Natynczyk Appointed as CF CDS

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement today appointing Lt.-Gen. Walt Natynczyk as the new Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). The appointment will be effective following the Change of Command ceremony which will take place in the coming weeks.

"I am very pleased that the command of the Canadian Forces is now being passed to the very capable hands of Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk, said Minister MacKay. “Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk assumes the position at a very important time for the Canadian Forces. His leadership and experience will be invaluable as we continue to move forward with the Canada First Defence Strategy and our mission in Afghanistan.  I have complete confidence in his ability to build on the foundation laid by General Rick Hillier."

Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk joined the Canadian Forces in August 1975. He attended Royal Roads Military College and Collège Militaire Royal in St Jean, graduating in 1979 with a degree in Business Administration.  Upon completion of Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, he served on the Army Staff in St-Hubert, Québec. Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk assumed the responsibilities of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff on 28 June 2006.

"I’m deeply honoured to receive this appointment," said Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk. "It is truly a privilege to lead the men and women of the Canadian Forces who give so much to their country."

General Hillier, who announced his retirement on April 15 after three years of being CDS, expressed confidence in Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk’s ability to lead the Canadian Forces. "I have never worked with a finer officer than Lt.-Gen. Natynczyk.  He has all the skills, experience and values to command the Canadian Forces and will have my full support. I congratulate him on his appointment and will hand over to him with the full knowledge that he will continue to adapt, and improve our Forces to accomplish the tasks Canadians need us to perform.”

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