Ex-Cadets & More in the News


CDS Transition Intent

It is with great pleasure that I welcome LGen Tom Lawson, the CDS-designate, back to Ottawa. This signals the beginning of the Chief of the Defence Staff transition period and my impending retirement. While planning is underway with 29 October 2012 as my date of departure, I wish to take this opportunity to provide my intent for the period leading up to and including the change of command ceremony.

The overriding priority during transition shall remain the operational success of the CF. Existing command and control relationships remain unaffected. The changeover process will be executed to ensure seamless continuity between my command and that of my successor. Similarly, there will be no change in direct reports to the CDS.

The interval leading up to the change of command ceremony will be a busy one, and it will involve a range of briefings and meetings intended to prepare LGen Lawson for his new role. The primary purpose of this effort, which is detailed in a separate transition directive, is to ensure he has the situational awareness and background information necessary to assume and exercise full command of the CF. While this may temporarily impact LGen Lawson’s ability to personally visit CF Formations, Bases and Wings, this will remain a valued and critical part of the CDS’ job, and, will doubtless be a significant aspect of his command as he settles in.

Regarding the change of command ceremony itself, my office has received many requests from inside and outside the CF regarding attendance and participation. I am personally humbled by the interest that has been shown and by the expression of support this implies. In the interest of managing our financial resources responsibly, I have issued specific direction to ensure that the change of command ceremony is a modest event that will pay the appropriate respect due the appointment of a Chief of Defence.

Accordingly, the selection of the National War Museum as the venue for the ceremony will serve to limit the number of guests we can accommodate. I would ask for your understanding in helping me achieve my objective of limiting unnecessary costs. In particular, for those CF members from outside the National Capital Region who have been invited to attend the ceremony, it is my intent that you not come to Ottawa on temporary duty solely for the change of command event.

In the same vein, my office has been approached with inquiries about departure gifts and tokens of appreciation. While I greatly appreciate these kind gestures and this generosity, it is my personal wish that any such expressions of support take the form of a donation to the Military Families Fund , the Soldier-On Fund, or any similarly worthy charity.

I would encourage all members of the CF to remain focussed on our need to conserve our available resources, to maintain a focus on current operations, to continue investing in future capabilities, and on sustaining the well-being of the men and women of the CF and their families.

In closing, I wish to thank all the men and women of the CF for their service to Canada as well as their families for their unwavering support. It is, and has been, an honour to serve as your Chief of the Defence Staff.


Intention du CEMD quant à la transition

C’est avec immense plaisir que j’accueille le Lgén Tom Lawson, CEMD désigné, maintenant de retour à Ottawa. Ceci signale le début de la transition entre chefs d’état major de la Défense ainsi que ma retraite imminente. Maintenant que la planification de mon départ a été lancée, je souhaite partager mes intentions pour la période menant à la cérémonie de passation de commandement prévue le 29 octobre 2012.

La priorité absolue, durant la transition, demeurera la réussite opérationnelle des FC. Les relations existantes de commandement et de contrôle ne seront pas touchées. Le processus de changement sera exécuté de façon à garantir une continuité harmonieuse entre mon commandement et celui de mon successeur. De même, il n’y aura aucun changement aux rapports directs avec le CEMD.

L’intervalle menant à la cérémonie de passation de commandement sera chargée. Elle comprendra notamment une gamme de briefings et de réunions visant à préparer le général Lawson à ses nouvelles fonctions. L’objectif principal de ces démarches, décrites en détail dans une directive de transition distincte, est de faire en sorte qu’il ait la connaissance de la situation et l’information contextuelle nécessaires pour assumer et exercer le plein commandement des FC. Bien que cela puisse temporairement avoir une incidence sur la capacité du Lgén Lawson à visiter personnellement les formations, bases et escadres des FC, cela demeurera une partie cruciale et précieuse du travail du CEMD, et, il ne fait nul doute que cela sera un aspect de son commandement lorsqu’il sera en fonction.

En ce qui concerne la cérémonie de passation du commandement proprement dite, mon cabinet a reçu nombre de demandes provenant de gens de l’intérieur et de l’extérieur des FC souhaitant être présents ou y participer. Je suis humblement touché par l’intérêt que l’on manifeste et par l’expression du soutien que cela présuppose. Dans le but de gérer nos ressources financières de façon responsable, j’ai publié des directives précises pour faire en sorte que la cérémonie de passation du commandement soit modeste, tout en témoignant d’un respect convenant à la nomination du Chef de la Défense.

Par conséquent, le choix du Musée canadien de la guerre comme lieu pour tenir la cérémonie permettra de restreindre le nombre d’invité que l’on peut accueillir. Je vous demande de faire preuve de compréhension afin de m’aider à atteindre mon objectif de limiter les coûts. Plus particulièrement, en ce qui concerne les membres des FC de l’extérieur de la région de la capitale nationale invités à assister à la cérémonie, mon intention est de m’assurer qu’un déplacement à Ottawa ne se fasse en service temporaire uniquement pour l’événement de la passation du commandement.

Dans le même ordre d’idées, mon cabinet a reçu des demandes d’information au sujet de cadeaux de départ et de marques d’appréciation. Bien que je sois très reconnaissant de cette générosité, je souhaite personnellement que de telles expressions de soutien se manifestent sous la forme d’un don au Fonds pour la famille des militaires, au programme Sans limites ou à une autre œuvre de charité tout aussi digne.

J’encourage tous les membres des FC à garder à l’esprit notre besoin de conserver nos ressources disponibles, de se concentrer sur les opérations en cours, de continuer à investir dans nos capacités futures et de préserver le bien-être des militaires, hommes et femmes, ainsi que de leurs familles.

En terminant, je désire remercier tous les militaires pour leur service à l’égard du Canada, ainsi que leurs familles pour leur soutien indéfectible. Ce fut, et c’est encore un honneur de vous servir en tant que Chef d’état major de la Défense.


“Digger” MacDougall Receives Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal

In a private presentation in Rockland, Ontario, 5276 J. R. “Digger” MacDougall, Class of ’61, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as a Royal thank you “for your dedicated service to your peers, to your community and to Canada. The contributions you have made to our nation are most commendable and deserve our praise and admiration”, said the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston.

Digger was recommended for the honour by a committee of volunteers who were tasked to select deserving recipients for the award. At the time of the nomination Digger was serving, or had served (since a teenager), on the leadership teams of numerous community, provincial, national and international volunteer organizations. His Chairmanship of the Sing Canada Harmony Scholarship Fund was a key element in the recognition he received. Governor General David Johnston added his own congratulations to the “…heartfelt congratulations of your fellow Canadians”.

Along with the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) “For Meritorious Service to Canada” awarded three times during his 33 year military career, Digger will wear the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal with the other three medals (including two for international peacekeeping). As President of the 2400+ member Ottawa Branch of the Royal Military College Club of Canada and as a 12 year Volunteer Interpreter and Living History Interviewer at the Canadian War Museum, Digger wears these medals two or more times per week in official volunteer duties and at formal functions.

The Board of Directors of Sing Canada Harmony joined other Canadians and American colleagues in congratulating Digger on having been awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition for his admirable contributions to Canada.


Chris Hadfield ponders mundane and serious challenges of six months in space

“It’s the difference between a quick visit somewhere — a drive past — and moving somewhere,”

13738 Astronaut Chris Hadfield  Article


Khadr’s rehabilitation undermined by Tories, Dallaire says

“I think they are creating a scenario for him so it’s almost impossible for him to reintegrate in society in Canada, in at least a fair chance of having that opportunity,”

H7860 Liberal Senator Roméo Dallaire  Article


Veterans offered new online system  Article


Boeing Chief Test Pilot speaks with Qatar Leadership Academy Cadets

“We have an obligation to encourage the next generation of aerospace leaders to pursue their higher-education goals and to follow their career dreams,”

Boeing Test and Evaluation Chief Pilot for F/A-18 Programmes 15463Ricardo Traven  Article


Military folds three commands into one

The new joint commander, 13337 Lt.-Gen. Stuart Beare, says the old organizations required about 580 staff, but his new command will operate with roughly 450 members, making it about 25 per cent “leaner.”



Photo: Pat Kinsella for The Chronicle Review

The Few, the Proud, the Infantilized

The military academy that is the closest to the American model—four-year undergraduate institutions—is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Royal Military College of Canada. The college has solved many of the problems of the U.S. academies by loosening …


One Comment

  • TonyStark

    October 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Interesting how the author encourages the US service academies to adopt an RMC model while the current commandant of RMC is trying to adopt a model that is closer to the USMA.
    Also funny is how the author doesn’t know the current realities of the College, like the fact that the live-off program has been canceled except for those who have been grandfathered in.

    RMC faces many of the same problems as the US academies, however I believe that we would be far worse off if we took an extreme americanized approach to our College.

    Problems that are caused by culture in the US are caused by an over centralized authority that originates in the MilWing and allows few real powers to trickle down into the CadetWing, thus causing the same issues with infantilism as described by the author.