Above image: Acting Chief of the Defence Staff Wayne Eyre and Lieutenant-General Frances Allen at ceremony where LGen Allen assumed the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) position this week.
Lieutenant-General (LGen) Frances Allen assumed the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) position at the end of June.
“I am deeply honoured by the appointment to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff position,” Allen expressed. “The challenges facing the military and our nation are complex, elaborate, and nuanced, and it is a privilege to be contributing to the way forward for the whole of the Defence team.”
Allen assumed her role as VCDS during an assumption of command ceremony, which took place at National Defence Headquarters Carling.
Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, the acting Chief of the Defence Staff, presided over the ceremony in the company with a small group of military and civilian members of the Defence Team.
The VCDS is second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and responsible for various functions ensuring that National Defence policy and strategic objectives are achieved, including moving forward the Defence Services Program as mentioned in a press release.
Accountable to both the CDS and the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the VCDS is in command of National Defence headquarters and its related activities.
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, congratulated Allen and said Lieutenant-General Allen brings a lot of command experience to the position. “She will play a vital role in enabling the institutional changes underway in the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence,” he added.
The sentiment seemed to be shared by Jody Thomas, deputy minister, as she informed Allen was “the second woman to attain the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Armed Forces, and the first-ever woman to become second-in-command as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The responsibility of shaping the future of the Canadian Armed Forces is a great one, but there is no question of the ability of Lieutenant-General Allen to lead and contribute to that change.”
LGen Allen’s career in the CAF started in 1983. Since then, she has commanded and led at multiple levels, including Officer Commanding the National Systems Management Centre in Ottawa, the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron in Trenton, the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre, and the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group.
A cyber and information warfare expert, she becomes VCDS after serving as the Military Representative of Canada to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium, since July 2020.