Paul Delhaise's service medals: Left, the NATO Special Service medal for his 6 months service at sea on a NATO mission, and right, Canadian Forces Decoration showing 22 years of service .Paul Delhaise's service medals: Left, the NATO Special Service medal for his 6 months service at sea on a NATO mission, and right, Canadian Forces Decoration showing 22 years of service .
My name is Commander Paul Delhaise. I was born in 1960, and I joined the military in 1979. I've been in for just about twenty-seven years now, and I've had a very wide variety of different experiences. I've had training at the early stage of my career on ships – some on the west coast, mainly on the east coast – to places in Atlantic and the North Atlantic, off of Norway, in the Caribbean, and to some degree on the west coast around the Vancouver/Victoria area.
Once my training was completed, I did spend much of my time behind a desk, so unfortunately I didn't get a chance to spend too much time at sea. The things I have been involved with have been the fleet schools, training the young officers for their involvement at sea. Then doing some doing some training – again, back to school – to get a Masters degree in Kingston. Then in Ottawa I spent nine years, working in projects, bringing equipment to the ships so that they could effectively fight.
The main project I was involved with was the Canadian Towed Array Sonar System, or CANTASS. It was a very large project to procure towed array sonars, which could be towed behind the ships to find submarines. I also spent four years working on an operational command and information system for connecting commanders ashore to each other, over an Internet-type system.
Since I left Ottawa, I went to work with the British Navy on an exchange posting, and did that for a total of two years. And I did an additional year in the UK on course, and then I came back to Canada about a year and a half ago to work at Toronto in the Canadian Forces College.
My experience with the military has been quite varied. I guess the thing I found most fulfilling with being in the military is that I tended to always have a different job every three years, a different boss, and it gave me a variety that I could enjoy doing over the years.