Steve Daniel Celebrates His Black Heritage
As Soldier On commemorates Black History Month, Steve Daniel, Soldier On’s FIRST member, spoke about his experience in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Steve is the son of a white mother who emigrated from Finland and black father who emigrated from Barbados.
He learned about the Canadian military through the Army Cadet system and served in the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) from 1993 to 2007. His career goal was to become a paratrooper, which he remained for most of his career.
Steve realized that he never learned about black soldiers who served Canada while he was in school. When he joined the Canadian Army in 1993, he noticed that there were very few people of colour in the ranks. “Of course, I did meet black members within the RCR, many of whom became mentors to me,” he said; though he hoped to one day see more representation in the Army.
He is happy that more awareness has come out about the contributions of black soldiers during various wars of the past few decades and he is proud that he was able to continue that legacy of serving Canada, especially as his son follows his example.
“My experience in the military is one of inclusion and some of my closest friends are people that I have served with,” he added. “I'm pleased to see the Armed Forces has become more multicultural over the years.”