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Canada Names Its First Woman General

January 28, 1987

OTTAWA (AP) _ Canada appointed its first woman general Tuesday, selecting a veteran administrator currently in charge of women personnel.

Defense Minister Perrin Beatty announced that Col. Sheila Hellstrom, 52, a native of Nova Scotia who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954, was promoted to brigadier general.

She joined the ranks of 115 male generals, commodores and admirals in the Canadian Forces, which have about 7,400 women, or 8.8 percent, among 84,000 regulars.

Her new job will be director-general of officers’ careers.

A task force report on the role of women in the military is scheduled to be released soon. Press leaks last month said it will recommend that women be barred from combat roles, except in helicopter squadrons.

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal heard complaints at a hearing in Ottawa Tuesday from women seeking front-line involvement in the military.

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