Corporal Bernard Asare
CAF Aerospace Control Operator
By Corporal Bernard Asare
Posted on Thursday February 25, 2021
My name is Bernard Asare. I was born and grew up in Ghana, West Africa. I moved to Canada in 2005 when I was 17 years old. After completing high school in Brampton, ON, I went to Laurentian University in Sudbury, ON.
I joined the CAF in Sudbury, ON in February 2015. A few months after completing my BSc Degree, I came across a Facebook post of a friend from school, in a military uniform. Confused by his choice of career, I quickly contacted him and asked why he decided to join the military after all the years we spent studying Biology, Chemistry, biochemistry and Physics. He told me he finally realized his passion was to become a pilot. From there, he directed me to the CAF’s recruiting website to see the various occupations and opportunities in the CAF.
I spent a few months in Trenton, ON after completing Basic Training in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC.
I then went to the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations (CFSACO) in Cornwall, ON to complete my initial qualification to become an Aerospace Control Operator. In May 2016, I was posted to Cold Lake, AB and have been posted to Garrison Petawawa since August 2019.
Being in the CAF has presented many challenges. Most of the Bases are in locations far away from Urban Areas. This means living far away from most family and friends, which makes it particularly challenging to participate in some family and cultural events held only in Urban Areas due to the high concentration of visible minorities. Sometimes, I must drive 2 to 4 hours to buy specific specialty food commodities to prepare ethnic meals for my family here with me.
Being a member of the CAF has allowed me to meet and developed tangible relationships with people from all over Canada. I have been able to play competitive soccer at both Provincial and National levels, thus being privileged to travel and see most of Canada in my few years of service.
Black Canadian military service can be traced as far back as before the First World War. I have always been inspired by those Black Canadians whose patriotism, courage, dedication, and bravery made them so eager to serve Canada, despite the prejudice and barriers they encountered in those times. It was the actions of those men and women that have paved the way for young Black Canadians like me to be able to join the CAF.