Lieutenant-Colonel (retired) Bruno Hamel was appointed Chairperson of the Board effective March 2, 2009.
The new chair has a lengthy and varied experience in military complaint resolution after many years spent as a senior grievance analyst and, later, as Director Special Grievances Enquiries & Investigations within the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (DGCFGA).
Mr. Hamel enrolled in the Canadian Forces (CF) in 1983 and served mainly with Army field and training units from 1984 to 1997. This included a two-year exchange posting with the French 1st Corps reconnaissance regiment from 1986 to 1988.
From November 1993 to May 1994, he was deployed in Visoko, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the Adjutant, with his Regiment, 12ième Régiment blindé du Canada. In November 1996, he was seconded until May 1997 to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to be deployed in Kinshasa, Zaire, as a Military Advisor and Liaison Officer during the country's civil war.
From 1997 to 1999, Mr. Hamel attended the Université du Québec à Hull, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Administration.
He joined the office of the DGCFGA, as a grievance analyst, from 1999 to 2001. In 2001, he completed his Master of Defence Studies at the Kuwaiti/British Mubarak Al-Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College where he was the first CF officer to be posted and to graduate. He returned in 2002 to DGCFGA as a senior analyst.
Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2003, he held the position of Director Special Grievances Enquiries & Investigations for the most part until his retirement from the CF in 2009. In this capacity, he was responsible for investigating the most complex, sensitive and difficult grievances at the Final Authority (FA) level. He was also asked twice to fulfil, on an interim basis, the duties of DGCFGA and acted as the FA of the grievance process pursuant to the CDS delegation.
In 2008, Mr. Hamel received the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation for informally resolving an unprecedented situation.
Between 2006 and 2007, Mr. Hamel also worked as Director General of Operations in the Office of the Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the CF.