Defence Today

Out of touch
Defence Today, Eye On Defence

Out of touch

Gender discrimination is not acceptable, in any way, shape or form   I have been writing this column for Legion Magazine for more than 15 years and I have written columns for other magazines and newspapers for even longer. Until now, I have never written a personal column. Why now? Because I want to express my view about gender discrimination and sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.   In several ways, I was involved in the aftermath of the Somalia Affair of the early 1990s. That disgraceful series of events emerged after Somali civilians were killed by Canadian soldiers on a United Nations Chapter VII peace enforcement operation in Somalia. The killings were covered up and, as the scandal emerged, it was apparent that there were some deep problems in the Canadian A...
Top general warns of civil war threat as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan
Defence Today, Front Lines

Top general warns of civil war threat as U.S. troops exit Afghanistan

America’s top military commander in Afghanistan is predicting the country, already in its sixth successive decade of unrelenting conflict, could descend into another civil war as U.S. troops end their involvement in America’s longest war. Approaching 20 years since coalition forces ousted the regime that harboured Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorists, General Austin S. Miller said districts around the country, some strategically important, are falling rapidly and warned that, with peace talks on shaky ground, militias could propel the country into civil war. “A civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized if this continues on the trajectory it’s on right now; that should be of concern to the world,” Miller told reporters in Kabul on June 29. “The victorious Taliban regime i...
UN warns of a “global refugee crisis,” urges peace and stability
Defence Today, Front Lines

UN warns of a “global refugee crisis,” urges peace and stability

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is urging world leaders to boost their efforts to promote “peace, stability and co-operation” in the face of a global refugee crisis. The agency says refugee numbers driven by violence, persecution, war and human-rights violations have been increasing for the past decade, rising by four per cent from 2019 to a record 82.4 million in 2020. Almost a million children were born in displacement between 2018 and 2020. Children under 18 are particularly affected, said the report. They account for 42 per cent of all forcibly displaced people despite the fact they comprise just 30 per cent of the world’s population. Almost a million children were born in displacement between 2018 and 2020, it said. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the lives of...
Veterans with PTSD should have MedicAlert IDs, says Afghanistan vet
Defence Today, Front Lines

Veterans with PTSD should have MedicAlert IDs, says Afghanistan vet

War veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should have validated MedicAlert bracelets stating that they have a combat-related illness, said the decorated survivor of an RPG attack and subsequent firefight. Sean Teal, a wounded veteran who served four eventful tours in Afghanistan and earned the military’s second-highest award for valour, struggled with physical pain and mental health issues until he was ushered out of the army in 2014. Then his problems got worse. “It’s hard to get sympathy or empathy from people who can’t relate.” He said civilian doctors unfamiliar with his experience overseas and the stresses of combat all but ignored his military medical files and perpetuated a cycle of treatment that eventually rendered him a “slug,” unable to eat, sleep or...
Afghanistan veteran recounts brutal battle
Defence Today, Front Lines

Afghanistan veteran recounts brutal battle

The last thing Corporal Sean Teal said to Warrant Officer Rick Nolan was: “Do you want a Life Saver?” Before Nolan could reply, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fired by a Taliban fighter struck the windshield of their G-Wagon and killed him. Teal, driving in the seat right next to him, was concussed but functional. “All of a sudden, wham, there was this huge flash and I was smashed back in my seat,” Teal recalled in an interview with Legion Magazine. “Everything just went black. All you could smell was burning plastic and burning hair and it was like there was no air. “I went to hit the pedals and there was nothing. It was like the vehicle just shut off. Then there was this barrage of machine-gun fire coming in.” They call it “the mad minute,” those first moments of an ambush ...
The sinking of U-94
Defence Today, Front Lines

The sinking of U-94

The sinking of U-94 by an American aircraft and HMCS Oakville off Cuba on the night of Aug. 27-28, 1942, brought to a dramatic end the submarine’s relatively long and eventful service in the Kriegsmarine. Commissioned in August 1940, U-94 had sunk 26 Allied ships in two years, totalling 141,852 gross register tons, under the successive command of two Knight’s Cross recipients, Kapitänleutnant Herbert Kuppisch and Oberleutnant zur See Otto Ites. But a year before the tide of battle shifted in the U-boat war, the interrogations of U-94’s 26 survivors told other stories—of joyful encounters with porpoises the crew at first mistook for torpedoes; gifts of music and money from German corporations; and near-fatal sabotage engineered by Polish slaves during a refit.   The 29-sh...

Sign up today for a FREE download of Canada’s War Stories

Free e-book

An informative primer on Canada’s crucial role in the Normandy landing, June 6, 1944.