WO Mark Clarke, CD
Warrant Officer Mark Clarke was born on the 18 of January 1964 in Cornwall, Ontario. He enrolled in the CF on the 14 of April 1983 in Ottawa, and on the 29 April, he soon found his way to Nova Scotia where WO Clarke completed his recruit training at CFRS Cornwallis in June 1983. Two days later a new assignment presented itself and he found himself on a month long exercise in support of officer phase training in sunny British Columbia. Then on the 08 July, 1983 he was sent to the CF School of Military Engineers to start his first of many career courses in the Canadian Forces.
After completion of his QL3 course he was posted to 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in Petawawa on December 16, 1983. While serving with 2 CER from 1983 to 1986, WO Clarke was introduced to many new and challenging adventures of being a member of a combat Engineer Regiment. He soon came to realize that their favorite expressions in the regiment contained a lot of words with up in it, like Stand up, Ruck-Up, Panel up, Shut up, and of course drink up.
In July of 1986, WO Clarke embarked on a new journey traveling far away from Canada and was posted to 4 ESR in the land of “schnitzel and beer” in LAHR, Germany where he served from 1986 to 1990. WO Clarke was employed as a section member, section 2 I/C, as well as other various jobs that are undertaken by members of the Canadian Forces. From an Engineer perspective, Germany was unique because of its peace time prepared targets that were in place from previous conflict. Bridges as well as roads and strategic passes were ready for explosives to cut off the advance of the enemy. WO Clarke participated in many exercises in Germany which allowed him not only to see these targets but to actually set them up for demolitions, with fake explosives of course, “wouldn’t want to start another war”.
In June of 1990 it was time again for him and his family to move, and similar to ground-hog day, WO Clarke was posted from LAHR Germany only to find himself returning back to Petawawa, yes, you guessed it, to the land of the ups again. WO Clarke remained in Petawawa from 1990 to 1999. Over the nine year span WO Clarke was employed in all aspects of military training as well as jobs. While in the regiment WO Clarke worked as a section 2 I/C, Section commander, Troop storeman, and Regimental OP’s and Training. WO Clarke also deployed on three operational tours while posted to Petawawa, twice to Bosnia as well as to Somolia, he also participated in the ice storm and the floods on domestic operations in Canada.
In the summer of July 1999 after completion of WO Clarke’s QL6A course in CFB Gagetown, he was posted to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineers as an instructor. WO Clarke must have made an impression while he was on this course or this was the easiest way to get him back for the heartache that he had caused them. WO Clarke was employed in the Mine Warfare and Demolition cell for his entire stay at the school which was from 1999 to 2002.
In 2002, a new job offer was put on the table for WO Clarke to work at the Combat Training Centre HQ’s in CFB Gagetown. It wasn’t a very long move; it was just down the road a few blocks. He was employed in the G3 AIT shop and was responsible to deal with the different area tasker’s trying to ensure that the CFTPO positions were filled from which ever area was responsible. If you have ever worked in an Operations cell, you will understand that try was the optional word to use here.
In March 2004, WO Clarke made his way back to Ontario and was posted to Canadian Forces Joint HQ’s to J7 collective training here at CFB Kingston. While employed with J7 Training he developed a Mine Awareness training program for them as well as giving outside training to various units and outside agencies. At this point in his career WO Clarke had decided that he would no longer go to any posting in which the letter “R” was in, that meant 1 CER, 2 CER, 4 ESR, or 5 RGC.
So in July 2005, WO Clarke found himself moving from one side of the golf driving range to the other and was posted to the Peace Support Training Centre, which was great, for one, it was still close to the driving range, and better yet PSTC had no letter “R’ in it, it met all his criteria. WO Clarke became a wealth of Cbt Engineer knowledge, preparing soldiers for various global deployments, focusing as the Unit SME on IED Trg.
Mark is an avid sports enthusiast; he has represented CFB Gagetown in the Atlantic golf regional’s in which they won that year as well as the Atlantic Regional’s in curling. He is also known for having delivering knockouts to goaltenders while playing European Handball in Germany. WO Clarke has been a player on Base soccer teams as well as ball-hockey, where his slap shot was feared, and a weapon in itself.
WO Clarke is retiring from the forces on the 01 August 2008 and is exploring numerous opportunities on what his future will bring him and his family. You may even see him casting his shadow in the hallways of PSTC.
WO Clarke and his better half (Marie, of Montreal Quebec) “that keeps Mark in line”, have 2 children, Allison and Shane. Their immediate and probably permanent future plans are to remain in the Kingston Ontario area.