Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (French: Commandant de la Marine royale canadienne) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Navy. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Naval Staff and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. This individual reports to the Chief of the Defence Staff, who then responds to the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces.

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff
Canada OF-9 OF-8 flag.svg
Flag for Vice admirals
Rear Adm. Art McDonald, commander, Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific (cropped).jpg
Vice Admiral A.G. McDonald

since 12 June 2019
 Royal Canadian Navy
TypeCommissioned Officer
StatusCurrently constituted
AbbreviationComd RCN
Reports toChief of the Defence Staff
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
DeputyDeputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy/Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff
WebsiteOfficial website

History of the positionEdit

The appointment was entitled Director of the Naval Service from 1910 to 1928 and then Chief of the Naval Staff from 1928 to 1964. In August 1964 the position of Chief of the Naval Staff was abolished. Responsibility for naval matters was split between the newly established Defence Staff in Ottawa and operational headquarters in Halifax (for the Atlantic fleet) and Esquimalt (for the Pacific fleet).[1] The appointment was entitled Commander of Maritime Command from 1966 to 1997 and Chief of the Maritime Staff from 1997 to 2011. In 2011 Maritime Command was renamed the Royal Canadian Navy at which time the appointment was renamed to its present incarnation.[2][3]


Director of the Naval Service
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Kingsmill, CharlesAdmiral
Sir C.E. Kingsmill
4 May 191031 December 192111 years
2Hose, W.Commodore
W. Hose
192119286–7 years
Chief of the Naval Staff
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Hose, W.Rear Admiral
W. Hose
1928December 19335–6 years
-Hose, W.Captain
P.W. Nelles
December 1933July 19347 months
2Hose, W.Vice Admiral
P.W. Nelles
July 1934January 19449 years
3Jones, GeorgeVice Admiral
G.C. Jones
January 19448 February 1946 †2 years
4Reid, H.Vice Admiral
H.E. Reid
8 February 194631 August 19471 years
5Grant, H.Vice Admiral
H.T.W. Grant
1 September 19471 December 19515 years
6Mainguy, E.Vice Admiral
E.R. Mainguy
1 December 1951January 19564 years
7DeWolf, H.Vice Admiral
H.G. DeWolf
January 195631 July 19604 years
8DeWolf, H.Vice Admiral
H.S. Rayner
1 August 196019643–4 years
Commander of Maritime Command
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Landymore, W.M.Rear Admiral
W.M. Landymore
12 January 196624 July 19660
2O'Brien, J.C.Vice Admiral
J.C. O'Brien
12 January 196624 July 19703
3Porter, H.A.Vice Admiral
H.A. Porter
July 197019711
4Timbrell, R.W.Rear Admiral
R.W. Timbrell
5Boyle, DouglasVice Admiral
D.S. Boyle
197319773–4 years
6Collier, AndrewVice Admiral
A.L. Collier
19771 August 19791–2 years
7Allan, JohnVice Admiral
J. Allan
2 August 197919800–1 years
8Fulton, AndrewVice Admiral
J.A. Fulton
(born 1927)
198029 July 19832–3 years
9Wood, JamesVice Admiral
J.C. Wood
(born 1934)
198319873–4 years
10Thomas, CharlesVice Admiral
C.M.W. Thomas
(born 1936)
198719891–2 years
11George, RobertVice Admiral
R.E. George
(born 1940)
198919911–2 years
12Anderson, JohnVice Admiral
J.R. Anderson
(born 1941)
199119920–1 years
13Cairns, PeterVice Admiral
P.W. Cairns
(born 1938)
199219941–2 years
14Murray, LarryVice Admiral
L.E. Murray
(born 1947)
199419950–1 years
15Mason, LynnVice Admiral
L.G. Mason
(born 1942)
199519971–2 years
Chief of the Maritime Staff
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Garnett, G.Vice Admiral
G.L. Garnett
(born 1944)
12 January 199724 September 19978 months
2Maddison, G.Vice Admiral
G.R. Maddison
(born 1949)
24 September 1997May 20013 years, 7 months
3Buck, R.Vice Admiral
R.D. Buck
May 200120042–3 years
4MacLean, M.Vice Admiral
M.B. MacLean
200422 January 20061–2 years
5Robertson, D.Vice Admiral
D.W. Robertson
23 January 200620092–3 years
6McFadden, P.Vice Admiral
P.D. McFadden
(born 1957)
200921 July 20112–3 years
Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
No. Name Took office Left office Time in office
1Maddison, P.Vice Admiral
P.A. Maddison
21 July 2011June 20131 year, 10 months
2Norman, M.Vice Admiral
M.A.G. Norman
(born 1964)
June 2013January 20162 years, 7 months
3Lloyd, M.Vice Admiral
M.F.R. Lloyd
(born 1963)
23 June 201612 June 20192 years, 11 months
4McDonald A.G.Vice Admiral
A.G. McDonald
(born 1967)
13 June 2019Incumbent7 months

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Royal Canadian Navy had no official head between 1964, when the position of Chief of the Naval Staff was abolished, and 1966, when the position of Commander of Maritime Command was established. In 1968 the Royal Canadian Navy ceased to exist after it was unified with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force to form the Canadian Forces.
  2. ^ In January 1966 he was appointed as the first Commander Maritime Command, in which position he served until he was encouraged to take an early retirement in July 1966, after a disagreement with the Minister of National Defence over the continuation of the traditional naval identity.
  3. ^ In the rank of Rear Admiral between 1966–1968 and Vice-Admiral between 1968–1970.


  1. ^ Whitby, et al., eds. "The Admirals", p. 357. Dundurn Press, 2006.
  2. ^ Canadian Navy, Air Force 'Royal' Again With Official Name Change Huffington Post, 15 August 2011
  3. ^ DSA Vice-Admiral Maddison Archived June 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine