Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer Kevin Junor has a new job. The military officer and 2011 Harry Jerome award winner has been appointed the Ontario Correctional Institute’s superintendent of programs.
“Kevin’s appointment is no risk really with his distinguished military background, recognized leadership in the community and years service in the Ontario Public Service,” Correctional Services deputy minister Jay Hope said in making the announcement. “We welcome him and the external perspective he brings to Correctional Services Ontario.”
The Army reservist is expected to spend a year at the OCI – a treatment centre for violent and sexual offenders – before moving on to the province’s bigger and progressively more complex detention centres.
“Initially, it’s going to be a learning experience for me,” he said. “As part of the leadership team, I will use my skills and knowledge to help the organization grow.”
Junor lost by just nine votes in his bid to become councillor in the Town of Caledon in last October’s municipal elections. He distinguished himself in Canada’s military prior to making the decision to engage in politics.
Born in England, Junor spent nearly a decade in Jamaica before coming to Canada in 1973. It was while he was at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute that he was introduced to the military after a recruiter visited the school in 1980.
Starting out as an infantry soldier in the Toronto Scottish Regiment, Junor was promoted to the rank of CWO in 1998 and later Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM), making him one of the youngest soldiers to achieve the two ranks by age 35. He was also the first Black to be appointed RSM for the Land Force Central Area infantry training exercise conducted in Kentucky 11 years ago.
One of the highlights of his military career was the six months he spent in Sierra Leone three years ago as part of Operation Sculpture which was Canada’s contribution to the British-led international military training team in the West African country. Their mission was to help the government rebuild its army following the country’s brutal civil war in which government troops committed nearly as many atrocities as the rebels.
As a reward for his contribution, Sierra Leone soldiers carved Junor’s image into a walking stick they presented him and conferred on him an African name, Konkor Marah.
Junor served as a Diversity Manager with the Ontario Public Service where he identified systemic barriers visible minorities face and advised on policies, directives and actions to eliminate these barriers.
He graduated in 1984 as a civil engineering technician and joined the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a laboratory technician prior to enlisting in the military.
The Seneca College Distinguished Alumni is a senior parishioner at North Peel Community Church in Caledon and a former chair of the town’s policing advisory council.