Assistant Commissioner Canadian Coast Guard, Western Region
A Montréal native, RAdm (Retd) Roger Girouard began his nautical career of service at HMCS Carlton in Ottawa as a Naval Reserve Ordinary Seaman Bos’n in 1973, before shifting to the permanent force and taking a commission as a Maritime Surface officer. He held a variety of leadership positions including Commanding Officer of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ships (HMCS) Chaleur, Miramichi and Iroquois, Commander Maritime Operations Group Four in Esquimalt BC, and Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific.
He deployed on a number of operations including NATO’s Standing Naval Force Atlantic and Canada’s Operation Friction during the Gulf War of 1990-91. He was the head of operations in Halifax during the domestic emergency coined as OP Persistence – the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) element of the SwissAir 111 salvage and recovery operation off Peggy’s Cove in 1998, when he was responsible for planning the CAF element’s efforts, chaired the daily multi-agency coordination meeting and served as CAF liaison to the families of the victims. He commanded Canada’s joint force contribution to OP Toucan in East Timor and led the multi-national naval Task Force 151 during OP Apollo in the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in 2003.
His last appointment was as Commander Joint Task Force Pacific and Maritime Forces Pacific in Victoria, where he was responsible for naval readiness in the Pacific, served as the Search and Rescue Commander for the Region and held responsibilities for security and domestic emergency issues in BC, supporting planning for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and the contingency work for potential flooding of the BC lower mainland in the Spring of ’07.
Experienced in offshore operations, joint and interagency missions, disaster management as well as the realm of HR management, he retired from the Canadian Forces in September of ’07. He was sought out to complete the Canadian Coast Guard Inquiry into the tragic sinking of the L’Acadien II, a sealing vessel home ported in the Magdalen Islands. He assumed responsibilities as the Canadian Coast Guard’s Assistant Commissioner for Western Region in May of 2013.