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Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan Appointed as New Chief of the Defence Staff

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the upcoming appointment of Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan, currently Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture, National Defence, as Chief of the Defence Staff. She will be promoted to the rank of General and will replace the current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, who is retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

Lieutenant-General Carignan will be the first woman in our country’s history to lead the CAF. Her military career in service of Canada and Canadians spans over 35 years and includes commanding two Combat Engineer Regiments and the 2nd Canadian Division, where she led more than 10,000 soldiers and spearheaded crisis operations during flood relief efforts in Quebec.

In 2008, Lieutenant-General Carignan became the first woman in CAF history to command a combat arms unit. She deployed to Afghanistan the following year, and also served in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Syria. From 2019 to 2020, she led NATO Mission Iraq, helping to strengthen Iraqi security institutions and forces to fight terrorism and stabilize the country. She was promoted to her current rank in 2021 and has served for the past three years as Chief, Professional Conduct and Culture, National Defence, leading efforts to transform the culture of the CAF. Lieutenant-General Carignan has received numerous accolades in recognition of her dedicated and exceptional service, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Cross.

In the face of new and evolving security threats, the CAF are more important than ever, from defending our continent – including in the Arctic – and providing life-saving assistance to Canadians affected by natural disasters to strengthening NATO’s collective defence and providing military support to Ukraine. In her new role as Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Carignan will oversee the CAF’s ongoing operations, at home and around the world, in support of these important goals, while continuing to advance our efforts to build a respectful and inclusive environment for members of our Armed Forces.

The Prime Minister reiterated his thanks to General Eyre for his leadership as Chief of the Defence Staff since 2021, and congratulated him on his retirement, following 40 years of distinguished military service. General Eyre will continue to serve in his role until the appointment of the new Chief of the Defence Staff takes effect at a Change of Command ceremony to be held on July 18, 2024.

“I congratulate Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan on her upcoming appointment. Over the course of her career, her exceptional leadership qualities, commitment to excellence, and dedication to service have been a tremendous asset to our Armed Forces. I am confident that, as Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff, she will help Canada be stronger, more secure, and ready to tackle global security challenges.”

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

“Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan has served Canada with great distinction both at home and abroad. Throughout her career, she has had a proven track record of excellence on difficult operations. Her extensive experience makes her the right person to lead the Canadian Armed Forces through emerging security challenges – and I am confident in the future of this crucial institution under her leadership. I extend my sincere congratulations to Lieutenant-General Carignan on her appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff and look forward to our continued work together.”

— The Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence



• The Chief of the Defence Staff is charged with the control and administration of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and is also responsible for military strategy, plans, and requirements.

• The Chief of the Defence Staff is appointed by the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. As commander-in-chief of Canada, the Governor General plays a major role in recognizing the importance of Canada’s military at home and abroad.

• Earlier this year, the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, unveiled Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence, with an investment of $8.1 billion over five years and $73 billion over 20 years to help the CAF protect Canadians, advance our interests and values, and keep up with emerging threats today and in the years ahead.

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