Chief of the Defence Staff Holiday Message

Official portrait of General Jonathan Vance
General Jonathan Vance, The Chief of the Defence Staff

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2017 has been a banner year for the Canadian Armed Forces. Operationally, we helped Iraqi forces defeat a terrible enemy so they could claim back their country. We took on a significant leadership role in Europe, and with a new Battle Group so continue our contributions to stability and peace in Ukraine and Latvia. And, we have a clearer understanding of what our commitment to UN peace support operations will look like in the future, putting us squarely in line with the expected operational outputs set out in Strong. Secure. Engaged.

The Government has issued a policy that directs us to structure our capabilities into a combat-ready force that can simultaneously respond to a variety of threats and crises around the world. It’s a reflection of the realities of modern warfare and conflict resolution that’s going to guide our military operations for as long as most of you will be in uniform.

You are the backbone of that policy and everything we do, and I’m proud you make the CAF one of the best places in the country to work. Because of you, our reputation and credibility is about as high as I can ever remember. Getting there hasn’t been easy: we’ve made exceptional efforts to tackle some very tough and complex issues, but we’re making steady progress on living up to the high standards Canadians expect of us.

We need to continue striving for a type of excellence that goes beyond technical proficiency or treating each other with dignity and respect—those are just minimum requirements. Because our operational success depends so heavily on the individual character of our people, I count on all of you to approach everything you do with a warrior mentality of resilience, courage and esteem.

Because I demand you be the best, I have an obligation to provide you and your families with every opportunity for success. As we move into the New Year, my commanders and I will continue to do everything in our power to keep improving the CAF in every way.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks to you and your families for everything that you do for Canada. To our troops on deployment, we all think of you at this time of year and wish you a safe return. Happy holidays.


Jonathan H. Vance


Chief of the Defence Staff

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