Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 15, 2008 16:23 ET

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

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 15, 2008) -

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'etre; 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.

Note to media: Members of the media are welcome to meet with General Hillier to discuss his decision at 5:30 p.m. today, at National Defence Headquarters, 101 Colonel By Drive, in Conference Room D.

Contact Information

  • Information: 1-866-377-0811
    After hours: 613-792-2973
    www.forces.gc.ca
    or
    Media Liaison Office
    613-996-2353
    1-866-377-0811