I joined the Militia as a Private in 1979, serving at Ottawa Militia District HQ and training with 3 Field Engineers. After high school, I transferred to the Regular Force as an OCdt and trained as Air Traffic Controller. Operational air traffic tours included Cold Lake, Alberta and Lahr, Germany, serving in a variety of Aerodrome, Radar and Terminal/Approach Control and Supervisory positions.
In 1993 I entered the training world, serving five years as an Instructor and Standards Officer at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, ON, learning a little about Air Weapons Control as ATC and AWC amalgamated to become the Aerospace Control (AEC) occupation, and serving two years on Exchange with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Air Traffic Control School in the UK.
Command and staff tours as a Major include Wing Air Traffic Control Officer in 14 Wing Greenwood NS; A3 Aerospace Standards and Regulations and AEC Standards and Evaluation Team at 1 Canadian Air Division HQ; and as an Air Operations Officer on the Canadian NORAD Region Battle Staff.
After Command and Staff College in Toronto, I served at the Air Traffic Management Coordination Office in Ottawa, working as CF liaison officer to NAV CANADA, Transport Canada and to NATO for all Air Traffic Management and airspace issues. Most interesting in this post-9/11 timeframe was work with NATO Deployed Air Traffic Management and the airspace security planning for the 2010 Olympics.
In 2009 I returned to my “training roots” as Commandant of the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control Operations in Cornwall, ON, and during this tour was tasked as Regional Air Operations Centre Director for OP PODIUM during the Vancouver Olympics. In 2011 I was posted OUTCAN for the third time, to NATO HQ Supreme Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, Virginia, filling a variety of NATO training and exercise roles, including support to Afghanistan pre-deployment training, Ministerial Advisor training, and work as a NATO Gender Advisor, focusing on gender perspective in military operations. This offered incredible opportunity to meet some amazing leaders, and in particular to participate in the “Female Leaders in Security and Defence” forum.
Currently I am Commanding Officer of the Regional Cadet Support Unit (Northwest), the CAF unit responsible to support the Sea, Army and Air Cadet program across the three Prairie Provinces and all three Territories. This is a new and an amazing experience for me. The Canadian Cadet Organization is the best youth development program in the country, providing incredible opportunities, challenges and experiences for our youth.
My career has led me to duty from Australia and New Zealand, to Scandinavia and the Baltic States, to the Mediterranian and the Middle East. I now have the privilege of travelling throughout the Prairies and the north to visit Cadet units and talk to our leaders of tomorrow.