Leading Seaman Isaac Blakata

Atlantic Region News / February 14, 2018

Hometown: Born in Montreal, Quebec; raised in Hamilton, Ontario

Years of Service:  13

Home Unit: I work for 5th Maritime Operations Group and work out of Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic.

Current occupation and position: I am the remote operated vehicle operator for the Electronic Dive Systems section

Who is your role model? Lionel Messi. I love soccer and the way he sees the field is beyond everybody else.

Why did you join the Royal Canadian Navy?

After graduating from Sherwood Secondary School, I entered the chemical engineering program at Mohawk College. My friend Justin joined the forces as a fire fighter. He was so excited to tell me all about his experience because he strongly believed that I would be a perfect fit with the military. I was invited to spend the weekend at the base in Trenton, Ontario. This experience changed my whole life. I joined the Navy because I travelled a lot as a kid and the Navy provided the best opportunity to interact with different cultures around the world.

What is the best part about being in Royal Canadian Navy? There is no mundane atmosphere. Our objectives are always changing making it exciting to come to work.

What is your most memorable experience?

One of my favourite moments was actually closer to home. In 2016, I participated in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, which was honouring the No.2 Construction Battalion. I met and befriended a great number of young African Americans who are serving within the Canadian Armed Forces. I have nothing but admiration for those that came before me after learning about Reverend William A. White and those soldiers’ struggles and accomplishments. They were selfless to the point of fighting for the chance to risk their lives for complete strangers in a foreign land is truly inspirational. It’s a rare characteristic that is hard to find even in today’s society.

What are some additional highlights of your naval career?

My experience in the Navy has been exceptional. With HMCS Halifax, I completed three NATO missions all across Europe and assisted the survivors in Port of Prince, Haiti after the earthquake in January 2010. I went on two deployments.  In 2007, with HMCS Charlottetown, we patrolled the South West Asian Sea. I had the opportunity to plant trees with a grade school in Israel. In 2015, with HMCS Toronto we were the first Canadian ship to enter the Black Sea. I was able to visit Vimy Ridge in uniform on Remembrance Day.

Why have stayed in the RCN? I believe I have a lot more to contribute to the Navy.

What would you say to someone that is considering a career in the RCN? Join early and take advantage of all the opportunities that are given to you. Hesitating will most likely create regrets while going for these opportunities can open newer doors and build better connections.

What do you want the Canadian public to know about their Navy? The Navy is a really rewarding experience. You will build long lasting bonds with people that will drop everything to provide assistance at those critical moments that you need support.

Please tell a little bit about yourself, outside of the Navy (your favourite leisure activities, your family, volunteer activities, anything for which you have been recognized in the community, etc).

I am a proud father of Ethan my three year old son. For leisure, I enjoy playing soccer in the Halifax men’s soccer league. One of my favourite volunteering past time is the Grade 9 Economics for Success program. It is a class geared towards teaching young students about budgeting, career selection, and job interviews. I’ve also volunteered with Habit for Humanity building homes in East Preston and the Spryfield area. On weekends, I volunteer at Quest-A Society for Adult Support and Rehabilitation Center. The center provides aid to many individuals suffering from mental illness.