Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)

The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS; French: Vice-chef d’état-major de la Défense) is the third most senior member of the Canadian Armed Forces, reporting to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) as well as the Deputy Minister of National Defence. The Directorate General Executive Coordination, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal, the National Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group and several other departments report to the VCDS,[1] who is appointed by the CDS.[2]

Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
Vice-chef d’état-major de la Défense
Crest of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada.jpg
Badge of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
Flag of the Canadian Forces.svg
Flag of the Canadian Forces
I Corps Command sergeant major returns from Afghanistan 121613-A-LN529-002 (cropped).jpg
Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier

since July 18, 2019
Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces
TypeCommissioned officer
StatusCurrently constituted
Reports toChief of the Defence Staff
First holderGeoffrey Walsh
DeputyDG Executive Coordination
Chief of Staff VCDS

Recent historyEdit

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was temporarily relieved as VCDS on January 13, 2017, due to an ongoing investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[3] As a temporary replacement, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd was appointed the duties of VCDS on an acting basis, and he was subsequently replaced by Lieutenant-General Alain Parent on May 30, 2017.[4]

On July 16, 2018, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk was named Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.[5] On July 9, 2019, Wynnyk announced his retirement[6] after he claimed that the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, planned to replace him as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff with Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.[7] Wynnyk then claimed these plans were reversed when Vice-Admiral Norman settled with the government and retired from the military. Wynnyk was the fifth Vice Chief to serve under Vance.[7]

On July 12, 2019, Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier was appointed Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, effective July 18, 2019.[8]

Vice Chiefs of the Defence StaffEdit

No. Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Took office Left office Time in office Home Province Defence branch Appointed by Ref
1Walsh, GeoffreyLieutenant-General
Geoffrey Walsh
196419650–1 years  Ontario  Canadian ArmyMiller, FrankFrank Miller[9]
2Moncel, RobertLieutenant-General
Robert Moncel
196519660–1 years  Quebec  Canadian ArmyMiller, FrankFrank Miller[10]
3Sharp, FrederickLieutenant-General
Frederick Sharp
196619692–3 years  Saskatchewan  Royal Canadian Air ForceAllard, JeanJean Allard[11]
4Dare, MichaelLieutenant-General
Michael Dare
September 196919722–3 years  Quebec  Canadian ArmySharp, FrederickFrederick Sharp[11]
5Hull, ChesterLieutenant-General
Chester Hull
197219741–2 years  Ontario  Royal Canadian Air ForceDextraze, JacquesJacques Dextraze[12]
6Falls, RobertVice-Admiral
Robert Falls
197419772–3 years  Ontario  Royal Canadian NavyDextraze, JacquesJacques Dextraze[13]
7Withers, RamseyLieutenant-General
Ramsey Withers
197719802–3 years  Ontario  Canadian ArmyFalls, RobertRobert Falls[14]
8Thériault, Gérard Charles ÉdouardLieutenant-General
Gérard Charles Édouard Thériault
198019832–3 years  Quebec  Royal Canadian Air ForceWithers, RamseyRamsey Withers[15]
9Mainguy, DanielVice-Admiral
Daniel Mainguy
198319851–2 years  British Columbia  Royal Canadian NavyThériault, GérardGérard Charles Édouard Thériault[16]
10Vance, JackLieutenant-General
Jack Vance
198519882–3 years  Ontario  Canadian ArmyThériault, GérardGérard Charles Édouard Thériault[17]
11Chastelain, JohnLieutenant-General
John de Chastelain
(born 1937)
198819890–1 years  Romania  Canadian ArmyManson, PaulPaul Manson[18]
12Thomas, CharlesVice-Admiral
Charles Thomas
(born 1936)
198911 May 19911–2 years  British Columbia  Royal Canadian NavyManson, PaulPaul Manson[19]
13Sutherland, FredLieutenant-General
Fred Sutherland
(born 1942)
199119920–1 years  Nova Scotia  Royal Canadian Air ForceChastelain, JohnJohn de Chastelain[20]
14Anderson, JohnVice-Admiral
John Anderson
(born 1941)
199219930–1 years  British Columbia  Royal Canadian NavyChastelain, JohnJohn de Chastelain[21]
15O'Donnell, PatrickLieutenant-General
Patrick O'Donnell
199319951–2 years  Ontario  Canadian ArmyAnderson, JohnJohn Anderson[22]
16Murray, LarryVice-Admiral
Larry Murray
(born 1947)
199519971–2 years  Ontario  Royal Canadian NavyChastelain, JohnJohn de Chastelain[23]
17Garnett, GaryVice-Admiral
Gary Garnett
199720013–4 years  British Columbia  Royal Canadian NavyBaril, MauriceMaurice Baril[24]
18MacDonald, GeorgeLieutenant-General
George MacDonald
200120042–3 years.  Royal Canadian Air ForceHenault, RayRaymond Henault[25]
19Buck, RonaldVice-Admiral
Ronald Buck
200420061–2 years  Quebec  Royal Canadian NavyHenault, RayRaymond Henault[26]
20Natynczyk, WalterLieutenant-General
Walter Natynczyk
(born 1957)
28 June 200615 June 20081 years  Manitoba  Canadian ArmyHillier, RickRick Hillier[27]
21Rouleau, DenisVice-Admiral
Denis Rouleau
15 June 200825 July 20102 years  Quebec  Royal Canadian NavyHillier, RickRick Hillier[28]
22Donaldson, BruceVice-Admiral
Bruce Donaldson
26 July 201011 September 20133 years.  Royal Canadian NavyNatynczyk, WalterWalter Natynczyk[29]
23Thibault, GuyLieutenant-General
Guy Thibault
11 September 20135 August 20162 years  Quebec  Canadian ArmyLawson, ThomasThomas Lawson[30]
24Norman, MarkVice-Admiral
Mark Norman
(born 1964)
5 August 201613 January 20170 years  Ontario  Royal Canadian NavyVance, JonathanJonathan Vance[31]
-Lloyd, RonVice-Admiral
Ron Lloyd
(born 1963)
13 January 201730 May 2017137 days.  Royal Canadian Navy..
-Parent, AlainLieutenant-General
Alain Parent
30 May 201716 July 20181 year, 47 days.  Royal Canadian Air Force..
25Wynnyk, PaulLieutenant-General
Paul Wynnyk
(born 1964)
16 July 20189 July 2019358 days  Alberta  Canadian ArmyVance, JonathanJonathan Vance[5]
26Lanthier, Jean-MarcLieutenant-General
Jean-Marc Lanthier
(born Unknown)
18 July 2019Incumbent0 yearsUnknown  Canadian ArmyVance, JonathanJonathan Vance[32]


  1. ^ "VCDS - Organization". Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  2. ^ "National Defence Act". Department of Justice. Retrieved 2012-05-08.
  3. ^ "Updated – Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Mark Norman removed from command". Ottawa Citizen. 2017-01-17. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  4. ^ Defence, Government of Canada, National. "National Defence | Canadian Armed Forces | Article | New A/VCDS to assume position May 30". Retrieved 2017-06-08.
  5. ^ a b "New Commander for the Canadian Army: changes in the Canadian army command". July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Change to the senior ranks of the Canadian Armed Forces
  7. ^ a b "Vice-chief of defence staff resigns, citing plan Mark Norman was to replace him - National |". July 9, 2019.
  8. ^ "Lanthier to become Vice Chief of the Defence Staff". Canadian Army. July 12, 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Army cadet league" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  10. ^ Robert Moncel
  11. ^ a b DND Language Reform: Staffing the Bilingualism Programs 1967-1977
  12. ^ 427 Squadron Association
  13. ^ Admiral Robert Hilborn Falls CMM, CD
  14. ^ Ramsey Muir Withers
  15. ^ Gérard-Charles-Édouard Thériault The Canadian Encyclopedia
  16. ^ Vice-Admiral Daniel Nicholas Mainguy, CMM, CD, RCN (Retd)
  17. ^ Lieutenant-General J.E. "Jack" Vance, CMM, CD (Ret'd) Passes Archived October 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Royal Canadian Regiment
  18. ^ General John De Chastelain, OC, CMM, CD, CH, LL.D., BA Army Cadet History
  19. ^ Charles Thomas The Nauticapedia
  20. ^ 8 Wing / CFB Trenton to host leadership seminar The Contact, March 27, 2009
  21. ^ John Rogers Anderson The Nauticapedia
  22. ^ Patrick O'Donnell CFN Consultants
  23. ^ Parliament of Canada Evidence, October 29, 1996
  24. ^ Vice Admiral (Retired) Gary L. Garnett, CMM CD Senate Committee for National Security and Defence
  25. ^ George MacDonald CFN Consultants
  26. ^ "Ron Buck, CMM, CD" (PDF). Navy League of Canada. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  27. ^ "Walter Natynczyk". NATO. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  28. ^ Rear-Admiral Denis Rouleau is Announced as Next Vice Chief of the Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces
  29. ^ Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson Assumes Role as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
  30. ^ Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault assumes role as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Archived October 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Tasker, John Paul (19 January 2016). "Top ranks of Canadian Forces get shake-up with new army, navy commanders". CBC News. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Lt.-Gen. Lanthier named as new vice chief, more generals promoted". Ottawa Citizen. 12 July 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.

External linksEdit