Sailor Profile: Sailor 1st Class Jaime Jose Santisteban Bazan

Navy News / June 8, 2021

Sailor 1st Class (S1) Jaime Jose Santisteban Bazan, a Sonar Operator, joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 2016. In 2021, he was awarded his Dolphins, signalling to all that he is a qualified submariner.

S1 Santisteban Bazan made his decision to switch from the surface fleet to submarines while sailing onboard Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Vancouver.

“A colleague of mine, a former submariner, offered to take me to Her Majesty's Canadian Submarine (HMCS) Victoria and to give me a tour,” he says. “I am glad I took his offer, as what I saw onboard was reminiscent of the old classic submarine movies.” 

That day onboard Victoria, one of Canada’s four submarines, was permanently etched in his memory.

“What left a lasting impact were the three members of the crew I met that day,” he remembers. “Confident yet humble, proud yet friendly, the submariners (all of vastly different ranks) I met that day were having an animated conversation on the merits of one TV show over another. I joined the conversation, and it did not take long for me to realize that their apparent aloofness was anything but, when their panel blinked a warning. One of them walked over to the screen, and read out the warning. Without skipping a step, the conversation turned into an in-depth mechanical analysis of what that flashing light was communicating to them which, to me, sounded like pure nonsense.”

“After deciding the light was not a threat to the submarine and waving it away, the submariners resumed their conversation, this time arguing the better way to approach a deer during a hunt. To my eyes, that relaxed environment, backed by the experience of a well-trained crew, was leagues ahead of what one could find in the surface fleet. I just knew then and there that I had to try to become a submariner myself.”

For S1 Santisteban Bazan, the best thing about being a submariner is the direct correlation between one’s authority and the competency they display.

“At sea, if you’re a junior rate who’s motivated and diligent, you’ll soon find yourself in charge of an essential submarine system,” he says. “Alongside, depending on your trade, there will never be a dull moment for, generally speaking, as long as you have proven yourself reliable and your work gets done, you’ll be expected to act autonomously.”

One thing that S1 Santisteban Bazan never leaves home without is a well-hidden bag of candy. 

For those considering a career in subs, S1 Santisteban Bazan advises them to trust their gut instincts.

“Do not trust the picture sailors from the surface fleet will paint of the submarine program. Do not trust the picture submariners will paint of the submarine program,” he says. “Ask to visit HMCS Victoria, and watch us in our natural environment. Whatever trade you are, ask to shadow a submariner in your preferred trade. That’ll be the truest picture of what you can expect if you decide to apply to become a submariner.”