Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

September 01, 2011 13:08 ET

Change of Command at Canadian Expeditionary Force Command

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 1, 2011) - Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare assumed the duties of Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) from Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard this morning, in a ceremony held at the Cartier Square Drill Hall. The change of command ceremony was attended by the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence. General Walt Natynczyk, Chief of the Defence Staff, was the presiding officer.

"The deployment of Canadian Forces abroad is integral to the defence of Canada, to the protection of North America, and to Canada's continuing contribution to international stability and security," said Minister MacKay. "The successful deployments under Lieutenant-General Lessard's command, including Afghanistan, Libya and Haiti, have confirmed the leadership role of the Canadian Forces in today's global security environment and have made Canadians proud. I know that Lieutenant-General Lessard's successes will be continued with the new leadership of Lieutenant-General Beare."

"During a time of exceptional operational tempo Lieutenant-General Marc Lessard displayed remarkable leadership and insight in guiding CEFCOM through tremendous periods of change and challenge in Afghanistan and around the world. I thank him for his leadership, and for the dedication he has shown toward Canada and the Canadian Forces," said General Natynczyk. "Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare is a leader who has a strong and clear vision for his new command, and the intelligence, character and experience to make that vision a reality. I am confident that under his direction CEFCOM will continue its excellent leadership of our many missions around the world."

"Over the past two years, CEFCOM has deployed and supported thousands of Canadian Forces personnel on international operations," said Lieutenant-General Lessard. "We conducted relief operations in Haiti immediately after the devastating earthquake in January 2010; transitioned in Afghanistan to the training mission centred on Kabul; evacuated Canadians from Libya; and are still protecting civilians from Gadhafi forces in Libya — all the while maintaining Canada's contribution to more than a dozen United Nations and NATO peace-support missions around the world. I specifically wish to emphasize our counterinsurgency operations in Kandahar, which ended in July this year. Our Canadian Forces men and women completed a complex combat mission in tough circumstances, markedly improving security, governance and development in a key region of Afghanistan. I'm proud of our people, and honoured to have had the opportunity to lead CEFCOM through interesting times."

Lieutenant-General Lessard accepted command of CEFCOM in May 2009 and has overseen the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan through its transition from combat operations in the south to the training mission in the north. He led the evolution of Canadian Forces humanitarian operations that could be seen in the assistance delivered to Haiti in January 2010, after earthquakes hit the country. He also oversaw Canadian Forces missions around the world ranging from peace-support operations to the maritime and air campaigns around and over Libya. CEFCOM task forces operate in multinational coalitions under NATO or the United Nations, often as part of a Canadian "whole of government" team.

"The world continues to experience widespread unrest and distress, and calls for effective military and humanitarian intervention persist. Canada has responded to the call, and the Canadian Forces, deployed under Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, have played — and continue to play — a key role in a number of these crises," said Lieutenant-General Beare. "We will remain agile and adapt to whatever challenges confront us, and we will continue to work closely with the entire Defence Team, our partners, and allies in pursuit of mission objectives and Canadian interests. I remain incredibly impressed by the performance of our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and airwomen abroad, and I commit myself, as Lieutenant-General Lessard has done so well, to guiding and supporting them in the operations of today and the future — all with the selfless support of the CEFCOM team and our Canadian Forces, Defence Team, and security partners."

CEFCOM anticipates and conducts global operations — in concert with national and international partners — in support of Canada's national interests. CEFCOM deploys task forces around the world to carry out military operations ranging from humanitarian aid through peace-support to combat. Task forces are made up of maritime, land, air and special operations forces selected and trained specifically for their missions.

For more information on CEFCOM, please visit:

For biographies and photographs of Lieutenant-Generals Beare and Lessard, please visit:

Contact Information

  • Information: 1-866-377-0811/613-996-2353

    Major Kim Saunders
    CEFCOM Public Affairs

    Captain Jennifer Stadnyk
    CEFCOM Public Affairs