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V-Adm Art McDonald new Canadian CDS (Jan-Feb 2021)

My apologies if this has already been posted.

Navy commander Art McDonald tapped to steer Canadian military as new defence chief

By Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press — Dec 23 2020



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OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government has tapped a sailor to steer the Canadian Armed Forces, appointing Royal Canadian Navy commander Vice-Admiral Art McDonald as the next chief of the defence staff.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced McDonald’s appointment during one of his regular COVID-19 updates on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about who would succeed Gen. Jonathan Vance as Canada’s top military commander.

“In his new role as chief, Vice-Admiral McDonald will oversee the work of the Canadian Armed Forces, including on vaccine rollout through Operation Vector,” Trudeau said in reference to the military’s role distributing COVID-19 vaccines across Canada.

“I know that Vice-Admiral McDonald's leadership and expertise will be invaluable as the armed forces continue to work around the clock to keep Canadians safe.”

A former frigate captain who oversaw part of Canada’s humanitarian response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 before commanding the country’s Pacific fleet, McDonald will be the first naval officer to serve as the permanent defence chief since 1993.

A change of command ceremony is planned for the week of Jan. 11, when McDonald will formally take over from Vance.

Wednesday’s announcement followed months of speculation around who would succeed Vance, who first announced in July that he was planning to retire after more than five years at the helm.

Much of the speculation had revolved around whether Trudeau would appoint Canada’s first-ever female chief of the defence staff by tapping Lt.-Gen. Christine Whitecross for the job.

Not only was Whitecross the highest-ranking woman to have served in uniform, she also led the military’s early efforts to crack down on sexual misconduct in the ranks following the launch of Operation Honour in 2015.

Trudeau also raised eyebrows when he declared in an interview last week that one of the next defence chief’s top priorities would be to crack down on right-wing extremism, white supremacy and hate in the Armed Forces.

Yet McDonald’s appointment speaks to another looming challenge for the military and Liberal government: the ongoing effort to build a fleet of new warships for the Navy, and concerns the $56 billion set aside by Ottawa for those 15 ships won’t be nearly enough.

The parliamentary budget officer will release a report next month on the expected costs of those warships. There has been a great deal of handwringing inside the Department of National Defence and some corners of government that the price will be billions higher.

That would set off a fresh round of lobbying by defence companies — and add more pressure on the government — to abandon the project, which is supposed to see 15 Type-26 frigates built at Irving Shipyards in Halifax over the next 20 years, and go another route.

It is also likely to force some tough discussions within the military and government about whether to throw more money at the project, which was originally budgeted at $24 billion when it was launched in 2011 — or dramatically scale back the plan.

While the government made no mention of the warship project as it announced McDonald’s appointment on Wednesday, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the new defence chief will be responsible for continuing to implement the Liberals’ 2017 defence policy.

That includes spending billions of dollars over the next 20 years on new equipment.

Sajjan said in a statement that McDonald will also “continue the work to transform the culture of the Canadian Armed Forces to ensure zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and harassment while eliminating hateful conduct and systemic racism from the organization.”

Trudeau and Sajjan also thanked Vance for his service, including his more than five years as chief of the defence staff, the longest-ever tenure for a Canadian military officer in that position.

Vance took over as defence chief in July 2015 as the military was fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the Middle East and struggling to deal with complaints about sexual misconduct at home. His first order was to establish Operation Honour.

McDonald will be the first naval officer to serve as the military’s top commander since vice-admiral Larry Murray filled the position on an acting basis in 1996-97. The last sailor to hold the position on a permanent basis since Admiral John Rogers Anderson in 1993.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2020.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

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- mod edit to add dates in thread title -
 
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Kirkhill

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A witch hunt or an Inquisition? Witch hunts looked for people that weren't there and created them. The Inquisition targeted everybody because none were without sin so everybody was guilty.
 

brihard

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COC at CJOC was on Friday. Rear Admiral Aucterlonie is now CJOC.
Sorry- For those of us not still in, is this an abrupt replacement of a LGen who was commanding CJOC? What's happened to the outgoing?
 

SeaKingTacco

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Sorry- For those of us not still in, is this an abrupt replacement of a LGen who was commanding CJOC? What's happened to the outgoing?
Apparently, yes. I am still trying to catch up, but it looks like Comd CJOC (LGen Coates) has been relieved and Comd MARPAC moved up. I am looking for news media confirmation, but don’t see any as of this minute, so I am unable to provide a source link.
 

brihard

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Apparently, yes. I am still trying to catch up, but it looks like Comd CJOC (LGen Coates) has been relieved and Comd MARPAC moved up. I am looking for news media confirmation, but don’t see any as of this minute, so I am unable to provide a source link.
So CAF is down a CDS and a three-leafs in a week?
 

GK .Dundas

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It's a joke but it's really not that funny more of a omigawd . I am not sure if there's a facepalm emoji. If not then there should be.
Phone rings :
" NDHQ M/cpl. Duchamp acting NCOIC signal section and ....uhm apparently as of two minutes ago ...acting ...CDS.
how may I help you ? "
 

PuckChaser

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So CAF is down a CDS and a three-leafs in a week?
The real question is, has anyone outside of NDHQ noticed? The big green/blue/whateverNavycolour is machine just keeps trucking along, which says a lot about the impact of all these initiatives from the CDS office...
 

Weinie

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COC at CJOC was on Friday. Rear Admiral Aucterlonie is now CJOC.
CoC was supposed to be held on Friday. Based on recent events, including the cancelled posting to Naples, LGen Coates is still Comd CJOC. Hang tight for the next GOFO msg (and then the one after that when displeased GOFO's vote with their feet)
 

Navy_Pete

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Sounds like OUTCANs will be contingent on zipper discipline. I’m sure that will displease a few...
As in good or bad zipper discipline? I've noticed a trend for some OUTCANs where you aren't allowed to go if you are 'too valuable'.
 

MJP

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I've noticed a trend for some OUTCANs where you aren't allowed to go if you are 'too valuable'.
That is the strategy for some of them, they want stability in rank as promotion usually means moving to next job. A succession planned person is likely not the best option for OUTCAN unless it is a job fits into career stream.
 

Navy_Pete

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That is the strategy for some of them, they want stability in rank as promotion usually means moving to next job. A succession planned person is likely not the best option for OUTCAN unless it is a job fits into career stream.
Yeah, I wasn't even thinking succession planned; just north of 'soup sandwich' material.

"Oh, you showed up to the OUTCAN interview with pants on.... NEXT!"
 

dimsum

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As in good or bad zipper discipline? I've noticed a trend for some OUTCANs where you aren't allowed to go if you are 'too valuable'.
OUTCANs sometimes hurt promotion. You're away from your peers and your normal job for 4 years, and PERs are written by people who probably have never met you. It may be harder to get Immediates that way.
 

MJP

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Yeah, I wasn't even thinking succession planned; just north of 'soup sandwich' material.

"Oh, you showed up to the OUTCAN interview with pants on.... NEXT!"
My limited observation is we pick really decently for NCOs (less some trades where there are just too many OUTCANs to tag every strong person) but less so for officers unless it is a key posn.

That is an over generalization as we also pick people to bring back institutional knowledge that often help their career post return.
OUTCANs sometimes hurt promotion. You're away from your peers and your normal job for 4 years, and PERs are written by people who probably have never met you. It may be harder to get Immediates that way.
I can imagine and especially true when you work outside the CAF...
 
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