OTTAWA, Ontario — Lieutenant-General Marc Caron took command of the Army on February 3, during a change of command ceremony held at Cartier Square Drill Hall.
"I had so much trouble commanding a platoon," he said with a grin. "You concentrate on the job you've got, not what might be coming. There's no way back in the 70s that I thought I would be commanding the Army."
LGen Caron took over from General Rick Hillier, who was promoted and appointed new Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) on February 4.
LGen Caron served as the Acting Chief of the Land Staff for most of 2004 while then LGen Hillier led NATO's mission in Afghanistan. LGen Caron has served in Cyprus, Germany and Kosovo during his 34 years of service.
While Canada's commitment to peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Afghanistan has been scaled back recently, LGen Caron promises that the operational tempo will pick up.
"We will be back on line to a higher level of commitment early next year," he said.
In tribute to the outgoing commander, members of LGen Hillier's regiment, The Royal Canadian Dragoons, formed a fifty-man honour guard. In tribute to the incoming commander, members of the Royal 22e Régiment Band provided the music.
LGen Caron's first official ceremony as Chief of the Land Staff was to attend the change of command for the CDS. Gen Hillier replaces General Ray Henault who takes over NATO's top military post in Brussels in April.
Article by Sergeant Craig Reid
Photos by Sergeant Paul Howe