Happy Holidays from the Canadian Army Command Team

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Statement / December 15, 2020

Happy Holidays from the Canadian Army Command Team

With the holiday period once again upon us, we would like to wish all of our Canadian Army family the very best of the season.

And we join all Canadians in saying “thank you” for your extraordinary efforts in responding to the unprecedented challenges that COVID-19 has created this past year.

You, along with our colleagues from across the Canadian Armed Forces, made Operation LASER, the Canadian Armed Forces’ response to the pandemic, a success. Together, you were a source of much-needed care and comfort to many of our most vulnerable citizens.

We are fiercely proud of your hard work, which included on-site medical support at dozens of long-term care facilities. Some of you cooked or cleaned. Others aided residents with personal hygiene, or simply accompanied them on walks, offering a friendly face and sympathetic ear while they were separated from loved ones.

Those efforts were bolstered by members working off-site on planning, as well as maintaining and delivering essential personal protective equipment, and in many other supportive capacities.

Our Canadian Rangers did outstanding work in the most remote communities. They not only provided essential logistical support and humanitarian assistance, but also provided data that helped us respond more effectively.

We are equally grateful to those who weren’t on the COVID frontlines. Circumstances required us to effectively shut down – and quickly. For many, the mission was to stay healthy and ready, and that you did. By staying conscientious in observing health protocols at home and the office, we kept our co-workers and families safe.

You have shown great adaptability and resilience in the face of such uncertainty. We may still be some way from normal but your efforts and sacrifices helped make the resumption of training possible. Well done. This is important work. As we are all aware, the security environment remains volatile and constantly changing. Maintaining our readiness is paramount to ensure we can defend Canada and protect Canadians.

Even with the upheaval and uncertainty due to COVID, the Canadian Army continued to deploy members on more than a dozen operations around the world. Many of us in uniform will be a world away from home and loved ones this season. To them, and their families, a special thank you. Your sacrifices are deeply appreciated.

This has been a difficult and challenging year – even by Canadian Army standards, and we’ve more than earned this holiday period. We must remain vigilant and continue to follow the advice of public health officials. This may mean some changes to how we interact with our loved ones this year, but we can also feel fortunate to have the means to stay deeply connected – even at a physical distance.

As you enjoy some well-deserved downtime, we want to remind you to keep looking out for one another. If you know someone who’s struggling, reach out. If you’re struggling, don’t be silent. Help and support are available.

We wish you and your loved ones a joyous season and Happy New Year.

Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre
Commander Canadian Army

Chief Warrant Officer Stu Hartnell
Army Sergeant-Major

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