HMCS Vancouver’s surprise promotion ceremony


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Physical distancing rules were the catalyst for a unique surprise promotion ceremony of an HMCS Vancouver Combat Systems Engineer.

Sub-Lieutenant Rebecca Post and 11 other ship’s personnel were at the Albert Head Cadet Training Centre May 6 on the pretense to film a video on how to lead an active lifestyle under COVID-19 health and safety measures.

She was told by shipmate Lt(N) Tracy Tkachuk, the video’s producer, to jog around the training track as a drone filmed her from above. On the inside of the track, LCdr Rob Hooper, Vancouver’s Commanding Officer, and his Coxswain, CPO1 Steve Wist tossed around a football.

In the finale moments of her scene, LCdr Hooper called out and tossed her the football. She caught it, and upon closer inspection saw Lieutenant Navy epaulettes (bars) affixed to the surface.

“I didn’t expect to be promoted or become the focal point of a video, but that’s what happened,” said Lt(N) Post. “I have never seen anyone promoted this way, so it really came as a complete surprise. To be sure I got some extra attention with this particular ceremony and I think people will find the video very interesting and amusing.”

LCdr Hooper lauded the one-of-a-kind promotional ceremony, noting it is likely the “most creative method” to promote a sailor he has encountered over his 25 years of service.

“We are always looking at new and interesting ways to promote in the RCN, and this video is a cool method of outreach to the public. It’s also a great way to boost morale of our ship’s company and I think our sailors are going to be pretty stoked about this.”

The idea for the video was hatched by Lt(N) Tkachuk, who has filmed other promotional videos.

“The original intention was to show people having fun while adapting to their regular routines during trying times,” said Lt(N) Tkachuk. “But gradually we decided to incorporate a surprise promotion and really had some fun with it.”

Two volunteers were essential to the filming – Lt(N) Mitchell Newman, Executive Assistant to the Base Commander, and Lt(N) Rodney Newcombe,  Formation Safety and Environment, who flew their own personal Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to film the action. 

Once the video is edited it will be released on HMCS Vancouver’s Facebook page.


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