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A Soldier First

A Soldier First

by Rick Hillier


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In the summer of 2008, General Rick Hillier resigned his command as Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces. You could almost hear the sigh of relief in Ottawa as Canada's most popular-and most controversial-leader since the Second World War left a role in which he'd been as candid, unpredictable and resolutely apolitical as any military leader this country has ever seen.

Rick Hillier joined the military as a young man and quickly climbed the ranks. But it was his role as General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, that defined him as a national public figure. In Afghanistan, Canada faced its first combat losses since the Korean War, and every casualty suddenly became front-page news. Canadians were gripped by the drama playing out not only halfway around the world but also in Ottawa, where Hillier demanded more funding, more troops and more appreciation for the women and men fighting a war on foreign soil.

The man who never backed down from the Taliban or from Canada's top political leaders tells all in A Soldier First, a hard-hitting, frank account of Hillier's career, told in his own words.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062026675
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/05/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 521
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

General Rick Hillier, born in Newfoundland and Labrador, enlisted in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program. He graduated from Memorial University in 1975 with a B.Sc. degree. In May 2003 Hillier was appointed Commander of the Army, and in October 2003 he was selected as the Commander of the NATO-led International security Assistance Force (IsAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. General Hillier was promoted to Chief of the Defence staff in February 2005 and stepped down in the summer of 2008.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Prologue: Breakfast with the PM 1

1 Newfoundland Days 15

2 Basic Training 33

3 Between a Rock and a Hard Place 39

4 Tanks, but No Tanks 51

5 Striking It Rich in Fort Knox 67

6 Germany 87

7 Decade of Darkness 107

8 Bosnia 133

9 A Flood of Affection 165

10 Thawing the Ice 183

11 Fort Hood, Texas 205

12 Back to Bosnia 223

13 Friendly Fire 241

14 Four Stars 261

15 Kabul 283

16 Chief of the Defence Staff 319

17 First Year on the Job 341

18 Recruiting the Nation 363

19 Defensive Manoeuvres 387

20 Making Canada Small 411

21 Highway of Heroes 429

22 Final Days 457

23 Time to Go 479

Postscript 499

Index 511

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