Formula for success: New Naval Reserve Commander

Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland, Deputy Commander Royal Canadian Navy (centre), presided over the Naval Reserve Change of Command Ceremony between departing Commander, Commodore Michael Hopper (left) and incoming Commander, Commodore Patrick Montgomery (right) during the signing of the Change of Command certificates in Ottawa July 9. Photos by Corporal Sylviane St-Cyr, Canadian Forces Support Group (Ottawa-Gatineau)

Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland, Deputy Commander Royal Canadian Navy (centre), presided over the Naval Reserve Change of Command Ceremony between departing Commander, Commodore Michael Hopper (left) and incoming Commander, Commodore Patrick Montgomery (right) during the signing of the Change of Command certificates in Ottawa July 9. Photos by Corporal Sylviane St-Cyr, Canadian Forces Support Group (Ottawa-Gatineau)

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer
––

A Victoria resident skilled at solving complex problems has taken command of Canada’s Naval Reserves.

Math professor and naval reservist Commodore Patrick Montgomery took the helm from Cmdre Michael Hopper during a Change of Command ceremony at HMCS Carleton in Ottawa on July 9.

“I think the ability to analyze a problem logically and consider how components interact has been a great help throughout my career in the Naval Reserve,” he says of his mathematical expertise.

He now oversees more than 4,100 part-time sailors serving within 24 Naval Reserve Divisions across the country. Their responsibilities include responding to domestic operations, providing security for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), augmenting the fleet platform or shore capacity for defence missions at home and abroad, and providing the linkage between the RCN and local communities.

Cmdre Montgomery is a 52-year-old father of two, and currently resides in Saanich with his wife Kelly. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Alberta and currently teaches math at nearby Camosun College. He has been engaged as a part-time and full-time reservist for most of his adult life, first enrolling in the Naval Reserves in 1986 when he joined HMCS Malahat.

Highlights of his naval career up until this command were his postings as Commanding Officer of HMCS Edmonton (2008 to 2010) and HMCS Saskatoon (2010 to 2012), when he worked as a full-time naval reservist.

Earning his Minor Warship Command Qualification in 2004 was the most difficult challenge of his naval career.

“This took several years of examinations, preparations, study, and practice to get there,” he says. “I also learned a lot about how to deal with my own limitations; stress as well as success and failure as they both can teach us a lot.”

His love of life in the navy is enriched by the fact that he is a third-generation sailor; his father and grandfather also served in the RCN.

Commodore Patrick Montgomery

Commodore Patrick Montgomery

When he is not busy with his two jobs or his family, he plays tuba in the Greater Victoria Concert Band.

He knows he is not the only reservist juggling many responsibilities, noting many reservists are also coming to the military from highly skilled jobs in the civilian world. These individuals often fill vital positions within the fleet, which in turns helps the navy fulfil its mission.

“To get there we need to have every reservist feel valued and able to contribute to the mission of the RCN and CAF,” he says. “That is my vision for the future of the Naval Reserves.”

His other priorities are to continue the work of his predecessor.

“Creating a digital naval reserve, training, recruiting, retention, strengthening of the divisional system, and connecting with Canadians are all priorities that will also be a big part of my focus.”

––––

Filed Under: Top Stories

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.