DRAFTING AND SURVEY TECHNICIAN
I’m Sergeant Sean Carroll from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, a Drafting and Survey Technician with 1 Engineer Support Unit, in Kingston, Ontario.
And I’m Master Corporal Cameron Wallace from McCord, Saskatchewan, a Drafting and Survey Technician also with 1 Engineer Support Unit at CFB Kingston.
WALLACE: Drafting and Survey Technicians, or DS Techs, provide deployed and domestic survey and drafting support to the Forces and other government departments, using the latest survey equipment and computer-aided drafting software.
CARROLL: As surveyors, we ensure that camps and structures are situated in the right locations and laid out in the correct orientation.
WALLACE: As draftspersons, we generate the final construction drawings from the engineers’ designs, that the tradespeople use to actually build the project.
WALLACE: There’s so much that we could do, right? We could be outside, surveying the ground, and then back inside, taking that data that we collected, putting it into the computer and then producing a design and then going out and staking it out again.
CARROLL: And from Corporal to Sergeant, you’re usually involved in every step of the process.
CARROLL: Drafting and Survey Technicians work as both surveyors and draftspersons and are required to be proficient at both.
WALLACE: What makes a good Drafting and Surveying Technician would be somebody that pays very close attention to detail, that’s very meticulous. Also, honesty plays a huge role, just to build that trust between you and the people that you’re working with.
CARROLL: We work with the latest Global Navigation Satellite System enabled survey equipment, and work with both Auto CAD and Auto CAD Civil 3D for Computer Aided Design.
WALLACE: As a Drafting and Survey Tech in the military, we’re trained in the many technical aspects of Drafting and Survey but we’re also trained to develop our soldier skills because we need to be able to work in a combat environment.
CARROLL: The camaraderie is great within the drafting / surveying section, and again a lot of really unique experiences, from being responsible for laying out hundreds of tents for a major exercise -- it can be yourself and your partner tasked to do that before the main body shows up. So you get to kinda see stuff falling into place.
WALLACE: I’ve been deployed to places within Canada such as Rankin Inlet, Inuvik, Wainwright, Alberta, Petawawa, Ontario – outside of Canada, I’ve been deployed to South Dakota, Latvia, and Kuwait.
WALLACE: To become a DS Tech, after your basic military training, you’ll attend the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick for the technical portion of your trade training.
WALLACE: When you’re done at Gagetown, you’ll be posted to either CFB Cold Lake in Alberta, CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia, or CFB Kingston in Ontario where you’ll go through 2 years of on-the-job training. You’ll be working alongside experienced DS Techs who will mentor you as you develop your new trade skills, working on a wide variety of engineering and construction projects.
CARROLL: And because it’s such a small trade, everyone will get the opportunity to continue to travel and deploy, and stay current and stay on the tools. I didn’t join to ride a desk, and the working ranks – it goes right from top to bottom.
WALLACE: The most attractive part about being a Drafting and Surveying Technician in the Canadian Armed Forces would be the deploying side. Just seeing a different part of the world, seeing how another country operates and helping out that country.
CARROLL: I’ve always wanted to join the military as a kid – I went in blind, not knowing what I was getting into, and it was one of the best decisions I made.