MARTECH grads set to bolster fleet as new trade

MARTECH grads set to bolster fleet as new trade

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The learning curve was steep but making the grade was highly rewarding said Ordinary Seaman Jason Steele, a member of the first graduating class of the newly created Marine Technicians (MARTECH) trade.

Last Monday, the young sailor accepted his Certificate of Military Achievement for the Marine Technician RQOS, a Basic Maintainer Course and the first Rank Qualification Course for the trade, from Commodore Buck Zwick, Commanding Officer of Canadian Fleet Pacific.

Two very proud members of his family – father Master Corporal (Retired) Tim Steele and grandfather Warrant Officer (Retired) Phil Steele – looked on.

Twenty-three sailors graduated from the course in the Naden Drill Shed, with family and friends in attendance to mark this historic celebration. The new trade is an amalgamation of the Hull Technician, Marine Engineer and Electrical Technician.

“This course was 10 months long and it took tremendous dedication, hard work and teamwork to be successful,” said Cmdre Zwick. “Students and instructors approached this challenge with an open mind and will meet the requirements of the fleet by being well-trained and well-rounded Marine Technicians. For you [the students], this course will be the first step in a career of learning and application of technical expertise that is critical for the future success of the navy.”

There was little time for celebration; most graduates were posted to ships and units within days after the ceremony.

OS Steele was singled out by the Commodore for representing the third generation of Steele family members in Canada’s military.

“It felt really great to have my father and grandfather here today,” said OS Steele who had previously been trained as a Hull Technician. “It was certainly a sharp learning curve, and the biggest challenge was becoming familiar with all of the new subject matter.”

Petty Officer First Class Mike Trahan, Senior Instructor of Naval Fleet School Pacific’s new course, says building the course and scheduling it properly were some of the biggest hurdles to overcome.

“It’s a lot of information to digest; it’s a brand new course so none of the instructors had any experience instructing for this new trade. They managed to take the experience of instructors of all three legacy trades and blend it into one,” said PO1 Trahan.

The MARTECH trade officially stood up May 1, 2017, in Esquimalt and Halifax. A group of 23 students also graduated the course at CFB Halifax on April 3.

The first group of graduates are all junior ranks members who were deemed to be the best suited candidates to make up the first MARTECH pilot course. Training will move through the ranks from bottom to top, and finish with its most experienced tradespeople.

The next wave of 48 students are now in various stages of the course at Naval Fleet School Pacific. A smaller group of approximately 12 students are expected to graduate early this summer with the remainder of the group completing their studies throughout the year.

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