WO Michael Claridge, CD

    Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Warrant Officer Mike Claridge grew up on a small farm in New Ross N.S. He enrolled in the Canadian Forces on 04 March 1980. Following his basic training in Cornwallis Nova Scotia, he was posted to the 8th Canadian Hussars at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. After being reassigned to the Combat Engineer’s he was posted to 1 Combat Engineer Regiment at Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack, British Columbia, for on the job training. In early 1981 he completed his QL 3 training at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering also in Chilliwack. During his time at 1 CER he completed a Fall Exercise with 4 Combat Engineer Regiment in Lahr, Germany, RV 83 and took part in a road reconstruction project in Eureka, North West Territories .

    In November 1983 he was posted to 22 Field Squadron at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. While serving with 22 Field Squadron, he, along with other Armoured Engineers and heavy equipment operators, were selected to begin the Field Engineer Equipment Operator (042) trade. He deployed to Norway as an Armoured Engineer on a combined 5 Brigade exercise and took part in RV 85 and 87.

    In July 1989 Warrant Officer Claridge was posted to 45 Field Engineer Squadron, Cape Breton Militia District, Sydney, NS. He was posted back to 22 Fd Sqn, Gagetown in July 1992 and while there served with the Armoured Engineers and Heavy Equipment Troops. In 1993 he deployed to Visoko, Bosnia, as 2 I/C of the Armoured Engineer Section with the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment Battle Group. In 1996 he deployed to Israel, Golan Heights as part of UNDOF. After returning from tour he was promoted to MCpl.

    In the spring of 1998 Warrant Officer Claridge deployed with 4 ESR to the Red River flood in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He initially was employed as an Armoured Engineer until taking a position as an LO between 4 ESR and the Manitoba Highway Department. In Dec 1999 he deployed with 4 ESR as an AEV Commander to St Jean Quebec, during the Ice storm.

    In Dec 2000 Warrant Officer Claridge was promoted to Sgt and deployed to Asmara, Eritrea. After returning to 4 ESR he took the position as chief instructor of the Armoured Engineer School, CFB Gagetown.

    In July 2003 he was posted to Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering as a Heavy Equipment Instructor at Lauvina Woods. While there he completed his 043 conversion training and was promoted to Warrant Officer. He then was a Troop Supervisor of Survivability cell returned to Lauvina Woods in July 2006 as chief instructor for the Heavy Equipment cell.

    In Oct 2006 he returned to 4 ESR to deploy as the Armoured Engineer Troop Warrant Officer with the 2 RCR BG in Kandahar, Afghanistan. After a Squadron re-org, he was employed as a Field Troop Warrant officer, where he took part in many mounted and dismounted operations in the Panjwaii District. After returning to 4 ESR he was employed as Support Troop Warrant Officer until his retirement.

    Warrant Officer Claridge, his wife Teri and their son Lawrence, plan to settle in New Ross, NS where Mike will build his retirement workshop and home. He will be transferring to the Supplementary Ready Reserve with the possibility of Class B employment once the homestead is complete.

    As requested by Mike, a small gathering will be held with only a few invitations going out. Anecdotes and messages of congratulation may be sent to the OPI MWO Rick Lyman via email at: lyman.rt@forcese.gc.ca or via Fax at : 506-422-1245 Attn MWO Lyman.