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Burnie, Tom

Burnie TomComing from an army heritage, Tom began his military journey in Army Cadets, through the militia and joined the regular army in 1959 as a Trooper in the Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) in Calgary. With the 1961 Berlin Wall event, he found himself suddenly in Germany for the first of three tours as a Cold War Warrior. First as a soldier with the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) in Iserlohn (1961-62); the Strathcona’s, in Iserlohn (1965-68); and as an officer with the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Lahr (1974-77).

His second and third European postings gave Tom a unique opportunity to complete a Centurion Tank Gunnery Instructor course at the Royal Armoured Corps School in Lulworth, UK, and a Leopard 1 Tank Gunnery Instructor course at the PanzerTruppenSchule in Munster, Germany to use Germany Army tanks loaned to Canada for two years. Along with various regimental tours in Canada, Tom was also an instructor and Chief Standards Officer at the Armoured Corps School in Gagetown, New Brunswick.

Commissioned in 1972, Tom’s principal command and staff education included the Canadian Forces Staff School (1976), the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff Course (1979), the Advanced NBC Staff Officers Course (1981), and the British Army Staff Course at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, UK (1987-88).

As a staff officer, Tom was an operations staff officer at the Combat Training Centre Headquarters followed by the inevitable National Defence Headquarters tours with three appointments; two with the Joint Staff (CBRN defence for doctrine and training, and NATO plans for Northern flank issues) and one with the Canadian Army Staff (armoured vehicle requirements).  Tom finished his military career of 39 years as the Senior Staff Officer Cadets, Pacific Region in Victoria.

After the Forces, Tom embarked on a second career. As a self-employed management consultant, he undertook public, private and not-for-profit sector assignments in Victoria, Vancouver, Medicine Hat, Toronto and Ottawa.  Tom holds a Bachelor of Arts (University of Manitoba), a Certification in Business Administration (University of Victoria) and a Master’s Degree Equivalent (MCGI) in applied Military Technology (City & Guilds Institute, London, UK). He is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL), Project Management Professional (PMP), and a Professional in Critical Infrastructure Protection (PCIP).

Returning to Ottawa in 2001 to be near their son and three grandchildren, Tom and his wife Fae reside in Orleans.  Since retirement from the service, Tom has been a volunteer with various charitable organizations and started as a Canadian War Museum volunteer in early 2016 bringing his management experience to bear on special projects.


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