March 5: Acting Chief of the Defence Staff (A/CDS)

March 5, 2021 - Defence Stories

Message from the Acting Chief of the Defence Staff

March 2021

To the Members and Families of the Canadian Armed Forces,

As I continue to receive transition briefings, I must thank those who have gone to great lengths to quickly get me operationally ready to “fight tonight,” if needed. By necessity, I now view the Canadian Armed Forces through a wider lens and it is manifestly clear to me that you are delivering operational excellence across the breadth and scope of our Force, in Canada and abroad. At our core, we exist for operations.

To the members of 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron from 14 Wing Greenwood: BZ for your courageous life-saving role off the coast of Nova Scotia. To those who have served as part of both Operation LASER and VECTOR over the past year, performing tasks such as supporting 50 different Northern and Indigenous communities to embedding within Government of Canada departments, you have my utmost respect and gratitude.

Much has been said and written recently about the CAF. There is a great deal to admire in Canada’s military: professionalism, selflessness, dedication, courage, sacrifice and commitment, to name but a few. There are also elements of our military culture that need, must, and will change. Certain behaviours and attitudes exhibited towards our personnel are beyond troubling. None of us should ever tolerate, or condone, behaviour or attitudes that threaten the wellbeing of our people. The road ahead will not be easy, but we will emerge a stronger, better, and more effective Force.

I know that the demands and pressures of normal military life are exacerbated by the pandemic’s duration, and many of us can’t help but to show some fatigue as we balance high demands at work and at home. It is readily apparent to me that we have large pockets within the organization who are running on overdrive as they underpin our operational and institutional demand. We need to look after each other. If you need help or a hand, I urge you to reach out to others, and/or avail yourself of the resiliency and wellness tools available. You do not need to struggle alone. Likewise I expect leaders at all levels to redouble their efforts to communicate, to listen, to really understand and to respond to the individual circumstances of our people.

Posting season is approaching and as part of this I know that many of you are anticipating a posting message. One of my first priorities is to publish the senior leader and promotion messages, which will occur very shortly, and from which certainty on many other postings will cascade.

For those headed to new roles and new responsibilities in new locations I know you will need to deal with additional challenges and stresses of moving at the same time as managing pandemic-related constraints. Know that your leadership is attuned to this fact and that reasonable accommodations will be made to see that you and your family, if accompanied, are able to hit the ground running at your new duty station. Like last year, we will exercise maximum flexibility in posting dates. On that note, I encourage you to refer to recent and future CANFORGENs that may be pertinent to you. As always, they can be found on the CAF App.

To our families, who I know are suffering from COVID-19 fatigue, please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your continued support. We need to stay the course against the pandemic. Together, we will someday soon be past this difficult time. We all want this to end and return to normalcy.

To close on a happy note: your well-deserved pay increase was announced yesterday and you should see funds in your account by the end of the month.

Please look after each other, look after yourselves, and stay healthy.

Wayne Eyre
Acting Chief of the Defence Staff

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