General Jonathan Vance will be transferring command of the Canadian Armed Forces to Vice-Admiral Art McDonald in a *virtual* ceremony scheduled for this afternoon beginning at 2:15. This very special occasion will commence with a smudge ceremony.
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, will preside over the ceremony virtually. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence will also attend virtually.
Official Rank Note: Vice-Admiral McDonald’s rank during and following the Change of Command ceremony will be Admiral.
An infantry officer to his core, General Jonathan Vance has served as Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff since July 2015.
Commissioned into The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1986, General Vance has commanded at all levels within the field force from platoon commander to brigade commander, in peacekeeping and combat operations.
General Vance has deployed across the globe numerous times in the service of Canada, including two tours in Afghanistan as the Commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Task Force Kandahar. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross twice, is a Commander of the Order of Military Merit, and was awarded the Mentioned-in-Dispatches for his leadership during peacekeeping operations in Croatia.
As the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Vance’s priority is the readiness for Operations, both domestic and international. Whether it is helping Canadians cope with natural disasters, defending Canadian territory against military threats or deploying overseas to confront adversaries and help our allies, the Canadian Armed Forces stand ready and able to the their duty.
From launching Operation Honour to combat harmful behaviour within the ranks, leading significant change in combat development, to developing improved personnel policies, enabling the CAF to conduct operations now and into the future, the Canadian Armed Forces are transforming under General Vance’s command.General Jonathan Vance is an avid sailor and happiest on the open water with his family.
Admiral Art McDonald will become Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) and assume command of the Canadian Armed Forces on 14 January 2021, becoming the 20th CDS. Prior to his appointment as CDS, Adm McDonald commanded the Royal Canadian Navy from 2019 to 2021. He had also previously commanded at the ship (HMCS HALIFAX 2007-2009), Operations Group / Fleet (Maritime Operations Group Five 2010-2011), and Formation (Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific 2016-2018) levels.