New head of Canadian military is Afghanistan veteran, son of a general

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Stephen Harper has tapped Lt.-Gen. Jonathan Vance to be the new chief of the defence staff, Canada’s most senior military commander. Here’s a quick look at the man at the top:

— The 51-year-old Vance is the son of Jack Vance, a legendary infantry officer who rose to the rank of lieutenant-general and was vice-chief of the defence staff before his retirement.

— The younger Vance joined the Canadian Forces in 1982 and received his commission as an infantry officer on graduation from Royal Roads Military College.

— He holds a bachelor’s degree in military and strategic studies from Royal Roads and a master’s in war studies from Royal Military College. He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Staff School, the UK Combined Arms Tactics Course, the Canadian Army Staff College and the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course.

— During his early career he served in the Royal Canadian Regiment, eventually rising from platoon leader to command of the regiment’s 2nd Battalion.

— He also commanded 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Edmonton from 2006 to 2008, and subsequently, was deployed as commander Joint Task Force Afghanistan and Task Force Kandahar in 2009 and again in 2010.

— Vance is a commander of the Order of Military Merit and has twice been awarded the Meritorious Service Cross with. In 2011, the Conference of Defence Associations presented him with its Vimy Award for his contributions to Canadian defence and security.

The Canadian Press

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