A Soldier First

A Soldier First

3.94 (200 ratings by Goodreads)
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Canada's most popular military leader since World War II, General Rick Hillier tells his own story in A Soldier First-a frank, honest, eye-opening account of the General's quick climb through the ranks.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 552 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 45.7mm | 635.03g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • Harper
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations, colour illustrations
  • 0062026674
  • 9780062026675
  • 990,968

Back cover copy

Canada's most popular military leader since the Second World War tells his own story about our soldiers at war. In the summer of 2008, General Rick Hillier resigned his command as Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces. You could almost hear the sigh of relief in Ottawa as Canada's most popular, and most controversial, leader since the Second World War left a role in which he'd been as frank-speaking, as unpredictable, and as resolutely apolitical as any military leader this country has ever seen.

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Hillier joined the military as a young man and quickly climbed the ranks. He played a significant role in domestic challenges, such as the 1998 ice story that paralyzed much of eastern Ontario and Quebec, and he quickly became a player on the international scene, commanding an American corps in Texas and a multinational NATO task force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. But it was his role as General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, that defined him as a Canadian public figure. In Afghanistan, Canada faced its first combat losses since the Korean War and every casualty suddenly became front-page news. A country formerly ambivalent or even angry about its role in the conflict suddenly became gripped by the drama playing out not only in the war zone of a country half-way around the world, but in the unfriendly conference rooms in the country's capital as Hillier pulled no punches, demanding more funding and more troops and more appreciation for the women and men fighting a war on foreign soil.

A Soldier First is a hard-hitting, frank account of Hillier's role in his own words. The man who never backed down from the Taliban or Canada's top political leaders tells all in what will be one of the most important books to come out of this country this decade.
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Review quote

"A tough, competent and proud soldier, Rick Hillier makes it clear in his memoirs that his aim as chief of the defence staff from 2005 to 2008 was to change the way Canada played the game." -- The Globe and Mail "A Soldier First is an enjoyable, informative, and often insightful account of a remarkable soldier's career, written in the personable, `folksy' style for which General Hillier was famous." -- Canadian Military Journal
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About Rick Hillier

General Rick Hillier, born in Newfoundland and Labrador, enlisted in the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program. He graduated from Memorial University in 1975 with a B.Sc. degree. In May 2003 Hillier was appointed Commander of the Army, and 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 and stepped down in the summer of 2008.
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Rating details

200 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 30% (59)
4 41% (82)
3 24% (48)
2 5% (10)
1 0% (1)
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