Raven recruit profile: OS Reed Eady

Photo by SLt M.X. Déry

Photo by SLt M.X. Déry

A/SLt Michelle Scott, MARPAC Public Affairs ~

The taste of salty air and the ocean landscape vista are one of many firsts for OS Reed Eady.

The young man is in Victoria this summer as one of 42 Raven recruits on a six-week basic training program designed for Indigenous youth. 

While he’s very familiar with the freshwater lakes and rivers of Jasper, Alberta, having moonlighted as a lifeguard, paddleboard instructor and white-water kayaker, it was his first time seeing the ocean.

Despite having a grandfather and great-uncle in the navy, OS Eady had never considered a career in the military until a friend suggested it.

“He asked me if I’d ever considered joining the navy and said he thought I’d be really good at it.”

From there he applied for the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program to see if the military was indeed for him. He attended the three-week introductory Indigenous program in Québec in December, and it was there he learned about Raven. It was the perfect response to his questions about a career in the navy and opportunity to further explore his Métis culture.

Raven began on July 4 and since the start it has been a jam-packed program for the recruits.

The course started with an intense three-day Culture Camp, which took place at Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges in Nanoose Bay, B.C. The camp taught and integrated different cultural components to bind the students together through shared experiences. It was during a sweat at culture camp that OS Eady had his favourite moment on the course thus far.

“Being taught by an elder to build a sweat lodge and sharing it with people I was just getting to know, it was a really intense moment for me. It was something I was missing in my life back home.”

While the Métis culture isn’t an established part of his life back in Jasper, he feels it in the way his family lives. They hunt and fish, and make preserves and bannock, and live off the land as much as possible.

It was a bit of a shock when he arrived at Work Point, he says.

“Military life is fairly different. There are a lot of short timings. You’ve got to be running around a lot and you’ve got to be sure you’re always attentive and keeping track of things. There’s always a good shot of adrenaline when there’s a group of people yelling at you.”

After Raven, OS Eady is moving to Ladysmith to attend Vancouver Island University where he plans to pursue a degree in biology. He hopes to join the Naval Reserves as either a boatswain or port inspection diver.

In the meantime, his focus is on the remaining four weeks of Raven and the milestones ahead.

“I’m nervous about looking good on parade day for my family. But I’m really enjoying Raven and being able to learn about the navy. It’s been a lot of work so far, but I’m super excited going forward.”

To follow OS Eady’s journey visit Maritime Forces Pacific’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/maritime.forces.pacific for video and images and all things Raven.

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