Corporal Andrea Lorinczy, third-generation CAF member

News Article / May 25, 2017

From 4 Wing Cold Lake

Most of us, at one time or another, had a hard decision to make about what we wanted to do with the rest of our lives. For Brandon, Manitoba’s Andrea Lorinczy, joining the military was not a hard decisions. She was looking for career stability and the ability to support her family independently; being from a military upbringing, she knew the advantages of military life and knew what she was preparing to do.

That’s how Corporal Lorinczy, at 27 years old, left her old life as a bartender/supervisor in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and become the third generation in her family to join the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). She had two daughters—three and eight at the time—at home, but with the support of family and friends, she completed her basic military qualification in November, 2009. She then reunited with her family and moved to 16 Wing Borden, Ontario, to begin her training as an aircraft structures technician.

Aircraft structures technicians are members of the air maintenance team that handles, services and maintains Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and associated equipment. They are responsible for the maintenance and repair of aviation life support equipment, aircraft structures, and related components.

“It was hard, as a single parent, during the course,” she recalls. “I would make dinner, help [my children] with their homework, and then do my own homework before bed. But it was good.” She finished her course with no failures, and felt comfortable with training in general.

After she completed that phase of her training, she entered two years of apprenticeship training at the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) at 14 Wing Lake, Alberta. The apprenticeship helped her decide which area of her trade she would like to specialize in; she chose aviation life support equipment. This involves taking care of the safety equipment on board an aircraft, and pertains to the pilots’ gear, safety kits and parachutes.

In 2016, Corporal Lorinczy was selected for the specialized life support systems course, which was specific training on aircraft safety systems including fire suppression, ejection seat, oxygen systems, and canopy and components. She topped her class of eight students, becoming the first female to top this course. “This qualification is highly sought after in my trade,” she says. “It opened a lot of doors for me since there are only a few people who have it.” She also explained that this course could help her progress through the ranks.

In the end, her decision to join the CAF a little later in life has given her everything she has wanted for her and her family; in turn, she gives back to the organization her dedication and focus.

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