Andrei Roberge: Transition tips from a Canadian Veteran who did it twice

veteran transition tips

Transition tips from a Canadian Veteran who did it twice: Like many Veterans, Andrei’s career in the Canadian Armed Forces took him around the world. Today, he continues to operate internationally, planning logistics and managing operations for Team Rubicon. This organization mobilizes Veterans to continue their service, leveraging their skills and experience to help people prepare, respond, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises, around the world. These can range from hurricanes in the Caribbean to flooding in Alberta, and any place in between.

Andrei’s military career began when he joined the infantry reserve in 1997, at the age of 17. He was in basic training on his 18th birthday. “It was an occasion that was short on cake,” he recalls.

He fit in well with the Reserves, serving in 2000 in Bosnia. He transferred to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and was again in Bosnia in 2002.

Andrei attended the University of Manitoba under the University Training Plan for Non-Commissioned Members. After receiving his Bachelor’s degree, he was commissioned as a Logistics Officer and assigned to the First Service Battalion.

Later, as a member of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, he was deployed to Afghanistan, Libya, Africa and Europe. After five years in CSOR, he returned to the regular army in 2014 as a Reserve Force liaison officer, and then released for the first time in 2014.

He returned to the CAF by 2017, and spent three years with the Fourth Canadian Division Headquarters in Toronto. In July 2020, he left CAF for medical reasons
Today, he lives near Toronto with his wife Jillian, who completed medical school in 2016 and is now in her final year of medical residency, and his daughter, Lauren, 9.

Transition: good and…not so good

So what was the difference between the transitions in 2014 and 2020?

“My transition in 2014 was … not very good. There was no support. One day you’re in the service, the next you’re out. There was no guidance. I felt a bit bitter about it,” he recalls.

Making the transition for the second time, in 2020, was completely different, especially with the pandemic. “I had low expectations, but my case manager was amazing,” Andrei says. (continue reading)

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