New RCAF reservist looks forward to serving her country

News Article / March 7, 2018

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March 8 is International Women’s Day

By Captain Trevor Ackland

January 19, 2018, was a big day at 5 Wing Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, as Aviator Lorna Clark was sworn in as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Aviator Clark is the second member of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay community to join the RCAF Reserve, and is a proud member of the Métis community. Her enrolment is also special for the wing because Aviator Clark was recruited by Master Corporal Krista Blizzard, the first member of the RCAF Reserve  to be recruited from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“I’ve always had a strong desire to join the RCAF, since I was a teenager,” Aviator Clark says. “I never thought it was something I could attain. I have other female [family] members who have joined the Army. My admiration for them is very strong for going after this as a career goal.”

She has been working at 5 Wing since 2013, beginning in the base kitchen and then with Personal Support Programs and in the wing orderly room. She credits this time working with her military friends as an opportunity to appreciate the special connections and bonds that are made during a military career, and the family-minded atmosphere that exists at 5 Wing. She says that this makes it “feel like a great place to belong".

With the support of her family and military colleagues, Aviator Clark applied for the Canadian Forces Aboriginal Entry Program (CFAEP) in 2016. She was accepted, and attended the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec. The course is for Indigenous people who are considering a career in the Canadian Armed Forces, but does not require enrolling in the CAF either before attending or after graduating from the course.

There, she spent three weeks being introduced to military life, learning military drill, going through basic weapons training and map and compass training, and morning inspections. She says it was an eye-opening experience because she learned what opportunities existed for her in the RCAF.

Aviator Clark also learned more about herself and what she is capable of achieving. “I received an award after completion of CFAEP, the Seven Grandfather Teaching Award, something I am very proud of as it was voted among my peers,” she says. The Seven Grandfather Teachings are Truth, Humility, Honesty, Courage, Love, Wisdom, and Respect. This award is given to a member of the course whose peers feel exhibits these characteristics.

When she returned to Goose Bay, Clark decided she wanted a career in the RCAF. She upgraded her education and wrote the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test. She qualified for many trades, but her first career choice was imagery technician. Now that she is enrolled, she looks forward both to learning the skills required and to fulfilling a lifelong goal.

Aviator Clark says she is “looking forward to a new career and all the new opportunities that will come along with it, and, mostly, serving my country will be the greatest reward”.

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