Department of National Defence



Department of National Defence

April 19, 2013 09:30 ET

The Governor General and the Chief of the Defence Staff Introduce Soldier On Members for the South Pole Allied Challenge

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 19, 2013) - Today, at National Defence Headquarters, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, alongside the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, introduced Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members who will participate in the South Pole Allied Challenge.

One of the most high-profile expeditions of modern times, the South Pole Allied Challenge will see three teams of ill and injured, serving and former military personnel from the Commonwealth (Australia and Canada), the United Kingdom and the United States race to the geographic South Pole from November to December 2013. With His Royal Highness Prince Harry serving as patron, the expedition is being organized by Walking With the Wounded, a United Kingdom-based charity, which funds extreme expeditions for wounded servicemen and women. Team Commonwealth will include two serving CAF members.

"The Government of Canada, the Department of National Defence, and the Canadian Armed Forces are proud of our two Soldier On participants, Master Corporal Chris Downey and Corporal Alexandre Beaudin D'Anjou, who will represent Canada as part of Team Commonwealth in this historical expedition," said General Tom Lawson. "We are very proud of the two Soldier On participants who will represent Canada as members of Team Commonwealth during this historic expedition. Master Corporal Downey and Corporal Beaudin D'Anjou demonstrate degrees of perseverance that serve as an inspiration for all of us," said General Tom Lawson. "The care and support of our ill and injured is a vitally important and ever-evolving responsibility. The unwavering leadership of Minister MacKay has been crucial in helping us improve the level of care we provide to those who have given so much in the service of their country. Together, with programs like Soldier On, and with the on-going support of the Minister of National Defence, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to improve how we care for our own."

The three teams recently completed extensive cold-weather training in Iceland and will continue preparing throughout the summer of 2013. In October there will be a final phase of snow training, at which point expedition members will fly to Antarctica and begin their challenging journey to the southern most point on the globe. The aim of the South Pole Allied Challenge is for all of the teams to have reached the Geographic South Pole around mid-December 2013.

Canada's participation is being facilitated through Soldier On, a Department of National Defence program which assists serving and retired ill and injured CAF members accept their new normal by empowering them to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle through participation in recreational, sporting and other challenging activities.

For additional information, please contact Captain Paul Finnemore, 613-996-4620; e-mail: Paul.Finnemore@forces.gc.ca

For additional information on Walking With the Wounded's South Pole Allied Challenge, please contact Ms. Yolanda Copes-Stepney, 0044-207-422-8269; email: Yolanda.copes-stepney@captiveminds.com web site: www.walkingwiththewounded.org.uk/southpole2013

For more information on Soldier On, please visit the following web site: www.soldieron.ca

For B-Roll and interview footage of Canadians on cold-weather training in Iceland in March 2013 (please credit Captive Minds Communications Group): http://media3.marketwire.com/r/WalkingWounded-Can_BROLL.zip

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