This morning on Parliament Hill, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre assumed the position of Commander Canadian Army from Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier. General Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, presided over the ceremony.
“Lieutenant-General Lanthier, as the Canadian Army’s Commander, has built an environment where its people are Strong, Proud, and Ready for the challenges demanded of them. I know the esprit de corps he has built will expand across the entire Canadian Armed Forces in his new role as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. Lieutenant-General Eyre, as the incoming Commander Canadian Army, has the leadership and experience to ensure that the Canadian Army is not just ready, but positioned to evolve in our complex and ever-changing world,” said General Vance.
The change of command ceremony took place at Parliament Hill and included a 100-soldier marching and band contingent comprised of members of 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 commend Lieutenant-General Lanthier for his leadership and resolve in leading the Canadian Army, and I am confident he will demonstrate the same as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. I would also like to congratulate Lieutenant-General Eyre on being appointed Commander Canadian Army, knowing that he will lead the organization with distinction and professionalism,” stated Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence in a press release.
Lt-Gen. Lanthier’s resume includes participation in six international deployments and two domestic operations as well as a variety of command appointments. Before assuming command of the Canadian Army in 2018, he was the Chief of Programme. He assumed the position of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff on July 18, 2019.
“It has been my greatest privilege to serve as the Commander Canadian Army and to witness first-hand, on a daily basis, the work of the exceptional men and women who make up our organization. The commitment, sacrifice, and dedication our soldiers demonstrate in the service of Canada is second to none and I thank you all,” Lt-Gen. Lanthier.
The Canadian Army is the largest element of the Canadian Armed Forces and consists of:
- 23,000 full-time soldiers in the Regular Force
- 19,000 part-time, volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force;
- 5,300 Canadian Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada
- 3,300 civilian employees who support the Army.
Before being appointed Commander Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Eyre most recently held the position of Commander of Military Personnel Command. Lieutenant-General Lanthier has assumed the duties of Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.
“I am deeply honoured by the opportunity to command the Canadian Army and also feel privileged to assume the role of Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples. I am eager to build on the foundations laid by Lieutenant-General Lanthier and ensure that the Canadian Army remains Strong, Proud, Ready to answer any call,” stated Lt-Gen Eyre.
Lt-Gen Eyre has served in a variety of command and staff appointments including command of 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, 3rd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force West, Deputy Commanding General – Operations for XVIII (US) Airborne Corps, and as Commander Military Personnel Command. He was also the first non-American Deputy Commander of United Nations Command, the multinational force supporting the Republic of Korea since 1950. He returned from the Republic of Korea this summer.
Along with becoming the Commander Canadian Army, Lt-Gen. Eyre will also become the new Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples. This position has been held by the Commander Canadian Army for over ten years.