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Julianno Scaglione in his sergeant's uniform.

Charting his own path

Born in Alliston, ON, and raised in Dartmouth, NS, Julianno Scaglione remembers always wanting to join the military. His father, Salvator, served in the Infantry and the Military Police before becoming a civilian police officer. His mother, Donna MacDonald, was a Mobile Support Equipment Operator before becoming a civilian police dispatcher.

At age 17, while in his final year of high school, Julianno joined the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves with 33 Service Battalion as a Mobile Support Equipment Operator.

In 2002, after high school, he began working full time in the Reserves. Following his trade training at Camp Aldershot, he specialized in operating military transport equipment. Over the next 13 years, Julianno served as a heavy equipment driver, data entry clerk, administrative non-commissioned officer, instructor and commander’s driver. He was posted to CFBs Halifax and Gagetown, as well as Camp Aldershot.

It was during these years that Julianno met his wife, Julia. They married in 2010, and have two sons: Armanno, 13, and Emilio, 11.

After 13 years in the Reserves, Julianno decided to transfer to the Regular Force in 2013. “I was trying to find what I wanted to do with the rest of my career,” he explains. “I had been a full-time member all along, so it made sense.”

As a Regular Force member, Julianno pursued geomatics: mapping and terrain analysis that supports preparation for operations. He served with Mapping and Charting Establishment, the 4 Engineer Support Regiment, Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering and 36 Combat Engineer Regiment.

A new path

In 2016, Julianno was given the unfortunate news his career would have to end due to medical limitations. He had to find a new path.

“I have always been an entrepreneur,” he says. “I’ve always had something on the side.” As a boy, he shoveled driveways in the winter and mowed lawns in the summer. Later, Julianno’s entrepreneurship included auto maintenance, detailing, selling car audio, and personal training. 

Julianno Scaglione on the water after release.

While in the Regular Force, Julianno participated in Operation Entrepreneur, a mentoring operation provided by the Prince’s Trust Canada. It “teaches things like how to pitch yourself and your ideas, financial management tools and so on. It’s a tool in a big toolbox,” says Julianno. It also helped him build a network—essential for any entrepreneur.

A new career

After his release, Julianno started a business called My Own Path, Health and Wellness Inc. “I saw an opportunity. Many new recruits get injured early in their training, because they’re not prepared, physically or mentally. Originally, my target market was young people who were interested in joining the Forces. Working with Veterans, I realized there was a bigger need for people to overcome injuries, imbalances and muscular dysfunction from years of improper training.” 

Julianno has instructed a physical fitness training program for young officers and non-commissioned officers. It teaches junior leaders program design, principles of fitness, biomechanics, basic anatomy and much more. His company also deals with nutrition, as it is a key component of fitness.

Today, My Own Path provides one-on-one as well as group training programs for clients of all ages and fitness levels. Julianno believes strongly in building community, and nature walks on Saturday mornings. “These group activities get people out in nature and connects them with others.”

Julianno Scaglione (left) as a physical fitness trainer.

Advice for CAF members nearing release

“Leaving the uniform is much more difficult than one thinks. There is a feeling of disconnection and regret. It’s important for Veterans to pull each other up and make sure no one slips through the cracks,” Julianno says.

“Do not wait to prepare for release. You should be evaluating your options and taking every opportunity to increase your skills. You just never know what could happen, as I found out the hard way. Build a strong network both in and out of the military.

“Remember that the uniform is just something you wore, and after you take it off, you are still a person of worth and you can choose to continue to live a life of duty and honor…or not…the choice is yours.”

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