The Canadian Army welcomed its new commander, the highest-ranking indigenous member of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), earlier this month with pomp and circumstance in a ceremony presided over by the Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre.
The new Army Commander LGen. Jocelyn Paul assumed his new position from MGen. Michel-Henri St.Louis on June 16.
“The call to serve as Acting Commander of the Canadian Army has been the greatest honour of my career. In this role, I have been afforded the extreme privilege to witness excellence on a daily basis, as our soldiers serve with pride and distinction with utmost dedication and perseverance, even at its most challenging and unprecedented of times.
Message from MGen. St-Louis
“In the last year I could not have held these responsibilities without the support of my family, and the trust of the Army Council. I extend my sincere gratitude to all members of our One Army Team and their families, and my most heartfelt congratulations to Lieutenant-General Paul and his family as he takes on his new role,” said MGen. St-Louis, who will now serve as the Commander of the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff Support Unit in Washington, D.C.
The official ceremony took place at Cartier Square Drill Hall in Ottawa, ON. It included a 14-soldier contingent and band comprised of members from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, and the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
Message from Chief of the Defence Staff
“I offer my greatest thanks and appreciation to Major-General St-Louis for his extended tour as acting Commander where he demonstrated his passion for this institution and its soldiers, and I wish him well in his next appointment. I welcome Lieutenant-General Paul into this new role as an institutional leader. His strong legacy of professionalism and excellence will support the Canadian Army where people come first — where their talents, contributions, and individuality are welcome and appreciated, and where they are treated with compassion, respect, and dignity by their peers and their leaders,” said Gen. Eyre.
A Well-Seasoned Career
During his years of service with the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), LGen. Paul has served in a variety of command and staff appointments. Some of these appointments include:
- Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General of Canada,
- the Commander of the 2e Bataillon, Royal 22e Régiment, and and La Citadelle de Québec.
- the Commander of the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre and
- the Commander of the 4th Canadian Division/Joint Task Force (Central).
Most recently, he served as the Deputy Commander of the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy. He also served at the Privy Council Office.
The New Role
Under his new responsibilities, LGen. Paul will also become the new Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples. According to a Department of National Defence press release, “As Lieutenant-General Paul is the most senior-ranking Indigenous member of the Canadian Armed Forces, this position is especially fitting.”
As commander of the Canadian Army, LGen. Paul will be in charge of the largest of the three command elements within the CAF. It comprises the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Canadian Divisions in Quebec, Western Canada, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, respectively.
Canadian Army Personnel
According the Canadian Armed Forces, specifically, the Canadian Army consists of:
- 23,500 full-time soldiers in the Regular Force;
- 19,000 part-time volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force;
- 5,000 Canadian Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada; and
- 3,000 civilian employees who support the Canadian Army.