Inspiring electronic warfare careers in Canada

A shift is happening within the Canadian electronic warfare (EW) community, as young EW professionals are transitioning into leadership roles at a much younger age than their predecessors. These leadership positions also happen to be affiliated with industry-government-academic collaborations in the EW/defense sector. Coinciding with this evolution in the community is the growth of the only Canadian chapter of the Association of Old Crows (AOC) – the Maple Leaf Chapter, headquartered in the National Capital Region of Ottawa, Ontario. Currently the Maple Leaf has a membership base of 150 and has stated growing again thanks to a revitalization that began last fall.

The chapter had been inactive for years to a decline in membership, which was a shame because it was an excellent vehicle for realizing not only the economic value the EW industry can do for the local economy, but for the personal and career growth of young professionals, non-military professionals, and government workers within this community.

That changed when a local EW company – D-TA Systems – and its young EW and managers led a revitalization of the chapter in October 2014, when the association gathered more than 50 EW professionals on October 1, 2014 to revitalize the Maple Leaf chapter.

Feedback from industry, government, and other organizations helped us start fresh and strive toward a goal to make the EW sector not only more appealing to a younger audience but also have meaningful programs and events in place to serve as an attractive option for anyone in the industry that wants to benefit from the networking and learning opportunities.

With the global economic downturn and a more competitive engineering/management talent landscape, it’s refreshing to see the EW community spending time and effort to reach out to the younger talents and providing them a platform to grow with the organization.

AOC leaders in Washington say their focus now is to provide interactive and inspiring content at their flagship shows to attract new minds. This forward thinking from a global non-for-profit defense organization is also impacting the Canadian defense engineering and management community.

For example they elected a 20-something to be President of the Maple Leaf Chapter — me – with the kind and full support from my employer, D-TA Systems, where I’m responsible for managing the marketing and sales operations. D-TA is a interface company that caters to the EW/ market with standard products. In my role at D-TA I’ve learned the EW basics and the uses of the state of the art 10 Gigabit networks with server class and how it has simplified EW system developments.

I aim to bring together others like myself in the Canadian EW community to network and learn from each other within the Maple Leaf chapter. Receiving support from a newly elected Board of Directors, who are highly experienced and subject matter experts in various areas of EW, the chapter has taken a strategic direction to enable new talent to take on responsibility leading to positive changes. The new team is putting across an aggressive plan to showcase the Canadian EW sector and also connect with chapters overseas to grow the network. I will be providing updates to our activities periodically in this blog. To learn more about the Maple Leaf chapter and its opportunities for young EW engineers, please contact me at: tdas@d-ta.com.

AOC Maple Leaf Chapter Website:
www.canadiancrows.org
AOC Maple Leaf LinkedIn Page:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/Association-Old-Crows-Maple-Leaf-8226525
AOC Maple Leaf Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/mapleleafaoc
Chapter Email:
mapleleafaoc@gmail.com

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