Lieutenant (Navy) Teri Lafontaine

Atlantic Region News / October 3, 2017

On September 8, 2017, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Montréal and her crew of 240 departed Halifax, Nova Scotia, to participate in Neptune Trident 17-02, an overarching Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) deployment taking place in the North Atlantic.

Lieutenant (Navy) Teri Lafontaine is a Marine Systems Engineering Officer aboard HMCS Montréal and hails from Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. After graduating high school from Crowsnest Consolidated High school, she went on to complete a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Lt (N) Lafontaine was a member of the Air Cadet Squadron in her hometown (859 RCACS) and joined the CAF in 2004, with education benefit as her motivation. After the first couple of years, her reason for staying changed. “I learned that I could be successful in the CAF; that I would always have an opportunity to advance and to grow, to keep learning and to lead, and to work with other professionals like myself that are interested in progress and continued learning” she said.

Lt (N) Lafontaine is the Head of the Marine Systems Engineering Department onboard. She is responsible for the leadership and well-being of a large team of highly trained technical professionals. “I am also responsible for the operation and maintenance of propulsion systems, power generation and distribution systems, ship’s service systems, hull structure, ship’s stability and their control systems” she added. Additionally, she is the Damage Control Officer onboard responsible for ensuring the ship’s teams are prepared to respond to emergencies like fires or floods and for leading the teams in fighting the internal battle in the event of a fire, flood or action scenario.

“I love that I am able to work with a team of highly trained and motivated people. I love that I am doing something that has meaning and has an impact”. She loves the challenge and ever changing scenarios which gives her plenty of opportunities for further learning. “The opportunities that are available to me as a member of the CAF are incredible and are not typically available in other careers – opportunities like travelling the world, being trusted with the operation and maintenance of multimillion dollar systems and equipment, and the opportunity to work with and befriend people from across Canada and internationally”. She also spent 10 months as a Liaison Officer at the Directorate of Foreign Liaison and worked closely with the Foreign Service Attachés that are accredited to Canada, and planned and organized several high profile visits of foreign military dignitaries.

Lt (N) Lafontaine currently resides in Ottawa with her husband Nathan, Golden Retriever, Hunter, and kitten, Bella. One of the main challenges she faced, in her first few years in the CAF, was being away from home and her family. “Over time I came to realize that while I am often away from my immediate family and friends, the CAF has provided me with another family – my military family”.