Forsyth enjoying navy life

Choosing a career can be complicated for many, yet others like former Hazelton resident, Ordinary Seamen Daryn Forsyth, know what they want to do and make it happen.

After graduation, Forsyth who is currently stationed on the HMCS Calgary out of Victoria, worked at the New Hazelton Chevron Town Pantry for three years before his application to the military was accepted. However, his dream did come true in March 2008.

“First I went to basic training in Quebec and then in August of the same year I was sent out to Victoria to start a course for marine engineering,” he explained. “It was just a three month course and a lot of on the job training which I just completed in December of last year.”

With is first level of certification under his belt and his AMOC (Auxiliary Machinery Operator Certificate), he was now able to work without constant direct supervision. There are two other levels he can certify for in the future but for now, he said he wants to master what he’s doing now and study for a while before taking on the next course.

“I have been offered the coursing but it is a lot of math and it’s a two year course and I want to keep learning about what I do in my job now first,” he said. “Before I go on to the next level I want study up on my math to make sure I get it right the first time.”

Although he has only been certified for three months, since he started working on ships in 2008 with the navy he has done some impressive traveling he said.

In the past two years he has been to Mexico, Chile, Peru, Panama, San Diego, Ecuador and recently he went to Pearl Harbour in Hawaii twice. He explained that while in the foreign ports they do a variety of things.

“For the most part we do public relations,” he said. “We are trying to build a stronger relationship between Canada and the host nation’s navy and we like to have a good reputation and a good report with the other navies. We always get the chance to go out and explore the different places too and you are even allowed to go out and get a hotel if you are not on duty. There is always secondary duties like entertaining host tours like giving tours which I like because it helps me keep up on what I am doing and what it is we are doing like specs. We are always interested in equipment on different ships too so when we were in Hawaii we got to go on a sub.”

In addition to giving tours to dignitaries and other navy officers while in different countries they also train for things such as Anti piracy and they are always training so if anything does happen at sea they always know what to do, Forsyth shared.

When asked what his favourite destination has been to date, he said it was easily Valparaiso in Chile.

“It was very beautiful and full of really friendly people,” he said.

As for what a normal day consists of when he is not in a foreign port, Forsyth said the routine is regimented but something he quite enjoys.

“In an average sailing day, the day is broken up into seven different shifts,” he explained. “We usually do one and three so I work for one and off for two but our shifts are constantly changing.”

He said the day will start at 7 a.m. when he’ll eat, get dressed and do the re-checks. Half-an-hour later, they coordinate with the outgoing shift. Once they’re on, they spend four hours making sure everything that makes the ship function is working.

“You have to be very interested in the job to do it or you’re not going to succeed,” he said.

Their eight hour off-time can be spent sleeping but it’s also the time of day for them to get any training done they need to — don’t worry, they do have some time to have naps or watch movies.

They’re kept on their toes as well with daily fire drills. That’s on top of flood drills and emergency drills, such as the need to engage enemy ships.

We always want to make sure we can do our job and do it in an effective, timely manner.”

When they are not out sailing around the world and are anchored in port, Forsyth said he works five days a week, seven hours a day.

While to some his day sounds regimented and tough, Forsyth not only loves what he does but said he would also highly recommend a career in the military.

“There are a lot of different reasons I would recommend this,” he said. “One of the best is you get to serve your country and after a few years I couldn’t imagine having better friends. Traveling the world is amazing and probably one of my favourite things. I don’t think I would be out of B.C. without joining. Then, job security is another great reason and I really enjoy the challenge.”

For anyone who is considering an exciting future in the navy or military, Forsyth said the first thing you need to do is contact a recruiter.

“They help you deiced which career you want to do in the military and then you have to fill out a whack of paper work,” he shared. “Next,  you get interviews and tested and you get a pick of three possible careers. Then you work with them to  narrow it down to one. A great person people in Hazelton could  talk to is Brigitta Vanheek. She helped me quite a bit and knows the people to get in touch with.”

For Forsyth, when he was looking at his future years ago, he said he knew he wanted to do some kind of mechanics.

“I really enjoy working with my hands and working with engines,” he said. “So when I looked at what career I wanted in the Navy I chose a marine engineering mechanic and my two alternatives were an AVN tech working on helicopter engines or a vehicle tech but I got my first choice which was lucky. I wanted a technical trade that can be passed over to the civilian trade so if I wanted out I could go and get a job working on boats.”

Yet Forsyth added, he plans to stay on with the navy for a very long time.