Christmas Message from the Admiral

Photo by Cpl Carbe Orellana, MARPAC Imaging Services

Photo by Cpl Carbe Orellana, MARPAC Imaging Services

Shipmates across the MARPAC Defence Team, as 2016 draws to a close, we all look forward to ­celebrating the holiday season with our families and friends while taking the time to reflect on our year past.

As your Commander, I look back over the past year with great pride in, and admiration for, everything that you – and our Navy in general – has accomplished!

Our ships have travelled far and wide to participate in operations, exercises, and visits – having been prepared and sustained by a world-class engineering effort!

We have provided disaster relief to an earthquake-stricken region, stopped drug smugglers in their tracks, and forged important bonds with partner nations and allies around the globe, and especially in our Indo-Asia Pacific neighbourhood.

Here at home, meanwhile, we’ve also made a difference in everything from rescues at sea and in the wilderness, to contributing in our local communities with our time – an amazing 500,000 hours annually – and money. Beyond these impressive measures of operational excellence and citizenship, the MARPAC/Naval Reserve team has stood-up the Maritime Tactical Operations Group (MTOG) and we’re advancing the Naval Security Team (NST) proof-of-concept.

Importantly, we’ve also returned Chicoutimi to sea and made her ready for a busy year ahead.

Meanwhile, we’ve begun the vital work of transforming and modernizing the RCN’s individual training system and we’ve continued to make good progress in evolving the Naval Reserve so that our citizen-sailors can more conveniently make significant contributions to our One Navy’s readiness and capability. And, most importantly, notwithstanding the substantive progress we’ve already realized, we have resolved and recommitted ourselves to improving our workplace environments in order to ensure that ours is one free of inappropriate behaviours and re-categorizes us as one of the nation’s best employers.

In retrospect, I’m sure you’ll agree that we can be justly proud of our Navy and our personal and collective contributions to its past year’s successes. And so, I want to thank each and every one of you, our Canadian Armed Forces members and our civilian employees for the work you put in, this year and every year, to uphold the standard of excellence that we expect – a standard that through your hard work we routinely exceed! Bravo Zulu!

Of course, I need also recognize and thank our families for the love and commitment they show us every day. They keep us grounded, energized, and motivated to serve our country to the best of our abilities. Without them, we simply could not serve so well. For this, I salute your loved ones for their service and sacrifices.

Having accomplished so much and endured so many sacrifices, you and your families all deserve to enjoy a respite via a wonderful holiday season this year! My wish for each of you, shipmates, is that you’ll get exactly that in this Holiday Season. As you do, please recognize too that the holidays can be a significant stressor for some of our shipmates and, as a result, I ask that you all watch-out for, and consider reaching-out to those shipmates alone and struggling this Holiday Season.

Shipmates, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours! Thank you for your service successes in 2016! I am looking forward to see you building on these good results with continued success in 2017.

Seasons Greetings,
Rear-Admiral Art McDonald
Commander Maritime Forces Pacific

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