RCN, USN artists design 2024 RIMPAC logo

RIMPAC logo 2024

Lieutenant (Navy) Tristan Robertson, a Divisional Commander of HMCS Venture. Photo: Peter Mallett, Lookout Newspaper

Peter Mallett, 
Staff Writer
A Leadership Conduct Instructor from Esquimalt is a co-winner of a logo contest for this year’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercises.

Lieutenant (Navy) (Lt(N)) Tristan Robertson of Naval Fleet School (Pacific) learned he won the contest on Dec. 5. He shares the spotlight with Lieutenant (Lt) Emily Paiz of the U.S. Navy.

“Using two designs from members of different partner nations symbolizes the spirit of collaboration and teamwork that is so important and representative of RIMPAC,” Lt(N) Robertson said.

RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise intended to foster and sustain cooperative relationships, critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region. This year, it will take place exclusively in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

The selection committee received 47 entries from military members around the world. The two winning designs were chosen by a panel of six military members of the U.S. 3rd Fleet. The winning artists received a challenge coin and a letter of congratulations.

RIMPAC coordinator Lieutenant-Commander (LCdr) Timothy Gill of the Royal Australian Navy says the submitted logos visually represent how individuals and nations envision RIMPAC.

“By facilitating a friendly contest and selecting a unifying logo, we hope we can foster esprit de corps among all exercise participants,” LCdr Gill said.

The final RIMPAC 2024 logo includes elements from both submissions. Its theme is ‘Partners: Integrated and Prepared’. The backdrop features a tropical landscape with a trident at the center, representing the warfighting capabilities of land, air and sea. Some of Lt(N) Robertson’s original artwork included in the design are its octangular shape and exterior border colour scheme of light blue and black. Lt Piaz’s submission elements include the sienna colour scheme, the rising sun, and the trident’s style and placement.

The logo will be part of exercise materials, including stationary, press releases, websites, coins and official RIMPAC merchandise such as shirts and hats. 

Self-taught artist

A Naval Warfare Officer by trade, Lt(N) Robertson took up art as a hobby to pass the time during the lockdown days of the COVID-19 pandemic, which he says made his win even more surprising. He submitted his piece after learning of a deadline extension last summer. 

“My design is representative of the modern battlefield,” he said. “It has a digital theme since my work these days focuses on information operations, and I see the cyber/digital sphere as a significant component of future operations, including RIMPAC.”

Lt(N) Robertson has no formal art training and says he does most of his artwork on his iPad. He brought his iPad for a 2020 deployment aboard HMCS Winnipeg to pass free time and learned basic sketching and drawing techniques from online tutorials.

He says people have noticed his Illustrator abilities and he has been offered opportunities to design logos and crests for ships and units at the Base and sometimes further afield. Last year, he worked with the Nanaimo Clippers Junior ‘A’ hockey team to design a logo and specially-themed Remembrance Day jersey. He was floored after learning the jersey was selected to appear in an exhibit in Toronto’s Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF).

Lt(N) Robertson participated in three previous RIMPAC exercises: in 2020 with HMCS Winnipeg, in 2018 aboard HMCS Ottawa, and in 2014 as a member of HMCS Calgary. He describes the Officer of The Watch experience at RIMPAC as unique and eye-opening.

“It is one of the best training opportunities I have come across; there is so much to do and so many events to attend,” he said. “Being at sea with over 30 other warships while conducting a wide variety of operations is pretty cool.” Unfortunately, he says he won’t likely be part of this year’s RIMPAC.

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