ARCHIVED - Commander of the Canadian Army Honours Black Canadians’ Contributions

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Commander's Message / February 2, 2015 / Project number: 15-0003

“During February, we mark the vital role that black Canadians, past and present, have played in shaping our multi-cultural country. Black History Month gives us the opportunity to reflect on the way the courage, experiences, and achievements of Canadians of African and Caribbean heritage are woven into and strengthen the fabric of our military institution and of our nation.

Past generations of black soldiers and those currently serving have earned our admiration for their part in safeguarding our freedom. Whether in times of conflict or peace, black Canadians have always been ready to serve in whatever capacity Canada required, in combat missions and later in peacekeeping operations. Going back to the beginning of Canadian military history, black Canadians did not wait to be asked to volunteer. At the start of the War of 1812 and during the Rebellion of 1837, they stepped forward to show their desire to defend our country. In times of peace, they were among the more devoted participants in the militia.

The many sacrifices and accomplishments of generations of black Canadians are a reminder that the greatest strength of the Canadian Army is its people.

The foundation of that strength is the welcoming of men and women from all cultures. The Army belongs to the citizens of Canada and needs to reflect our nation’s cultural, ethnic, and linguistic makeup. Diversity plays a key role in ensuring the Army of Tomorrow remains strong, innovative, and forward looking.

On behalf of the Canadian Army, I invite all Canadians to join me in celebrating Black History Month.”

Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, CMM, MSC, CD
Commander Canadian Army

For images of black Canadians’ service and achievements in the military click here:

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