Mentoring – Training and Diplomacy
Soldiers would accompany the ambassador wherever she or he had to go, be it the presidential palace, parliament, other embassies, a school, a business or even to meet a local warlord. They had to be ready to move at any time, as the ambassador was often invited to events or meetings with little notice. They also represented the embassy and had to be alert but polite when talking to locals or other security officials.
A question of trust
Canadian instructors on tour in Afghanistan found many cultural barriers trying to teach the Afghan National Army. As Danny explains, not only did he have to adjust to their way of life but he also had to prove himself to gain the trust of the Afghan soldiers he was training.
Soldiers deployed to protect the ambassador to Afghanistan lived at the embassy in very comfortable conditions, with private rooms and meals. Flickinger tells us about how it would contrast with his previous tour.
Back to Canada
Going on a tour in Afghanistan was mentally demanding as you had to be constantly aware of your surroundings. Although the soldiers did not have to work 7 days a week, their state of mind was never completely at ease. For this reason, a period of adjustment was needed once the soldiers were back to the comfort of their lives in Canada.