Lieutenant-General Raymond R. Crabbe, CMM, MSC, CD was born in Neepawa MB and joined the Canadian Army in September 1963.
He joined The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada in May 1966 and was part of the reduction to nil strength in 1968. At that time he was serving with 2nd Battalion, QOR of C in Calgary. He remained Queen’s Own until November 1971 at which time he re-badged to Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.
He served in Calgary with 1st Battalion Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as Commanding Officer and Operations Officer and with the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Petawawa ON as the Regimental Major. Following studies at the US Armed Forces Staff College, he was appointed Commanding Officer 1 PPCLI. He joined the Army Staff College in Kingston ON as a member of the Directing Staff and later as Chief of Staff. In 1986-89, he served as Chief of Staff of Prairie Militia Area in Winnipeg and attended French language training in 1990.
He was promoted to Brigadier-General in 1990 and appointed Commander Special Service Force in Petawawa. In 1992, he was appointed Director-General Personnel Careers Other Ranks at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa ON and was responsible for personnel policy and management for all non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces.
He was posted to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia at the height of the Balkans War as the Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Protection Force and Commander of the Canadian Contingent. He returned to Canada in June 1995 and was posted to Halifax NS where he commanded Land Force Atlantic Area.
In January 1996 he was decorated with the Meritorious Service Cross by the Government of Canada, and in June 1997, with the National Defence Medal (Gold) by the Government of France for his service in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.
In September 1997, after a brief tour of duty as Commander 1 Canadian Division in Kingston ON, Lieutenant-General Crabbe was appointed Deputy Chief of Defence Staff at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, where he was responsible for Canadian Forces operations and intelligence worldwide.