Organization

Canadian Army

Domestic Military Organization

Headquarters

Militia HQ

Canadian Forces HQ

National Defence HQ (NDHQ)

Political Institutions

Dept. of Militia & Defence

►►Minister of Militia & Defence

►►Militia Council

Department of National Defence

►►Minister of National Defence

►►Chiefs of Staff Committee

Reorganizations

1902-1904 Dundonald Reforms
1920 Otter Committee
1936 Reorganization
1954 Kennedy Board
1957 Anderson Report
1964 Suttie Commission
1968 Unification
1995 Special Commission

Organizational Corps/Branches

1900-1968 Organizational Corps
1968-2000 Branches

Field Forces

1914-1919  

Canadian Expeditionary Force
CEF Regional Affiliations

Territorial Reinforcement Regts.

1919

Canadian Siberian Exped Force

1939-1940 (1945) 

Canadian Active Service Force

1945

Canadian Army Pacific Force

1950-1953

Canadian Army Special Force

Field Force Formations

1914-1918  
Canadian Corps
1st Div | 2nd Div | 3rd Div | 4th Div 5th Div
1939-1945

1st Canadian Army

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

Pacific Command
1st Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Division

3rd Infantry Division

4th (Armoured) Division
5th (Armoured) Division
6th Division 

7th Division 

8th Division 
1st Armoured Brigade
2nd Armoured Brigade
3rd Armoured Brigade
3rd Tank Brigade

 1950-1953
1 Com Div | 25 Inf Bde

Foreign Headquarters

Allied Forces HQ (AFHQ)

►►15th Army Group

►►►8th Army

SHAEF

►►21st Army Group

►►►2nd British Army

Special Forces

1st Canadian Para Battalion

First Special Service Force

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers

Canadian Rangers

Special Air Service (SAS) Coy

The Canadian Airborne Regt

Organizational Formations

Reserve Bdes - 1941-1945

13 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

14 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

27th Canadian Brigade

1 CMBG

2 CMBG

3 CMBG

4 CMBG

5 CMBG

1st Cdn Division (1954-1958)

1st Cdn Division (1988-2000)

Special Service Force

Auxiliary Services
Alliances

1914-1918 Triple Alliance
1939-1945 Allies
1949-1999 NATO

Veteran's Organizations

Defence Associations

Canadian Cavalry Association
Canadian Infantry Association
Intelligence Branch Association

National Defence Emp Assoc
RCAC (Cavalry)
RCA Association
RCOC Association
Union of Nat Def Employees

Veteran's Associations

ANAVETS
Royal Canadian Legion

Supplementary Order of Battle

Unit Listings by year

1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

Unit Listings by Corps/Branch

Armoured Units 1940-1945

Cdn Dental Corps 1939-1945
Cdn Intelligence Corps 1942-45

Cdn Provost Corps 1940-1945

Infantry Battalions 1939-1945

RCOC 1939-1945

 

Canadian Army

The Canadian Army is a term used on this website to describe the land forces of Canada's military from 1900 to 2000. The term "Canadian Army" was not in official use until 1940, and after Unification in the 1960s fell into official disuse once again. The term was revived for official use in 2011.

Structure of Canada's Land Forces

Canada's military land forces have always been divided into two major components; a full-time component, or standing army, and a part-time component, or reserve force. In time of war, a third component is added, usually referred to as a field force, or alternately as an overseas component since no wars were fought on Canadian soil during the 20th Century.

Reorganizations

Within the framework of the two major components, many reorganizations were made to the structure of the Army in the years between 1900 and 2000. These generally involved modernization of the forces (based largely on technology and major equipment acquisitions). The change with the largest impact was no doubt Unification in 1968.

Missions

The Canadian Army's focus has been on war fighting; when the Army was not fighting wars, it was training to fight them. The main types of actual operational missions were performed by the Army during the 20th Century:

  • War

  • Peacekeeping

  • International Missions

  • Domestic Missions

Brief History

Genesis

The Canadian Army evolved from British garrison forces on the North American continent in the 1800s. Upon Confederation of Canada in 1867, the ground forces in Canada were referred to as the Canadian Militia or simply as the Militia. Eventually, a Permanent Active Militia was designated and were Canada's full time professional soldiers, with the Non-Permanent Active Militia made up of small units across the country consisting mainly of part-time soldiers employed in the civilian world who additionally did military training on evenings, weekends, and for short periods in the summer months.

The birthday of Canada's military is considered to be 20 Oct 1871, as on that Militia General Order No. 24 authorized the formation of two batteries of Garrison Artillery to provide for the "care, protection and maintenance of forts, magazines, armaments, and warlike stores recently or about to be handed over (by the British) to the Canadian government in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec." The Canadian Armed Forces formally celebrated their centennial in 1971.

First World War

In 1914, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was formed in response to Britain's call for soldiers. The CEF was a separate entity from the Permanent Active Militia (also known as the Permanent Force, or PF) and the NPAM. Regiments and other units of the Militia were not mobilized, but rather transferred personnel to the CEF for overseas deployment. The CEF was disbanded after war.

Canada's land forces underwent two major organziational changes between the wars; in 1920 the Otter Committee brought about sweeping changes, amalgamating and renaming all the pre-war infantry regiments and creating systems of perpetuation so that both pre-war units, as well as the war-service units of the CEF, would both have their histories and traditions carried on. The new regiments were permitted to perpetuate the history of the wartime CEF, and even adopted their Battle Honours. Similar perpetuations occurred in the artillery as well. Additionally, between the war, several organizational corps were created, mirroring corps in the British Army.

In 1936, Canada's land forces again underwent dramatic reorganizations, with three types of infantry regiments being created (rifle, machine gun, and tank). Many regiments were disbanded or amalgamated.

Second World War

In 1939, the Canadian Active Service Force was mobilized to serve in the Second World War; similar to the CEF, this was a mobilization of prewar PF and NPAM units, who retained their traditional titles. In 1940, the land forces of Canada were retitled (see below). A new Canadian Armoured Corps was created and many infantry regiments were reroled to fight in tanks. The veterinary corps was disbanded in 1940 as mechanization was completed and all cavalry units eventually converted to armour or armoured car regiments.

A desire to have an entire French Canadian brigade was thwarted by a lack of francophone staff officers. The original mobilization scheme grouped infantry battalions by region; the 1st Brigade was an Ontario brigade, the 2nd from Western Canada and the 3rd from the Maritimes. The 2nd Division was supposed to follow the same lines, but after deployments to Iceland, the Western Canadian and Quebec brigades were mixed and no attempt was made with the 3rd, 4th or 5th divisions to organize regionally. The 5th Brigade was originally to be an all-Quebec brigade, with one anglophone and two francophone regiments. While French Canada was represented by four overseas French-speaking infantry battalions, and the Army did attempt to produce training literature in French, it would not be until after Unification that French and English soldiers would have equal career opportunities.

The 6th, 7th and 8th Divisions were Home Defence Divisions and contained a large number of conscripted NRMA troops which by law could not serve "overseas". One brigade did go to the Aleutians in 1943 to fight the Japanese on the technicality that it was North American soil, though no contact with the enemy was made.

Cold War

The postwar Army was reduced once again. In 1950, a third major field force was raised, the Canadian Army Special Force, which ultimately raised and supported a brigade in the field in the Korean War. This force was inactivated after the Korean War, but the Regular Force (as the former Permanent Force became known) was greatly expanded, reached a peak strength of seven infantry regiments and three armoured regiments. The Cold War led to the positioning of a Canadian mechanized brigade in West Germany from the 1950s up into the 1990s.

In 1968 Unification led to a loss of identity as the Army was renamed Force Mobile Command, with both a regular and a reserve component, the latter readopting the historic title Militia. Antipathy towards the military was engendered by both the prevailing federal government and the public whose opinions were often shaped by public coverage of America's unpopular war in Vietnam. Canadian land forces underwent many changes, as several of the regular regiments were revertd to one-battalion Militia (reserve) units and interest in the military waned.

The Regular Force was downsized in 1970, and the number of regular infantry battalions was reduced from 13 to 10.

In the late 1960s, the Canadian Forces committed itself to creating French Language Units (FLUs) and encouraging career opportunities for francophones. The Minister of National Defence, Léo Cadieux, announced their creation on April 2, 1968, to include artillery and armoured regiments as well as units of the supporting arms, with two battalions of the Royal 22e Regiment at their core. The Army FLUs eventually concentrated at Valcartier and became known as 5e Groupement de Combat. A French-speaking Regular Force armoured regiment was created, and the policy of bilingualism was supported by the first Chief of the Defence Staff, General J.V. Allard.

The focus of Force Mobile Command was set on peace missions as well as future conventional war in Europe. Equipment acquisitions such as the M113 APC and Leopard tank marked a modernization, as did the Militia's use of the Cougar and Grizzly AVGP in armoured reconnaissance and mechanized infantry roles.

Post Cold War

In the late 1980s, after reorganization of the three services into distinct "elements", with the naval and air components returning to uniforms roughly comparable to the former RCN and RCAF, Force Mobile Command became Land Force Command, retaining a slightly-modified version of the unified "CF Green" uniform. Towards the end of the 20th Century, the term "Army" became once again unofficially used to refer to Canada's land forces, both Regular and Reserve. This period was marked by increased opportunities for operational deployments overseas on UN and NATO missions, increasing public interest, and the end of the Cold War (as well as significant Canadian military presence in Europe).

Nomenclature

Designations 1900-1940

The Canadian Militia had a full-time component, the Permanent Active Militia (PAM) which was also known as the Permanent Force, or PF. The part-time component was the Non-Permanent Active Militia (NPAM), sometimes referred to simply as "the Militia." During World War One, the Canadian Militia raised a force for overseas employment known as the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), which existed from 1914 to 1919. The force was merged into the Army under the auspices of the Otter Committee's report. At the start of the Second World War in 1939, another overseas force was raised, and referred to as the Canadian Active Service Force (CASF) until renamed in 1940. Unlike mobilization in 1914, existing units and regiments were used as the basis of the new field force.

Designations 1940-1968

On 19 Nov 1940, by order in council, the Canadian Militia was renamed. "The Military Forces of Canada shall henceforth be designated and described as The Canadian Army".

Those units embodied for continuous (full-time) employment became the Canadian Army (Active), and all others (generally those part-time components previously known as the Non-Permanent Active Militia) were to be known as the Canadian Army (Reserve). The overseas component became known as the Canadian Army (Overseas).

The Canadian Army (Overseas) was dissolved in 1945 and 1946, and an "Interim Force" was created while deciding how to structure the postwar Permament Force. When this was decided, it was designated the Canadian Army Active Force. The Canadian Army (Reserve) was retitled the Canadian Army Reserve Force.

In 1950 after the oubreak of the Korean War, an overseas force known as the Canadian Army Special Force (CASF) was raised. Soldiers remained in Korea for several months after the armistice in 1953.

In 1954, after the Kennedy Board published its recommendations, the Canadian Army Active Force became the Canadian Army (Regular) and the Canadian Army Reserve Force became the Canadian Army (Militia).

Designations 1968-2000

On 1 Feb 1968, Unification took effect and the Canadian Army became Force Mobile Command (FMC). Soldiers of FMC belonged to either the Regular Force (full-time component), or the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves (part-time component). The term "Militia" was also used to refer to part-time FMC soldiers. An overseas component existed in Canadian Forces Europe, which was an all-arms command focused on supporting a mechanized infantry brigade in West Germany.

Unification began to be reversed in the late 1980s with the reintroduction of distinctive uniforms for land forces troops, and the title Canadian Army began to be readopted unofficially in the 1990s. The official designation became Land Force Command, with the previous Regular Force and Militia designations remaining unchanged.

The Canadian Armed Forces Reserves consisted of several different branches, with the Militia comprising land forces and the Communications Reserve including many units of what had previously been the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals. At some point, the "Armed" designation was quietly dropped, to become the Canadian Forces Reserves.

Designations

Type 1900 - 19 Nov 1940 19 Nov 1940 - 1946 1946 - 1954 1954 - 1 Feb 1968 1 Feb 1968 - 1997 1997 - 2000
Full Time Permanent Active Militia Canadian Army (Active) Canadian Army Active Force Canadian Army (Regular) Force Mobile Command (Regular Force) Land Force Command (Regular Force)
Part Time Non-Permanent Active Militia Canadian Army (Reserve) Canadian Army Reserve Force Canadian Army (Militia) Force Mobile Command (Militia) Land Force Command (Militia)


Overall Organization

Canada's military land forces in the 1800s were very small, and Canada depended on Britain directly for defence matters. In the first years of the 20th Century, Canada began to establish her own support services, and by 1914 had her own standing army. Two main types of units make up any army. One type are combatant units, referred to today as the "combat arms" which in 1900 consisted of cavalry, artillery, engineers, and infantry. Secondly are supporting units, such as ordnance, service, signals, postal, medical, dental, and chaplain services.

Even in combatant units such as an infantry battalion, there have become an increasing number of tradesmen whose jobs do not lie in the front line or in directly fighting the enemy.

The following is a list of the various Corps and Services of the Canadian land forces of the 20th Century, as well as their date of creation, and their duties in general.

Artillery

Artillery units have always provided not only indirect fire support for infantry, but have added to their repertoire duing the last century by also performing anti-aircraft duties and anti-tank duties.

Regular component

  • Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (created 10 Aug 1883)

  • Royal Canadian Artillery (redesignated 24 May 1893)

  • Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (redesignated 1956)

Reserve component

  • Canadian Artillery (created 1895)

  • Royal Canadian Artillery (redesignated 3 Jun 1935)

  • Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (redesignated 1956)

Engineers

Engineer units performed a variety of tasks, often under enemy observation and fire, such as the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, defensive works, etc., as well as the creation and clearance of minefields and other obstacles. Up until the end of the First World War, the Canadian Engineers also performed signalling duties.

Regular component

  • Canadian Engineer Corps (created 1 Jul 1903)

  • The Royal Canadian Engineers (redesignated 1 Feb 1904)

  • The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers (redesignated 1 Mar 1932)

  • Canadian Military Engineers (redesignated 1967)

Reserve component

  • Canadian Engineers (created Aug 1904)

  • The Corps of Canadian Engineers (redesignated 1 Mar 1932)

  • The Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers (redesignated 1936)

  • Canadian Military Engineers (redesignated 1967)

Signals

Signals units gained in importance during the 20th Century as the importance of wireless grew. Signals units were used to transmit information in a variety of ways, such as radio, telephone, signal flag, morse code, etc. as well as being used to monitor enemy transmission, participate in elaborate deceptions, etc.

Regular component

  • Canadian Signalling Instructional Staff 1 Apr 1919

  • The Canadian Permanent Signal Corps 15 Dec 1920

  • The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals 15 Jun 1921

  • Communications and Electronics Branch 1968

Reserve component

  • Signalling Corps 24 Oct 1903

  • The Canadian Signal Corps 4 Jun 1913

  • Canadian Corps of Signals 1 Aug 1921

  • Royal Canadian Corps of Signals 29 Apr 1936

  • The Royal Canadian Corps of Signals 22 Mar 1948

  • Communications and Electronics Branch 1968

Veterinary

Provided medical care for the large number of draft animals in the Canadian military. Mechanization eliminated the requirement for this corps.

Regular component

  • Canadian Army Permanent Veterinary Corps (created 1910)

  • Redesignated Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps 3 Nov 1919.

  • Redesignated The Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps 17 Jul 1936.

  • Disbanded 2 Nov 1940

Reserve component

  • Canadian Army Veterinary Corps (created 1910)

  • Disbanded 2 Nov 1940

Service

Service units provide transport companies, butcher and bakery units, and with the ordnance corps help safeguard and deliver supplies throughout the field forces. In the 1990s the Administration Branch was merged into the Logistics Branch.

Regular component

  • Canadian Army Service Corps 1 Dec 1903

  • The Canadian Permanent Army Service Corps 2 Jan 1906

  • The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 3 Nov 1919

  • Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 29 Apr 1936

  • The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Administration Branch 1967

  • Logistics Branch 1990s

Reserve component

  • Canadian Army Service Corps 1 Nov 1901

  • The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 3 Nov 1919

  • Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 29 Apr 1936

  • The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Royal Canadian Army Service Corps 18 Apr 1955

  • Administration Branch 1967

  • Logistics Branch 1990s

Medical

Provided medical care for soldiers, including the evacuation from the battlefield and treatment of all manners of casualties.

Regular component

  • Permanent Active Militia Army Medical Corps 2 Jul 1904

  • Canadian Army Medical Corps 1 May 1909

  • Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 3 Nov 1919

  • The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Canadian Forces Medical Service 1974

Reserve component

  • Militia Army Medical Corps 2 Jul 1904

  • Canadian Army Medical Corps 1 May 1909

  • Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 3 Nov 1919

  • The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps 18 April 1955

  • Canadian Forces Medical Service 1974

Dental

Provided dental care for the three services.

Regular component

  • The Canadian Dental Corps 31 Aug 1939

  • The Royal Canadian Dental Corps 15 Jan 1947

  • Dental Branch 1964

Reserve component

  • Canadian Army Dental Corps 20 Apr 1915 (Disbanded 1 Nov 1920)

  • Canadian Army Dental Corps (Reauthorized 15 Jun 1921)

  • The Royal Canadian Dental Corps 15 Jan 1947

  • Dental Branch 1964

Machine Gun

During the First World War, machine guns had evolved as a separate class of weapon, distinct from both the infantry and the artillery. In 1936, machine guns were merged into the infantry, though tactically Medium Machine Guns remained a specialist weapon; not until after the Second World War were they merged into regular infantry units.

Reserve Component

  • Canadian Machine Gun Corps created 1 Jun 1919

  • Disbanded 1936

Ordnance

In addition to just caring for weapons, Ordnance men also maintained such entities as ammunition, clothing and equipment stores, salvage depots, and mobile bath and laundry units.

Regular component

  • Ordnance Stores Corps 1 Jul 1903

  • Canadian Ordnance Corps 2 Dec 1907

  • The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 3 Nov 1919

  • Logistics Branch 1974

Reserve component

  • Canadian Ordnance Corps 1 Apr 1912

  • Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 29 Apr 1936

  • The Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps 18 Apr 1955

  • Logistics Branch 1974

Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

RCEME/EME troops concerned themselves with the repair and maintenance of vehicles, weapons, optics, and other machinery.

Regular component

  • Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 1 Feb 1944

  • Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 20 Apr 1944

  • The Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 13 Apr 1953

  • Land Ordnance Engineering Branch 1968

  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch 15 May 1984

Pay

Responsible for the administration of soldier's pay and benefits.

Regular component

  • Canadian Army Pay Corps 1 Jan 1907

  • The Royal Canadian Army Pay Corps 1 Nov 1920

  • Logistics Branch 1967

Postal

Responsible for the movement of mail to troops serving on operations overseas. In the 1990s the Administration Branch was merged into the Logistics Branch.

Regular component

  • The Canadian Postal Corps 3 May 1911

  • The Royal Canadian Postal Corps 20 Jun 1961

  • Administration Branch 1967

  • Canadian Forces Postal Services 1987

Forestry

Responsible for providing cutting and preparing timber.

  • Canadian Forestry Corps created 14 Nov 1916.

  • Disbanded 1920.

  • Reformed 1940.

  • Disbanded 1945.

Chaplain

Providing spiritual care to Canadian soldiers.

Regular component

  • The Canadian Army Chaplain Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps 3 Jun 1948

  • Chaplain Branch 2 May 1969

Reserve component

  • Canadian Chaplain Service 1 Jun 1921

  • The Canadian Army Chaplain Corps 22 Mar 1948

  • The Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps 3 Jun 1948

  • Chaplain Branch 2 May 1969

Provost

This Corps/Branch provided military policemen, for field work and the staffing of detention facilities.

Regular component

  • The Canadian Provost Corps 15 Jun 1940

  • Security Branch 1964

  • Security and Intelligence Branch (amalgamated military police units of the three services with the Canadian Intelligence Corps 1 Feb 1968)

  • Military Police Branch (redesignated 1999)

Women's Services

Allowed women to serve in the Armed Forces for the first time; in 1964, women were admitted into the other branches of the Canadian Forces and the CWAC was disbanded.

  • Canadian Women's Army Corps (created 13 Aug 1941)

  • Disbanded 1964

Intelligence
  • The Corps of Guides 1902 (absorbed by Canadian Corps of Signals 31 Mar 1929).

  • Canadian Intelligence Corps 29 Oct 1942

  • Canadian Security Service (reorganized 1964)

  • Security and Intelligence Branch (amalgamated with military police units of the three services 1 Feb 1968)

  • Split into two branches in 1981; Security Branch and Intelligence Branch officially formed 1 Oct 1982.

Clerical

Finance Clerks remained part of the Logistics Branch until the 1990s when the trades of Adminstration Clerk and Finance Clerk were amalgamated, and the Administration Branch was dissolved.

  • The Corps of Military Staff Clerks (created 1 Apr 1912 and disbanded 30 Sep 1946)

  • Administration Branch (created 1967)

Armoured Corps

The Armoured Corps continues the traditions of the cavalry by using tanks and armoured vehicles to support the infantry, create breakthroughs, and exploit successes.

  • Canadian Armoured Corps 13 Aug 1940

  • Royal Canadian Armoured Corps 2 Aug 1945

  • Armour Branch 1967

Infantry Corps
  • 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

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers
  • Pacific Coast Militia Rangers made a corps of the Active Militia 12 Aug 1942

  • Disbanded 30 Sep 1945

Physical Training
  • Physical Training Staff

  • Physical Education and Recreation Instructors disbanded 1997.

Personnel Selection Branch
  • Personnel Selection Branch

Training Development Branch
  • Training Development Branch created in 1980 to provide uniformed specialist support to the Canadian Forces Individual Training and Education System (CFITES), a management system used to ensure the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of training and education.

Officer Training
  • The Canadian Officers' Training Corps 1912-Unification

Public Affairs Branch
  • Public Affairs Branch

Cadet Instructors
  • Cadet Services of Canada

  • Cadet Instructors List

  • Cadet Instructors Cadre

Field Organization

Throughout the 20th Century, Canadian land forces have been small in peacetime. Regular units are scattered across the country, and reserve units have always been very localized.

In time of war, the land forces have not been committed as formed units; instead, existing units have contributed to overseas forces as mentioned above - the CEF or CASF.

These overseas forces were strictly organized as Formations. While the composition of field formations changed greatly throughout this period, the general hierarchy did not.

Army: a group of Corps

Corps: a group of Divisions

Division: two or more Brigades

Brigade: usually three regiments (armour) or battalions (infantry)

Regiment: a grouping of squadrons

Squadron: a grouping of troops

Troop: the smallest subunit of horses or vehicles

Battalion: a grouping of companies

 Company: a grouping of platoons

Section: the smallest subunit of infantry

Infantry and Cavalry (or Armour) are the two types of unit which the rest of the army has been designed around. All other arms and services exist only to support these units. All are essential, all are organized very differently, and all were employed in varying degrees of proximity to the front lines. When one speaks of an Infantry or Armoured Division, one must remember that all the other arms and services also had troops represented in that Division.


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