Section 5: Conclusion

A healthy profession of arms achieves the appropriate balance between the functional imperative of professional effectiveness and the societal imperative to ensure subordination to civil authority and reflection of national values. One important measure of how successfully this balance has been achieved is the legitimacy bestowed on the profession by civil authority, and especially by Canadian society. The public is certainly influenced by its perception of the military as competent in the execution of its roles. And as long as the Canadian Forces is employed in complex and dangerous operations across the spectrum of conflict, this competency is assumed by the public to include a high degree of combat capability.

From the perspective of Canadians, however, it is not only what the profession does, but how it does it. In other words, the profession must meet public expectations of consistent and exemplary behaviour and conduct—a requirement that can best be met by insisting and ensuring that Canadian military professionals are always seen to be performing their duty with honour.

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