Maurice Baril enlisted in the Canadian Officer Training Corps, while studying at the University of Ottawa, became an officer in 1963, and was assigned to the Royal 22nd Regiment in 1964. Among his numerous appointments were those with the Canadian Airborne Regiment (1968-1971) and the École supérieure de guerre in Paris (1977-78). Promoted to lieutenant colonel, he commanded the 2nd Battalion of the Royal 22nd Regiment (1980-82). He became a colonel in 1984, and was assistant commander of the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, in 1985, then in 1989, brigadier-general and commander of the Combat Training Centre in GAGETOWN CFB. In June 1992, Maurice Baril was named military advisor to the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the Headquarters of the United Nations, where in 1993 he attained the rank of major general. In July 1995, he took up the position of Chief of Land Forces Québec Sector in Montréal, and the following September, with the rank of lieutenant general, he led Canada’s ground forces. In September 1994, he was named Chief of Defence Staff. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada. He retired from the military in 2001.