Change is in the works for Base Administration

Commander Jason Barbagallo (middle), Base Administration Executive Officer, with his wife Chantal, is promoted to his current rank by Capt (Navy) Sam Sader, Base Commander, on June 16, 2020. Photos by LS Kendric C.W. Grasby, MARPAC Imaging Services

Commander Jason Barbagallo (middle), Base Administration Executive Officer, with his wife Chantal, is promoted to his current rank by Capt (Navy) Sam Sader, Base Commander, on June 16, 2020. Photo by LS Kendric C.W. Grasby, MARPAC Imaging Services.

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

It’s that time again, posting season, when military members are moved to new positions to gain experience, flex their skills, and make a difference in their unit.

That change of leadership will touch down at Base Administration July 16 when Commander Cory Foreman vacates the position, and Cdr Jason Barbagallo slides into the chair.

Before taking the job, he required a promotion to the rank of Commander, which took place last week. In a Spiderman-like move to avoid close contact, a firefighter dangled from a flagpole to deliver the new shoulder boards to Cdr Barbagallo’s wife Chantal, who then assisted Base Commander, Capt(N) Sam Sader in the promotion. The unusual ceremony was in keeping with the fun, unique ways bases across Canada are handling COVID-19-era physical distancing promotions.

The physical move to the new position will be a short one – two steps across the hall, as Cdr Barbagallo is currently the Executive Officer of the branch.

“It’s rather remarkable and unique to have an executive officer get promoted and stay within the same organization instead of being moved to a new location,” said Cdr Barbagallo. “My situation differs greatly from most incoming commanding officers because I am familiar with the workings of the unit itself and most importantly its people. I think it is rather advantageous to change positions while staying in the  same organization.”

The 44-year-old was born and raised in Montreal. His military career began in 1996 serving nine years in the army reserves before transferring to the Regular Force in 2005. He has deployed to Bosnia as a member of the Third Canadian Support Unit, to Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and most recently Belgium. There, he commanded a support detachment for Canadian Armed Forces members and their families in Belgium, France, Spain, and Luxembourg.

He earned his sea legs in HMCS Protecteur and HMCS Winnipeg, where he was the head of the Logistics Department from 2010 to 2012. Now he is preparing to command the largest branch at CFB Esquimalt. He will oversee crucial services required by military members, such as accommodations, food services, human resources, payroll, chaplain services, and fitness.

As Cdr Foreman’s two years as Base Administration Officer comes to an end, he says he is most proud of leading an outstanding team of dedicated individuals who have always risen to any challenge with a sense of “duty, determination and passion”. The team’s efforts, he adds, have ensured extremely important support was provided to the Base, Fleet, and Formation, and commanding Base Administration has been the highlight of his 23 year career thus far.   

Cdr Barbagallo, he adds, will be a great fit to lead the organization and has a great team to support him.

“Jason is extremely mission-focussed, and people-oriented and Base Administration is very fortunate to have him take on this new leadership role.”

His next career move is to attend the year-long French Language Training Program here in Esquimalt and then he hopes to be considered for deployment on Operation Kobold in Kosovo as the Task Force Commander.

“It’s been a privilege working with so many great people in the unit and that is what I will miss the most,” he says.

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