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Vance named next CDS

Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance will serve as the next Chief of the Defence Staff.

The commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command was named by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday to replace General Tom Lawson, who will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces after 40 years in uniform. Lawson, a former fighter pilot, announced his decision to retire last month. He has served as CDS since October 2012.

Vance assumed his current command of CJOC last fall and has been a visible face for Operation Impact, providing media briefings at key moments in the campaign.

He briefly served in 2014 as deputy commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples before being called home to lead CJOC. Previously, he was Director of Staff, Strategic Joint Staff, and Chief of Staff Land Strategy for the Canadian Army, and twice led Joint Task Force Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.

LGen Jon Vance (right) during CJOC change of command ceremony with LGen Stu Beare, Gen Tom Lawson and (standing) Minister Rob Nicholson.
LGen Jon Vance (right) during CJOC change of command ceremony with LGen Stu Beare, Gen Tom Lawson and (standing) Minister Rob Nicholson.

The government said a change of command ceremony and Vance’s promotion to the rank of General would take place in the next few weeks.

In a statement, Harper said Vance “will provide strong leadership for the Canadian Armed Forces at a critical time in its history. His years working with key allied forces and partners, his combat experience, his strategic leadership, and his experience in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism warfare will help position the Canadian Armed Forces for continued success.”

The Prime Minister thanked Lawson for his service and exemplary leadership, acknowledging that the CDS had led the Canadian Armed Forces through a “challenging but positive period.”

“Through…demanding assignments, I could always count on clear and thoughtful advice from General Lawson, stemming from his experience, sound judgement, professionalism and unwavering dedication to both Canadian Armed Forces personnel and to keeping Canadians safe at home and abroad. His legacy at the Department of National Defence will live on in these accomplishments and in the reforms and initiatives he championed to ensure our Forces remain the best in the world.”

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