Dale Durand is no stranger to working with precision, painstakingly following procedures in situations with critical consequences.
Much of his 25-year military career was dedicated to clearing and disposing of roadside and underwater explosive devices – some in dangerous combat zones.
Today, Durand applies that same level of precision to the vital role of pipeline construction and inspection at TransCanada.
He joined construction management services immediately after leaving the military last year and is currently the construction manager on the Vulcan Lateral natural gas pipeline project.
His outstanding service to Canada was recognized when he received the Order of Military Merit from Canada’s Governor General, David Johnston, at a ceremony in Rideau Hall in Ottawa in June.
The honour is awarded for “dedication and devotion beyond the call of duty” and for “achieving conspicuous merit and exceptional service”.
Durand is humble about the award – preferring to talk about the accomplishments of the military units he was part of in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Croatia – but it is no small feat to be selected for the Order of Military Merit. Only a very few are selected to receive the award each year.
Peacekeeping and Combat
Durand joined the army in 1989 as a combat engineer, a role that encompassed anything from setting up living quarters to clearing roadways of explosive ordinance devices (EODs).
After six years, he transferred to the navy to put his knowledge and skills as an explosive removal expert to use underwater as a clearance diver.
The Order of Military Merit is one of numerous commendations Durand has received. As part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Croatia in 1993, his regiment was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Commendation for its role in the Battle of Medak Pocket, a major Croatian offensive.
He also served as part of the UN-led observation mission in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991 after the Gulf War and was in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.
Additionally, Durand received the Chief of the Defense Staff Commendation for his involvement clearing EODs in Afghanistan, and he received UN medals for his service in Croatia and Iraq.
After serving Canada for 25 years, Durand was ready to start the next stage of his career and life. He eagerly accepted the opportunity with TransCanada.
“I didn’t take any time off, just went from leading a team of navy clearance divers to working in the construction management services team at TransCanada,” he says.
While it may seem like a big change, Durand sees a lot of similarities in the two roles. “It’s all about procedure,” he quips.
Pattern of Recognition
Military veterans make up about 9 per cent of TransCanada’s workforce, so it’s no surprise that the company and its veteran employees continue to be recognized by the military.
Earlier this year, TransCanada was recognized by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, earning one of 75 Patriot Awards given out in the state of Ohio. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.
In 2013, TransCanada was the first recipient of the Secretary’s Award. The award recognized companies for support of military veterans in our communities. TransCanada also received the Above and Beyond Award in 2013.
TransCanada’s history of supporting veterans is something we’re proud of. Whether it’s supporting veteran employees by providing time off for military leave, supporting the Helmets to Hardhats and Veterans in Piping programs, or ensuring that veterans are able to participate in Veterans Day Parades they deserve, it’s important to ensure these heroes get the recognition they deserve.