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Commander of the Canadian Army

The Commander of the Canadian Army (French: Commandant de l'Armée canadienne) is the institutional head of the Canadian Army. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Army Staff (French: chef de l'état-major de l'Armée) and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

Commander of the Canadian Army and Chief of the Army Staff
Commandant de l'Armée canadienne
Lieutenant General Wayne Eyre

since 20 August 2019
 Canadian Army
TypeCommissioned Officer
StatusCurrently constituted
Reports toChief of the Defence Staff
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
PrecursorChief of the Land Staff
DeputyDeputy Commander of the Canadian Army
WebsiteOfficial website

History of the positionEdit

Prior to 1904, militia forces in Canada were commanded by senior British Army officers appointed as General Officer Commanding the Canadian Militia.[1] British regular forces in the Dominion had their own commander until the withdrawal of the last British garrison in 1906. From 1903 to 1904, the Canadian Army embarked on a new period of modernization that included the creation of a new office of Chief of the General Staff. Between 1904 and 1964, eighteen officers held this position, with the last of these, Lieutenant General Geoffrey Walsh, having officially stood down the appointment on 31 August 1964 following the official integration of the three armed services into a single Canadian Armed Forces.[2]

Following the unification of Canada's military forces[3] in February 1968, the majority of Canada's land element was assigned to the newly created Force Mobile Command and the senior Canadian army officer was then known as Commander of Mobile Command from 1965 to 1993. The command was renamed Land Force Command and the senior Canadian army officer was known as Chief of the Land Staff from 1993 to 2011.[4] Land Force Command was officially re-designated as the Canadian Army in 2011, at which time the appointment was also renamed Commander of the Canadian Army to reflect this.[5]


General Officer Commanding the Canadian Militia
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Smyth, E.Lieutenant-General
Sir E.S. Smyth
187518804–5 years
2Luard, R.Major-General
R.G.A. Luard
188018843–4 years
3Middleton, F.Major-General
Sir F.D. Middleton
188418905–6 years
4Treowen, I.Major-General
The Rt Hon Lord Treowen
189018954–5 years
5Gascoigne, W.Major-General
Sir W.J. Gascoigne
189518982–3 years
6Hutton, E.Major-General
Sir E.T.H. Hutton
189819001–2 years
7Haly, R.Major-General
R.H.O. Haly
190019021–2 years
8Dundonald, D.Major-General
The Rt Hon Earl of Dundonald
190219041–2 years
Chief of the General Staff
Flag of the Chief of the General Staff
  1. Major-General Sir P.H.N. Lake 1904–1908
  2. Major-General Sir W.D. Otter 1908–1910
  3. Major General Sir C.J. Mackenzie 1910–1913
  4. Major-General Sir W.G. Gwatkin 1913–1919
  5. General Sir A.W. Currie 1919–1920*
  6. Major-General Sir J.H. MacBrien 1920–1927
  7. Major-General H.C. Thacker 1927–1929
  8. Major-General A.G.L. McNaughton 1929–1935
  9. Major-General E.C. Ashton 1935–1938
  10. Major-General T.V. Anderson 1938–1940
  11. Major-General H.D.G. Crerar 1940–1941
  12. Lieutenant-General K. Stuart 1941–1943
  13. Lieutenant-General J.C. Murchie 1944–1945[6]
  14. Lieutenant-General C. Foulkes 1945–1951
  15. Lieutenant-General G.G. Simonds 1951–1955[7]
  16. Lieutenant-General H.D. Graham 1955–1958[8]
  17. Lieutenant-General S.F. Clark 1958–1961
  18. Lieutenant-General G. Walsh 1961–1964
  • The position of Chief of the General Staff was renamed "Inspector-General and Military Counsellor" between 1919 and 1920.
Commander of Mobile Command
  1. Lieutenant-General J.V. Allard 1965–1966[9]
  2. Lieutenant-General W. Anderson 1966–1969[10]
  3. Lieutenant-General G. Turcot 1969–1972[11]
  4. Lieutenant General W. Milroy 1972–1973[12]
  5. Lieutenant-General S. Waters 1973–1975[13]
  6. Lieutenant-General J. Chouinard 1975–1977[14]
  7. Lieutenant General J.J. Paradis 1977–1981[15]
  8. Lieutenant-General C.H. Belzile 1981–1986[16]
  9. Lieutenant-General J. Fox 1986–1989[17]
  10. Lieutenant General K. Foster 1989–1991[18]
  11. Lieutenant-General J. Gervais 1991–1993[19]
Chief of the Land Staff
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Reay, G.Lieutenant-General
G. Reay
1993September 19962–3 years
2Baril, M.Lieutenant-General
M. Baril
(born 1943)
September 1996September 19971 year
3Leach, W.Lieutenant-General
W. Leach
September 1997August 20002 years, 11 months
4Jeffery, M.Lieutenant-General
M. Jeffery
August 2000May 20032 years, 9 months
5Hillier, R.Lieutenant-General
R. Hillier
(born 1955)
May 20034 February 20051 year, 9 months
6Caron, M.Lieutenant-General
M. Caron
(born 1954)
4 February 2005June 20061 year, 3 months
7Leslie, A.Lieutenant-General
A. Leslie
(born 1957)
June 2006June 20104 years
8Devlin, P.Lieutenant-General
P. Devlin
June 201021 July 20111 year, 1 month
Commander of the Canadian Army and Chief of the Army Staff
No. Picture Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Devlin, P.Lieutenant-General
P. Devlin
21 July 2011July 20131 year, 11 months
2Hainse, M.Lieutenant-General
M. Hainse
(born 1964)
July 2013January 20162 years, 6 months
3Wynnyk, P.Lieutenant-General
P.F. Wynnyk
(born 1964)
January 201616 July 20182 years, 6 months
4Lanthier, J.Lieutenant-General
J. Lanthier
16 July 201820 August 20191 year, 1 month
5Eyre, W.Lieutenant-General
W. Eyre
20 August 2019Incumbent2 months

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ British Strategic Withdrawal from the Western Hemisphere, 1904–1906 Archived 2012-07-20 at University of Toronto Press
  2. ^ "Lieutenant-General Geoffrey Walsh". Army cadet history. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  3. ^ Integration and Unification of the Canadian Forces Archived January 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Chasing the Silver Bullet: the Evolution of Capability Development in the Canadian Army by Major Andrew B. Godefroy CD, Page 59
  5. ^ Canadian Navy, Air Force 'Royal' Again With Official Name Change Huffington Post, 15 August 2011
  6. ^ CANADA SHIFTS STAFF; Maj. Gen. J.C. Murchie New Chief at Home Headquar... – Free Preview – The New York Times
  7. ^ – Search old newspaper articles online
  8. ^ Canadian Ex-Private Is New Chief of Staff – Free Preview – The New York Times
  9. ^
  10. ^ Seventh Generation Archived 2012-03-05 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Lieutenant-General Gilles Turcot, C.M., C.M.M., CD
  12. ^ Death Notice: Lieutenant General William Alexander Milroy
  13. ^ The Alberta Soldier: Answering the call of duty Archived 2012-06-09 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ VI Commandant of CMR: 1968–1970[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ To serve Canada: a history of the Royal Military College since the Second World War By Richard Arthur Preston, Page 130
  16. ^ Biography: Lt Gen Charles Belzile Archived 2008-08-02 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Karlheinz Schreiber[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ An expedient re-organisation: The NDHQ J-staff system in the Gulf War
  19. ^ Northern Gold Press Release

External linksEdit