Episode 026 BGen Richard ‘Des’ DesLauriers Part I

Today’s guest is BGen Richard DesLauriers who enlisted as a Sapper Apprentice in 1964. Completing his Basic Sapper Training as part of the two year program at RCSME, Sapper DesLauriers was posted to 2 Fd Sqn, Gagetown, After this tour he returned to Chilliwack to 3 Fd Sqn where he remained until his promotion to Sergeant in 1973. He was then selected as a member of the International Commission for Control and Supervision in Vietnam and returned to 3 Fd Sqn after this assignment.

Warrant Officer DesLauriers was posted to 5e RGC Valcartier in 1976 and immediately deployed to Bromont, QC, as part of the 5e RGC security forces for the Olympic Games. He served as 2iC of security forces for the equestrian events and was heavily involved in EOD operations. On completion of this task he returned to Valcartier as the 2 Troop WO and then Unit Training NCO Upon promotion to MWO in 1979 he became the RHQ Sergeant-Major 22until 1980 when he accepted his commission. Promoted to Captain, he moved to CFSME as the Chief Standards Officer. In 1982 he became the commander of the Mine Warfare and Demolitions Section and 24 EOD Unit and became a tactics instructor two years later.

In 1985 Captain DesLauriers was appointed DCO of 22 Field Squadron, where he served until his promotion to Major in 1986 at which time he was transferred to theCombat Training Centre as the Senior Engineer Tactics Instructor. In August 1986 Major DesLauriers took command of 45 Field Squadron in Sydney, NS, becoming the first Regular Force CO of a, Engineer Militia unit since the Second World War. During this period he also served in Turkey with the Allied Mobile Force (Land). In 1989 he moved to 1 Canadian Division Engineer Group Headquarters at CFB Kingston as G2 (Int) and subsequently as G3 (Ops).

Maj Deslaurier’s tour in Kingston was followed by a posting to 4 CER in 1991 as the DCO and participated in the CF’s first six-month tour in the former Yugoslavia. On the unit’s return to Germany, he held command of 4 CER until its closure in summer 1993. He then moved to Heidelberg, Germany as the Engineer OpsO in HQ Land Cent (NATO). In this capacity he participated in many of the Partnership for Peace initiatives with former Warsaw Pact countries and in several LandCent exercises involving multiple Corps formations.

On promotion LCol DesLauriers returned to Canada in July 1995 as the Chief of Staff, Toronto Militia District [later renamed 32 Canadian Brigade Group]. He served in this position until his retirement from the Regular Force in 1999 after 35 years of service. He then transferred to the Active Reserve Force and became the Deputy Commander of 32 Canadian Brigade Group. He was promoted Colonel in August 2000 and soon assumed command of 32 Canadian Brigade Group. In 2003 he assumed command of 2 Area Support Group and held that command until January 2005 when he was appointed Assistant Chief of Staff (Operations) and Deputy Commander for Land Forces Central Area. BGen DesLauriers was promoted to his current rank in October 2006 on his appointment at Deputy Commander Land Force Doctrine and Training System.

BGen DesLauriers retired from the CF in September 2008 after 44 years of service. His awards include being invested as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit, the Canadian Forces Decoration with three clasps and the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, along with the UN Medal for the former Yugoslavia and the ICCS Medal for Vietnam.

Brigadier-General DesLauriers became the Canadian Military Engineer Branch Colonel Commandant on 28 January 2010.

Please visit The Canadian Military Engineers Association web site for more information about this proud Corps.

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Sapper DesLauriers in 1965 – Best Marksman of the Sapper Apprentice Squadron.

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1965 – Sapper DesLauriers receives the Top Athlete of CFB Chilliwack.

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Sergeant Deslaurier is the top candidate on the Engineer Troop Warrant Officer Course.

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MWO DesLauriers is presented his Medal of Military Merit by the Governor General, Ed Schreyer in 1979.  His promotion in the order to OMM was presented twenty years later by Adrienne Clarkson.

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Captain DesLauriers is the 1982 Phase 4 Combat Engineer Officer Top Candidate.

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