CORPORAL SCOTT SIMMONDS: I’m Corporal Scott Simmonds from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. I’m a Vehicle Technician at the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, posted in Petawawa, Ontario.
CORPORAL SCOTT GODBEHERE: And I’m Corporal Scott Godbehere from Kitchener, Ontario, a Vehicle Technician at 1 Canadian Field Hospital, Petawawa, Ontario.
NARRATOR: Vehicle Technicians maintain and repair land vehicles as well as powered equipment like electrical generators and fuel-fired heating devices. As part of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, these soldier technicians inspect, repair, overhaul and modify all types of technologically advanced military equipment.
GODBEHERE: Yeah, the different kinds of platforms for the Army, definitely is a benefit for sure, you don't get that out in the civilian side at all.
SIMMONDS: Anything from a small 2K generator, it works your way up to like a G-Wagon, and you keep going, you work on tracked light armoured vehicles, 8-wheel drive LAVS, and then you keep going and you work up to the Leopard platform.
NARRATOR: In garrison, they work in well-equipped garages. But Vehicle Techs need to be as mobile as the units they are supporting, working out of temporary repair facilities when they are out on exercise or on missions overseas. This job also includes the recovery of all types of vehicles used in the land forces, no matter where they break down, utilizing standard towing trucks as well as specialized tracked and wheeled recovery vehicles.
GODBEHERE: If you’re out in Wainwright and something breaks and it's a combat arms unit, they’re going to need it right away. They only have so many vehicles sometimes they bring with them, and it's very important that you keep things going constantly.
SIMMONDS: The constraint and the demand in which it needs to get fixed is either a lot more rushed in the military or in a lot different scenario, because it needs to get ready to go somewhere.
GODBEHERE: It’s not just being good with your hands, you have to be able to diagnose and be good with how things work. If you were always good with how things work, then you’d do fairly well as a Vehicle Technician.
SIMMONDS: The stuff that made me want to join the military is that I could do gym, I could work out, I could do sports like hockey and judo in the military, so I could essentially do all the things I loved and be a mechanic at the same time.
GODBEHERE: Being in the Army as a Vehicle Tech is having the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t get to do as a technician when you’re on the civilian side. For example, you could get the opportunity to jump out of planes. I got my wings last January and I find that that would be something that I would never have had done if I was in the civilian side.
NARRATOR: Once they complete their training, Vehicle Techs are posted to one of the many Canadian Armed Forces bases across the country. Working as part of a team of technicians, they maintain and repair their unit’s fleet of vehicles.
GODBEHERE: And when you get posted to a new unit, it's actually pretty friendly, nobody’s on your back. They definitely guide you in the right direction to let you learn and progress with your career as best as possible.
SIMMONDS: Working at garrison is usually a 9 to 5, you do your PT, you do your work, then you go home. Being out in the field is a whole different life. You could be doing certain training out in the field, or you could be fixing pretty much nonstop until the job gets done. It does make it interesting though, because it’s never the same thing and the scenario always lays out different and because of that, I really enjoy it.
GODBEHERE: Not everyone can fix everything. Not everyone can know everything, but having your peers there to help you, especially in the field when you don't have the right tools, or something just isn’t going right, you can pick their brains or they can pick yours and that’s the best way to get something done.
NARRATOR: Arte et Marte – “By Skill and by Fighting” – is the motto of the RCEME Corps. Vehicle Technicians are soldiers first and foremost, and they receive the same basic combat training as all other Army soldiers. They also have the opportunity to pursue further combat training such as parachuting, combat first aid, winter warfare, and driving armoured vehicles.
SIMMONDS: In the military, we’re always changing, we’re working in the field, we’re working in the garrison, you move from shop to shop, working on different fleets. We also move around a lot all over the country and all over the world fixing, so nothing is ever actually the same.
GODBEHERE: The 9 to 5 that you would get to do in the army compared to civvy street… The jobs, they pay you to get fit. I, myself, really enjoy going to the range and firing weapons.
SIMMONDS: In 2015, I was deployed with DART, to Nepal when they had the earthquakes. It was amazing to see people that were hurt get aid quickly and in a timely manner. So it was really nice to see the Canadian military helping people that, if we wouldn’t have went in, probably or possibly, would not have any help at all. It was really rewarding to me personally.