RCEME Colonel Commandant
BGen William Brewer (Ret’d) was born in Montreal, P.Q. on 8 November 1948. Following completion of secondary school, he attended College Militaire Royale de Saint-Jean, and Royal Military College in Kingston, graduating in 1970 with his commission and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering Degree.
Following on-job-training at Base Maintenance in CFB Borden and the completion of his Phase lV Sub-Electrical Mechanical Engineering (EME) training, he was posted to HQ Canadian Forces Europe in January 1972 as SO3 Maintenance, responsible for vehicle and weapons engineering and maintenance. In May 1972, he was promoted to Captain and posted to 4 Service Battalion Maintenance Company to fill the positions of both Scaling Officer and 2lC Forward Repair group. He was then posted to the Royal Canadian Dragoons, where he spent two years as the Regimental Maintenance Officer.
On rotation back to Canada in April 1975, BGen Brewer (Ret’d) was posted as an instructor to LORE Company at the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace and Ordnance Engineering (CFSAOE) Borden, and while still on staff, attended the Land Forces Command and Staff Course in Kingston from February to June 1976. On completion of this course, he was promoted to Major and in January 1977, attended the Royal Military College of Science in Shrivenham, UK.
In January 1978, he was posted to National Defence Headquarters as Life Cycle Manager for both the M113 and Armoured Vehicle General Purpose (AVGP) families of vehicles. He was selected to attend the Command and Staff College in Toronto in July 1981, and on graduation, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and posted to the Directorate of Logistics Operations in National Defence Headquarters. In July 1983, he was posted to Canadian Forces Base Lahr to the position of Base Technical Services Officer.
In July 1986, BGen Brewer (Ret’d) assumed command of 4 Service Battalion. On promotion to Colonel in July 1988, he was posted to National Defence Headquarters as the Director of Combat Mobility Engineering and Maintenance and in July 1990 was appointed Project Manager Multi-Role Combat Vehicle project, a predecessor of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) 3 project. In July 1991, he assumed command of the Canadian Forces School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (CFSEME).
He returned to NDHQ in July 1992 as Director Manpower Planning, responsible for strategic military HR planning. While still in this position, he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Military Merit (OMM) by the Governor General in summer 1996 and shortly after posted to the position of Special Assistant to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. In summer 1998, he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General and assumed the position of Director General Land Equipment Program Management (DGLEPM). He retired from the CAF in July 2002.
He joined DEW Engineering and Development after leaving the CAF and worked as Vice President Business Development from 2002-2012. Following this appointment, he became President, WJB Defence and Management Consulting Inc, providing a broad range of services to both government and industry. He was invested as a Knight in the Order of St. George in April 2014.
BGen Brewer (Ret’d) was appointed Colonel Commandant of the RCEME Corps in November 2016.
BGen Brewer (Ret’d) and his wife Barbara have two children and five grandchildren. Daughter Sheri, son Kevin, and their families currently reside in the Ottawa area.