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Former special-forces commander named military's sixth vice-chief in four years

OTTAWA — Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau is being tapped as the military's sixth second-in-command in four years. Chief of the defence staff Gen.
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OTTAWA — Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau is being tapped as the military's sixth second-in-command in four years.

Chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance made the move this morning following the surprise announcement last week that the current vice-chief of the defence staff Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier would be stepping down this summer.

Lanthier took over as the vice-chief only last summer and it was hoped at the time that he would provide stability after years of upheaval starting with Vice-Admiral Mark Norman's suspension as second-in-command in January 2017.

Rouleau is currently the commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, meaning he is responsible for managing all Canadian military operations in the country as well as overseas.

He previously commanded Canada's special forces for four years, during which he pleaded guilty and was fined $2,000 by a military judge for mistakenly firing his rifle during a visit to the front lines in Iraq.

Lt.-Gen. Christopher Coates, the deputy commander of the North American Aerospace Defence Command in Colorado Springs, Colo., will take over Rouleau's position as commander of the joint operations command.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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