Five questions with CFB Esquimalt Base Commander Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside

Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside with his family.

Captain (Navy) Kevin Whiteside with his family.

Lookout Staff 

Father’s Day Edition: 
Q. How do you balance being a father at home and a leader at the Base? Can you share some strategies you use to manage both effectively?

A. It’s not easy and is something that requires constant focus. I am fortunate to have an incredible spouse who is an absolute superhero, who has somehow found a way to raise our three awesome kids while I have been away at sea for so many years. This posting has allowed me to be in the same location as them and afforded me the ability to eat dinner at home as a family a few nights per week, which has been a gift to us all. My advice being, when afforded the opportunity to be at home with family, be present.

Q. How does your family support you in your military career, and how do you involve your family in Base activities and events?

A.  As my incredible spouse reminds me, I am a teacher’s husband, she is not a military spouse. While this may seem light-hearted, it is important to note. My spouse and I have always endeavoured to support each other in our careers, although the demands of service do not always allow for equity in this support. The biggest way I feel I have been able to support her is to listen when she needs an ear, while aiming to communicate any schedule changes as early as possible to maintain a family plan. We are not perfect, nobody is, but I would not be here today still in uniform if I did not have such a resilient and supportive family who understand the needs of service.

Q. What are some key lessons you’ve learned from being a father that you apply in your leadership role at the Base? Conversely, are there lessons from your military career that you bring into your role as a father?

A. Be humble, be kind, listen to the needs of others, face adversity head on, and overcome challenges as a team. Admit your mistakes and try to make every day incrementally better than the one before.

Q. Does your family have any special traditions or rituals for Father’s Day, particularly given the unique circumstances of military life? What does this day mean to you personally?

A. Rare is it that I am home for Father’s Day. Usually, I receive an email while at sea. But, when I am here for the day, we spend time together at the beach with our dogs and head out for a meal or have a family BBQ; and of course, we try to take part in the Navy Run which usually happens on or about that day! This year it’ll be on June 22nd.

Q. If your kids could describe you as a superhero based on your role as both a father and base commander, what superpowers do you think they would say you have, and what would your superhero name be?

A. According to my kids, my superhero name would be ‘Duplicating Dad’ and the superpower would allow me to be in two places at the same time: at work and at home!

Q. Bonus: What is your go-to ‘dad’ joke that never fails to make your kids groan/laugh?

A. How does the ocean say hi to ships? It waves!

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