Military Wiki
Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
and Chief of the Naval Staff
Type Commissioned Officer
Status Currently constituted
Abbreviation Comd RCN

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy 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.

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
  1. Admiral Sir C.E. Kingsmill 1910-1921
  2. Commodore W. Hose 1921-1928
Chief of the Naval Staff
  1. Rear Admiral W. Hose 1928-1934
  2. Vice Admiral P.W. Nelles 1934-1944
  3. Vice Admiral G.C. Jones 1944-1946
  4. Vice Admiral H.E. Reid 1946-1947
  5. Vice Admiral H.T.W. Grant 1947-1951
  6. Vice Admiral E.R. Mainguy 1951-1956
  7. Vice Admiral H.G. DeWolf 1956-1960
  8. Vice Admiral H.S. Rayner 1960-1964*
Commander of Maritime Command
  1. Rear Admiral W.M. Landymore 1966-1966
  2. Vice Admiral J.C. O'Brien (in the rank of Rear Admiral between 1966-1968 and Vice-Admiral between 1968-1970)
  3. Vice Admiral H.A. Porter 1970–1971
  4. Rear Admiral R.W. Timbrell 1971–1973
  5. Vice Admiral D.S. Boyle 1973–1977
  6. Vice Admiral A.L. Collier 1977–1979
  7. Vice Admiral J. Allan 1979–1980
  8. Vice Admiral J.A. Fulton 1980–1983
  9. Vice Admiral J.C. Wood 1983–1987
  10. Vice Admiral C.M.W. Thomas 1987–1989
  11. Vice Admiral R.E. George 1989–1991
  12. Vice Admiral (later Admiral) J.R. Anderson 1991–1992
  13. Vice Admiral P.W. Cairns 1992–1994
  14. Vice Admiral L.E. Murray 1994–1995
  15. Vice Admiral L.G. Mason 1995–1997
Chief of the Maritime Staff
  1. Vice Admiral G.L. Garnett 1997–1997
  2. Vice Admiral G.R. Maddison 1997–2001
  3. Vice Admiral R.D. Buck 2001–2004
  4. Vice Admiral M.B. MacLean 2004–2006
  5. Vice Admiral D.W. Robertson 2006–2009
  6. Vice Admiral P.D. McFadden 2009-2011
Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
  1. Vice Admiral P.A. Maddison 2011-2013
  2. Vice Admiral M.A.G. Norman 2013 to present

* 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.

See also


  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

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