Speaker Bio:
Rick Austin



Speaking Topics:

Navy; Technology; Careers

Rick Austin was born on May 14, 1956 in Arichat, Nova Scotia in a hospital 100 yards from the ocean. He is the grandson of Richard Blake Austin WW II RCAF Veteran and son of Gerald Blake Austin RCN  Korea War Veteran.

Rick joined her Majesty’s Canadian Navy in November 1976 and attended boot camp in CFRS Cornwallis starting on November 19th. He was in A Company 1st Platoon and was Course Senior for two weeks during boot camp. He started his trades training at CFB Stadacona in Halifax as a Radar Plotter TQ3 in the spring of 1977 which he finished first overall. He then went to the seamanship school in Halifax for the TSQAB course which he finished first again.

Rick was posted to his first ship, HMCS Iroquois, on the 26 July 1977.The ship was in refit until the fall, after which it did work-ups.While on HMCS Iroquois, Rick did three NATO trips, Eastlant exercises and Caribops with allied navies. He also attended his TQ4 Radar Plotter Course and Junior and Senior CCS 280 Operator courses for which he received the Herbert Lott Award and an advanced promotion to Leading Seaman.

Rick was posted ashore to the CFMWS (Canadian Maritime Warfare School) in Halifax in December 1980 where he helped in training naval officers in tactics. He started his TQ5 Radar technician Course in 1982 which lasted for a year, graduating first overall. He was posted back to HMCS Iroquois in 1983 after receiving his promotion to Master Seaman. Rick did more Caribops training and fisheries patrols returning to the Fleet School in Halifax for his CCS 280 Computer technician Course in Feb 1984 in which he graduated first overall. He was posted to HMCS Huron in December 1984 and helped bring the ship successfully out of refit and work-ups.Rick was promoted to Petty Officer Second Class in July 1985.

In October 1985, Rick was again posted back to the Fleet School to attend his TQ6A year and one half course as a Nett (Naval Electronic Technician Tactical); during which he spent six months at the Technical University of Nova Scotia. On 13 March 1987, Rick was posted to HMCS Algonquin which sailed for a six month NATO trip in April of the same year. He remained on HMCS Algonquin until being posted to HMCS Athabaskan in August 1990 for deployment to the Persian Gulf, which lead to seven months overseas until after the Gulf War in which he was the “tail gunner”; operating and maintaining the CIWS Phalanx Anti-Missile System.

Upon returning from the Gulf War, Rick was posted to the Fleet School as an instructer.He first was a Lab Supervisor in the Electronics Division and then shifted to instruct the CIWS for 4 years. Rick finished his twenty year career as a CIWS maintainer at FMG (Fleet Maintenance Group) where his expertise in the CIWS was called upon to tend to the Fleet’s CIWS maintenance and high operational readiness.

Rick Austin retired from the Royal Canadian Navy in November 1996 after twenty years service.

He worked for a Motorola Company in London,Ontario after his navy career, prior to returning to college in 2007 to pursue an Environmental Technology Degree, which he achieved in 2011.

He is a member of several Veterans’ Organizations:

  • RCNA London Ontario
  • CAVUNP Courtland Ontario
  • NATO Veterans Canada
  • Persian Gulf Veterans Canada

He also enjoys being part of THE MEMORY PROJECT.

He has two sons, Christopher and Michael, aged 35 and 33 respectively.

He currently resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada ; where he is a Weather Radar Technologist for Environment Canada.


The Memory Project includes a community of over 1,500 veterans and Canadian Forces members who are committed to sharing their stories of service.

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