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How the Defence Advisory Groups are Still Working to Serve our Community

By: Various DAG Co-Chairs and Communication Advisors – 

Defence Womens Advisory Organization (DWAO)

Dr. Tara Reilly, Senior Officer, Human Performance Research and Development, DWAO –

Personnel Support Services (PSP) is interested in feedback from all Regular & Primary Reserve Force CAF Members on the impact that COVID-19 has had on restrictions in regards to physical/operational readiness. More women participants will allow us to complete a GBA+ analysis on the impact on COVID-19. Specifically, PSP is interested in the appetite and uptake of their 12 hours of online programming, as well as local initiatives. The research cell is interested in the status and health behaviours such as physical fitness, nutrition, injury, and sleep throughout this unique time.

They are looking for Regular Force and Primary Reserve CAF members of all ages, fitness levels and work environments to participate, include those on medical category . This study requests the commitment of 10 to 24 minutes per 2-week period for as long as the COVID-19 restrictions continue, ending with the full return to work and use of PSP fitness facilities and services. The research cell would like to learn from your experience to better serve your needs during this difficult time. If you are interested, please sign up by clicking on the link below

In addition, Dr. Kristi B. Adamo, PhD (Associate Professor, School of Human Kinetics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa) has been awarded funding from the IDEaS program to investigate “A Multi-stage Approach to Addressing Sex-Disparities in Musculoskeletal injuries in Military Members”  to support the challenge of having 25% representation and retainment of women in the CAF by 2026. This will look at a broad range of factors, taking a 3-tiered approach to develop custom mitigation strategies/interventions for at-risk women.

Tier 1: Questionnaire addressing sex-disparities in musculoskeletal injuries, reproductive health, and barriers to recruitment and retention in the CAF;

Tier 2: Environmental scan addressing real and perceived barriers. This includes focus groups and a targeted review of existing policies, procedures, and literature; and

Tier 3: In-depth biological characterization of susceptible ‘at risk’ and resistant ‘protected’ CAF women

Recently, the project team held an online meeting bringing together regular and retired CAF members, civilian DND and IDEaS program representatives, and members of PSP (CFMWS),  to discuss Tier’s 1 and 2. The team was very appreciative of the constructive feedback they received from attendees and the overall positive support for the project. As a result, they plan on holding future meetings throughout the project period. Please be on the lookout for emails pertaining to both of these research projects as they will enhance our understanding of women’s needs in the CAF. Finding a balance between size, strength, fitness, body composition, and reproductive health through appropriate physical training, monitoring, and support is a vital consideration for women in the CAF.

For more information on the research cell or anything involving the DWAO please see

Defence Advisory Groups – Person with Disabilities (DAGPWG)

Ashley Sullivan, Co-Chair & Communications Director, DAGPWD –

The Persons With Disabilities DAG is still active and online, however our monthly meetings have been on hold. We are encouraging members to join our private members only Facebook group (NCR DAG-PWD) for discussions/support, follow our Twitter (@NCR_DAGPWD) and GCConnex (NCR DAGPWD (DND)) accounts for information. We are in the process of setting up a MS Teams NCR-DAGPWD channel so that our members can connect at any time and give us an avenue to host virtual meetings in the future. If you have an O365 account and would like to be included in this channel please send your information to our positional mailbox. If anyone is having any issues with the transition to working from home full-time or have concerns about the going back to work process in this pandemic relating to a disability, please reach out to us to identify issues that may affect our disabled community as a whole. If you have suggestions on things that could be implemented to make this easier / more inclusive for the disabled community, we would love to hear from you. We want to identify root causes of any issues faced by our community so we can make sure our inclusion is in the forefront and not an afterthought of any processes put in place for our work force. Please reach out to us at with any input. We hope you are all staying safe during this time, know we are still here to support you!


Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group (DAAG)

Sargent Donald Lickers, MFS supervisor, DAAG –

The National Capital Region Defence Aboriginal Advisory Group is a team of military and civilian members with the mission to provide advice and insight to senior leadership on issues impacting the recruitment, retention, development, and promotion of Aboriginal Peoples in the DND, CAF and CFPSA. We communicate regularly and advise command on systemic  barriers facing Indigenous members and provide advice to leadership on issues that have national scope. Recently the NCR DAAG released a statement to clarify that CAF personnel and assets were not deployed in the RCMP operation to encroach on Wet’suwet’en First Nation territory to dismantle an encampment to protest the installation of the Coastal GasLink pipeline.  We coordinate with all our DAAG groups across Canada and members of our National DAAG to spread awareness and consult together on issues within our area. One of our ongoing projects is the initiative from CFSU(O) and the NCR DAAG to establish a Sacred Indigenous Lodge within the NCR.  This project has been coordinated by our NCR DAAG and various Sacred Lodges and Indigenous support service around Ottawa. Our notable events include our Ceremony of Remembrance coordinated with the Aboriginal Veteran’s Autochtones on Indigenous Peoples Day. The NCR DAAG also supports the Canadian Armed Forces Family Appreciation Day by providing a traditional teachings from the Algonquin people on whose unceded territory that Ottawa was founded. We are available for contact at


Defence Team Pride Network (DTPN)

Lt Francis Montagnese Deputy-Chair, DTPN –

The new Defence Advisory Group (DAG), named The Defence Team Pride Network (DTPN), is officially being stood up soon. We’re already hard at work representing the interests and needs of the LGBTQ2+ communities and working together with the other DAGs to tackle systemic issues within the Defence Team and we need your help! We are compiling a list of people who wish to join the DTPN so everyone can connect, organize, and advocate together. If you or someone you know is part of a group that advocates on behalf of LGBTQ2+ peoples or someone who may be interested in being part of a group, please forward this email and let them know that the new DTPN-DAG is here.

To join, follow these two steps:

  1. Connect to our Defence Team Pride Network Facebook page, where any Defence Team members can participate (Civilian/Military LGBTQ2+/Ally); and/or
  2. Reply to Lt Francis Montagnese ( with your location, title name, last name, initials of first name, rank, work phone, intranet email and any other notes.

Note: If you are part of a local group (like the Borden Pride Network or AGORA), please add  your positions and the name of the organization in the notes.

Change is happening now and the DTPN has a seat at the table with the CAF/DND Senior Leadership and the other DAGs. Currently, the DTPN is mapping out where we have support groups and where more support is needed to effect change. Within the other four DAGs there are LGBTQ2+ people with accounts of personal or systemic discrimination and harassment who have previously had no way to bring those concerns to the highest echelons of the Defence

Team. Now, thanks to the intersectionality that exists between DTPN and the four other DAGs, we are able to move forward to shape the Defence Team into an organization that recognizes, respects, and represents us equitably. Together, we can shape the Defence Team; together, we can make it a place where we can truly be ourselves and be respected.

Defence Visible Minority Advisory Group (DVMAG)

Sergio Rodriguez, Civilian Co-Chair, DVMAG –

Please be advised, Capt. Ahmad was posted to Canadian Forces Base Kingston so he will be leaving his position as NCR-DVMAG Military Co-Chair this Summer.  I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to Capt. Ahmad for his time and dedication. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that the NCR Military Co-chair position will be assumed by Capt. Gutierrez, who is currently the NCR DVMAG Assistant Military Co-Chair.  There are no changes in the Civilian NCR DVMAG Co-Chairs. Feel free to contact if you have any further questions at

This post is also available in: Français (French)

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