Home North America For The First Time, Canada Appoints A Lady As Top Soldier

For The First Time, Canada Appoints A Lady As Top Soldier

canada, Jennie Carignan
Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan to be Canada's first Chief of the Defence Staff. Courtesy:@GGCanada

Canada has named for the first time a lady to lead the armed forces.

Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan, in charge of efforts to stamp out ingrained sexism and misconduct in the armed forces, will take over on July 18 as Chief of the Defense staff.

Carignan, originally a military engineer, has commanded troops in Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Syria during her 35 years in the army.

She will be promoted to the rank of General. Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan will replace the current Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre, who is retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

The Canadian Prime Minister congratulated Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan on her upcoming appointment. He acknowledged that her exceptional leadership qualities, commitment to excellence, and dedication to service have been a tremendous asset to Canadian Armed Forces.

Justin Trudeau said, “I am confident that, as Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff, she will help Canada be stronger, more secure, and ready to tackle global security challenges.”

Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence also praised Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan.

In a congratulatory message, the Minster of National Defence said, “Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan has served Canada with great distinction both at home and abroad. Throughout her career, she has had a proven track record of excellence on difficult operations.’’

Bill said that her extensive experience makes her the right person to lead the Canadian Armed Forces through emerging security challenges.

He added, “ I am confident in the future of this crucial institution under her leadership. I extend my sincere congratulations to Lieutenant-General Carignan on her appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff and look forward to our continued work together.”

Nitin A Gokhale WhatsApp Channel

The Chief of the Defence Staff is appointed by the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

The Chief of the Defence Staff is charged with the control and administration of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and is also responsible for military strategy, plans, and requirements.

Carignan takes over at a time when Canada is under pressure from allies to ramp up its defense spending. The armed forces are struggling to meet recruitment goals and have been slow to replace outdated equipment.

Last November the head of the Navy said the service was in “a critical state” and might not be able to carry out its basic duties in 2024.

Trudeau, an avowed feminist, took office in late 2015 and has pursued policies designed to boost gender equality.

In 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had saluted the first appointment of a woman to Canada’s second-highest military post.

Lieutenant-General Frances Allen has been named vice chief of the defense staff, the military said in a statement at that time.

“I am very pleased to see a strong woman in the vice chief position for the first time in Canada’s history,” Trudeau had then told media persons at a news conference.

In 2018, the Canadian Prime Minister appointed Brenda Lucki as the first female head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The last two governors general, the official representative of the British monarchy, have been women. Trudeau named them both.

(With Inputs From Reuters)