General Rick Hillier
Born in Newfoundland and Labrador, General Rick Hillier joined the Canadian Forces in 1973 through the Regular Officer Training Plan program and graduated from Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he later served as Chancellor. After completing his officer training, he joined his first regiment, the 8th Hussars in Petawawa, Ontario. Subsequently, he served with, and later commanded, the Royal Canadian Dragoons in Germany and Canada.
Throughout his career, General Hillier had the privilege of commanding troops from the platoon to multi-national formation level within Canada, Europe, Asia and the United States. In 1998 Hillier was appointed as the first Canadian Deputy Commanding General of III Corps, US Army in Fort Hood, Texas and in 2000 took command of NATO’s Multinational Division in Bosnia.
In May 2003 Hillier was appointed as Commander of the Army and, just months later, in October 2003, was selected as the Commander of the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Hillier was promoted to General and assumed duties as the Chief of the Defence Staff on 4 February 2005 and retired from the Canadian Forces 2 July 2008. He now focuses on leadership development and contribution to his community and country through honorary appointments and charitable endeavors to support a variety of causes, mostly centered around soldiers, sailors, airmen, airwomen, special forces troopers, veterans and their families in a variety of venues.
Rick and his wife Joyce have two sons, Chris and Steven; two daughters-in-law, Caroline (Chris) and Amanda (Steven); two grandsons, Jack (13) and Matthew (8) (Chris and Caroline); and two granddaughters, Olivia (2) and Ava (2 months) (Steven and Amanda). Rick and Joyce reside in Ottawa most of the year, in Florida during the cold winters and, often, in Campbellton.