Sailor Profile: MS Zainab Ansari
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Years of Service: 13 years.
Home Unit: HMCS York
Current occupation and position: Master Seaman and Recruiter.
Who is your role model? My Mom.
Why did you join the Royal Canadian Navy? I wanted to step up and serve my country in the most honourable way. The Royal Canadian Navy seemed like the perfect fit because I have a strong sense of adventure and a desire to travel the world!
What is the best part about being in Royal Canadian Navy? I have the greatest coworkers from coast to coast! The Navy has given me the opportunity to meet so many fellow Canadians who I am so honoured to serve alongside. My travels have proven to me that the beauty of Canada’s natural landscape is surpassed only by the kindness of its people.
What is your most memorable experience? Assisting with Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. I was humbled by the experience and came out mentally stronger and more appreciative of all that I have.
What are some additional highlights of your naval career?
My career highlights include: a NATO exercise off the coast of Spain; a deployment to provide port security at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics; a six-month tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan; the award of Best in Department at the Operations Department, HMCS York; and, the honour of receiving two of three awards during my Primary Leadership Course in 2017, including Top Student and Veteran’s Award as chosen by the staff for displaying CAF Ethos.
Why have you stayed in the Royal Canadian Navy?
We all have our own unique experiences in the military and they change us. I’m blessed that mine have made me an overall better person. I joined when I started university. I was unsure of what exactly I was getting myself into. I was mostly fascinated with the idea of doing boot camp! I quickly fell in love with the tempo, discipline, and camaraderie. I discovered strengths within myself. The Navy consistently challenged me and made me want to be even better. Thirteen years later, I’m still learning new things – whether I’m serving at my unit, on ship, on course, or in the field. I’m surrounded by people with a like mindset and this Navy family is what really makes me feel whole.
What would you say to someone that is considering a career in the Royal Canadian Navy?
It’s not for everyone but I promise that if it is for you, joining the RCN will be the best decision you’ve ever made. Also, you can call me directly. I’m a Recruiter!
What is your civilian occupation / job?
I was an underwriter for seven years in Toronto’s financial district and recently became a full-time Recruiter at HMCS York.
What skills did you learn in the Navy that help you in your civilian career?
The Navy has instilled in me discipline, confidence, and leadership skills. I’ve also learned how to handle stress well and prioritize effectively to complete tasks.
Please tell a little bit about yourself, outside of the Navy.
I love to hike, camp, ski, and swim – basically anything outdoors is right up my alley. I am currently in the process of fostering a child from Bosnia so that they can have a better life.
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