Topshee to Relieve Baines as RCN Commander

It was announced April 21st that Rear-Admiral A.I. Topshee will be promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral and appointed Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, in Ottawa, replacing Vice-Admiral C.A. Baines, who will retire from the Canadian Armed Forces.

Angus Topshee was born in Nepean, Ontario and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1990. His first four years were spent at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) and included a six-month term on exchange at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Upon graduation from RMC in 1994, he was awarded the Canada Memorial Scholarship and, in 1996, earned a Masters of Literature in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

After six years of schooling and a short posting to the Directorate of Maritime Force Development at National Defence Headquarters, Topshee finally started formal MARS training in 1996 and then joined his first ship, HMCS Winnipeg, in 1997. He was incredibly fortunate to spend the next nine years largely at sea and completed a succession of very rewarding tours and operational deployments as a Navigating Officer, Operations Officer, and Combat Officer on Canada’s Pacific coast.

In 2005, he was selected to attend the “NSC 10” course at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. That fantastic year was followed by appointment as the Executive Officer of HMCS St. John’s in 2006 and then HMCS Toronto in July 2007. As penance for two exciting years at sea as an XO, Topshee was posted to the Directorate of Maritime Strategy at NDHQ in Ottawa where he was assigned to assist in developing a new strategy for the Royal Canadian Navy.

In July 2009, he was delighted to be given the best job in the Navy – command of HMCS Algonquin, the flagship of Canada’s Pacific Fleet. His time aboard Algonquin was easily the highlight of his career and included high readiness workups, Op PODIUM (security for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics), and Op Pacific Amistad (a five-month deployment in the central and western Pacific). He very reluctantly turned over command at the end of 2010 and was somewhat surprised to find himself immediately heading to Afghanistan as part of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) where he spent a year based in Kabul as the Director of Afghan National Police Training Operations. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Topshee spent six months working with the Canadian Fleet Pacific staff leading up to his role as the Director of Operations for RIMPAC 2012.

In the summer of 2012 Topshee was honored to assume command of Canadian Forces Base Halifax, a position he held for three years. He then attended the National Security Program (NSP 8) at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto before being promoted and assigned as the Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Plans Directorate North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. In July 2018, Topshee returned to the West Coast to take command of Canadian Fleet Pacific (the second best job in the Navy).

In April 2021, Topshee was promoted to his current rank, and in May 2021 assumed command of Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific.

Topshee is blessed with a fantastically supportive wife and four tremendous daughters.

Related posts