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Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

Royal Canadian Infantry Corps

Created: 2 September 1942 (as Canadian Infantry Corps)

Status on 1 Jan 2000: Active branch of Canadian Forces

The Canadian Infantry Corps was established in 1942 as an administrative corps to oversee the needs of the infantry regiments, as well as provide a holding organization for trained recruits that had not yet been assigned to a unit as well as staff for training centres in Canada. Infantry training had previously been the responsibility of individual units; during the Second World War several purpose-built training centres were created to provide reinforcements to go wherever they were needed. After unification, the corps became a branch of the Canadian Forces in name.

Lineage

  • Canadian Infantry Corps formed 2 Sep 1942

  • Redesignated Royal Canadian Infantry Corps 30 Apr 1947

  • Redesignated The Royal Canadian Infantry Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Reverted to Royal Canadian Infantry Corps 18 Apr 1955.

  • Redesignated Infantry Branch, Canadian Forces 2 May 1969

The Infantry in Canada

Canada did not have designated infantry regiments until May 1900, when all existing Militia battalions were redesignated. In 1920, a massive reorganization resulting from the Otter Committee report saw all infantry regiments redesignated and the archaic system of numbering the regiments was abandoned. Many reorganizations were also made, reflecting the need to perpetuate the histories, traditions and battle honours won by the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War.

A second set of sweeping reorganizations occurred in 1936 as the Canadian military modernized; again, many older designations were lost and many small regiments were amalgamated (combined) into larger regiments.

During the Second World War, many former infantry regiments converted to armour, and some regiments changed roles in the post-war period also, as the process of evolution continued through the Cold War and Canada's defence needs changed.

By the 1970s, the designations and roles of Canadian infantry regiments stabilized, and only minor changes occurred after 1968, the most significant being the disbandment of The Canadian Airborne Regiment in 1995.

Traditions

Motto: Ducimus (Latin: "We Lead")

Insignia

The insignia of the Infantry Branch is described officially as:

A cartouche argent charged with three maple leaves conjoined on one stem gules surrounded by a ribbon gules edged or and inscribed with the words INFANTRY and INFANTERIE the same. Below upon a ribbon or the motto DUCIMUS in sable. Across the front of all in saltire two rifles or. The whole ensigned by the Royal Crown proper.

Significance

The crossed rifles denote infantry and have been used in original infantry badges, plus the badges being worn by the officer cadet programme. The motto DUCIMUS has always been the infantry motto.1

The badge worn by soldiers of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps did not change after the redesignation as a branch.

Notes

  1. Badges of the Canadian Forces, Canadian Forces Publication 267 (Department of National Defence, 1976)


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