Female newscasters practically swoon over him, he gets complimented continually by reporters and military analysts - Rick Hillier is not just a soldier's soldier, he's a media star.
Just a few minutes ago he passed the Chief of Defence Staff torch to Lt.-Gen. Walter Natynczyk. Hillier's speech was gracious. His final speech was centred around the people who mattered most to him, soldiers, the fallen, and their families. He spoke in both official languages and spoke simply but eloquently.
Hillier would be an advertiser's or political party's dream. He has such a positive image and most often, at least, says the right things. He has brought much needed equipment, money and attention to Canada's military, from government, and respect from the country as a whole.
In a typical bit of Hillier humour, he told the audience that on the day he officially stepped down, in April, he phoned his wife from work. He asked her if she knew what day this was. His wife being a romantic, said that it was the "first day of the rest of our lives." He said "yes, but it's also garbage day, I forgot to put it out today."
Hillier's contribution to the military will be an example to those who follow, and all in the military. His name will likely resonate for years to come.