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Acting VCDS Change of Appointment Ceremony marks big change in the VCDS Group

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By Martina Babiakova, VCDS Communications –

The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Group has a new Acting Vice Chief of the Defence (A/VCDS), Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, coming in from Commander of the Canadian Army. He assumed command from Lieutenant-General Alain Parent at the Change of Appointment Ceremony on May 28, 2018, at NDHQ (Pearkes). This significant event was attended by several dignitaries, including Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance and Deputy Minister of National Defence (DM) Jody Thomas. Former VCDSs were in attendance as well- Vice-Admiral (ret’d) Buck, Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Thibault, General (ret’d) Natynczyk, Lieutenant-General (ret’d) Sutherland, and Lieutenant-General (ret’d) MacDonald.

LGen Parent kept with his personal tradition until his last day, starting his address with his usual intro- “On this day in history…”. He then recalled the moment he made the decision to take on the role of A/VCDS last year. This decision brought him back to Canada from his position in Italy, where he was Deputy Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples.

“As I reflect on the last year, I would like to believe that I have contributed to the defence of this great nation. My vision coming in was to ensure the machine of NDHQ and the VCDS Gp in particular be recognized as strong forces that get things done,” he said.

Both DM Thomas and Gen Vance spoke fondly of LGen Parent’s year as A/VCDS, and thanked him for the work he’s done.

“When I think of your contribution, Alain, I think of you being that voice of reason that you have been many times while serving in Afghanistan. You are retiring and we owe you a debt of gratitude. On behalf of the CAF, I want to thank you for your 39 years of extraordinary service to this country,” said Gen Vance.

DM Thomas also joined Gen Vance in thanking LGen Wynnyk for stepping up to take the important job of the AVCDS.

“The VCDS sets the tone, attitude, and details of collaboration to deliver the right resources at the right time, for the right reasons, to help the DM and the CDS get jobs done while maintaining the confidence of the government, other governments and our military staff. It is an exceptionally tall order,” spoke Gen Vance.

LGen Wynnyk was enthusiastic as he mentioned about being honoured to be selected and thankful for being given the opportunity to continue to serve Canada’s greatest national institution, the Canadian Armed Forces.

“I will give the position my full attention and energy, and I look forward to the extraordinary men and women in the VCDS Group, both military and civilian, as we as a team serve Canada, the Canadian Armed Forces and DND.”

LGen Wynnyk has had many successes in his career, including a variety of staff assignments, command appointments, and holding a number of positions at NDHQ, including the J3 (Operations) desk officer responsible for Canada’s military commitment in the Balkans, Director General Military Engineering/Chief Military Engineer, and a posting to the Privy Council Office where he was employed as the Senior Defence Advisor and Director of Operations for the Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. He was appointed Commander of the Canadian Army in July 2016, a position he will pass on to LGen Jean-Marc Lanthier this summer to take on his new set of responsibilities as A/VCDS.

Photo: CFUS(O) IMAGING SERVICES/Corporal Lisa Fenton

Initially published in the VCDS Express – News

This post is also available in: Français (French)

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