Hillier stepping down as head of Canada's military

RackMaster

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This is bad news, I'm not sure who will replace him will live up to the standard that has been set.

Sir! You have earned your rest and will be sadly missed.

Hillier stepping down as head of Canada's military

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | 5:35 PM ET Comments130Recommend297

CBC News


Gen. Rick Hillier, the outspoken chief of Canada's defence staff and strong advocate of Canada's military intervention in Afghanistan, will step down in July.
"I have chosen to retire from the Canadian Forces and end my tenure as your Chief of the Defence Staff in July of this year," said Hillier in a letter released Tuesday.
hillier-cp-1901666.jpg
Gen. Rick Hillier, the chief of defence staff, arrives in Kandahar, Afghanistan, to visit Canadian soldiers serving in the country, on Sept. 29, 2006.
(Les Perreaux/Canadian Press)
The native of Newfoundland and Labrador has been in the job since February 2005, appointed by then Prime Minister Paul Martin. The role doesn't have a defined length, but the average tenure is three to five years.
"My goal was to set the conditions for our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen to succeed in our critical and often dangerous tasks in defence of Canada, Canadians, and Canadian interests and values. We have achieved those key objectives, and reached the critical milestones I originally set out for us to reach by the end of my time as CDS," Hillier wrote.
He gave no reason for his resignation, but is expected to speak later Tuesday.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised Hillier during question period.
"Gen. Hillier has worked very well with the government," said Harper. "He has done an excellent job in rebuilding Canada's armed forces. He is a great Canadian and we are proud to have worked with him."
Friction with PMO?

Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who said Hillier's decision was for personal reasons, called him an "exceptional soldier."
"Gen. Hillier was among the most capable, dedicated, informed and professional people I've ever met," said MacKay during an appearance at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa to launch a new round of Canadian Forces recruitment ads.
Hillier, considered one of the most charismatic and publicly visible Canadian military leaders, was said to have been the driving force behind an increased Canadian military presence in Kandahar province.
But his predilection to speak his mind led some to suggest he had a tense relationship with the Prime Minister's Office.
Last October, it was reported the Conservatives were seeking to push the outspoken senior military commander out of his job. But Harper denied the report, praising Hillier as an outstanding soldier and saying there had been no discussion about the possibility of changing the chief of defence staff.
Hillier had also said then his work as defence chief was unfinished.
"I love being a soldier," Hillier said in October. "I still have things to do here in the immediate future, and I intend to do them."
But later that month, Hillier said it might be "10 years or so" before Afghanistan is strong enough to police itself, a comment that appeared to contradict the Conservative government, which stated in its throne speech that Afghanistan would be able to handle its own security by 2011.
Not one to mince words

Earlier this year, there was also a report that an angry Hillier called Harper over the government's handling of the Afghan detainee issue.
His blunt talk made headlines, for example, when he referred to the Taliban as "detestable murderers and scumbags."
He also raised the ire of some Liberals when he described the period of budget cuts to the military that began in 1994 as the "decade of darkness." The remark prompted then Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre to refer to Hillier as a "prop to the Conservative party."
Last February, he urged Parliament to come to a quick decision on the country's role in Afghanistan, warning that the longer the debate goes on, the likelier the Taliban would "target us as a perceived weak link."
But Hillier is viewed as highly popular among the rank-and-file of Canada's military. His own career has spanned three decades — he joined the army right after graduating from Memorial University.
Before being named chief of defence staff, he was the head of the army and also commanded the NATO-led multinational Afghanistan mission in 2004.
David Bercuson, director for the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies in Calgary, told CBC News that he was surprised to learn Hillier is stepping down. Bercuson said he thought Hillier would stay on for a few years, since we are in the middle of a war. However, he noted, three years is a normal term for defence staff.
Bercuson rejected speculation that Hillier may have been pushed out of the post by the government.
"Hillier has almost become an indispensable part of the Canadian Forces," Bercuson said. "I think the government realized he's so good for morale — he has such credibility with our allies that they wanted him to stay around."
He postulated that Hillier was resigning now because "the strain and the tension on the man has been so great that he’s decided to give it a pass."
Bercuson added that Hillier is leaving "at the top of his game right now" — the Afghanistan mission has been extended and the military is stronger and better equipped.
"This is probably as good as time as any" to quit, Bercuson said.
 

RackMaster

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In Gen. Hillier's own words.

Thank you Sir!

Message from the Chief of the Defence Staff to the Canadian Forces

NR–08.026 - April 15, 2008
OTTAWA – I have chosen to retire from the Canadian Forces and end my tenure as your Chief of the Defence Staff in July of this year.
I accepted the leadership of the Canadian Forces in February 2005. My goal was to set the conditions for our sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen to succeed in our critical and often dangerous tasks in defence of Canada, Canadians, and Canadian interests and values.
We have achieved those key objectives, and reached the critical milestones I originally set out for us to reach by the end of my time as CDS. We have moulded our culture to one which recognizes that operations are our raison d’être; that our efforts, all of them, must concentrate on achieving the missions and tasks given to us by the Government of Canada, on behalf of all Canadians.
We have transformed how we recruit, train, equip, command, deploy, employ, bring home, recognize and care for our operational forces and our families, focused on achieving a strategic effect for Canada. We have done so while growing the Canadian Forces, re-equipping it, and while carrying out intense combat and peace support operations overseas and demanding, essential security tasks here at home.
We have remembered how to grieve; to never forget our comrades and dear friends who have died in the service of Canada. Their sacrifice, and that of their families, deserves our unwavering commitment to ensure their loss is not in vain.
We have been strengthened, immensely, by the vocal and visible support of millions of Canadians who have demonstrated that they recognize, understand and honour your service, and the sacrifice of your families.
Leadership in the Canadian Forces is not the role of one single person; it is the responsibility of all who wear the Canadian Forces uniform. I believe you will now be best served by the invigoration of new leadership, with the vision, energy, and strength to lead you through the challenges that will lie ahead. For we have not finished evolving. We must continue to adapt, and improve our Forces to accomplish the tasks Canadians need us to perform in the complex, dangerous security environment before us.
It is with great confidence that I await the selection of the senior leader who will take my place. I will continue to serve as your CDS until relieved of my duties by my successor, to be named in due course by our Prime Minister.
My wife Joyce and I thank you for the rewarding years we have shared with you, and look forward to many years ahead as part of the Canadian Forces family.
You are Canada’s greatest credentials, our national treasures, and I am so very proud of you. It has been my honour and privilege to be your Chief of the Defence Staff.
 

car

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All I know of him is what I've read from your posts here. Sounds like and intelligent, visionary and outspoken Soldier.

Good for him!
 

Royal

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All I know of him is what I've read from your posts here. Sounds like and intelligent, visionary and outspoken Soldier.

That pretty well sums him up.

It was an honour and a privelege to work for you, Sir, best wishes for everything you do.
 

RackMaster

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Yes Irish, he'll be finishing his time. With enrolling in 1973 and retiring this summer, that will give him a 35 year pension. He's been behind a major push to clear out the senior staff that stick around "forever", so it doesn't surprise me that he would leave himself, giving opportunity for new leadership to fill his shoes.

General R.J. Hillier, C.M.M., M.S.C., C.D


Chief of the Defence Staff

GeneralRickHillier.jpg
Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, General Rick Hillier joined the Canadian Forces as soon as he could. Having enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program, he graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. After completing his armour officer classification training, he joined his first regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) in Petawawa, Ontario. Subsequently, he served with, and later commanded, the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany.
Throughout his career, General Hillier has had the privilege and pleasure of commanding troops from the platoon to multi-national formation level within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States. He has worked as a staff officer in several headquarters, first at the Army level in Montreal and later at the strategic level in Ottawa.
In 1998 General Hillier was appointed as the first Canadian Deputy Commanding General of III Corps, US Army in Fort Hood, Texas. In 2000 he took command of NATO's Stabilization Force's (SFOR) Multinational Division (Southwest) in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In May 2003 General Hillier was appointed as Commander of the Army and subsequently, in October 2003, he was selected as the Commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan.
General Hillier was promoted to his present rank and assumed duties as the Chief of the Defence Staff on 4 February 2005.
General Hillier and his wife, Joyce, have two sons, Chris and Steven, a daughter-in-law, Chris' wife, Caroline, and a grandson, Jack, who has already learned to salute his grandfather.
General Hillier enjoys most recreational pursuits but, in particular, runs slowly, plays hockey poorly and golfs not well at all.
 
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