Marie-Ève Tremblay: Dedicated to the cause

Lieutenant-Colonel Marie-Ève Tremblay leads a busy life. At present, she is the Assistant Judge Advocate General-Eastern Region, Office of the Judge Advocate General. Tremblay is also a student in McGill-HEC Montreal’s Executive Masters in Business Administration (EMBA).

Lieutenant-Colonel Marie-Ève Tremblay has been deployed to Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo

As Assistant to the Judge Advocate General-Eastern Region, LCol Tremblay supervises the legal services provided to the military chain of commands in Quebec. Tremblay is doing an EMBA at McGill-HEC Montreal to strengthen her leadership skills.

Formative moment

As a teenager she was deeply affected by a visit to the women-only Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, in northern Germany. Walking amidst the ruins and seeing the names of the 55,000 dead inscribed on plaques, she was struck by the scale of the sacrifices made during both World Wars.

“Those wars led to the adoption of rules attempting to make the conduct of hostilities more human,” says Tremblay.  “I’m extremely honoured to serve with individuals who courageously and selflessly carry and defend our values in conflict zones, sometimes at a very high cost.”

Tremblay graduated in Law from Laval University and was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 2004. She briefly practiced law in her home town of Roberval, in the Lac Saint-Jean region of Quebec, before quickly realizing that she wanted to work for a cause.

That same year, she enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as a member of the Office of the Judge Advocate General, in Ottawa, where she served in the Directorate of Law/Military Justice, Policy and Research until 2007.

Gender not an issue

“Being a woman in my field wasn’t an issue per se,” she says. “Any young lawyer has to work very hard to be sure their advice is relevant to the conduct of military operations. It is a crucial responsibility, and I definitely felt the weight of this important role.”

The Judge Advocate General (JAG) is the senior legal office in the CAF, with two main tasks: to superintend the administration of military justice in the Canadian Forces; and to act as a legal advisor to the Governor General, the Minister of Defence, the Department, and the CAF in matters relating to military law.

The current JAG is Commodore Geneviève Bernatchez, originally from Gaspé, and the first woman to be appointed to that role.

“I am extremely proud to have provided legal advice to support military commanders in accomplishing their missions in accordance with applicable national and international law,” says Tremblay. “Those have been my most rewarding experiences so far, and the reason why I joined.”

From Afghanistan to the Congo

In 2008, Tremblay was deployed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, where she was unit legal advisor.

Tremblay was deployed in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2011, with the Mission des Nations Unies pour la stabilisation du Congo. Among other tasks, she contributed to projects aimed at assisting Congolese military prosecutors in the conduct of investigations into war crimes.

Prior to her current position as the Assistant JAG – Eastern Region, Tremblay was the senior legal advisor to the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command in Ottawa, from 2015 until 2017.

In 2008, Marie-Ève Tremblay was deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, with the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team, where she was unit legal advisor.