Working in a fast-paced, heavy workload environment is no sweat for Mcpl. Karine Louis-Jacques. A full-time reservist, Louis-Jacques is the go-to expert in her role as the Assistant Supervisor, 2 Canadian Div PRL (Primary Reserve List).
Louis-Jacques has been in the military for more than two decades now. She joined in Feb. 1995.
She comes from a large military family with her grandfather, uncles, aunts and cousins all being part of the service at some point.
Before becoming a full-time reservist, Louis-Jacques was studying fashion design. However, when she got her full-time contract in 2001, she grabbed the opportunities by the horn and didn’t look back.
She remembers that year as being significant for a number of reasons. Namely, she remembers she was on an exchange in Belgium with her unit when 9/11 happened.
“That is the one (memory) that stands out to me the most, being in Europe through the 9/11 events with the members of my unit and living in Europe at the time,” recalled Louis-Jacques.
In her role as administrator, Louis-Jacques and her unit have a larger workload than most reserve units.
“We serve such a large number of members within the 2nd Division. If we compared ourselves to a normal reserve unit, we do a lot and just the fact that we constantly have to keep in mind the members, administratively and so on,” said the master corporal.
Because of her vast experience and workload as an administrator, she is often the go-to person for clerks from other reserve units and frequently advises those higher in the chain of command.
Her job often keeps her on her toes, working hard to check everything off her to-do list.
“I actually did this van diagram, as a joke, once of what I need to do versus what I actually get done during the day, and they don’t meet at all. They barely touch because there’s always some emergency,” joked Louis-Jacques.
She finds her major challenges during the course of her career have been the distances between her and her loved ones, causing her to miss events like the birth of her niece. But she looks at it with a positive attitude believing: “I think it’s a small sacrifice.”
Reflecting on her career, Louis-Jacques believes she’s had nothing but positive experiences being a woman in the military.
“I have very respectful colleagues and do not get treated any differently because I am a woman. I have the same expectations as everyone else, the same chances as everyone else. I am lucky in that sense,” said Louis-Jacques.