United States Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley visits Ottawa

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Article / March 7, 2017 / Project number: 17-1020

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By Karla Gimby, Army Public Affairs

Ottawa, Ontario — Defence and security relations between the United States and Canada are longstanding and well-entrenched, and contribute to one of the closest military relationships in the world.

General Mark Milley, Chief of Staff United States Army, visited Ottawa, Ontario to meet with Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander Canadian Army and key national security officials on March 5 and 6, 2017. By working closely together, the Canadian and United States armies are able to contribute jointly to the defence of the continent and to develop regional capabilities.

“Opportunities to meet face-to-face with our United States Army counterparts are crucial to ensuring both our militaries are able to work collaboratively on joint security issues, to promote interoperability and to foster an excellent military relationship,” said Lieutenant-General Wynnyk. “Last year, I had the chance to visit General Milley in Washington and to see first-hand the professionalism of his soldiers. I’m pleased to be able to host a reciprocal visit and continue our exchange of ideas.”

Following a welcome ceremony which included a 50-member Guard of Honour, the United States Army delegation paid respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial, where General Milley laid a wreath. In addition, his schedule included meetings with General Jonathan Vance, Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff, Mr. Daniel Jean, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, and officials from the United States Embassy. 

The bi-lateral engagement afforded an opportunity for General Milley to recognize four Canadian Army (CA) members for their exemplary efforts during the U.S.-led training event - Exercise SABER GUARDIAN in Romania in the summer of 2016. United States Army Europe awarded Army Commendation Medals to:

  • Major Sean Clark, Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, National Defence Headquarters;
  • Major James Smith, G4 Systems/5th Canadian Division Headquarters, Halifax, Nova Scotia; and
  • Chief Warrant Officer Jody Tower, 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s), 5th Canadian Division, Moncton, New Brunswick.

In addition, he also awarded an Army Achievement Medal to Captain Christopher Hanley, 5th Canadian Division Headquarters, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Maintaining our close ties and excellent working relationship with the Canadian Army is a major factor in the defence of our continent and underpins our ability to work together on joint operations,” said General Milley. “It is also rewarding to be able to personally thank a few Canadian soldiers for their efforts on one of our recent Exercises in Europe.”

General Milley has a personal connection to Canada. His family can be traced back to the mid-1800s in the fishing posts of the Western Bay region of Newfoundland before they immigrating to the U.S. in the 1920s.

Another connection General Milley has with Canada is his love of hockey, our national winter sport. On Monday, March 6, the United States delegation attended a hockey game between the Ottawa Senators and the Boston Bruins, General Milley’s favorite team. United States and Canadian flag parties were part of the opening ceremonies before the puck was dropped. Both General Milley and Lieutenant-General Wynnyk were presented jerseys, from the Bruins and the Senators respectively. Lieutenant-General Wynnyk received #9, which is the Commander call sign in the CA and General Milley received #6 which is designated for the Commander in the U.S. Army, and coincidently is also the number he wore when he played hockey growing up.

“This visit was extremely fruitful,” said Lieutenant-General Wynnyk. “Enhancing our relationship with the United States Army will only serve to strengthen our collaborative efforts at home and on combined operations around the world.”

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