CAF Story | Women soldiers – How CAF cultural norms turned the world upside-down for one Haitian girl

Video / September 4, 2020

Transcript

I’m Master Corporal Roche. I’m the Human Resource Administrator for 2 Air Movements Squadron.

I was around 10 or 12 years old. I think it was 1991 when the United Nations came to Haiti to help for the first time. So that was the first time I saw women in the military. That didn’t exist in Haiti before. I didn’t really see a difference between the men and women when they came. I could see that everyone was just doing their job, no matter what. That really impressed me.

So seeing real women in real life doing that kind of job, I realized that it was possible for me to achieve my own dream. Once I came to Canada and was in high school, recruiting sergeants came in to give us information on joining the reserve. It reminded me of my dream of joining the military. So, for me, that was the sign that it was time.

When I told my mother that I wanted to join the Forces, she didn’t want to hear about it because of her experience in Haiti. She lived through the Papa Doc Duvalier period, Tonton Macoute and all that. So she didn’t really see it in a good light. It’s understandable, but I had to get past that. I wanted to have my own experience by joining the Forces.

It was and continues to be a rewarding experience. I was able to improve myself. The discipline side comes with so many benefits, so many opportunities. You can really excel when you’re in the Forces. Today, my mother is very proud of where I am now. She didn’t think I would have stayed this long and had such a long career. I’ve been in the Forces for 19 years. I have a great career and if I had to do it over again, I would in a heartbeat.

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