Major Deanna Brasseur is one of the first two female CF-18 fighter pilots in the world.
Dee shares this honour with "fellow" Canadian Forces pilot Captain Jane (Van Ingen Schenau) Foster.
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About Dee Brasseur

Major (Ret.) Dee BrasseurDeanna Marie Brasseur was born on September 9, 1953 in Pembroke, Ontario, to Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Lionel C. (Lyn) Brasseur and Marie Olive (Aucoin). As a transient Royal Canadian Air Force "Brat" growing up was accomplished at 11 different military and civilian locations in six Canadian provinces and two American states.

Accustomed to a "lifestyle" on the move, following graduation from high school and one year attending university, at the young age of 19, Dee joined the Canadian military in the rank of Private assigned to the Administration Clerk 831 Trade. Her first posting was to the Orderly Room of 14 Dental Unit Detachment, C.F.B. Winnipeg, Manitoba where she served as a typist for the dental office. (1972)

Following successful application and course completions, Dee was commissioned under the Officer Candidate Training Program as an Air Weapons Controller. She served one posting controlling fighter aircraft at 22nd NORAD Region, North Bay, Ontario and an exchange tour with the United Sates Air Force in Duluth, Minnesota at 23rd NORAD Region. (1973-79)


INSTRUCTINGIn 1979, Captain Brasseur commenced basic pilot training as part of a Canadian Forces trial program called the Study of Women in Non-Traditional Environments and Roles (SWINTER). Making Canadian military history on February 13, 1981, Dee became of one of the first three women to graduate with their "wings" and subsequently became the first female flight instructor at 2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (2CFFTS) in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in June 1981. (1980-1985)

Flight Commander

FLIGHT COMMANDER Following a year of French study at the Canadian Forces Language School in Ottawa, Ontario, and an assignment as the Air Force Representative to the National Defense Headquarters Charter Task Force on Equal Rights, Dee was posted to Base Flight C.F.B Cold Lake, Alberta, where she served two years as the first female in the position of Flight Commander. Flying the T-33 Silver Star jet Utility Aircraft she became qualified as a 4-Plane Formation Lead, T-33 Airshow Demonstration and Test Pilot and completed the Instrument Check Pilots Course to become a certified Military Pilot License Examiner (1986-1988).


In June 1988, Captain Brasseur commenced the six month Basic Fighter Pilot Training Course conducted at 419 "Moose" Squadron on the CF5 Freedom Fighter.

World First for Canada

416 Lynx Rapid Reactor Squadron, Cold Lake Alberta, 1989 - 1990 Upon graduation, it was over to 410 "Cougar" Squadron to complete a further six months of training on the sophisticated CF-18 Hornet. Captains Dee Brasseur and Jane Foster were the first two female pilots in the world to successfully graduate and qualify to fly the CF-18 jet fighter aircraft, the most powerful plane in the Canadian Air Force arsenal. A promotion to Major and assignment to 416 "Lynx" Squadron in the position of Plans Officer followed and Dee flew the CF-18 in Canada and in Europe. (1989-1990)

Directorate of Flight Safety

Major Dee Brasseur CM,CDIn August 1990, upon completion of studies at the Cranfield Institute of Aviation Technolgy, Cranfield, England Major Brasseur was posted to the Directorate of Flight Safety at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa as the first female Aircraft Accident Investigator, responsible for monitoring and supervising flight safety, matters pertaining to all Canadian Military Jet Trainer and Fighter aircraft activities.

Dee retired from Regular service with the Canadian Forces in 1994 after 21 years of distinguished service and 2,500 hours of jet flying.


Following the events of 911, Major Brasseur rejoined the CF as a Reserve Officer and continues to serve part-time as a member of the Air Staff. (2002 - Present)