Getting to know your Admiral

The majority of boxes have been unpacked in the Admiral’s house and RAdm Bill Truelove is settling into his corner office at D100 with a view of Esquimalt Harbour and the task at hand – commanding Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP).

“It’s incredible to be back here,” he said staring out his window. “It’s been five years since we were on this coast and we are thrilled to be back among these folks and this exciting team.”

Late last year from his post in Kabul, Afghanistan, RAdm Truelove learned his next post would be in Victoria where he would assume the responsibilities of Commander of MARPAC and JTFP.

“Getting this appointment was a thrill for me. It is both exciting and daunting to a degree as it is a significant posting. When I received official word I was incredibly honoured and humbled by the announcement,” he said. 

RAdm Truelove began his career at Royal Roads military college and he met his wife Brenda on a blind date in Victoria.

“We got married in front of the castle at Royal Roads and Victoria is home for Brenda, so she is very happy to be back,” he said. “We both have a lot of history here and it’s nice to see familiar faces.”

RAdm Truelove grew up a “navy brat”.  His father served 36 years and attained the rank of Chief Petty Officer. “My dad has always taught me the critical role that our chiefs, petty officers and leaders play in the navy. I grew up seeing him go away a lot and we moved every few years and now I have done that with my children. My daughter reminded me once that it was 12 schools in 13 years and it struck home with me that we can never thank our families enough for what they do to support us,” he said.

RAdm Truelove’s daughter Ashley is a nanny in Switzerland, while his son Anthony is following in his dad’s footsteps and is posted to HMCS Calgary in November as an engineering officer. 

“I have had the great privilege of commanding units along the way, but I have always been a believer that you need to lead by being out and about interacting, engaging and discussing with people what needs to be done first hand. You have to enable those who are doing the work in person, so I consider my role one of helping the team along and enabling their success,” he said.

Throughout his career, RAdm Truelove has spent time in Afghanistan, commanded HMCS Regina and NOTC Venture and held other significant appointments. 

“For me what probably stands out the most is the range and breadth of opportunity the CF has afforded me throughout my career,” he said.

“My first impression of this Formation is that it is committed to achieving operational excellence. As I settle in I see the frigates going through their modernization programmes and the submarines progressing to full capability, and the navy continuing to go through its transformation as we prepare for the future. There is lots of change over the next decade as we look to rejuvenate the structure and look forward to continued success,” he said.

“I think the challenge will be the scope of activity we have underway in the navy right now. Being able to manage that is a huge collective effort which takes innovation, planning and teamwork; but, I have no doubt the Formation will rise to the challenge.” 

When not commanding MARPAC, RAdm Truelove enjoys kayaking, keeping fit, golfing and especially spending time with his family. Most people don’t know that he loves horses and used to compete in show jumping and equestrian cross country endurance races.

He also has two pets – a parrot named Quinn and a terrier Shih Tzu cross named Bailey.

When asked how he likes the Admirals’ residence in Dockyard he said, “Not bad digs. We are among all the sailors, the wildlife and of course the view of the ocean is a great reminder of what we are here to do. It’s nice to be able to look out over that important ocean and reflect on what our mission is all about. We love it.”  

RAdm Truelove and Brenda are looking forward to an Alaska cruise late this summer. 

“Most of all I’m looking forward to spending time with my family,” he said. 

“I’m excited, honoured and privileged to be a part of this team. As we see the Formation move through the next chapter there is an awful lot going on. The future is very, very bright in the navy and I am proud to be a part of that,” he said.

RAdm Truelove identified the activity of “meeting and developing relationships with the people on base” as amongst his top priorities over the course of his time as Admiral.

Shelley Lipke, Staff Writer

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