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In Honour of Black History Month

Major Diana A’Xaymac, Chief of CBRN Canadian NORAD Region, began her life immersed in a military environment having a mother who served in the United States military.

Black History Month Portraits. Photo by: MCpl Darryl Hepner, 17 Wing Public Affairs, Winnipeg, Mb

As a student, Major A’Xaymac felt inspired to join the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corp). She was a student-athlete on her university track team and felt confident that she could successfully tackle all elements of Basic Training. “Serving my country has always been my dream.”

Major A’Xaymac joined the Army as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Officer and was commissioned at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Alabama.

“I was the military officer and first person in my family to attend college and this lit a pathway for my family to see that there are numerous opportunities out there for us and different ways to contribute in a very meaningful way to society.”

Major A’Xaymac’s decision to pursue her dreams with tenacity inspired her mother and aunt to later pursue higher education and chip away at accomplishing their own life aspirations.

Major A’Xaymac has three dynamic and highly-motivated daughters. “My decision to advance my career in the military has enabled me to financially and emotionally support my daughters in striving toward receiving their own graduate degrees.”

“It has been amazing having the opportunity to show my daughters all of the traveling and cultural opportunities that go hand-in-hand with a military lifestyle.” Major A’Xaymac received training several times in Germany. She has deployed to Poland and Afghanistan, and she has been posted to South Korea, Hawaii, New Jersey, Alabama, and Kansas.

During her university years, Major A’Xaymac became a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. This sorority has been integral in providing Major A’Xaymac with a sense of belonging and a sustained connection to a group of women. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated has graduate chapters in numerous locations throughout the world.

“Every time I’ve moved, I’ve always been able to find a graduate chapter and, typically, there has been a youth auxiliary group that my daughters could also connect with. This sorority provides a person with an immediate sense of community. It has also helped me to prepare for potential challenges of adversity, as well as how to navigate different dynamics and personalities in the workplace.”

Major A’Xaymac highlights the importance of contributing to one’s community through volunteer service, and how necessary it is to try and understand the needs of the community one currently lives in. “It has been a journey learning how to balance community service, work, and being deeply present with family members. It’s something that I continue to work really hard at and enjoy talking about with colleagues if they’re seeking guidance or a listening ear.”

Major A’Xaymac has achieved many accomplishments in her career, and she highlights her kind demeanor and consistently respectful nature as being contributing factors to her success as a strong leader in the military.

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