Canada’s top special forces soldier has been charged after accidentally firing his rifle as he prepared to visit the frontlines in northern Iraq.

Maj.-Gen. Mike Rouleau, a special forces combat veteran and head of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, will face a court-martial for a “negligent discharge” from his firearm last year, the Canadian military said.

Rouleau immediately reported the Dec. 21 incident to Gen. Jon Vance, chief of the defence staff,  and was put under a lengthy investigation.

The special forces commander was not available for interview Wednesday, but issued a statement to Postmedia.