Brigadier-General James Selbie, O.M.M., C.D.

Colonel Commandant

The office of Colonel Commandant is an honorary one. It symbolizes the Regimental family and traditions drawing together all its members: serving and retired, regular and reserve. The first Artillery Commandant in Canada was appointed on 1 April 1925. On 27 September, 2014, Brigadier General (Retired) J.J. Selbie was appointed Colonel Commandant of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. A native of Brandon, Manitoba, Brigadier-General (Ret’d) James Selbie joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1973 as a Gunner in his hometown’s Army reserve unit, 26th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery.  He received a Queen’s Commission in The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery after studies at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria and his subsequent graduation (BA Politics) from the Royal Military College of Canada in 1978. Regimental duty included service in G, J and U Batteries of 3rd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at CFB Shilo 1978-82; command of Z Battery 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Germany 1986-88; and, command of the Air Defence Artillery School in Chatham, New Brunswick 1992-94.  He also commanded CFB Shilo, the Home Station of The Royal Regiment from1996-97. Extra-regimental employment included two tours on the staff at Army headquarters in Montreal and three at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.  He commanded the Canadian Contingent of the NATO Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1997 and 1 Area Support Group/Edmonton Garrison from 1997-2000. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, he deployed as Chief of Staff of the National Command Element Canadian Joint Task Force Southwest Asia co-located with US Central Command in Tampa, Florida.  He also deployed twice to Cyprus, once to Afghanistan and spent four rewarding years on the staff of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey. Brigadier-General Selbie is a graduate of the Canadian Land Forces Command and Staff College, Kingston; Canadian Forces College, Toronto; and, the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he earned a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 2002 and was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal in 2005 for his service with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Brigadier-General Selbie’s last posting was Director of Staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, NATO’s military strategic level headquarters in Mons, Belgium. He retired from regular service in September 2010 after more than 37 years in uniform.  He and his wife Anne make their home in Ottawa.  He is a member of the Royal Canadian Artillery Association, the Royal Military Colleges Club and the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

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