Presentation of Scrolls to Newly Appointed General Officers and Flag Officers
Rideau Hall, Wednesday, March 6, 2013
It is a pleasure to welcome you to Rideau Hall, home of the people of Canada, for this presentation of scrolls.
Throughout my mandate as governor general and commander-in-chief, I have marveled at the devotion to duty shown by each and every member of the Canadian Forces, including all of you here today.
As you are promoted, remember that dedication, honour, service and humility are the hallmarks of all soldiers, and that your country is proud of all that you do.
There is no denying that we live in a time of change, and this poses challenges for all of us, including the Canadian Forces. The context in which you operate as members of our military is evolving. That is why, more than ever, the Canadian Forces need leadership, they need new ideas, they need assurance that the military will remain strong and united. And one of the most important things members of the military need is confidence and trust in their leaders.
Leadership without trust is difficult. All of you have proven yourselves in so many different ways and have gained valuable experience. But more than that, you have built trust on a personal level with your colleagues and with those under your command. Now, you begin to build on that trust, ensuring that the Canadian Forces will continue to be respected the world over.
And remember, trust comes in on foot and leaves in a Ferrari.
I cannot tell you the number of times that I have heard from people, when travelling abroad, how much they admire the men and women of the Canadian Forces. In Afghanistan, for example, I saw first-hand how we have helped that country’s citizens rebuild.
And in the Republic of Korea, from where I have recently returned, I had the honour of laying a wreath at the War Memorial of Korea. Many Canadians served and lost their lives during the Korean War, and the citizens of that country have not forgotten that fact.
Today, we have a flourishing relationship and this year celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. This was brought about in part thanks to the dedication of members of the Canadian Forces, your predecessors.
They made a difference in the world, and it is you who will continue that proud tradition. You are building a better Canada, a stronger Canada, through service, through duty and through honour.
I congratulate you on all that you have achieved, and I leave you with this message: the responsibility that you assume in your new role is given to you because you are a trusted leader. It is up to you to maintain the high standard that you have demonstrated and create the Canadian Forces that will lead us well into the 21st century.
This will not be an easy task, but as I look around this room, I am confident—I trust—that the future of the Canadian Forces is in good hands.