Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier assumes Responsibilities of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

July 18, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, General Jonathan Vance presided over a change of appointment ceremony at National Defence Headquarters in which Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier assumed the responsibilities of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS), as Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk retires after over 38 years of service to Canada. 

Second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the VCDS is responsible for an array of functions ensuring that National Defence policy and strategic objectives are achieved. Accountable to both the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the VCDS also governs National Defence headquarters and its related activities. 

With over 30 years of military service that has included six international deployments and two domestic operations, Lieutenant-General Lanthier is a highly capable and experienced leader. In addition to his operational experience, he has served within the VCDS organization as the Chief of Programme where he was responsible for leading corporate strategies, analysis on planning and resource allocations in support of executing the defence mission. Lieutenant-General Lanthier becomes VCDS after commanding the Canadian Army since July 2018.

Lieutenant-General Wynnyk’s retirement concludes a career that has spanned almost four decades in uniform having joined the Canadian Armed Forces as a reservist in 1981. With command appointments that most recently included Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, the Canadian Army, and the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Wynnyk has had a long and distinguished career in the CAF, and has served his country with honour and distinction.

The change of appointment ceremony took place at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, before an assembly of military and civilian members of the Defence Team, and their families. 


“I wish to thank Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk for his more than 38 years of dedication to Canada. He has truly given a lifetime of service. As a cadet, a reservist, Commander of the Army and Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, his professionalism and focus on the women and men of our armed forces has left an indelible mark on those who have served alongside him, whether in Afghanistan or here at home. His leadership on the implementation of Strong, Secure, Engaged, has fundamentally shaped the Canadian Armed Forces for the better. It has been my pleasure to work alongside him over the past years. He has always maintained the highest level of honour and integrity. I wish him and his family the very best in retirement.  I also wish to congratulate Lieutenant-General Lanthier on his appointment as Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. I have the utmost confidence in his leadership and I look forward to our ongoing work to implement Strong, Secure, Engaged. I want to thank him for his service to Canada.” 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“As we say goodbye to Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, I want to thank him for his tireless dedication to the Canadian Armed Forces for over 38 years and the leadership he demonstrated as our Vice Chief of the Defence Staff during a challenging period. I welcome Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier with confidence as my new second in command knowing his extensive experience will reinforce the stability we need to prevail against the strategic challenges that Canada’s armed forces face every day. We have a strong, dedicated and loyal leadership team commanding equally strong, loyal and dedicated soldiers, sailors, aviators, and special forces operators. Canadians can be confident that we will continue to deliver for them as we always have.”

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

“I am honoured by the confidence expressed by General Vance in appointing me to a role as important as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. I am humbled that I have been chosen for this role and I am confident in my ability to help lead the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. I look forward to this new challenge and hope to continue to build on the great legacy put forward by Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk.”

Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

“I am grateful for having had the honour to serve Canada in uniform for my entire adult life, and I retire with nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for the tremendous soldiers, sailors, and aviators who defend our great nation. Lieutenant-General Lanthier is a highly respected and experienced officer who will excel in the role of Vice Chief of Defence Staff, and I wish him and all members of the Defence Team every success.”

Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk

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