The Canadian military has women in combat roles. This doesn’t surprise me. But it does surprise a lot of people; internationally and here in Canada. But there is going to be a point in my lifetime where this will not be discussed anymore. And I look forward to that.
Brigadier General Chris Whitecross is one of two most senior ranked women in the Canadian Forces. She is currently deployed to Afghanistan until June 2011.Whitecross enrolled in the Canadian Forces when she was nineteen in 1982, joining the Canadian Military Engineers.
I was fairly naive when I started out. But at the time I knew, probably subconsciously, that I was one of a few, certainly in my trade. And that if I wanted to ensure that the women that came later were going to have a good career, a good experience in the military, that we had to get through these things.
Her postings have taken her from the former Republic of Yugoslavia as part of the United Nations Protection Force to almost every province in Canada. She was Canada’s first woman military leader to head up the Joint Task Force North in Yellowknife.
Discussing how she managed to raise a family with such a demanding career she comments:
I’m particularly lucky. I have a husband who got out of the military when we made our decision, and he’s my support network that has allowed me to do what I’ve felt that I’ve needed to do in order to carry on with my career. He’s the one that’s provided the stability in the home. You know we moved eight or nine or ten times in the last 15 years.
Brigadier General Whitecross was promoted to her current rank in March 2007.
She is married and has three children.