Honorary Colonel MWO (retired) Colleen Calvert

Biography / May 1, 2020

Colleen joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) from her hometown of Edmonton Alberta in 1974 at the age of 17 as one of the first trail blazing female airframe technicians. Over the span of her military career she worked on many aircraft types at numerous bases including Shearwater (2 tours), Cold Lake, Cornwallis (recruit instructor), Borden and Moosejaw Saskatchewan. Colleen’s 21 year career saw many firsts; she completed her career in 1995 as the senior female Aviation Technician in the Canadian Forces.

Upon retirement form the CAF Colleen realized her passion to continue to work with the CAF especially CAF families. Colleen went to work with military families in the Voluntary - not for profit sector at the Shearwater Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) and worked in different capacities, such as Public Relations, Volunteer Coordinator and Deputy Director. In 1999 she assumed the duties of Executive Director for the Halifax MFRC.

Since 1999, as the Executive Director, Colleen provided responsive and innovative family support programs to Maritime Forces Atlantic and 12 Wing members and their families. Responsible for all of Central, Northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton. The Halifax & Region MFRC has been on the leading edge of CAF family support. Under Colleen’s leadership the Halifax & Region MFRC has been recognized as leaders and innovators in many areas of family support, for example family violence initiatives, marketing, deployment support, program development and outreach to reserve and regular force members and their families in rural areas. In addition they became one of the first Family Resource Centers to become professionally accredited.

Colleen has been awarded an Admirals commendation for outstanding leadership in family support of HMCS Chicoutimi, the Admirals Cup for the top unit in MARLANT in 2005, an Admirals commendation for outstanding support of families during Op Apollo. She is the recipient of the Canadian Forces Decoration, Canada 125, the Queens Diamond Jubilee and was invested as a Dame in the International Order of St George in 2015 for her work with military families.

Colleen is an energetic and lively speaker who is well known for her humorous and entertaining presentations. She has worked with a large number of not for profit organizations, and has represented the Canadian Forces family support program at International, National and Regional conferences. In 2005 she was appointed by the Minstry of National Defence to the CAF Ombudsman’s Advisory committee where she served for five years.

Colleen’s love of adventure has seen her jump out of airplanes, learn to scuba dive, survive a flight with the Snowbirds, earn her private pilots license, learn to play the trumpet and is now attempting the game of golf.

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