Presentation of Scrolls to Newly Appointed General Officers and Flag Officers
Rideau Hall, Friday, April 17, 2015
I acknowledge that this gathering is taking place on the traditional territory of the Algonquin peoples.
Welcome to Rideau Hall for this presentation of scrolls ceremony.
One of the great honours of my life has been to serve as commander-in-chief of Canada.
And I know that all of you who are being appointed general officers and flag officers today are likewise very proud to serve.
The Canadian Armed Forces is distinguished by such dedication as yours. This dedication takes many forms, but at heart it’s all about two things:
Duty and honour.
They are not separate, but connected.
Duty can only be done with honour.
And honour is achieved through duty.
Today, you are being recognized for your dedication to performing duty with honour.
You have earned this opportunity to lead. You have worked hard for it. You are ready and willing to work harder still.
Leadership is a profound responsibility, and a fundamental element of good leadership is the recognition of your total dependence on those with whom you serve.
This is especially true in a military organization.
Similarly, those you lead are dependent upon you. Those you lead depend upon your judgement, dedication, skill and trust. They depend upon your honour. They also depend on you to create an environment where they can thrive—where they can meet the requirements of duty and honour to the best of their talents, and a little bit beyond.
In your new role, you will be called upon to make decisions for the good of those under your command, for the good of your fellow soldiers, for the good of the country.
Don’t be intimidated. Rather, be encouraged and inspired. You are not alone, but rather part of a great team, where the word “we” is far more important than the word “me.”
Each of you has demonstrated the qualities needed to lead in the Canadian Armed Forces. That means you understand your role, and the roles of those around you, and how they relate and reinforce each other.
Me to we—first person singular to first person plural. With this promotion, you assume greater responsibility for strengthening the ‘we’ that is the Canadian Armed Forces, that is Canada.
I thank you for taking up this responsibility, and wish you the very best.