Foreword

As nations go, Canada is a young country. Her armed forces, therefore, relatively speaking, are mere striplings in point of time. Yet, in the century and a bit since Confederation, through war and peace, the Canadian Forces have won respect the world over. Canadians, often called an "unmilitary" people and seldom known for excessive demonstrativeness, have come to regard the forces with esteem and, indeed, affection. Reduced to simplest terms, when they were needed, they were there, ready. Whatever the task or the magnitude of the sacrifice, the forces have acquitted themselves with spirit and a professionalism second to none.

In the course of these pages, the author has gathered the threads of Service beliefs, ideas and attitudes, coloured them with scenes of historical experience and achievement, and woven these threads into a rich and bright-hued fabric called custom and tradition in the Canadian Forces. This book, therefore, though not a history, is an important milestone in the development of the forces.

Many books have been written describing and interpreting the histories of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. It is too soon to attempt to do the same for the eleven-year-old unified force. But this volume is a timely one. For the first time, the customs and traditions currently observed in the forces have been recorded and their importance in the preservation of high morale and what might be called the "spirit of the Service," described. It is my expectation that this work will contribute in a substantial way to better understanding amongst our sailors, soldiers and airmen, and the people of this wonderful land.

R. H. Falls
Admiral
Chief of the Defence Staff
National Defence Headquarters
Ottawa, Ontario
4 December 1979

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