Canadian Special Operations Regiment

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Canadian Special Operations Regiment
Régiment d'opérations spéciales du Canada
Canadian Special Operations Regiment Badge.jpg
Active 2006–present[1]
Country  Canada
Type Special operations
Role Direct action[1]
Special reconnaissance[1]
Size Battalion[1]
Part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command
Garrison/HQ CFB Petawawa[2]
Motto(s) Latin: Audeamus (We dare)
Engagements Afghanistan
Lt.Col. Steven Hunter[3]
Headdress Tan beret

The Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR; French: Régiment d'opérations spéciales du Canada, ROSC) is a highly trained, mobile, special operations forces unit. The mission of CSOR is two-fold: to provide back-up to Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), the Canadian Forces' (CF) main special operations forces (SOF) unit; and to provide the CF with a SOF unit that can be deployed anywhere in Canada or internationally.[4] CSOR is a battalion-sized, light infantry high-readiness special operations unit part of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).[1] CSOR is capable of conducting and enabling a broad range of missions, including direct action, special reconnaissance, counter-terrorism,[4] and defence diplomacy and military assistance.[1][5] CSOR is a Tier 2 special operations force.[5]

Unit history[edit]

Members of the regiment during a freefall jump out of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III during Emerald Warrior 2013, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

The unit traces its roots to the First Special Service Force (FSSF), the Canadian-American special forces unit that was stood up in 1942 and earned the "Devil's Brigade" moniker for daring night raids on German forces at the Anzio beachhead.[2]

In April 2005, the Canadian government's new defence policy statement was made public. It included a concept of first responders for international tasks consisting of "special forces" (such as an expanded Joint Task Force 2) supported by one of the light battalions.[citation needed]

This concept of operations is similar to the US Army's 75th Ranger Regiment and the Special Forces Support Group of the United Kingdom Special Forces who support high-level special forces units. This eventually led to the formation of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR), although CSOR was not to be limited to a supporting role.[citation needed]

In the main, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment enables special operations and, specifically, JTF2; thus, JTF2 can focus on the precise tasks for which they are so well selected and trained. However, particularly in out-of-area operations, we see that the Canadian Special Operations Regiment would be the more appropriate organization to put to the task.

— Colonel Barr, commander CANSOFCOM, in Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, 27 November 2006.[6]

Recruiting for the new unit took place in early 2006, and the first CSOR selection course took place with approximately 175 candidates.[7]

On 13 August 2006, an official stand-up ceremony for the Canadian Special Operations Regiment took place at the unit's home station, Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Petawawa, with approximately 250 soldiers participating. The ceremony included a skills demonstration including rappelling from helicopters, and both static and freefall parachuting. It was also announced that the second training serial of CSOR recruits would take place in early 2007.[citation needed]

The regiment suffered its first casualty on 24 June 2011: Master-Corporal Francis Roy died in a non-combat incident while deployed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.[8][9]

In 2013, the unit competed in an international Special Forces Competition held in Jordan, coming in 3rd place after Chinese Special Police teams took 1st and 2nd place.[10]

In March 2015, Sgt. Andrew Joseph Doiron became the unit's first casualty directly related to the war on terror when he was killed by friendly fire from Kurdish Forces.[11]


The regiment has maintained a presence in Afghanistan since 2006, in support of the Canadian and coalition forces in the southern province of Kandahar.[citation needed] "Canadian Special Operations Forces serving in Afghanistan" (2005 and 2007) by André Gauthier were commissioned to honour members of Canadian Special Operations Regiment.[citation needed]

The regiment also works with international partners, and helped in the training of the Jamaican Defence Force counter-terrorism assault team and Belize's special forces, the Belize Special Assignment Group.[12][13]

Members of the regiment are currently serving as part of Operation Impact Canada's commitment to anti-ISIL operation, serving in advisory roles, forward air-controllers and in counter-sniper/mortar roles.[citation needed]


Canadian special operations soldier descends in front of Mt. Rainier onto Fort Lewis, Wash., with U.S. 1st Special Forces

While the regiment is composed of personnel from the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force, it is part of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, a joint command responsible for providing agile, high-readiness special operations forces capable of operating across the spectrum of conflict at home and abroad. The command is composed of CSOR and 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron (427 SOAS) in Petawawa, Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2) near Ottawa, and the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) in Trenton. Colonel Jamie Hammond was the first commanding officer of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel Greg Smith, followed by Lieutenant-Colonel John Vass. The current commanding officer is Lieutenant Colonel Steven Hunter.

Battle honours[edit]

See also[edit]

Canadian Special Operations Regiment Association[edit]

The Regimental Association was Incorporated May 2016, and founded to provide an avenue to resources and support services, including training, social services, family education grants, emergency support services and the like.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Background Information - CSOR". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 16 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Canadian Special Operations Regiment". National Defence and Canadian Forces. 22 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Pugliese, David (4 July 2014). "Former member of JTF2 assumes command of the Canadian Special Operations Regiment". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Rhoads 2012, p. 468.
  5. ^ a b Horn 2016, p. 24.
  6. ^ "Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence Issue 7 - Evidence". Senate of Canada. Ottawa: Parliament of Canada. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Creating Canada's new Commandos". The Ottawa Citizen. 5 August 2006. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Fisher, Matthew (26 June 2011). "Latest Canadian soldier to die in Afghanistan identified". National Post. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  9. ^ Sachs, Susan (26 June 2011). "Casualty is Canada's 157th Afghan death". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Murphy, Jack (4 June 2013). "Canadian Special Operations Regiment Places 3rd in CT Competition". SOFREP news. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Chase, Steven (7 March 2015). "Canadian soldier killed in friendly-fire incident in Iraq". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  12. ^ Day, Adam (3 July 2009). "Beyond Top Secret: Undercover With Canadian Special Operations Forces In Jamaica". Legion magazine. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "B-Sag Gets Big Money Donation". Channel 7 News Belize. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Canadian Special Operations Regiment: Approval of a Standard". Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges. Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  15. ^ "South-West Asia Theatre Honours". Prime Minister of Canada. 9 May 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. 


  • Rhoads, Franklyn. (2012). Elite warriors : special operations forces of the world (Ebook) (1st ed.). New Delhi, India: World Technologies. ISBN 9788132328537. 
  • Horn, Col. Bernd (2016). No ordinary men : special operations forces missions in Afghanistan (Ebook). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Dundurn. ISBN 9781459724105. 

External links[edit]