CAF Story | “Good leadership and good culture go hand-in-hand” Chief Petty Officer First Class Gilles Grégoire

Video / December 17, 2020


I had Grade 12 education. I joined. It was a great opportunity. I come from a small little town where you were either going to be a logger or potentially seasonal work. But for me, I've been motivated to join the Forces since I've been 13-14.

The generation of children from my age until today, they're well more versed with respect to how they use the IT in the Information Age and that, so they are a data type of person, probably a lot smarter than I was when I first joined, and they're very... They really like to know the why we're doing the business and we owe them that. And that's important because the why gives you a purpose. And when you have a purpose, you are more focused on doing your job.

In my former job, I used to see a lot of men and women on operation. And I would argue they're just as dedicated if not more today with respect to how to do the business. And a lot of times, that really resolves around having good leadership around them to actually show them the way to give them purpose. To show them what it actually is to lead people and especially on operations.

My name is Chief Petty Officer Gilles Grégoire. Last name is G-R-E-G-O-I-R-E. So I'm currently the 14th serving Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer. I could say that when I became a Petty Officer 2nd class is when I started seeing some of the young ordinary seamen that I had who had started to become sailors 1st class, but that's when I actually had them start asking me questions about careers. So that's when I kind of saw how important it is to be the lead by example leader. Because it does go a long way and people who you think are not really paying attention to you, they're actually paying attention to you, and what you do, and what you're not doing. And it's about making sure that that person is at a 100% ready to go and that's by good supervisors and understanding the human domain. So for me, what is critical with respect to good leadership.

Good leadership is also tied with good culture. You cannot have good leadership without good culture. They go hand in hand, they're intermeshed. And senior NCOs play a critical role in maintaining good culture and good leadership. Of taking charge, of taking ownership, of being responsible, of being accountable. It all falls on that, good culture and that good leadership piece.

So physical fitness, I would argue with anyone. If you're even planning on doing this for a long time, it is an important part of your regime. It will give you more stamina, especially when you're working hard and you're trying to make some of these hard decisions that we do have sometimes to make.

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