Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy (French: Commandant de la Marine royale canadienne) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Navy. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Naval Staff and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. This individual reports to the Chief of the Defence Staff, who then responds to the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces.

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff
Flag for Vice admirals
Vice Admiral A.G. McDonald

since 12 June 2019
 Royal Canadian Navy
TypeCommissioned Officer
StatusCurrently constituted
AbbreviationComd RCN
Reports toChief of the Defence Staff
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
DeputyDeputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy/Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff
WebsiteOfficial website

History of the position

The appointment was entitled Director of the Naval Service from 1910 to 1928 and then Chief of the Naval Staff from 1928 to 1964. In August 1964 the position of Chief of the Naval Staff was abolished. Responsibility for naval matters was split between the newly established Defence Staff in Ottawa and operational headquarters in Halifax (for the Atlantic fleet) and Esquimalt (for the Pacific fleet).[1] The appointment was entitled Commander of Maritime Command from 1966 to 1997 and Chief of the Maritime Staff from 1997 to 2011. In 2011 Maritime Command was renamed the Royal Canadian Navy at which time the appointment was renamed to its present incarnation.[2][3]


Director of the Naval Service
No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Kingsmill, CharlesAdmiral
Sir C.E. Kingsmill
4 May 191031 December 192111 years
Hose, W.Commodore
W. Hose
192119286–7 years
Chief of the Naval Staff
No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Hose, W.Rear Admiral
W. Hose
1928December 19335–6 years
Hose, W.Captain
P.W. Nelles
December 1933July 19347 months
Hose, W.Vice Admiral
P.W. Nelles
July 1934January 19449 years
Jones, GeorgeVice Admiral
G.C. Jones
January 19448 February 1946 2 years
Reid, H.Vice Admiral
H.E. Reid
8 February 194631 August 19471 years
Grant, H.Vice Admiral
H.T.W. Grant
1 September 19471 December 19515 years
Mainguy, E.Vice Admiral
E.R. Mainguy
1 December 1951January 19564 years
DeWolf, H.Vice Admiral
H.G. DeWolf
January 195631 July 19604 years
DeWolf, H.Vice Admiral
H.S. Rayner
[lower-alpha 1]
1 August 196019643–4 years
Commander of Maritime Command
No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Landymore, W.M.Rear Admiral
W.M. Landymore
[lower-alpha 2]
12 January 196624 July 19660
O'Brien, J.C.Vice Admiral
J.C. O'Brien
[lower-alpha 3]
12 January 196624 July 19703
Porter, H.A.Vice Admiral
H.A. Porter
July 197019711
Timbrell, R.W.Rear Admiral
R.W. Timbrell
Boyle, DouglasVice Admiral
D.S. Boyle
197319773–4 years
Collier, AndrewVice Admiral
A.L. Collier
19771 August 19791–2 years
Allan, JohnVice Admiral
J. Allan
2 August 197919800–1 years
Fulton, AndrewVice Admiral
J.A. Fulton
(born 1927)
198029 July 19832–3 years
Wood, JamesVice Admiral
J.C. Wood
(born 1934)
198319873–4 years
Thomas, CharlesVice Admiral
C.M.W. Thomas
(born 1936)
198719891–2 years
George, RobertVice Admiral
R.E. George
(born 1940)
198919911–2 years
Anderson, JohnVice Admiral
J.R. Anderson
(born 1941)
199119920–1 years
Cairns, PeterVice Admiral
P.W. Cairns
(born 1938)
199219941–2 years
Murray, LarryVice Admiral
L.E. Murray
(born 1947)
199419950–1 years
Mason, LynnVice Admiral
L.G. Mason
(born 1942)
199519971–2 years
Chief of the Maritime Staff
No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Garnett, G.Vice Admiral
G.L. Garnett
(born 1944)
12 January 199724 September 19978 months
Maddison, G.Vice Admiral
G.R. Maddison
(born 1949)
24 September 1997May 20013 years, 7 months
Buck, R.Vice Admiral
R.D. Buck
May 200120042–3 years
MacLean, M.Vice Admiral
M.B. MacLean
200422 January 20061–2 years
Robertson, D.Vice Admiral
D.W. Robertson
23 January 200620092–3 years
McFadden, P.Vice Admiral
P.D. McFadden
(born 1957)
200921 July 20112–3 years
Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
No. NameTook officeLeft officeTime in office
Maddison, P.Vice Admiral
P.A. Maddison
21 July 2011June 20131 year, 10 months
Norman, M.Vice Admiral
M.A.G. Norman
(born 1964)
June 2013January 20162 years, 7 months
Lloyd, M.Vice Admiral
M.F.R. Lloyd
(born 1963)
23 June 201612 June 20192 years, 11 months
McDonald A.G.Vice Admiral
A.G. McDonald
(born 1967)
13 June 2019Incumbent5 months

See also


  1. The Royal Canadian Navy had no official head between 1964, when the position of Chief of the Naval Staff was abolished, and 1966, when the position of Commander of Maritime Command was established. In 1968 the Royal Canadian Navy ceased to exist after it was unified with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force to form the Canadian Forces.
  2. In January 1966 he was appointed as the first Commander Maritime Command, in which position he served until he was encouraged to take an early retirement in July 1966, after a disagreement with the Minister of National Defence over the continuation of the traditional naval identity.
  3. In the rank of Rear Admiral between 1966–1968 and Vice-Admiral between 1968–1970.


  1. Whitby, et al., eds. "The Admirals", p. 357. Dundurn Press, 2006.
  2. Canadian Navy, Air Force 'Royal' Again With Official Name Change Huffington Post, 15 August 2011
  3. DSA Vice-Admiral Maddison Archived June 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
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