William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD


Will a yes-man fill the CDS bill?
A leader soldier who’ll support those who kill?
Or will our brand new CDS?
Overlook the troops whilst saying yes?

Author’s Note: Inspired by the Times/Colonist Article reproduced below


By Scott Taylor
April 30, 2008

Although General Rick Hillier will not officially end his tour of duty as chief of defence staff until July, the race has already begun to find a suitable replacement.

While Prime Minister Stephen Harper may not have appreciated the fact that Hillier—a.k.a. the Big Cod—generated his own considerable political gravity in Ottawa, replacing Canada’s most popular general in recent history with a milquetoast yes-man will not sit well with the troops.

Heading the list of possible CDS replacements is current Vice-Chief of Defence Staff Lt.-Gen. Walter Natynczyk. Like Hillier, Natynczyk is an armoured corps officer who possesses a wealth of operational and international experience. He is also extremely loyal to the Big Cod and supports the current command transformation that was designed and implemented by Hillier. Those close to Natynczyk say that the VCDS is not actively seeking the promotion to CDS, but he would not turn down the appointment if it were offered to him.

A more likely choice for the top job would be Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier, the current commander of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command. A combat engineer, Gauthier is a quiet, capable officer who has been managing the war in Afghanistan and all other overseas operations for the past two years. With his finger already on the pulse of the Canadian military’s new operational raison d’être, and the fact that he’s fluently bilingual, Gauthier is the front-runner in a tight race.

Close on his heels would be Army commander Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie…