Royal Canadian Medical Service

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Royal Canadian Medical Service
Royal Canadian Medical Service badge
CountryCanada Canada
BranchCanadian Forces
TypePersonnel branch
RoleMilitary medicine
Home stationCFB Borden
Motto(s)Militi Succurrimus (Latin): We hasten to aid the soldiers
March"The Farmer's Boy"
Colonel-in-chiefAnne, Princess Royal

The Royal Canadian Medical Service (RCMS, French: Service de santé royal canadien) is a personnel branch of the Canadian Armed Forces, consisting of all members of medical trades except dental. Nearly all members of the RCMS, along with the members of the Royal Canadian Dental Corps (RCDC), are employed in the Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CF H Svcs Gp). The RCMS was formerly named the Canadian Forces Medical Service until it was renamed on October 9, 2013.[1]

Motto and march[edit]

Militi Succurrimus (We hasten to aid the soldiers) is the official branch motto. "The Farmer's Boy" is the branch march. This march was selected by Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (mother of Queen Elizabeth II).

Roles and identification[edit]

Medical personnel of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group provide operational (deployed) and operational readiness (in-garrison) medical care to entitled personnel.


RCMS personnel wear the same uniforms as other members of the Canadian Forces with unique identifiers depending on which distinctive environmental uniform (DEU) they are assigned (Navy, Army, Air). Regardless of environment, all officers and non-commissioned members (NCMs) wear the same cap badge. The only difference between the cap badges is that the staff of Æsculapius on NCM badge comprises a gold serpent on a gold staff whereas on the officer badge comprises a silver serpent on a gold staff.

Naval medical officers wear scarlet distinction cloth between the braids of their rank, while other health care officer classifications (non-physicians) wear a dull cherry distinction cloth. NCMs wear a trade badge on their jackets.

All army health care officer classifications and non-commissioned members wear an "RCMS" shoulder bar on the service dress jacket, and a tab bearing either the title "MEDICAL" or a unit identifier (e.g. "25 FD AMB") on slip-ons for other uniforms. NCMs below the rank of warrant officer wear a trade badge on the sleeve of the service dress jacket.

All air force medical branch officers and non-commissioned members wear a distinctive metal badge over their name tag on both their dress uniform jacket and short-sleeve order of dress.


The RCMS has its origins in the Dominion government's 1885 response to the North-West Rebellion, with the appointment of Canada's first Surgeon General, Doctor Darby Bergin of Cornwall, Ontario, and the mobilization of two field hospitals.

It played a significant part in the Canadian expeditionary forces during the First World War and Second World War.[2]

It suffered significant budgetary cutbacks after the 1994 Broadbent Report following the end of the Cold War, with three of its six military hospitals being closed.

The former colonel-in-chief was Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (mother of Queen Elizabeth II). The current colonel-in-chief is Princess Anne, Princess Royal (daughter of the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh)


School of Operational Medicine[edit]

The School of Operational Medicine (SOM) in Toronto, Ontario, forms a part of the Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment. In turn the Canadian Forces Environmental Medicine Establishment is the military component of the Defence Research and Development Canada. The School of Operational Medicine (SOM) conducts all flight surgeon training. In addition, it offers courses at various levels in Diving Medicine, to physicians, and physician assistants.[3]

Canadian Forces Health Service Training Centre[edit]

The Canadian Forces Health Service Training Centre (CF H Svc TC), located in CFB Borden, is the home station and primary training centre for the Canadian Forces Health Services. The school focuses on all levels of training.

Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training[edit]

The Canadian Forces School of Survival and Aeromedical Training (CFSSAT) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, provides initial and continuation training for all CF aircrew. The training covers diverse topics including life support equipment and human factors, search and evasion as well as disorientation and night vision.[3]

Order of precedence[edit]

Preceded by
Royal Canadian Logistics Service
Royal Canadian Medical Service Succeeded by
Dental Branch


  1. ^ "Canadian Forces Medical Service Adds "Royal" to Its Name As Well". Ottawa Citizen. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b

External links[edit]