Brigadier-General Rob Holman, MSM, CD

Portrait of Brigadier-General Holman, the Judge Advocate General.

Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Armed Forces

Brigadier-General (BGen) Rob Holman was born into an Air Force family and grew up in a variety of locations across Canada and in Germany. After graduating from high school in Toronto, Ontario, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) in 1986 and attended the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) in Kingston. Upon commissioning, he undertook basic and advanced flying training, receiving his pilot wings in 1991. He subsequently served as a qualified flying instructor and later a standards officer flying the CT-114 Tutor jet trainer. In 1995, he returned to RMC, where he served as a squadron commander and supervised the Air Force’s Continuation Flying Training program.

In 1997, BGen Holman was selected for sponsored legal education under the Military Legal Training Plan. He received his law degree from Queen’s University and, after serving as a judicial law clerk at the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa, was called to the bar of Ontario and joined the Office of the Judge Advocate General as a legal officer in February 2002.

From 2002 to 2007, BGen Holman served as a military prosecutor, first as trial counsel before courts martial, and later as appellate counsel appearing before the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada. In 2007, he deployed to Afghanistan where, as part of the American-led Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, he served as a legal advisor and mentor to the senior leaders of the Afghan National Army and Ministry of Defence Legal Departments. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the United States Army.

For the next several years, BGen Holman’s work focused upon international law issues affecting CAF operations. During this time, he served in a number of positions, including as an Assistant Legal Advisor at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe during part of NATO’s operations in Libya, as the Assistant Deputy Judge Advocate General for Operational Law and as Special Advisor to the Judge Advocate General.

Promoted to Colonel in 2013, he served as Deputy Judge Advocate General for Military Justice until 2017, leading a team responsible for supporting the Judge Advocate General in their role as superintendent of the administration of military justice in the CAF. From 2017 to 2020, as the Deputy Judge Advocate General for Operational and International Law, he was responsible for the provision of legal advice and services to all CAF international and domestic operations and to all Department of National Defence (DND) and CAF activities in the areas of national security and intelligence. In August 2020, he was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Office of the Judge Advocate General and Legal Branch Advisor, positions that he held until September 2022.

BGen Holman served as the Acting Judge Advocate General from November 2021 until June 2023. On 28 June 2023, he was appointed by the Governor General in Council as Canada’s sixteenth Judge Advocate General. He serves as legal advisor to the Governor General, the Minister of National Defence, DND and the CAF in matters relating to military law; superintends the administration of military justice; and commands the Office of the Judge Advocate General, an integrated team of almost 400 military and civilian professionals spread across Canada and around the world.

BGen Holman is a graduate of RMC (B.Eng.), Queen’s University (LL.B.) and McGill University (LL.M.). He has accumulated almost 2000 hours of flying time in gliders, small civilian aircraft and military jet aircraft. He is an avid reader and has ambitions to remain a mid-pack distance runner. He and his wife, Jenny, have three children: Alexandra, who teaches English in Japan; and Charlie and Clara, who attend school in Ottawa.

Date biography modified: 2023-07-10

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