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John Newton Rear-Admiral

Liaison Officer

Canadian Forces





Rear-Admiral John Newton became Liaison Officer of Veterans Affairs Canada in September 2017. Prior to that, he was Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic in July 2013.  Rear-Admiral Newton began his career in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983, after an early occupation as a geologist. He enrolled as a Maritime Surface Officer, after an increased desire for challenge and adventure that he was certain he could find in a career that stretches itself through the shifting tides of the world’s active oceans.

In his early years as a junior naval officer, he acquired specialist skills in navigation, communications and operations, and completed tours in the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, the replenishment ship HMCS Preserver, and the frigate HMCS Montreal. Over the years, he has developed a specialty in Canadian maritime sovereignty, gained through countless fishery patrols and three Arctic sovereignty missions.

While every progression in his career has been enjoyable, one of Rear-Admiral Newton’s fondest memories is when he experienced his life-long dream to patrol the fabled Northwest Passage while he was Commanding Officer of HMCS Fredericton from 2003 until 2006.  In 2000, he completed a year of Joint military studies at the Command and Staff College Toronto, followed by advanced military studies in 2004. 

Rear-Admiral Newton has served his country on different fronts. He has deployed on NATO missions of the Cold War, and UN peace support operations, including the Gulf War in 1991, Haiti in 1993, and the maritime embargo of the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Of note, in 2006, he served at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as Director of International Plans in the Strategic Joint Staff, helping to progress files such as the commitment of the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and Sudan, amongst others.   

Beyond professional duties, Rear-Admiral Newton focuses strongly on his devoted family. He strives to maintain a balanced work-home life, despite the rapid waves of naval responsibilities that consume his time as Commander and require his steady leadership.


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