Andrea, Captain, Air Combat Systems Officer
Andrea Bowman didn’t always have what she would describe as an outgoing personality. In fact, she admits that joining the Canadian Armed Forces was an experience that took her completely out of her comfort zone.
The Biggest Challenge
Andrea Bowman is by all accounts a strong, accomplished woman. A Captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Bowman works as an Air Combat Systems Officer, but currently runs the recruiting centre in Edmonton where she lives with her husband, a former Forces member, and two young sons.
Bowman joined the Forces when she was just out of high school. She was young but determined.
“You know how it is when you’re young and you get something in your head,” she says. “I wanted to serve my country.”
During basic training, she realized that achieving her goal wouldn’t be easy. “People said it was hard,” she says. “I’m just a challenge-driven person.” So she pushed through and discovered a part of herself she didn’t know existed. “I wasn’t used to talking to people,” she says. “It took a while for me to get out of my shell. It was a great experience for me, but not what I expected.”
Above and beyond the challenges the military presented, Bowman says her decision went deeper. “My family is really big on tradition. We grew up with the idea of how good it would be to serve.”
Joining the Canadian Armed Forces was just the beginning for Bowman’s education. She went on to get a business degree as well as an MBA, both with tuition help through the military.
It’s been a rewarding experience and one that she’s proud to model for her sons. “I’ve been able to speak at my kids’ school, which makes me feel proud,” she says. “Just walking down the street in my uniform,” evokes a sense of accomplishment and pride.
As a working mother, the military also offers maternity and health benefits she can get behind. The military, she says, is like a family with all the benefits. “It’s a very rewarding career.”