INTRODUCING VETERAN SHARI IRELAND
A strong desire to be of service to our country motivated Comrade Shari to the military and the bonus factors were opportunities to develop new skills, personal growth plus steady and stable employment.
When asked about her basic training, Comrade Shari stated she enjoyed her fourteen weeks at St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. As a mature recruit, she found the physical aspects demanding but life experiences made the mental adjustment from civil to military life easier whereas it was the reverse for the younger recruits.
From Quebec she was posted to Canadian Forces Base, Borden and for a brief period of time, served as a fire fighter. Prior to her military life, she was a volunteer fire fighter. The demands of this position were arduous, and she decided on an Occupational Transfer (change of trades) and participated in a seven-month in-depth QL3 Training Course to qualify as an Ammunition Technician which is her current job. Her responsibilities include but are not limited to shipping and receiving ammunition from the various manufacturers for distribution to the Forces at the various Canadian Bases which in turn ship these products to their final destination.
As an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Specialist, Comrade Shari is on call, on an as-needed-basis, when civil authorities need proper disposal, and/or detonation of explosive devices. Surprisingly, this is not an occasional occurrence! Her Performance Evaluation Reports reflected leadership qualities which allowed her to pursue a more in-depth five-month QL5 Training Course focused on ammunition upkeep, disposal and storage.
Master Corporal Shari has been posted to Canadian Forces Base in Borden her entire military career and travels from Coldwater to Borden, Monday to Friday and works normal workday hours at her job including physical training three times a week.
In 2012, Comrade Shari, along with twelve persons was chosen to attend an adventure training program designed to build camaraderie. They boarded HMCS Oriole in Victoria, B.C. and spent ten days on a “working cruise” culminating in their participation in the Swiftsure Yacht Race. The ship was similar to the Blue Nose and the experiences thereon are indelibly etched in Comrade Shari’s memory.
In 2018 she had the opportunity and privilege of meeting our Minister of National Defense, the Right Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan and she is especially proud that he came forward to shake her hand and thank her for her service to our country.
Comrade Shari has no regrets, or complaints about military life. She did have a smile when asked about ‘meals’. She said, “The Individual Meal Packs (IMP) are designed with needed nutrition in mind to survive but definitely not designed to be pretty meals. Some of the menu packs were nicknamed to reflect anything but the food presented.”
Comrade Shari feels fortunate and lucky that, thus far, her military career (Army) has allowed her to be posted to Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Angus. She is cognizant that, on a dime, she could transfer to another base and this could create some hardships with family obligations. Nonetheless, she is committed to pursuing some personal interests; namely, the Baking and Pastry Art Course at our local college.
As a two-plus year member of our Branch, she is pleased and appreciates the recognition given to the Veterans. She is very proud that our Branch involves itself with the various parades and that our full colour party is supported by our membership attendance.
Interviews can be a daunting experience. Comrade Shari was comfortable and stated that the questions were non-personal and the interview was offered in a private Branch setting and completed in just under one hour.
Comrade Shari, we thank you for your service.