Family celebrates rare military service triple play

Petty Officer First Class Jonathan McGregor, Juley-Anne Brown, Naval Cadet Jaiden Brown, and Sailor First Class Charleyne Oulton. The members all served together at CFB Esquimalt this summer. Photo: Peter Mallett/Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Military service has become a family affair for Sailor First Class (S1) Charleyne Oulton and her loved ones.

The last few weeks have marked a noteworthy occurrence as S1 Oulton, her husband, Petty Officer First Class (PO1) Jonathan McGregor and their son, Naval Cadet (NCdt) Jaiden Brown, each served simultaneously at CFB Esquimalt.

“This has been an amazing opportunity for the whole family to serve side-by-side,” says S1 Oulton who works as Human Resources Administrator at the Base Orderly Room.

PO1 McGregor is a Senior Engineer in HMCS Vancouver, and his stepson, NCdt Brown, has recently completed a temporary posting to the Naval Cadet Support Unit (Pacific).

The family’s military service triple play happened when Brown returned from Royal Military College (RMC) in Kingston for a summer break on July 9. His trip home was not for a vacation, as he took a temporary position with the Raven program on July 23.

The unique occasion allowed him to reflect on the rare opportunity to serve alongside his stepfather and mother.

“It has been a unique experience that most people do not have because I was lucky to recognize a few names and faces when I started my employment here,” NCdt Brown said. “I think people are incredibly fortunate if they have one family member, let alone two, serving in the same place.”

S1 Oulton recommended the military option for Brown because it had such a positive impact on her life. Brown also participated in the Cadets program in his teen years and has taken a keen interest in the military since then.

“When it came to joining the Navy, the admiration he held for us and our service was a driving force in his own decision to apply to RMC,” S1 Oulton said.

Word has spread quickly throughout the Base about their family’s military connection to Esquimalt.

“I frequently run into someone who says they know my parents,” said NCdt Brown. “I feel a sense of community and connection with them instantly.”

The family affair was broken off on Aug. 14., when PO1 McGregor and HMCS Vancouver deployed to the Asia-Pacific region as part of Operation Neon, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) contribution to supporting United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.

PO1 McGregor says he was proud to have his wife and stepson serve with him at the Base.

“I don’t know how common this specific situation is, but I have heard of several service couples with children that have followed their parents into the Armed Forces,” PO1 McGregor said. “I feel really lucky that my son was on summer employment here and got a chance to see me off on my deployment.”

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