For many Canadians, the Somalia Affair became a symbol of their armed forces in the 1990s. Intense media coverage of a Somali teen’s murder by Canadian paratroopers, its cover-up by senior bureaucrats and officers at National Defence Headquarters and a series of subsequent scandals shook public confidence in the nation’s military institutions. Negative coverage particularly in the first half of the 1990s created an image of military incompetence and unprofessionalism, vividly captured in letters to the editor to major newspapers across the country. In recent years that image was balanced with more positive ones of Canadian Forces personnel protecting the peace in the Former Yugoslavia, Africa, and East Timor. Nevertheless, the spectre of Somalia still lingers in the minds of many both in and out of uniform.