Order of Military Merit Investiture Ceremony
Rideau Hall, Friday, March 2, 2012
I am pleased to welcome you to Rideau Hall today for this investiture ceremony.
As governor general, I have the great privilege of meeting regularly with the men and women of the Canadian Forces, and of recognizing their service to Canada.
Today, you are being honoured for your hard work and dedication in the line of duty. As members of the Order of Military Merit, you represent our very best.
I know that life in the military is not always easy. You and your loved ones are often called upon to make real sacrifices. I was reminded of this once again last Christmas, when I visited soldiers and civilians serving in Italy and Afghanistan.
Without a doubt, the men and women I spoke with overseas were missing their friends and families at that festive time of year. But they were sustained by a strong sense of duty and pride, and by the ties they share as members of the Canadian Forces.
I am often struck by the strength of the bond that unites our military. Each of you plays a different role, but you are drawn together by a common purpose and set of values—and by a wonderful camaraderie.
This close connection within your ranks is one reason why your individual conduct is so important. The Canadian Forces is a unique family, and, as in any family, role models are important.
Put another way, your actions are the living spirit that lies at the heart of Canadian military professionalism.
As Duty With Honour, your manual of military conduct, puts it:
“[The Canadian military ethos] holds that armed forces are not inanimate things to be continually reconstructed and remodeled. Rather, professional armed forces pre-eminently rely on the human dimension for success.”
Never underestimate the power of the human dimension, of the great impact that your example has on your fellow soldiers. Your dedication and leadership have inspired others to do better—and in turn, so too will they lead by example.
The Order of Military Merit exists to recognize your remarkable achievements and contributions, and to highlight your exemplary conduct for all to see.
Each of you has served in so many ways, often without recognition. That is why it is such a pleasure to have this opportunity to express my gratitude for your exceptional service, and to invest you into the Order as commanders, officers and members.
This honour speaks to the pride that your peers, your commanding officers and your country have in you.
We are truly fortunate to have you in uniform.