Nicole Patricia Schiele was born in Calgary in 1971.
After High School she attended Royal Roads Military College in Victoria and graduated with Distinction in 1993 as a Navy Sub-Lieutenant. She started out with the Esquimalt Pacific Division and after a year became the assistant navigator on HMCS Saskatchewan, and also began training as a Navy diver.
Those who knew her said Schiele was well respected by her peers. When she was a cadet at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria, she had talked about the importance of serving her country. "Things like the motto 'Truth, Duty, Valour' don't change," said Nicole, "If you can't live by that, what can you believe in?".
An example of her belief in noble goals was revealed during the winter of 1992 when Nicole organized the sending of a 7 meter long Christmas card to members of the 3PPCLI serving in Croatia at the time. She stood inside the Eaton Center wearing her scarlet tunic and encouraged Christmas shoppers to sign the card to help boost morale of the overseas peacekeepers.
"I feel like I'm doing something for them and some day I hope someone would do the same for me when I'm far from home," she was quoted as saying. "It shows what the spirit of Christmas is all about and getting people to think about things other than themselves and what they are going to get for Christmas."
In February 1994, on a routine training dive in Howe Sound with six other divers, their team encountered difficulties at depth and Nicole and her dive partner did not surface. After an extensive search over two days that involved around 500 military and emergency personnel, their bodies were found near the original dive site at a depth of 80 meters. An assessment afterwards determined that both divers died from an air embolism.
Nicole was given a Military funeral in Victoria, BC on February 25th, 1994.