Colonel George Petrolekas served for years as an army officer (regular and reserve) and as a senior executive in the telecommunications industry.
As an army officer, he was in mechanized units in various command roles and also served at FMC HQ and on the Divisional staff. He transferred to the reserves rising to command of a Regiment. Col. Petrolekas served in Bosnia in 93-94 and participated in establishing part of the Sarajevo Total Exclusion Zone, the implementation of the Washington peace accord and the transfer of authority in Srebrenica. He also served with NATO and in Afghanistan. In the latter conflict, he became recognized as a pre-eminent authority on NATO and Coalition warfare serving as a confidant and trusted agent between the Canadian CDS and senior NATO and U.S. officials.
Col. Petrolekas helped prepare every ISAF and U.S. commander and command groups for Afghan service in the years 2003-2007. He received commendations from several ISAF Commanders including Gen. Rick Hillier, Gen. Sir David Richards, Lt-Gen Mauro Delvecchio, and the DCOM JFC Brunssum, amongst others.
He established many of the protocols used to this day for the evacuation of Canadian wounded through Europe and received the Meritorious Service Medal for his work. He served as a strategic advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff for which he received a CDS commendation for the management of the Afghan detainee file.
Col. Petrolekas’ writing has appeared in: The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The National Interest, The International Herald Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and The Montreal Gazette. He has been a commentator on many television networks in Canada, the U.S. and Europe in both English and French.
He has briefed U.K. Parliamentarians, U.S. Divisional staffs, the Pakistani War College, the Chinese Institute for International Strategic Studies and the French War College (IHEDN), the latter inviting him for a month long tour of the Pacific to audit their regional session on strategic issues.
He is a co-author of various research papers including the annual The Strategic Outlook for Canada, the Implementation of NATO’s Strategic Concept – a DFAIT policy paper, and has acted as an advisor to officers of Parliament such as the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
In business, Col. Petrolekas worked as director of marketing for ABL Canada and Memotec Teleglobe and has led sales and marketing efforts in some 90 countries notably building telecoms networks in Venezuela, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Mexico amongst others.