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Captain Nichola Kathleen Sarah Goddard, MSM (May 2, 1980 – May 17, 2006) was the first female Canadian combat soldier killed in combat, and the 16th Canadian soldier killed in Canadian operations in Afghanistan.

Captain Goddard arrived in Afghanistan in January 2006, and had been serving with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a forward observation officer at the time of her death; her parent unit was the 1st Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.

Captain Goddard was killed on May 17, 2006, 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, Captain Goddard was standing half-exposed in her LAV III, which was hit by two rocket-propelled grenades early in the battle. The LAV III, originally named the Kodiak by the Canadian Army, is the third generation of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV).

General (Ret'd) Richard Hillier, former chief of defence staff wrote in his autobiography A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War, that officials in the Prime Minister's Office ordered the military to hide the return to Canada of Captain Nichola Goddard because they did not want her flag-draped coffin seen on the news.

She was posthumously awarded the Meritorious Service Medal on Oct 27, 2006.

Captain Goddard was also posthumously awarded the Sacrifice Medal on Monday, November 9, 2009. Sacrifice Medals are awarded to members of the Canadian Forces and those who work with them who have been wounded or killed by hostile action and to Canadian Forces members who died as a result of service.

There is a middle school in Calgary, Alberta named after her: Captain Nichola Goddard School.

The information and photo of Captain Goddard comes from Wikipedia.
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