MS Robert Weston named Atlantic Fleet’s Sailor of the Quarter

Navy News / July 28, 2020

By Ryan Melanson, Trident Staff

When the Formation adopted its pandemic posture in mid-March, everyone was asked to do their part to ensure the Royal Canadian Navy could maintain its readiness and capability. For some that meant staying home to help limit the spread of COVID-19, but for others, like Master Seaman (MS) Robert Weston, it was quite the opposite.

As the Information Systems Administrator aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) St.John’s, MS Weston is responsible for keeping the ship connected – he ensures networks are up and running and cell phones are working properly, among other tasks.

“If a user has an IT problem, they come to me, and I always do my absolute best to rectify that problem,” said MS Weston.

When St. John’s learned that the ship would be conducting a hull swap with HMCS Ville de Quebec on shorter notice than usual, he sprang to action, and put in long hours transitioning IT equipment from ship to shore office, which allowed his replacement to hit the ground running.

For that hard work during a difficult and stressful period, MS Weston has been named the Atlantic Fleet’s Sailor of the Quarter for Q2 2020. The award was presented to him by Commodore Richard Feltham, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic, and Fleet Chief Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Darcy Burd, during a small ceremony on June 26.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated, so it was a complete shock, but I’m happy to be recognized,” he said following the presentation.

Along with his work to help facilitate the hull swap, he was also noted for a number of other achievements, including volunteering to be the fleet-wide office of primary interest, or OPI, for verifying new communication systems, mentoring junior navigators during readiness training, and volunteering in his community during his spare time.

In nominating MS Weston for the Sailor of the Quarter award, his command team lauded him for his work through the pandemic period, and said he helped ensure that St. John’s leadership stayed in regular contact with the Fleet and the ship’s company.

“MS Weston’s superior technical knowledge increased the operational effectiveness of St. John’s during this quarter. His work ethic and positive attitude directly contributed to mission success both at sea and alongside, as well as enhancing the efforts and morale of those around him,” the nomination reads.

MS Weston has been a member of the St. John’s crew since 2018, and while he’s been credited for his strong leadership and for inspiring the junior ranks, he says the team he works with have also contributed to his success.

“They’re an amazing group of people to work with, they’re quick with a joke, slow to anger, and always ready to do what they need to do with little supervision. I’m grateful to have the section that I have.”