Talk:Canadian Armed Forces

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"Further reading" section[edit]

I added a new "Further reading" section and a link to a good external website (from Library and Archives Canada) on the armed forces -- is this helpful? Advice on contributing is much appreciated! Smobri 18:09, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Update: 16 March 2007: Vandalism still present. I'm reporting vandalism... The entire second paragraph currently reads as follows:

"The Canadian Forces was formed on February 1, 1868, when the Inuit government merged the Canadian Salvation Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Farce into a unified structure. Canada remains one of the few under developed countries in the world to organize its military forces like this."

This has clearly been vandalised... This is the first time, however, that I've viewed the article. I'm therefore reporting this in hopes that the article's more knowledgeable and current editors deal with this. -- 23:55, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Vandalism removed. Thanks Motorfix 00:40, 10 July 2006 (UTC)


Should this not be merged with Military of Canada? --Kaihsu 16:52, 25 Aug 2003 (UTC)

And it has been. Note, however, that the overwhelming convention is to use 'Military of country' as the title, instead of 'countrian armed forces'. This should almost certainly be changed. Iñgólemo←• 04:03, 2004 Sep 22 (UTC)
  • Unlike most armed forces though "Canadian Armed Forces" is the actual name of the unified military of Canada. (see below though about Armed Forces versus Forces). Cjrother 00:16, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Dubious conscription comment[edit]

I removed this because I could not verify it at the Department of Justice's Web site:

Although conscription is legal in Canada, it has 1, not been used since the Second World War; and 2, it is illegal for conscripts to be sent outside of Canada (and hence can only be used for national defence.)

The only statute that contains the word conscription is the Emergencies Act, which just says the act can't be used to legalize conscription. Searching on other word variants like conscript, conscripting, and so on, does not find anything relevant.

So it looks like conscription is not in fact legal in any way.--Indefatigable 19:46, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Conscription is neither legal nor illegal - there is simply no existing law that governs it. An Act of Parliament is required to authorize conscription, as was done in Second World War. Geoff NoNick 18:54, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Conscripts were sent overseas, into combat, in 1945. The War Measures Act may contain the pertinent legislation, but IANAL....Michael Dorosh 00:39, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

The War Measures Act is no longer in effect; it has been superseded by the Emergencies Act, which explicitly says it does not authorize conscription: "40. (1) While a declaration of a war emergency is in effect, the Governor in Council may make such orders or regulations as the Governor in Council believes, on reasonable grounds, are necessary or advisable for dealing with the emergency. (2) The power under subsection (1) to make orders and regulations may not be exercised for the purpose of requiring persons to serve in the Canadian Forces." But IANAL either. Indefatigable 04:38, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Was it not the Governor General who has the authorization to legalize conscription and conscript's deployment? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Actually the reason that no one has found any act authorizing conscription is that there is none on the books right now. Conscription in Canada would require the passage of a new Act of Parliament and royal assent by the Governor General. In fact while conscripts were sent overseas to the UK in WWII, none saw combat. They rioted and mutinied here in Canada anyway as soon as they heard they might go to the UK. The concept of conscription is a moot point in Canada as it will not happen ever again after our previous experiences with it. Even if we were overrun, Canadians don't want to be conscripted and CF NCOs and officers do not want to lead conscripts. - Ahunt (talk) 19:51, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Canadian Forces vs. Canadian Armed Forces[edit]

All the Canadian government material I can find refers to the "Canadian Forces" not the "Canadian Armed Forces." Shouldn't this article use the title that the Canadian Forces themselves use? Deleting Unnecessary Words 02:24, 22 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • I agree here. I think the official name was changed at some point from Canadian Armed Forces to Canadian Forces but I haven't found a reference. The Forces definitely use Canadian Forces and the abbreviation CF. Cjrother 00:16, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
From the National Defence Act: "14. The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces." I presume the pre-1968 act read "...three Services called the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force." Since there is now only a single service, there is only a tiny semantic difference between Canadian Forces and Canadian Armed Forces. Currently Canadian Forces is the more commonly used name, so I agree the article should be moved.--Indefatigable 01:36, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The Legal, though seldom used name is Royal Canadian Armed Forces, for which I set up a redirect. Spinboy 18:42, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't think the article should be renamed. They are officially called the Canadian Armed Forces and informally known as the Canadian Forces. They have never been known as the Royal Canadian Armed Forces, rather they are referred to as Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces, or Her Majesty's Canadian Forces. Here is the actual text taken from the National Defence Act (R.S., c. N-4, s. 14.):

The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces.[1]

Plasma east 04:34, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I don't see how you can say that they are "informally known as the Canadian Forces." I've seen references to the Canadian Forces on in many formal places. HistoryBA 23:24, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
True. Perhaps "shortened to" would be a better way to word that sentence instead of using "informally known as". Regardless, their official name is "Canadian Armed Forces", as per the National Defence Act, however many military and gov't documents also use the short form.Plasma east 02:09, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
A short passage from the National Defence Act has been quoted twice above to support the contention that the Canadian military is called the "Canadian Armed Forces." I just finished reviewing the legislation and discovered that throughout the act the military is called the "Canadian Forces." This phrase appears dozens of times. The phrase "Canadian Armed Forces" appears but once. Given that the organization calls itself "Canadian Forces" and that the legislation uses both terms with a preference for "Canadian Forces," I would again suggest that we change the title of this article. HistoryBA 23:10, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
I contacted DND's general inquiries desk and received the following response to my question as to which is official:

Both titles are correct. Canadian Forces/Forces canadiennes is what is mostly used as the official title in mostly all the Department of National Defence documents and publications.

This begs the question, should the article follow the National Defence Act which stipulates "one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces", or use the more common term?
As an aside, I'm wondering why the word "Armed" has been dropped from most federal gov't references to the organization? During the 70's to the 90's, most bases had an "Armed Forces Day" (some still do). From Google searches on the term, reference is still made by some provincial and municipal governments to the Canadian Armed Forces. It seems that the reorganization in the mid-90's which saw Communication Command dropped and Force Mobile Command renamed to Land Force Command also saw the increasing use of the CF terminology. I'm certainly wrong, but I can't help feeling that this almost seems like a post-Cold War/post-Somalia Scandal rebranding by the federal gov't to dilute the fact that it is a military force... That, or it's another part of the Federal Identity Program. Could also be that it's a simpler acronym, and everyone knows how the military loves acronyms. Plasma east 15:29, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The use of the term Canadian Armed forces was dropped before 1985. I joined the Canadian Forces in 1985 and it was known as Canadian Forces then.

I joined in '83. I only ever heard "Canadian Armed Forces" in recruiting adverts on TV. All our general service knowledge (GSK) classes referred to the "Canadian Forces" or CF. Hence, CFCC (Canadian Forces Communicaions Command), CFE (Canadian Forces Europe), CFB (Canadian Forces Base), and the ever-lovin' CF uniform. I've always regarded "Canadian Armed Forces" to either be an anomaly; I've never heard it used by anyone who was "in".

I think this should be named Canadian Forces, just on the fact that it is the common term, I very rarely hear the term Canadian Armed Forces, and generally that is in foreign media. Also the fact that according to the person above Canadian Forces is still an official title.

However, post-unification, Canadian military aircraft did carry "shadow-lettered" "Canadian Armed Forces/Forces Armees Canadiennes" titling similar to the former Royal Canadian Air Force titling. On most aircraft (especially the CF-101 and CF-104 fighters; though the CF-5 was adopted pre-unification it did not enter service until after unification and never carried "RCAF" titles, except for a couple of prototypes), the "R" was simply dropped from "RCAF" to read "CAF", though a corresponding French "FAC" was not adopted. This was later changed to a maple leaf roundel bracketted by "Armed Forces/Forces Armees" titling and the word "CANADA" replacing the "Canadian Armed Forces"/"Forces Armees Canadiennes" titles. Up until the mid-1990s, though, "CAF" was still found on military aircraft (usually on the port wing underside, with the last three digits of the aircraft's serial number on the starboard wing underside). So this is an indication that "Canadian Armed Forces" was used officially, at least on aircraft. I've never seen it on "army" or "navy" vehicles/vessels. Having said that, most CF personnel I've talked to do say "Canadian Forces" or else a more specific "army", "navy", or "air force". In print (I'm a member of the Air Force Association of Canada and receive the "Airforce" magazine) I often see "Canada's air force" or "Canada's navy" but usually not "Canada's army" - I tend to see "Canadian Army" (capitalized) moreso --MarshallStack 05:57, 15 December 2005 (UTC)

Of all the Canadian Standard Military Pattern vehicles I've seen, only tanks have a national identifier (a black maple leaf) on the side. Other vehicles (MLVWs, LSVWs, the old CUCVs) may have some kind of identifying number on the door. I've never seen "Canada", "Armed Forces", or any other such identification. The license plates all say "Canada" on them, tho', but I do not know if they keep those highly-reflective items on in wartime. Civilian pattern vehicles, like staff cars, E-cabs, minivans, etc, usually only have the "cornflake" on the doors (along with the standard issue plates). SigPig 10:43, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
It should be Canadian Forces, which is the official term. Canadian Armed Forces is an informal term. --Deathphoenix 12:48, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I recall seeing older pictures of CF-188s with CAF on them, so I wouldn't discount that it was (or still is) used. However, this is a moot discussion (largely) given the abundance of support and mentions of CF. E Pluribus Anthony 13:47, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
I think it's been established here by serving/past members of the CF that Canadian Forces/Forces canadiennes is the correct term and I defer to them. However, I remember being on the subway in Toronto in 1983 and seeing a recruiting advert that said Canadian Armed Forces/Forces Armees Canadiennes - No Life Like It! I also saw similar TV spots in the late '80s on the CBC (showing mainly army training) that used the full CAF terminology.--MarshallStack 22:16, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

"Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces" is the most formal name, and is what is stated on commissioning scrolls and hundreds of times within the Queen's Regulations and Orders. 'Canadian Forces' has become the norm through common usage. The NDA shuffles it a bit saying "the armed forces of Her Majesty". Canadian Armed Forces is undeniably the official name (NDA), however, prefixing Her Majesty to the name is entirely correct, as they are Her Majesty's Forces and that is the term used on formal documents.--Trackratte 14:33, 27 March 2007

I think the term "Canadian Armed Forces" should be used for the title of this page because that's the offcial name of Canada's military. JoJaEpp (talk) 04:26, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles are named based on common usage. CAF has become more prevalent over the past year since the directive came out that CAF will be used in all official writing instead of CF. The common name is the CF and is what is used by the CF itself. It is already written in the lead that CAF is the official title. trackratte (talk) 05:34, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
As per most recent CANFORGEN's, the CAF refers to itself as the CAF - this is aligned with the 2012/2013 changes to rank, insignia, Area/Division and base names. The name should be changed to CAF to reflect usage by the Canadian government and CAF itself.

Being a recent former Royal Canadian Air Cadet, and having family in the CF, I can assure you all that "Canadian Forces" is still the most common usage, and are the words that appear on the side of all CF property and as the header on all documents. "Canadian Armed Forces" is the official phrase, yes, but is still mostly only included in legal documents and in official announcements. Using "Canadian Armed Forces" instead of "Canadian Forces" in the page title because it's the official name would be like using the phrase "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" instead of "United Kingdom" because the former is the official name; while that's true, the latter is used in the page title, as it is the common, shortened phrase. Breaker 355 (talk) 18:50, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Women in Armed Forces[edit]

The thing at the bottom only counts males, when it should count both sexes for being fit for military duty. -- Flag of Canada.svg Earl Andrew - talk 20:31, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That looks like it's from the CIA World Factbook. I'm guessing the US intelligence service only deems conscriptable males as significant for their statistics. Perhaps we should at least attribute the quotation to them, since it may be dangerous to mess with statistics if you don't know how they were derived. Michael Z. 2005-04-12 21:25 Z


Is it just me, or is the infobox a bit oversized? Flag of Canada.svg --Mb1000 01:04, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

There is an error in the introduction. The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces is the Governor General of Canada, not the Queen. The Queen actually occupies the position of Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces. --Milbuff101 13:08, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

I've updated the infobox's CDS as being Walter Natynczyk--Evilbred (talk) 14:51, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Unification Comment[edit]

Strangely, individual Canadian army units were permitted to retain their "Royal" prefixes (e.g., "The Royal Canadian Regiment") and ceremonial uniforms, although this privilege was not extended to navy or air force units.'

Individual naval and Air Command units do not recieve the Royal designator because, previously, the entire RCN and RCAF were granted these honours. Individual regiments retained these titles because they received them for extraordinary service to the Crown. This dates to the English Civil War when regiments defended the Crown were awarded the title. The situation with the RCN and the RCAF is different. As well naval and air units do not, as a general rule, and never have possessed ceremonial uniforms specific to their unit save certain extra bits.

The comments in the article do not reflect this, and in fact, are very negative towards the Army and so, I'm removing them until someone either gives me a good reason to put them back or rewrites in NPOV.--Madison Gray 04:39, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

"Purple" splitting, Granatstein[edit]

I think it's a bit more coherent to mention the "Purple" trades early on, as it's not just a uniform-related issue. Also, I think that Granatstein's book warrants a mention. --Edward Wakelin 20:26, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

Naval ranks?[edit]

In this article it says that after 1968, "traditional Navy and Air Force rank names were replaced by their army equivalents". However, Canadian Forces ranks and insignia gives a separate list of naval ranks from those used for the army/air force. Why the disparity? Loganberry (Talk) 12:30, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

The article used to mention that the navy used army ranks only for a few years, but this fact seems to have been lost in editing somewhere along the way. Unfortunately, I don't know the rank navy rank names were restored. Indefatigable 21:03, 10 October 2005 (UTC)
Someone fixed that by adding a comment about the Navy switching back. I've also added a comment about the Air Force. I couldn't find anything on exactly when the Navy rank changed back, but I think it's fine now. Sunray 19:59, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I realize that this section is old, but I'm adding this just to "close the loop." The naval ranks were returned "officially" on 18 September 1986, with the coming into force of QR&O 3.01(2), authorizing those CF members authorized to wear the naval uniform to also use the naval ranks in Column II of Schedule I of the NDA. Note that their "true" rank remains that listed in Column I, the authorized ranks of the Canadian Forces. I'll add the reference to the Main Article, if it's not already there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spartan26 (talkcontribs) 01:18, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Full "de-unification"?[edit]

Is full "de-unification" ever likely to happen? I remember reading in Bill Gunston's book "World Air Power" in the 1980's that the "newly-elected" Government (Mulroney) had promised a "full return to the three-service system". Obviously, this didn't happen. Apart from the "naval" and "air" components getting something very loosely resembling the former RCN and RCAF uniforms back, the Canadian Forces are still a one-service entity. There is no "army" or "naval" aviation (aircraft flown in support of "army" and "navy" operations are still flown by "air force" personnel, including shipboard aircraft).

Also, despite the fact that the "navy" got a modified version of its traditional RCN-type ranks back a few years before, the "air force" retains army-type rank titles; i.e., "Captain" instead of the former RCAF "Flight Lieutenant". Also, the "navy" and "air force" rank insignia are still the "unification" insignia, just with a different background colour.

Is it possible that the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force will ever be re-established as separate, legal entities with pre-1968 uniforms and rank titles, and that the army and navy will get its own aviation units back under their control? Or is the unified "CF" model too deeply ingrained in Canadian Government consciousness? I've talked to a LOT of people in the CF who weren't even born when unification happened that want to go back to the pre-1968 model.

Or, would this be viewed, particularly by Francophone personnel, as a "regression" to British "colonial" models and not "Canadian" enough? I would disagree with that, particularly as Australia and New Zealand both have unified Defence Forces (ADF and NZDF) but the individual services are fully independent, with the "Royal" titles (despite Australia's 1999 republic referendum). The Australian Army and Royal Australian Navy also have their own aviation units. The New Zealand Army uses RNZAF helicopters but the RNZN has its own shipboard helos, though they are maintained by RNZAF personnel.

I have served in the US military and most people in the US military still refer to the "Canadian Army", "Royal Canadian Navy" and "Royal Canadian Air Force" even though these haven't existed for almost 30 years.--MarshallStack 22:03, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure where you're going with this. Are you challenging the current article text? Are you proposing changes to it? HistoryBA 16:55, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I think he's asking if the government ever plans to seperate the 3 branches back into their own organizations. The simple answer for you Marshall would be no. There are no plans to put them back the way they were 30 years ago. Like the US, Canada has a shortage of recruits, and it does save money. --20px Spinboy 17:34, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Spinboy is correct; I'm asking if the Canadian Government would ever restore the pre-1968 organizational structure. I'm sure that there is money saved with the current (semi)unified CF, but in almost all the histories I've read on the subject it's said that morale really suffered and RCN Admirals were especially angry. Having served in the US military (Air National Guard), I know how important morale is and it would seem to me that morale would continue to suffer if a new recruit to the Canadian Forces is arbitrarily assigned to one of the "environments" and may feel out of place...for example, a personnel clerk wearing a "naval" uniform assigned to an "army" unit. Both countries are indeed short of recruits but for different reasons...I'm not sure of the reasons in Canada but here a lot of it has to do with the war. I just believe that there would be more of an incentive in Canada for recruits to join up if they could choose an individual service: "I'm joining the CDN Army, RCAF, RCN". At the very least I think the "air element" should have gotten its old rank structure back since it was distinctively "Air Force" and, after all, the "naval element" got theirs back. Having said all that though, I agree that there are benefits to the unified structure, especially in all members having the same basic training (what uniform do they wear during basic training in the CF?). Here the five services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard - unlike the Canadian Coast Guard, the USCG is military) all have their own basic training and they're very different from one another. Also, with the Marines, no matter if you've gone through one of the other services' basic, you still have to go through Marine Boot Camp.--MarshallStack 20:55, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Anyone that would have been angered by unification is either dead, retired, or both.--Evilbred (talk) 15:29, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
I think I understand the question. What I don't understand is how it relates to the editing of the article. HistoryBA 23:14, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't relate to the editing of the article...just some musings on my part. I have no plans to edit the article in any way.--MarshallStack 19:52, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

To answer the earlier question, CF recruits wear combats during basic training (the uniform is common to all CF branches) along with a blue (Air Force), green (Army) or black (Navy) beret. 20:54, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

To answer your other question, it isn't uncommon to see a member of the army/ airforce in the naval combat dress, or a naval member in CADPATs, depending on what base you are on. People get issued the work dress for the base, and wear the appropriate epaulettes and beret. Although it is strange seeing CADPAT ranks on NCDs. Pete


The Cadpat section states,

Rank insignia, however, is now worn on a single slip-on on a epaulette midway down the shirt, in line with the breastbone of the individual.

Isn't an epaulette by definition on the shoulder? Or can one actually have one in the middle of one's chest?

Maybe instead it should be called a "coffrette". :) SigPig 00:42, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

Most operational dress has the epaulet on the chest/back. No dress uniforms wear the epaulet in this manner. Some trades permit the same style of epaulet to be worn on both operational dress and DEU, some operational dress requires the wearing of epaulets on the shoulders, and off the top of my head I can think one order of dress that calls for both at the same time (though I'm sure there are others). For now I think the term "epaulet" is still the most appropriate. Flakeloaf 01:11, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Belgian/Canadian similarities[edit]

I believe Belgium recently integrated their armed forces in a manner similar to Canada, though they have retained individual uniforms whereas Canada initially did not. The former Belgian Air Force is now referred to as the "Air Component of the Belgian Armed Forces". Interesting to note too that, like Canada, Belgium is a monarchy; however, the Belgian military, in both its former and current states, never carried the "Royal" prefix, unlike Canada pre-1968.--MarshallStack 05:45, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Move to Canadian Forces[edit]

Based on the discussion already posted here, I have made a move request to have the page title as Canadian Forces, the official name of this organization (as used by the official website and all other government publications I've read.) Comments welcome. 21:04, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

  1. Strong agree. I enrolled in '83, retiring this year. I have only heard it called the "Canadian Armed Forces" on recruiting ads on TV; yet when one joins up, one joins the CF, not the "CAF" (which, according to one of my civi T-shirts, stands for "Continental Air Freight"). Here's what I see are the germaine points:
    • 1. Both titles are correct and have official sanction.
    • 2. Canadian Forces/Forces canadiennes has by far the lion's share of references in official documantation.
    • 3. Whenever used as a part of a larger name, "Canadian Forces" is invariably used:
      • Canadian Forces Base
      • Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer
      • Canadian Forces Europe
      • Canadian Forces Administrative Orders (the adjunct books to the QR&O
      • The Canadian Forces (CF) uniform
      • CANFORCE - aircraft callsign
      • CANFORGEN - Force-wide message address
    • 'Nuff said? SigPig 03:34, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  2. SUPPORT Considering this article is about the military of Canada, and that military is called the Canadian Forces, which is composed of a single service, the Canadian Armed Forces, then CF is the appropriate title. 19:44, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
      • I've added the move proposal box to the article page as it's supposed to be there. CambridgeBayWeather (Talk) 22:48, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
  3. Strong support While usage of both is sanctioned, Canadian Forces is far more prevalent. In addition to the above, on Google there are almost 2 million online references to CF, while only around one-seventh as many for the longer title. I would only even consider (re/naming) a category of Canadian armed forces if this somehow included the various branches and was in sync with the forces of other countries worldwide (e.g., British armed forces etc.) E Pluribus Anthony 00:47, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
  4. Strong agree. The "armed" was dropped from our name some time ago, and it is now only rarely used internally. Man that's way too many adverbs in one sentence. Flakeloaf 00:24, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
  5. Support 21:21, 28 November 2005 (UTC)
  6. Well, the full title (according to my commission) is - Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces. 'CAF' was the pre-cursor to the Royal Canadian Air Force (the Canadian Air Force). CF is the standard abv. for the Canadian Forces and the Canadian Armed Forces. user:ctjj.stevenson

I've completed this move. —Cleared as filed. 19:01, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

"Royal Canadian Forces"?[edit]

Since it has been established that legally the CF are the Queen's Armed Forces raised in Canada, and that the title "Royal Canadian Armed Forces" is incorrect, and that the RCAF and RCN are unlikely to be re-established, and that "Canadian Forces" is the common nomenclature, has there been any thought of seeking the title of "Royal" for the Canadian Forces? Or does a similar situation to Australia exist, where seeking of new "royal" titles is disallowed? I have to admit that "Royal Canadian Forces" rolls off the tongue a bit odd...but shouldn't it be sought since many "army" units have "Royal" in their titles and the "navy" still operates "Her Majesty's Canadian Ships", and "air force" squadrons have a crown in their RAF-derived crests? Also, even though one aim of unification was to cut the links with past British tradition, most insignia, including the "cornflake" tri-service badge, still include the Crown.--MarshallStack 05:03, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

It is unnecessary and does not hold with tradition - the British Army is just that, not the Royal Army. Incidentally, we still add the Royal monicker - the Regina Rifle Regiment was fairly recently granted the Royal prefix. Michael Dorosh 21:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

So, even though the CF is a unified force, does that mean it follows Army tradition more than that of the former RCN and RCAF?--MarshallStack 02:04, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

No, each command keeps its own traditions. The Maritime Command still has its "Crossing the Line" ceremonies, the Air Command still celebrates its birthday on April 1st, and Land Forces Command still keeps regimental traditions.

"Since it has been established that legally the CF are the Queen's Armed Forces". This is why the CF is formally refered to as 'Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces'. Trackratte 22:10, 27 March 2007 (UTC) Trackratte

The usage above is not a legal title, instead it reflects that the Queen is the head of state.
--Ng.j 22:28, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

The above title is a bit murky in terms of legality. The NDA of course determines the official name, however the above title is used in the QR&Os extensively, as well as the term used on ones commissioning scroll. The QR&Os and commissioning scrolls of course being legal documents. I suspect it to be more of a carry-over when refering to the Armed Forces as a whole before the 1968 NDA. Trackratte 02:47, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

The usage of the word "Royal" is a privilege that is conferred. The Canadian Forces do not have that privilege, otherwise they would indeed be the "Royal Canadian Forces". For example, look at Royal Canadian Artillery or Royal Canadian Navy.
--Ng.j 22:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Does "Air Command" still exist?[edit]

My research tells me that "Air Command" has been replaced with 1 Canadian Air Division (1 CAD), which controls all military aviation in Canada. I have their crest in my collection (note: this is not the same as the RCAF Air Division in Europe pre-unification).--MarshallStack 06:20, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

No, Air Command still exists; matter o' fack, LGen Steve Lucas took over as Comd of Air Command/Chief od the Air Staff back in May [2].

1 Cdn Air Div/CANR HQ was created in 1997 as part of a major re-organization of Air Command. The strategic planning staff moved to National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa under the command of the Chief of the Air Staff(CAS). Operational level activities previously performed by Air Group Headquarters were consolidated into the new 1 Cdn Air Div/CANR Headquarters.[3]

1 Cdn Air Div is a "higher formation" analogous to the Areas (like LFWA) of Land Force Command. F'rinstance, the Division Chief Warrant Officer is a "Formation CWO" same as those of the Land Force Areas.SigPig 10:34, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
Further, it should be noted that the abbreviation "1 CAD" is no longer in use, probably because someone opened a dictionary and didn't like what they saw next to "cad". SigPig's abbreviation is now the preferred term (even if maybe five people use it)Flakeloaf 20:05, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd say more than five people use it now. "1 Can Air Div" is currently far more popular and I consistantly have been corrected when using the older "CAD".

So is 1 Cdn Air Div subordinate to Air Command? I would think with someone with three gold maple leaves on their shoulder (LGen Lucas) in charge of Air Command that about any other formation in Canada's military aviation structure would be subordinate to him.--MarshallStack 06:20, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

It is, and he is. The Comd 1 Cdn Air Div is MGen Bouchard[4]. Air Command is a Command (like Land Force Command), and 1 Cdn Air Div is a formation (like LFC's Areas, such as LFCA or LFWA). SigPig 10:28, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


I changed the opening paragraph -- hopefully I haven't made le p'tit déjeuner pour les chiens. To summarize:

  1. "branch" in the CF does not refer to army/navy/air force; it refers to something more analogous to the corps of service in the US and UK forces, as in the Communications and Electronics Branch, the Infantry Branch, the Naval Operations Branch (etc). So the CF is actually the combined services or forces or what have you into a single Service, not combined branches.
  2. the three operational Commands are LFC, AIRCOM, and MARCOM; no definite article is used. They are - essentially - the army, air force, and navy (not army branch, etc).
  3. there are more than just these three commands in the CF, but buggered if I know what they are at the moment, what with constant restructuring (and me just retired). I know there is Information Management Group (IM Gp), formerly known as Defence Information Services Organization (DISO) and before that, Canadian Forces Communication Command (an operational command, same as MARCOM or LFC). There's also whatever is the successor to Training System, Northern Region, and possibly other organizations.

Someone out there may (should!) be able to word the initial paragraph better than I, but please avoid the word "branch" unless you are talking about the CF branches of service; or for that matter, "component" unless you are talking about the Regular, Reserve, and Special Forces. SigPig 00:40, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

What about "operational environment"? I would just say "environment" but that admittedly doesn't sound very military...but I got the word from the post-mid-1980s uniforms being called Distinctive Environmental Uniforms (DEU).--MarshallStack 22:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

The Army, Navy and Air Force are considered Environments (we speak about Environmental Commands). The combat arms (Infantry, Armoured, Artillery and Engineers) are referred to as 'arms'. Branchs are usually non-combat arms (logistics, medical, intelligence etc). Operational environment refers to the type of area within which you are conducting operations (e.g. an urban operational environment). Commands are more problematic. You have NDHQ which combines the CF HQ with the Department of Defence. Under that structure, commands were based on Environments (Army Command better known as Land Force Command, Maritime Command and Air Command; and Regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Central, Western and Northern Commands). Those regional commands are becoming Joint (meaning they will include all three environmental command elements, not simply those of the Army). Recently, additional commands were added that included Canada Command (responsible for all operations related to the defence of North America), CEFCOM for international operations outide of North America; CANSOFCOM responsible for special operations; and Canadian Operation Support Command (CANOSCOM which provides the full range of combat support ans combat service support functions).--Milbuff101 13:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Branch badges?[edit]

I remember the entry for Canada, Armed Forces of in World Book Encyclopedia throughout the '70s and '80s showed branch/operations cap/lapel badges for Logistics, Infantry, Artillery, Armoured, Air Operations etc that seemed to have been created for the unified service...but I rarely saw them in use among any Canadian Forces members I met, except for when AIRCOM and MARCOM still wore the CF Green uniform. Former Army units still seem to use their Regimental insignia rather than the generic infantry, artillery etc badges (though two notable exceptions I've seen are Logistics and Medical - I've seen those worn as a cap badge on all three DEU's). I also remember seeing photos of AIRCOM officers still using the RCAF cap badge in the '70s (in fact, I've got one in my collection, embroidered on CF Green rather than RCAF blue). Of course, the WB article was inconsistent in that even when it was modified in the late '80s to show the range of new DEU's, it still had the rank insignia with exclusively army-type titles, not noting that MARCOM personnel had got back rank titles comparable to the former RCN (the text of the article also still said that a common uniform was worn and didn't mention anything about the new DEU's, though there was a picture). When I last saw a WB in the '90s, though, they'd got the rank titles right, though they didn't show the big pictorial of the branch badges. The only place I've seen them all displayed is at the Royal Canadian Regiment Museum in London, Ont.--MarshallStack 22:48, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Try here. SigPig 22:54, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Good site! Canadian badges are cool. I've got some of those in my collection. I noticed that the metal Naval branch (which looks a bit like the old RCN officer's cap badge) is no longer used...was that used by all ranks when the CF greens were still worn by MARCOM?--MarshallStack 05:46, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Roger that. They also wore foul anchor collar badges on the lapels of the CF tunic, which of course they were loath to do (collar dogs are an army tradition, not navy or air force). The badge still exists for officers, but's in wire thread on velvet as opposed to a metal/enamel badge. Chiefs and POs wear a foul anchor within a wreath, under a naval crown; the Seaman's badge omits the wreath. AFAIK, Naval Ops is the only personnel branch in the CF that has diferent style badges for Officers, senior NCMs, and Jr Ranks (most orgs that have different badges for Officers and NCMs only differ in materials used). SigPig 13:28, 23 February 2006 (UTC)
I remember those collar dogs too, now that you mention it. I remember seeing a photo of Prince Andrew in Canada in the early '80s and he was being escorted by a Naval Lieutenant/CF Captain (two gold rings around the cuff; were naval ranks back in use in MARCOM by then?). This naval officer was in CF Greens and had the aforementioned Naval Branch cap badge and the anchor collar dogs, along with the blue MARCOM pocket shield of an anchor and eagle (albatross?).--MarshallStack 03:57, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Yep, they had the Navy titles by then. And the bird is an eagle, according to DND; altho' there's many who'll argue that point. SigPig 17:02, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Any cap badge you see in the CF is a branch badge, except within the infantry and armoured regiments. It must be noted that when I went through the RCR battleschool back in '87 we wore the infantry branch badge after a week, until graduation when we went through an badging ceremony where we were issued the regimental cap badge.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:22, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Canada Command[edit]

I must admit, as I haven't paraded in the past two years, a lot of info has gotten by me. Does anyone out there know exactly how Canada Command (CANCOM, maybe?) will dovetail with LFC/MARCOM/AIRCOM? SigPig 04:50, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Basicly it's an office for the Minister of defence where all the millitary planning is done. It's supposed to act like the operating authority for all the different branches, meaning the LFC,MARCOM,AIRCOM all report to the CANCOM for their dutities but with the way the government says it is it looks like CANCOM is just going to be an administrative office. If everything goes as planned though CANCOM would command ALL canadian forces. I think it will be that one general will issue an order and the commader of the particular force figures out how to get it done. It's also supposed to be a huge tecno center with all the satillites and such but i dont think it will R.D 00:15, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

Figures. Just what Canada needs: another department with more generals in it. I remember they used to say that Canada had the highest ratio of generals to soldiers for any non-dictatorship.SigPig 00:54, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Could be, but at least your Forces aren't as "free" with handing out ribbons as ours are. I've never been active duty, just Air National Guard, USCG Auxiliary and USAF Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) and I have more ribbons than some very high-ranking Canadian Generals/Admirals I've seen. A lot of them are what we call "fog-a-mirror" ribbons, meaning if you show up alive and can fog a mirror, you get a ribbon. Our military hands out a ribbon for just completing Basic Training! For example, for completing USAF Basic Training, a one-stripe Airman can come out with four ribbons: the Air Force Training Ribbon, the USAF Small Arms Marksmanship Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal (at certain times) and the Honor Graduate Ribbon. I think you guys do it better - when I see a Canadian soldier/sailor/airman with several rows of ribbons, I know that s/he has usually really done something to earn them.--MarshallStack 04:15, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Wow no offense, that sounds pefetic! Go canada!

No offense taken...actually, some people in the US forces are embarrassed by it and wear only their highest-ranking ribbons. I'd feel very self-conscious meeting a CF General or Admiral, saluting him/her and having probably twice the amount of "chest candy" s/he has...--MarshallStack 02:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

A middle ground would be nice. Canada gives out medalcruft, too: the Queen's 50th jubilee medal was given out with no award criteria, more or less at random, but not to everybody. Also, IMHO, medlas for valour should always take precedence over any other, next should be war service, next peacekeeping, and next all the other stuff like good conduct, find-my-own-tuchus-with-both-hands-and-a-tuchus-map, and the automatic ones you get for being a senior officer. A three-leaf general who flew a desk all his career and has the OMM is not worth the same respect-wise as a no-hook grunt with a Mentioned In Dispatches leaf on his peacekeeping ribbon. SigPig 04:03, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I take offence at the idea that one needs to be deployed overseas to be considered somehow worthwhile. We recently laid to rest a CWO in our regiment who had 3 clasps to the CD, yet hadn't done a single tour overseas. We have some other NCOs like that who are "heart and soul" types. We also, in our regiment, gave out the Queen's Jubilee medals based on seniority, and the more recent Alberta Centennial Medals went to deserving soldiers based on performance (I admit I was one of them but was pleased to see which of my comrades were likewise recognized). If anyone wants to turn their nose up at commemorative awards, fill your boots, the policy is different from unit to unit- but I'll continue to wear mine with pride - and moreover, and this is the main point - I won't be idiotic enough to judge ANYBODY based solely on the number of ribbons on their uniform, large or small. Seeing the OMM and MMM recipients in my own regiment leads me to believe it is not the gimme some people might think - and that those who criticize generally have no idea what type of work goes into getting one. I also have no heartbreak with the US system of awards - they distinguish nicely between combat insignia (the CIB, green combat leader's tab, V for Valor device, etc.) and gimmes; if they have more gimmes, well, they simply developed differently than us is all. Vive la difference. EDIT to add - I've also seen complete oxygen thieves come back from tours in the Balkans, Cyprus, etc. with ribbons and heard reports on their utility as "soldiers" so that isn't a reliable indicator either.Michael Dorosh 21:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

And don't forget the Beer&Bratwurst medal. 16:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, but you have to have a combined 6 months at Baden or Lahr for that one.
Right after Op RECUPERATION (the ice storm in Ont/Que) there was rumour going around that they were going to come up with an "Aid to the Civil Power" bar to the SSM, to recognize the volunteers who deployed out (also for the Red River flooding, etc). The rumour later was that DND put the kibosh on the idea, when someone pointed out they'd have to honour the CF pers who deployed during the October Crisis -- and that would go over like (insert negative but humourously vulgar simile here) with Quebec. So if you're Res, never did a UN tour and got overlooked for the anniversary medals, basically you get the Chocolate Dollar -- if you've managed to follow the 11th Commandment for 12 years. SigPig 20:00, 17 April 2006 (UTC)


There's a new article, Uniforms of the Canadian Forces. I basically cut 'n' pastefrom here to there, and replaced it with the really stripped-down version here. Both articles need a bit of polishing. I created the new article because the Uniforms section was getting almost as big as the rest of the article, and the whole thing was topping over 43K. I have to do a bit at the new article, like putting in proper categories, and such, as well as trying to get some decent illustrative photos. SigPig 07:06, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Is it absolutely necessary to wikify the beret colours? Most of us know what black is.Flakeloaf 21:15, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Not all the colours, mind you, but it may be an idea to do so for, say, postman blue and rifle green (when was the last time you saw a green rifle?) When I get some free time from classes, I'd like to do something about an article on "rifle green" and thence one on Rifle regiments. Altho' don't let me stop anyone else here who wants to jump into the breech. SigPig 21:32, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I was going to comment on the wikification of the colours but didn't. the only useful ones are to articles that don't exist. And I've never heard the term postman's blue before and have a feeling it isn't descriptive of the colour of air force berets in any event, if Canada Post uniforms are any indication. They are much darker than air force uniforms. I vote for deleting the wiki links - they are actually against the guidelines - wikify only where necessary for complete or deeper understanding. And yes, we all know what black is.Michael Dorosh 21:50, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
I was in the CF a number of years before I even knew why CF green was called "rifle green", my first rifle being gun-metal-grey and wood-brown; I would have had loved a resource to explain that to me (it wasn't covered in GSK lectures). As for "postman blue": it's not descriptive, it's the official name of the colour in CF documentation. I have no idea where the CF came up with the name...perhaps that international colour authority in France came up with the name, the CF liked it, and picked that one. SigPig 23:15, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
An interesting story, slightly off-topic but kind of relates...back when I first joined the USAF Air National Guard, the uniforms were of a vastly different cut and different shade of blue than they are now (now they look more like a business suit). I remember reading a story about a USAF Captain in shirt-sleeve dress walking on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland and a Naval Cadet failed to salute him. The Captain upbraided the cadet, who apparently was genuinely confused...he said he didn't know he was supposed to salute a mailman! Even though I prefer the pre-1968 RCAF uniform, I have to say that the current CF Air Command DEU looks much sharper and much more military (I even have a wedge cap in my collection!) than what the USAF wears now - just my opinion.--MarshallStack 06:10, 3 May 2006 (UTC)
Interesting story, the original rifle regiments in the British army were issued with dark green uniforms instead of the famous red coat (the Royal Green Jackets are a decendant). The colour became known as Rifle Green. --User:J-P Johnson

I've removed the service cap from the Air Force uniform description. They haven't been issued since before I joined (showing my age?).

I re-worked the Uniform section, as the previous "stripped-down" version was incorrect in some areas and focussed a bit too much on the "Army" uniform, to my way of thinking. I hope that it's now not too long again. The Uniforms of the Canadian Forces still needs much work. I'll endeavour to contribute. Spartan26 (talk) 05:22, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

"Vietnam Era"[edit]

Canada was not in Vietnam, but they did have a military during the Vietnam war. That statement said that we were using equipment that was manufactured or intended for use during the Vietnam war, not necessarily in it.

Weren't some Canadian troops sent to Vietnam during the U.S. pullout in 1973-75 to serve as peacekeepers/mediators (a role they've often filled) during the withdrawal? I thought I saw an old photo of a CF Major serving in that capacity. Also, being an airman, I don't know really what Force Mobile Command or Maritime Command had that was also used in Vietnam, but CF Air Command had several aircraft that were used by the USAF/South Vietnamese AF in Vietnam: the F-5, C-130 and Huey among them. The US and the Australians also used the DeHavilland Canada Caribou for STOL transport, which the USAF Air National Guard used into the 1980s and the RAAF still uses (quite a good airplane, obviously).--MarshallStack 22:08, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Vietnam Era cont.[edit]

I've already talked to the first one to remove the reference. The use of "Vietnam era" is fine, but we don't use equipment from that era anymore. The M35 truck comes close, but the 77 Set finally went out in the last few years; we've never seen so much new equipment since the Second World War, and frankly, its idiotic to perpetuate the myth that we don't have decent stuff. The LAV III is world class, definitely not Vietnam era, ditto the Gelandewagen truck, the C7 assault rifle, all our small arms, really, our helmets, tac vests, winter underwear, CADPAT, new load bearing systems etc and et al. People may think high-speed commercial stuff is better, but we are leagues ahead of "Vietnam Era" stuff which may apply to the 1970-90s but certainly not today. Michael Dorosh 00:36, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree. This is what I get for reverting an incorrect comment without first verifying the original one.Flakeloaf 04:29, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Military History Task Force...=[edit]

User:Task Force/Canadian Mil Hist notice Mike McGregor (Can) 16:56, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Ally[edit]

Someone is spamming this page with an external link (in the section for internal links, btw) with a fake government site - - there is a header purporting to be from the Government of Canada but the URL is not a site. Michael Dorosh 22:10, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I checked it out, it's legit. Here's a quote from a webpage at Foreign Affairs, from back in 2004:

"...These are the facts; more facts on our defence and security partnership are available on our websites at and [5]

 :SigPig 17:17, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Ah, good work. Seemed odd that an anonymous user kept trying to insert it into the wrong place, then the hinky URL. One never knows. :) Michael Dorosh 17:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
The government ought to know better than to register more than one 2nd-level domain. All their sites ought to be under so people can make easier decisions about whether to trust where content is really coming from. It's because people are used to banks and other companies having more than one domain that they are easily duped by phishers. Indefatigable 17:41, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Read the first six words of your post, and tell me what's wrong with your premise... :) SigPig 22:02, 21 March 2006 (UTC) is a .com site because it's ran out of the Canadian embassy in Washington and is intended for American users.

Military Age[edit]

I realize the figures in the info box are for males 15-45 and that military age in Canada is 16-60, but the box is a bit misleading in that it implies military age in Canada is actually 15. Can we get figures for the proper age range? If not, this needs to be reworded, or deleted. (It used to be you could enlist up to 2 years before Compulsory Retirement Age (CRA), which was 55 a few years ago. Not sure what the policy is now.Michael Dorosh 03:57, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

Along with the sexist bit, this *is* confusing - but the data are presumably from CIA World Factbook, and thus provide a useful baseline for comparing with other nations in terms of 'potential capability'. I agree in one sense we should include women and adjust the ages, but then it would not be possible to compare to other nations, which tends to be the aim of this 'very theoretical/hypothetical' number - after all, the odds of conscription and total mobilization happening here are slim to nil. Plus CRA is now 'flexible', depends on service requirements & occupation etc etc. Bridesmill 22:40, 7 April 2006 (UTC)

"the odds of conscription and total mobilization happening here are slim to nil" - Conscription is still on the books; it happened in Canada in both World Wars. In 1920 they thought the same thing you did - it could never happen again. We actually conscripted very early in the Second World War, beginning in late 1940 with widespread military service for all males. Would be interesting, though, to see if females were conscripted in the unlikely event of another mobilization. I agree it is not likely, but never say never. Incidentally, I never mentioned any "sexist" bit, as apparently it is still common to determine potential military strength in terms of males of military age. Given our current crop of enemies, I'd say it is a useful yardstick - I don't believe the Taliban employ females in either combat or non-combat operational roles and the number of Canadian females in combat roles overseas is tiny at present.Michael Dorosh 00:36, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
Correct, you didn't mention the sexist bit, but s/o above did so I thought I respond to both comments at once. Very well aware of our history in terms of conscription; but times have changed very much - it would have to be a war-of-the-worlds space-alien invasion before anyone seriously considered conscription; mobilization timelines in terms of modern conflict are just too long to be realistic. Would make for interesting IRC/offline debate though. Bridesmill 01:10, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
That's why God (or Mike Bobbitt) invented forums. :-) Michael Dorosh 01:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

History - Early days[edit]

Canadian militia defended their homeland during the French Regime also, against indian raids and British invasions. Wouldn't it be better to add it? I did. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BarLaf (talkcontribs)

I don't get this. There was never a British invasion of Canada proper (unless you count The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who etc!) because when Canada became a united colony within the British Empire from the previous Upper/Lower Canada, etc, on July 1, 1867 (Dominion Day/Canada Day) it was British how could it have been invaded? It evolved into a Dominion in 1931 with the Statute of Westminster and then a fully independent Commonwealth Realm (with Queen Elizabeth II also being the Queen of Canada) in 1982 when Canada got its own Constitution. Maybe the poster is referring to the Plains of Abraham battle between the British and French in Quebec, but that was long before Confederation...of course, we cranky Yanks invaded what is now Canadian territory during the American Revolution and the War of 1812...of course, being American, I'm hardly a full authority on Canadian history but I don't understand the gist of this post, unless, like I said, the poster is referring to French/British battles for Quebec.--MarshallStack 22:00, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Before 1763, "Canada" was the name of all the King of France's territories north of Louisiana and west of Acadia. "Quebec" was a city only, not the name of a territory. The events of 1759 were in fact a British invasion of Canada. The name "Canada" continued to be used during the pre-Confederation British regime as well, albeit sometimes unofficially.The notion that Canadian history began in 1867 is somewhat akin to saying that French history began in 1787. Indefatigable 21:03, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Somewhat problematic. Not the same as your France exmaple - in that here it was 'Canada' (sort of) followed by Upper & Lower Canada, which where not exactly the same thing, followed by Canada. So to say that 'Canada was invaded by the British' is technically correct but misleading. To avoid that quandary & stay out of the inevitable politicization & difficulty of NPOVing we'd run into, I couched the wording in terms which avoided sticking a name onto the political entities in question until post-Confederation. Hence 'local militias defended their homelands from british invasion' - technically they where defending Canada, but seeing that it bore little to no geographical resemblance to today's Canada would leave the average reader not already well versed in Canadian/North American history, well, confused. I thought that 'Prior to Confederation' as the first phrase of the para would have clarified sufficiently...guess not.Bridesmill 22:58, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

As an American who has family ties/ancestry in Canada and who has studied Canadian history from the perspective of a non-Canadian (thank God for the Internet as there is precious little down here in bookstores and/or libraries on the history of Canada), I tend to think of Canada after the Plains of Abraham and prior to 1867 as being Upper/Lower Canada (modern-day Ontario/Quebec), the territory owned by the Hudson's Bay Company and what would become Atlantic Canada. Did these colonies have their own militias? Seems to me I remember reading that at some stage the Rideau Canal was part of a system of fortifications to fend of a U.S. invasion.--MarshallStack 06:00, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

In short, yes. "French" Canada (pre-Plains of Abraham et al) had local militias in service of France, after that Upper/Lower Caanda & the other colonies (in the Maritimes) had militias locally raised by the British; hence 'some' canadian units draw their direct lineage to before confederation - although the RCR & RCA are 'technically' the oldest truly 'Canadian' units, some, such as the Queen's York Rangers, draw their lineage to 1776 & all that (Roger's Rangers, in their case). Re defending against the evil Americans {grin}, if you want to dig/refresh on that subject here Fort Henry, Ontario might be of interest. Hope that clarifies somewhat.Bridesmill 13:08, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Heh - that argument only supports the Navy's claim to being the senior service, you know. We draw our lineage to the RN, which was established back in the time of Lizzie the First. --   ¥    Jacky Tar  21:54, 24 October 2007 (UTC)


Not to split hairs, but I think we should use official figures for manpower. This section formerly linked to the inaccurate and inconsistent list of military strength by country on Wikipedia; the numbers constantly change, countries are out of order, and the definition of military manpower is not consistently applied from country to country.

E.g., the aforementioned figure of 52,300 for "active troops" is the approximate trained, effective strength, not the total strength of about 62,000. Total strength would include personnel going through the training system, staff temporarily on courses, sick leave, etc. One may argue about whether this is a better measure of military manpower, but since total figures are more readily available from official sources, these should be more accurate. Also, other armed forces on Wikipedia seem to define their "active" strength as total manpower (see aforementioned list). So, why not compare apples to apples? If someone wants to, we can restore the trained, effective strength, but note that this is an estimate, and keep the verified "total" figures as well.

I linked to the DND web site, plus (which, as noted above, is actually a Government of Canada web site). Both have approximately the same figures. I think we can provide the "approximate" figures. I don't think there's any point in trying to be more precise than, say, thousands. --Aardvark114 16:43, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

they do that in aus, count all the military not just active ones, so in the aus page its active- 80 000 total 105 000--Gargabook (talk) 09:49, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

More on Granatstein[edit]

I just returned from Canada and bought a copy of Who Killed The Canadian Military? when I was there. Those who have read it will know, of course, that he lays much of the blame at the feet of Diefenbaker, Hellyer (especially unification) and Trudeau...but he ultimately infers that the people of Canada just don't care about the men and women in rifle-green, navy-blue and blue-grey who may have to take a bullet for them to defend their freedom and would just rather have them wear UN blue berets and be good little peacekeepers, not a warfighting force. As someone who deeply respects the Canadian Forces (I'd join up if I could, no kidding, even though I'm a 40 year old American who has already served in the USAF Air National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary), if this is true, it's very, very sad.--MarshallStack 04:39, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd recommend you pick up Granatstein's newest book, Who's War Is It?. It discusses the myth of peacekeeping extensively. BTW, Granatstein is ex-military, but that info is already in his book. (Psyklek 07:07, 17 April 2007 (UTC))

Ships of the Fleet[edit]

Updated the number of Destroyers to 3. HMCS Huron was paid off eariler this year I believe. Voyager3 01:04, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The numbers of ships in the infobox need to be changed back to what they really are under naval fleet strength... that is unless they really have 40000 submarines, etc. 21:45, 7 February 2007 (UTC) Mustid

Eagle vs Albatross[edit]

I maintain it's an albatross, for historical reasons. The modern CF Air Command grew out of the RCAF, which came from the RAF, which developed from the Royal Naval Flying Corps. The first use of a bird as an air forces symbol in the Commonwealth was on the uniforms of the RNFC, and it was chosen as an albatross to represent the naval aspect of the service. This information was brought to my attention by a CF Air Force officer. DaveW88 (talk) 00:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

It's an eagle. SigPig 10:56, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

See also this article from the Maple Leaf. SigPig 11:02, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe an eagle in the books, but a lot of people still say it's an albatross. Look at the wingspan. Well, other birds get used as well if you ae giving some wedge a hard time. :-) Pete

Must be a navy thing. They call it an albatross, but it's an eagle; they call it navy blue, but it's black; they call it a ship, but it's a building. And I thought the airborne was weird for jumping out of perfectly serviceable aircraft. --SigPig 02:01, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

I'm in the Air Force. Whatever type of bird it is, what matters is it's on our badge. As much as we are stickers to our own traditions, in 4 years of wearing blue I haven't had the discussion with anyone yet. But yeah, I agree, it's an eagle. (Psyklek 07:09, 17 April 2007 (UTC))

Commander in Chief[edit]

Gambino - the first source you provided had no reference to the Commander in Chief, but it is irrelevant anyway as the article is about the current C-i-C. The second ref you provide, the GG's website, clearly states that the GG is the Commander in Chief, not the Monarch. Several soldiers in my regiment wear the C-i-C Commendation and it was presented in the GG's name, not the Monarchs. The ref states that in the 1940s, the title of C-i-C passed firmly to the GG unless I am reading something wrong. Please state which part of the reference you feel indicates the Queen is currently the Commander in Chief. Michael Dorosh 03:22, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The first souce does indeed explicitly state that the Commander-in-Chief is the Monarch - III. EXECUTIVE POWER, 15. The Command-in-Chief of the Land and Naval Militia, and of all Naval and Military Forces, of and in Canada, is hereby declared to continue to be vested in the Queen.
Further, the 1904 Act stated: The Command-in-Chief of the Militia is declared to continue and be vested in the King, and shall be administered by His Majesty or by the Governor General as his representative.
All the 1947 Letters Patent (as referred to on the GG's website) say in relation to this is: "II. And We do hereby authorize and empower Our Governor General, with the advice of Our Privy Council for Canada or of any members thereof or individually, as the case requires, to exercise all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada..."
Though the GG holds the title Commander-in-Chief, it is on behalf of the Monarch as a) the Constitution Act is still the central core of the Canadian Constitution - section III.15 has not been repealed or altered - and b) the 1947 Letters Patent state that the powers the GG is to exercise still belong to the Queen ("powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us"). --gbambino 03:36, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

The sources referred to are correct. What the sources mean is that while "Command in Chief" is vested in the Queen, the title of "Commander in Chief" belongs to the Governor General. It may be a bit pedantic, but she has not given that tile to herself, nor has the Constitution, nor do the Letters Patent infer that she reserves the title to herself.

The 1904 Act is not in force anymore, but it repeats the same language from the Constitution (as quoted here). In this regard it adds little to the analysis.

The Letters Patent set out that there will be a "Governor General and Commander In Chief", two titles for the same individual. They then go on to indicate at clause II that the GG will "exercise all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to Us in respect of Canada." This authorizes the GG to exercise the power of "Command in Chief" for HMQ in right of Canada - which accords perfectly with the GG also holding the title of Commander in Chief.

"Command in Chief" is a power vested in HMQ, but exercised by the GG. "Commander in Chief" is a title, given to the GG. As the GG is authorized to exercise the power consititutionally vested in HMQ there is no conflict. Commander in Chief - GG's title, given by HMQ. Command in Chief - power belonging to the Queen, excercised by the GG. As there can not be two Commanders in Chief for the same forces, this would seem to be the only rationale way to read these two important documents (Consitution and Letters Patent) together and give meaning to the words. (It is the only way I have been able to reconcile the two in any event!) Kreichert (talk) 22:35, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Military "Wish List"[edit]

Someone clearly put some effort into this table, but sorry, I had to remove it since it clearly was not up to the standards of Wikipedia. An encyclopedic article shold reflect the reality of the Canadian Forces, not somebody's "wish list" for equipment buys. Even if the wish list reflects the stated views of the Minister of Defence.

Right now, these are just ideas that have been announced and are floating about in the media, but they are hardly worthy of inclusion in an encyclopedia article. Plus, what is the point of listing all the potential builders who may or may not be involved in the projects? There were many possibilities mentioned in the table, but they were not supported by references.

If necessary, the articles for those specific pieces of equipment can mention the media reports that they are under consideration by the Forces. But until a contract is actually awarded, this is pointless speculation. Take a look in the history tab and tell me if I am wrong.

--Aardvark114 04:55, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Erm, what about the announcements by PM during past week?Bridesmill 05:19, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I think someone could breifly mention that somewhere. But the announcements did not get specific by mentioning the model of equipment to be purchased or who would be supplying it. Let's not jump to conclusions - the contents of the table are all based on what media commentators think will be the outcome of these projects - but none of it is a done deal yet. --Aardvark114 17:11, 2 July 2006 (UTC)


Just a few items:

  1. Meaford is not a base yet. It's still designated an LFCATC. You won't find "CFB Meaford" on any CF/DND site, except where it was called that in a transcript by a civilian.
  2. Trenton is an air base. The Wing Commander and the Base Commander are one and the same.
  3. Borden is not an Army base. It comes under the auspices of whoever is the successor to Canadian Forces Training System (can't remember the name off the top of my head).

--SigPig 17:11, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Canadian Forces Support Training Group - CFSTG IIRC.Bridesmill 21:57, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Theank! I'll try to commit that to memory, since I'm pretty sure someone is going to shift Borden back to either Army or Air Force. --SigPig 02:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Materiel Command[edit]

The correct spelling of the Command's name is Materiel, not Material.[6] If you also look at the words in the dictionary, you'll note that "material" and "materiel" are different (although related) words. Materiel Command was replaced by Materiel Group in the CF; it's headed by ADM(Mat), or the Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel). -- SigPig \SEND - OVER 13:02, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Camp Borden[edit]

I'm confused. There's no entry listing Camp Borden, in Ontario, Canada.

Shouldn't it be listed with the CFB list of army bases, and should I take it upon myself to edit this in. Or should I ask whomever's reponsible for this page. - Tercero 11:54, 3 Feb 2007

That's because it doesn't belong to the Army. It belongs to CF Training Support Group. --SigPig |SEND - OVER 15:22, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Canadian Army[edit]

We should probably add somewhere that the Canadian Military has certain equipment problems somewhere. AllStarZ 16:22, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Where does it say that they have certain equipment problems? I mean, where's that proof? --Sunsetsunrise (talk) 12:35, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Lets just add "Canadian military has certain equipment problems somewhere, sometimes." and cite that guy? Do we have to be more specific? (*Sarcasm*)--Evilbred (talk) 14:59, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


The mission of Canadian Forces Base Borden and Camp Borden(CFB Borden) is to support all of its customers in the most cost effective manner to enable them to accomplish their missions.

These "customers" include several military training establishments and a variety of other military and civilian organizations located on the base.

The Base Commander of CFB Borden is Colonel Stewart E. Moore. Colonel Moore also serves as the Commander of Canadian Forces Support Training Group. The Canadian Forces Support Training Group validates, coordinates and delivers all common support occupation training for the Canadian Forces.

On average, CFB Borden trains 15,000 military personnel annually. CFB Borden employs approximately 3,250 military members and approximately 1,500 civilians

CFB Borden is located approximately 100 Km north of Toronto, in the heart of Simcoe County, one of the major tourist areas in Ontario. CFB Borden is ideally located to service personnel from all across Canada. The base is a major economic entity in Simcoe County and enjoys excellent relations with the surrounding local communities-

SO IT IS A BASE! and its by Tronto- (talk) 03:19, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

The official name is CFB BORDEN, which means it is a base (CFB=Canadian Forces Base). It used to be a training camp when it was first created, hence "Camp Borden". However, upon development it was upgraded to its current status. Ng.j 16:10, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Good article nomination[edit]

hey i was just checking the article out. and i was thinking that you guys should nominate this for Good article. IT's definatly looking nice, and the worst you can get is some tips on how to make it better.

peace out-Threewaysround 00:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

would anybody like to comment at all-Threewaysround 19:45, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

This article needs considerable fleshing-out where references are concerned before it can be a successful GA candidate, I think. Zephyr44 20:01, 10 June 2007 (UTC)


someone changed the spending to ~24 billion. this is incorrect, as that includes departments not attached to national defense. 22:01, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Royal Petition[edit]

This addition about an effort to get the 'Royal' designation back is not notable history. The paragraph is about a current effort to make a change and as such is in inappropriate for a 'History' section. If the petition is successful then it will have been notable. It also doesn't seem to me to be neutral since the only real reason for it's inclusion is to lobby and gain support for the petition.J Costello 15:56, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Hmm.. I see your point re. history. Motives for inclusion, however, are merely your personal opinion. The article talks about the consequenses of the unification, ergo it seems perfectly relevant that some mention, wherever appropriate, be made of efforts to reverse some of them. --G2bambino 16:01, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Seems to me that some mention should be made of the effort, but cut it back by at least half, leaving the details to the referenced sources. In addition, perhaps a source presenting the other view might be warranted. - BillCJ 16:12, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I know that people weren't happy with integration and the loss of the previous trappings but this is not new. There were efforts to stop it then, there have been efforts to reverse it (or parts of it) since and frankly this effort is not likely to have any more success. I guess its not notable from a historical perspective unless it's really successful. Perhaps it just needs another home. Please note that you also added this same para to the Navy and Airforce page, the original comment was against the Navy article and was made by another person so I'm not alone in thinking this way.J Costello 16:15, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
I was thinking about "the other view" as I wrote my above comment, but I was left unsure that one actually yet exists - I can't think of anyone who's voiced opposition to the proposal. Perhaps once the petition is raised by Hawn in Parliament? I also considered the creation of some section that specifically focuses on the reaction(s) to the unification and the consequences of it. I just have to see if there's enough available info out there to warrant it. --G2bambino 16:18, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps the Laurie Hawn page would be the best place for it for now, and place it here if it ever passes. - BillCJ 16:24, 28 May 2007 (UTC)
G2bambino, just checking back to see if you're going to work at this bit, perhaps cutting it back as BillCJ has suggested?J Costello 15:44, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Maintaining NPOV[edit]

I've been looking over some of this page. In the section on unification the following is stated-

"Contemporary rhetoric and accusations were made that the Liberal Government and Defence Minister Paul Hellyer did not care for the traditions behind each service, and that the name Canadian Armed Forces, shortened to Canadian Forces, (in Canada's post-war modernist fashion) was easily translated to French and eliminated inconvenient monarchist references during a contentious period in Canadian history."

This doesn't sound like NPOV to me. I know that Unification is still a charged issue, and I for one would like to see separate departments for the Navy, Army, and Air Force within DND. At the very least, the distinct customs and traditions of the services merit this. I think the references to Granatstein's book are sufficient to highlight that Unification is controversial, without adding loaded commentary like "inconvenient monarchist references". I would like to change it, but since I'm kinda new around here, I thought I would seek some opinions first. --- Taroaldo 22:15, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

GA nomination quick-failed[edit]

I have reviewed this article according to the GA criteria and have quick-failed the article at this time. The article was nominated on August 26, but I don't see a candidate banner at the top of the page so I won't include a tag saying that it was failed. Before nominating the article again, the five or six citation needed tags need to be addressed and more sources should be added throughout the article as some sections are not sourced at all. The inline citations should also be more consistently formatted to include the author, newspaper, title, etc. See WP:CITET for some templates you can use. Some sections are only a single sentence. Either merge them into another sentence or expand on them so that the single sentences don't stand alone. Additionally, there are a lot of lists within the article, where prose would be more appropriate. Once you have addressed these issues and have looked over the rest of the criteria, consider renominating again. Good job so far, the article is very comprehensive and the images are great. --Nehrams2020 19:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Introduction section[edit]

I've noticed that this section is getting a bit long and somewhat duplicates the section under History - Modern reorganization/Unification. I propose to try to integrate the content of these paragraphs into the latter section to try to simplify the introduction.

The Canadian Forces was formed on February 1, 1968, when the Canadian government merged the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force into a unified structure. Canada remains one of the few developed countries in the world using this model for organizing its military forces.
At that time the newly integrated force was organized along mission-specific operational commands with no environmental commands per se (with the exception being the Navy). The following commands were formed on February 1, 1968: Air Defence Command, responsible for defending Canada's air space under NORAD; Air Transport Command, responsible for strategic and tactical airlift; Mobile Command (later renamed Force Mobile Command), an integrated force of land and tactical air units; Materiel Command, consolidating all logistics operations; Training Command, consolidating all training operations; and Maritime Command, responsible for defending Canada's territorial waters and contributing to NATO obligations in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The newly integrated armed forces were subsequently modified with Communication Command forming on September 1, 1970 to handle all communications and signalling requirements. On September 2, 1975, Air Defence Command, Air Transport Command and Training Command were disbanded and realigned when the environmental command AIRCOM was formed. Materiel Command was disbanded during the 1980s and Communication Command was disbanded in the mid-1990s at the same time as Force Mobile Command was renamed to Land Force Command, the third environmental command.
New operational commands were established when Canada Command was formed on January 31, 2006, followed by Canadian Expeditionary Force Command and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command being formed on February 1, 2006.

Any thoughts, yay or nay?Plasma east 12:28, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

The Merciless Indian Savages[edit]

"Local militias defended their homeland from raids conducted by aboriginals" (emphasis added).

This is an extremely troubling phrase, for reasons which should be really obvious. --Jammoe (talk) 12:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

...Whoa. Where's that? We really should change that...--Sunsetsunrise (talk) 12:33, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

megamax7224: wo that was uncalled for politicly incorrect im a pacifist so dont have much to say about war — Preceding unsigned comment added by Megamax7224 (talkcontribs) 22:32, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Tri-service badge picture[edit]

Why is there no picture of the "tri service badge" that I assume is the logo of the Canadian Forces? M.nelson (talk) 20:56, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

A good question. The image "Image:Canadian Forces emblem.svg" was on a template and was deleted as "no license". The history is found at [7] - Ahunt (talk) 21:12, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Infobox conversion[edit]

I'd like to start the process of converting the existing "CF Infobox" template data into the more standardized (and much nicer-looking) Template:Infobox National Military. This would improve consistency with similar articles, such as those about the military forces of France, the UK, Australia, the United States, etc. This would likely require that the equipment inventory be moved out of the infobox - but fortunately, most of that information is already in the article with far more detail. Are there any objections? -Joshuapaquin (talk) 16:28, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Canadian order of battle in Afghanistan 2008[edit]

Greetings. Does anyone have a summary of Canadian army units in Afghanistan in 2008. I want to update this section… Coalition_combat_operations_in_Afghanistan_in_2008#Canada Cheers Chwyatt (talk) 08:52, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Mess Dress Medals[edit]

The article states that to alter service dress into mess dress (Order 2B), they shall "Replace undress ribbons with full medals." However, in accordance with A-AD-265-000/AG-001 (Canadian Forces Dress Regulations), 2B is as per No.3 (Service Dress) except for noted modifications. Undress ribbons and medals are not noted, and the images show undress ribbons. For anyone wanting to check, this is on page 6B1-22. JMesh (talk) 20:00, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Size of Post-World War II Armed Forces[edit]

The article says that Canada had the third largest navy at the end of World War Two. Other sources say Canada's was the third largest ALLIED navy, and the fourth largest in the world. Can anyone verify which is correct? PlymouthG (talk) 21:37, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Canada had the third largest Navy, with the Soviet Union having the fourth. --Kcind (talk) 01:25, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

F-35 photo[edit]

User:Bambuway has added a photo of the F-35 Lightening II, with the caption "F-35 Lightning II is set to join the Canadian Air Command". According to the official DND page on the project Canada is participating as an industrial partner in producing the aircraft, but has not committed to actually buying any, saying: "In May 2008, the Government of Canada unveiled the Canada First Defence Strategy. This strategy clearly lays out the government's intention to replace the current fleet of CF-18 aircraft with a Next Generation Fighter Capability. The Department of National Defence has completed a preliminary assessment of available options, including the F-35, and anticipates that the Next Generation Fighter Capability project will be advanced to government in 2009." If there is any more recent information indicating an actual order has been placed then let's please see it, otherwise this photo is speculative in this context and doesn't belong here. - Ahunt (talk) 02:11, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Concur. - BilCat (talk) 02:58, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Lacking any evidence of an actual order then I will remove the image. Please discuss here and provide some indication of an actual order, prior to putting it back in. - Ahunt (talk) 14:17, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
The photo was added back in with a reference for Canada's participation in the JSF program. I've removed it again, as, again, it's still not an actual order. Oh, I may have missed the discussion here before it was re-added this time, as requested by Ahunt - I'm still looking for it, in good faith. Think I'll find it? - BilCat (talk) 03:26, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Canada bought into this program to bring manufacturing jobs to the country and has only made vague comments about actually buying any aircraft, without a firm commitment. Given our government's new record deficit spending in the last two years I think the chances of ordering any F-35s are fading fast. It is far more likely that we will end up with some leased stop-gap solution to make up for the quickly-airframe-life-expiring CF-18 fleet, combined with limiting their YFR (Yearly Flying Rate), until the next generation of unmanned fighters arrives. All that speculation on my part it to say that these are more reasons to not put a picture of the F-35 in the article until an actual order is announced. - Ahunt (talk) 11:46, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Maritime Command, or Canadian Forces Maritime Command[edit]

I noticed that Maritime Command (MARCOM), and Land Force Command (LFC), are redirected to Canadian Forces Maritime Command, and Canadian Forces Land Force Command. Is there a reason for this? From looking through the DND/CF website, the commands don't have the words Canadian Forces tagged onto the front (in wiki-terms Air Command is another story, because we've got other wiki-articles like-titled, so I understand why it can differenced from those). I also noticed that within many articles and templates these commands as called "Canadian Forces xxx Command", when they it seems like they should just be "xxx Command". So it's almost seems like we've fooled ourselves with the piped/redirected titles. Like the current "Canadian Forces Land Force Command" article starts off with "The Canadian Forces Land Force Command (LFC), often called the Canadian Army ...", when it should be just "The Land Force Command (LFC), often called the Canadian Army ..." Is there a problem with moving them back? Moving Canadian Forces Maritime Command, and Canadian Forces Land Force Command, to their proper titles Maritime Command, and Land Force Command; and switching the occurrences of "Canadian Forces xxx Command" to "xxx Command" within the body or articles/templates?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 08:46, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

The commands are established by the Minister who, under the auspices of the NDA, may from time-to-time organize the Canadian Forces as seen fit (to simplify it greatly). Therefore, they "belong" to the Canadian Forces, the legally constituted Armed Services of Canada. They could disappear with the stroke of a pen, to be replaced with something else, but the "something else" would still be a part of the Canadian Forces. It also, in a Wikipedia that is read by people all around the world, distinguishes (disambiguates?) the "Canadian Forces" Maritime Command from other "Maritime Command"'s around the world and that existed previously, e.g., RCAF Maritime Command and RAF Maritime Command. I think it should stay as it is. Just my two-bits. Spartan26 (talk) 05:11, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Spartan, thanks for the input. Also thanks for your work on some of the other CF-related articles. What I've seen so far seems to be up to par, but be sure to cite Reliable Sources when you can, especially if changing previously sourced info. (Just a note, I have not checked every entry you've made.) If you have any questions regarding how to do thing on Wikipedia, feel free to ask me at User talk:BilCat. You may also find the Military History Project to be quite useful, and it has many helpful editors who would alos be glad to assist you. - BilCat (talk) 05:23, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, BilCat, I'll probably take you up on your offer as I get more involved. And thanks for the notes, reminders, and "checking my work." ;-) Spartan26 (talk) 09:55, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Actually, I meant to say the I've not checked every enntry you've made! Sorry! - BilCat (talk) 11:04, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Ha! No problem, BilCat, although I'm now disappointed with your lack of attention to my efforts ! ;-) I've just learned about WP:ER, thanks to an entry on SigPig's user page, so I'll start using it more frequently for my major edits. Hopefully my minor edits will be sufficiently minor that they'll "sneak through" with only the edit summary. Spartan26 (talk) 22:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Spartan26, I understand the reasoning on the titles of the articles. But I think it is wrong to make up new terms use and continually use them inside these articles. "LFC" equals "Land Force Command", not "Canadian Forces Land Force Command". So, the opening lines of that article should read:
  • "The Land Force Command (LFC), often called the Canadian Army, ..."; or possibly
  • "The Land Force Command (LFC), of the Canadian Forces (CF), often called the Canadian Army, ..."; or possibly
  • "The Land Force Command (LFC), often called the Canadian Army, is a branch of the Canadian Forces (CF) ..."
If we stick with "LFC" or "Land Force Command" throughout that article, no one can be confused. The point is "Canadian Forces Land Force Command" is not what it is called! That's just a combination of two different terms. It can't hurt to keep them separate; and it's more accurate that way! If the lead and opening part of the article written clearly and correctly, there is no confusion whatsoever.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
Brianann, I somewhat agree with what you're saying about their use inside the articles. My position there would be to place a possessive apostrophe on the "Canadian Forces" for first usage in the article, thence only refer to the Command name. E.g., "The Canadian Forces' Land Forces Command (LFC), often called the Canadian Army, ..." and from then on only refer to Land Forces Command or LFC. Spartan26 (talk) 09:55, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
"Canadian Forces Xxx Command " isn't a made-up format, but is commonly used. They may not be official, but they meet the WP:COMMONNAMES guidleines in at least being in common usage in print and internet media. However, it might be difficult to determine if they are the most common usages through a web search, so I'm not claiming they are the most common usages. Also, as Brian pointed out, Air Command would not work as it is a DAB page, and rightly so, as there are three "Air Commands" currently in existence, with the CF, RAF, and RAAF. It wou;d be difficult to claim any of them as the WP:PRIMARY TOPIC. Air Command (Canada) is a posibility, but as other articles are at RAAF Air Command and RAF Air Command, CF Air Command is an option, but Canadian Forces Air Command is probably better, and it is common. It then makes sense to keep the other two CF command articles at similar titles for consistency's sake. This also makes clear what country they are from at first glance, especially as the are the de facto branches of the CF. This ought to suffice until such time as the Canadian government comes back to its collective senses and renames them the Canadian Army, Canadian Air Force, and Canadian Navy, perhaps with "Royal" prepended to the last two names. :) - BilCat (talk) 10:41, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that I would agree with you that the longer expression is "commonly used," BilCat, except in the possessive form that I suggested. I've never seen it written that way and, in speech, it is used in the media, but I've always interpreted that as the possessive usage. Perhaps a similar example would be one that many would be more familiar with, the (former) USAF Commands. Wouldn't one write The United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (possessive, with the possessive article), rather than United States Air Force Strategic Air Command? (And, on a separate topic, the Canadian government has authorized the use of the terms Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Canadian Air Force since the mid-80's in speech and correspondence. Those terms, however, are "more than the sum of their parts." For instance, Maritime Command is the bulk of what one would consider the Canadian Navy, obviously, and its Chief is often referred to as the Chief/ Commander of the Navy, but the air units that operate the Sea Kings and, to a lesser extent, those with Auroras and utility types, plus other units in Base Halifax and Base Esquimalt that are "purple" also belong to "the Navy." It's not hard-and-fast, it's matrix management in a "business" sense, and that gooey concept of esprit de corps. I'm not sure that anyone could tell us what does/ doesn't fall within the term, "Canadian Navy," officially. Some are obviously "in" (MARCOM), others... not so much.) Spartan26 (talk) 22:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I have notified three relevant Wiki-Projects, WP:AIR, WP:MILHIST, and WP:SHIPS with a neutrally worded (I hope) request for input on this discussion. - BilCat (talk) 10:56, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── As a former resident of Canada and someone who's been aboard several Canadian Navy ships, my first reaction to this thread was "When did they change the name?" I was surprised to see it was 1968. As noted above "Canadian Forces Xxx Command" isn't official and "Xxx Command" is ambiguous. Under these circumstances, I think there's a good WP:COMMONNAMES argument to renaming to Canadian Navy (etc...) and starting the article with something along the lines of "The Canadian Navy, formally known as the Maritime Command since 1968, is part of Canadian Forces..." Just my 2/100ths of a Loonie worth. HausTalk

Haus, Maritime Command, while obviously forming the bulk of what one would consider the "Canadian Navy," is not the only command involved, so if the changes were made as you suggested, I foresee lots of argument and dissension regarding what parts of the Canadian Forces would or would not fall within the purview of the article. I think it's best left as it is, since the existence of Maritime Command is verifiable and defined. Spartan26 (talk) 22:31, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

The possessive form is definitely less used than without the apostrophe. If you want RSes... Winnipeg Free Press "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" ; Ottawa Citizen "Canadian Forces Air Command" ; So, no, using the apostrophe would look weird. (talk) 05:46, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I stand corrected. (Although the references you use are newspaper articles and the CP Style Guide is particularly weak in matters of military writing and usage.) I think the problem stems from using the plural form of "Force" in the English version. If one looks at the official French version, it is clearly possessive. And placing the possessive article "The" in front of the the English phrase also indicates possession. I would be fine with Canadian Forces Maritime Command or The Canadian Forces' Maritime Command, but not both. In English, with the plural form of "Force" and the increasingly slipshod use of both plural AND possessive apostrophes in all manner of writing, I think it becomes a matter of taste, or semantics (or would that be syntax, or simply grammar? I've never been quite sure... ;-) ). In any event, with or without apostrophes, I think the original issue, which was the use of the full term in both the title and the article has been agreed: The full term should be used in the title and in the FIRST usage in the article. Thereafter, simply the command name should suffice. Spartan26 (talk) 22:17, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
One of the weblinks shows a quotation, we don't know who said that. The other newspaper article uses text copied and pasted from a Wikipedia article! We're confusing ourselves and others. I came across something like this situation before, with an article on some Anglo-Saxon archaeology. One editor inserted a "also known as" name that exists outside of Wikiepdia only in a couple blogs etc.; but since these words were left in the article for months, there are thousands of hits for the name on Google now. But if you filter them in a Google search, you only go down to the couple blogs etc. The power of Wikipedia. Is there a problem with using in the lead "Maritime Command", closely followed by "Canadian Forces"? It just seems to me to have more advantages than the forms you suggest. It can't be controversial. Those are clearly the terms. The problem if you combine the two terms together, and have them both in bold letters, is that they look like one term. I don't think an apostrophe solves that issue, it still looks like one big term. One thing I thought of was: how about starting off the lead with "'Canadian Forces Maritime Command" etc, but don't bold these words, and then when the terms "Maritime Command" and "Canadian Forces" pop up in the next few sentence, have them appear in bold letters. This way only the correct terms are singled out from a descriptive one, and there isn't any confusion as to what country we are dealing with. Would this work as a compromise of sorts?--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 06:12, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
No. It's used in far more places than just WP mirrors. - BilCat (talk) 12:23, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
Calgary Herald "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" (2010) ; Montreal Gazette "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" (1974) ; Government of Canada press release "Canadian Forces Maritime Command" (2005) ; Toronto Star "Canadian Forces Air Command" (1987) ; Montreal Gazette "Canadian Forces Air Command" (1980) ; UPI (yes I know it is American and not Canadian) "Canadian Forces Air Command" (2007) ; ; (talk) 06:11, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Noted, and point taken! Although I still think our articles influence writers, even when they don't quote directly.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 07:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
The growth of WP since its inception nearly ten years ago does mean it will have some influence. However, the counter to that, when possible, it to base terminology of pre-WP sources. That's certainly the case for the 1980 and 1877 sources. - BilCat (talk) 09:39, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Sister force to british armed forces[edit]

Speeking to a Canadian officer in the Canadian Land Force (now on operations in the UK under British command) he said the Canadian and British forces serve as sister forces under HM the Queen. Dont know if thats actualy official, or that its just due to the close relations between the two nations and out common history, heritage and Royal Family. Recon.Army (talk) 10:54, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I have never seen a ref on that, even in my time in the CF. Sounds like sentiment to me. - Ahunt (talk)
technically "Recon.Army" is correct as Queen Elizabeth II is the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces, but this term is not applied. All regulations for the Canadian Forces are set out by the sovereign in the Queen's Regulations and Orders. As such, all new recruits into the military, navy, and air force are required to recite the Oath of Allegiance to the monarch and his or her heirs and successors, and, according to the National Defence Act, the uttering of disloyal words towards the reigning King or Queen is considered treasonous and "disgraceful conduct"; Such offences may be punishable by up to seven years imprisonment......for more info see --> The Canadian Crown and the Canadian Forces. Moxy (talk) 17:06, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh there is no doubt that the Queen is the head of state of Canada and the Commander in Chief of the CF though the GG, but that a doesn't establish any formal relationship between the CF and any other armed forces. It is more telling that we are NATO partners. - Ahunt (talk) 18:26, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree. It's worth remembering that HM the Queen is Commander-in-Chief as Queen of Canada, a separate Crown from that of the United Kingdom. The oath of allegiance is to her in that capacity. It may be fair to describe Canada and the UK as having "sister forces", but it's not a formal arrangement AFAIK. -Joshuapaquin (talk) 18:50, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


Does anyone know about the development of the CF salute? [8] According to Veteran's Affairs Canada, there were three service salutes before SV Radley-Walters came up with a unified salute because the minister, mentioned as "Pallier" wanted one. I assume the minister is actually Paul Hellyer, the guy who merged all the services together into the CF. (talk) 06:35, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Salutes of Canada might be a good idea, with the CF salute, the salutes that preceded it, salutes from outside the Forces, etc. (talk) 06:43, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

The unified salute of the Canadian Forces was originally meant to be a variation on the naval salute with palm down. To perform this salute, where the forearm must 'bend' to be horizontal with the hand, is anatomicallly near-impossible. As a result, salutes by members of the forces vary according to their disposition. Some come close to imitating the 'Hellyer', others imitate the varieties of American salutes that one might see on TV or in the movies, others are similar to those of the leaders of American marching bands where the hand is nearly vertical. In other words, the discipline of the 'salute' has disappeared and the result is ridiculous where it's 'make it up as you go'. This is a far cry from the snappy salutes of the RCN, Canadian Army and RCAF. With the recent restoration of the identities of the navy, army and air force, the original salutes should be restored. Canadian soldiers shouldn't have to go and see an American movie to decide how to salute. pidd (talk) 14:24, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

This is not a page to bemoan unification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johnny87514 (talkcontribs) 01:38, 17 April 2014 (UTC)


User:Canadian Infantry has recently added many images to this article. I think the article has now become overwhelmed with them. I propose cutting the number down. - Ahunt (talk) 14:36, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. Overkill to say the least.  BC  talk to me 15:30, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Concur. - BilCat (talk) 15:37, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I was going to leave this for a few days to gain wider input, but the article was in such a state of duplicated images and such that I have gone ahead and cleaned it up. We can continue this discussion here if there are any further opinions. - Ahunt (talk) 18:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Citation 2 dead[edit]

Hi all. I'm not an expert Wiki editor yet but citation 2 on this page leads to a 'dead link'. I thought someone might want to fix that.

Lewiscb (talk) 13:22, 23 March 2011 (UTC)0921 EST 23MAR 2011

Yes check.svg Done.Moxy (talk) 13:38, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Why did they revert to the old names?[edit]

Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, etc.? Is this a sign of renewed loyalty to the Crown, now that the USA appears to be on the wane? ðarkuncoll 23:37, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

"Renewed loyalty"? The Forces have always been loyal to the Queen. It has nothing to do with the States. The Royal prefix just sounds better than Air Command, ect...--Stephen C Wells (talk) 19:01, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

"Unification and beyond" section[edit]

Perhaps someone could add this to the article. The intro to this section has a quote from an unnamed Canadaian naval officer. The author of the quote was Rear Admiral Jeffry Brock, DSO, DSC, CD, RCN, who was Vice Chief of Naval Staff in Ottawa in the early 1960s. He was forced to retire for opposing unification. The quote is from "The Thunder and the Sunshine," the second volume of his memoirs.

This is from <> at the bottom of the page. (talk) 01:22, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Time to move to Canadian Armed Forces?[edit]

In the past several months, the Canadian government has slowly been changing from using "Canadian Forces" to "Canadian Armed Forces", the actual offial name. Within the last month, the official website has switched to using the full title in the heading and most other places on the website. Is it time to move the page to Canadian Armed Forces? - BilCat (talk) 21:11, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

As you can see from discussion number five above, this conversation has happened a few times over the years. To be clear though, the official name has not changed, only the term preferred by the Government of Canada. As an article is named based purely on common usage and not the official name or even the name used by the institution itself, it really falls to what most Canadians are using. Have you noticed which is being used in newspapers, newscasts, and other media? trackratte (talk) 22:34, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it is "the name that is most frequently used to refer to the subject in English-language reliable sources." Nationality of speakers isn't really a consideration in WP:COMMONNAME, though of course it will figure in the frequency of occurrences, WPENGVAR notwithstanding. What little Canadian media I've read probably isn't enough to make a judgement on its current usage in Canada, though what I have read shows that CAF is probably increasing over CF. "Canadian Armed Forces" gets about 3.52 million ghits, while "Canadian Forces" gets about 2.97 million, for whatever it's worth, which is not much for a raw search. The reason I mentioned the website's change in name wasn't to prove it's the official name. However, the updating of the site may well signify a shift in usage from this point on, if it's not evidence that the shift has mostly occurred already. - BilCat (talk) 00:20, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
I actually support CAF for this articles as I simply think its a more accurate title, however I would like to avoid having to change an article title every time the bureaucracy issues a new directive. However, if the facts bear out that CAF is now the most common usage, then I'm all for it. trackratte (talk) 00:43, 13 September 2013 (UTC)
And to add, the most recent edition of the Maple Leaf quotes the CDS as stating something to the effect of the CAF and CF are both correct, and that the Forces will continue to use CF in all rules and regulations (such as QR&Os for example), but will use CAF in all other external writing. I can't seem to find an online PDF of the Maple Leaf since they changed the entire website around, perhaps someone else will have better lucktrackratte (talk) 01:27, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Canadian Armed Forces appears to have replaced Canadian Forces in all new military communiques and press releases. CF is being kept on for all existing orders and policy documents only until they are officially superseded or amended, so it would seem we are witnessing a phasing-out of the use of CF/Canadian Forces as the preferred nomenclature. GrahamNoyes (talk) 19:50, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
"NationX Armed Forces" is commonly used in Wikipedia. Using common encyclopaedic nomenclature is a good thing and helps connect the topics. British Armed Forces is actually not commonly used either, yet it is the name of that article. I think of it as the title of the article, not the name of the organisation. So I'm all in favour. Even if the government changes it to Canadian Forces in future, this article can remain CAF.--IseeEwe (talk) 22:33, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

The Decade of Darkness[edit]

I undid someone's malicious edit which deleted the entry about the Canadian Forces' decade of darkness (the period from roughly 1994-2004). The entry was well sourced and was added to this page as suggested in a deletion review under the same name. Please do not remove it again.JOttawa16 (talk) 20:45, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I removed the POV text. This same text was found to be unacceptable at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Decade of Darkness and more recently at Wikipedia:Deletion_review#Decade_of_Darkness it certainly does not belong here. - Ahunt (talk) 23:36, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
@Ahunt:, I have not seen the text you removed, but it is my understanding that material which is deemed not wp:notable enough to desreve its own page on Wikipedia, can still be added to an existing article as long as it is properly sourced? XOttawahitech (talk) 15:46, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
It is not a problem of notability, if you read the text removed you can see it was highly biased and a politically-motivated attack piece. The consensus at AfD was that this sort of thing is inappropriate on Wikipedia. - Ahunt (talk) 15:53, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ahunt: I am no big expert on wikipolicy, but it has been my understanding that the way to handle biased information is to provide a counter point (referenced) -- not to remove what one deems to be biased? XOttawahitech (talk) 21:27, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
That really applies to issues that have two sides that require balance, this was just a political attack. Regardless, the AfD decision was that it doesn't belong on Wikipedia. - Ahunt (talk) 21:41, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ahunt: Are you saying that political attacks do not have two sides? Or are you saying that the "attack piece" is not sourced? XOttawahitech (talk) 14:12, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
No I am saying the consensus at AfD was that the whole thing failed WP:NPOV. - Ahunt (talk) 15:47, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
@Ahunt: I don't believe that wp:AfD discussions can be used as rationale to remove content from unrelated articles. But then I am no expert -- please correct if i am wrong. XOttawahitech (talk) 20:09, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
This really isn't a technicality, it is a plain practical issue. A wide range of editors reviewed the text and determined that it was a POV attack piece and doesn't belong here. That is a WP:CONSENSUS. - Ahunt (talk) 23:20, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

This information was well sourced and it happened - simple as that. The deletion review page suggests that the information on the decade of darkness belongs here on the Canadian Forces page and on the perpetrator's page, Jean Chretien. This is complying with the deletion review suggestions and ensuring the entry is neutrally written and well backed up by facts. JOttawa16 (talk) 00:30, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't see any such suggestion being made in the DRV. Rather that it Appears to be advocacy, implying original research. It was suggested you userspace-draft a policy-compliant new article, not continue to push your current POV elsewhere. - The Bushranger One ping only 01:14, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
There is no such suggestion there. The DRV is not complete, but the trend so far is to endorse the AfD result which concluded that this material is not suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. Stealthily reinserting the AfDed text into articles after AfD is not a good faith way to proceed. Also by using words like "perpetrator" above you are showing your bias and your continued inability to contribute to Wikipedia in the required neutral manner. I would also like to remind you that two different editors have now removed this material from this article. If it is removed a third time and you revert it you will be liable for a block as explained at WP:3RR. - Ahunt (talk) 01:24, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The text has now been removed a third time by a third editor. As I noted above if you revert this you will be liable to be blocked for edit warring. - Ahunt (talk) 01:26, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

The following is the exact entry that keeps being maliciously deleted. Please cite specific issues with the material as it is presented and offer constructive solutions for having it addressed. JOttawa16 (talk) 04:08, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

(NOTE: Text found unsuitable for Wikipedia at AfD and DRV redacted)
First, please assume good faith instead of making personal attacks. Secondly, posting article content that has been deemed unsuitable for articles on the talk page is yet another no-no... - The Bushranger One ping only 05:10, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
You can note that the DRV has now concluded and it has endorsed the original AfD decision that this subject and the text are not suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia. - Ahunt (talk) 13:02, 25 January 2014 (UTC)


I believe that most people take the word "deployed" to refer to any Canadian Armed Force member serving outside of Canada. Deployed in this article, seems to refer to the CAF definition which is more short term and expeditionary in nature. I think that we can safely and for good reason expand this definition to the former, and include all members serving outside of Canada in any official manner, in NORAD, NATO, secondments to other forces, embassies, High Commissions, and other military postings. --IseeEwe (talk) 22:39, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Non consensus move[edit]

Will bring this up before there is a big edit war again. The page has just been moved with the reasoning being "Moved to current common name per talk page consensus", This is completely incorrect as seen above by the many talks. I suggest we stick with the norm and start a new talk on the matter an RfC on the matter. Lets try to keep a cool head here...lets assume good faith on BilCat part here. I would also agree to RAF...but lest see what other have to say.-- Moxy (talk) 07:51, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

TBH I don't understand the problem. I'm a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and we did receive a directive two years ago to refer to it as the CAF rather than the CF. According to the National Defence Act either could be used, since the CAF is the one service of the CF, but if the organization is currently favouring CAF why would we keep it at CF here? Ajraddatz (Talk) 15:38, 5 August 2014 (UTC)
The consensus in the above section seems clear to me, that CAF is now the common name along with being the official name. We've waited over two years since the directive was issued to move the page, and I reverted earlier moves at least twice as being premature. If you want to run an RFC, that's fine with me, but I honestly don't think it's necessary. - BilCat (talk) 16:19, 5 August 2014 (UTC)