Deputy Chief of Staff Operations

Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette (CA)

Brigadier-General Richard Blanchette is the twelfth in a family of fourteen children from the Saguenay Region in Quebec.  He joined the Canadian Forces as an infantry officer in 1977 and graduated from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario in 1982 with a degree in Military and Strategic Studies.

He was first posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR), then served as an exchange officer with the 5e Régiment d'infanterie in Beynes, France, served with the 1er Commando and the Airborne Regiments, deployed to Cyprus on peacekeeping duties, and then was posted to Germany with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group Headquarters.

Promoted to the rank of Major in 1990 he was posted to 1st Battalion R22eR and led the Canadian infantry company deployed to Qatar during the Gulf and Kuwait War.  Following staff duties as a lieutenant-colonel at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa he was posted to the United Nations mission in Rwanda as a Sector Commander. 

Brigadier-General Blanchette assumed command of the 2nd Battalion, R22eR and of La Citadelle in Quebec City in June 1996.  He led his unit on disaster relief operations fighting floods in Winnipeg in 1997, and helping the Montreal Region through the Ice Storm in January 1998.  He also commanded the Canadian Battalion on peacekeeping duties in Haiti from September to December 1997.  He relinquished command in June 1998 and was promoted colonel shortly thereafter.  In 2000, he was appointed Director of Land Reserve Management and supported the major restructure of the Army Reserve.

In January 2003, Brigadier-General Blanchette took command of the National Command Element of the Canadian Joint Task Force South-West Asia, as he became the Chief of Staff of this Headquarters in Tampa (Florida) which oversaw Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.   In June of that year, he returned to Ottawa to become Director of Peacekeeping Policy.

He was selected Military Assistant to the incoming Chairman of the NATO Military Committee and, in 2005, and was later promoted to his current rank.  As of August 2008, Brigadier-General Blanchette serves as the International Security Assistance Force Spokesperson in Kabul.

Brigadier-General Blanchette holds a Master of Business Administration in management from Laval University in Quebec City. 

He enjoys marathon running, cycling, skiing, and reading. He is married and has three young children.