Dakota. Every game against Dakota meant big battles on the boards. They were always the most physical games and a challenging back and forth on the scoreboard, with game results often decided in the last few minutes/seconds.
“Being presented with the John Curry Memorial Award by Mr. Leo Harley (coach, teacher and mentor). Being selected for the award was an honour but the most meaningful part was receiving it from Leo Harley. Throughout my high school hockey years Harley was my biggest supporter. Not only did he believe in me as a player, student and leader - he made it possible for me to attend games / practices while my dad was deployed, and my mom was unable to leave work. He was an extremely dedicated coach and when I think of my high school hockey experience, he is the first person that comes to mind.”
What I am most thankful for in my high school experience?
Our family moved to Winnipeg the year that I would be starting high school. I walked into Shaftesbury High School on the first day of Grade 9 not knowing a single person in the city other than my family. I was no stranger to moving and starting fresh in a new city but high school was a bit daunting when you're alone. I will always be so grateful for sports - and the teammates who quickly became my closest friends at school. The hockey team is where I was my happiest, and I will always appreciate being a part of the team.”
Hockey after high school:
After high school I played for the Manitoba Women's Junior Hockey League (MWJHL) for the Western Predators for four years. I had a big first year being awarded MVP, Most Sportsmanlike, Rookie of the Year, and Leading Scorer. I was grateful to be selected as an Assistant Captain in my first year and the team Captain for my second to fourth year.
After I graduated University, I continued to play hockey for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in Petawawa, ON, Bagotville, QC, and now Ottawa, ON. I played and continue to play in a co-ed intramural league as well as for the Women's Base team in each location. I was the Team Captain in Petawawa for 5 years and was fortunate to play in several Regional and National Championships within the CAF.
Life after high school:
After high school I applied for the Regular Officer Training Program within the CAF. I was selected for a full scholarship and attended the University of Manitoba while playing in the MWJHL during my four-years at school. I applied for the Asper School of Business and graduated with Honours in 2014 with a Bachelor's of Commerce in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations.
Following my graduation (2014) I was posted to 2 Field Ambulance (unit) at the 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) in Petawawa, Ontario. During my time in Petawawa I was a Medical Platoon Commander (lead the field deployable medical treatment facilities), the Ambulance Platoon Commander (lead the field deployable ambulance crews who conduct the pick up of casualties from the point of injury, and provide care during transport to the medical facility). By far the coolest opportunity I had in Petawawa was to lead a small team of 8 in an international tactical medical competition. The competition was a two-day event that involved multiple stand scenarios in Strensall, U.K. as well as a number of physically demanding challenges. Our team was the first international team to win the competition since its origin in 1966 (by far the greatest memory I have so far in my career). My final position in the unit was as the Operations Officer, where I was responsible for all unit support to ongoing exercises / taskings, domestic and international deployments, and High Readiness tasks such as Disaster Assistance Response Team - DART (international humanitarian aid), Major Air Disaster Team - MAJAID (response to a large aircraft crash in Canada), Immediate Response Unit - IRU (response teams for Provincial/Territorial requests for assistance, eg. Flooding, Fires, COVID-19 Long Term Care Facilities, etc.) (from 2014-2019).
After Petawawa I was selected for a year-long French language training program. I was posted to Bagotiville, Quebec for the year to be fully immersed in the language and successfully achieved a bilingual language profile (2019-2020).
After Bagotville I was posted to Ottawa (2020) where I worked at the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) as the Medical Planner for Joint Task Force North (northern Canada). During the pandemic I was heavily involved in the medical planning and support to the Northern Territories and spent over three months in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories while involved in planning for large-scale exercises and operations. As part of the medical team at CJOC I was also heavily involved in the delivering of COVID-19 vaccines to all of our deployed personnel. I also deployed for Op GLOBE to assist the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in delivering medical supplies to India and Pakistan.
This summer I was transferred to a new job where I am currently working for the Directorate of Health Services Operations. We continue to remain busy with the support of ongoing requests for assistance from the Provinces and Territories (BC - flooding), SK - Critical Care hospital support), etc. I had a number of incredible opportunities and genuinely love working with the Health Services for the CAF. These past couple years have been challenging with the pandemic, but I am very proud to be a part of this team.
I was recently promoted to the rank of Maj and continue to stay heavily involved in sports and fitness, playing both hockey and soccer and competing in fitness challenges such as the Iron Warrior (32km rucksack march, 4km canoe portage, 8km canoe, and 6km rucksack march).
I am currently living in Ottawa with my husband, Chuck Long. We just bought our first home and have two adopted retired racing greyhounds that take up all of the room on our couch.