Hants native accepts prestigious position in military

Ashley Thompson athompson@hantsjournal.ca
Published on February 11, 2013

Scott Guild has no choice but to be adaptable.

The longest the Ellershouse native has held the same position during his 27 years in the military is 28 months. His career has taken him across the country, around the world and full circle.

Guild, a graduate of Hants West Rural High and the Royal Military College, was returned to his home province in August upon accepting a promotion as the Commanding Officer of Formation Administration at CFB Halifax.

 It was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up — even if it meant relocating to Halifax for two years while his wife and daughter remained in Ottawa.

“It’s a prestigious position to be appointed to the commanding officer of any unit,” Guild explained.

 “I’m a logistics officer, and we don’t have many command opportunities, and this is one of the largest.”

Guild says Formation Administration is responsible for all of the human resources support for military personnel in Halifax, Shearwater and some members in Sydney. He is personally responsible for close to 700 in his new position.

“As an officer, right from the start you’re leading people so it’s not always what you do, it’s what you can get the team to do, so your success depends on the team,” Guild said.

“I count that as part of my personal success when the team succeeds.”

It’s a lot of responsibility, he admits, but that’s nothing new for Guild.

In his previous posting, Guild belonged to a small team in Ottawa managing about one third of the national defence budget.

“I had a staff of eight and we managed a $6.5 billion dollar budget.”

Guild says his willingness to take the lead, and tackle new challenges, has taken him across the world, and helped him rise through the ranks.

He served in Belgium for three years, worked with NATO, accepted postings across Canada, travelled through the Middle East and spent a year in Syria with the United Nations.

 “The UN mission was to maintain the separation between the Syria and Israeli forces on the Golan Heights and it’s been there since the 1973 war because they have never declared peace since the war.”

Guild says a couple rockets were fired about 30 kilometres away from him while he was in Syria in 2010, and marked landmines were planted in the areas he patrolled, but he did not find the Israeli of Syrian soldiers to be “unfriendly” during his time with the United Nations. He says maintaining communication with headquarters was one of the largest challenges he faced overseas.

“We were only two Canadians in a mission of 1,200, so being able to get support from Canada… seven time zones away from Ottawa at times was difficult, but it was a very rewarding experience.”

No matter where he is deployed, Guild says he’s always proud to be representing his country.

“Instantly people recognize the flag and respect you for what you are… a military officer in a Canadian uniform.”

Guild says he has about eight years left in the military, and he’s looking forward to learning what new opportunities the future will hold.

“It’s a great career.”