General Rick Hillier
About General Rick Hillier - Former Canadian Chief of the Defence:
General Rick Hillier was Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff - the highest ranking position in the Canadian Forces - from February 4, 2005 to July 1, 2008. Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, General Hillier joined the Canadian Forces as soon as he could. Having enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program, he graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
After completing his armor officer classification training, he joined his first regiment, the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) in Petawawa, Ontario. Subsequently, he served with, and later commanded, the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Canada and Germany. In July 2008 after 35 years of loyal service General Hillier retired from the Canadian Armed Forces.
Throughout his career, General Hillier has had the privilege and pleasure of commanding troops from the platoon to multi-national formation level within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States. He has worked as a staff officer in several headquarters, first at the Army level in Montreal and later at the strategic level in Ottawa.
In 1998 General Hillier was appointed as the first Canadian Deputy Commanding General of III Corps, US Army in Fort Hood, Texas. In 2000 he took command of NATO's Stabilization Force's Multinational Division in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In May 2003 General Hillier was appointed as Commander of the Army and subsequently, 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.
In Afghanistan, Canada faced its first combat losses since the Korean War, with every casualty becoming front page news. There, as everywhere, Hillier pulled no punches, demanding more funding, more troops and more appreciation for the women and men fighting a war on foreign soil.
A Solder First: Bullets, Bureaucrats, and the Politics of War was released in October of 2009. This hard-hitting, honest account of Hillier's role -- told in his own words -- will be one of the most important books published in Canada this decade. General Rick Hillier's newest book is entitled Leadership: 50 Points of Wisdom for Today's Leaders.
General Hillier was recently named an Officer of the Order of Canada. He and his wife have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and a new grandson. He enjoys most recreational pursuits but, in particular, runs slowly, plays hockey poorly and golfs very well as long as he does not have to sink the ball.
What General Rick Hillier Talks About:
Leadership: 50 Points of Wisdom for Today’s Leaders
General Hillier’s views on leadership have evolved over his three decades as a soldier. First by watching many of his superiors make bad decisions, then by learning from the school of hard knocks as the head of emergency rescue operations in Canada and international task forces in eastern Europe and Afghanistan. Never one to be shy with his opinions, Hillier is as frank and straightforward in Leadership as he is in his #1 bestselling memoir, A Soldier First.
For Hillier, leadership is all about people – embracing those in your charge and winning over those you need to work with – not about risk aversion or management fads. Leaders think long, and have a vision. Their actions speak, not their words, and they make their own luck. But leaders also act out of moral courage, accept failure, take advantage of crisis and are perpetually optimistic.
Unstoppable. Immensely persuasive. Steeped in Newfoundlander charm. Magnetic leader.
The Globe and Mail
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