Oromocto — The Canadian Armed Forces recently announced a program to employ New Brunswick soldiers in the role of communications specialists. These specially selected soldiers are intended to be employed on operations overseas and on sensitive domestic missions.
Originally hailing from southeastern and northern parts of the province, the soldiers have all been selected for their unique language skills.
“We got the original idea from one of our platoon instructors,” said Captain Dan Bailey of the army recruit school in CFB Gagetown. “We had absolutely no idea what these guys were saying… or really even what language they were speaking, but somehow they seemed to be able to communicate among themselves.” Capt. Bailey went on to state that his instructors had observed a kind of distorted French-English mix of sounds and noises that new recruits from certain parts of the province would make between themselves when on smoke breaks.
“Because we’re the Canadian army, we’ve always got funding challenges,” said Capt. Bailey. “On my last tour in Afghanistan, we didn’t have any secure comms and we knew our calls were always being intercepted. After I tried talking to one of my soldiers from Shediac in the smoke pit a while back, something just clicked… if the army won’t give us encrypted radios, then why not just use these New Brunswick guys?”
A trial program is now being run at CFB Gagetown. Know to the army as CCTs or “Chiac Code Talkers,” a New Brunswick soldier is attached to a patrol in the field, given a radio and assigned the duty of communicating with their counterpart in headquarters. It is hoped that any communications that are overheard will be so unintelligible that only another trained CCT will be able to decipher it.
Private André Bolduc, originally from Bouctouche, N.B. is a member of the first class of graduating CCTs. When asked if the course had been difficult, he had this to say: “Hey, c’est mon break maintenant toi, shwee aller au Tims… veux-tu un coffee or somethin?” When asked to translate the statement DND was unable to comment, citing operation security restrictions.
New Brunswick CCT soldiers are expected to be used by the army on any missions requiring secure communications outside of the province of New Brunswick and parts of Nova Scotia.