Brad Croteau is the Research and Development Coordinator for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Director General Space. Brad’s role is to coordinate research and development for the RCAF’s future space capabilities.
Formerly a cadet with the 644 Camrose Cougars Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron, Brad knew that Augustana coaches were instrumental in bringing biathlon to the cadets.
Brad chose Augustana, in part, because he wanted to participate in the Vikings Biathlon Program. Biathlon taught him the value of goal setting and teamwork, even when progress appeared to be slow. “My best memories at Augustana are of pre-season ski camp and post-race comradery with the biathlon team,” Brad remembers, “and later the climbing wall shenanigans.” The community of climbers helped Brad develop a teamwork mentality. “Along with the practical skills of marksmanship and physical aptitude from these sports,” Brad reflects, “these team-based lessons helped me immensely in my military career.”
By his second year, Brad had signed up as a part-time reservist with the 745 Communication Squadron of the Canadian Armed Forces. This allowed him to complete university studies while simultaneously learning his trade as an Army Signals Officer. Brad believes this combination of education was perfect in preparing him for his future career challenges.
Brad credits Augustana’s computing science program with preparing him to view problems analytically. He adds, “political studies and the liberal arts approach prepared me for understanding the human organizations and interactions, on which the technical aspects of my work are dependent.”
By 2010, Brad was working full time as a troop commander, responsible for leadership of headquarters movement in battlefield exercises, and he then went on to work in IT support for the base in Edmonton. Education has continued to be very much a part of his life: he attained a pilot’s license and an MSc in Space Studies, with honours, from American Military University.
Since 2014, Brad has been in Ottawa involved in the developing domain of military Space, advising on the tactical and strategic uses (and defense) of satellites. In this role, he has been deployed to the Middle East, as part of the coalition countering ISIL, and Latvia, as part of Canada’s mission to assist in the security of Baltic nations.
Brad deeply enjoys his work: “I get to talk about Space every day!” He feels privileged to view the real-time linkages between objects and activities in orbit, and their connections to the tactical actions of soldiers, ships and aircraft. His position allows him to serve Canada and do some of the most captivating work imaginable, aside from, perhaps, actually travelling into Space!
In a perfect world, Brad would love to contribute to furthering technologies that could lead to human colonization of the solar system. Considering all that Brad has accomplished thus far, it seems no goal is out of reach.