Canada's new defence minister is Harjit Sajjan, a decorated Lt.-Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and the newly-elected MP for Vancouver South.

Sajjan grew up in his riding, and later walked the South Vancouver streets as a detective with the Vancouver Police Department's Gang Crime Unit.

He is a combat veteran, serving in Bosnia and on three deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Sajjan has received numerous military honours, including the Meritorious Service Medal in 2013, for reducing the Taliban's influence in Kandahar Province.

"His approach, based on his knowledge of local culture and tribal dynamics, helped senior management to engage with influential Afghan tribal leaders, and led to the identification of insurgent command and control connection points," according to the citation on the Governor General's website.

Sajjan was born in India and moved to Canada with his family when he was five years old.

Harjit Sajjan and family

Harjit Sajjan, seen here in a picture with his wife Dr. Kuljit Kaur Sajjan and two children, will be Canada's new defence minister. (Liberal Party of Canada)