The Full Wiki

John de Chastelain: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 John de Chastelain

In office
1997 – ongoing
Preceded by New position

In office
1993 – 1994
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by Derek Burney
Succeeded by Raymond Chrétien

In office
1994 – 1995
Preceded by John Rogers Anderson
Succeeded by Jean Boyle
In office
1989 – 1993
Preceded by Paul David Manson
Succeeded by John Rogers Anderson

Born July 30, 1937 (1937-07-30) (age 72)
Bucharest, Romania
Nationality Canadian
Spouse(s) MaryAnn (née Laverty)
Relations Alfred Gardyne de Chastelain, father
Marion Elizabeth (Walsh) de Chastelain, mother
Alma mater Royal Military College of Canada
Occupation General, Diplomat
Profession Soldier
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army Flag.svg Canadian Army, Canadian Forces Land Force Command
Years of service 1956-1995
Rank General
Unit Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, The Calgary Highlanders
Commands 2 PPCLI, CFB Montreal, Royal Military College, 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, The Canadian Forces
On parade with The Calgary Highlanders on 30 June 1990; General de Chastelain (top left)

Alfred John Gardyne Drummond de Chastelain, OC, CH, CMM, CD (born July 30, 1937) is a retired Canadian soldier and diplomat. He heads the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning.



De Chastelain was born a British subject in 1937 in Bucharest, Romania. His parents are Alfred Gardyne de Chastelain, a Scottish oil engineer then working in Bucharest for British Petroleum, and Marion Elizabeth de Chastelain, an American. He emigrated to Canada in 1955 and was naturalized in 1962.

de Chastelain is married, and he and his wife MaryAnn (née Laverty) have two children and five grandchildren.


De Chastelain was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh, at Mount Royal College in Calgary, and at the Royal Military College of Canada (# 4860), graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a commission in Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). He started his military career, however, in the reserves as a private in the Regimental Pipes and Drums of The Calgary Highlanders. Serving on regimental duty in Canada, Germany, and Cyprus, de Chastelain attended the British Army staff college in Camberley in 1966 and was commanding officer of the Second Battalion PPCLI from 1970 to 1972. During the summer of 1973, as a Lieutenant-Colonel, he commanded Valcartier Army Cadet Summer Training Centre.

As a colonel, he commanded CFB Montreal for a two-year period ending with the 1976 Summer Olympics in that city. He was also Deputy Chief of Staff of the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and Commander of the Canadian contingent there. As a brigadier-general, he was successively Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada, Commander of the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Lahr, Germany, and Director General Land Doctrine and Operations at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

As a major-general, he was Deputy Commander of the Canadian Land Force (then called Force Mobile Command) and Commander of the Mobile Command Division. As a lieutenant-general, he was Assistant Deputy Minister for Personnel, and then Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. In 1989, he was promoted to the rank of general and appointed Chief of the Defence Staff. In 1993, he transferred to the Reserves and was appointed Ambassador to the United States. In 1994, he was recalled to Regular Force duty and re-appointed Chief of the Defence Staff, from which post he retired in December 1995.


Since November 1995, de Chastelain has been involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and since 1997 he has been Chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, which is responsible for ensuring the decommissioning of arms by paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. He has made an impact on the way that Britain has viewed the IRA since the decommissioning has begun. As part of the Good Friday Agreement an independent neutral adjudicator was selected to look over the disarmament of Republican and Loyalist paramilitary weapons in Northern Ireland.


In 1985, de Chastelain was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit and in 1991, Commander of the Order of St John; in 1993, he received the Commendation Medal of Merit and Honour of Greece, and was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada; in 1995, he was appointed Commander of the Legion of Merit (U.S.A.), and in 1999, he was made a Companion of Honour.

He has an honorary Doctor of Military Science degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, an honorary Doctor of Laws (Conflict Resolution) degree from Royal Roads University in British Columbia, an honorary Doctor of Education degree from Nipissing University, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Carleton University, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Queen's University, Kingston and an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from Saint Mary's University, Halifax. He is also an Honorary Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. General John de Chastelain was a recipient of the Vimy Award, which recognizes a Canadian who has made a significant and outstanding contribution to the defence and security of our nation and the preservation of our democratic values.[1] He was also the 2006 recipient of the Royal Military College Club of Canada's Birchall Leadership Award.



  • 4237 Dr. Adrian Preston & Peter Dennis (Edited) "Swords and Covenants" Rowman And Littlefield, London. Croom Helm. 1976.
  • H16511 Dr. Richard Arthur Preston "Canada's RMC - A History of Royal Military College" Second Edition 1982
  • H1877 R. Guy C. Smith (editor) "As You Were! Ex-Cadets Remember". In 2 Volumes. Volume I: 1876-1918. Volume II: 1919-1984. RMC. Kingston, Ontario. The R.M.C. Club of Canada. 1984

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
William W. Turner
Commandant of the Royal Military College of Canada
Succeeded by
John A. Stewart
Military offices
Preceded by
Paul David Manson
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
John Anderson
Preceded by
John Anderson
Chief of the Defence Staff
Succeeded by
Jean Boyle
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Derek Burney
Canadian Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Raymond Chrétien
Political offices
Preceded by
new position
Chairman of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning (in Northern Ireland)
Succeeded by


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address