Canadian Defence Academy Welcomes New Commander

From: National Defence

Major-General Craig Aitchison assumed command today of the Canadian Defence Academy from Rear Admiral Luc Cassivi during a small ceremony in Vimy Hall at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. Vice Admiral Haydn C. Edmundson, Commander, Military Personnel Command, presided over the ceremony which can be viewed on the Canadian Armed Forces and Royal Military College Facebook pages.

The Canadian Defence Academy is the higher formation responsible for the Royal Military College of Canada, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean, the Canadian Forces College, and the Chief Warrant Officer Robert Osside Profession of Arms Institute. It is the Canadian Armed Forces training authority for common professional development and education.


“It has been a privilege and an honor to command the Canadian Defence Academy. This organisation is filled with dedicated and experienced people who are committed to providing opportunities for the professional development and education of Canadian Armed Forces leaders at all levels. Despite the COVID-19 challenge of the past few months, this team found ways to dispense the necessary courses and classes to meet the educational needs of the Canadian Armed Forces’ current and future leaders and prepare them for the next steps in their military careers. It was an absolute pleasure serving alongside you all.”

Rear Admiral Luc Cassivi, outgoing Commander, Canadian Defence Academy

“I am grateful to Rear Admiral Cassivi for his dedication and for the work he has accomplished during his tenure at the helm of the Canadian Defence Academy. His leadership was instrumental in creating and establishing a number of initiatives, such as the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security that have and will continue to improve the exchange of ideas so important to the development of CAF leaders. I welcome Major-General Aitchison and have every confidence that under his leadership the Canadian Defence Academy will continue to deliver educational excellence as he shapes the development of the CAF’s future leaders.”

– Vice-Admiral Haydn C. Edmundson, Commander, Military Personnel Command

“It is quite an honour for me to be selected as the Commander of the Canadian Defence Academy. Having been at the receiving end of its professional development and academic programs, I can certainly attest to the importance of the work accomplished by the academy in preparing leaders of the Canadian Armed Forces to face current and future challenges. I look forward to next few years to lead this great organisation that remains a key element to Canada’s Profession of Arms.”

Major-General Craig Aitchison, Commander, Canadian Defence Academy

Quick facts

  • The Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) provides over 5,000 students a year with continuing education at the Royal Military College of Canada, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean. CDA by the intermediary of CFC, a leader in advanced professional development, runs seven advanced courses that graduate over 600 senior military and civilian students, including many internationals.

  • In accordance with its 2003 Charter, CDA exists to champion lifelong learning, and to promote the professional development of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF.) CDA continues to devote efforts to ensure that the CAF Profession of Arms and Professional Development System remain credible and affordable.

  • CDA enhances the Profession of Arms and contributes to the defence diplomacy objectives of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces by creating strategic educational opportunities through effective engagements and partnerships nationally and internationally.

  • A center of excellence in leadership, the Osside Institute was integrated to RMC Saint-Jean in 2014, making it the only military institution in the world to offer education to both officers and non-commissioned members.

  • CDA is responsible for the Canadian Military Journal, the Canadian Defence Academy Press and the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security.

  • CDA is headquartered at Canadian Forces Base Kingston, in Ontario.

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