Canadian Pacific Fleet 2021 Sailor of Year

S2 Jesse Roberts

S2 Jesse Roberts, Canadian Fleet Pacific 2021 Sailor of the Year

Peter Mallett 
Staff Writer

A sailor from HMCS Vancouver didn’t know what to make of a surprise phone call informing her she had been selected Canadian Pacific Fleet Sailor of the Year.

S2 Jesse Roberts, a 21-year-old boatswain who hails from Yellowknife, NT, was completing a demolition course on Bentinck Island when she received the unexpected phone call from CPO1 Arvid Lee, Fleet Chief, and Capt(N) Jeffrey Hutchinson, Base Commander.

“I didn’t know how to react and I was almost certain they had called the wrong person,” she says. “Once the shock wore off, I was excited to call my family in Yellowknife and inform them of the good news.”

S2 Roberts joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2018 and enrolled in the navy later that year.  She says it’s not too often people from the far north join the navy, and even more unheard of for one of them to be named Sailor of the Year.

She has primarily worked in Vancouver, with a brief attachment to HMCS Winnipeg in November 2019, and HMCS Nanaimo for Operation Caribbe in February 2020.

“With my career in the RCN [Royal Canadian Navy] I have had the opportunity to be a part of a professional work environment, where both individuals and the team are faced with high-stake, high-stress situations. This has given me the opportunity to cope and strive under unprecedented circumstances, always adapting and overcoming the unique conditions.”

While the basic job description of boatswain is akin to a modern day deckhand, she says it is much more complicated than that in the navy.

“When it comes to the operation of small boats, maintaining small arms, rigging, and rope work, boatswains are the experts on board. But we are also required to perform many diverse tasks, each one unique and crucial to the performance of an HMC ship.”

Sailor of the Year is chosen by Canadian Pacific Fleet leadership based on job performance, community service, dress, and deportment.

S2 Roberts volunteers for the Sooke Sea Cadet Corps, is dedicated to the boatswain trade, and exceeds as a storesperson for the department, all top qualities that made her a good candidate.

“However, these are skills any sailor might acquire and achieve,” she says. “More so, I believe my positive attitude, dedication, and professionalism have aided my recognition as  sailor of the year.”

She also credits support from her chain of command as key to her success. She wouldn’t have acquired the skills and attributes that have led to a successful naval career without them, she notes.

Vancouver is currently completing its Intermediate Multi-ship Readiness Training in anticipation for deployment this summer. However, S2 Roberts will not be sailing with them. Instead, she will be transferring to Naval Reserve unit HMCS Malahat.

That’s because her next big career goal lies outside of the military. Later in 2022 she will be enrolled in the full-time Practical Nursing Program at Sprott Shaw College in Victoria. Her mother and grandmother were both nurses and this is a chance to follow in their footstep 

“Although I am unsure of my future ambitions in the navy at the moment, I hope to have the opportunity to serve on board HMC Ships in the future,” she says.

She will be presented the award in a ceremony later this year.

Winners of past Sailor of the Year awards have received a promotion, a certificate, a commendation pin, $200 cash, a clock with a Sailor of the Year engraved plaque, and a parking space in Dockyard.

Filed Under: Top Stories

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.