Jonathan Vance

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Jonathan Vance
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, and Canadian Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance (cropped).jpg
Vance in 2018
Birth nameJonathan Holbert Vance
Nickname(s)Jon
Born (1964-01-03) January 3, 1964 (age 57)
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
AllegianceCanada
Service/branchCanadian Army
Years of service1982–2021
RankGeneral
Commands held
Battles/warsWar in Afghanistan
Military intervention against ISIL
AwardsCommander of the Order of Military Merit
Meritorious Service Cross
Canadian Forces Decoration
Alma materRoyal Roads Military College (BA)
Royal Military College of Canada (MA)
Spouse(s)Kerry Vance[1]

General Jonathan Holbert Vance CMM MSC CD (born January 3, 1964) is a retired Canadian Forces officer who served as a general in the Canadian Army. Vance was the chief of the Defence Staff from 2015 to 2021.

Early life and education[edit]

Vance (left) and meets with General Joseph Dunford of the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan

Vance was born on January 3, 1964 in Kingston, Ontario.[2] At the age of 13, while his father Jack Vance—a Canadian Forces officer—was posted in Lahr, Germany, he joined the Army Cadets.[3]

Vance himself went on to join the Canadian Forces in 1982, attending the Royal Roads Military College where he obtained a bachelor of arts (BA) in military and strategic studies in 1986.[3] He also holds a master of arts (MA) degree in war studies from the Royal Military College of Canada.[3]

Military career[edit]

Upon graduation in 1986, Vance was commissioned in Force Mobile Command as an infantry officer with The Royal Canadian Regiment.[4] His father, Jack, was serving as the vice chief of the Defence Staff when he was commissioned.[5]

He served as deputy commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, and commander of the Canadian Task Force in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010.[6][7] He went on to be commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command in September 2014.

Chief of the Defence Staff[edit]

On April 27, 2015, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Vance had been selected as the new chief of the Defence Staff.[6][5][8] He formally succeeded General Thomas J. Lawson in the role following a transfer of command ceremony held on July 17, 2015.[9]

Retirement[edit]

On July 23, 2020, Vance announced his intention to retire as chief of Defence Staff after 5 years in office and will serve until his replacement is named. Despite being a potential candidate for an upcoming vacancy as chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the federal government announced its intention not to pursue the competition.[10]

On December 23, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Vance would be succeeded by Vice Admiral Art McDonald as Chief of the Defence Staff, with the change of command held on January 14, 2021.[11]

Misconduct allegations[edit]

Shortly following his retirement, a report emerged detailing inappropriate behaviour from Vance towards two female subordinates,[12] possibly violating "directives that govern personal relationships and such actions might contravene provisions in the National Defence Act (NDA) that relate to good order and discipline."[13]

Following the allegations, an investigation into Vance's conduct was launched by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, a unit of the Military Police.[14] Additionally, the House of Commons defence committee voted to study the matter,[15] and the Department of National Defence committed to an external probe into Vance, which has since expanded to "also deal with rising concerns that the issue of sexual misconduct by the senior ranks could be a systemic issue in the Canadian Armed Forces".[16]

On July 15, 2021, Vance was formally charged with obstruction of justice under Section 139 of the Criminal Code of Canada.[17][18] The indictment focuses on allegations made by Major Kellie Brennan, Vance's former mistress, that he instructed her to lie when being interviewed by military police investigating charges against him. Vance was reportedly engaged in a 20-year relationship with Brennan, concurrent with his seniority over her in the military chain of command, and fathered two of her children. Brennan says that Vance told her that he was “untouchable” and that he “owned” the military police.[19]

Family[edit]

His father, Jack Vance, was a Canadian lieutenant-general who had been the vice chief of Defence Staff in 1985.[20]

Awards and decorations[edit]

Vance has received the following orders and decorations during his military career:

CAN Order of Military Merit Commander and Officer.png CAN Meritorious Service Cross with bar.png CAN General Campaign Star SWA two bars (390 days).png
Special Service Medal Ribbon.png CPSM Ribbon.png 106pUK MID 1920-94.svg
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png CD-ribbon and 2 bars.png
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg LVA Order of Viesturs (swords).png Star of Romania Ribbon.PNG
Honours and decorations
Ribbon Description Notes
CAN Order of Military Merit Commander and Officer.png Order of Military Merit (CMM)
  • Commander 26 September 2013
  • Officer 28 November 2008 [21]
  • [22]
CAN Meritorious Service Cross with bar.png Meritorious Service Cross (MSC)
  • With Bar
  • December 13, 2011
  • [23]
CAN General Campaign Star SWA two bars (390 days).png General Campaign Star
  • Southwest Asia
  • With two rotation bars
Special Service Medal Ribbon.png Special Service Medal
  • With "NATO" Bar
CPSM Ribbon.png Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal
UNPROFOR MID.png UNPROFOR
Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal
  • 2002
  • Canadian Version of this Medal
  • [25]
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012
  • Canadian Version of this Medal
  • [26]
CD-ribbon and 2 bars.png Canadian Forces Decoration (CD)
  • With 2 Clasps
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour
  • Foreign honour from the French Republic
  • Filed with the Canada Gazette on 30 September 2017 [27]
LVA Order of Viesturs (swords).png Order of Viesturs, First Class
  • Foreign honour from the Republic of Latvia
  • Filed with the Canada Gazette on 29 September 2018 [28]
Star of Romania Ribbon.PNG Commander of the National Order of the Star of Romania
  • Foreign honour from the Republic of Romania
  • Filed with the Canada Gazette on 29 June 2019 [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ General, The Office of the Secretary to the Governor. "Vance, Jonathan Holbert [Individual]". reg.gg.ca. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  2. ^ "General Jonathan Vance". NATO. Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Bussière, Michael (November 2, 2020). "General Jonathan Vance — Canada's transformative general says adieu". Ottawa Life.
  4. ^ Lee Berthiaume. "All eyes on new commander as military faces significant challenges". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Lt.-Gen. Jonathan Vance appointed next chief of defence staff". CBC News. April 27, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Afghan vet Jonathan Vance eyed for top general post". thestar.com. April 2, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  7. ^ "Gen. Jonathan Vance becomes chief of defence staff, vows to tackle harassment". cbc.ca. July 17, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Canada, Service (April 27, 2015). "Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces the upcoming appointment of the new Chief of the Defence Staff". gcnws. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Brewster, Murray (July 17, 2015). "'It must stop now': New top soldier vows to end sexual misconduct". CTVNews. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  10. ^ Brewester, Murray (July 23, 2020). "Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, announces retirement". CBC News. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  11. ^ "Top military job for New Waterford man". Chronicle Herald. Retrieved January 14, 2021.
  12. ^ "Former top soldier Gen. Jonathan Vance facing allegations of inappropriate behaviour with female subordinates: sources". Global News. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  13. ^ Brewster, Murray (February 3, 2021). "Former top military commander to be investigated over allegations of inappropriate conduct".
  14. ^ "Military police say they are opening an investigation into Vance allegations". Global News. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  15. ^ "IN HER WORDS: One of the women behind Vance allegations tells her story". Global News. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  16. ^ "Military probe into Vance allegations expands to 'unprecedented' levels". Global News. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  17. ^ "Former chief of the defence staff Jonathan Vance charged with obstruction of justice". CBC.ca. July 15, 2021. Archived from the original on July 15, 2021.
  18. ^ https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/former-defence-chief-gen-jon-vance-charged-with-obstruction-of-justice/wcm/0236f3f5-c614-40af-84dc-10a8366d9418/amp/
  19. ^ "Maj. Kellie Brennan tells MPs Vance said he was 'untouchable,' fathered 2 of her kids - National | Globalnews.ca". Global News. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  20. ^ "Jonathan Vance: 6 Facts About Canada's Next Defence Chief". Huffington Post. April 27, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  21. ^ "Canada Gazette" (PDF). June 13, 2009.
  22. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". gg.ca. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  23. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". gg.ca. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  24. ^ "Mention in Dispatches". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  25. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". gg.ca. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  26. ^ "The Governor General of Canada > Find a Recipient". gg.ca. Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  27. ^ "Awards to Canadians". canadagazette.gc.ca. September 30, 2017. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  28. ^ Government of Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada (September 29, 2018). "Canada Gazette, Part 1, Volume 152, Number 39: GOVERNMENT HOUSE". canadagazette.gc.ca.
  29. ^ "Awards to Canadians". canadagazette.gc.ca. June 29, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
Military offices
Preceded by
Chief of the Defence Staff
2015–2021
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Stuart Beare
Commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Stephen Bowes