Stohl women continue tradition

PO1 Lindsay Stohl

PO1 Lindsay Stohl is the third generation of women in her family to serve in the military.

In some families, the tradition of military service has been passed from father to son for many generations. However, the Stohl family has started their own tradition with three generations of women serving in the Canadian Forces.

Currently, there are two family members serving at sea with the Royal Canadian Navy. PO1 Lindsay Stohl currently serves as an Information Management Director and senior Naval Combat Information Operator on board HMCS Regina, while her sister, PO2 Jaime Stohl sails with HMCS Ottawa as a Naval Communicator.

Their family’s tradition of military service began in the 1960s with their Great Aunt, Flight Lieutenant Judy Poole, who was a dietician in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“She was my mother’s idol,” says PO1 Stohl. “I believe that it was her positive example that led my mother to join the CF in 1972.”
The Stohl’s mother Melody Lowe, a Supply Technician, was the second generation of the family to choose a military career. Her mother’s non-traditional career choice made an impression on her daughters at a young age.

“There was a sense of pride that she was out in the world doing something that, for most of my school years, not many women were doing.”
The example of naval service made a significant impact on the career choice of PO1 Stohl.

“I wanted to be just like her,” she says.  

She knew from a young age that she wanted to follow in her mother’s foot steps and she joined the military immediately after high school graduation just two years after her older sister Jaime.

“I grew up with the lifestyle and loved hearing about her adventures…and some of my Mom’s military friends became like family,” she says.
Another unique connection is that all three women have served in HMCS Regina, and PO2 Stohl even had the opportunity to serve on board Regina at the same time as her mother.

“There aren’t many words to describe the feelings when I got to sail with my mom. My sister and I spent many day sails onboard her various ships while growing up, but it wasn’t the same as how I felt wearing the same uniform and working side by side with her on the same ship,” said PO2 Stohl.

Even 10 years after PO1 Stohl joined the navy, her mother’s influence on her has not weakened. Shortly before she deployed to the Arabian Sea in Regina, her mother still had plenty of leadership advice to offer her daughter.

“We had a long talk about taking care of your sailors,” she said before adding with a chuckle that, “she sent me to sea with leadership books to read.”

The possibility of a fourth generation of Stohl military women now exists in PO2 Stohl’s three-year-old daughter. When asked if she would like to see her niece take up the mantle and continue the tradition of the Stohl woman’s service, PO1 Stohl allowed a smile to creep from ear to ear, and simply stated “I think about it all the time.”

PO2 Brad Breland, HMCS Regina

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  1. Mae Stohl says:

    When I joined the Navy Reserve in July 1973 women were not allowed to be stationed on board ship. The opportunities for my nieces have been amazing. Good for them both. Auntie Mae (ex-PO2)

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