At least as far as Big Daddy and Junior are concerned.
For Serge Labbé – the once-rising star of the Canadian Forces whose career came to a grinding halt after he led the disastrous Somalia mission – a promotion from colonel to brigadier-general comes with a financial windfall both immediately and for the rest of his life.
The Canadian Forces confirmed Friday that Brig.-Gen. Labbé has been promoted. In a rare move, the general's promotion will be made retroactive – both in pay and rank – to July of 2000, meaning he will receive not only significant back pay, but a boost to his pension.
The soldier was officially promoted on July 2, the same day as the chief of the defence staff change-of-command ceremony.
Given Brig.-Gen. Labbé's involvement in the Somalia mission, and the fact that two review boards previously recommended against such a promotion, critics quickly described the move as appalling. One military expert described the promotion as “almost like a presidential pardon.”
You read that right, boys and girls — eight years of retroactive pay for a man whose leadership or, more importantly, lack thereof played a significant part in the Canadian Joint Force Somalia affair and the eventual disbandment of the Canadian Airborne. According to DND’s pay scale table here, General Labbé’s increase works out to be approximately $21,900.00/year ... multiply that by 8 and you get a nice big fat cheque for just over $175,000.00.
Nice work if you can get it, huh?