RCHA units are the senior units of the Canadian land field force, with a history dating back to the birth of Canada as a nation. 'A' and 'B' Batteries of Garrison Artillery were formed as the first units of Canada's permanent military force in 1871 in Kingston and Quebec City respectively, with a third ('C' Battery) authorized in 1883 and formed in 1887 in Esquimalt. These bore the name of the Regiment of Canadian Artillery, with the Royal Canadian Artillery being formed as the militia element in 1895. In 1905, to distinguish between the regular force and militia, the regulars were given the title Royal Canadian Horse Artillery.
In addition to the three regiments currently serving, two further regiments have served in the past prior to being disbanded:
3rd Regiment, RCHA: originally formed as 79th Field Regiment, RCA, this regiment received its name in 1953 during the reorganization of the Canadian Army as a result of Canada's NATO commitments. 3 RCHA was reduced to nil strength in 1992 following the downsizing of the Land Force, and was replaced at CFB Shilo by 1 RCHA on its return from Germany.
4th Regiment, RCHA: originally 81st Field Regiment, RCA, this regiment became part of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery at the same time as 3 RCHA in 1953. 4 RCHA was primarily stationed at CFB Petawawa until 1970 when, following the formation of 5 RALC, it was reduced to nil strength and replaced by 2 RCHA.
The Freedom of the City was exercised by the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery in Kingston in 1983; 1996 and May 26, 2012.
The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery badge (1968) by Robert McCausland Limited is a stained glass memorial to 2517 Colonel E. Geoffrey Brooks DSO OBE CD (RMC 1952), who served as the Royal Military College of Canada’s staff adjutant 1948-1950 and as Director of Artillery, Royal Canadian Artillery in August 1960. He is remembered in the Geoffrey Brooks Memorial Essay Competition - 2,000 to 3,000 words on any topic of military history or specific military interest that pertains to The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. The contest (1st Prize -$500; 2nd Prize -$300; and 3rd Prize – $200) is open to all DND military (Regular and Reserve) and civilian personnel and students attending post-secondary educational institutes.
Today, the regular force encompasses three RCHA regiments:
1st Regiment, RCHA: this is the descendant of the original batteries of artillery formed in 1871, and is thus the senior Regular unit in the Canadian army. 1 RCHA was forward deployed in Germany as part of Canadian Forces Europe for 25 years between 1967, and the final Canadian withdrawal from Europe in 1993. Currently, this regiment is part of 3rd Canadian Division's 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.