I was going to title this post “Release the Kraken,” because the kraken was a mythical (Norse sagas) sea monster and in Canada’s defence HQ the title Commander Royal Canadian Navy is abbreviated to CRCN and, of course, it is pronounced as kraken: a mythical sea monster being a wonderful description of the Navy’s commander. But, that title has now been taken over by a loony-lawyer conspiracy theorist, even overshadowing the name of a new NHL team.
But, despite the monsters in legend and in American politics, there is some good news for the Canadian Forces. Vice Admiral Art McDonald has been named as Canada’s next Chief of the Defence Staff. Art McDonald has been CRCN since mid 2019; he is a graduate (1990) of the Royal Military College of Canada who holds a bachelor’s degree in Military and Strategic Studies and a Master of Defence Studies degree, and also a graduate of the 2003 Canadian Forces College (CFC) Command and Staff Course, the 2012 CFC National Security Studies Programme, and the 2014 U.S. CAPSTONE General and Flag Officer Course. A 2016 alumnus of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, he is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in National and International Security program at Harvard University (2017). He served in several HMC ships over the years and was captain of HMCS Halifax from 2007 to 2009. During his sea time he deployed repeatedly – including three tours on the Arabian Gulf and one on the Adriatic Sea – and even circumnavigated the globe in HMCS Calgary in 1995.
Vice Admiral McDonald will take over in early January, relieving General Jon Vance who has been CDS for five years. So, despite the recent misuse of your honourable nickname, well done kraken (CRCN)!