In 1874, the Canadian government made changes to the system of command for the Canadian militia. The new appointment was known as the general officer commanding (GOC). The GOC would be a colonel or officer of superior rank in the British regular army. As commander of the Canadian militia, the officer would hold the rank of major-general in the Militia of Canada. A Canadian officer, whose duties were limited to that of a staff officer, would be appointed to the post of adjutant-general. The British War Office was responsible for the selection of the general officer commanding. Major-General Edward Selby-Smyth became the first GOC Canadian Militia on 11 September 1874. A Canadian officer, Colonel W. Powell, was appointed as adjutant-general in April of the following year.


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