Organizational structure of the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

Organizational structure. Text equivalent follows.

An illustration of the Department of National Defence’s high-level reporting structure from the Minister of National Defence to senior levels of the organization.

Senior Leadership

The Governor General of Canada is the Commander-in-Chief of Canada. DND is headed by the Minister of National Defence, a federal Cabinet Minister. The Associate Minister of National Defence supports the Minister of National Defence and is also a federal Cabinet Minister. The Deputy Minister of National Defence is the Department’s senior civil servant. The CAF are headed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Canada’s senior serving officer. Each has different responsibilities:

  • The Governor General is responsible for appointing the Chief of the Defence Staff on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, awarding military honours, presenting colours to CAF regiments, approving new military badges and insignia and signing commission scrolls.
  • The Minister of National Defence presides over the Department and over all matters relating to national defence;
  • The Associate Minister is also responsible for defence files, as mandated by the Prime Minister, with the specific priority of ensuring that CAF members have the equipment they need to do their jobs;
  • The Deputy Minister is responsible for policy, resources, interdepartmental coordination and international defence relations;
  • The Chief of the Defence Staff is responsible for command, control and administration of the CAF and military strategy, plans and requirements.

Independent of the reporting structure, the Chief Military Judge, an arm’s-length organization, is considered part of the Defence portfolio.

Reporting to the Minister of National Defence are:

Reporting to both the Deputy Minister of National Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff are:

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