Sgt. Meaghan Frank of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment makes history
Herald readers first met Meaghan Frank, then a Master Corporal, inside the pages of our magazine last Remembrance Day. Since then, Frank not only has embarked on her first deployment, but has also become the first female Infantry Sergeant with the Regiment.
“My family is incredibly proud of me right now and they’ve been very supportive about me deploying and going overseas,” she shares.
Frank, who’s in Jordan training an all female infantry platoon on weapons handling and marksmanship, says she’s very excited about the opportunities before her, particularly because she’s operating in totally new territory for the Canadian and Jordanian military. “It gives us an incredible opportunity to share the skill and the knowledge that we have and that we’ve worked really hard to learn to enable them to be able to do the same things we do in Canada.”
Knowing she’s making history is humbling. “It’s an awesome experience. And I think it’s great that we’re able to do this.’’
While she knows much will be made of the ‘all female’ aspect, and rightfully so, she approaches her duties as a soldier first, not as a woman. “I try to operate as though I’m not a female and I don’t necessarily view myself differently in my role within the Regiment (First Battalion the Royal Newfoundland Regiment) and within the Infantry. But here, they view things very differently. Being a female, you stand out. And we’re trying to help (these Jordanian female infantry members) see what they’re capable of.’’
We ask if she received much feedback from appearing within the pages of The Herald a year ago.
“The response was fabulous,” she says. ‘‘It was good because it really got the word out there and I was actually doing some work recruiting throughout the year and some people recognized me from the article so it was a great way for me to connect with people who already knew a little bit about me so they could kind of come up and approach me and talk to me,” she says.
Frank arrived in Jordan on the 10th of September. We ask what’s been her greatest learning so far?
“I think that learning to operate in a different environment was the biggest challenge that we face because it is very different here than in Canada,” she shares.
We talk about the image the military sent on her behalf. “I’d like to point out that the photo was taken on a range that was mentored by the Canadian Female Engagement Team and was all female run. This was a huge accomplishment for both us and the Jordanian female platoon,” she says proudly.
What’s next? We ask.
“When I come home, I will be rejoining my platoon at the Regiment. Probably some more courses and trying to progress my skills once I’m back in Canada.”
Frank is grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with Herald readers.
“Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity and for allowing me to speak about what I’m doing. This truly is a great thing we’re accomplishing here and I’m incredibly proud of what we’re doing and of the ladies we work with here in Jordan.”