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Army officers are versatile.

Heroes Remember

Army officers are versatile.

As a soldier, first of all, you’re trained to follow orders. And uh, when you receive an order from on high to do something, you do it. Not always easy but you do it. If they tell you to talk nicely to someone, you talk nicely to someone, you know. What you are thinking doesn’t rate. As an officer, you’re supposed to be intelligent enough to assess all those circumstances, take personal initiatives where necessary. Yes, it uh, you were a very versatile person, very versatile.You know, I often think that we would go out on a training manoeuver, you’d come in and you’d be all covered with mud and dirt and what have you, and that night you’d have a mess dinner in the mess. So you’d suddenly show up, you know, in your mess kit and what have you and act a proper gentlemen where three hours before you were “Arrgh”, you know, out there waving machine guns around and what have you, yeah. No, you were very adaptable, very adaptable. And I think that affects you throughout life then. I think I’m still an adaptable person, you can ask my wife though. But there’s pros and cons to everything and uh, later on in the army I was attached to the PR, the protocol side of it. I did a lot of royal visits and things. Once again, you know, completely foreign to the trenches but important and you realize the importance and you did your job. You were a true servant of the people.

Mr. Bowen offers his perspectives on how being an Army officer helped shape his attitudes and abilities

Gerald Bowen

Gerald R. Bowen was born in Ottawa, Ontario on October 13, 1925. He attended Lisgard High School, and was a paperboy. His family had prior military experience. His uncle had served in the Air Force and his father in the Army, later becoming an historian with the Department of National Defence. Mr. Bowen enlisted in the Navy where he became a telegrapher, serving aboard a Royal Canadian Navy frigate on convoy duty in the North Atlantic until the war ended. He left the service for a brief time and re-enlisted in the Canadian Army, where he became a paratrooper and a specialist in sabotage. He later served as a peacekeeper in Cyprus. Mr. Bowen’s extensive experience in the Canadian military offers us some very informative and perceptive anecdotes.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Gerald Bowen
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal 22e Régiment

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