This issue marks the beginning of the second year of my appointment as editor-in-chief and the final issue of CMJ’s 22nd year. Readers will continue to experience transformation in content, design and delivery of the journal, as well as in the composition of the team that delivers it. Readers can look forward to a redesigned journal and cover, improved digital delivery mechanisms and greater accessibility, new features, and a new brand logo. In accordance with my mandate, all submissions now undergo systematic and rigorous peer review. To reduce the turn-around time from acceptance to publication, we have been receiving great cooperation from authors in limiting their submissions to about 5,000 words so as to be able to increase the number and diversity of contributions in each issue. We thank authors for their patience as we strive for efficiencies while aiming to become even more effective at striving for the highest possible quality for each contribution and issue.
In my continuing efforts as editor to showcase more original Canadian artwork in CMJ, this month’s cover is a tribute to the new and old generation fighters of the RCAF. The latest 5th generation F-35 Lightning 2 is depicted coming toward the viewer as symbolic of the eventual entry of the CF-35 into RCAF service. Lightning bolts were added as an homage to the name of the F-35. The CF-18 is depicted banking away into the sunset a symbolic end of the venerable Hornet’s service with the RCAF. The original painting is 16 x 20 inches and now privately owned by a retired RCAF Colonel.
The cover’s creator is Haligonian Peter Robichaud, who has been painting since he was about twelve years old. Except for various deployments and duties at home and abroad with the Army, has never put the brushes down. Peter’s preferred medium is acrylics. He is currently working on subjects for a book series on Canadian Forces jet powered fighter aircraft, is producing commissions for the Air Force, Army, and Navy, and works on other non-aviation related art subjects.
His paintings are defined by a meticulous attention to detail of his subjects, which include aviation, portraiture, animals, various military subjects, and abstract pieces. He has produced numerous commissions for military units and personnel, as well as private individuals throughout the country and internationally. He has had art shows at museums and other locations throughout the Maritimes.
Peter has spent most of his life in one uniform or other – from Beavers and Scouts to Air Cadets, followed by nearly three decades in the Canadian military. He has extensive operational experience with all elements – air, land, sea, and the Special Operations Forces.
Peter’s passion for aviation began at a very young age in Chatham, New Brunswick. The nearby air base providing an endless source of inspiration. After flying with gliders, Cessnas, and other military airframes as an Air Cadet, his dream was to pursue a career as an Air Force pilot. Yet, lack of the required perfect vision prevented this. In 1986, a chance conversation led him to discover, somewhat reluctantly, the world of Army tanks, which became his career until 2004 when he transferred to the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch.
Peter is currently the artist in residence for the 5th Canadian Division, CFB Shearwater Aviation Museum, and The Royal Artillery Park Officer’s Mess and is a featured artist at The Halifax Citadel Army Museum.
The CMJ team is also striving to showcase a greater diversity of voices and themes to represent the breadth of ranks, trades, sociodemographics and preoccupations across the Defence Team. This issue features an article on heteronormativity in CAF structures – readers who are unsure about this term will find that this article in particular offers fascinating insights into the organization’s institutional culture. It showcases a female junior NCM’s lived experience on cultural change within the CAF in a courageously eloquent piece entitled “The View Looking Up: A Junior NCM perspective on Culture Change.” It discusses the transition of disabled veterans to the civilian world in “Gender-Based Analysis Plus and Medically Released Canadian Armed Forces Members.” In “Entrenched Heteronormativity: Gender and Work-Life balance in the military,” von Hlatky and Imre-Millei examine the implications of military life on active members. In light of Madame Arbour’s recent Report, advancing equity within CAF and DND leadership is as critical as ever; the insights offered by these articles go a considerable distance in moving the yardsticks, from a host of different lenses and experiences. We hope that they will inspire and encourage greater debate and more submissions on critical issues of the day.
In this issue, reader also find two contributions on the CAF and the public’s definition of a heroic leader and warrior, and how these have shifted over the decades. In his article, “Leadership Through Adversity: Squadron Leader Leonard Birchall in Japanese Captivity”, Madsen analyzes how Burchill’s imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp exemplifies leadership under almost unimaginable strain. In “Is the Term ‘Warrior’ Suitable for the CAF”, a collective of experienced co-authors review how our understanding and use of the term “warrior” has evolved alongside the CAF – and question whether that referent is in the military’s best interest.
CMJ’s last issue included articles on the war in Ukraine and the Task Force in Latvia. In an ongoing effort to feature timely and relevant pieces on the dynamism of the current threat environment, readers of this issue will find a contribution on “Applying Human Security to Understand the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” The Commentary is co-authored by a team from the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security (DCOE-PS), whose work will henceforth feature more regularly in CMJ. This issue also features a highly à propos review essay on the “Rise of the Chinese Navy.” In covering strategic priorities in the transatlantic and Indo-Pacific theatres, in keeping with Canada’s national motto – ad mare usque ad mare – the lead article in this issue “The Arctic Search and Rescue Region: Frozen in Time” makes a case to reapportion Canada’s SAR regions. Long a flyover region at the geostrategic periphery, the polar regions are now hotly contested, and nowhere else are the impacts of climate change greater and more rapid and thus climate and security imperatives more complementary. In June the Minister of National Defence recently announced a down payment on Canada investing in NORAD renewal, in August NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Canada’s North where he warned about Russian and Chinese designs on the Arctic, the same month that the US launched DOD’s first new Regional Studies centre in decades, the Ted Stevens Center for Arctic Security Studies and appointed an ambassador-at-large for the Arctic.
Each issue of CMJ is a labour of love that takes a lot of effort and dedication to put together. I am particularly grateful to CMRSJ Deputy Editor Chantal Lavallée and to Digital Editor Alex Green, who is co-author on this introduction, in recognition of her exceptional efforts in helping to get this particular issue over the line under trying circumstances. Since joining CMJ on Assignment in February, she has consistently stepped up and gone well beyond the call of duty in support of CMJ, and in helping to drive digital transformation. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not thank CMJ’s dedicated readers and authors for their input and support over the past year, and over the coming months as CMJ’s management, editorial and administrative team position CMJ fit-for-purpose in continuing to excel at meeting its ministerial mandate and, in the process, strive to exceed expectations of CMJ’s clients: its loyal readership and stakeholders.