Robert Hilborn Falls

Robert Hilborn Falls, naval officer (b at Welland, Ont 29 Apr 1924). Falls joined the RCAF in late 1942 and trained as a pilot.

Falls, Robert Hilborn

Robert Hilborn Falls, naval officer (b at Welland, Ont 29 Apr 1924). Falls joined the RCAF in late 1942 and trained as a pilot. He transferred to the navy after WWII, moving through a series of naval flying and command responsibilities (including HMCS BONAVENTURE) to senior management positions at headquarters and a period as commander of the Canadian Flotilla Atlantic. Vice-chief of the defence staff 1974-77, he became the first naval officer to serve as chief of the defence staff 1977-80. He was the first Canadian to be chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the alliance's senior military authority, 1980-83. He caused controversy with farewell remarks in 1983 suggesting that NATO might have more nuclear weapons in Europe than necessary. He involved himself thereafter in disarmament causes, and in 1985 became president of the Canadian Centre for Arms Control and Disarmament (now the Canadian Council for International Peace and Security) with which he remained affiliated after his presidency.