Lieutenant-General Allen assumes the role of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

News release

June 28, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, Lieutenant-General Frances Allen assumed the responsibilities of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) in an assumption of command ceremony which took place at National Defence Headquarters Carling.

Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, the Acting Chief of the Defence Staff, presided over the ceremony in the presence of a small assembly of military and civilian members of the Defence Team.

As second in command of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the VCDS is responsible for an array of functions ensuring that National Defence policy and strategic objectives are achieved, including moving forward the Defence Services Program. Accountable to both the CDS and the Deputy Minister of National Defence, the VCDS also governs National Defence headquarters and its related activities. 

Lieutenant-General Allen began her career in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983. Since then she has commanded and led at multiple levels, including Officer Commanding the National Systems Management Centre in Ottawa, the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron in Trenton, the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre, and the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group. A cyber and information warfare expert, she becomes VCDS after serving as the Military Representative of Canada to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium since July 2020.


“I would like to congratulate Lieutenant-General Allen on her appointment as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. Lieutenant-General Allen brings tremendous command experience to the position gained through her numerous leadership roles at multiple levels throughout her career. She will play a vital role in enabling the institutional changes underway in the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“As the new Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Allen is bringing a sterling record of demonstrated expertise and consistent leadership excellence to the role, and is precisely the right choice to be appointed second-in-command of the Canadian Armed Forces. Lieutenant-General Rouleau has served our Canadian Armed Forces and its members with dedication and commitment throughout his long career, and we thank him for his service to Canada.”

Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre, Acting Chief of the Defence Staff

“Lieutenant-General Allen is bringing a long, distinguished record of command and leadership to the role of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. She was the second woman to attain the rank of Lieutenant-General in the Canadian Armed Forces, and the first ever woman to become second-in-command as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The responsibility of shaping the future of the Canadian Armed Forces is a great one, but there is no question of the ability of Lieutenant-General Allen to lead and contribute to that change.”

Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister

I am deeply honoured by the appointment to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff position. I intend to continue the work initiated by LGen Rouleau and his team, including in such critical areas as joint capabilities, capability integration, and data and digitalization. The challenges facing the military and our nation are complex, elaborate, and nuanced, and it is a privilege to be contributing to the way forward for the whole of the Defence team.”

Lieutenant-General Frances Allen, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

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Daniel Minden
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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