New leadership for CFB Esquimalt

Navy News / July 10, 2017

By Peter Mallett

With the summer sun in full display on June 22, 2017, Captain (Navy) Jason Boyd became the new Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, B.C., in a change of command ceremony brimming with warmth and fond farewells.

First to the podium was Elmer George, representing the Songhees Nation. He gave a special blessing that reaffirmed the unique connection CFB Esquimalt has with the First Nations communities of Greater Victoria.

Humour, pride and humility were well woven into Commodore Steve Waddell’s address as he relinquished command to Capt(N) Boyd. Having spent one of the longer terms as base commander – a month shy of three years –  he made certain to acknowledge all units, both military and civilian, for their efforts supporting the fleet.

“Spending three years as CFB Esquimalt’s commander was a unique opportunity to forge deep bonds across the region and witness the incredible contributions our people make to each other, the community and our mission as part of the Department of National Defence,” he said.

Then, with the military parade neatly lined row upon row on the museum parade square, and hundreds of spectators assembled to witness the event, Cmdre Waddell, Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), and Capt(N) Boyd all signed the change of command certificates signifying the legal transfer and change in leadership.

During his remarks, RAdm McDonald likened the Base Commander’s job to that of a mayor, noting that the “city” of CFB Esquimalt has its own fire department, police force, schools, and even a newspaper. Cmdre Waddell, he said, “showed dedication and tact” while fostering relationships both inside CFB Esquimalt limits and beyond.

“Most importantly, you’ve been there for your shipmates,” he added. “Supporting and mentoring our members through many charitable and social initiatives, all in support of increasing morale and welfare throughout the base to help keep everyone shipshape, both mentally and physically.”

At the end of his address, RAdm McDonald presented MARPAC Commendations to Cmdre Waddell and his wife Shauna, and thick gold Admiral coins to their children Nate and Bekah, as he emphasized the important role family plays in the success of their military partners and parents.

The final portion of the ceremony focused on the new Base Commander. In his first address to his new team, Capt(N) Boyd sent a ripple of laughter through the crowd when he said, “This small-town Prairie boy now has some big shoes to fill, and I mean literally. Have you seen his feet compared to mine?”

The naval officer is no stranger to Esquimalt, having served in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa as Executive Officer, and HMCS Regina as Commanding Officer. But he acknowledged the move from fleet to base will be filled with new discoveries.

“It was evident to me as I received my turnover briefs that the span of work across this base is profound, and the work this team is doing is exceptional,” he said.

Article courtesy of Lookout Newspaper