‘Consistent, trustworthy’ CPO with West Coast connections tipped for top NCM job

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Pascal Harel

Chief Petty Officer 1st Class Pascal Harel

22nd Command Chief Petty Officer of the RCN 

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer 
A seasoned Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (CPO1) with strong ties to the Pacific Coast bristles with optimism over his next posting as the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) senior Non-Commissioned Member. 

With 28 years of experience in Canada’s military, CPO1 Pascal Harel will become the 22nd Command Chief Petty Officer of the RCN following a Change of Appointment Ceremony this month in Ottawa. His new responsibilities include providing the commander of the RCN with the perspective of non-commissioned sailors and acting as a liaison with senior leadership and the RCN commander.

“This is very exciting for me as I will be going back home to the RCN where I will be directly helping sailors,” said CPO1 Harel. “This is the ultimate non-commissioned position in the RCN where I influence policy to enhance the life of our sailors.”

His last two postings since 2022 were at Department of National Defence (DND) headquarters in Ottawa where he worked as Director General Military Careers Chief, and most recently, Professional Conduct and Culture Command Chief for all three branches of Canada’s military. During a Change of Appointment Ceremony on July 11, he will replace CPO1 Tom Lizotte as the Navy’s Command Chief Petty Officer.

CPO1 Harel already enjoys a close working relationship with CPO1 Lizotte and fully understands the importance of his new position.

 “I will represent the sailors and to do this effectively, I need to stay close to them and communicate and engage with them often,” said CPO1 Harel. “I will also need to understand the needs of the leadership team and Vice-Admiral (VAdm) Angus Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, to effectively advise him on a sailor’s needs while also comprehending how the RCN operates at the strategic level to provide accurate and proper advice on improving conditions for sailors.”

CPO1 Harel joined the Navy in 1996 at the age of 19, first working as a boatswain before switching to the electrician trade at the end of his basic training. He spent most of his career on the West Coast, spending many of his years aboard HMCS Regina, where he was deployed to the Persian Gulf, and also HMCS Protecteur, RCN’s former supply ship. He also worked as an instructor at Naval Fleet School (Pacific), serving as Career Manager for the rollout of the Marine Technician (MarTech) trade. He was a Coxswain aboard HMCS Yellowknife, HMCS Edmonton and HMCS Winnipeg. Throughout his career, he completed seven deployments along with several iterations of Rim of The Pacific (RIMPAC), and Operations Caribbe and Wesploy. His last posting in Esquimalt was Unit Chief of the Personnel Coordination Centre (PCC) in 2022. He also served in a supervisory role at Fleet Maintenance Facility (FMF) Cape Breton, Base Administration and the Sea Training Division.

A Canadian Forces General Message said CPO1 Harel was chosen for the job for being ‘objective and consistent’ throughout his career. On March 12 in an official communication VAdm Topshee introduced CPO1 Harel as the RCN’s 22nd Command Chief Petty Officer.

“Your appointment reflects your significant contributions to both the CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] and RCN,” said VAdm Topshee. “As my senior non-commissioned advisor on all issues concerning the welfare and service of our sailors, defence team members and families as well as RCN culture and our readiness to fight, I know that you will embody the CAF ethos, lead by example and exemplify the high level of trust, which our members deserve.” 

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