General Walt Natynczyk joined the Canadian Forces in 1975 after spending 5 years as an Air Cadet. He has served in numerous regimental command positions at all levels from tank troop leader up to commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Dragoons.
General Natynczyk's operational experience consists of 4 years on NATO duty in Germany; six months of UN peacekeeping duties in Cyprus (1984); a one-year-long mission with the United Nations in the Former Yugoslavia as Sector South-West Chief of Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994) with British forces, then as the Chief of Land Operations, UNPROFOR HQ in Zagreb, Croatia. He commanded the Royal Canadian Dragoons in domestic operations during the Winnipeg floods of 1997 as well as in the Ottawa region during the 1998 Ice Storm, and he served as the Canadian Contingent Commander in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1998.
He became the third Canadian to serve as Deputy Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, Texas and deployed with III Corps to Baghdad, Iraq in 2004 serving first as the Deputy Director of Strategy, Policy and Plans and subsequently as the Deputy Commanding General of the Multi-National Corps. Upon his return to Canada, he assumed command of the Land Force Doctrine and Training System. He was subsequently appointed Chief of Transformation where he was responsible for implementation of the force restructuring and the enabling processes and policies.
He has fulfilled various staff appointments including serving as Squadron Commander at the Royal Military College (Kingston, Ont.), on the Army Headquarters staff (St. Hubert, Quebec), and in Ottawa as Assistant Director to the National Defence Headquarters Secretariat, J3 Plans and Operations during the period of CF deployments to Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor and Ethiopia-Eritrea, and most recently as the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. General Natynczyk was promoted to his present rank on 2 July 2008, when he assumed his duties as Chief of the Defence Staff.
General Natynczyk holds a Business Administration Degree from Royal Roads Military College and Collège militaire royal and is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the U.K. All Arms Tactics Course and the U.S. Army War College.
He enjoys jogging and sailing.