New Chaplain General for the Canadian Armed Forces

News Release / September 4, 2013 / Project number: NR 13.268

OTTAWA – Brigadier-General John Fletcher was today appointed Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces in a ceremony at the Beechwood Memorial Centre in Ottawa. 

The event was presided over by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, with Brigadier-General Fletcher taking over responsibility for supporting the religious needs of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families from the outgoing Chaplain General, Brigadier-General Karl McLean.

 “Chaplains have a very important role to play in embodying spiritual values, and must be capable of inspiring, maintaining, and restoring the resilience of Canadian Armed Forces members,” said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence.   “We, as a Defence Team, are delighted to have Padre John Fletcher take on the mantle of the Chaplain General.

The Chaplain Branch is recognized in Canada, and around the world, for its leadership in ecumenical and interfaith approaches to chaplaincy and it is committed to developing and expanding that expertise. 

 “It is my distinct pleasure to welcome Padre Brigadier-General Fletcher to the role of Chaplain General,”  said General Lawson.   “Padre Fletcher now assumes an important role contributing to the spiritual care of CAF leadership and its members alike.  As the Canadian Armed Forces Chaplaincy is a multi-faith Chaplaincy, Padre Fletcher will help further our inclusive, welcoming culture.” 

The Chaplain General is appointed by the Minister of National Defence based upon the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Staff in consultation with the Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy. As the head of the military Chaplain Branch, the Chaplain General leads over 200 Regular Force and 100 Reserve Force chaplains. 

 “Our Canadian Forces Chaplaincy has a unique spiritual mandate that provides services for families as well as for our military personnel,”  said Brigadier-General Fletcher.   “Our chaplains are key care-giving professionals who serve at the ground level, supporting the personnel and their families who make extraordinary contributions and sacrifices for our nation.” 

CAF chaplains provide comprehensive religious and spiritual support, advice, and care, and contribute to the military as a whole – to their leadership, to the individual men and women who serve, and to their families.

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For additional information, please contact Captain Matt Zalot, Chief of Military Personnel Public Affairs, at 613-992-5404 or by e-mail at

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