Well done/congrats to Sgt Leslie Blair, honoured as 2020 Captain Nicola Goddard Laureate. Wonderful award in memory of historic, heroic sacrifice. Tnx to Tony Battista.
This year's Captain Nichola Goddard Award laureate is:
Sergeant Leslie Blair, RCAF
On March 4, 2020, as part of the Ottawa Conference on Security & Defence during which foreign dignitaries, senior military decision-makers and thought leaders from all over the world will gather in Canada’s national capital, Sgt Leslie Blair will be honored for her leadership, courage, and accomplishments.
Captain Nichola Goddard (1980-2006), a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, was known to all as a trailblazer and a passionate leader. While serving in Afghanistan on the front lines, she became the first woman in Canadian history to lose her life in an active combat role. The award celebrates someone who, already in their early or mid-career, has succeeded in making a significant contribution to Canadian Security and Defence, and who embodies in action the Canadian values of inclusivity, innovation, and ethical leadership.
This year's laureate, Sgt Leslie Blair represents all of these. Sgt Blair joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2007 and currently serves as an Aviation Systems Technician with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Having completed her CH-148 Cyclone type course, she is currently posted at 12 Wing Shearwater in Nova Scotia, where she instructs within the 12 Wing’s Maritime Operational Training Squadron. In this role, she has shown innovation in how she teaches and mentors her students and encourages excellence, best exemplified by having set up the Top Student Airmanship Award for them to strive towards.
Sgt Blair is also an example to all for her generosity and volunteerism. She has raised funds for children with cancer and led the Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign with a CC-130 Hercules Pull, for which she earned a Wing Commander’s Commendation. She also cooperated with Soldiers Helping Soldiers to collect and distribute food for a downtown Halifax soup kitchen, and took part in a Christmas program with veterans who have had difficulty transitioning to civilian life.
Sgt Blair set a goal for herself to become a top 1% leader as a Non-Commissioned Member in the Canadian Armed Forces. Her goals demand focus and hard work. Outside of work, she continues her formal university education and second language training.
She has seized leadership opportunities in varied sectors of RCAF operations, in the military community, and her personal life. In each case, group cohesion and communication were the key elements of her success.