Captain in CAF says skills can be taught, need ethics to be a soldier
- EFN Staff | November 11, 2016
Artillery Captain Walker Pryor is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. Born in Calgary but raised in Saskatoon, Walker attended university in Edmonton. After university he worked as a child and youth care worker focusing on Native youth. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 2007. Eagle Feather News caught up to Captain Walker and got the lowdown on his career and tips for those considering the forces as a career.
As a member of Muskeg Lake, how do you feel about the rich tradition of your people serving Canada?
I am honoured and proud that I have been able to continue the tradition of Muskeg Lake and serve in the CAF.
Where have you served during your time in the forces?
I have been posted in Quebec, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia and Alberta.
Quebec, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan was for training purposes.
Manitoba was a posting to 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.
BC was for two deployments to Op PALACI which is Avalanche Control in Rogers Pass.
Alberta is a posting to 3rd Canada Division.
What did you do in Afghanistan?
I was in Kabul Afghanistan (15 Jul 11 – 29 Feb 2012) for Operation ATTENTION. I worked in the joint operations cell in the National Command and Support Element. I was organizing tactical assistance visits and other visits for VIPs.
What has been most rewarding in your career?
My current position as the G1 Operations and Plans at 3rd Canadian Division where one of our tasks is to ensure support to injured soldiers or families of the fallen.
What has been most challenging?
That would be spending 8 months in Kabul. The time away from friends and family proved to be challenging but it has enriched the time when you are together. The time there was hard but I look forward to my next deployment that hopefully will be next year.
What kind of person do you need to be to become a soldier? Do you recommend the career to young people?
A person needs to be ethical. Everything else can either be taught, or experience or personal growth. Solders skills can be taught. Incremental challenges will build inner fortitude. But a lack of ethical fiber cannot be fixed.
I would highly recommend young people to join the CAF. It is not for everyone but your first contract is for 3 years and it will be an experience that will not be forgotten nor will you regret it. Like most jobs, there is good and bad and once a person has gotten a few years then they can make a proper decision if this is life for them. In fact, the reason why I ended up joining was because I was working with a youth that wanted to join so I took him to the recruiting centre. He never did join but I am thankful to him and the 9 years of service.