Gérard-Charles-Édouard Thériault

Gérard-Charles-Édouard Thériault, military officer (b at Gaspé, Qué 5 June 1932; d at Victoria, BC 13 Oct 1998).

Thériault, Gérard-Charles-Édouard

Gérard-Charles-Édouard Thériault, military officer (b at Gaspé, Qué 5 June 1932; d at Victoria, BC 13 Oct 1998). The son of an RCMP officer who left the force to begin a small aviation company, Thériault's youthful ambition was to fly; after the unlikely preparation of an economics degree at Sir George Williams University [Concordia], he joined the RCAF in 1951. He was a squadron commander by 1966 and moved to the Collège militaire royal, St-Jean, Qué, as vice-commandant 1967-70 and commandant 1970-71. He was commander of 1 Canadian Air Group in Germany 1973-75, and he was promoted deputy chief of defence staff in 1978, vice chief in 1980, and chief in 1983. Outward looking, systematic, a strong believer in a unified armed forces, he was the third airman and third francophone to hold the top job in the Canadian Forces. He retired from the armed forces in 1986 and until 1995 was president of AEG Canada Inc, a branch of a German aerospace firm.