By Lt(N) Linda Coleman,Public Affairs Officer Canadian Armed Forces
A sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) from Agassiz has just returned from his first deployment with the Canadian Armed Forces. For two and a half months, Ordinary Seaman (OS) Tristan Robert Harris sailed off the west coast of North and Central America in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Saskatoon as part of Operation CARIBBE, a maritime interdiction operation to counter illicit trafficking.
As a Boatswain during Operation CARIBBE, OS Harris’ responsibilities included working as a helmsman, and operating and maintaining the ship’s rigging, anchoring, and towing equipment.
He is also trained in high speed boat operations, boat maintenance, navigation, and the operation and maintenance of small arms including the .50 cal mounted machine gun and C-4 demolitions.
A graduate from Agassiz Elementary Secondary School, and former employee of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, OS Harris joined the RCN through the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program in 2014 as a Boatswain. “I wanted a career where I could continue to better myself, serve my country, make my family and friends proud, and give my daughter the best life possible,” he said.
OS Harris is aboriginal from his mother’s side of the family, who are part of the Sto:lo First Nations.
His family taught him the value of hard work, and OS Harris exemplifies this in all aspects of his life. In 2012, OS Harris returned to a local Youth Center in Agassiz he attended as a child to mentor young children and encourage them to get involved in sports, and outdoor activities.
Once in the RCN, OS Harris was chosen to be the parade commander for his initial trade training graduation in 2015 due to his exemplary service. A few months later he was asked to participate in the Victoria Day Parade, and is now returning from his first international deployment.
Even though OS Harris now calls Victoria home, he still makes it back to Agassiz twice a year with his girlfriend and their daughter to visit friends and family.