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Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan chosen as next chief of the defence staff

Lt.-Gen. Jennie Carignan has been named the next chief of the defence staff, CBC News and Radio-Canada have learned — making her the first woman to serve as the top commander of the Canadian military.

Carignan will succeed Gen. Wayne Eyre as leader of the Canadian Armed Forces, a senior source said.

CBC News is keeping the name of the source confidential because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the announcement.

Canada has had 21 full-time defence chiefs since the role was created in 1964, all of them men.

The source said Carignan was offered the position on Wednesday and has accepted.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to formally announce her appointment next Tuesday, July 2, ahead of the NATO leaders' summit taking place from July 9 to 11. Formally, the Governor General appoints defence chiefs on the advice of the federal cabinet.

CBC News first reported that the change-of-command ceremony, when Carignan will be officially promoted to the top job, is set for July 18.

New appointee considered trailblazer

Carignan is currently the military's chief of professional conduct and culture — a newly-created position she's held since April 2021, when she was tasked by the federal government with combating sexual misconduct within the Canadian Armed Forces and changing the military's culture.

Carignan is considered a trailblazer for Canadian women serving in combat roles.

Her career in the Canadian Armed Forces spans more than three decades. She enlisted in the Royal Military College of Canada in 1986, six years after RMC began admitting women.

In 2016, Carignan became the first woman from a combat arms trade to rise to the rank of general. She also has served in a number of top staff posts, including chief of staff to

Read more on cbc.ca