By Tim Kalinowski
DRDC-CFB Suffield’s new base commander Lt. Col. John Scott has a 21 year military career which includes deployments in Bosnia, Kabul and Kandahar. The career logistics officer also boasts two Land Force Command Western Area Commendations for coordinating supply to fight forest fires in B.C. in 2003 and in the lead up to 2004’s 2nd phase of Operation ATHENA in Afghanistan. He also has a Commander Land Force Command Central Area Commendation for coordinating a major brigade level exercise in 2011.
The old Napoleon saying “An army marches on its stomach” is very apt in describing Lt. Col. Scott’s contributions to the Canadian Forces over the years.
Scott said last Thursday he is passionate about his work and has dealt with many of the coordination and supply problems CFB Suffield faces at a higher level in Ottawa over the past few years.
“Someone once profiled me as a workaholic,” stated Scott. “As a logistics officer I am doing a lot of the planning and coordinating for the movement of material making sure the soldiers up front have the various items and consumables to do their business.”
Although he has previously been posted to Edmonton for six years, Scott said he was looking forward to getting to know the base’s unique, southeastern Alberta area stakeholders and local cowboy culture over his next two years in command.
“I am going to embrace this. And how I have sold it to my children, who are girls seven and ten, is it’s a western adventure. Because of the size and scope of the activities that happen around here, if you are not working properly with various civic authorities and regional stakeholders you are going to have frictions. I admit I am still scratching the surface on many of these issues, but I am really keen to get out there.”
Scott went on to say he has also had previous experience working with British Armed Forces in a limited capacity on some of his overseas missions. However, according to Scott, the language of military food and material supply is universal. He is confident he will have the skills to manage that important relationship at the base.
“As a logistician we have to deal with those variety of factors dealing with industry and different nations all the time. (Working so closely with BATUS) is a brand new experience, and that’s one of the reasons I chose this post.”
In his off duty hours Lt. Col. Scott enjoys spending time with his daughters Emily and Hailey, and wife Allison. He also enjoys weightlifting and working out.
“I like being in the gym. Keeping physically fit is part of the military as well as a bit of a stress relief. It’s something I have access to wherever I’m at,” confirmed Scott.
Scott grew up in Manitoba under humble circumstances. He joined the ROTC program in Winnipeg in 1994.