Vice-Admiral Art McDonald has officially assumed the duties of Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) from Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd in a ceremony that was held today. The formal change of command ceremony was presided over by General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff at Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard, Halifax, home of Maritime Forces Atlantic.
VAdm McDonald has served in a variety of command and staff roles throughout his career, most recently serving as Deputy Commander of the RCN. In his new role, he is charged with commanding about 13,000 full- and part-time military members of the RCN and about 3,700 civilians stationed across Canada and around the world.
VAdm McDonald said he is humbled and honoured to assume the watch as Commander of the RCN and to be “charged with caring for and enabling the amazing Canadian sailors, my shipmates – and the families that support them.”
“Together we will ensure the great people-delivered successes for which the RCN is known for and can continue to be realized. Inspired equally by a rich history and the bright future that the ongoing fleet recapitalization – the largest in our peacetime history – ensures, today’s sailors are equal parts warriors and diplomats,” he said.
The same sentiments were echoed by the outgoing Commander of the RCN, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, in referencing the National Shipbuilding Strategy to equip the RCN with modern vessels. He said that the future of the RCN is exceptionally bright and that he could not be more pleased with how the leadership is “embracing the once in a half-century opportunity that the largest recapitalization in our peacetime history represents.”
During the ceremony there was a change of appointment, as well, that saw Chief Petty Officer First Class David Steeves assume the role of Command Chief of the Royal Canadian Navy from Chief Petty Officer First Class Michel Vigneault.
“I have been exceptionally blessed to finish my career as the Commander of the RCN,” said VAdm Lloyd. “On a daily basis for the last three years, the Command Chief and I have had the pleasure and privilege of witnessing firsthand, the incredible difference that Canadian sailors are making globally on behalf of Canada and Canadians.”
VAdm Lloyd will now proceed to retirement after a distinguished 38-year naval career of which the last three were spent serving in the role as Commander of the RCN.