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HomeCANADALt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan to Become Canada’s First Female Defence Chief

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan to Become Canada’s First Female Defence Chief

July 3, 2024: In a historic move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan will become Canada’s new chief of defence staff, marking the first time a woman has held the top position in the Canadian military.

Currently serving as the chief of professional conduct and culture, Carignan will take over from Gen. Wayne Eyre, who is set to retire this summer. Trudeau praised Carignan’s exceptional leadership, commitment to excellence, and dedication to service, expressing confidence that she will enhance Canada’s strength and security.

“Lieutenant-General Jennie Carignan has been an outstanding leader throughout her career. Her new role as Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff will ensure our Armed Forces are well-prepared to meet global security challenges,” Trudeau stated in a press release.

At a subsequent press conference in Montreal, Trudeau highlighted Carignan’s suitability to lead during a time of complex geopolitics and increased threats, especially concerning the Arctic region.

Carignan’s appointment follows a recent defence policy update that increased military spending by nearly $8 billion over the next five years. This comes amid ongoing efforts to reform the military’s culture after widespread sexual misconduct allegations against senior leaders came to light in February 2021 through Global News reports.

A native of Val-des-Sources, Quebec, Carignan is a combat engineer by training. In 2008, she made history as the first woman to lead a combat force in the Canadian military. Her distinguished 38-year career includes deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, and she has been honored with the Meritorious Service Medal and the Governor General’s Order of Military Merit.

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