Tour Guide and Storyteller

Harold A. Skaarup (

Harold (Hal) Aage Skaarup, BFA, MA, CD, Former Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel for 3 Intelligence Company.  I had been an Army Intelligence Officer for most of my 40 years service in the Canadian Forces from Feb 1971 to Aug 2011.  During my service career I was deployed overseas with Headquarters Canadian Forces Europe (HQ CFE) and later with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG) based in Lahr, Germany.  I served three years with the Canadian Forces Parachute Team, the Sky Hawks at Edmonton, and with the Canadian Airborne Regiment at CFB Petawawa, Ontario, including a deployment with the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Nicosia, Cyprus (CANCONCYP).  I served with the NATO-led Peace Stabilization Force in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR), and with North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD), as well as United States Space Command (USSPACECOM) and later United Sates Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), based on Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  I served in Halifax as the Area G2 (Intelligence Officer), and in 2004 deployed with the Canadian Contingent of the Kabul Multi-National Brigade (KMNB) as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in Kabul, Afghanistan.  My last posting was with 5 Canadian Division Support Base (5 CDSB) Gagetown, New Brunswick, where I retired from the Army in the rank of Major on 8 August 2011.

On 1 Feb 2015 I was appointed HLCol for 3 Intelligence Company in Halifax for a three year term, and was back in uniform until 1 Feb 2018.  

If you need more, you will find it here:

Reserve Officer University Training Plan (ROUTP) Officer Cadets, CFB Shilo, Manitoba, summer of 1973 (Author standing 3rd from the right).

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, Sarcee Barracks, CFB Calgary, Alberta, June 1975 (Author standing in the centre row, 8th from the left).

Reserve Intelligence Officer training, Intelligence Company, Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS), CFB Borden, Ontario, summer 1975.  Standing: Lt Skaarup, 2Lt Painter, Maj Veinotte, Lt ?, Lt Harrison, Lt Watts, Lt McLeod, Lt ?.  Seated: Capt Brawne, Capt Young, Maj Watts, WO Handson.

Militia Intelligence Training, CFSIS, CFB Borden, 1975.  Rear Row: Lt Dale Watts, Lt Bill McLeod, Lt Painter, Lt Hal Skaarup, Cpl ?, Cpl (W) Kathy Ells, Cpl ?, Cpl ?, WO ?, Cpl Lefebvre, Cpl ?, Cpl ?, Lt ?, Lt ?, WO Gary Handsen.  Centre Row: Lt Izzo, Lt Harrison, Cpl ?, Pte (W)Linda Pugh, Cpl Murphy, Cpl (W) Sandra Bullock, Pte Barry MacDonald, Cpl (W) Dawes, Sgt ?.  Front row: Capt Robert Milburn, MWO LeCavalier, Capt Young, Maj Sherman Veinotte, Maj Watt, Capt Brooks, Sgt Charlebois.  (If you recognize and can identify any I've missed, please e-mail me and I will update)

3 Intelligence Company, Halifax Nova Scotia, on exercise at Camp Aldershot, Fall 1975.  Rear Row: Barry MacDonald, Lorne Cooper, Sherman Veinotte in the Jeep, Ken Young. Front Row: Ebony Nash, Hal Pugh, Bob Milburn, Hal Skaarup, Wes Von Papineau.

Basic Parachutist Course, Canadian Airborne Centre (CABC), CFB Edmonton, Alberta, Sep 1975 (Author 2nd row, 2nd from left)

Canadian Forces Parachute Team, the Skyhawks, Author exiting a de Havilland Single Otter over Mountainview, Ontario, Aug 1977.

From 1977 to 1979 he was a member of the Canadian Forces Parachute Team (The Sky Hawks) based at the Canadian Airborne Centre (CABC), CFB Edmonton, Alberta.

Militia Intelligence Concentration, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nov 1980.  The author was serving with the Northern Alberta Militia District Intelligence Company.

From 1981 to 1983 he served as the SO3 Intelligence Staff Officer at HQ CF Europe (CFE) in Lahr, Germany, shown here with a Soviet-built T-62 tank, at Hohenfels training centre, Germany.

While on duty in theatre, he earned his German Army Parachute wings jumping out of this Sikorsky Sea Stallion with 1 Luftlanddivision, at Calv, Germany, 30 June 1982.

The Author received his Canadian Forces decoration (CD) in Feb1983 as a reserve Captain while serving at CFE in Lahr.

Shortly afterwards, he was sworn into the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch, Regular Force, as a Second Lieutenant on 19 July 1983, by LCol Robinson, HQ CFE G3.

The Author completed the Basic Intelligence Officer 82A, BIOC Course 8301 at CFSIS on 23 Nov 1983, and remained with the school as an Instructor until March 1984, when he was posted to Ottawa, where he served as an Intelligence Analyst until the summer of 1986.

From 1986 to 1989, he served as the Regimental Intelligence Officer for the Canadian Airborne Regiment, which was at that time part of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) based at CFB Petawawa, Ontario.  During his Airborne service he took part in a 7-month United Nations (UN) deployment to Nicosia, Cyprus from August 1986 to February 1987.

He earned his British Parachute Wings while jumping with the Red Devils Parachute Team in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Canadian Forces Staff School Course 69, Toronto, Ontario, Sep 1987.

In June 1989 he was posted to the HQ and Signals Squadron, 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG) based in Lahr, Germany, where he served three years as the G2 Operations Officer, spending a great deal of time in an M577 Command Post Carrier.

(DND Photo)

1991, Capt H.A. Skaarup briefing SACEUR General John R. Galvin and LGen George R. Joulwan and BGen J.J.M.R. Gaudreau, Brigade HQ, G2 Section, M577 Command Post, during Fallex 91.

(DND Photo)

4 CMBG HQ and Signals Squadron Officers and Senior NCOs, Lahr, Germany, January 1992.  Present in the photo are (Left to Right):

Fourth row: Capt Barbier, Capt Lapointe, Capt Bayes, Sgt Branchaud, MWO Moring, MWO Euteneier, MWO Landry, MWO Mackenzie, Sgt Wills, Sgt Bolke, WO Forcier, Capt Jones, Sgt Paradis, MWO Holleley

Third row: Mr Johnston, Capt Fitzsimmons, MWO Anderson, Sgt Tetreault, Sgt Rhyno, Sgt Castonquay, Sgt Tremblay, Sgt Macdonald, Sgt Snodgrass, WO Teakles, PO2 Hunter, Sgt Dunlop, MWO MacLeod, WO Poulin, Sgt Chaykowsky, Mr Schlager

Second row: Capt Haindl, Capt Roth, Capt Hill, WO Sutcliffe, Capt Beauchemin, Capt Murray, Capt Cressman, Capt Kiropoulos, Sgt Schenk, Sgt Mcphee, WO Nepton, WO Power, WO Macgillivary, Capt Gibson, Sgt Beaulieu.

Sitting: Maj Rousseau, Maj Levesque, Maj Grant, Mr Dickson, CWO Desjardins, LCol Bastien, BGen Addy, Maj Francki, Capt Raymond, CWO Lapierre, Capt Angiolini, Maj Stocker, Capt Skaarup.

FallEx 1989, Germany.

On his return to Canada he served as an Instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) at CFB Borden, Ontario and two years later as the Intelligence Directing Staff Officer and Base G2 at the Tactics School, part of the Combat Training Centre (CTC), at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

In May 1997, he earned his Master’s degree in War Studies with the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston, Ontario. He is shown here in the top row 2nd from the right. Dr. Ron Haycock in the purple robes, was the Chair of War Studies and Dean of Arts (and a world authority on the Ross Rifles and Sir Samuel Hughes). Ed Denbeigh, top left, and I, were both serving officers in the Intelligence Branch. Bradley Shoebottom is on the far right in the second row. CBC Correspondent Joe Schlessinger received an honorary degree with our group.

From 23 June to 30 December 1997, Major Skaarup served as the Commanding Officer (CO) of the Canadian National Intelligence Centre (CANIC) with the NATO-led Peace Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Following a year-long Technical Science Course at RMC, he was posted to the J2 Exercise Section at North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) HQ in Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1999 to 2003.  He was on duty in Cheyenne Mountain when the 11 Sep 2001 (911) terrorist attacks took place.  On his return to Canada in 2003, he served with the Land Forces Atlantic Area (LFAA) in Halifax, Nova Scotia as the area G2.

Major Skaarup at the King's tomb in Kabul.

Major Skaarup with three Afghan Police Commanders at the Kabul Garrison Police HQ.

From January to July 2004, he was the Deputy G2 and Chief of Intelligence Assessments on the staff of the Kabul Multinational Brigade (KMNB), as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in Kabul, Afghanistan.  In 2006 he was posted to 3 Area Support Group (3ASG), CFB Gagetown, where he served as the Deputy G3 Operations until his retirement on 8 August 2011.

Our military team with the Kabul Multi-national Brigade in Kabul in 2004 came from many different countries, including those shown here from Turkey, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Spain, joined by our Canadians just having a morning coffee in Camp Warehouse. Imagine the idea of 40 different countries including us, keeping the lid on conflict together, and as a result making a difference. When we don't, you have what is taking place now in the Ukraine and the Middle East. For those who think we are living in hard times in Canada - you have no idea the gift you have of being Canadian and living here instead of over there right now. Say thankyou for that gift, and pray that what is "over there" doesn't come here.

In December 2014 Hal was appointed by Canada's Minister of National Defence as the Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel of 3 Intelligence Company, based in Halifax, for a three year period beginning on 1 February 2015 and ending on 1 Feb 2018.

Hal is the President of the York Sunbury Historical Society Board of Directors for the Fredericton Region Museum. He has interviewed a number of people who have had a close encounter with unexplained phenomena, including UFOlogist Stanton T. Friedman. Stanton was a nuclear physicist and resident of Fredericton. In his honour, we have built a UFO Exhibit open to the public - well worth a visit.

In 2022, Hal was honored with the Dr. Willie Eliot Research Award by the Community Museums Association of Prince Edward Island for his book on Cannon in Canada, Province by Province, Volume 2: Prince Edward Island.

Hal is married to Faye and they have two sons, Jonathan and Sean.  Jonathan and his wife Jocelyn have added grandson Cole and granddaughter Ashley to our family. Sean and his wife Mélyse have added granddaughters Owen and Auli, and grandson Bauer to our family.  Hal and Faye live in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he continues to write military history and works as a volunteer tour guide at the New Brunswick Military History Museum at 5 Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown, and serves as the President of the York Sunbury Historical Society Board of Directors for the Fredericton Region Museum.

In February 2023, Hal was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal for his volunteer work in the Province of New Brunswick.

Now retired, I am the very proud grandfather of grandsons Cole and Bauer, and granddaughters Ashley, Owen and Auli (shown here laughing at grandpa), and grandson Bauer, thanks to my wife Faye, our sons and their wives, Jonathan and Jocelyn in Attleboro, Massachusetts, and Sean and Melyse living in Stittsville near Ottawa.

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