Withers, Ramsey Muir

Ramsey Muir Withers, soldier, public servant (b at Toronto, Ont 28 July 1930). An engineering graduate of the Royal Military College and Queen's University, Withers was commissioned in the Signal Corps in 1952 and served with the Royal 22nd Regiment in Korea in 1952-53. An effective, articulate organizer with a crisp manner and open personality, he was promoted to brigadier in 1970, the first officer commissioned after WWII to reach that rank, and became the first commander, Northern Region Headquarters (Yellowknife). This was followed by senior management assignments at headquarters, 1973-76, and command of the Canadian Forces in Europe, 1976-77.

He was vice-chief and then chief of the defence staff, 1977-83, excelling in the bureaucracy of flowcharts, management systems and political awareness. He was deputy minister of the Department of Transport, 1983-88, before entering private business in 1988 as the president of the Ottawa-based lobbying firm Government Consultants International. In 1990 he was named director of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies. Two years later, he was honoured with a doctorate of military science from the Royal Roads Military College (now Royal Roads University).