Cpl Bailey Sloan: Learns something new every day

Image Gallery

Navy News / December 22, 2020

For Corporal (Cpl) Bailey Sloan, a Human Resources Administrator on board Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Toronto, joining the military is a family tradition.

“I joined the military because my dad had a long and exciting career, and I always wanted that. I figured anything I could do in the civilian world, I could do while serving my country.”

Although a member of the Canadian Army, Cpl Sloan belongs to what is called a “purple trade.” These trades are found in the Army, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and Royal Canadian Air Force, so these members can find themselves posted anywhere in the Canadian Armed Forces, regardless of the uniform they wear.

Along with the rest of the ship’s company, Cpl Sloan deployed nearly six months ago for Operation REASSURANCE with Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, which demonstrates Canada’s commitment to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. The ship and its crew are expected to return to their homeport of Halifax, in time for Christmas.

She notes, however, that this deployment was unusual for all on board, given the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, the shore-leave restrictions that were in place in foreign ports and the public health measures needed to keep the ship’s company safe.

Although the crew members couldn’t leave the ship when alongside, Cpl Sloan says they made the most of their free time by playing board games and ordering food to the ship.

Originally from Winnipeg, Cpl Sloan says that her job is “super important” to her and that she likes being able to continually progress in her trade.

“Every day I learn something new with regard to my trade. It keeps my mind and body active and engaged.”

For Cpl Sloan, the best part of serving in the RCN are the views!

“I joined the ship in February 2020 and we started sailing in July, so for a large part of my time with the RCN I have been able to wake up go out on to the upper decks and take in what the world has to offer that day.”

While the views are amazing, it’s the camaraderie that keeps her excited to serve.

“My most memorable experiences are being able to work alongside some really excellent people,” she says. “I am not much of a people person, but I remember after my first week on the ship calling my mum and saying how I couldn’t believe how friendly and helpful all the crew members were.”

This soldier has advice for anyone considering a military career.

“I would tell someone who is considering a career in the RCN to do it! Take the plunge, you won’t regret it. I have been so fortunate in my career so far, meeting people, learning and travelling. I would have never been able to gain this sort of life experience in a civilian job.”