In this episode, the CAF bids farewell to the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, also, some insights from John Mannarino, Vanguard’s latest Game Changer and changes to the civilian leadership of the Department of National Defence.


Show Notes:

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, and the CAF community bid farewell to His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, during an official ceremony on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

In appreciation of his outstanding support and dedicated service to the Canadian Armed Forces, the ceremony consisted of military honours including a CF-18 flypast; a 21-gun salute and a 100-person Guard of Honour.

His Excellency served as the CAF Commander-in-Chief for seven years. During his appointment, the Governor General made it a priority to support military members and their families through various initiatives and activities.


Last Friday, the Prime Minister announced upcoming changes to the civilian leadership of the Department of National Defence, an organization that is absolutely critical to the success of the Canadian Armed Forces. These changes include a new Deputy Minister, Senior Associate Deputy Minister, and Associate Deputy Minister.

Jody Thomas – currently the Senior Associate Deputy Minister – will be promoted Deputy Minister of National Defence effective October 23rd. Jody’s background as Commissioner of the Coast Guard and as a member of the Reserve Force, coupled with her passionate approach to supporting those in uniform and her commitment to building a culture of respect and dignity within the Defence Team, ensure that we continue to have the right leadership within the Department of National Defence.

Bill Matthews, currently Comptroller General of Canada, will step into the role of Senior Associate Deputy Minister. Bill’s financial expertise and breadth of experience will be invaluable as we implement the new defence policy.

Gordon Venner, currently our Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy, will be promoted Associate Deputy Minister. I have long valued Gord’s commitment to the Department, his expertise and advice, and am confident he will serve well in his new role.

Game Changer

Meet John Mannarino, Vanguard’s latest Game Changer. John is the President of Mannarino Systems & Software Inc. About 18 years ago, he started out in the defence industry as a control system engineer at a gas turbine engine OEM in Montreal.

His first seven years were spent on engineering which included design, analysis, modeling, testing, and certification. “I loved the nature of the products we worked on – high-tech and aerospace,” said Mannarino. “This was great technical training – I enjoyed the work quite a bit.”

With this experience, John decided to try something different. He began consulting for a US-based company developing aerospace controls systems. “After a couple of years of proving myself, opportunities developed to handle larger projects and I took them on.” He eventually expanded the company to multiple customers and started branching out to include other engineering services.