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Monday, May 21, 2007

PACOM: Spirit of Cooperation

As part of my PACOM series (other posts here and here), I'd like to introduce you to Major Paul Young, of the Canadian Air Force. That's right folks, there's a Canuck on Oahu, and he isn't just there to golf.

He stands apart from his American counterparts, with his darker green digitized uniform (apparently the basis for much teasing from his paler-green desk mates), soft-featured, friendly face and spectacles. Originally from the Maritimes, Major Young had been based in Winnipeg for the longest time before becoming part of the exchange program, moving his family to Oahu (there are worse postings to have to convince your wife of, I'm sure). There are currently 12 Canadians in various parts of the US Military machine (Canada offers just one spot for an American - currently vacant).

The exchange gives our Canadian soldiers an opportunity to work with bigger machines, better toys, and - in the case of Major Young, who works in Logistics - larger amounts of money and personnel. When I asked him, not totally understanding his role there, what he worked on, he said "American things. I work for the US Military. I don't sit at that desk working on anything Canadian." It's actually a very strange working relationship, since he will sit in his little cubicle, next to the Americans; together they will discuss various problems and solutions throughout the day, yet he is restricted from accessing certain areas of the very computer programs and databases he's meant to be working on. He is, after all, a foreign national.

Unfortunately I was only able to spend a few minutes with Major Young, but I could see he was happy with his role at PACOM. When I spoke with LTC Upson, who works with Major Young, he had only good things to say. Major Young is a well liked and respected colleague - one of their own.

Posted by RightGirl on May 21, 2007 in Military | Permalink


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Good post!

I wonder if you have read "Imperial Grunts" by Robert D.Kaplan. In that book, some US military servicemen talk in favor of the Canadian military and one of them said " I hate when people belittle Canadian military". I think Canadian Forces make us proud.

Posted by: Winston | 2007-05-21 12:13:56 PM

"I think Canadian Forces make us proud."

AGREED! But having ousted the Lieberals was the cause of this newfound pride.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-21 12:16:26 PM

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