RMS clerk recognized for 43 years of helping people

RMS clerk recognized for 43 years of helping people

Deputy Minister of National Defence Richard Fadden presents MWO (Ret’d) Bob Quann with the Deputy Minister’s Commendation. Quann received the commendation during the Corporate Awards in Ottawa for his dedication, passion, and excellence during his 43-year career as a Resource Management Support Clerk with the Department of National Defence.

When MWO (Ret’d) Bob Quann joined the military as a Resource Management Support (RMS) Clerk, he wanted to build a career helping people. He never imagined doing a job he loved would earn him a trip to Ottawa to receive an award.

Just a month prior to retiring from a 43 year career with the military and public service, Quann visited the National War Museum to accept a Deputy Minister’s Commendation that recognized the passion, dedication, and excellence he’s shown during his career.

Deputy Minister of National Defence Richard Fadden presented the award, which consists of a certificate signed by the deputy minister, a lapel pin and a gift of Canadian art.

The commendation recognizes work above and beyond normal duties, or community service that either benefits or brings credit to the Department of National Defence.

“I was truly honoured and humbled by the award,” says Quann, who retired July 18. “I was totally unaware that I was nominated, so when my boss, PO1 Andrew Chadwick, showed me the e-mail where I was awarded the DM Commendation, I was blown away, to say the least.”

While his end-of-career recognition is welcome, the thought of awards never crossed his mind.

“I guess I spent the last 43 years looking after others and never expected this type of recognition for myself,” he says.

While an outsider looking in may see the administrative work of an RMS clerk as just filing and paperwork, Quann found it to be much more than that.

“In this trade you’ve always got someone coming to you with a problem,” he says. “Being able to get to the root of their problem and help find a solution for them is what I love best about this job. I’m going to miss being able to help people every day.”

Quann enjoyed his work so much that he continued on as a civilian at CFB Esquimalt after his retirement from a 35-year military career seven years ago.

Born in Glace Bay, NS, Quann travelled all over the country and abroad during his military career  with two tours at sea, postings in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Kingston, Trenton, Toronto, Canberra Australia, and many more before finding a permanent home in Victoria.

Since his arrival in Victoria 12 years ago, Quann has worked in units throughout CFB Esquimalt, including the Base Orderly Room, Release Section, and Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters.

Joining the military at age 19 was a logical choice for Quann.

“Where I’m from in Cape Breton you either worked in fishing or the coal mines, and neither of those seemed too appealing to me,” he says. “Plus my grandfather, father, and brothers have all been in the military so I thought I’d see where it took me. I never expected to be in uniform for 35 years, but I loved it.”

 The Quann family has over 350 years of collective military service since the Second World War.

While initially looking for a trade, Quann signed up with Communications Research. After finding the trade didn’t suit him, he switched over to Admin  Clerk and knew he’d found the right match.

“I’d found a job where I was paid to help people,” says Quann. “It was perfect.”

As he retires, Quann plans to spend his time with family, relax and travel.

“I’ll be glad to spend more time with my wife Margaret and family,” he says. “We’ve got a grandchild on the way so this is a very exciting time in my life. I can’t wait for what comes next.”


Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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