Commander RCN

The Commander, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Navy. The Commander RCN is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.


Vice-Admiral Mark Norman M.A.G. , CMM, CD

="Commander RCN"

The eldest son of an army officer and grandson of a First War veteran, Vice-Admiral Norman completed his schooling in Kingston, Ontario.Having originally joined the Naval Reserve as a Diesel Mechanic at HMCS CATARAQUI in 1980, he transferred to the regular force as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1985.

A specialist in Above Water Warfare, his experience at sea includes a variety of appointments the most notable of which are the commissioning and maiden operational deployment of HMCS HALIFAX, Executive Officer of HMCS IROQUOIS, Commanding Officer of HMCS ST. JOHN’S and Commander Canadian Fleet – Atlantic.

His staff experiences reflect a mix of both naval and joint appointments in fields such as analysis & tactical development, capability requirements, training and education, operational and strategic planning, and change management. He has held key senior appointments on the Naval Staff, Strategic Joint Staff, in the Vice Chief of Defence Staff organization, as Assistant Chief of Transformation, and most recently as Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff/Deputy Commander of the RCN.

Vice-Admiral Norman is a graduate of Queen’s University with a degree in Economics, the Operations Room Officer and Above Water Controller Courses, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff Course, the National Security Studies Program at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, and most recently he completed the US Capstone and Pinnacle Programs.

Vice-Admiral Norman was promoted to his current rank to become Chief of the Naval Staff and Commander Royal Canadian Navy in June 2013. As the 34th custodian of a 103 year-old institution, he is supporting the CDS’ four command priorities by leading the RCN to: ensure continued excellence in operations; enable the transition to the future fleet; evolve the RCN’s business around Defence Renewal; and energize the entire RCN team and friends of the Navy around the RCN’s essential purpose and bright future.

When not working, he spends his time with family and friends, enjoying his old British car, alpine skiing, losing golf balls, and trying to maintain a reasonable level of physical fitness.