Capt Dustin Silmser shares his experience at Ex COMMON GROUND and contributing to NATO efforts


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If you just look behind me, you see these amazing light armoured vehicles. Taking those things across terrain like we did over the past week with the tanks and a huge combat team, it’s just simply awe-inspiring.

I am Captain Dustin Silmser, a proud member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons based in Garrison Petawawa, Ontario.

An Armour Officer commands, plans and leads tanks and reconnaissance vehicles on the battlespace providing timely information, direct fire and manoeuvre as a tool to the commander.

On the reconnaissance side of things, providing the commander information in a timely fashion on what the enemy is doing, what the terrain is like really facilitates his decision-making process so that we can achieve our mission.

We’re currently training with the Canadian Army’s newest fleet.

First and foremost as an Armour Officer, my role is to train myself and my soldiers to ensure readiness. This, ultimately, ensures that we can meet the government of Canada’s commitments at home and abroad and as well with NATO.

Just recently, I returned from Operation IMPACT where I was planning multiple NATO training missions to support the Canadian government’s commitment.

The next bound for me would be to be Sub-Unit Commander. So, I’m hoping that I’m very lucky and able to take command of a sub-unit. And again, all about training soldiers, insuring our readiness to meet the commitments that the Canadian government has for us.

It’s just an awe-inspiring sight when you see a combat team rolling through the Lawfield corridor here in Base Gagetown. You can’t explain that feeling when you’re manoeuvring a combat team. And I just wanted to lead soldiers in those vehicles and provide amazing effects.

It’s quite a sight to see.

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