Language selection


Training as Military Engineer

Heroes Remember

Training as Military Engineer

The training would take place in the summer periods between academic years at RMC and it was divided into four basic phases. The first phase is basic officer training to make sure that you have the skills and abilities to actually conduct leadership exercises. And that’s all done common, everyone does the same training. And for phase 2 that’s when you start your occupational training and for phase 2 military engineer when I went through we were essentially employed as young sappers, young privates so we would actually do the bridge building and the digging of the pits for explosives and all of the manual work to get a feel for what that was like and learn from the ground up how to do engineering. Phase 3, the following summer, was spent learning how to plan the tasks and phase 4 was leadership in a leadership role actually commanding your peers through different tasks and all the same sort of thing whether it was trying to create potable water from brackish water or whether it was building a bridge or firing a demolition - all the tasks basically repeated themselves every year but with different emphasis. Well the first thing that happened to me after graduation is I was sent back out to the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering to be the course officer on the first francophone officer course that they had which was an interesting experience. And a number of the graduates of that course distinguished themselves in their careers in the Canadian Armed Forces and I, in fact, ended up working for a number of these folks in my later career. That was a lot of fun and, you know, watching the young folks finally getting a chance to learn in their own mother tongue was really rewarding. I did sufficiently well there that I managed to be posted to the French language engineer regiment just north of Quebec City where I got the opportunity to build airfields in the Arctic along with building bridges in Quebec. I also became a diving officer at that point in time, a combat diving officer. And we used to do a number of exercises. Val Cartier is known for its rather large and rough terrain training area so we had quite a fun time back there trying to build trails through thick forest and rugged rock terrain. A lot of call for chainsaws and explosives.

Mr. Mac Culloch explains the phases one goes through during military engineer training and the feelings of satisfaction he obtained during his career path.

Wayne Mac Culloch

Wayne Mac Culloch was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 1953 and grew up in Quebec. He began his studies at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, at the age of 18 and would serve as a military engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces for more than 40 years. During his long and varied career, Mr. Mac Culloch served across Canada and took part in three overseas deployments to the Balkans and one to Haiti before being medically discharged with the rank of major. Still having a passion to serve, he went on to work as a civilian employee with the Department of National Defence. Since 2004, Mr. Mac Culloch has volunteered his time and talents to help deliver the “Peace Module” during the Historica Encounters with Canada program in Ottawa. Week after week, he has engaged with youth from coast to coast and educated them about the sacrifices and achievements of Canadians who have served in uniform over the years.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
November 9, 2016
Person Interviewed:
Wayne Mac Culloch
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

Related Videos

Date modified: