April 23rd, 2024

Teachers get insight into naval opportunities

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 27, 2024.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Sailor 2nd Class Daniel Yaretz, takes part in the SWATCA teachers' convention last week at the University of Lethbridge.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Royal Canadian Navy engaged with the South Western Alberta Teachers Convention this week in the form of an exhibitor booth to share information about the military unit with teachers in attendance, in hopes they will then share that knowledge with students.

The event took place in the First Choice Saving Centre for Sports and Wellness Thursday and Friday at the University of Lethbridge, and Sailor 2nd Class Daniel Yaretz, who is a teacher by trade, took the opportunity to speak with those in attendance about his recent deployment and the benefits of joining the navy.

On Friday Yaretz spoke to the Herald about his attendance at SWATCA, his role in the RCN, his recent deployment and the information he was sharing with teachers at the convention.

“I just got back from a deployment from the Indo-Pacific. I was on HMCS Vancouver which is one of 12 of the Canadian Halifax class frigates or warships of the Canadian navy,” said Yaretz.

 He said he was asked when he would like to return home for a visit, and he chose this week to be able to attend the SWATCA convention. He added that during his hometown visit, he will be talking to some of his former students at GS Lakie Middle School about his deployment in hopes of inspiring them to join the navy.

 “I’ve been with the navy now for about three-and-a-half years. I was actually in the naval reserve while I was still a teacher, having the opportunity to be part of my community in a military role, but also having both a civil life and a military life,” said Yaretz.

 He said being at SWATCA also provided him with the opportunity to connect with teachers from other school districts and share information with them to take back to their classrooms to the students who are about to graduate.

 “It’s really important that we do our community outreach and be able to tell people that we have a military, and it can be a very rewarding career, even part-time. I’m only a part-time soldier really, I’m just full-time right now because I had to go deploy,” said Yaretz.

 He said many do not realize that part-time involvement with the Canadian Arm edForces in various capacities is an option. Some may see being a soldier as a full-time career and in many cases being away from home all the time.

 “There are options for people, and I think it can be a really rewarding career. It pays very well now, and you get to travel the world in my line of work,” said Yaretz.

 He said he has had the opportunity to experience different cultures and visit many countries including Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, and Philippines.

Yaretz said one of the most asked questions from teachers when they approached his booth was about programs offered by the navy and he highlighted one.

“The naval experience program – it’s a one year fully-paid experience with no strings attached. You join for a year. At the end of the year you can either continue to join in a trade you want, or you can just leave with no penalties,” said Yaretz.

 He said this could be beneficial for students who are not quite sure about what path to take after high school as this experience showcases many career paths that have been taken by those in the Navy.

 “Basically, you’re going to go to basic training first, then you’re going to come into the navy and you’re going to see all the jobs in the Navy,” said Yaretz.

 He said in the past people would have to decide their career path first before going into the military to offer their services within their trade, but this way people have the opportunity to explore different career options prior to joining.

 “It’s like a free co-op. You get to see all the jobs like what a marine engineer does, or what an officer on the bridge does, or what a communicator does, you get to sail first and then see if this is for you,” said Yaretz.

 In terms of what his future plans are, he said he will try to continue both careers in teaching and the navy.

 “I’m actually thinking about going back to teaching as that’s where my true passion is, and so I’ll go back to being a reservist while I’m being a full-time teacher, and it will allow me to still have my connection to the navy,” said Yaretz.

 He explained that going back to teaching does not necessarily mean he will not be able to be deployed again.

 “I could always accept a deployment down the road and say, ‘hey boss can I take another leave of absence for six months and just go on to the deployment again,’ so there’s always that option later on,” said Yaretz.

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