02/16/2012 12:59 EST | Updated 04/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Former military officer named Nova Scotia's new lieutenant-governor

HALIFAX - A retired brigadier-general in the Canadian Armed Forces has been named Nova Scotia's lieutenant-governor.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of John James Grant on Thursday.

Grant joined the Pictou Highlanders in 1951 and went on to serve in a number of senior positions including deputy commander and area commander of the Atlantic Militia Area. He retired from the military in 1989.

Premier Darrell Dexter welcomed the announcement, saying Grant is a strong community volunteer who has done the military proud.

"He has represented Nova Scotia proudly throughout his career and his life in Pictou County," Dexter said in a statement.

"His service to Canada will continue in his new role, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated Nova Scotian as the province's next lieutenant governor."

Grant replaces Mayann E. Francis, who became the province's first black lieutenant-governor in September 2006.

Grant was born in New Glasgow, N.S., in 1936 and has been active in a number of community organizations, among them the New Glasgow Police Commission, the Nova Scotia Army Cadet League, and the Downtown Development Association in his hometown.