The Canadian Army Journal

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The Canadian Army Journal serves as the primary forum for professional debate and discourse in the Canadian Army. Originally launched under this name in 1947, this quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal has survived to the present day under a series of different iterations, editorships, and sponsors. The journal is currently produced by the Canadian Army Land Warfare Centre in Kingston, Ontario.

Early history[edit]

Canadian Army-related professional journals have existed since Confederation. The Volunteer Review and Military and Naval Gazette (VRMNG) was first published in 1867 shortly before Confederation and ran weekly for ten volumes through to 1876. The Canadian Militia Gazette and later Canadian Military Gazette ran from 1885 through to 1943. These were accompanied by VRI Magazine (1894-1897) and the Canadian Field and Canadian Defence magazines (1909-1916), all of which addressed subjects associated with the Canadian militia.

After the end of the First World War, the Department of Militia and Defence created an all services journal, The Canadian Defence Quarterly (CDQ). This journal was published from 1921 to 1939, ceasing its circulation at the outbreak of the Second World War. CDQ was later revived in 1971 and continued publication until 1997, publishing many articles on the Canadian Army as well as the nature of land warfare in general. Though the CDQ ended its run rather abruptly, the following year the Canadian Military Journal (CMJ) published its first issue, and effectively took over the role that CDQ had filled for nearly three decades.

Canadian Army Training Memorandum[edit]

During the Second World War the army published, The Canadian Army Training Memorandum (CATM), a doctrinal and training-like bulletin than ran from 1941 until 1947. Not designed to be either academic nor peer reviewed, it nevertheless provided a source of professional development and discourse for Canadian Army personnel throughout the war.

The first journal 1947-1965[edit]

The CATM was replaced after the war by a new bilingual service publication simply titled, The Canadian Army Journal. At the head of its editorial board sat three distinguished veteran officers, Brigadier W.A. Milroy DSO CD, Colonel S.C. Waters CD, and Colonel V.R. Schjelderup DSO MC CD. The army selected Mr. Jack G. DeProse, a civilian, as its editor and manager of day-to-day operations. With a tiny staff consisting of an editorial assistant, a staff artist, and a draughtsman-photographer, Mr. DeProse was assigned the task of producing the army’s professional journal on a quarterly basis. His mission was straightforward, “ … provide the Canadian Army with information designed to keep it abreast of current military trends, and to stimulate interest in military affairs”, and DeProse fulfilled this assignment admirably.

In its early years The Canadian Army Journal served as a forum for army news, updates, the discussion of emerging trends and the publication of history. Ideas such as the future of airborne, atomic, and arctic warfare were discussed, as were the transformation of infantry towards mechanization and the new roles of the service and support branches. The army’s official historian, Colonel C.P. Stacey, published several articles on past campaigns and battles ranging from the Fenian Raids to the Normandy Campaign.

Army operations during the Korean War presented an immediate issue for debate then much in the same way that Afghanistan is discussed in the journal today. During this period the journal also changed its physical appearance. The thin 8x11 red and yellow covered journal was replaced by a smaller but thicker pocket sized edition. The covers started carrying illustrations, often of a historical nature, and the masthead went through a few different changes. Another notable aspect was that new material written by Canadian soldiers and other authors had largely replaced the reprinting of foreign material. Almost half of the content of the early postwar CATM was derived from republishing foreign sources, but by the early 1950s this practice had stopped. Army officers were once again writing for themselves, and the value of this was reflected in the journal through the remainder of the decade.

The journal also served to promote the high quality of Canadian army writing in other professional forms. For example, in 1964, it was noted that Captain Francis J. Norman, RCR, had won the British Army’s Bertrand Stewart Essay Prize for his submission on the effects of night vision equipment on battlefield mobility. He was not the first Canadian to win the essay prize either. Lieutenant General E.L.M. Burns had won the award twice previously, in 1932 and again in 1936.

Despite its strong independence, the journal could not escape the dynamic changes underway within the Department of National Defence during the mid-1960s. In 1965 DND decided to phase out its separate service publications in support of the unification process then currently underway. The editor and staff of the Canadian Army Journal were informed of the pending cessation of their publication and tasked to prepare their last issue for release in the summer of that year. Mr. DeProse, who was still serving as editor, sadly prepared his publication for closure.

The last issue of the CAJ (Vol.19: 2) was released in June 1965 carrying a number of farewell statements and thanks for nearly two decades of service. There were many promises that the new tri-service publication, Sentinel would be a more than adequate replacement for the CAJ and its two sister publications, the navy’s Crow’s Nest, and the air force’s, Roundel. In the end the Sentinel proved to be a good publication, but its thin magazine format and newspaper journalistic style made it unable to serve as a proper form for professional debate. The army had to turn elsewhere to carry on this tradition.

The Canadian Army Doctrine Bulletin[edit]

Between 1965 and the end of the Cold War, the army published a number of various in-house forms in the absence of a capstone publication such as the CAJ. Many produced either branch or even regimental journals. The three combat arms, infantry, artillery, and armour, all produced their own in-house journals and bulletins. Engineers and logistics also published effective journals. Meanwhile, the army’s central organizations focused on publications related to specific topics such as conceptual and doctrinal design, training, safety, and lessons learned. Among these various publications, The Canadian Army Doctrine Bulletin (CADB) is notable in that it served as the catalyst for reintroducing a capstone publication back into the army.

First published in 1980, the CADB produced a number of articles dealing with defence doctrine, airmobile operations, tactical aviation, human dimensions in battle, as well as various advances in tactics, techniques, and procedures. The CADB was produced on a roughly biannual basis until 1993. Further changes within DND during this time led to the cessation of most army publications, including many of the various branch and in-house journals and bulletins. Sentinel magazine continued to run during this period but its content grew thinner. A new capstone publication would not appear in the army for several more years.

The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin[edit]

After considerable internal effort and debate, in August 1998 the Chief of Land Staff authorized the publication of a revamped and very much upgraded Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin (ADTB) for, “the dissemination and discussion of doctrinal and training matters, leadership, technological, conceptual, ethical, and historical issues as they relate to the army.” Under the managing editorship of Captain John Grodzinski, the ADTB rapidly evolved to become the new forum for professional debate in the army. In addition to a number of senior officers and NCOs writing for the journal, the publication attracted considerable interest and participation from Canada’s leading military historians and scholars.

The ADTB’s arrival on the scene was fortuitous for the army. Very much a Canadian Army Journal in disguise, it matured at the same time that the army entered a period of tremendous transformation, and as such it became a focal point for many serious discussions that later influenced larger decisions within the land force. Soon reaching past it’s title, the ADTB swiftly became the capstone army journal that its leadership needed and wanted.

The current journal (2004 - present)[edit]

In 2004, Major Shane Schreiber succeeded Major Grodzinski as managing editor. Though his own tenure at the helm of the publication was brief, Schreiber built on the solid foundations of his predecessor and initiated the transformation of the ADTB during its seventh year of publication into a revived document known as the Canadian Army Journal. Major Ted Dillenberg was selected as Schreiber's replacement, but Dillenberg only presided over a single issue before his own departure. Looking to give the journal solid stewardship, Major Andrew Godefroy who had just recently joined the Directorate of Land Concepts and Designs, was asked to assume the editor's chair in 2005. He completed the transformation of the journal begun by Schreiber, returning the journal to an academic format both physically as well as content-wise.

External links[edit]