Sailor of the Year brings uplifting approach to work

LS Seunghee Ryu prepares a creole sauce on board HMCS Calgary.

LS Seunghee Ryu prepares a creole sauce on board HMCS Calgary.

Lt(N) Greg Menzies, HMCS Calgary Public Affairs Officer

Hard work, exceptional skills, and many achievements recently earned Leading Seaman Seunghee Ryu the title Canadian Fleet Pacific 2019 Sailor of the Year.

The award recognizes the accomplishments of junior sailors in a positive and meaningful way and considers their professionalism, dress and deportment, job performance, volunteer and community service, and other achievements.

For eight years she has been honing her skills as a cook.

“Being a cook is one of the most satisfying jobs in the Royal Canadian Navy because of how it affects the morale of my shipmates,” said LS Ryu, currently a cook on board HMCS Calgary. 

She developed a taste for the trade from her parents who opened two restaurants after immigrating to Canada from Seoul, South Korea, in 2006.

She has sailed in HMC Ships Vancouver, Nanaimo, Saskatoon, Whitehorse, and Yellowknife, as well as the Orca Class Patrol Craft Training Vessels before being posted to Calgary in 2018. She accumulated 437 sea days during her time in these ships and has been on three deployments.

During a brief shore posting, she was employed in a leadership role at the Wardroom where she cooked for the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific and was responsible for catering and managing the main dining hall.  Her hard work and dedication got the attention of her supervisors who nominated her to attend the 75th Anniversary of D-Day in Courseulles-Sur-Mer, France, in June 2019.

“I consider every moment in the Royal Canadian Navy to be the highlight of my career. If all the people I had met and worked with weren’t around, I would never have had such an amazing journey so far. I am grateful and thankful for all of this.”

During Calgary’s Basic Single Ship Readiness Training program last summer, LS Ryu received the Sea Training (Pacific) Commanding Officer’s coin for an outstanding job.  During Calgary’s Intermediate Multi-Ship Readiness Training program last fall, the entire kitchen staff, including LS Ryu, received a Sea Training (Pacific) Bravo Zulu and Certificate of Achievement “for exceptional professionalism and dedication that was beyond reproach.”

The entire cook section was also given a Bravo Zulu and Certificate of Achievement from the Commanding Officer of HMCS Calgary during Operation Projection (Aug. 20 to Dec.18, 2018).

“I smile every day because of the smiles I receive, and that’s when I know every one of my shipmate’s morale is high. The most satisfying of all things in life is making everyone around you happy all the time.”

When not cooking for her shipmates or at home, LS Ryu competes in marathons, plays piano, and performs in a Korean pop band.  She is also a qualified lifeguard.


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