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Corporal Marc-Daniel Benoit

Corporal Marc-Daniel Benoit is a traffic technician with 2 Air Movements Squadron. His career in the Canadian Armed Forces has given him unforgettable experiences in remote locations with extreme temperatures, such as Afghanistan, Haiti and Canada’s far north.

Montreal, Quebec


Afghanistan Haiti
Arthur Lortie



Key operational experiences

  • Royal 22e Régiment - Traffic technician since 2022


  • 2011 Afghanistan
  • 2014 Haiti

Marc-Daniel was born in Montreal in 1984. He studied at Collège Ahuntsic in Montreal and considered working in a prison, but a colleague who was in the process of joining the Canadian Armed Forces inspired him to enlist. Marc-Daniel joined the infantry when he was 24. The war in Afghanistan was raging, and he felt compelled to do his part. He trained in Saint-Jean and at CFB Valcartier.

“The infantry was demanding. I was motivated by the possibility of deploying quickly.”

In 2010, just several months after he enlisted, his unit was looking for soldiers to go to the front in Afghanistan. Marc-Daniel volunteered without hesitation. The news worried his family, as they knew of the dangers that he would face. But in the end, he returned from his three-month deployment without incident. He was assigned to patrol “hot” regions, such as the Zangabad and Masum Ghar forward operating bases (FOBs), located in the province of Kandahar. Marc-Daniel took part in many patrols with the Afghan army and police. He had to be resourceful when communicating, as interpreters weren’t always nearby! Using non-verbal language was often necessary.

Marc-Daniel Benoit in Zangabad, 2011. Photo: Marc-Daniel Benoit’s collection

From April to September 2014, Marc-Daniel was deployed to Haiti for a six-month stabilization mission with the Blue Helmets. Canadians served alongside Brazilian forces in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

“It was one of the best times I’ve had in the Forces. I felt really useful because I speak Creole.”

The situation on the ground was difficult. Poverty was rampant, local police presence was limited, and the population needed protection. Canadian soldiers went on a number of foot patrols, known as presence patrols, in the streets of Port-au-Prince to reassure citizens. Marc-Daniel sometimes helped distribute food and even built culverts.

The soldiers were well received by the population. They were often the first responders to emergencies and made the streets of Port-au-Prince safer. Marc-Daniel’s unit was assigned to the same patrol zones, which allowed him to become familiar with the area and the people who lived there. He quickly and easily made contacts with key individuals. He remembers people like the pastor who helped bring the community together to move projects forward.

Marc-Daniel Benoit on patrol in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 2014. Photo: Marc-Daniel Benoit’s collection

Thanks to his fluency in Creole, Marc-Daniel was able to win the trust of the Haitians, sometimes even hearing secrets on highly sensitive subjects. He’s convinced that the presence of the Canadian Armed Forces on the ground had helped bring stability to the population. Because of the information he gathered, his unit could increase patrols in an area where there had been violence and start a project to add street lighting after dark.

Marc-Daniel continued to serve in the Forces after returning from Haiti. He specialized as a traffic technician and was called upon to travel frequently. His one-week placement in Resolute Bay, in Canada’s far north, also left an impression on him.

Marc-Daniel makes sure to take part in Remembrance Day ceremonies every year. He has attended some very moving ramp ceremonies in Afghanistan. A ramp ceremony is a farewell ceremony, a solemn tribute to fallen comrades. Soldiers carry their comrade’s coffin to the transport plane returning to Canada.

"Remembrance Day is an important day for me. I think a lot about Afghanistan."

With a passion for service, Marc-Daniel Benoit makes a difference. He proudly wears the uniform and knows how to earn trust of people around him. Discover more stories.

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