Canadian military welcomes first female second-in-command as she grapples with crisis of sexual misconduct


Lieutenant General. Frances Allen officially assumed the role of Vice Chief of the Defense Staff, making her the first woman to hold the title of Second in Command of the Canadian Army.

Allen, who was selected for the job in March, took on the role in a ceremony Monday.

“The challenges facing the military and our nation are complex, elaborate and nuanced, and it is a privilege to help shape the way forward for the entire defense team,” Allen said in a press release announcing his elevation to the new role. .

Allen began her career in the military in 1983. She is described by the military as an “expert in cyber and information warfare” with leadership experience primarily in technical areas including communications, operations. network and information.

Allen has been Canada’s military representative to NATO since July 2020.

“Lieutenant-General Allen brings to this position tremendous leadership experience, gained through his many leadership roles at multiple levels throughout his career,” Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in the statement.

“She will play a vital role in enabling the institutional changes underway in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defense.”

Allen’s predecessor resigned amid controversy

Allen replaces the lieutenant general. Mike Rouleau, whose last days with the military were marred by controversy.

Rouleau announced earlier this month that he would begin his departure from the armed forces after reports emerged that he had played golf with retired Chief of Staff Jonathan Vance while Vance was doing the rounds. being investigated for sexual misconduct.

Rouleau, who was the vice chief of the defense staff when he played golf with Vance, was in charge of the Provost Marshal, who oversees the department responsible for internal military investigations.

It was initially announced that Rouleau would transition to a new role of Senior Advisor following Allen’s promotion, although he is now considering leaving the service entirely.


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