Sailor 1st Class Jonathan Pelletier – Discipline is good

Navy News / November 20, 2020

Sailor 1st Class (S1) Jonathan Pelletier enlisted in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Drummondville as a teenager in his hometown of Rouyn-Noranda, Que.

This experience “helped me make the decision to enlist in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN),” said S1 Pelletier.

S1 Pelletier says that he applies lessons today in his profession as a sailor that he learned during his time in Sea Cadets, specifically noting “that discipline is good for morale, and that teamwork is a moral value.”

S1 Pelletier works as a boatswain, or bos’n, and his home unit is currently Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke, one of the RCN’s new Harry DeWolf-class Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships. On board ships, bos’n’s are seamanship specialists.

“We are the ones who drive the lifeboats to retrieve a person from sea or the larger rigid-hulled inflatable boats to transport the ship’s diving team,” said S1 Pelletier.

When not saving people from treacherous waters, the profession involves operating and maintaining shipboard equipment associated with cargo handling and inter-ship transfers of personnel, fuel and material while at sea, organizing the storage, training and use of small arms, demolitions and ammunition as well as coordinating watch keeping duties at sea and in harbour.

When asked about what his most memorable experience has been in the RCN over his eight years of service, S1 Pelletier said it was his time on board HMCS St. John’s in September 2017 when it was deployed to the Caribbean Sea to bring relief aid to Turks and Caicos after Hurricane Irma had swept through the region.

“We went to help people on a little island in the Caribbean. It was hot, but we were working hard to get the small community back on its feet,” recalled S1 Pelletier.

“We cleared the streets of debris, plugged them back into the power network and were able to get their drinking water system reactivated. When we weren’t on the island we were sending supplies every day to shore by helicopter. The community was very impressed with the way the work was approached and conducted, and that was because we were all working together.”

S1 Pelletier also noted that being posted away from friends and family can be difficult, but that the resources the Canadian Armed Forces provides to its members help enormously.

“Coming to Nova Scotia for my family was not easy because we didn't know anyone,” he said. “What has helped us a lot though is the support that the military can offer to newcomers in a new area far from close family. The support from our superiors who have been there before is incredible. We also have a Military Family Resource Center which has helped us adapt to the region with French cafés, a meeting place for newcomers and alumni already there to share their resources, their knowledge of the region and also to make a new circle of friends you can trust and help each other.”

When asked what he would say to someone considering a career in the RCN, S1 Pelletier had this to offer.

 “I would tell them to be ready for the challenges associated with a career in the RCN. You have to be ready to do a job well under pressure and during stressful scenarios. But it comes with its benefits, like seeing the world and making connections and friends around the globe.”