I'm a bit late with this story, but it arrived at an e-mail address I rarely check anymore. Thanks to JMH for passing it along.
The Ceremonial Guard (CG) welcomed two new recruits July 20.
Admittedly a little green, it had been years—a lot of years—since they had performed drill, nonetheless both beamed beneath their bearskin hats even in the beating sun.
Guardsmen Rick Hillier and Daniel Gilbert—known on any other day as the Chief of the Defence Staff and the CF Chief Warrant Officer respectively—paraded with the Old Guard one day later on Parliament Hill.
In fact, just moments before leaving Cartier Square Drill Hall for the Hill, General Hillier says he had chills down his spine. Describing the CG as a Canadian institution, encompassing teamwork, fitness, cohesion and leadership, he says it reflects superbly on the men and women in uniform. “To be part of it, if only for one day,” says Gen Hillier, “was phenomenal. I’m thrilled.”
Some folks see this sort of event as more of a gimmick than real leadership. I say if showing the troops you're willing to do what they do - even for only a day - is a gimmick, then I'm all for gimmicks.
When I worked for a credit union out west years ago, we used to have all the bigwigs from Head Office, including the CEO, take a day as tellers, and it was always well received.
Civilian or military, much of leadership is about making your people want to follow you, and hokey or not, exercises like this help. It's yet another positive sign that Rick Hillier is the right man for the job.