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First Deployment to Bosnia

Heroes Remember

First Deployment to Bosnia

First place I got to serve outside of Canada was in Bosnia during the civil war. And I was actually called off leave. I was on leave in Cape Breton and I was given 48 hours to get to Sarajevo so it was throw the family in the car, drive back to Ottawa and get some equipment together and then jump on an airplane for the flight first to Zurich and then down to Zagreb and then finally into Sarajevo. My job when I got there was being General Sir Michael Rose’s operations officer so in essence I was responsible for the day to day operations for the troops from thirty two nations and numbering about twenty five thousand and ten. My day started at 5:27 in the morning because it would take me 3 minutes to get to the showers which were unlocked at 5:30 to conserve water. I would be at my desk not later than 10 to 6 in the morning and I would be fortunate to get out of the office by 2:30 the next morning. So there wasn’t really a lot of time in the run of a day for much other than looking after the crisis which regularly popped up. Our job in Bosnia was to make sure that the humanitarian convoys were not robbed by roadside bandits but because we were there both the press and the people looked to us to provide even more stability so we ended up doing things like negotiating cease fire agreements. And in fact on the 21st and 28th of August we negotiated two anti-sniping agreements which took the death toll in Sarajevo down to three to five a week. It was a little different in that I understood the situation of what was going on. I understood what the cultures were that were involved and the fact that I was relatively amenable to other people and other cultures was very helpful. Certainly anyone who comes from a different culture will realize that when you show up in a different environment there is some adjustment that’s required and I credit the Canadian openness with allowing me to be able to adjust to understanding the Bosnian way of thinking and as a result be better able to make suggestions which would be more acceptable to them in terms of whether it be solutions for delivery of aid or just general well-being.

Mr. Mac Culloch speak about his opportunity to deploy to Bosnia and his roles and responsibilities as operations officer.

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
Canadian Armed Forces

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