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Biography

LGen Charles Belzile, CM, CMM, CD



Lieutenant-General Charles H. Belzile, CMM, CD was born at Trois-Pistoles, Québec on 12 March 1933. He enrolled in the Canadian Army in 1951 and was commissioned in the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada (QOR of C) on graduation from the University of Montreal in 1953.

He then served as a platoon commander in Korea and on his return as a staff officer at Western Command Headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta from 1955 to 1957.

Returning to regimental duty in 1957, Lieutenant-General Belzile proceeded to Hemer, Germany with 2 QOR of C, where he completed a number of assignments including Captain adjutant. In January 1961 he began two years as a staff officer at Quebec Command Headquarters in Montreal. He rejoined 2 QOR of C in Calgary in 1963 and 1 QOR of C in Victoria, B.C., on promotion to Major the following year.

In 1965, after serving with his battalion in Cyprus, he was selected to attend the Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ontario. He was subsequently assigned as Brigade Major of the 4th Canadian Brigade Group, in Soest, West Germany.

In 1968 on promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel, General Belzile was appointed Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment stationed at the Citadelle in Quebec City. During this assignment he commanded his unit in Cyprus and in Canada, as well as on manoeuvres in Jamaica.

Following his tour as Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-General Belzile spent two years at Canadian Forces Headquarters in Ottawa as a member of the personnel career planning staff. On promotion to the rank of Colonel in 1972, Lieutenant-General Belzile was appointed Commandant of the Combat Arms School at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick. Promoted to Brigadier-General in 1974, he was appointed Commander 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group stationed in Lahr, Germany. Following this command appointment, he became Assistant Chief of Staff Operations at Central Army Group Headquarters, Seckenheim in 1976.

In 1977, on promotion to Major-General, Lieutenant-General Belzile took command of Canadian Forces Europe, with Headquarters in Lahr, Germany.

Following two years as Chief Land Doctrine and Operations at National Defence Headquarters, Ottawa, Lieutenant-General Belzile was promoted to his present rank on April 1981 and appointed Commander Mobile Command on 16 April 1981 with Headquarters located in St-Hubert, Québec. He held this appointment until August 1986. He retired from the Canadian Forces in October l986.

General Belzile was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit in 1979. In 1986, the Government of France recognized his active participation to the betterment of military cooperation between France and Canada, by appointing him Commander of the Légion d'Honneur.

General Belzile was appointed Colonel Commandant, the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, in 1988, a position he held until September 1992. He assumed the appointment of Colonel Commandant, The Royal Canadian Army Cadets in October 1992 until May 5th, 1996.

General Belzile is married to the former Janet Scott of Braeside, Ontario. They have two children, Denise and Suzanne, and reside in Ottawa, Ontario.