Rear-Admiral Rebecca Patterson is a Canadian Armed Forces leader, Defence Champion for Women, and the first person with a military nursing background to ever lead at the rank of Flag (General) Officer.
A registered nurse by training, Rear-Admiral Patterson has held various leadership roles within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). She is currently serving as Director General, Culture Change, Chief Professional Conduct and Culture, where she coordinates the whole-of-Defence policy approach to support Canada's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. In this role, she also supports departmental efforts to transform culture, eliminate harmful behaviors, and re-establish public trust in the institution. Previously, she was Commander, Canadian Forces Health Services Group, responsible for leadership, oversight, and management of Canada’s 14th health jurisdiction to deliver health care to CAF members in Canada and on international military missions. She has also held the roles of Director General, Professional Military Conduct – Operation HONOUR, as Deputy Commander, Canadian Forces Health Services Group, and as Commander, 1 Health Services Group, among other roles. She has also had international experience on military deployments to the Persian Gulf, Somalia, and Afghanistan.
Rear-Admiral Patterson is a founding and current director of Soldiers Helping Soldiers, and a past board member of Health Standards Organization. She also remains an active member of the College of Nurses of Ontario, the Canadian College of Health Leaders, and the Royal Canadian Medical Service Association.
Rear-Admiral Patterson was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Military Merit in 2018. She is also the recipient of numerous other honours and awards, including the Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal, the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in Health Sciences for Ontario College Graduates, and the Niagara College Canada Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2021, Rear-Admiral Patterson was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society for her contributions to aid seniors in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help women overcome barriers.
Rear-Admiral Patterson holds a Diploma in Nursing from Niagara College Canada and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (summa cum laude) from the University of Ottawa.