One Navy team, Brad Pendlington’s journey with the RCN and FMF

Brad Pendlington stands in the sun outside his current Work Centre's Shop 144 Electrical at FMF Cape Breton.

Brad Pendlington stands in the sun outside his current Work Centre’s Shop 144 Electrical at FMF Cape Breton.

Ashley Evans, Fleet Maintenance Facility — The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) motto, ‘One Navy Team’, reflects exactly what we are. We work in support of each other, those in uniform protecting us and our country, and civilians conducting work in support of them and their overwhelming purpose.

One of them is Brad Pendlington, a member of the Electrical Shop at the Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton (FMFCB). Brad served in the RCN for four years as a Sailor First Class (S1) Marine Electrical Technician before retiring and coming full-time with our unit as a Journeyman Marine Electrician. For the past two months, he has been cycling through the various electrical specialty shops.

Brad’s career path to FMF has been a bit unconventional, as he received his Red Seal in Electrical in 2017 before enlisting with the RCN. He began his apprenticeship in 2012 at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. He did the work hours portion of his apprenticeship with an electrical contractor as they worked to rebuild the school after an unfortunate fire. Ultimately, he earned enough hours to attend his first two years of electrical school at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He completed his 3rd and 4th years at Okanagan College in 2017 and received his ticket after completing his Red Seal exam.

Brad had initially put in his application to the Royal Canadian Navy in high school but did not enlist until 2018, as he wanted to complete his ticket first. He completed basic training the same year, and because his prior schooling was considered when enrolling, Brad was given specialist pay and promoted directly to Sailor First Class.

“It was a great place to be, to meet friends from all walks of life from all across Canada,” Brad continued. “They really took care of us; it was a privilege to serve my country”.

Joining the RCN was important to him as he felt impassioned to follow in the footsteps of family members, including grandparents, who had served before him. His time with the Navy was spent with HMCS Winnipeg as a Marine Technician and Ships Team Diver, with whom he was deployed on Operations Projection and Neon for six months in far East Pacific. Brad also worked at the Naval Fleet School Pacific (NFSP) at the training boat service facility, where he worked on Rigid-hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and their diesel engines.

“I found through my time with the RCN, I acquired many new skills apart from electrical, and learning about other people’s jobs makes you better at your own,” he said.

While many go on to have long-term careers in the RCN and Canadian Armed Forces, in late 2022, Brad decided it was time for him to move into a civilian role and couldn’t think of a better place to continue supporting the community he’d held in such high regard.

“My entire pension carried over to FMF, and I have stability, a competitive salary, and benefits as well. These benefits aren’t found elsewhere in industry – we are very fortunate here,” he said. “FMF is a great place to learn while working on a wide array of electrical equipment. I find it very technical and enjoy the troubleshooting aspect and using all my skillsets.”

There are many paths to success, support, and serving one’s country, whether through military or civilian service, as all of us provide. Brad has been fortunate to experience both sides of this, understanding the complexities in both work environments.

“It is great to have my friends from the Navy nice and close, and I still feel that sense of pride serving Canada,” Brad said. “Regardless of where we are – here or on the ships, we are all working for a common goal.”

That goal is the One Navy Team.

RCN Trades receiving signing bonuses and current pay scales can be found at

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