Sailor of the Third Quarter 2023

Hard work pays off for Asterix member

Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

Portrait of Sailor 1st Class (S1) Marc-André St-Pierre for the Sailor of the Quarter award, taken on the Bridge of Motor Vessel (MV) ASTERIX in the South China Sea on 13 October 2023. Please credit: Master Sailor (MS) Marilou Villeneuve-Last, Canadian Armed Forces Photo

The winner of the Sailor of the Third 2023 Quarter Award did not believe he was selected at first. So, his chain of command decided to play a little prank.

As Sailor First Class (S1) Marc-Andre St-Pierre recalls, he saw one of his supervisors carrying a large envelope with the words ‘UDI (Unit Disciplinary Investigation) for S1 St-Pierre’.

“I was very confused since I did not recall doing anything wrong,” S1 St-Pierre says.

Later that day, his supervisor led him into a meeting in the ship’s portside hangar. The Senior Naval Communicator (NAVCOM) started to read off the Sailor of the Quarter Award presented by the Commanding Officer. Upon completion, S1 St-Pierre received a warm round of applause from the crew.

S1 St-Pierre works as a Senior Hand of the Watch in Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix, currently deployed in the Asia-Pacific Region on Operation (Op) Projection.

The award is commonly bestowed to junior-rank members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. An internal Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) memo stated that S1 St-Pierre’s diligence, hard work, and attention to detail had caught the attention of his supervisors, who named him for the award.

In winning the award, S1 St-Pierre acknowledged the contributions of his coworkers and supervisors and said he would remain committed to continually enhancing his abilities as a sailor.

“I have been inspired by so many of the military members and DND civilian staff I have met during my career,” said S1 St-Pierre. “The military has not only provided me with a stable job, but it has given me different goals and challenges, heading towards a new direction in my life.”

Before joining the military five years ago, S1 St-Pierre had been working for several years for a catering company while also advancing his post-secondary studies in Computer Science, Biology, and History. He said joining the military put him on a new course.

Sailor First Class Marc-Andre St-Pierre shakes hands with Lieutenant-Commander Bucky Branscombe, Commanding Officer of MV Asterix, upon receiving the Sailor of the Third 2023 Quarter award.

Op Projection

Sailing aboard the Asterix has provided a sense of wonder and many perks for military and civilian employees aboard, S1 St-Pierre says.

“It’s impossible not to think about having a single cabin with your own shower and an amazing gym with a personal trainer,” he said.

His job is far from a vacation, though. Senior Hand of the Watch has many responsibilities, including message processing and maintaining communication with international partners from Japan, Australia, the United States, and the Philippines.

His other responsibilities include managing and updating computer servers onboard, assisting members with IT issues, creating DWAN accounts for new members, ensuring security clearance for visitors onboard, and monitoring and maintaining communication security, including encrypted radio transmissions and other communications between ships.

When the Lookout reached out to him for an interview, S1 St-Pierre and the ship’s crew had recently conducted Replenishment at Sea Operations with the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class Destroyer USS Rafael Peralta, as well as a vessel of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and the Philippine Navy.

His direction on the home front is also changing course to parenthood as he and his partner are expecting their first child next spring.

Asterix is expected to return from Op Projection on Dec. 18, after which a formal presentation and certificate will be presented to S1 St-Pierre by the leadership of Canadian Fleet Pacific.

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