Women's History Month (2 of 5): Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon

Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon, currently Canadian commander of Joint Task Force Iraq, talks about how her military journey started on the Shearwater base as a pilot and has culminated in her becoming the first pilot Colonel commander of that same squadron.

Women's History Month (2 of 5): Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon

Women's History Month

"The purpose of a woman's life is just the same as the purpose of a man's life - that she may make the best possible contribution to the generation in which she is living."

Louise McKinney, Member of the Famous Five

My name is Colonel Lise Bourgon. I am the Wing Commander at 12 Wing Shearwater.

On screen: Colonel Lise Bourgon, Commander, 12 Wing Shearwater

I arrived on this wing as a brand new lieutenant with shiny wings twenty years ago and it was my first operational wing. The last 20 years this wing has been my family, so taking over as the Wing Commander last year was a pretty special moment.

I came in with the attitude that I was always going to do my best and see where that would lead me. I've always told myself also that I would enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

I'm proud of all the successes and the journey. I think the Canadian Armed Forces today are the most integrated service in the world. Although our numbers are still low compared to the desired target of 25 per cent, these are simply numbers.

The fact is that there are no longer any differences between men and women serving in the Force, and the opportunities are there for everyone. Numbers don't define gender integration. Opportunities given to women do.

Follow your dream. The majority of the limits out there are self-imposed. We also have to remember that success is not judged on salary, rank or position but on our own happiness and our feeling of self-achievement. In the end, the choice is yours. You can be whatever you want to be.

On screen: Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon, Commander of Joint Task Force-Iraq

Since recording this video, Colonel Lise Bourgon has been promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General. She is now the commander of Joint Task Force-Iraq, and is leading approximately 600 personnel combatting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Special thanks to
Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon

For their gracious collaboration in this video, thank you to
Royal Canadian Air Force
12 Wing Imaging
National Defence

Photo credits
Royal Canadian Air Force


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