ARCHIVED - Chief of the Defence Staff Launches Profession of Arms Manual

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News Release / October 15, 2003 / Project number: NR-CDA04.03

KINGSTON, Ont. – History was made today as the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) presented Canada's first Profession of Arms Manual to the senior leadership of the Canadian Forces, including senior non-commissioned members (NCMs), in Ottawa. The 80-page document defines Canadian military professionalism for the benefit of serving members, DND civilians, and interested Canadians.

" Duty With Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada is a defining document for Canada's profession of arms," says the CDS, Gen. Ray Henault. "I have therefore directed that it serve as a cornerstone document in the professional development system of the Canadian Forces."

Captain (Navy) Al Okros heads up the Kingston-based Canadian Forces Leadership Institute (CFLI) and led the manual's writing team. He says Duty with Honour both defines how Canada's profession of arms is integrated into society, and shows how and why it differs. He emphasises that with the CDS serving as head of the profession of arms, responsibility for maintaining professional standards falls squarely on the shoulders of the men and women who serve in uniform.

"We as military members serve the government and society, but have a special responsibility to be the guardians of our own professional ethos and standards," says Capt (N) Okros. "Defining those standards in writing for the first time is a major advance in our ongoing effort to strengthen professional values in the Canadian Forces."

Duty with Honour is divided into four chapters offering an overview of the profession, a definition of the Canadian Military Ethos, a description of how the profession functions, and a look to the future. It was written over a period of two years by a team of officers, non-commissioned members and academics. A summary version of the manual endorsed by Her Excellency the Governor General, the Minister of National Defence, and the Chief of the Defence Staff will be distributed to all members of the Canadian Forces beginning in November.

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Defence reporters and others covering defence matters are encouraged to read the document or its summary, and offer their comments to the writing team. To view an online version of the manual or summary, please visit To receive a free copy of either, or to comment, write to For more information, or to interview the P of A Manual's creators, contact Lt.-Comd. John Coppard, Public Affairs Officer for the CDA, at (613) 541-6000 extension 3973.

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