CFS Alert welcomes first female station warrant officer

Three CAF members sit at a table signing scrolls.
MWO Renee Hansen (left), Major Kevin Rubner (middle), and MWO Kevin Wezenbeek (right) sign scrolls to officially indicate the change of appointment at CFS Alert. Photo: Cpl Josh Ferreira

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By Captain Julie Brunet with content from Second Lieutenant Heather DeWolfe – The Contact, CFB Trenton

Last month, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Renee Hansen was appointed station warrant officer at Canadian Forces Station Alert, Nunavut, becoming the first woman to hold this position since Alert’s inception in the early 1950s.

The December 11 change of appointment ceremony marked this milestone for the station, the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world.

Alert military personnel, and civilian guests from Nasittuq Corporation and Environment and Climate Change Canada, which are key integral operational partners at the station, witnessed the handover from MWO Kevin Wezenbeek to MWO Hansen.

In her remarks, MWO Hansen simply expressed her willingness to move forward in her new role by saying, “I’m ready” to the Station Commanding Officer Major Kevin Rubner.

MWO Hansen, a native of Brandon, Man., joined the Primary Reserve in 1992 as an administration clerk. Upon her promotion to master warrant officer, and prior to her position as incoming Alert station warrant officer, she served as the superintendent clerk at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.

MWO Hansen was recently invested with the Order of Military Merit at the level of Member (M.M.M.). Created in 1972, the Order of Military Merit recognizes meritorious service and devotion to duty and commitment to Canada by members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

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