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Twelve Christmas Wishes

Twelve Christmas Wishes

A couple of weeks ago we began thinking about what we might get some of our favourite people over the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” Here’s our list

1.   For our gracious sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, her lawful heirs and successors and our Governor General and Commander, Her Excellency The Right Honourable, Michaëlle Jean: long life, health and may your armed forces send you victorious;

2.   For our Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper: a good dose of strategic vision and enough backbone to put it before the Canadian people – see more next week;

3.   For the Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay: enough (moral) courage to take charge of your huge, multi-faceted, complex and shambling department and reorganize it so that the divisions of strategic/political, administrative/management and operational/military command responsibilities are clear to those, yourself included, who have them and to those who receive direction and orders;

4.   For all parliamentarians, of all political parties: the wisdom to take seriously their responsibilities for the security of our nation;

5.   For the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Robert Fonberg: the ability to use those degrees in economics to convince another economist, Privy Council Clerk Kevin Lynch that you can administer and manage the Department of National Defence (DND) and, for Mr. Lynch, the insight necessary to know that, despite the administrative and management problem that may persist within DND, the Canadian Forces (CF) need more of everything – money, people, equipment and, above all, support from the political centre;

6.   For the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier: more money to recruit and train new soldiers, after you have taken measures to retain the good ones who are leaving in too great of numbers now;

7.   For the top level military commanders: the understanding of the transformation which is, however haltingly, taking place – not on the orders of Gen. Hillier but, rather, because combat veterans are returning from active service and will not accept the old, eight to five, bureaucratic regime;

8.   For military formation commanders: the resources to provide proper, timely (but not wastefully time consuming) training and support for all our forces – not just those army units involved with Afghanistan;

9.   For ship, unit and squadron commanding officers: enough sailors, soldiers and air force members to do the job without “plug and play” augmentation and enough resources to train your ships and units properly and the will and patience to do that little bit extra that takes a job from done to “well done;”

10.   For the media: the skill and ”heart” to see past the “if it bleeds it leads” maxim and tell Canadians the truth about the wonderful men and women who serve in the CF and the great and often dangerous job they are doing;

11.   For our friends in all services and in all the headquarters, bases, ships, units, squadrons and detachments scattered all around the world, from the highest Arctic to equatorial Africa: our best wishes for a safe return home to your loved ones – and there is an extra-special wish for Ruxted members serving in Kandahar; and

12.   To our fellow Canadians: the knowledge that our “best and brightest” are standing on guard today, and every day, at immediate and real risk of life and limb, for you and the “heart” to wish them well, as we do.


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