If there’s one thing Sgt. Caroline Linteau has learned in her sixteen-year career with the CAF, it’s that weather though often overlooked, is a crucial component for effective CAF operations. As Meteorology Technician, it is Linteau’s job to track the weather and stay up-to-date to allow the Army, Navy and Air Force to carry out missions safely.
Linteau started her career with the Royal Canadian Air Force after working several years as a mail carrier for Canada Post. In search of a better life and realizing she needed a new challenge in her life, she joined the military in 2002 and never looked back.
However, Linteau’s first choice for a trade was not a meteorology technician.
“In my life I always say nothing happens for nothing, so I joined in this trade, and I just love it,” said Linteau.
Her job as a meteorology technician requires her to track the weather and report any significant changes. The weather can make a significant impact for the military, and Linteau says, “it makes a huge impact to an operation.”
For the Air Force, keeping track of the weather is important for the safety of a flight.
“The ceiling, visibility, and winds are extremely important to land and take off, but during the flight, it is our job ensure that there is not icing and turbulence in the air because that can cause crashes,” noted Linteau.
For the Army, humidity and the wind play a significant role when launching weapons. And for the Navy, winds determine the intensity of waves.
In 2008, Linteau got a chance to see first-hand how important the weather can be to an operation when she was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months.
“Weather is important. I learned you have to be accurate with what you do and pay attention to all in an operation because it changes so quickly, something that surprised me…you have to be aware all the time,” recalled Linteau.
Currently, Linteau is teaching at the school of Meteorology in Winnipeg. She imparts her wisdom and experiences to new recruits hoping to make their mark in this trade.
Looking back, Linteau doesn’t regret her decision and acknowledges the military has made a significant change in her life.
“The military developed me into a better person, in my point of view. I can now be in front of a group and talk without any issues. Compared to before that, when I talked, I couldn’t place two sentences together without being uncomfortable. My level of confidence has increased considerably,” said Linteau.
Linteau believes it’s an exciting time to be a woman in the CAF, as new doors open for servicewomen and they reach new heights. She strongly encourages other women to join.
“I really think the women bring a new fresh air to the military since women think differently than men. This makes some changes at all levels in the military. It changes the diversity like conflict resolution, different points of view, political view, etc.,” said Linteau.