282,781 Pages

Chief of the Defence Staff
Chef d'état-major de la défense
Lieutenant-General Thomas J Lawson.jpg
Type Commissioned officer
Status Currently constituted
Abbreviation CDS

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) (French language: Chef d'état-major de la défense) is the second most senior member of the Canadian Forces and heads the Armed Forces Council, having primary responsibility for command, control, and administration of the forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements. The position is held by a senior member of one of the three main branches of the Canadian Forces. The current CDS, since 29 October 2012,[1] is General Thomas J. Lawson.[2]

History[edit | edit source]

Until 1964, there existed a Chief of the Naval Staff, as head of the Royal Canadian Navy, a Chief of the General Staff, as head of the Canadian Army, and a Chief of the Air Staff, as head of the Royal Canadian Air Force. A position known as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee existed, which had a loose coordination function, although it lacked the command and control responsibilities of the later position of Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS).[3]

The position of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the positions of the three service chiefs were abolished in 1964 and replaced by the position of CDS. This change was based on a white paper initiated by Paul Hellyer, Minister of National Defence in the Cabinet headed by Lester B. Pearson.[4] Following the tabling of the white paper, the minister introduced legislation that took effect in August 1964. The newly established Chief of the Defence Staff was to "head all of Canada's military forces, backed by a defence headquarters that was integrated and restructured to reflect six so-called functional commands, replacing eleven former service commands. 'Functional' described a command that was non-geographic and beyond any particular service or traditional arm."[4] In May 1967, Bill C-243 was passed by parliament and was effective as of February 1, 1968. The law dissolved the three armed services and created the Canadian Forces under the command of the CDS.[5]

In 2011, the three functional commands—named Maritime Command, Land Force Command, and Air Command—had their original names reinstated, becoming the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force, respectively.[6] The heads of the three commands—the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, Commander of the Canadian Army, and Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force—report to the CDS, rather than to the Minister of National Defence, as occurred prior to 1964.

Rank and command[edit | edit source]

The Chief of the Defence Staff follows in rank only the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, who appoints the CDS and is the person from whom the CDS receives his or her orders.[7] In practice, the commander-in-chief—the Canadian monarch, represented by the governor general—typically acts only on the advice of his or her ministers of the Crown, meaning the CDS normally reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.[7]

The CDS has been charged with four main priorities, each having multiple sub-priorities: The first is to conduct operations, which includes the successful implementation of domestic and international operations, protection of the forces through a culture of risk management, and ensuring that recruitment is at a level required to sustain the operational forces at full potential to meet their commitments.[8] Secondly, the CDS is expected to expand the regular and reserve forces to meet international and domestic obligations, which means the management of the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group so as to streamline the enlistment process of new forces members.[8] The third task is to implement the national defence strategy as outlined by the Queen-in-Council, requiring both the acquisition of new equipment and the strengthening of diplomatic relations via the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and North American Aerospace Defence Command."[8] Lastly, the CDS must enhance the forces' programme delivery while optimising the use of resources.[8] The CDS is also the Chair of the Canadian Forces Decorations Advisory Committee, which reviews and recommends to the governor general members of the forces eligible to receive decorations for valour, bravery, and meritorious service, as well as Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendations.[9] This committee mirrors that for the Order of Military Merit, of which the CDS is ex-officio a member and the Principal Commander.[10] Separately, the CDS presents the Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation (French language: Mention élogieuse du Chef d'état-major de la Défense)—in the form of a gold bar pin that bears three equilaterally spaced maple leaves—to recognise deeds or activities beyond the normal demands of duty,[11] as well as the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, which is given by the CDS on behalf of the entire forces.[12]

Chiefs of the Defence Staff[edit | edit source]

Name Rank Image Year Branch Home Province Appointed by Prime Minister Notes
Frank Robert Miller Air Chief Marshal[13] 90x90px 1964–1966 Royal Canadian Air Force British Columbia BC Georges Vanier Lester B. Pearson [14]
Jean-Victor Allard General 1966–1969 Canadian Army Quebec QC Georges Vanier Lester B. Pearson [15]
Frederick Ralph Sharp General 90x90px 1969–1972 Air Command Saskatchewan SK Roland Michener Pierre Trudeau [16]
Jacques Alfred Dextraze General 1972–1977 Mobile Command Quebec QC Jules Léger Pierre Trudeau [17]
Robert Hilborn Falls Admiral 1977–1980 Maritime Command Ontario ON Jules Léger Pierre Trudeau [18]
Ramsey Muir Withers General 1980–1983 Mobile Command Ontario ON Edward Schreyer Pierre Trudeau [19]
Gérard Charles Édouard Thériault General 90x90px 1983–1986 Air Command Quebec QC Edward Schreyer Pierre Trudeau [20]
Paul David Manson General Paul David Manson DF-ST-87-12525.jpg 1986–1989 Air Command British Columbia BC Jeanne Sauvé Brian Mulroney [21]
John de Chastelain General 90x90px 1989–1993 Mobile Command Alberta AB Jeanne Sauvé Brian Mulroney [22]
John Rogers Anderson Admiral 1993 Maritime Command British Columbia BC Ray Hnatyshyn Jean Chrétien [23]
John de Chastelain General 90x90px 1994–1995 Land Force Command Alberta AB Ray Hnatyshyn Jean Chrétien [22]
Joseph Édouard Jean Boyle General 1996 Air Command Ontario ON Roméo LeBlanc Jean Chrétien [24]
Larry Murray (Acting) Vice-Admiral 90x90px 1996–1997 Maritime Command Ontario ON Roméo LeBlanc Jean Chrétien [25]
Maurice Baril General Maurice Baril.JPG 1997–2001 Land Force Command Quebec QC Roméo LeBlanc Jean Chrétien [26]
Raymond Henault General Ray Henault 071010-D-7203T-004.jpg 2001–2005 Air Command Manitoba MB Adrienne Clarkson Jean Chrétien [27]
Rick Hillier General Rick Hillier in Colorado.png 2005–2008 Land Force Command Newfoundland and Labrador NL Adrienne Clarkson Paul Martin [28]
Walter Natynczyk General Walter Natynczyk.png 2008–2012 Land Force Command/Canadian Army Manitoba MB Michaëlle Jean Stephen Harper [29]
Thomas J. Lawson General Lieutenant-General Thomas J Lawson.jpg 2012–present Royal Canadian Air Force Ontario ON David Johnston Stephen Harper [30]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Campion-Smith, Bruce (29 October 2012). "Gen. Tom Lawson takes over as Canada’s chief of defence staff". http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1279029--lt-gen-tom-lawson-takes-over-as-chief-of-defence-staff-from-gen-walt-natynczyk. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  2. The Canadian Press (27 August 2012). "NORAD official named new chief of defence staff". CTV. http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/norad-official-named-new-chief-of-defence-staff-1.931297. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  3. Canadian Army (1949-1964). "Fonds of the Chief of the General Staff". In Department of National Defence. Histories > DHH Historical Research Centre > Research > DHH Archive Database > Reports > Miscellaneous Reports/Documents > DHH Archival Database Extract. Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. p. 40. 97/10. http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/rep-rap/doc/misc/Archives.pdf. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Government of Canada. "Canadian Military History Gateway > Volume 3 (1872–2000) > CHAPTER 7: From Cold War to Present Day > Unification > Hellyer's Integration of the Three Services". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/page-708-eng.asp. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  5. Government of Canada. "Canadian Military History Gateway > Volume 3 (1872–2000) > CHAPTER 7: From Cold War to Present Day > Unification > Implementing Unification". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/cmh/page-709-eng.asp. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  6. Fitzpatrick, Meagan (16 August 2011). "Peter MacKay hails 'royal' renaming of military". CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/08/16/pol-military-renaming.html. Retrieved 26 September 2011. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Department of National Defence. "CDS Home > Responsibilities > CDS - Responsibilities". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.cds.forces.gc.ca/res/index-eng.asp. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Chief of the Defence Staff > Priorities > About the CDS - Defence Priorities for 2009-2010". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.cds.forces.gc.ca/pri/index-eng.asp. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  9. Department of National Defence (2007). "Honours & Recognition for the Men and Women of the Canadian Forces". Queen's Printer for Canada. p. 105. http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhr-ddhr/pub/doc/hrmwcf-dhrhffc-2007.pdf. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  10. Office of the Governor General of Canada. "Honours > National Orders > Order of Military Merit". Queen's Printer for Canada. http://www.gg.ca/honours/nat-ord/omm/index_e.asp. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  11. Department of National Defence 2007, p. 66
  12. Department of National Defence 2007, p. 80
  13. This rank was used during the existence of the Royal Canadian Air Force and replaced with the rank of general in 1968 with the unification of the Canadian Forces. See Category:Canadian Forces Air Command generals for such officers. Miller was one of only two Canadian Air Chief Marshals, the other being Lloyd Samuel Breadner
  14. Legault, Albert (1992). A Diplomacy of Hope: Canada and Disarmament. McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 0-7735-0955-0. 
  15. "General Jean-Victor Allard". Virtual Museum of Canada. http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Militaris/eng/land/people/pplpopup/c.1.1a.html. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  16. Preston, Richard (1991). To Serve Canada. University of Ottawa Press. ISBN 0-7766-0327-2. 
  17. Horn, Bernd (2007). Loyal service: Perspectives on French-Canadian Military Leaders. Dundurn Press Ltd.. ISBN 1-55002-693-3. 
  18. Martell, Paul (1974). World Military Leaders. Bowker. ISBN 0-8352-0785-4. 
  19. "General Ramsey M. Withers". Conference of Defence Associations. http://www.cda-cdai.ca/CDAI/Withers.htm. Retrieved 21 March 2009. [dead link]
  20. Marsh, James (2006). The Canadian Encyclopedia. Hurtig Publishers. ISBN 0-88830-330-0. 
  21. "Gen. Paul D. MANSON". Canadian Who's Who 1997. http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=maker&t=93978&d=1857. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 Bernd, Horn (2001). Warrior Chiefs: Perspectives on Senior Canadian Military Leaders. Dundurn Press Ltd.. ISBN 1-55002-351-9. 
  23. "Admiral John R. ANDERSON". Canadian Who's Who 1997. http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=allen&t=115955&d=1252. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  24. "General Joseph Édouard Jean BOYLE". Canadian Who's Who 1997. http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=boyd&t=33236&d=1865. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  25. "Vice-Admiral Larry MURRAY". Canadian Who's Who 1997. http://www.utpress.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/cw2w3.cgi?p=munn&t=63803&d=1142. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  26. "Assumption of Command of Lieutenant-General J.M.G. Baril". Governor General of Canada. http://www.gg.ca/media/doc.asp?lang=e&DocID=25. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  27. "NATO Biographies: Chairman of the Military Committee, General Raymond Henault". North Atlantic Treaty Organization. http://www.nato.int/cv/milcom/henault-e.htm. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  28. "CBC News In Depth: Gen. Rick Hillier". CBC. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 15 February 2005. http://web.archive.org/web/20050215200418/http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/hillier/. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  29. "New top soldier a 'gentleman's general'". Ottawa Citizen. http://www2.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=c5ca775a-a5a4-486a-a24d-e4eb3ccd7d32. Retrieved 21 March 2009. 
  30. "General Thomas J. Lawson named Canada's New Chief of Defence Staff". The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/gen-thomas-lawson-named-canadas-new-chief-of-defence-staff/article4500636/. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 

External links[edit | edit source]

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.