Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 29, 2012 18:39 ET

General Tom Lawson Appointed as Canada's New Chief of the Defence Staff

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2012) - General Tom Lawson was officially appointed as Canada's new Chief of the Defence Staff for the Canadian Forces (CF) during a Change of Command ceremony held today at the Canadian War Museum. The event was presided over by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, and marked the official transfer of the Command of the CF from General Walt Natynczyk to General Tom Lawson. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, as well as the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Associate Minister of National Defence were also in attendance.

"With this change of command ceremony, I would like to recognize the outstanding contributions that General Natyncyzk and his wife, Leslie, have made to Canada during the past four years. And I am equally pleased to extend a warm welcome to our incoming Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson," said the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada David Johnston. "Just as the principle of duty with honour acts as the "centre of gravity" for the military profession in Canada, so, too, is the Chief of the Defence Staff the centre of gravity for the men and women who comprise the Canadian Forces."

"I would like to thank General Natynczyk for his outstanding and compassionate leadership during a very challenging period in the history of our military. It has been my pleasure to work with Walt during his four years as Chief of the Defence Staff," said Minister MacKay. "I know that Canada's military will remain in good hands as General Lawson takes command. I'm confident that his experience and vision will serve him well as he leads our men and women in uniform into the future."

"It has been my honour to serve Canada for the past 37 years, and in particular to serve as your Chief of the Defence Staff during these last four. Canadians can be very proud of their soldiers, sailors, airmen and women who have worked hard to protect our peace and security," said General Natynczyk. "I also appreciate the support of our civilian team members who have enabled the success of our forces. As I pass the torch to General Tom Lawson, I am confident that he and his leadership team will continue to provide outstanding service to protect Canada and Canadian interests. I wish to thank all the men and women of the Canadian Forces and their families for their support and loyal service. You are Canada's finest! I am proud of you and proud to have been your Chief of the Defence Staff."

"I am honoured to be chosen as your new Chief of the Defence Staff. I'm also very proud to be leading a team of such highly professional and dedicated sailors, soldiers, airmen and airwomen," said General Lawson. "I am very fortunate to follow in the steps of the inspirational example set by my friend and mentor General Walt Natynczyk. On behalf of all of us in the Canadian Forces, I extend my heartfelt thanks to General Natynczyk and his wife Leslie for all their years of remarkable service to Canada."

As defined in the National Defence Act, the Chief of the Defence Staff has direct responsibility for the command, control and administration of the CF, and is appointed by the Governor-in-Council, on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Chief of the Defence Staff is accountable to the Minister of National Defence for the conduct of all CF activities, as well as for the readiness and the ability to fulfill military commitments and obligations undertaken by the government.

The CDS implements government decisions that involve the CF, by issuing orders and instructions. Whenever required, the CDS also advises the Prime Minister and Cabinet directly on major military developments and issues. The Chief of the Defence Staff is the senior serving military advisor to the Government of Canada.

After the ceremony, Combat Camera will post pictures at the following link:

For more information about the Office of the Chief of the Defence Staff, please visit his Website at:

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