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Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Wayne Eyre will retire this summer

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that General Wayne Eyre, after 40 years of service, will retire this summer as Chief of the Defence Staff, a position he has held since 2021.

General Eyre has dedicated his life to serving Canada and Canadians. After attending military college in Ontario and British Columbia, he spent the majority of his career in command or deputy command positions. Along with four postings in the United States, he served in Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia, and twice in Afghanistan, where he oversaw training for the Afghan National Security Forces. In 2018, he became the first non-U.S. Deputy Commander of United Nations Command Korea and the most senior Canadian officer ever permanently stationed in the Indo-Pacific region.

Here at home, General Eyre commanded various disaster relief operations, including the military response to both the 2015 Saskatchewan wildfires and the 2016 Fort McMurray evacuation. He was appointed Commander of the Canadian Army in 2019 and was promoted to the rank of General in 2021.

As Chief of the Defence Staff, General Eyre helped stabilize the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) during a period of turmoil and led the institution in responding to the many security crises and challenges facing our country and the world. At home, this included responding to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic and extreme weather events in our communities. Around the world, it included defending the rules-based international order alongside our allies and partners and protecting Canadians in harm’s way. In a period of significant change, General Eyre championed efforts to modernize the CAF’s capabilities, rebuild its readiness, and make it an inclusive and respectful organization that attracts and retains talent from all segments of Canadian society while continuing to deliver operational excellence.

The Prime Minister thanked General Eyre for his many years of service to Canadians and congratulated him on his upcoming retirement. A selection process will be initiated to appoint the next Chief of the Defence Staff. General Eyre will continue to serve in his role until the appointment of his successor and the completion of a deliberate transition period.

“I thank General Eyre for his unwavering service to Canada as Chief of the Defence Staff and throughout his remarkable military career. His contributions to upholding the highest standards of professionalism within our Armed Forces and his leadership in disaster relief operations and critical missions, both here at home and abroad, have been invaluable. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

— The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“General Eyre has always served Canada with tremendous determination and professionalism. His leadership both as Chief of the Defence Staff and during his many years of service has been critical. In his many tours abroad and here at home, he has helped the Canadian Armed Forces navigate through some of the most challenging of circumstances. I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to General Eyre for his commitment and service to our country and wish him the very best in all his future endeavours.”

— The Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“It has been an honour to serve as the Chief of the Defence Staff at a pivotal time in our history, a time that has been characterized by persistent crises and challenges, and an unrelenting demand for CAF support. In all, the members of the CAF have delivered magnificently, and their commitment to serve our nation is a continued source of inspiration. I continue to be extremely proud of them.”

— General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff


• The Chief of the Defence Staff is appointed through a Governor in Council appointment, and is responsible for the command, control, and administration of the Canadian Armed Forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements.

• A Governor in Council appointment is made by the Governor General, on the advice of the King’s Privy Council for Canada. The appointments are made through an Order in Council and range from heads of agencies and chief executive officers of Crown corporations to members of quasi-judicial tribunals.

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