Sergeant Gregory Kruse
Sergeant Gregory John Kruse was born on 2 December 1968 in Campbellton, New Brunswick. He joined the Canadian Forces on 13 September 1989 and completed his recruit training at the Canadian Forces Recruit School in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia.
He then began his military engineer training at the Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering (CFSME) Canadian Forces Base Chilliwack, British Columbia by attending the Basic Field Engineer Course. Upon completion, he was posted to 4 Engineer Support Regiment (4 ESR) CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick.
Sgt Kruse’s tour of duty with 4 ESR lasted for 11 years where he learned his trade and progressed from a Sapper to MCpl. During this time he was employed in a variety of positions within 22 Field Troop, 61 Resources Troop, and Regimental Transport. He deployed with elements of 4 ESR on a number of occasions.
The first, in 1994, was a two month surge to Croatia in support of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment to undertake mine clearance operations. Sgt Kruse also deployed in 1999 for a six month mission to Bosnia in support of Operation Palladium and in 2001 to Eritrea with Task Force East Africa where he was employed as the Water Supply Detachment Commander at the National Command Element camp in Dekhemare.
In July 2002, Sgt Kruse was posted to CFSME where he was employed for a five year period as a Conventional Munitions, Mine Warfare and Demolition Instructor, eventually becoming the Second in Command of the Demolitions Cell. His exemplary personal conduct and professionalism were evident in the execution of his duties as he diligently set out to train what would become the Sappers of tomorrow.
His duties included teaching Combat Engineers basic engineer skills at the individual, section and troop levels. He was passionate in his instruction and ensured no detail was overlooked, much to the chagrin of those in his charge for the training activity.
Sgt Kruse was posted to 2 Combat Engineer Regiment in July 2007, where he was employed as a Section Commander with 4 Troop, 24 Field Squadron. The skill sets and expertise that had been developed at 4 ESR, honed and sharpened at CFSME, would serve him well with the direct beneficiaries being his section, troop and squadron as they prepared for deployment to Afghanistan in August 2008.
Upon arrival in Afghanistan, Sgt Kruse’s section mettle was quickly tested as they were the first of 24 Fd Sqn sections employed in a close support role on operations. They responded brilliantly and had the full confidence of the numerous Battle Group elements that they supported; a true testament to Sgt Kruse’s ability to train and lead his section.
Sgt Kruse’s easy-going nature and humour belied his strength in leadership. He was without fault, dedicated to the welfare and well being of his soldiers and they in turn reciprocated by placing their trust in his leadership where it matters most for a soldier... on the field of battle.
Sgt Gregory John Kruse is survived by his loving wife Jill, his daughter, Kari and twins Megan and Victoria.
A tribute from Gregory's Wife, Jill Kruse, with contributions from their three daughters Kari, Victoria and Megan Kruse:
My husband was courageous,
My Daddy was brave,
My Dad was very loving,
My Daddy is very special to me.