March 2020 - Flipbook – Transition binder 2020

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Congratulations on your appointment as Minister of National Defence, and welcome to the Department

This booklet contains essential information to familiarize yourself with the Department, your senior advisors, key messages, upcoming events, major operations, and military ranks.

Below are the contact details for key individuals you may wish to communicate with early:

Deputy Minister – Ms. Jody Thomas
Office: (613) 992-4258

Chief of the Defence Staff –
General Jonathan Vance

Senior Military Assistant –
Captain (N) Steven Archer

Driver – Corporal Mike Hillary



Office location

Minister’s driver


Communications: Key messages

Below are key thematic messages, should you be pressed for comments after the swearing in ceremony or in the early days of your mandate.


Our people

Hateful conduct / Sexual misconduct

Defence spending


Sound bites

People – Our number one priority is the care and support of our people and their families.

Reserves – We are committed to a larger, better supported, and fully integrated Reserve Force: a full-time capability through part-time service.

Indigenous – We are working with Indigenous populations to enhance relationships, and build partnerships based on recognition of rights, respect, and co-operation.

Procurement – We are investing to ensure our military personnel are well-equipped to carry out their missions.

Innovation – We are exploring new ways to network and connect with Canada’s innovation community: looking to all Canadians to find new solutions to defence and security challenges.

Operations – Canada must remain strong at home; secure in North America; and engaged in the world.

Policy & Defence Relations – We are unwavering in our commitment to our long-standing alliances and partnerships including NORAD, NATO and the UN.

Infrastructure – We continue to invest in sustainable facilities to enable a modern military.

Environment – We are Greening defence for a clean environment and strong economy.

Departmental overview


The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are two distinct but complementary entities working together to fulfill the Canadian government's mission to defend Canadian interests and values, and to contribute to international peace and security.

They make up two important parts of the overall national security structure of the country.

Represented in more than 3,000 communities, DND/CAF have a significant footprint and economic presence in every province and territory.

National Defence Act

The National Defence Act establishes the Department of National Defence (DND), names the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and provides the legal basis for numerous matters relating to DND/CAF.

The NDA came into effect on January 1, 1923, and merged previously distinct ministerial positions into one to form that of Minister of National Defence. Mr. George Perry Graham was sworn in as the first Minister of National Defence and held the position from January 1st to April 27, 1923.  


DND is the largest department within the federal government in terms of budget and size. In 2019-20, DND’s budget of $21.9 billion, accounted for approximately 7.3% of the total Main Estimates for Canada.

The largest portions of the budget are allocated to Personnel (37%), Operating (36%), and Capital (17%).


There are approximately 124,200 members of DND/CAF across Canada. This includes Canada’s soldiers, sailors and airmen/airwomen in the Regular and Reserve Forces, DND’s civilian employees, as well as Canada’s northern Ranger Patrols.

DND/CAF composition

Component and Size
Regular Force: 68,000
Reserve Force: 27,000
Civilians: 24,000
Canadian Rangers: 5,200

Total: 124,200


In addition to the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF), the Defence Portfolio includes a number of separate but related organizations:

The National Defence Act grants authorities and responsibilities to the Minister of National Defence in relation to these organizations. For example, the MGERC and the MPCC report to Parliament through the Minister of National Defence, while the CSE Chief and the Ombudsperson report directly to you.

Key advisors

Your two principal advisors are the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Ms. Jody Thomas, as well as the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance.

The Deputy Minister (DM) is your most senior civilian advisor, and is authorized under the law to carry out, on your behalf, many aspects of the management and direction of the Department. She is responsible for policy advice, departmental management, interdepartmental coordination, and international defence relations, among other roles.

In addition, the DM is an accounting officer and holds specific authorities and responsibilities for the control and spending of funds and the management of property, both real and personal.

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) serves as the primary military advisor to the Prime Minister and to the Government. He has direct responsibility for the command, control and administration of the CAF. The CDS advises you on issues such as military requirements, force capabilities, possible courses of action, and the implications of undertaking various military activities.

The CDS is also the commander of the CAF, while the Governor General of Canada is the Commander in Chief of the CAF (which is largely a ceremonial role).

Deputy Minister of Defence
Jody Thomas

Ms. Thomas was appointed Deputy Minister of National Defence on October 23, 2017.

She began her career in the Public Service in 1988 when she was appointed Chief of Business Planning and Administration with Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Atlantic Region.

From 1995-2010, she served in various roles with Passport Canada, including as the Chief Operating Officer, where she managed service delivery at 35 locations involving 3,000 employees across Canada.

In 2010, she joined the Canadian Coast Guard, eventually becoming the Commissioner of the Coast Guard on January 1, 2015. On March 13, 2017, she joined the Department of National Defence as the Senior Associate Deputy Minister before being appointed Deputy Minister.

Chief of the Defence Staff
General Jonathan Vance

General Vance was promoted to his current rank and formally appointed as the Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff in July 2015. He was previously Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command.

He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1982 and was commissioned as an infantry officer into The Royal Canadian Regiment in 1986. General Vance has served in Canada and deployed on various operational tours abroad, including to Germany, on UN Peacekeeping operations, as well as Afghanistan. He has commanded at all levels within the field force and has served in various roles in National Defence headquarters.

General Vance has been awarded various decorations, including the Order of Military Merit, the Meritorious Service Cross, as well as the Vimy Award for his contributions to Canadian defence and security.

List of senior advisors

Associate Deputy Minister: Claude Rochette

Associate Deputy Minister: Gordon Venner

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

List of advisors

Department of National Defence

ADM (Finance) & Chief Financial Officer: Cheri Crosby

ADM (Policy): Peter Hammerschmidt

ADM (Materiel): Troy Crosby

ADM (Public Affairs): Chris Henderson

ADM (Data, Innovation, Analytics): Stephen Burt

ADM (Human Resources - Civilian): Kin Choi

ADM (Science & Technology): Isabelle Desmartis

ADM (Information Management) & Chief Information Officer: Len Bastien

ADM (Review Services): Julie Charron

ADM (Infrastructure & Environment): Rob Chambers

DND/CAF’s Legal Advisor (CFLA): Michael Sousa

Corporate Secretary: Isabelle Daoust

Canadian Armed Forces

Commander Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFINTCOM) / Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) : Rear-Admiral Scott Bishop

Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) : Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau

Commander Royal Canadian Navy (RCN): Vice-Admiral  Art McDonald

Commander Canadian Army (CA) : Lieutenant-General Wayne D. Eyre

Commander Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) : Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger

Director of Staff, Strategic Joint Staff (SJS): Major-General Trevor Cadieu

Chief of Military Personnel (CMP): Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson

Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD): General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy

Commander, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM): Major-General Pete Dawe

Judge Advocate General (JAG): Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez


Chair, Independent Review Panel for Defence Acquisition (IRPDA): Larry Murray

Executive Director, Sexual Misconduct Response Centre (SMRC): Dr. Denise Preston

Executive Director, National Security and Intelligence Review and Oversight Coordination Secretariat (NSIROCS): Susan Cole

Chief, Communications Security Establishment (CSE): Shelly Bruce

Chair, Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC): Christine Guérette

Chair, Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC): Hilary McCormack

Chief Military Judge (CMJ): Colonel Mario Dutil; Lieutenant-Colonel Louis-Vincent d’Auteuil (Acting cmJ)

National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsperson: Gregory Lick

Upcoming engagements & events

Key bilateral engagements and multilateral events are scheduled to take place during your first few months in office. They will enable you to meet and build personal relationships with key allies and foreign counterparts, advance the Government’s agenda, and promote Canadian values and interests.

In the short term, key meetings and engagements include:

You may also wish to continue the tradition of visiting Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations abroad, as a morale-boosting exercise, during the pre-Christmas period.

Major operations

Operations requiring decisions

During your first 180 days in office, you will be asked to renew several key operations. You have the authority to extend some of these, but others will require Cabinet approval or concurrence from other Ministers.

Below is a selected list of key operations.

Current Continental Operations & Activities

Current International Operations & Activities

Other Operations & Activities

Military ranks

Royal Canadian Navy


Assistant Deputy Minister
Canadian Army
Canadian Armed Forces
Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Chief of the Defence Staff
Chief of Military Personnel
Canadian Joint Operations Command
Global Affairs Canada
Level 1 Organization (e.g. reports to the Deputy Minister or to the Chief of the Defence Staff)
National Defence Headquarters
Other government department
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Canadian Navy
Strategic Joint Staff
Vice Chief of the Defence Staff
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