Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations



►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)


►►Lieutenant Colonel




►►2nd Lieutenant

►►Officer Cadet

Warrant Officers

►►Chief Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class I (1915-1968)

►►Master Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class II (1915-1968)

►►Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class III (1939-1945)

Non-Commissioned Officers

►►Staff Sergeant (1900-1968)


►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)


►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)




Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks


Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant


Conductor (and Sub-Conductor) appointments were first introduced into the Canadian Army (specifically the Canadian Ordnance Corps) in Nov 1903.


The appointments of Conductor and Sub-Conductor traced their history to the British Army, where the earliest recorded use of that title was in a Statute of Westminster of 1327 in which King Edward III enacted that wages of Conductors (Conveyors) of soldiers travelling from the Shires to "the place of Assembly" would no longer be a charge upon the Shire.

Conductors of Ordnance are known to have existed as early as 1544 and the Siege of Boulogne; Conductors were also present in the train of artillery in 1618 and during the capture of Newfoundland in 1762 a Conductor and a Clerk of Stores were present, having come from Board of Ordnance depots at New York and Halifax.

A book entitled "The Military Guide for Young Officers" published in 1776 noted the duties of Conductors:

Conductors as assistants to the Commissary of the Stores, to receive or deliver out stores to the Army, to attend at the magazines by turns when in garrison and to look after the ammunition wagons in the field; they bring their accounts every night to the Commissary and are immediately under his command.

On 11 Jan 1879, a class of Warrant Officers was created by Royal Warrant

to assist in the discharge of the subordinate duties of the Commissariat and Transport and of the Ordnance Store Departments of our Army, to be denominated ‘Conductors of Supplies’ and ‘Conductors of Stores’ respectively. Their position in our Army shall be inferior to that of all commissioned officers and superior to that of all non-commissioned officers. Conductors shall at the same time have full power to exercise command over any subordinates of the Departments of our Army, or non-commissioned officers or soldiers of our Army, who may be placed under their orders.

Thirty-five Conductors of Stores were appointed from Mar to Jun 1879, being drawn from the Royal Artillery (16), Royal Engineers (2) and Ordnance Store Branch of the Army Service Corps (17) which later became a seperate corps in Sep 1881.

The title Conductor of Supplies was abolished in 1892 to be replaced by Staff Sergeant Major 1st Class. A Conductor, a Master Gunner 1st class, and a Staff Sergeant Major 1st Class ranked with one another according to the date of their promotion or appointment, or by Corps precedence if promoted or appointed on the same day.

The title Conductor meant literally a person who conducted persons and items from one place to another. Additional pay was awarded for the appointments of Conductor and Sub-Conductor. The appointments were abolished on re-enrolment in the Canadian Army Active Force from the Canadian Active Service Force on 1 Oct 1946, but were subsequently re-introduced in Aug 1958 as privileged appointments (i.e., without pay).


Rank Badges

No evidence of special rank/appointment badges exist until 20 Feb 1897 where an official minute reveals:

Badges for Conductors, Army Ordnance Corps, for wear with khaki drill – various proposals put forward, i.e., crown, crown with laurel wreath, officers shoulder straps, VR, officers field cap badge - but nothing definite decided.

On 11 Jul 1900 Army Ordnance Corps Conductors and Sub-Conductors were authorized distinguishing badges depicting a crown in wreath.

It appears that by 1898, Sub-Conductors had achieved the same status as senior Warrant Officers as clothing regulations indicate no rank badge and they are listed alongside Conductors. At some point from 1898 to 1909, both Conductors and Sub-Conductors wore dark blue gorget patches on Khaki Drill uniforms, edged in 1/8" scarlet material.

In 1901 the crown and wreath badge was officially authorized for Conductors, Army Ordnance Corps and for those appointed Staff Sergeant Major 1st Class, Army Service Corps. Sub-Conductors did not recieve a badge - a large plain crown - until 1904. After the introduction of Warrant Officer Class II in Feb 1915, an army order specified that Conductors would wear the crown and wreath badge while Sub-Conductors would wear the Royal Arms badge. In Oct 1918, the badges were changed once again, and the Conductor wore a Royal Arms in wreath, and a Sub-Conductor the Royal Arms.

Canadian Badges

It is not clear when the Canadian Army adopted special insignia for Conductors; the 1907 Dress Regulations do not mention the appointment. In 1915, however, a Conductor was authorized a crown and wreath badge such as that worn by his British counterpart, and the Sub-Conductor a Royal Arms badge. It is not clear when Canada adopted the Royal Arms in Wreath badge but it is likely it occurred in Oct 1918 in line with British practice.


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