Sailor Profile: Lt(N) Taylor Workman, Naval Warfare Officer

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Navy News / May 14, 2019

Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Taylor Workman is Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Regina’s Navigating Officer and Senior Bridge Watchkeeper. The London, Ontario native is on Operation ARTEMIS, the Canadian Armed Forces’ ongoing contribution to counter-terrorism and maritime security operations in Middle Eastern and East African waters.

So far on this mission, HMCS Regina as seized over 9,000 kg of narcotics in the Northern Arabian Sea in an area known as the “hash highway” – a historical shipping route through the Indian Ocean that’s been known for smuggling hashish for centuries. The profits made from selling these illegally smuggled narcotics is a known source of funding for terrorist and criminal organizations in the region.

For Lt(N) Workman, this is an exciting part of his job.

“When a suspicious vessel we tracked down is being searched by the boarding team and you get the call that they found drugs being illegally smuggled, it’s an awesome feeling,” shares Lt(N) Workman.

“Once it sinks in that you’re making an impact, and you get to share the news with friends and family highlighting what you’re doing out here and why you’re deployed for so long, it makes me feel proud of our ship and our navy for having an impact on the global stage.” So how did someone from small town Ontario find himself hunting drug smugglers in the Arabian Sea with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN)?

“I wanted to see the world and travel, but I also wanted to serve our country and be a part of something bigger than myself. My grandfather was a pilot who trained other pilots during WW2 and so the idea of serving the country was always in the back of my mind,” said Lt(N) Workman.

In 2010, Lt(N) Workman joined the RCN through HMCS Prevost, the Naval Reserve Division in London, Ontario. Once he completed Basic Training, Lt(N) Workman said he was “hooked” and within 6 months requested a transfer to the Regular Force.

“I got accepted to the Regular Officer Training Program (ROTP) and attended the University of Guelph for my undergrad.” The rest is history. Since then, Lt(N) Workman has deployed on Operation CARIBBE twice, sailed to Antarctica with the Royal Navy as part of an officer exchange program, and has deployed throughout the Asia Pacific region. “I love the people and the experiences,” said Lt(N) Workman.

“I have friends all over the country, and all over the world because of the Navy.”

But, like all jobs, there are challenges.

“Being away from home is always a challenge. The job itself comes with a lot of responsibility and at times it can be very demanding mentally, physically and even emotionally. As a bridge watchkeeper and navigator, I have a huge responsibility for the safety of all personnel on board, and the ship itself, when I stand watches, and for getting the ship to the right place at the right time so we can carry out our assigned mission,” added Lt(N) Workman.

HMCS Regina is on Operation ARTEMIS until May 30, 2019, after which the ship will transition to Operation PROJECTION, which consists of working with partner navies and conducting key leader engagements to enhance military cooperation and partnerships in support of Canada’s diplomatic efforts in the Asia-Pacific region.

The warship will return to its homeport of Victoria, BC in August after six months at sea. Even though Lt(N) Workman calls Victoria home these days, he heads back to his hometown as often as he can to catch up with family, friends, former teachers, and co-workers in the London area. He will have many stories to tell after a deployment like this.“I love sharing stories from deployments with family and friends and shedding light on what we actually do. It’s always amazing to see and hear peoples’ interest when I explain something that is normal and routine for me in this job.”