Canadian Army

The Canadian Army (French: Armée canadienne) is the command responsible for the operational readiness of the conventional ground forces of the Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2018 the Army has 23,000 regular soldiers, about 17,000 reserve soldiers, including 5,000 rangers, for a total of 40,000 soldiers. The Army is supported by 3,000 civilian employees.[3] It maintains regular forces units at bases across Canada, and is also responsible for the Army Reserve, the largest component of the Primary Reserve. The Commander of the Canadian Army and Chief of the Army Staff is Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier.

The name "Canadian Army" came into official use beginning only in 1940; from before Confederation until the Second World War the official designation was "Canadian Militia". On 1 April 1966, as a precursor to the unification of Canada's armed services, all land forces were placed under a new entity called Mobile Command. In 1968 the "Canadian Army" ceased to exist as a legal entity as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army (CA), and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) were merged to form a single service called the Canadian Armed Forces. Mobile Command was renamed Land Force Command in the 1993 reorganization of the Canadian Armed Forces. In August 2011, Land Force Command reverted to the pre-1968 title of the Canadian Army.[4]

Canadian Army
Armée canadienne
CA Emblem
Badge of the Canadian Army
Active19th century – present
Size40,000 (23,000 regular force, 17,000 reserve forces, 5,000 rangers, 3,000 civilians)[1]
Part ofCanadian Armed Forces
HeadquartersNational Defence Headquarters
Motto(s)Vigilamus pro te (in Latin)
(English: We stand on guard for thee)[2]
March"The Great Little Army"
Mascot(s)Juno the Bear
Commander-in-chiefElizabeth II, Queen of Canada, represented by Governor General, Julie Payette
Commander of the Canadian ArmyLieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, CMM, MSM, CD
Chief Warrant Officer of the Canadian ArmyChief Warrant Officer Alain Guimond
Flag of the Canadian Army


Prior to Confederation in 1867, the British Army, which included both "Fencible" Regiments of the British Army—recruited within British North America exclusively for service in North America—and Canadian militia units, was responsible for the defence of Canada. Some current regiments of the Canadian Army trace their origins to these pre-Confederation militia and Fencible units. Following the passage of the Militia Act of 1855, the Permanent Active Militia was formed, and in later decades several regular bodies of troops were created, their descendants becoming the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, the Royal Canadian Dragoons, and the Royal Canadian Regiment. Regular Canadian troops participated in the North West Rebellion in 1885, the South African War (Second Boer War) in 1899, and, in much larger numbers, constituted the Canadian Expeditionary Force in First World War.[5]

In 1940, during Second World War, the Permanent Active Militia was renamed the Canadian Army (Active), supplemented by the non-permanent militia, which was named the Canadian Army (Reserve). The Army participated in the Korean War and formed part of the NATO presence in West Germany during the Cold War. In the years following its unification with the navy and air force in 1968, the size of Canada's land forces was reduced, but Canadian troops participated in a number of military actions with Canada's allies, including the Gulf War in 1991 and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, as well as peacekeeping operations under United Nations auspices in various parts of the world.[6]

Despite Canada's usual support of British and American initiatives, Canada's land forces did not directly participate in the Vietnam War or the Iraq War.[7]


Command of the Army is exercised by the Commander of the Canadian Army within National Defence Headquarters located in Ottawa. The Army is divided into four force generating divisions based on geography:[8]

The single force employing division, 1st Canadian Division, is part of the Canadian Joint Operations Command and is not under the command of the Canadian Army. It serves as a deployable headquarters to command a divisional-level deployment of Canadian or allied forces on operations, succeeding the previous Canadian Joint Forces HQ.[9]

In addition to the four regional command areas, the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, previously called Land Force Doctrine and Training System, commanded by a major-general and headquartered at McNaughton Barracks, CFB Kingston, Ontario, is responsible for the supervision, integration and delivery of Army training and doctrine development, including simulation and digitization. It includes a number of schools and training organizations, such as the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, and the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre at CFB Wainwright, Alberta.[10]


The senior appointment within the Canadian Army was Chief of the General Staff until 1964 when the appointment became Commander, Mobile Command in advance of the unification of Canada's military forces.[11] The position was renamed Chief of the Land Staff in 1993.[12] Following the reversion of Land Forces to the Canadian Army in 2011, the position became Commander of the Canadian Army.

Officers are selected in several ways:

  • The Regular Officer Training Plan, where candidates are educated at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) or at civilian Canadian universities.
  • Direct Entry Officer Plan, for those who already hold a university degree or technology diploma.
  • Continuing Education Officer Training Plan, addresses shortages in certain officer occupations, and is intended to attract candidates who are otherwise qualified for service as officers, but who lack a degree. Candidates complete their degrees while serving in the Army.[13]
  • University Training Plan (Non-Commissioned Members), designed to develop selected serving non-commissioned members for service as career officers in the Regular Force. Normally, candidates selected for this plan will attend RMC or a civilian university in Canada.[14]
  • Commissioning From the Ranks Plan, provides officers to augment the number of officers commissioned through other plans and applies exclusively to those who have acquired some military experience and possess the necessary qualities that make them suitable for employment as officers.[15]
  • Special Requirements Commissioning Plan, is designed to meet the needs of the officer occupations. It allows the Canadian Forces to profit from the skills and experience of senior non-commissioned members and may provide an opportunity for career advancement for selected deserving Chief Warrant Officers.[16]
  • Subsidized special education, which includes the Medical Officer Training Plan or Dental Officer Training Plan.[17]

In addition there were other commissioning plans such as the Officer Candidate Training Plan and Officer Candidate Training Plan (Men) for commissioning serving members which are no longer in effect.

Occupational training for Canadian Army officers takes place at one of the schools of the Combat Training Centre for Army-controlled occupations (armour, artillery, infantry, electrical and mechanical engineers, etc.) or at a Canadian Armed Forces school, such as the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics or the Defence Public Affairs Learning Centre for officers from career fields controlled outside the Army.

Regular force

Canadian infantry and armoured regimental traditions are strongly rooted in the traditions and history of the British Army. Many regiments were patterned after regiments of the British Army, and a system of official "alliances", or affiliations, was created to perpetuate a sense of shared history. Other regiments developed independently, resulting in a mixture of both colourful and historically familiar names. Other traditions such as battle honours and colours have been maintained by Canadian regiments as well. Approximately two-thirds of the Regular Force is composed of anglophone units, while one third is francophone.

Between 1953 and 1971, the Regular Canadian Infantry consisted of seven regiments, each of two battalions (except the Royal 22e Régiment, which had three, the Canadian Guards which had four battalions between 1953 and 1957 and the Canadian Airborne Regiment, which was divided into three commandos). The three present Regular infantry regiments were augmented by three further regiments each of two battalions:

Following the unification of the three services to form the Canadian Armed Forces in 1968, the Regular Force battalions of The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada and the Black Watch were dissolved (their Militia battalions remained in Toronto and Montreal, respectively), the Regular regiment of The Fort Garry Horse was disbanded and the Canadian Guards were reduced to nil strength.

The 1st Battalion of the Canadian Guards was disbanded on 1 October 1968. On 6 July 1970, the 2nd Battalion, The Canadian Guards was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle, with the unit's soldiers and officers becoming the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment.

On 1 July 1970, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada were reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle, and the Reserve Force battalion automatically relinquished its numerical designation.

On 15 September 1968, the 2nd Battalion, The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle, while when the 1st Battalion was reduced to nil strength and transferred to the Supplementary Order of Battle on 27 April 1970, with the unit's officers and soldiers forming the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The Reserve Force battalion automatically relinquished its numerical designation at that time.

The Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded in 1995.[18]

The Regular Force regiment of the 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's), formed in 1957, was converted to a mixed Regular and Reserve "Total Force" unit with the close-out of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group at Lahr, Germany in 1994, before reverting to a Reserve regiment in 1997.[19]


The Army Reserve is the reserve element of the Canadian Army and the largest component of the Primary Reserve. The Army Reserve is organized into under-strength brigades (for purposes of administration) along geographic lines. The Army Reserve is very active and has participated heavily in all Regular Army deployments in the last decade, in some cases contributing as much as 40 per cent of each deployment in either individual augmentation, as well as occasional formed sub-units (companies). LFR regiments have the theoretical administrative capacity to support an entire battalion, but typically have the deployable manpower of only one or two platoons. They are perpetuated as such for the timely absorption of recruits during times of war. Current strength of the Army Reserve is approximately 18,000. On April 1, 2008, the Army Reserve absorbed all units of the former Communications Reserve.


  1. Canadian Army Headquarters (Ottawa, ON)
  2. Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (Kingston, ON)
  3. 2nd Canadian Division (formerly Land Force Quebec Area)
  4. 3rd Canadian Division (formerly Land Force Western Area )
  5. 4th Canadian Division (formerly Land Force Central Area )
  6. 5th Canadian Division (formerly Land Force Atlantic Area )
    • 5th Canadian Division HQ (Halifax, NS)
    • 5th Canadian Division Support Group (Gagetown, NB)
    • 5th Canadian Division Training Centre (Gagetown, NB)
    • Canadian Combat Support Brigade (Kingston, ON)[22][23][24][25]
      • Influence Activities Task Force’s (PsyOps and CIMIC unit) (Kingston, ON)
      • Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment (Kingston, ON)
      • 21 Electronic Warfare Regiment (Kingston, ON)
      • 4 Engineer Support Regiment (Gagetown, NB)
      • 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support), RCA (Gagetown, NB)
    • 36 Canadian Brigade Group
      • 36 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters
      • 36 Canadian Brigade Group (NS) Band (music)
      • The Halifax Rifles (RCAC) (armoured) (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
      • The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) (armoured) (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
      • 1st (Halifax-Dartmouth) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA (artillery) (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
      • 84th Independent Field Battery, RCA (artillery) (Yarmouth, Nova Scotia)
      • 36 Combat Engineer Squadron (combat engineer) (Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia)
      • 36 Signals Regiment (Glace Bay, Nova Scotia; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island)
      • The Princess Louise Fusiliers (infantry) (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
      • The West Nova Scotia Regiment (infantry) (Aldershot, Nova Scotia)
      • The Nova Scotia Highlanders (infantry) (Truro, Nova Scotia)
      • The Cape Breton Highlanders (infantry) (Sydney, Nova Scotia)
      • 36 Service Battalion (service and support) (Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia)
    • 37 Canadian Brigade Group
      • 37 Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters
      • 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise's) (armoured) (Moncton, New Brunswick)
      • 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, RCA (artillery) (Saint John, New Brunswick)
      • 37 Combat Engineer Regiment (combat engineers) (St. John's, Newfoundland & Fredericton, New Brunswick)
      • 37 Signal Regiment (communications) (St. John's, Newfoundland & Saint John, New Brunswick)
      • The Royal New Brunswick Regiment (Carleton and York) (infantry) (Fredericton, New Brunswick)
      • The North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment (infantry) (Bathurst, New Brunswick)
      • 1st Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment (infantry) (St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador)
      • 2nd Battalion, Royal Newfoundland Regiment (infantry) (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador)
      • 37 Service Battalion (service and support) (Saint John, New Brunswick and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador)
      • 724 Communication Squadron (Oromocto, New Brunswick) [Update Needed]
    • 5 Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador)
    • 3 Military Police Regiment (Canada) Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Bases and training centres

  1. 2nd Canadian Division
    • 2nd Canadian Division Support Base Montreal
    • Garrison Valcartier
    • Garrison St Jean
    • 2nd Canadian Division Training Centre Valcartier
  2. 3rd Canadian Division
    • 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton
    • Garrison Wainwright
    • Garrison Shilo
    • 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre Wainwright
    • 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre Detachment Shilo
  3. 4th Canadian Division
  4. 5th Canadian Division
    • 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown
    • 5th Canadian Division Training Centre Gagetown
    • 5th Canadian Division Training Centre Detachment Aldershot


Soldiers of the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada armoured reconnaissance regiment

Canada is an industrial nation with a highly developed science and technology sector. Since the First World War, Canada has produced its own infantry fighting vehicle, anti-tank guided missile and small arms for the Army. Regular and reserve units operate state-of-the-art equipment able to handle modern threats through 2030–2035. Despite extensive financial cuts to the defence budget between the 1960s–2000s, the Army is relatively well equipped.[26] The Army currently operates approximately 10,500 utility vehicles including G-wagon and 7000-MV and also operates approximately 2,700 armoured fighting vehicles including the LAV-III and the Leopard 2.[27] The Army also operates approximately 150 field artillery pieces including the M777 howitzer and the LG1 Mark II.[28]

In the near future, between 2011 and 2017, (see also the list of Future Canadian Forces projects), the Army will receive a new family of tactical armoured patrol vehicles which will eventually replace the RG-31 Nyala and Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle, known as the Textron Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle.[29] The dismounted soldiers will be equipped with the long-awaited Integrated Soldier System designed to improve command execution, target acquisition and situational awareness. The Army will receive a new family of engineering vehicles especially designed to clear pathways for troops and other vehicles through minefields and along roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices. This new family of vehicles will eventually replace the aging fleet of AEV Badger, ARV Taurus and AVLB Beaver.

The Army infantry uses the C7 Rifle or C8 Carbine as the basic assault rifle, with grenadiers using the C7 with an attached M203 grenade launcher, and the C9 squad automatic weapon.[30] The Canadian Army also uses the Browning Hi-Power and the SIG Sauer P226

Newer variants of the C7/C8 family have since been integrated into common use throughout the Canadian Armed Forces. The C7 has most recently been updated in the form the C7A2. The major internal components remain the same, however, several changes have been made to increase versatility of the rifle.[31]

Members of the Canadian Grenadier Guards on parade in Ottawa

Uniforms, load bearing and protective equipment

Canada's battledress developed parallel to that of the British from 1900 to 1968, though always with significant differences, and then increasingly followed the American pattern of separate uniforms for separate functions, becoming distinctively "Canadian" in the process. Prior to unification in 1968, the uniforms of the RCN, CA, and RCAF were similar to their counterparts in the forces of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, save for national identifiers and some regimental accoutrements. With unification in 1968 all branches started wearing a new rifle green coloured service uniform. The present distinctive environmental uniforms in different colours for the navy, army and air force were introduced in the late 1980s and have a different cut and colour than their pre-1968 counterparts. The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced on 8 July 2013 the Government of Canada's intent to restore Canadian Army rank insignia, names and badges to their traditional forms.[32]


Field kitchens and catering are used to feed members of the Canadian Army personnel at bases and overseas operation centres. For personnel on patrol away from bases, they are supplied Individual Meal Packs (IMPs). The IMP is used by the Canadian Forces. Other types of rations are used by the Canadian Forces, notably fresh rations, or cooked meals provided directly from the kitchen or by haybox. There are also patrol packs, which are small high-protein snack-type foods (such as beef jerky or shredded cheese) and boxed lunches (consisting of assorted sandwiches, juice, fruit, pasta and a dessert) provided for soldiers to consume in situations in which meal preparation is not possible.


CA Emblem

Current badge, since 2011


Badge 1993-2011

The badge of the Canadian Army consists of:[33]

  • St. Edward's Crown
  • Three red maple leaves on one stem
  • Crossed swords
  • Motto: Vigilamus pro te (Latin for "We stand on guard for thee")

Rank structure

Military rank in the Canadian Army is granted based on a variety of factors including merit, qualification, training, and time in-rank. However, promotion up to the rank of corporal for non-commissioned members, and to captain for officers, is automatic based on time in previous rank. Some ranks are associated with specific appointments. For example, a regimental sergeant major is held by a chief warrant officer, or adjutant held by a Captain. In some branches or specific units, rank titles may differ due to tradition. A trained private within the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps is a trooper, whereas the same rank within the artillery is gunner. Other titles for the rank of private include fusilier, sapper, rifleman, craftsman, and guardsman.[34]

For a comparison of ranking structure, see Ranks and insignia of NATO. Not shown are the various appointment badges for specialist positions such as Base Chief Warrant Officer, Drum Major, etc.



Canada Commander-in-chief
Insignia Canadian Army sleeves (Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces) Canadian Army (Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces)
Title Commander-in-chief
Abbreviation C-in-C

The Canadian Army's naval-style insignia for commissioned officers has been replaced by the previous British Army style, effective August 2014, following the restoration of the Canadian Army name in 2011. The rank insignia for General ranks was reverted to the post-unification insignia in 2016. The Canadian Army rank structure is shown below.

NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
Canada Canadian Army
No equivalent Canadian Army OF-9.svg Canadian Army OF-8.svg Canadian Army OF-7.svg Canadian Army OF-6.svg Canadian Army OF-5.svg Canadian Army OF-4.svg Canadian Army OF-3.svg Canadian Army OF-2.svg Canadian Army OF-1b.svg Canadian Army OF-1a.svg Canadian Army OF (D).svg No equivalent
General Lieutenant-General Major-General Brigadier-General Colonel Lieutenant-Colonel Major Captain Lieutenant Second Lieutenant Officer cadet
Général Lieutenant-général Major-général Brigadier-général Colonel Lieutenant-colonel Major Capitaine Lieutenant Sous-lieutenant Élève-officier
Senior non-commissioned member appointments of the Canadian Army
Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer Army Sergeant-Major/

Command, Group Chief Warrant Officer

Command, Group, Formation, Brigade, Garrison Chief Warrant Officer
Canadian Army OR-10.svg
Canadian Army OR-9c.svg
Canadian Army OR-9b.svg
NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Canada Canadian Army
Canadian Army OR-9a.svg Canadian Army OR-8.svg Canadian Army OR-7.svg Canadian Army OR-6.svg Canadian Army OR-5.svg Canadian Army OR-4.svg Canadian Army OR-3.svg Canadian Army OR-2.svg Canadian Army OR-2.svg
Chief Warrant Officer
Master Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer
Master Corporal
Private (Trained)
Soldat (Formé)
Private (Basic)
Soldat (Confirmé)
Private (Recruit)
Soldat (Recrue)


The Canadian Army has participated in the following campaigns as a combatant:

Note: The Canadian army was involved in the battle of the Medak Pocket, but the actual type of involvement is under dispute.


  • Canadian Military Journal[35]
  • Canadian Army Journal[36]

See also


  1. ^ "About the Army". Canadian Army. Government of Canada. Archived from the original on 12 July 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Canadian Army". Ottawa: Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. 2013. Archived from the original on 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  3. ^ "About the Army". Department of National Defence. Archived from the original on 16 July 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Navy and air force to be royal once again". CBC News. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 10 November 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  5. ^ "Soldiers of the First World War - CEF". Archived from the original on 7 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Canada in Afghanistan: Overview of Military and Development Activities". Archived from the original on 24 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  7. ^ "Canada's 'No' To Iraq War A Defining Moment For Prime Minister, Even 10 Years Later". Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Canadian Army reverts to British-style ranks and designations". Archived from the original on 11 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  9. ^ "1st Canadian Division moves to CJOC". National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  10. ^ Department of National Defence, 2011. Leader in Land Operations: LFDTS Land Force Doctrine and Training System
  11. ^ Dr. Wilf Lund (n.d.) Integration and Unification of the Canadian Forces Archived 2010-01-15 at the Wayback Machine, CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum,
  12. ^ Major Andrew B. Godefroy CD PhD (2007) Chasing the Silver Bullet: the Evolution of Capability Development in the Canadian Army Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, Canadian Military Journal, vol 8, no 1, pg 59.
  13. ^ CF Military Personnel Instructions 09/05
  14. ^ CFAO 9-13—University Training Plan—Non-Commissioned Members
  15. ^ CFAO 11-9—Commissioning From The Ranks Plan
  16. ^ CFAO 11-14—Special Requirements Commissioning Plan
  17. ^ The Canadian Officer Selection System Archived 2016-04-10 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 17 August 2011
  18. ^ Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003/AF-002—Part Two: Infantry Regiments
  19. ^ Canadian Forces Publication A-DH-267-003/AF-001—Part One: Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments
  20. ^ "34 Canadian Brigade Group | Reserve Brigade | Canadian Army". Archived from the original on 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  21. ^ 39 Canadian Brigade Group – The Army Reserve in British Columbia, published by the authority of the Brigade Commander, 39 Canadian Brigade Group, Vancouver, September 2011
  22. ^ Army, Government of Canada, National Defence, Canadian. "Canadian Combat Support Brigade | 5th Canadian Division". Archived from the original on 2018-08-18. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  23. ^ Government of Canada, National Defence (2017-10-05). "Army News in Atlantic Canada | Canadian Army | News Release | Canadian Combat Support Brigade transferred to the 5th Canadian Division". Archived from the original on 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  24. ^ "Combat support brigade to institutionalize key capabilities | Canadian Army Today". Archived from the original on 2018-11-30. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  25. ^ Leaf, The Maple. "New Canadian Combat Support Brigade is 'champion of Army enablers' – The Maple Leaf". Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  26. ^ Lance W. Roberts (2005) 9.3 Military Forces, Recent social trends in Canada, 1960-2000, McGill-Queen's University Press, pp.372-376.
  27. ^ Equipment: Vehicles Archived 2013-07-16 at the Wayback Machine,
  28. ^ Equipment: Weapons Archived 2013-07-16 at the Wayback Machine,
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ Equipment: Weapons Archived 2012-06-14 at the Wayback Machine,
  31. ^ "Canadian Armed Forces Assault Rifle". 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
  32. ^ "Canadian Forces to go back to the future with British-style ranks". Archived from the original on 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  33. ^ "Canadian Army". Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges. Governor General of Canada. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  34. ^ " article on Rank and Responsibility". Archived from the original on 2013-05-22. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  35. ^ Canadian Military Journal Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  36. ^ Canadian Army Journal Archived 2005-10-27 at the Wayback Machine

Further reading

  • Kasurak, Peter. A National Force: The Evolution of Canada's Army, 1950–2000 (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2013)

External links

33 Canadian Brigade Group

33 Canadian Brigade Group of the Canadian Army is part of 4th Canadian Division. It commands the Primary Reserve units in eastern and northern portions of Ontario.

34 Canadian Brigade Group

34 Canadian Brigade Group (34CBG; French: 34e Groupe-brigade du Canada) is part of 2nd Canadian Division, under the Canadian Army. It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. It is the successor of the Cold War era Montreal Militia District.

36 Canadian Brigade Group

36 Canadian Brigade Group (French: 36e Groupe-brigade du Canada) is a reserve component brigade of the Canadian Army, which Commands reserve units in 5th Canadian Division for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It was created in 1992 by merging the Nova Scotia Militia District and the Prince Edward Island Militia District.

Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; French: Forces armées canadiennes, FAC), or Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces canadiennes, FC), are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."This unified institution consists of sea, land, and air elements referred to as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Personnel may belong to either the Regular Force or the Reserve Force, which has four sub-components: the Primary Reserve, Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, and the Canadian Rangers. Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian Armed Forces are an entity separate and distinct from the Department of National Defence (the federal government department responsible for administration and formation of defence policy), which also exists as the civilian support system for the Forces. Current end strength is authorized at 126,500, including 71,500 Regular Force members, 30,000 Reserve Force members and 25,000 civilian employees. The number of filled positions is lower than the authorized strength.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces is the reigning Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor General of Canada. The Canadian Armed Forces is led by the Chief of the Defence Staff, who is advised and assisted by the Armed Forces Council.

Canadian Armed Forces ranks and insignia

This is a table of the ranks and insignia of the Canadian Armed Forces. As the Canadian Armed Forces is officially bilingual, the French language ranks are presented following the English (in italics).

Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre

The Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre (CAAWC, French: Centre d'instruction supérieure de l'Armée canadienne) is a Canadian Forces training facility located at CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada.

In June–August 2013 the Advanced Warfare Centre was renamed from Canadian Forces Land Advanced Warfare Centre (CFLAWC). Before CFLAWC, it was formerly known as the Canadian Parachute Centre (CPC) since 1996, and traces its lineage from the Canadian Airborne Centre (CABC), which was located at Canadian Forces Base Edmonton until 1996. It was renamed and its mandate expanded to become a "centre of excellence" for advanced war-fighting skills for the Canadian Army.

CAAWC is designated as the army centre of excellence for static-line round, static-line square and military free-fall parachuting, and it teaches basic, jump master and instructor courses in each sub-set of parachuting. Equally important, within its mission are: the Arctic operations advisor, basic/advanced mountain operations, helicopter insertion instructor, helicopter operations, and aerial delivery courses. The centre is also responsible for the Canadian Forces Pathfinder course (the future of which is under review).

CAAWC comprises Headquarters Company, Parachute Training Company, Advanced Mobility, and Support Company (which supports all CAAWC training and also acts as the Canadian Forces Parachute Depot).

The centre sends members of its staff on international courses to learn best practices from allied nations and develop them into specialists and maintains a capability in desert, jungle, and amphibious warfare. A mutual parachute instructor exchange occurs throughout the year with the United States Army Airborne School to foster the relationship between Canadian and US forces.

Canadian Army Command and Staff College

The Canadian Army Command and Staff College (CACSC), formerly the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College, is a school for officers of the Canadian Forces, specializing in staff and army operations courses. It is located at Fort Frontenac, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Commander of the Canadian Army

The Commander of the Canadian Army (French: Commandant de l'Armée canadienne) is the institutional head of the Canadian Army, and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

First Canadian Army

The First Canadian Army (French: 1reArmée canadienne) was a field army and the senior formation of the Canadian Army that served on the Western Front from July 1944 until May 1945 during the Second World War.

The army was formed in early 1942, replacing the existing unnumbered Canadian Corps, as the growing number of Canadian forces in the United Kingdom necessitated an expansion to two corps. By the end of 1943 Canadian formations in the United Kingdom consisted of three infantry divisions, two armoured divisions and two independent armoured brigades. The first commander was Lieutenant-General A. G. L. "Andy" McNaughton, who was replaced in 1944 by General H. D. G. "Harry" Crerar. Both had been senior Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery officers in the Canadian Corps in the Great War. Allied formations of other nationalities were added to the First Canadian Army to keep it at full strength.The First Canadian Army's strength was 177,000 all ranks at the end of 1942. One year later it had grown to 242,000. On 31 May 1944, shortly before the Normandy landings, it was 251,000 of which 75,000 were serving on the Italian Front.

History of the Canadian Army

The history of the Canadian Army, began when the title first came into official use in November 1940, during the Second World War, and is still used today. Although the official titles, Mobile Command, and later Land Force Command, were used from February 1968 to August 2011, "Canadian Army" continued to be unofficially used to refer to the ground forces of the Canadian Armed Forces, much as it has been from Confederation in 1867 to the present. The term was often even used in official military publications, for example in recruiting literature and the official newspaper of the Canadian Forces, The Maple Leaf. On August 16, 2011, the title, "Canadian Army", was officially restored, once again bringing the official designation in line with common and historical usage.


The LAV III, originally named the Kodiak by the Canadian Army, is the third generation of the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) family of Infantry fighting vehicle built by General Dynamics Land Systems first entering service in 1999. It was developed in Canada and is the primary mechanized infantry vehicle of the Canadian Army and the New Zealand Army. It also forms the basis of the Stryker vehicle used by the US Army and other operators.

List of units of the Canadian Army

The following is a list of units of the Canadian Army as of 2014.

Primary Reserve

The Primary Reserve of the Canadian Armed Forces (French: Première Réserve des Forces Canadiennes) is the first and largest of the four sub-components of the Canadian Forces reserves, followed by the Supplementary Reserve, the Canadian Rangers, and the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service (formerly the Cadet Instructors Cadre).

The reserve force is represented, though not commanded, at the national level by the Chief of Reserves and Employer Support. This is usually a Major-General or Rear-Admiral.The Primary Reserve consists of sailors, soldiers and airmen who train to the level of, and are interchangeable with, their Regular Force counterparts, as per the "total force" policy outlined in both the 1987 and 1994 Defence White Papers, and are posted to CF operations or duties on an ongoing basis. Each reserve force is operationally and administratively responsible to its corresponding environmental command; those being the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Primary reservists number approximately 27,000 (all ranks, all services). It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the reserves to sustaining CF operations, particularly following the defence budget cuts under the Chrétien government's Finance Minister Paul Martin and increased operational tempo of the 1990s, which highly strained both the Reserve's personnel and equipment.

Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF; French: Aviation royale canadienne, ARC) is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant, responsive and effective airpower". The RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, and operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff.The Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The RCAF also provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.

The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, which was formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command (interceptors), Air Transport Command (airlift, search and rescue), Mobile Command (tactical fighters, helicopters), Maritime Command (anti-submarine warfare, maritime patrol), as well as Training Command.

In 1975, some commands were dissolved (ADC, ATC, TC), and all air units were placed under a new environmental command called simply Air Command (AIRCOM).

Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011. The Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century.

Royal Canadian Army Cadets

The Royal Canadian Army Cadets (RCAC; French: Cadets royaux de l’Armée canadienne) is a national Canadian youth program sponsored by the Canadian Armed Forces and the civilian Army Cadet League of Canada. Under the authority of the National Defence Act, the program is administered by the Canadian Armed Forces and funded through the Department of National Defence. The civilian partner of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, the Army Cadet League of Canada, supports corps at a more local level in ways which the Canadian Armed Forces do not.

All Royal Canadian Army Cadet corps receive logistical assistance and a certain degree of administrative support from their affiliated Regular Force or Reserve Force units.

While cadets may wear the badges and accoutrements of their affiliated unit, cadets are considered to be civilians and are not members of the Canadian Armed Forces.The Royal Canadian Army Cadets are recognized as Canada's oldest youth program.

As of 2016, there are approximately 18,920 army cadets in about 429 corps which are spread across the country.

Together with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and Royal Canadian Air Cadets, it forms the largest federally funded youth program which is known as the Canadian Cadet Organizations.

Members of the Royal Canadian Army Cadets are encouraged to become active and responsible members of their communities.

The Royal Canadian Army Cadets are the rough equivalent to the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps in the United States, the Army Cadet Force in the United Kingdom and the Australian Army Cadets in Australia.

Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps

The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC) was an administrative corps of the Canadian Army.The Militia Medical Service was established in 1898. It consisted of an Army Medical Service (officers) and an Army Medical Corps (other ranks). The Hon. Sir F.W. Borden KCMG was appointed Honorary Colonel of the militia's "Canadian Army Medical Corps" on 1 August 1901.

The regimental medical personnel of the Permanent Active Militia were absorbed into the Corps on 2 July 1904. The regular component was titled the "Permanent Active Militia Medical Corps" (P.A.M.C.) and the militia component was titled the "Army Medical Corps" (A.M.C.). As the origin of a permanent medical corps, this date has since been considered the "birth" of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps for purposes of seniority among the corps of the Canadian Army, coming after the Royal Army Service Corps, 1903. (Though in the militia the medical corps was the first of the support branches to be formed).

Separate titles for permanent and non-permanent components of the medical corps were discarded during the re-organization of 1 May 1909. Thereafter, both permanent (regular) and non-permanent (reserve) components using the title "Canadian Army Medical Corps" (C.A.M.C.). The regular component of the service was redesignated "The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps" on 3 November 1919; the militia component was granted the same honour on 29 April 1936, becoming the "Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps". These two elements were re-organized for administrative purposes following the Second World War, on 22 March 1948, as "The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps". The corps suffix "RCAMC" was added to the designation of all corps units from 1944.

The badge of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps consists of the rod of Asclepius (a serpent entwined around a staff) surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves, surmounted by the Royal Crown, with the name "Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps" on a scroll below. The earlier badge of the Canadian Army Medical Corps (1909) was identical, minus the prefix "Royal" on the scroll. The previous badge of the Army Medical Service and Army Medical Corps consisted of a Geneva Cross on a silver maple leaf (1899). The badge of the Royal Army Medical Corps was briefly used by some members during the embryonic period of the service (1898).

After the Second World War, a series of coloured berets were adopted, with other arms and services wearing midnight blue berets, with a large coloured "flash" in corps colours – dull cherry for the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps.Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the R.C.A.M.C. in 1954, at the time of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Corps.

Structure of the Canadian Army

The Canadian Army is not an independent service. Rather it is the component responsible for the training and maintenance of operational readiness of the land forces of Canada's unified defence forces, known as the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Canadian Army is commanded from National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa and has been subdivided into four divisions as of December 2015:

2nd Canadian Division

3rd Canadian Division

4th Canadian Division

5th Canadian DivisionEach division is responsible for the regular army and reserve forces located within its geographical purview – all except the 5th Canadian Division has a regular army mechanized brigade group under its command, together with between two and three militia brigades.

Each mechanized brigade group contains three infantry battalions, an armoured regiment, an artillery regiment, and a combat engineer regiment. Each brigade group also contains a service support battalion, signals squadron and military police platoon.

In addition to the four divisions, the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, commanded by a major-general and headquartered at McNaughton Barracks, CFB Kingston, Ontario, is responsible for the supervision, integration and delivery of army training and long-range planning for army training and doctrine development, including simulation and digitization. It includes a number of schools and training organizations, such as the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick, and the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre at CFB Wainwright, Alberta.

Textron Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle

The Textron TAPV (Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle) is an armoured car currently in use by the Canadian Army. It is essentially a more heavily armed and armoured upgrade of the M1117 Armoured Security Vehicle, developed for use by the military police of the US Armed Forces.

Canadian Armed Forces
Military history
Canadian Army 
Mechanized brigade groups
Brigade groups
Small arms
Crewed weapons
Armoured fighting vehicles
Evolution of the Military of Canada
Current Canadian Forces
History of the Canadian Forces
Canadian military formation
Military formation in British North America
Military formation in New France
Land forces
Maritime land forces
Air force land forces

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