Virtual Promotion


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Warrant Officer Frederic Daoust, 45, had no idea a big surprise was in the works during a recent video conference call.

The acting Sergeant-Major at CFB Esquimalt’s Rocky Point Ammunition Depot was joined by members of three other ammunition depots and the command team from Canadian Materiel Support Group to discuss business on the morning of May 19.

As the meeting neared its end, his wife Julie and their 15-year-old son William snuck into the home office in view of the laptop camera with his promotion epaulettes in hand.

“As soon as they walked in the room, I knew something strange was going on, but I really wasn’t sure what,” he said. “Then my son walked up to me, and my commanding officer asked William to put the epaulette [flap] on my chest. At that point I realized this was the moment I had been waiting for.”

Having his son do the honours added to the specialness of his promotion.

“It came as a complete surprise and it was really great that it involved my family members,” said MWO Daoust. “It was easily the best promotion I’ve had and a super big deal for me to have the new rank, increased responsibility, and also an increase in pay.” 

LCdr Robin Sheffield, Commanding Officer of the Rocky Point Ammunition Depot, says MWO Daoust is fully deserving of his promotion and described him as a dependable “take-charge” and “hands-on” type of guy who is perfect for the position of Sergeant-Major.

It took some engineering to pull off the promotion on a video conference call.

“I think he knew something was going on when I told him to wear his uniform for the video conference,” said LCdr Sheffield. “It’s very hard to surprise someone in a video conference setting like this, so his wife and son certainly deserve a Bravo Zulu for their efforts.”

These days, he says, commanding officers must think outside-the-box for promotion methods because of COVID-19 physical distancing measures.

“Handing out promotions has become one of those tasks that needs to be memorable for the member while at the same time meeting social distancing guidelines,” said LCdr Sheffield.

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