Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)

Chief Of The Defence Staff (Canada)

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Chief of the Defence Staff (Canada)

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The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) () is the second most senior member of the Canadian Forces, and heads the Armed Forces Council, having primary responsibility for command, control, and administration of the forces, as well as military strategy, plans, and requirements.

Rank and command

The Chief of the Defence Staff follows in rank only the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, who appoints the CDS and is the person from whom the CDS receives his or her orders. In practice, though, the commander-in-chief the Canadian monarch, represented by the governor general typically acts only on the advice of his or her ministers of the Crown, meaning the CDS normally reports directly to the Minister of National Defence.

Until 1964 there existed a Chief of the Naval Staff as head of the Royal Canadian Navy, a Chief of the General Staff as head of the Canadian Army, and a Chief of the Air Staff as head of the Royal Canadian Air Force. A position known as the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee existed, which had a loose coordination function, although it lacked the command and control responsibilities of the later position of CDS.

In 1964, the position of Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the positions of the three service chiefs were abolished and replaced by the position of CDS. Since that time, the CDS has been charged with four main priorities, each having multiple...
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