From her early beginnings in the Air Cadets, to now commanding the Canadian Forces' elite 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the Snowbirds, Lt.-Col. Maryse Carmichael has always operated with the same philosophy – work hard and follow your passions. The first woman selected to fly with the Snowbirds in 2000, and then a decade later the first woman chosen to lead the squadron, it is clear the two-time history maker has the right stuff!
Lieutenant-Colonel Carmichael was born in Québec City, Québec in 1971. She began her career in aviation as an Air cadet from 1984 to 1988 as a member of 630 Squadron, in Beauport, Québec. Enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1990, Carmichael received her Wings at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on completion of pilot training in January 1994. Having now logged more than 3300 hours with the Canadian Forces, Carmichael's past roles include instructing student pilots in Moose Jaw, Sask. in the early nineties, flying the Bombardier-Canadair Challenger for the 434 Squadron based in Greenwood, Nova Scotia, transporting VIPs while on the Challenger in Ottawa, serving as Deputy Wing Operations Officer at 3 Wing Bagotville, Que., and flying the CC-130 Hercules with 436 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton.
During the summer months, Carmichael leads 22 people that travel across North America presenting their air display to millions of spectators, as well as more than 60 people that remain at their home base in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan that support, maintain and train at home during the summer months. Lt.-Col Carmichael is married to another Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col Greenough who commands the 2 Canadian Forces Flight Training Squadron.
In 2005, the Women's Executive Network named Carmichael as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. Carmichael's philosophy of pursuing excellence, following your passion and never stop learning continues to inspire a generation of young women.