Military Wiki
J.G. Maurice Baril
Maurice Baril, September 2008.
Born September 22, 1943(1943-09-22) (age 79)
Place of birth Saint-Albert-de-Warwick, Quebec
Allegiance  Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army Flag.svg Canadian Army / Canadian Forces
Years of service 1963-2001
Rank General
Unit Royal 22e Régiment
Commands held Chief of the Defence Staff,
Head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, (United Nations),
Commander, CTC Gagetown
Battles/wars Cyprus
Awards Commander of the Order of Military Merit
Canadian Forces Decoration
Other work Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, 2005-2007

Joseph Gérard Maurice Baril OC, CMM, MSM, CD (born September 22, 1943) is a retired General officer in the Canadian Forces, a Military Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General & head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of the United Nations from 1992 to 1997, and Chief of the Defence Staff in Canada from 1997 to 2001.[1]

Early life

He was born in Saint-Albert-de-Warwick, Quebec in 1943 and studied at the University of Ottawa from 1961 to 1964, becoming an officer in the Canadian Army in 1963.[1]

Military career

Baril served with the Royal 22e Régiment from 1964 to 1968. From 1968 to 1971, he served with The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Valcartier, Quebec and Edmonton, Alberta. He commanded land forces in Cyprus and Lahr, Germany, served at Department of National Defence headquarters in Ottawa, Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr in Paris and as Commander of the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown.[1]

He was appointed head of the Military Division of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) at the United Nations in June 1992, where he was military advisor to then under-secretary for peacekeeping operations Kofi Annan.[2]

Baril was in charge of the Military Division at DPKO during the Rwandan Genocide where his countryman General Roméo Dallaire was force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). He went on to be Chief of Land Force Quebec Area in Montreal in July 1995 and Chief of the Land Staff in September 1996.[1]

In September 1997, Baril was appointed Chief of the Defence Staff by Governor General Roméo LeBlanc, on the advice of his Prime Minister, Jean Chrétien.[1][3]

Baril, along with American General Henry Shelton, was a signatory to the joint Canadian-American military exercise Amalgam Virgo in June 2001. Amalgam Virgo has been cited as a dress rehearsal for the Vigilant Guardian and Global Guardian air exercises conducted during the 9/11 attacks.

Baril retired from the Canadian Forces on July 18, 2001.[4]

Post military career

In 2002, he led the Canadian board of inquiry into the friendly fire Tarnak Farm incident on April 17, 2002 near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Maurice Baril was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) in 2005, but resigned in January 2007.[5]


In 2011, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to the nation, notably for his leadership as head of the Canadian Forces, and for his ongoing contributions to peacekeeping around the world".[6]


Military offices
Preceded by
Gord Reay
Chief of the Land Staff
Succeeded by
William Leach
Preceded by
L.E. Murray
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
R.R.J. Henault

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