William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD

General Rick Hillier
General Rick Hillier – The Big Cod

Call him the SNIC or by his nickname Big Cod
The Senior Newfie in Charge is still next to God!
His big combat boots will be empty come this July
It’s retirement stand down drill for this great CDS guy

Cod’s replacement will have to learn to do drill double time
When dealing with Taliban corruption and crime
Parliament Hill masters might just get in the way?
As the brand new CDS tries to conquer the day

Farewell to the Soldier, God Speed the Big Cod
You’ve served us all well down the roads that we trod
You were firm fair and friendly to all of your troops
Let’s hope your replacement can fill your big boots!


By Scott Taylor
Times Colonist Newspaper: April 28, 2008

Immediately following Gen. Rick Hillier’s unexpected April 16 announcement of his resignation the national media erupted into an orgy of praise and lionization of the outgoing chief of defence staff.

Editorials from coast to coast hailed Hillier – aka The Big Cod – as the officer who had single-handedly reversed a decade of darkness and restored the Canadian military to its full former glory.

Unlike anything our nation has ever experienced previously, The Big Cod’s charisma and down-home Newfoundland charm created “Hilliermania” within the uniformed ranks and even won over the cynical national press corps. With praise for Hillier’s accomplishments being almost unanimously heaped upon the good general, one particular party-pooper kept trying to throw a wet blanket on the celebrations.

On April 17, David Pugliese of the Ottawa Citizen ran a front-page story proclaiming that our air force was about to run out of money. In fact, according to a leaked internal document, the air force will face a $540-million operating shortfall this year, which, if not addressed, would result in the grounding of aircraft fleets.

In addition to the immediate effect on operations, the air force document alleged that, while the Harper government has allocated significant money towards the acquisition of new aircraft, there will not be enough cash left over to properly maintain or store the new planes…