ARCHIVED - Happy Holidays to the entire Army family

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Commander's Message / December 9, 2014 / Project number: 14-0256

The holiday season is fast approaching and a new year is just around the corner. This is a special time of year when we can share the spirit of the holiday season with family and friends.

I hope you will all take time to pause and reflect back on another outstanding year of accomplishments in service to Canada. As I reflect on the tremendous events and accomplishments over the past year, a few activities come to mind.

The lowering of the Canadian flag in Kabul on March 12, 2014 has marked the end of the Canadian Armed Forces deployment to Afghanistan, of which close to 30,000 deployed members were from the Canadian Army, Army Regular and Reserve Force soldiers from across Canada.

Furthermore, your exemplary service did not go unnoticed – Canadians consistently told us they are grateful for and proud of their Army.  Throughout the year, communities across Canada continued to honour our fallen soldiers with naming ceremonies and dedications. 

This year was also significant for the Canadian Army as we marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. We also celebrated the centennials of four storied regiments which were stood up to fight in the First World War – Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry; Royal 22e Régiment; The Royal Montreal Regiment; and Le Régiment de Hull (RCAC).

It is also worth noting that we have welcomed four of our five division Commanders this year. Their vision and priorities remain steadfast in the preparation and modernization of the Army of Tomorrow, and in fostering engagement with Canadians and international partners as we continue to meet Canada’s defence objectives.

Our Canadian Army signature event in Ottawa, the Canada Army Run was our largest and most successful to date with 25,000 people running, walking or rolling in support of our soldiers – it was truly a case of “no ordinary runners, no ordinary race”.

Indeed, we had a very busy but successful year. The coming year will bring us as many challenges, but also as many opportunities.  We are poised to acquire new capabilities that will help us be faster, safer and more lethal in meeting future challenges. I know that I can count on all of you to continue to move the Army forward.

As I remember our blessings of this past year, I also remember those who will celebrate the holidays while deployed. I remember, too, all those soldiers who have sacrificed their lives or their physical and emotional health in service to our nation. We owe them all an incredible debt.

I also think of our extended Army family who support our efforts – without that backing and personal sacrifice, we could not do everything the Army does for Canada. The senior Army leadership would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Army agenda and mission.

If you are planning to attend holiday parties or will be travelling, I ask you to be vigilant in looking after yourself, your family and your fellow soldiers.

It remains the greatest of privileges to be your Commander and to continue to ensure we remain a Strong, Proud and Ready Army.

The Army Sergeant Major and I wish you and your families a Happy Holiday and a prosperous 2015.

 

Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse,
Commander Canadian Army

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