Captain Nichola Goddard Award Call for Nominations 2023

Captain Nichola Goddard Leadership Award
Call for Nominations 2023

The Captain Nichola Goddard Leadership Award was created to recognize and honour a young Canadian innovator and trailblazer who has made an inspiring early or mid-career contribution to Canadian security and defence.

The Captain Nichola Goddard award is about remembering the leadership qualities of Nichola Goddard, her character and her vibrant spirit.  The award is intended to celebrate Canadians who live and succeed by the same values that Nichola demonstrated such as inclusivity, commitment, courage, and valour within our defence and security community including; Canadian Armed Forces, academia and industry.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidate must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.
  • Candidate must be available to attend in person the Ottawa Conference on Security & Defence in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Nominator must provide correct contact information for their nominee in order for the candidate to be considered for the award.

Award Criteria

  • Demonstration of the leadership qualities of integrity, humility, resilience, vision, balance, inclusivity, and commitment.
  • Demonstration of courage and valour.
  • Demonstration of Innovation either personally or professionally
  • Measurable accomplishments in early or mid-career
  • Serving as an inspiration for others
  • Demonstration of leadership principles of inclusivity, by opening barriers including (but not limited to) gender, race, language, or professional obstacles.

Nomination Process


The award will be presented during the Ottawa Conference on Security and Defence in March of 2024 and it is highly desirable that the recipient attend the Conference Award presentation at that time.


Nominators are asked to inform their nominees of their intent to nominate them and confirm their willingness to accept the award should they be selected. The nominator should also validate with their nominee that there would be no real or perceived conflict of interest in accepting the award.

It is the responsibility of the nominator to ensure that the file is complete and  accurate to allow the Captain Nichola Goddard Selection Committee to fairly evaluate the nomination. Incomplete files will not be retained.

All submissions are considered in confidence by the Selection Committee, and nominations will not be publicly disclosed, with the exception of the nominator of the laureate, who will be invited to attend the Ottawa Conference free of charge and will be thanked publicly during the event.

Nominations are to contain the following documentation;

  • Completed online Submission Form and Nominee’s Curriculum Vitae / biographical summary attachments.
  • Nomination letters of Support (optional)


CLOSING DATE: January 31, 2024

The Captain Nichola Goddard Leadership Award was founded by the CDA Institute by then CEO Col (ret’d) Tony Battista, who was a close friend of the Goddard family.

Captain Nichola Goddard

Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, MSM (May 2, 1980 – May 17, 2006) was the first female Canadian combat soldier to make the ultimate sacrifice in combat, and the 16th Canadian soldier killed in Canadian operations in Afghanistan.  Since her passing 17 years ago. Nichola has become Canada’s daughter and a permanent symbol of courage in the face adversity. 

Born to British and Canadian school teachers in Madang, Papua New Guinea, Goddard spent most of her childhood in various locations, including Black Lake and Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan. Her hobbies included cross-country skiing and running, and she had competed in biathlon events. She led a local Scout troop with her fiancé (later husband), Jason Beam, while they were officer cadets at the Royal Military College in Kingston.

Captain Goddard was serving with the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery of PPCLI as a forward observation officer.  During a firefight in the Panjwaye District. It was part of a joint two-day operation between Canadian and Afghan troops, to secure Kandahar’s outskirts after a rumor of Taliban preparations to launch an assault on the city. As troops were moving into a mosque to capture 15 alleged Taliban members, several dozen hidden militants began firing from neighbouring houses. As a crew commander, Goddard was standing half-exposed in her LAV III, which was hit by two rocket-propelled grenades early in the battle.

The battle lasted most of the day on the 17th and into the night and ended shortly after an American B-1 Lancer dropped a 500lbs bomb. In the end, the two-day operation saw Goddard, an Afghan National Army soldier, and 40 Taliban killed, as well as approximately 20 Taliban captured, which early reports mistakenly said could have included Mullah Dadullah.

If you have any questions regarding the submission of your nomination, please contact Jennifer Giguere, Director of Operations, at

Selection Committee Chair

LGen Christine Whitecross (Ret’d)
Former Commander of Military Personnel Command


Premier Partner

Exclusive Partner Awards & Recognition

Strategic Partners







Operational Partners



In order to personalize your user experience, CDA Institute uses strictly necessary cookies and similar technologies to operate this site. See details here.