Episode 049 – BGen Omer Lavoie

Brigadier-​General Omer Lavoie was born and raised in Marathon, Ontario. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983 as a pri­vate sol­dier in the Lake Supe­rior Scot­tish Reg­i­ment. Upon high school grad­u­a­tion, he trans­ferred to the Reg­u­lar Force and attended Royal Roads Mil­i­tary Col­lege from 1985 – 1989. Upon com­ple­tion of infantry phase train­ing, he was posted to Sec­ond Bat­tal­ion, The Royal Cana­dian Reg­i­ment. Brigadier-​General Lavoie’s reg­i­men­tal employ­ment includes ser­vice with 2RCR, 1 RCR and as the Reg­i­men­tal Adju­tant. As a mem­ber of 2 RCR, he was employed as a pla­toon com­man­der, Offi­cer Com­mand­ing recon­nais­sance pla­toon and as a com­pany second-​in-​command. While posted to 1 RCR, he served as the Bat­tle Group Oper­a­tions Offi­cer, Offi­cer Com­mand­ing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Com­pany and Com­mand­ing Officer.

Brigadier-​General Lavoie’s extra reg­i­men­tal ser­vice has included post­ings to Cana­dian Forces North­ern Area Head­quar­ters in Yel­lowknife, Direc­tor Gen­eral Strate­gic Plan­ning at National Defence Headquarters, and as the first com­man­der of the Cana­dian Forces Counter-​Improvised Explo­sive Device Task Force. He has served in all three of the Cana­dian Army’s mech­a­nized brigade groups and com­manded 1 Cana­dian Mech­a­nized Brigade Group from May 2010 to June 2012. Brigadier-​General Lavoie’s oper­a­tional expe­ri­ence includes employ­ment as a rifle pla­toon com­man­der dur­ing the Oka Cri­sis, as a com­pany second-​in-​command in Croa­tia and Bosnia in 1992-​1993, as a bat­tle group oper­a­tions offi­cer in Kosovo in 1999 – 2000 and as a Bat­tle Group Com­mand­ing Offi­cer of the 1 RCR Bat­tle Group in Kan­da­har, Afghanistan in 2006-2007.

Brigadier-​General Lavoie has been awarded the Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Cross for his role in lead­ing the First Bat­tal­ion, Royal Cana­dian Reg­i­ment Bat­tle Group in Afghanistan and has been awarded the NATO Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Medal for lead­ing NATO’s first offen­sive ground oper­a­tion at the Bat­tle Group level, Operation Medusa. Brigadier-​General Lavoie was appointed to the Order of Mil­i­tary Merit as an Offi­cer. His for­mal edu­ca­tion includes an Hon­ours degree in Mil­i­tary Lead­er­ship and Applied Psy­chol­ogy from Royal Roads Mil­i­tary Col­lege and a Master’s degree in Defence Stud­ies from Royal Mil­i­tary College.

Brigadier-​General Lavoie assumed Com­mand of 4th Cana­dian Divi­sion and Joint Task Force Cen­tral in Toronto on 28 June 2012. He com­pleted a highly dis­tin­guished tenure of com­mand on 11 July 2014.  Brigadier-​General Lavoie is cur­rently the  Director General Defence Force Planning, at NDHQ, in Ottawa.


Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie, OMM, MSC, CD, Director General Defence Force Planning


Col Lavoie and CWO Bobby Girouard take a break in Afghanistan in August, 2006.


Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie, commander of Joint Task Force Central/Land Force Central Area, inspects members of the 21st Electronic Warfare Regiment at a ceremony where more than two dozen members of the regiment received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal at CFB Kingston.

Lieutenant-Colonel Mark Parsons, Commanding Officer, 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment, receives the green patch – the symbol of 4th Canadian Division – during the stand-up ceremony of 4th Canadian Division at Fort York Armoury, on April 26, 2014. The patch is to be worn on the left shoulder of the service dress jacket of every soldier in the Division. “Time and again, soldiers of this Division have been ready to serve Canadians. I know that every solider of 4th Canadian Division will be proud to wear the green patch, a symbol that many veterans would recognize.” – Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie, Commander, 4th Canadian Division #strongproudready Lieutenant-colonel Mike Parsons, le commandant du 21e Régiment de guerre électronique, reçoit l’écusson vert, symbole de la Division, pendant la cérémonie d’inauguration de la 4e Division du Canada au manège militaire Fort York, le 26 avril 2014. Chaque soldat de la Division devra le porter sur l’épaule gauche sur la veste de tenue de service. « Maintes et maintes fois, les soldats de la 4e Division du Canada se sont tenus prêts à servir les Canadiens. Je sais qu’ils seront tous fiers de porter l’écusson vert, un symbole que de nombreux vétérans reconnaîtront. », a déclaré le Brigadier-général Omer Lavoie, commandant de la 4e Division du Canada #FortFiersPrets

Brigadier-General Lavoie presents the patch of the 4th Canadian Division to the Command teams at a ceremony held at Fort York Armoury on April 25, 2014,


Brigadier-General Lavoie addresses members of the media in Wainwright, Alberta after a tragedy on Ex Maple Resolve in 2014.

Brigadier-General Lavoie addresses the soldiers who served with him in Afghansitan via YouTube.

English Anglais LX2014-048-122 July 11, 2014 Toronto, Ontario Command of 4th Canadian Division (4 Cdn Div) officially changed hands during a ceremony held at the Lieutenant-Colonel George Taylor Denison III Armoury in Toronto on July 11, 2014. The new commander, Brigadier-General (Brig.-Gen) Lowell Thomas, assumed command from Brig.-Gen Omer Lavoie during the ceremony presided over by Lieutenant-General (Lt.-Gen) Marquis Hainse, Commander Canadian Army. The 4th Canadian Division is one of six major formations that report to Army Headquarters in Ottawa. Responsible for all Regular and Reserve Force army elements in Ontario, 4 Cdn Div provides combat-ready ground forces to meet Canada’s defence objectives, both at home and abroad. Photo by: MCpl Dan Pop, Canadian Army Public Affairs © 2014 DND-MDN Canada Français French LX2014-048-122 Le 11 juillet 2014 Toronto (Ontario) La 4e Division du Canada a officiellement changé de commandant, lors d’une cérémonie qui a eu lieu au manège militaire Lieutenant-colonel George Taylor Denison III à Toronto., le 11 juillet 2014. Le nouveau commandant, le brigadier-général Lowell Thomas, a succédé au brigadier-général Omer Lavoie pendant la cérémonie qui a été présidée par le lieutenant-général Marquis Hainse, commandant de l’Armée canadienne. La 4e Division du Canada est l’une des six formations importantes qui relèvent du quartier général de l’Armée canadienne à Ottawa. Responsable de tous les éléments de la Force régulière et de la Force de réserve de l’Armée canadienne en Ontario, elle fournit des forces terrestres polyvalentes et aptes au combat permettant au Canada d’atteindre ses objectifs en matière de défense, tant au pays qu’à l’étranger. Photo: Caporal-chef  Dan Pop, Affaires publiques de l'Armée canadienne © 2014 MND-DND Canada

Command of 4th Canadian Division officially changed hands on July 11, 2014 during a ceremony held at the Lieutenant-Colonel George Taylor Denison III Armoury in Toronto.  Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie was succeeded by Brigadier-General Lowell Thomas during the ceremony presided over by Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander Canadian Army.

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