Master Seaman Jennifer Lawrence

Sailor Profile / May 30, 2018

Master Seaman (MS) Jennifer Lawrence always knew she wanted to be in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN); for her, it’s more than a career – it’s a lifestyle.

MS Lawrence, from Milton, O.N., is a steward currently serving onboard HMCS Ottawa. Before joining the navy, MS Lawrence spent 12 years working in the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets program, was a Canadian Army reservist, and pursued a career in policing before she made the choice to join the RCN as a full-time member.

As part of her trade occupation as a steward, MS Lawrence is responsible for a wide variety of duties on a ship ranging from hospitality services, to financial management and administration. Stewards play an important role in supporting senior members of the Ship’s Company and some will go on to receive advanced training in personnel management, instructional techniques, warehouse administration and management, and other specialized skills training.

When it comes to choosing a trade in the RCN, MS Lawrence recommends that you do your research and explore your options.

“If you can talk to people in the trade that you are looking at, then I really think you will get a proper feel for the trade,” MS Lawrence says.

The steward trade in the navy is a sea-going trade where members spend most of their time at sea, which MS Lawrence admits can be challenging at times when it comes to having a family but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I met my husband in the navy and we have made a life out of it,” MS Lawrence says.

“We both enjoy the sailing even though it is hard to leave our daughter for long periods of time. I wouldn’t want any other career.”

There is no question that MS Lawrence is passionate about her job and she wants Canadians to know their navy is always working to protect Canada’s interests, domestically and abroad, even if the public doesn’t always hear about it in the media.

“We [RCN sailors] do a lot of hard work and are away from our families a lot. We love our jobs and what we do but these jobs are not to be taken lightly; there are sacrifices to be made, sometimes.”