Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes assumes command of CJOC from Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance

Article / June 5, 2015

By: Lucy Ellis

On 2 June 2015, Lieutenant-General (LGen) Stephen Bowes officially assumed command of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) from LGen Jonathan Vance at a change of command ceremony held at the Cartier Square Drill Hall in Ottawa, Ontario.

LGen Vance became Commander CJOC on 9 September 2014. He will soon be promoted to the rank of General and appointed as Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS). Under LGen Vance’s command, CJOC has continued to grow and develop as an integrated, cohesive headquarters.

I have been fortunate to command a great team – a team which continues to deliver success in our missions and operations across Canada and beyond,” said LGen Vance.

During his tenure as Commander CJOC, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) commenced a number of international operations. 

In October 2014, Air Task Force-Iraq began contributing to international efforts to degrade and disrupt the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) during Operation IMPACT. In November 2014, a team of CAF medical personnel arrived in Sierra Leone to treat local and international health care workers who had been exposed to the Ebola virus disease. The Operation SIRONA team is working with partners from the United Kingdom.

More recently, the CAF deployed the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to contribute to humanitarian response efforts following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April.

Each of these operations, as well as the ongoing operations conducted in North America, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, demonstrate the capabilities of CJOC to prepare for and conduct operations.

I thank the CJOC team who worked hard and with diligence to provide support to those serving at home and abroad as we defend Canada and North America, and promote peace and security abroad,” said LGen Vance.

These operations include recurring operations such as Operation PALACI, an avalanche-control operation conducted in partnership with Parks Canada in British Columbia, or peace-support and stabilization operations such as Operation HAMLET in Haiti.

LGen Bowes will be the third Commander CJOC since the organization stood up in October 2012.

With 30 years’ service in the CAF, LGen Stephen Bowes most recently served as Chief of Force Development at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. He has also served as Commander of Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, and Deputy Chief of Staff Plans and Projects for the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

I accept this command with great humility, and look forward to leading the CJOC team as we continue to support our operations and our deployed personnel around the world,” said LGen Bowes.

LGen Bowes’ strong experience was noted by General Tom Lawson, CDS.

Today marks the passing of command between two exceptional Canadian Armed Forces commanders. Lieutenant-General Vance has led CJOC with experience and proven leadership. I am confident that Lieutenant-General Bowes’ will draw from his own exceptional command experience to lead CJOC, and our ongoing continental and expeditionary missions, with drive and dedication,” said Gen Lawson, who presided over the change of command ceremony in Ottawa.

Date modified: