Sergeant Dan Shouinard got his first taste of military life in 1995 as a Cook in the Reserve Force, but left the position shortly thereafter to begin college. After finishing college programs in graphic design and multimedia, he looked into a military career, drawn by the job security and the opportunities to gain experience in his field. He spoke with a recruiter and learned of the Imagery Technician trade.
Dan liked the idea of becoming a visual media specialist in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), traveling the globe to capture imagery of Forces’ members in action.
“One day I’m being sworn-in the Forces, and the next, sent to the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, to begin basic training. Sixteen years later I’m still in the same trade.”
Similar to photo journalists in the civilian world, Imagery Technicians capture important and memorable events in the Forces, preserving photo and video images of the CAF’s efforts world-wide. Some of Dan’s most memorable photographs are of former Chief of Defense Staff General Hillier on his visit to Kabul in 2005, former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson attending the unveiling of the Bronze Airmen Statue at CFB Greenwood, and even Don Cherry wearing an Army hat giving his famous thumbs up to the camera. His photos have been published in magazines and featured at sporting events such as the Grey Cup, where the photo he snapped of a Sergeant in Afghanistan puckering up to kiss a camel was displayed on the jumbotron.
Dan has had many great memories and experiences from his time in the Forces, thus far. He deployed to Afghanistan twice: first to Kabul in 2005, and again in 2011 in support of the Mission Transition Task Force. His career has taken him all over Canada including postings in Greenwood, Nova Scotia; Wainwright, Alberta; Ottawa, Ontario, and his current posting, teaching at the Imagery School in Borden, Ontario. He now has the opportunity to pass on his substantial knowledge to the next generation of imagery technicians.
Prior to joining the Forces, Sgt. Shouinard was concerned that postings would take his family away from friends and extended family but he now says that his career has actually helped him in his family life. “My family has enjoyed the change of scenery that comes with moving to a new city. We’ve enjoyed learning about and exploring new parts of Canada. My family has helped me throughout my military career. Deployments, taskings, exercises, my loved ones have had my back every step of the way.”
If he could talk to his younger self, he would still recommend joining the Forces. “Check out the careers the Forces have to offer. There is something for everyone, there are so many opportunities.”
Learn more about Imagery Technicians, or as Sgt. Shouinard calls them, “The living historians of the Canadian Armed Forces.”
Find out more about military life for you and your family.
Discover the training you can receive with the Forces.