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New chief of defence staff takes charge of military in Ottawa

WATCH: Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson formally stepped down, and was replaced by a former combat commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Jonathan Vance.

OTTAWA – There will be a changing of the guard for the Canadian military today.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson formally steps down and will be replaced by a former combat commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Jonathan Vance.

The changeover is happening as the military conducts combat operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and plans to deploy soldiers to war-torn Ukraine to provide training.

WATCH: Prime Minister Harper praises the service of Gen. Tom Lawson

It also happens as the Armed Forces deals with the fallout of a scathing report into harassment and sexual assault within the ranks.

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Former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps investigated the issue and her evaluation last April was that sexual misconduct is “endemic” in the military and that the leadership has tolerated abuse.

WATCH: New Chief of the Defence Staff General Vance talks about accepting top military job

Last week, as Lt.-Gen. Mike Hood was sworn in as the top air force commander, he pleaded to have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct – a message that has been repeated among the senior ranks.