New Commander for Canadian Joint Operations Command

News release

June 13, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence/Canadian Armed Forces

Command of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) officially changed hands at a ceremony today in Ottawa. Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau assumed command from Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes at a ceremony at Cartier Square Drill Hall before Canadian armed forces members and distinguished guests.

Presided over by General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, today’s ceremony brought Lieutenant-General Bowes’ three-year tenure as Commander of Canada’s joint operations organization to a close.

Earlier today, a Change of Appointment ceremony also took place, where the CJOC bade farewell to Command Chief Warrant Officer Denis Gaudreault and welcomed Chief Petty Officer First Class Gilles Grégoire.


“A Change of Command ceremony is more than a simple change in leadership.  It is a public statement in which I entrust certain General and Flag Officers with the duty and responsibility of high command.  In selecting and promoting LGen Rouleau to Command CJOC, I wish Canadians to know that a truly capable General Officer is at the helm of CAF Operations.  He replaces an equally accomplished leader, LGen Bowes, whose new mission will be to help our Veterans.  To LGen Rouleau and Bowes, I wish you both the best of luck in your future endeavours”

– General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff

“I am grateful for the confidence General Vance has placed in me, and for the privilege it is to command, to lead Canada's Joint Operations moving forward. I thank General Bowes for his steadfast work and together with my senior enlisted partner, Chief Petty Officer Gilles Grégoire, we will do our utmost to ensure the men and women of the CAF continue to perform exceptionally on behalf of Canada on operations, at home and abroad.”

– Lieutenant-General Michael Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command

“Commanding Canadian Armed Forces personnel on operations around the world was immensely rewarding. Above all else, I am continually amazed and proud of the professionalism and dedication our men and women display on a daily basis. They are the reason the Canadian Armed Forces are so highly regarded amongst our Allies and I look forward to my next post in better serving our veterans.”

– Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes

Quick facts

  • Lieutenant-General Rouleau began his military career in 1985 as an artillery officer. His career is roughly evenly split between duty in the Canadian Army, Special Forces and strategic Staff portfolios at defence headquarters. General Rouleau’s service in Special Operations Forces began in 1994 with Joint Task Force 2. In 1999, he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces, joining the ranks of the Ottawa Carleton Regional Police Service as an emergency response officer. As a result of the events of 9-11, he re-enrolled in the Forces in 2002. Since then, he continuously applied his varied skills and experience, commanding troops at various levels in Canada and abroad. He commanded Canada’s Special Operations Forces Command since 2014. 

  • Lieutenant-General Bowes will be seconded to Veterans Affairs Canada in Charlottetown beginning July 2018. During his tenure at CJOC, he commanded forces deployed domestically and around the world. Just a few of examples of these operations include: search and rescue and support to natural disasters across Canada; countering illicit trafficking in the Caribbean; capacity building programs in various parts of the world; supporting NATO deterrence and assurance measures in Europe; and countering Daesh in the Middle East. 

  • The Commander of CJOC leads most of the Canadian Armed Forces operations in Canada, North America, and around the world. He also directs CAF missions from planning to closing, to meet national and international strategic goals.

  • Headquartered in Ottawa, CJOC comprises task forces and elements employed on operations; standing domestic Regional Joint Task Force Headquarters in Yellowknife, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax; the Joint Operational Support Group, headquartered in Kingston with units across Canada; and a worldwide network of liaison officers and command and control nodes.  CJOC exercises operational control of the Joint Forces Air Component Command, Maritime Component Command, 1st Canadian Division Headquarters, and Special Operations Coordination Element.

Associated links


Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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