2 Canadian Air Division Commander

Brigadier General Denis O’Reilly

Brigadier General Denis O’Reilly


Brigadier General Denis O’Reilly grew up in Moose Jaw, SK and enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1991. He received his RCAF pilot wings in 1995, and was posted to 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (Edmonton, AB) where he flew the CH135 Twin-Huey and later the CH146 Griffon helicopters.

From 2000 to 2003, he was selected for foreign exchange duties with 664 Squadron Army Air Corps (Dishforth, UK) where he flew the Lynx Anti-Tank Helicopter. His duties included Squadron Operations Officer and Squadron Second-in-Command.  Upon promotion to Major in 2003, he was appointed Officer Commanding (OC) 664 Squadron.

Upon return to Canada in 2003, he joined 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron (Gagetown, NB) where he served in various Flight Commander positions, finishing his tour as Deputy Commanding Officer. In 2006, he assumed the role of J5 Air as part of the Standing Contingency Task Force HQ (Halifax, NS). In 2007, he was posted to 1 Wing HQ (Kingston, ON) to fill the role of A7 Doctrine. Promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel during Staff College in 2008, he returned to 1 Wing HQ in 2009 as the Operations Officer.

From 2010-2012, he had the privilege to rejoin 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron, this time as the Squadron’s Commanding Officer. A move to 2 Canadian Air Division HQ (Winnipeg, MB) followed, where he served as the Senior Staff Officer in charge of Air Operations Training. Promoted in 2015, he was appointed Director Air Force Training until 2016, when he returned to his home town of (Moose Jaw, SK) to assume command of 15 Wing - home of RCAF pilot training and The Snowbirds. In 2019 he returned to Winnipeg, this time to 1 Canadian Air Division HQ, where he filled the roles of A5/A7 and Director of Fleet Readiness.

Promoted to his current rank in June 2020, Brigadier General O’Reilly was appointed Commander, 2 Canadian Air Division in August 2020.

Brigadier General O’Reilly served on operational deployments to Haiti (1996), Kosovo (1999), and Kuwait (2014). He is a graduate of the Advanced Aerospace Operations Course, the Joint Command and Staff Program, and the United States Air Force Air War College.  He holds a Bachelor of Philosophy degree, and a Masters of Defence Studies. He was appointed to the Order of Military Merit in November, 2019.Brigadier General O’Reilly and his wife Doris have seven children.