Canadian Paratrooper: To Skydiver

Canadian Paratrooper: To Skydiver

by Sean J Gilligan


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In the year of 1942, during World War 2 the first Canadian paratroopers started training. The first Airborne unit, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was formed, going into its first battle on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). It was disbanded when W.W. 2 ended, but Canada has had paratroopers in the Canadian Army, leading up to the creation of The Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1968, based in Edmonton, Alberta.

The author Sean Gilligan joined in 1983, as an RCR recruit. Sent to 3 Commando for training, this book explains how an untrained trooper goes through Selection, leading to the Basic Parachute Course. If successful, the inductee goes through another six months of extensive training as a platoon member. The final part of Selection involved the Airborne Indoctrination Course, two weeks of Hell. Finally if passing this course, the soldier is awarded the Airborne coin and becomes a full fledged Airborne soldier. This story focusses on a three year tour with the Airborne Regiment, in Canada and abroad. Also what happened after leaving the Airborne. After release from the Canadian Forces in 1987, the author transitioned to civilian life, but continued parachuting. Decades later, he is one of some 3000 active skydivers in Canada. This is a story of parachuting, the risks and skills required and why do it at all.

Lastly it deals with injuries during jumping and the recovery process. Included are the many near misses and close calls with death itself. Having survived these near death experiences, the author has as proven insight into those presently facing danger in harm's way overseas or at home. Ultimately parachuting is still a valid skill today, used in many applications from military parachute units in many countries, search & rescue, fire fighting, pilot training, Special Forces HALO insertion into enemy held zones, fighting the War on Terror, Astronaut training to civilian skydiving competitions to the casual everyday one time tandem student. It is not for most humans, but in the hands of a gifted, highly skilled person, it is a vital tool to have. It is also a good read for those interested in knowing why a sane person would risk life by exiting a serviceable plane in any condition (within safety limits) at altitudes exceeding 30,000 feet. For an elite warrior however, parachuting is one of the first steps to becoming one of the world's best.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780228825555
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication date: 01/30/2020
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Sean Gilligan grew up in several areas of Ontario, born in Kingston, before living in the Ottawa area prior to enlisting in the Regular Forces of Canada. After twelve years of service, three with The Canadian Airborne Regiment in CFB Petawawa, he went back to school, finishing a Bachelor of Science degree at Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.

Presently living in Edmonton, Alberta he is still an active skydiver. This is his third published novel, the first two being fiction, dealing with The War on Terror fought since 9-11, the terrorist attack on New York's World Trade Center. The first book Raising Hell (2016) and the second The Penal Regiment (2018), as well as the third non-fiction book all have the common thread of military parachuting and it's civilian counterpart skydiving. Having jumped in many countries and drop zones, with over 500 drops, the author has an insight into the hazards and risks involved. Parachuting is one of the extreme sports or activities, ranked alongside scuba diving and mountain climbing. Elite units such as the U.K.'s SAS, Royal Marines, U.S. Special Forces including the Navy Seals, Green Berets, Army Rangers and Delta Force as well as other Western Allies all have Elite, parachute trained Special Forces. In Canada JTF-2 presently carries the Airborne banner.

As a present day jumper the author delves into how far to push the envelope. When is enough enough? While most have fallen to the wayside, a few veteran jumpers are still in the game. One rule to go by is, "Knowledge dispels fear" and the motto, "You stop learning when you are dead." For the few and the proud, the biggest fear is not death, but losing a vital component of your life, like parachuting. This is of course one point of view, amongst the thousands of parachutists today, men and women. Others may think it is a waste of time and money, or is just a part of the job. To the author, it is a discipline, with hard rules that govern each and every plane ride. Is one step in a lifelong journey, if sucessful and lucky, it aids in growing one's stature in society, enabling one to accomplish otherwise unattainable goals.

One notable example is Chistopher Cassidy, who passed the Navy Seal BUD/S course in 1993, serving a decade with this elite unit. In July 2009, he became the 500th person in space, as mission specialist on the space shuttle Endeavour. He is the second Seal after William Shepherd in the 70's to become an astronaut. Today's parachutists continue to push the envelope, jumping from the edge of Space, before flying into it. Lieterally for a few, sky is not the limit.

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