Honorary Degree: Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong

Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong

Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong

Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong is a Canadian Armed Forces veteran and leader who has dedicated her life to serving Canadians.

Commander Armstrong began her career in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1978, serving in both the regular and reserve components of the Personnel Administration and Logistics branches.  Commander Armstrong followed those years of military service in Halifax, Shearwater, Cold Lake and Ottawa, with another 10 years in senior civilian leadership positions with the Department of National Defence in Ottawa, including Director of Quality of Life and Director of Military Personnel Strategy and Coordination for the Chief of Military Personnel.

Commander Armstrong is a Saint Mary's University alumna who holds a Bachelor of Commerce from 1983. In 1998, Commander Armstrong graduated from the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto. The college, a world leader in defence and security education, research, and outreach, prepares senior military and civilian leaders to meet the complex security challenges of the future. Also, she is a graduate of the prestigious NATO Defense College in Rome that fosters strategic level thinking on political and military matters.

A tireless advocate for the welfare of veterans and her community, Commander Armstrong was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2014, His Royal Highness Prince Charles, presented her with the Spirit of Military Families Coin Award for making a noticeable and significant contribution to the well-being of military families throughout her career. A proud volunteer and advocate for women and families, Commander Armstrong was, in 2017, featured as one of three exceptional leaders in Nova Scotia for the Junior League of Halifax’s International Women’s Day panel.

Commander Armstrong currently sits as a Governor on the Board of the Commissionaires Nova Scotia, serving on both the Veterans' Support Committee and the Human Resources Committee.  Also, she is a member of the Veterans Ombudsman Advisory Council. She is Past President of the Naval Officers Association of Canada (Ottawa Branch), a Dame in the Order of St. George, and is a member of the Naval Association of Canada, the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust and the Association of Canadian Logisticians.

Saint Mary’s University is honoured to bestow a Doctor of Civil Law, Honoris Causa, to Commander (Retired) Heather J. Armstrong.