lt.-col-maryse-carmichael.jpgThe first female boss of the renowned Snowbirds aerobatic team walks toward her CT-114 Tutor jet and laughingly glances at the rudder to make it hasn't been painted pink.

There have been rumours it might happen, jokes Lt.-Col. Maryse Carmichael.

But the rudder isn't pink. The only thing that distinguishes this jet from a dozen or so others lined up on the tarmac are the black letters on the tail, "CO," for commanding officer.

Carmichael will break a sky-high glass ceiling Thursday by officially taking command of the Snowbirds, becoming the first woman to lead the squadron in its 40-year history.

"It took a little bit of time for women to become pilots (because) it's one of the non-traditional roles, Carmichael told The Canadian Press in an interview at the base in Moose Jaw, Sask.

"Then to gain the experience required to be in command of a squadron takes ... many years."

Carmichael is modest about taking on the ground-breaking role. She notes that while it's a first for the Snowbirds, women have already led other squadrons in the Canadian Forces.

"I don't want to downplay it, it is a fact," she said of being the first. "But really, for me this posting is about the squadron.

"I was on the team a few years ago and I was the first woman to fly with the Snowbirds and that was really different. But now this posting is really about commanding this squadron and commanding the men and women that really represent the Canadian Forces across Canada."

Click here for the full story:
CTV News Canada
Photo Credit:
Troy Fleece/The Canadian Press

Related Links:
More About Canada on AWR