Hard work and dedication speak for itself: Major Catherine Cabot

News Article / March 10, 2022

Emily Lindahl, D Air PA

In search of a career that would allow her to travel and offer unique work opportunities, while following the path taken by several family members, including her brother and father, Major Catherine Cabot felt the Royal Canadian Air Force was a natural choice. She joined through the Direct Entry Officer (DEO) program as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 2007.

Maj Cabot currently serves as an Aerospace Engineer Officer (AERO) with 3 Air Maintenance Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville, QC. She is responsible for engineering, maintenance, and management of military aircraft, an occupation that is key within the organization. “Aircraft maintenance is critical to supporting operations and ultimately enables pilots to fly RCAF aircraft,” she states.

Along her career path Maj Cabot has encountered negativity. “I was told that I wouldn’t progress very far in the ranks because I am DEO and did not attend military college,” she notes. “Since then I have had other supervisors who did not believe in me.”

Despite the negativity, this has not stopped her determination to succeed. Maj Cabot continues to believe in herself, and lets her work hard and dedication speak for itself. She offers this advice to women both in regards to the military and aviation: “Do not be afraid to ask for things and volunteer for opportunities. The worst that can happen is that you will be told no. But if you never ask, nothing exciting will ever happen.”

Among the opportunities Maj Cabot has experienced with the RCAF was a deployment to Afghanistan as part of Operation ATTENTION, Roto 3 from June to November 2013. One memory that stands out more than others is when her boyfriend (now husband) greeted her upon her arrival in Afghanistan. “He was finishing up his deployment as I was starting mine and he helped me settle in for the first two weeks before he left to go home,” she said.

Perhaps her most unique task to date was the chance to work for the Chief of the Defence Staff as an aide-de-camp from 2018 to 2019. For Maj Cabot, it was an amazing opportunity to see the Canadian Armed Forces from a strategic and political perspective. Yet it was not without its challenges. “I lost the CDS’ luggage on a work trip,” she shared. “I was mortified, but everything worked out!”

A previous boss took the time to regularly discuss the importance of work-life balance with Maj Cabot. This became increasingly important as she juggled demanding responsibilities at work with all the other facets of her life including her role as a wife and mother of two young children and her part-time doctoral studies which she hopes to complete in 2024. All the more so now that her spouse is currently on a six-month deployment.

To ensure she takes time for herself, she gets active by running. “It allows me to stay in shape but more importantly it is profoundly significant for my mental well-being. It allows me to escape from all the stress and let my mind wander.”

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