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Understanding the Rules of Engagement

Heroes Remember

Understanding the Rules of Engagement

What you have to deal with, I will give you an example. You always have to have a couple of seconds of thinking what you’re going to do. You cannot be like a western John Wayne and pull out the gun and shoot. Our rules of engagement were quite clear. If he shoots you and miss you then you can shoot back, simple as that. You don’t shoot first and lucky for us they didn’t shoot but the rule was very clear. And you never know because a guy can wake up... we had case where soldier got killed by the officer in another country because he was asleep on post and that’s the war. The officer will wake him up and kill him in from where the Canadian guy used to sit but for them that was war that was different. One thing the Canadians we are recognized for is our generosity because the guys on the post at night we had plenty of food, we had box lunch, we had heat lunch, stuff like that and we used to give it to the other soldier. It doesn’t matter if he was a, what country he was from, we give him food because those guys didn’t have any good food. For us that was just a normal thing to do because that’s the way we grew up. But the rules of engagement is for a split second you have to decide what you’re going to do and you have to be sure what you are doing though because it will haunt you for the rest of your life if you do the wrong action. Even if it’s a policeman it’s the same thing. I walk to a case one day and the guy is with a chain saw destroying his house because his wife quit him and all that stuff and what I did instead of taking the gun and shooting him because he was a life threat, I just talked to him about his son and my son then the guy changed his mind and dropped the chain saw and it was much easier. You have to find a point to relate to that person. It’s easy when you are in a safe area when it’s the only threat you have but if you’re in the country where everything could be a threat, you don’t have that luxury. You’re driving on the road and the mine, in my case you’re driving on the road and the mine blow up well that’s an accident in the 70’s because that was left over from the war. In Afghanistan, if you drive on the road and the mine miss you they’ll move it the morning after to make sure it get you. It’s not the same thing. It’s not the same mentality anymore because we used to be a country of peace, except when you have no choice, you have to go and fight and Afghans have changed the way we are thinking because we realize that sometimes you have to go and fight to stop the evil from coming to you

Mr. Drapeau provides a great understanding of the rules of engagement and importance of making the right decision.

Daniel Drapeau

Mr. Daniel Drapeau was born September 11, 1957 in Charny, Quebec. After attending high school in Quebec, Mr. Drapeau made the decision to join the Canadian Forces. He held rank of private and became a tank driver with the Armoured Corp. After obtaining his training in Val Cartier, in 1974 Mr. Drapeau accepted deployments to Cyprus and the Middle East. After a year of service, Mr. Drapeau was medically discharged from the Canadian Forces. With the assistance of a service dog, Kenya, Mr. Drapeau maintains a good quality of life finding time to volunteer his service. Mr. Drapeau now resides in Ottawa with his family.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 22, 2013
Person Interviewed:
Daniel Drapeau
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Armoured Regiment
Tank Driver

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