Defence Forces Chief of Staff
Lt General Seán McCann
Lt General Seán McCann was born in Cork and raised in Tipperary.
Lt Gen McCann joined the Defence Forces as an Army Cadet in 1970. A Cavalry Officer, he was previously Deputy Chief of Staff (Ops), Director of Operations and Director of Cavalry as well as instructing in the Military College and the United Nations Training School. He is a graduate of University College Galway (UCG) and of the United States Command and General Staff College (Fort Leavenworth).
On 06 October 2011, Lieutenant General Seán McCann, was formally inducted into the International Hall of Fame (IHOF) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The IHOF was established by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (USCGSC) in 1973 as a means of recognising International Officer graduates who, through military merit, achieve the highest positions of command and authority in their home military.
Lieutenant General McCann, who graduated from the USCGSC in 1990, is the first Irish graduate to have achieved this award.
He has six tours of duty overseas having served in Lebanon (UNIFIL, 1981 & ‘87), Israel, Iraq/Kuwait border (UNIKOM, 1991) and in Former Yugoslavia with the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM, 2000).
In 2002-‘03 he was Chief Operations Officer with UNTSO based in Jerusalem.
Family and Interests
Lt Gen McCann lives in Newbridge, Co Kildare and is married to Frances (Mc Carroll) a native of Omagh, Co. Tyrone and they have 2 sons.
He captained the Defence Forces and the Curragh (now Newbridge Rugby Club) rugby teams and played for UCG and Connacht.
The Chief of Staff
The Chief of Staff holds the rank of Lieutenant General and is assigned authority and responsibility by the Minister of Defence in respect of all staff duties connected with the executive management of the Defence Forces. The Chief of Staff is responsible for Strategic Planning and Public Relations in particular. The Office of the Chief of Staff (COS) consists of his Personal Staff, a Strategic Planning Office and a Public Relations Section.
Duties of the Chief of Staff
The effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the military measures designed to ensure the safety of the State in accordance with Government policy.
Operational deployment of the Defence Forces as authorised by the Minister for Defence.
Operational Control of the Defence Forces as authorised by the Minister for Defence.
Executive management, organisation, training, education and control of the human - resources of the Defence Forces.
Executive management and control of the logistical and other support services of the Defence Forces.
Executive management of Military Intelligence.
Financial Management in the Defence Forces.
Strategic military research, development and planning.
Provision of information, advice and reports to the Minister for Defence as necessary. Representation matters.
To coordinate and create a positive relationship with members of the media and public in general.
The inspection, assessment and audit of the Defence Forces with the object of carrying out the duties assigned to him in regard to effectiveness, efficiency and planning, military organisation and economy.
Executive management of Military Information and Communications Systems.
Any other duty assigned by the Minister for Defence from time to time.