1966

A French Canadian becomes the highest ranking officer in the Canadian military

General Jean Victor Allard rises to the rank of Chief of Defence Staff and helps to usher in a series of changes to make the Canadian Armed Forces more functionally bilingual.

Chief of Defence Staff General Jean Allard (1966–1969) made linguistic duality in the military a priority. He increased French-language units in the army, navy and air force, and launched a program that would enable Francophones to be recruited and trained in French before serving in their own language within French-language units.

Allard called for the military to have Francophones represented in all trades, classifications and ranks in proportion to their numbers in Canada. The military committed to this objective two years after his departure.

Courtesy of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces

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