LGen Jocelyn (Joe) Paul has assumed command of the Canadian Army following a ceremony on June 16 at the Cartier Square Drill Hall in Ottawa. Paul took over from MGen Michel-Henri St-Louis, who had served as acting commander and is set to become the commander of the Canadian Defence Liaison Staff Support Unit in Washington, D.C.
Born and raised in the First Nations’ community of Wendake, Quebec, Paul is a member of the Huron-Wendat First Nation. He previously served as the Deputy Commander of the Allied Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy, as commander of 4th Canadian Division and Joint Task Force Central, and as commander of the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre.
“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to command the Canadian Army and lead the organization to the future and to support culture change within the Canadian Army and the Canadian Armed Forces,” Paul said. “From the Baltic to the Black Sea, our NATO Allies recognize the tradition of excellence of the Canadian Armed Forces and of the Canadian Army, and all of this is only made possible by those who wear the uniform. In my new role, I will build on the successes brought forward by the One Army Team, led by the unwavering dedication of Major-General St-Louis, and will strive to ensure the Canadian Army remains agile, disciplined, and ready to support concurrent missions at home, and around the world.
“As the most senior ranking Indigenous member of the Canadian Armed Forces, I am equally excited about the opportunity to be the Indigenous Champion for the Canadian Armed Forces,” he added, “and look forward to fostering a more inclusive and diverse Defence Team for our members who have chosen the profession of arms and to serve their country.”
A member of the Royal 22e Régiment, he commanded the 2nd Battalion, including the 2 R22eR battle group deployed to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in 2009. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross for the performance of the unit.
“I welcome LGen Paul into this new role as an institutional leader. His strong legacy of professionalism and excellence will support the Canadian Army where people come first — where their talents, contributions, and individuality are welcome and appreciated, and where they are treated with compassion, respect, and dignity by their peers and their leaders,” said Gen Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff and a former Army commander.
Paul is a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting, and the Canadian Forces National Security Program.
“The call to serve as Acting Commander of the Canadian Army has been the greatest honour of my career,” said St-Louis. “In this role, I have been afforded the extreme privilege to witness excellence on a daily basis, as our soldiers serve with pride and distinction with utmost dedication and perseverance, even at its most challenging and unprecedented of times.”
The ceremony included a 14-soldier contingent and band comprised of members from the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment, and the Governor General’s Foot Guards, respectively.