Under hot and humid weather Parliament Hill and the citizens of Ottawa witnessed Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier assume his new role as Commander Canadian Army. The position was handed down from Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk in a ceremony presided over by General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff.
“Under Lieutenant-General Wynnyk’s leadership, the Canadian Army has stood ready to defend the interests of Canadians at home and abroad. I commend his unwavering commitment to his soldiers and Canada,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, in a press release issued July 16. “I also wish Lieutenant-General Lanthier all the best as he assumes command of the Canadian Army. I am confident that he will serve our Army with professionalism and distinction.”
Before accepting the position as Commander Canadian Army, Lt.-Gen. Lanthier was the Chief of Programme. While also taking Commander Canadian Army, he will also become the new Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples. The Commander Canadian Army has held this position for over ten years.
Although Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk promised his wife he would retire after relinquishing his duties as Commander Canadian Army, but he will assume responsibilities of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
“I would like to congratulate Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk on his new role and thank him for his commitment and strong leadership as Commander Canadian Army for the last two years. I applaud his efforts to strengthen the Army Reserve and his dedication to ensuring our soldiers receive the best possible training to meet the demands of any operation,” said Gen. Vance in the press release. “I would like to congratulate Lieutenant-General Lanthier on his appointment as Commander Canadian Army, and I have every confidence in Lt.-Gen. Lanthier’s abilities to lead Canada’s Army into the future.”
The ceremony featured a 100-soldier marching, and band contingent made up of members from the Ceremonial Guard, drawn from the Governor General’s Foot Guards, the Canadian Grenadier Guards, and several other units. Displays of military equipment were showcased during the event.
“I am extremely honoured to be provided with such an incredible opportunity to command the Canadian Army and lead its proud soldiers. I look forward to building on the hard work and success of Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk to ensure the Canadian Army is poised to achieve excellence in all it does,” said Lt.-Gen. Lanthier in a press release issued July 16.
Lt.-Gen. Lanthier has served in a range of command and staff appointments including command of the 2nd Canadian Division/Joint Task Force (East) and the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre. He also served as Director of Land Requirements and, most recently, as Chief of Programme. His military career has also included a multitude of operational deployments; three to the former Yugoslavia; two to Afghanistan, one where he served as the Commanding Officer of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team; and one to Haiti where he was the Canadian Deputy Commander of the Joint Task Force.
“It has been a privilege and an honour to serve as Commander Canadian Army and to work alongside the exceptional and professional military men and women who serve and sacrifice to protect and defend our nation and its Allies. I thank each and every one of our soldiers, our civilians and their families for what they do in support of Canada and all Canadians,” said Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk in the press release.
Lt.-Gen. Wynnyk has served in a variety of domestic and international appointments. Before taking command of the Canadian Army in 2016, he was the Commander of Canadian Forces Intelligence Command.
The Canadian Army serves as the land component of the CAF and is the largest of all three Command Elements.