Outstanding work ethic leads to Sailor of the Year award

Leading Seaman Rosalie Houle Carriere at work
Leading Seaman Houle Carrière, Naval Communicator, is the recipient of the Sailor of the Year. Photo: Leading Seaman David Gariepy

Tags: |

Sub-Lieutenant M.X. Déry, Maritime Forces Pacific Public Affairs – Lookout

Canadian Fleet Pacific has named Leading Seaman Rosalie Houle Carrière Sailor of the Year for 2017.

Every year, Canadian Fleet Pacific recognizes sailors who perform their duties above and beyond the high standard that is demanded of them. LS Houle Carrière has shown that she is the Sailor of the Year, in and out of uniform.

Dentistry and naval communications have little in common, but according to LS Houle Carrière, the experience gained from the journey is what’s important. While she has held a dream of being a dentist since she was 12, her desire to gain work experience and travel made her join the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve in 2010 as a Naval Communicator.

“The goal of being a dentist is in the back of my mind,” says LS Houle Carrière. “But that doesn’t mean the road to get there is a straight line.”

The 25-year-old from Québec, born and raised in Trois-Rivières, grew up speaking French, and learned English in an immersion program. This gave her the language skills she would put to use when travelling around the world in Canadian warships. As a teenager, LS Houle Carrière joined the Air Cadets. After high school, she joined Naval Reserve Unit HMCS Radisson. After graduating from college, she joined HMCS Regina as a qualified Naval Communicator on Operation ARTEMIS in 2013.

The shift from her experience on Great Lakes deployments aboard HMCS Moncton, a maritime coastal defence vessel, to a Halifax-class frigate deployed on a major operation was jarring. “The platform is very different, it is like a town floating on the water,” says LS Houle Carrière.

That first major deployment was unexpectedly extended when Russia invaded Crimea, and Canada committed HMCS Regina to Op REASSURANCE.

In 2016, she came to Esquimalt to serve in HMCS Whitehorse, a change she found to be difficult. “It is far from family,” said LS Houle Carrière, but added that she loves the West Coast and its lovely weather. “They lost my shovel in the move, but I wasn’t too concerned.”

Last year, she joined the Saint John’s Ambulance Brigade in Victoria to become part of the community and use her first aid skills acquired over the years. She did exactly that at the Oak Bay Tea Party in 2017, when two parachutists required medical attention after hard landings. Pete Thompson, the superintendent of the Victoria division of Saint John’s Ambulance, said LS Houle Carrière was part of the team that helped provide first aid. “She was a star among them,” he recalled. “She’s a great team player, and her attitude is one of always wanting to learn.”

Petty Officer Second Class Eric Healey, senior Naval Communicator aboard HMCS Nanaimo, is the one who submitted her name for Sailor of the Quarter. Unsurprisingly, he had nothing but positive things to say. “She has an outstanding work ethic. She is one of those people you have to pull away from work,” he said.

Date modified: