Charles H. Belzile

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Charles H. Belzile
LGen Charles Belzile-2008.jpg
Birth name Charles Henri Belzile
Born (1933-03-12)March 12, 1933
Trois-Pistoles, Quebec
Died December 5, 2016(2016-12-05) (aged 83)
Ottawa, Ontario
Buried at Beechwood Cemetery
Allegiance  Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army/Canadian Forces
Years of service 35 years
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands held Canadian Army
Royal 22e Régiment
Awards Order of Canada
Commander of the Order of Military Merit
Canadian Forces Decoration
Vimy Award

Lieutenant General Charles Henri Belzile CM, CMM, CD (March 12, 1933 – December 5, 2016) was a Canadian army officer who served as head of the Canadian Army. He is an honorary member of the Royal Military College of Canada student #H22547.[1]


Born in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec, Belzile graduated from the Université de Montréal in 1953.

Military career[edit]

Belzile was commissioned in The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada in 1951.[2] He was then assigned as a platoon commander in Korea.[2] Upon his return from the Korean theatre, he assumed a number of staff and command positions including that of Adjutant with 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and staff officer at Quebec Command Headquarters in Montreal.

In 1968 he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and appointed Commanding Officer, Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier.[2] In 1972, he was appointed Commander, Combat Arms School, at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick as a colonel.[2] He was later appointed to several high-profile positions in Canada and abroad. He commanded 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in the former Federal Republic of Germany as a brigadier-general.[2] As brigadier general he was Senior Canadian Officer at Headquarters, Central Army Group (CENTAG) in Hammonds Barracks, Seckenheim, Germany. As major-general in 1977 he took command of Canadian Forces Europe.[2] In 1981 he was promoted lieutenant-general and appointed Commander, Mobile Command, the title under which the army was known at that time.[2] He retired from active duty in 1986.[2]

Later career[edit]

Following his retirement from the military, he held a position of Vice-President with SNC Industrial Technologies of Le Gardeur, Quebec, from 1987 to 1992.[2] Since 1992 he has been President of CH Belzile Consultants. In 1994 he became part of a team on a study to improve the efficiency of the Irish Defence Forces.[2] He served on the Special Commission on the Restructuring of the Canadian Forces Reserves.[2] He was a member of the Special Advisory Group on Military Justice and Military Police Investigation Services.[2] He was appointed Colonel Commandant of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets from 1993 to 1998.[3] In 1998, he was appointed head of the Military Police Services Review Group.[2] He has served as president of the Canadian Battle of Normandy Foundation (now the Canadian Battlefields Foundation), President of the Conference of Defence Associations and as a member of the Canadian War Museum Advisory Council.[4] Belzile died on December 5, 2016 at the age of 83.[5]


In 2000, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. [6] He was a recipient of the Vimy Award, which recognizes a Canadian who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the defence and security of the nation and the preservation of our democratic values.[2]

On 24 November 2001, he was appointed Honorary Grand President of The Royal Canadian Legion.[2] He is a recipient of the French Légion d’Honneur.[2]


  1. ^ Royal Military College of Canada
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "The Legion Mourns the Loss of Past Grand President Charles Belzile". Legion. The Royal Canadian Legion. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2016. 
  3. ^ Veterans Affairs Commendation
  4. ^ Royal Canadian Legion Archived December 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ In Celebration of Charles Belzile March 12, 1933 - December 5, 2016
  6. ^ Belzile, Major-General Charles Henri. "Appointment to Order of Military Merit". Library and Archives Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
Military offices
Preceded by
LCol (BGen) G.R. Therriault, CD
Commander, 2nd Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment
Succeeded by
LCol (MGen) G.H.J. Lessard, CMM, MB, CD
Preceded by
Commander, Combat Training Centre
Succeeded by
Preceded by
BGen P.V.B. Grieve, CD
Commander, 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group
Succeeded by
BGen J.E. Vance, CD
Preceded by
Commander, Canadian Forces Europe
Succeeded by
Preceded by
LGen Jean Jacques Paradis, CMM, CD
Commander, Force Mobile Command
Succeeded by
LGen Jim Fox, CMM, CD
Preceded by
Colonel Commandant, Royal Canadian Infantry Corps
Succeeded by
Preceded by
LGen J.E. Vance, CMM, CD
Colonel Commandant, Royal Canadian Army Cadets
Succeeded by
MGen Howard Wheatly, CD
Preceded by
LGen Jean Jacques Paradis, CMM, CD
Colonel of the Royal 22nd Regiment
Succeeded by
MGen J.F.T.A. Liston, MBE, CD
Preceded by
Col J.R.G. Saint-Louis, CD
President, Conference Defence Association
Succeeded by
LGen Richard Evraire, CMM, CD
Preceded by
Grand President, Royal Canadian Legion
Succeeded by
Vice Admiral Larry Murray, CM, CMM, CD