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Soldier’s Respect

Heroes Remember

Interviewer: There seemed to be a great deal of respect amongst the soldiers? Well, I am delighted to hear you and people say that and it's because, when you're standing up for your people, I equate it to there's a precipice there, in the military and you can walk right up to the precipice and risk your career, you can put your toes right over the precipice and push it and the soldiers respect that in any leader. If you stand 50 feet back from the precipice and don't take any risks, and play it safe, and be politically correct as they would call it, then you've got problems. No matter how much talent the individual has, god knows I never thought I'd be lecturing on leadership, but I've done it to over 1 ½ million people now on just human interest tips and listening and getting along and finding out what a persons interests are that, those types of things and crap follows the law of gravity. It flows down hill. And your job as a leader is to keep it from splashing on your people. Cause there'll always be people above you that issue some instructions that really don't make any sense whatsoever. So I'm delighted soldiers feel that way as much now as when I was serving cause I spent the last sixteen years payback time. You know I don't endorse things that are wrong, or whatever. I mean militaries make mistakes, but the fact is that there are a number of us who stand up for the military. Most people think we're probably in payment of the government because normally it's in support of what the soldiers are doing and therefore that's government policy. But the fact is that it's important for me and I'm a stakeholder which is defined as someone the media calls immediately that there's a death or a serious injury. So I'm a regular commentator and that gives me a chance to praise soldiers for what they're doing and congratulate them on what they're doing because they're doing phenomenal work. My visits to Afghanistan, I've never been prouder to be Canadian and a lot of the guys there were in Sarajevo too, they're still in. So I'm just happy they feel that way and I'm also happy that the families feel that way cause families take a way, way more interest now in what their, what their husbands or dads, or whatever are doing because it's front page news.

Major-General MacKenzie speaks about the pleasure he felt from his soldiers and the level of respect they provided to him as their commander.

Lewis MacKenzie

Major-General Lewis Mackenzie was born April 30, 1940 in Truro, Nova Scotia and raised in nearby Princeport. He is a graduate of Xavier Junior College, Sydney, Cape Breton and the University of Manitoba. He is a retired general, author and media commentator. General MacKenzie is famous for establishing and commanding Sector Sarajevo’s part of the United Nations Protection Force UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia in 1992. As a result he became the only Canadian, military or civilian, to be awarded a second Meritorious Service Cross. After his many years of service, General MacKenzie retired from the Canadian Forces in 1993. His personal account of his military experiences are written in a book he wrote, “Peacekeeper, Road to Sarajevo”. As well, MacKenzie wrote his second book, “Soldiers Made Me Look Good”. Since retirement, MacKenzie is a regular commentator and in demand as a lecturer in leadership. Major-General MacKenzie continues his role as a leader and a positive influence for the Canadian Youth.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Lewis MacKenzie
War, Conflict or Mission:
Canadian Armed Forces
Royal Canadian Regiment

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