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CDS General Wayne Eyre Orders the CAF to Cease All Non-Essential Activities

Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), General Wayne Eyre, has ordered the CAF to immediately cease all non-essential activities and focus on boosting military recruitment and retention, as the CAF is facing a critical personnel shortage.

Eyre issued the order to senior commanders saying immediate action is needed to ensure the military has the personnel it requires to respond to growing demands and threats at home and abroad.

During an interview earlier this year, Eyre told CDR, “There is nothing more important to us than being there for Canada and Canadians. The world is a more dangerous place than it has been since the Cold War and we are facing a number of challenges. We are short of about 7,600 in our trained effective strength. As we seek to rebuild our strength, we are managing by making smart decisions about what we can and can’t do and the various lines of effort we are able to support. We accept and manage risk as we identify areas to focus our reconstitution efforts.”


He continued, “We were on a growth trajectory prior to the pandemic, and that growth was pretty good, we were actually getting close to our ceiling. Then the pandemic struck, and physical distancing and other public health measures slowed down our ability to recruit and train. Even though our attrition numbers were down, our recruiting numbers slowed to about a third of normal, and that’s had a pretty significant effect. We are now in the process of a substantial, Forces-wide reconstitution program to rebuild our strength and readiness for the future and to renew our strengths both as an organization and individually.”

The reconstitution order provides a new direction for the CAF after years of high-tempo deployments and operations in Canada and overseas by making the recruitment and retention of personnel its top priority.

“The interim goal is to address shortcomings that are preventing the CAF more specifically from being in the position it needs to in order to excel as a modern and combat-ready military force,” reads General Wayne’s order.

General Eyre’s order follows a period of unprecedented activity by the military. With rising global tensions, the CAF will require every service member it can recruit.

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