Royal Military College to appoint first female commandant

BGen Bourgon is expected to be officially appointed in Summer 2021, with a change in command ceremony expected to follow.

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On Tuesday, the Royal Military College announced that Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon will be appointed as next the commandant of the college. This makes Bourgon the first female to be appointed to the role in the college’ 145 year history. 

The appointment comes on the same day that Lt.-Gen. Frances Allen was promoted to the position of vice-chief of defence staff (VCDS). Allen also becomes the first female in the position. Frances and Allen are 2 of 24 women to have risen to General or Flag Officer status in the history of the Canadian Forces.

“RMC congratulates BGen Lise Bourgon who will be appointed Commandant RMC this summer. TDV!,” wrote the Royal Military College on social media.  

Trained as a helicopter pilot, Bourgon was assigned to 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron in Shearwater, Nova Scotia, where she was deployed on numerous Royal Canadian Navy deployments. Notably, Bourgon was appointed Joint Task Force (JTF) Commander for OP IMPACT in 2016, the first woman to be appointed to the position. 

Bourgon has held senior Canadian military positions which included Chief of Staff Operations at Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) until 2018, where she then became Chief of Staff Readiness at National Defence Headquarters Ottawa.

Bourgon is a graduate of Royal Military College Saint-Jean (RMC), where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration in 1992. She also holds a Certificate in Project Management and is working on her Master in Public Administration. 

The BGen has maintained a research focus on Women, Peace, and Security. Bourgon was seen discussing the topic at The Centre for International and Defence Policy for Queen’s University in February. Topics included the recruitment and retention of women in the Canadian military.

BGen Bourgon is expected to be officially appointed in Summer 2021, with a change in command ceremony expected to follow.

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