as the WFE Shop IC and in the spring of 2020, he was needed as the Janitorial Contract Administrator to masterly coordinate the requirements in this new COVID-19 environment. Not a small task.
In November 2020, Sgt Ridgway applied for a DND civilian WFE position at RP Ops Halifax and in April 2021, he was offered a job as a DND civilian WFE. On 02 July 2021, Sgt Matt Ridgway will retire from the CAF with 30 years of service, but will continue to support DND within RP Ops Halifax. Sgt Ridgway has been supported throughout his career by spouse, Jessica Steele, and his son, Stephen Ridgway.