In a significant announcement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed the forthcoming appointment of Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan as the new Chief of the Defence Staff. Currently serving as Chief of Professional Conduct and Culture at National Defence, Carignan will be promoted to General, succeeding General Wayne Eyre, who is set to retire from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“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,” expressed the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

This appointment marks a historic milestone, with Lieutenant-General Carignan becoming the first woman to lead the CAF. Her extensive military career, spanning over three decades, includes commanding two Combat Engineer Regiments and leading the 2nd Canadian Division, where she managed over 10,000 soldiers and directed crisis operations during flood relief efforts in Quebec.

In 2008, Carignan made history as the first woman in the CAF to command a combat arms unit. Her deployment to Afghanistan in 2009 further highlighted her leadership, and she has also served in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Syria. From 2019 to 2020, she led NATO Mission Iraq, contributing to the strengthening of Iraqi security institutions and counter-terrorism efforts. Elevated to her current rank in 2021, Carignan has been instrumental in transforming the CAF’s culture over the past three years.

Carignan’s exceptional service has earned her numerous accolades, including the Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Cross. Her leadership comes at a crucial time for the CAF, which faces evolving security challenges. The CAF’s roles, from defending the Arctic to aiding Canadians during natural disasters and bolstering NATO’s collective defense, underscore its growing importance. As the new Chief of the Defence Staff, Carignan will oversee ongoing operations both domestically and internationally, aiming to foster a respectful and inclusive environment within the Armed Forces.

“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,” said the Hon. Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence.

Prime Minister Trudeau expressed gratitude to General Eyre for his exemplary leadership since 2021 and congratulated him on his retirement following an illustrious 40-year career. General Eyre will continue his duties until the official Change of Command ceremony on July 18, 2024, when Lieutenant-General Carignan will formally assume her new role.