Farewell message from General Vance to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces

January 14, 2021 – Defence Stories

CDS Message

To the proud sailors, soldiers, aviators, and special forces operators of the Canadian Armed Forces, your families, and the families of our fallen. 

I am so incredibly grateful to have served alongside you, to have learned from you, and to have led you. You have proven time and again that you embody service before self, you answer to a higher calling, and you are, without doubt, person for person, the best in the world at what you do.

You have embraced the need to change our culture to one that is fully grounded in the bedrock of effective teams: the moral duty to care for, respect, and support each other. In so doing, the Canadian Armed Forces will become more relevant, more powerful in every way, and certainly more combat effective. 

Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your sense of humour, creativity, and compassion.  Thank you for your patience, for your professionalism and for the sacrifices that you and your families make every day to be a part of a vocation that demands much more of you than most will ever know. Thank you for your courage and sense of duty.

You have become such powerful ambassadors to Canada and the world. When Canadians see our uniforms, they know that help has arrived. Through floods, fires, blizzards, and a pandemic, you were there. And all the while, you were working diligently with our Allies and partners abroad.

From enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea, to mentoring Iraqi and Jordanian Security Forces, to leading a NATO battle group in Latvia, to defending NATO airspace over Romania, and much more, you have shown Canadians and our Allies what we stand for: a more stable, secure, and peaceful world that can prosper through the rules-based international order.  

It has truly been the greatest honour of my life to serve as Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff.

I know that you will be incredibly well-served with Admiral McDonald at the helm. He will champion necessary culture changes, while ensuring combat capability remains the core of our business. He will defend this country and its interests and allies, and he will defend our values and this institution we love. Most of all, he will be a tireless advocate for you.

Thank you, once more, to all of you for your extraordinary efforts.

CDS One Niner, OUT.

General Jonathan Vance

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