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As Good as Any

Heroes Remember

I would think the only thing that I can say is that regardless of frustrations and forces going up and going down and being constantly reacting to budgetary problems being sometimes equipped with very old equipment and that sort of thing and that’s not rare today, if you look at SeaKing helicopters and things like this, that somehow, Canadians have always developed, have a better than average “can do” attitude. There’s nothing that we find impossible to do or the impossible just takes a little longer. Man for man, woman for woman I still think we have the best soldiers in the world. And it’s a great feeling to think that perhaps you’ve been involved in helping to develop that or at least maintaining it because I think that they were just as good in World War II or in World War I. But I think it has a bit . . . it leans against, I guess, what it is to be a Canadian. Canada is not a country without regional disparities and difficulties as we all know at each political rally that you see. But, basically, we seem to come out of it looking pretty good and we have a good international reputation. If there’s a flaw, if there’s a fly in the ointment is that somehow we tend to take our armed forces for granted and therefore we don’t give them, necessarily, the right priorities and funding at times and we count on them to be able, with their “can do” attitude, that’s the negative part of the “can do” attitude. That a “can do” attitude that we tend to look at it, well, they probably don’t have that many problems if they’re doing that well and that’s a dangerous balancing act and that’s a balancing act that always worries and concerns me. But I have no doubts whatsoever about the basic material that makes up our military forces. The basic young man and young woman of Canada are as good as any and I’m very proud to be one of them.

Mr. Belzile reflects on the character of Canada’s Armed Forces.

Charles Belzile

Lt.-Gen. Charles Belzile was born in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, on March 12, 1933. As a youth, he was exposed to the armed forces as troop trains passed by his home during the Second World War. He joined the reserves, then the regular force with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry in 1951. In 35 years of service, Lt.-Gen. Belzile has served in Korea, Germany, Cyprus and Canada. His appointments have included regimental duties with the Queen’s Own Rifles, Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion Royal 22e Régiment, Commander 4th Canadian Mechanized Group and Canadian Forces Europe in Germany. Since retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces, he has held numerous posts as a consultant and honorary chair. Mr. Belzile Chaired the VAC 60th Anniversary Committee on VE-Day commemorations and was Grand President of the Royal Canadian Legion. International honours include Commander of the Legion of Honour of France and recipient of the Vimy Award.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Charles Belzile
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Lieutenant General

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