Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations

Ranks

Generals
►►
General

►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General
Officers

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)

►►Colonel

►►Lieutenant Colonel

►►Major

►►Captain

►►Lieutenant

►►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)

►►Sergeant

►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)

►►Corporal

►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)

►►Private

Appointments

Conductor

Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks

Colonel-in-Chief

Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant

 

Table of Ranks and Appointments

The following table describes the ranks and appointments of Other Ranks of the Canadian Army in the 20th Century. Within each date group, the ranks are listed from highest to lowest, and typical appointments and their specific insignia listed under each rank (and not listed in any specific order; appointments within a specific rank are generally considered equivalent to each other (with exceptions such as Lance Corporal, Lance Sergeant or Master Corporal) though specific instances of seniority may have been made based on date of promotion). Not all possible appointment titles and insignia may be presented here, though an effort has been made to include the most common ones.

There was a great variety of materials from which these badges were made; representative samples are shown in the article on Rank and Appointment Insignia. For consistency, the following types are illustrated here:

  • 1914-1918: Gilt badges are shown exclusively, though embroidered/worsted badges were adopted as the war went on.

  • 1939-1945: Gilt badges were still in use in some cases; embroidered/worsted badges are shown exclusively here. Versions of all the badges shown in this section were also rendered in light Khaki Drill material.

  • Post-Unification: the DEU badges are shown here; insignia for Pipe Major, Drum Major, Bugle Major were not rendered in any other type of insignia (Combat Dress, Work Dress, enamelled collar rank pins, etc.

1914-May 1915

Rank Insignia Appointment/Title Notes
Warrant Officer
  • Sergeant Major
  • Bandmaster
  • Sergeant Major CAMC
Staff Sergeant
  • Sergeant Major
  • Bandmaster

 

 
  • Sergeant Major CAMC
 
  • Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant
 
  • Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Battery Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Company Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Squadron Sergeant Major
  • Battery Sergeant Major
  • Company Sergeant Major
  • Colour Sergeant

 

 
Sergeant Armourer Sergeant  
  • Artificer Sergeant

 

 
Farrier Sergeant  
Pioneer Sergeant  
Signalling Sergeant  
  • Stretcher Bearer Sergeant
  • Sergeant CAMC

 

 
Sergeant Drummer  
Sergeant Trumpeter  
Sergeant Bugler  
  • Band Sergeant
  • Paymaster Sergeant
  • Orderly Room Sergeant
  • Machine Gun Sergeant
  • Sergeant Cook
  • Platoon Sergeant

 

 
Corporal Artificer Corporal  
Corporal  
  • Hospital Corporal
  • Stretcher Bearer Corporal
  • Corporal CAMC
 
Signalling Corporal  
Private
  • Bombardier (Royal Canadian Artillery)
  • 2nd Corporal (Canadian Engineers)
  • Lance Corporal
 
  • Collar Maker
  • Saddler
 
  • Pioneer
 
  • Bugler
 
  • Fitter
  • Smith
  • Carriage Smith
 
  • Shoeing Smith
 
  • Wheeler
 
  • Trumpeter
 

1915-1918

In May 1915, the grade of Warrant Officer was split into two separate grades - though primarily only in Europe. As well, many types of rank insignia became redesignated as Skill-at-Arms or Occupation (trade) badges.

Rank Insignia Appointment/Title Notes
Warrant Officer Class I
  • Conductor, Army Ordnance Corps
  • 1st Class Staff Sergeant Major, Army Service Corps
  • 1st Class Staff Sergeant Major, Army Pay Corps
  • Master Gunner 1st Class
  • Schoolmaster, 1st Class

In Oct 1918, the Royal Arms in Wreath badge was adopted by the British Army to identify a Conductor, it is possible Canada adopted the same badge at that time.

  • Sub-Conductor, Army Ordnance Corps
  • Garrison Sergeant Major
  • Schoolmaster
  • Sergeant-Major
  • Master Gunner 2nd Class
  • Farrier Corporal Major
  • Farrier Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major CAMC
  • Sergeant Major, Gymnastic Staff
  • Sergeant Major, School of Musketry
  • Sergeant Major, Bandmaster (except Household Cavalry and Foot Guards)
Warrant Officer Class II Master Gunner 3rd Class  

  • Schoolmaster
  • Garrison Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Quartermaster Corporal Major
  • Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Battery Sergeant Major
  • Squadron Sergeant Major
  • Squadron Corporal Major
  • Troop Sergeant Major
  • Company Sergeant Major

 

 
  • Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, School of Musketry

Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant CAMC  
Sergeant Major, Gymnastic Staff  
Staff Sergeant
  • Staff Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Sergeant Piper

 

 
Sergeant Bugler  
Sergeant Drummer  
Quartermaster Sergeant, Gymnastic Staff  
Company Sergeant Major Instructor, Gymnastic Staff  
  • Armament Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Battery Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant, Army Ordnance Corps
  • Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Company Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant, Army Medical Corps
  • Staff Sergeant Farrier
  • Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant, Army Pay Corps
  • Staff Sergeant Wheeler
  • Armament Staff Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant, Armourer
  • Staff Sergeant Smith
  • Staff Sergeant, Army Service Corps
  • Sergeant of Mounted Band
  • Staff Sergeant of Regimental Band, Artillery
 
Sergeant Sergeant  
Band Sergeant  
Pioneer Sergeant  
  • Sergeant Instructor, Gymnastic Staff

 

 

Corporal

Corporal  
Private
  • Bombardier (Royal Canadian Artillery)
  • 2nd Corporal (Canadian Engineers)
  • Lance Corporal
 
Pioneer  
  • Bandsman
  • Musician

 

 
Bugler  
Trumpeter  
  • Drummer
  • Fifer

 

 

1939-1945

Rank Insignia Appointment/Title Notes
Warrant Officer Class I
  • Conductor (RCOC)
  • Staff Sergeant Major 1st Class
  • Master Gunner 1st Class
  • Bandmaster
  • Master Gunner 2nd Class
  • Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM)
  • Armourer Sergeant Major
  • Farrier Sergeant Major
  • Topographic Surveyor Sergeant Major
  • Garrison Sergeant Major
  • Artificer Sergeant Major
  • Clerk
  • Foreman of Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Saddler Sergeant Major
  • Accountant Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Foreman of Works Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major, Artillery Clerk
  • Armament Sergeant Major
  • Draughtsman Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Lithographer Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major Instructor (Instructional Cadre)
  • Mechanist Sergeant Major
  • Staff Sergeant Major
  • Sub-Conductor, (RCOC)
  • Superintending Clerk
Warrant Officer Class II Master Gunner 3rd Class  
  • Armament Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Foreman of Signals Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Staff Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Artisan Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Foreman of Works Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Quarter Master Sergeant Artillery Clerk
  • Topographic Surveyor Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Armourer Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Garrison Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Quarter Master Sergeant Instructor (Instructional Cadre)
  • Squadron Sergeant Major
  • Battery Sergeant Major
  • Company Sergeant Major
  • Engineer Clerk Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Lithographer Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Quarter Master Sergeant Superintending Clerk
  • Squadron Sergeant Major (Instructional Cadre)
  • Battery Sergeant Major (Instructional Cadre)
  • Company Sergeant Major (Instructional Cadre)
  • Engineer Draughtsman Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Mechanist Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Company Sergeant Major Superintending Clerk
  • Farrier Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Orderly Room Sergeant (when graded as a Quarter Master Sergeant)
  • Saddler Quarter Master Sergeant
 
Warrant Officer Class III

  • Troop Sergeant Major
  • Section Sergeant Major
  • Platoon Sergeant Major

 

 
Staff Sergeant Battery Quartermaster Sergeant (RCA)  
Company Quartermaster Sergeant (RCE)  
  • Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Battery Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Company Quarter Master Sergeant
  • Armament Staff Sergeant
  • Mechanist Staff Sergeant
  • Armourer Staff Sergeant
  • Orderly Room Sergeant (when graded as a Staff-Sergeant)
  • Artisan Staff Sergeant
  • Saddler Staff Sergeant
  • Engineer Clerk Staff Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant Artillery Clerk
  • Engineer Draughtsman Staff Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant Clerk
  • Farrier Staff Sergeant
  • Foreman of Works Staff Sergeant
  • Superintending Clerk
  • Lithographer Staff Sergeant
  • Topographic Surveyor Staff Sergeant
  • Staff Sergeant
 
Sergeant
  • Armourer Sergeant
  • Lithographer Sergeant
  • Provost Sergeant
  • Sergeant Shoemaker
  • Clerk Signals Sergeant
  • Machinist Sergeant
  • Saddler Sergeant
  • Sergeant Tailor
  • Engineer Clerk Sergeant
  • Mechanist Sergeant
  • Sergeant Artificer
  • Signalling Sergeant
  • Engineer Draughtsman Sergeant
  • Orderly Room Sergeant (when below the rank of Staff Sergeant)
  • Sergeant Artillery Clerk
  • Transport Sergeant
  • Engineer Works Sergeant
  • Pay-Sergeant
  • Sergeant Instructor (Instructional Cadre)
  • Topographic Surveyor Sergeant
  • Farrier Sergeant
  • Pioneer Sergeant
  • Sergeant Roughrider
  • Wheeler Sergeant
  • Band Sergeant (Cavalry regiments only)
 
Sergeant (RCA) Guns always faced forward.
Sergeant (RCE)  
Band Sergeant (except Cavalry) Soldiers of Cavalry Regiments did not wear the Band badge.
Bugle Major  
Drum Major (Foot Guards) 4-bar chevron worn point up on Greatcoats.
Drum Major (all except Foot Guards) Also worn by Drum Majors of Foot Guard regiments on greatcoats.
Pipe Major (Foot Guards)  
Pipe Major (all except Foot Guards) Also worn by Pipe Majors of Foot Guard regiments on greatcoats.
Trumpet Major  
Corporal
  • Armourer Lance Sergeant
  • Lance Sergeant

 

 
Band Lance Sergeant (except Cavalry) Soldiers of Cavalry Regiments did not wear the Band badge.
  • Armourer Corporal
  • Bombardier Cook (RCA)
  • Corporal Orderly Room Clerk
  • Bombardier Orderly Room Clerk
  • Band Corporal (Cavalry only)
  • Farrier Corporal
  • Artificer Corporal
  • Bombardier Signaller (RCA)
  • Corporal
  • Provost Corporal
  • Bombardier (RCA)
  • Corporal Cook
  • Signalling Corporal
  • Bombardier Clerk
  • Corporal Clerk
  • Transport Corporal
 
  • Band Corporal (except Cavalry)
  • Band Bombardier (RCA)
  • Band Lance Corporal (Foot Guards)
 
Private
  • Armourer Lance Corporal
  • Lance Corporal
  • Lance Bombardier (RCA)
  • Cavalry Band Lance Corporals
 
Band Lance Corporal (except Cavalry)  

Bandsman  
Bugler  
Trumpeter  
Drummer  
NO INSIGNIA
  • Private
  • Armourer Craftsman
  • Piper
  • Artificer
  • Saddler
  • Clerk
  • Signaller (other than RCCS)
  • Farrier
  • Pioneer
  • Wheeler
  • Bandsman (Cavalry)
Alternate titles for Private included:
  • Trooper (Armoured Regiment)
  • Gunner (RCA)
  • Sapper (RCE)
  • Guardsman (Foot Guards)
  • Fusilier (Fusilier Regiment)
  • Rifleman (Rifle Regiment)
  • Craftsman (RCEME)

 

1945-1968

Cosmetic changes to Rank and Appointment Insignia between the end of the Second World War and Unification included the changeover from the Tudor Crown to the St. Edward's Crown following the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.

As well, the Royal Arms were exchanged for the Coat of Arms of Canada.

In the 1950s, NCO Corps Badges were also adopted by non-commissioned officers in some corps.

1968-2000

Rank Insignia Appointment/Title Notes
Chief Warrant Officer Image:Cfchief.gif
  • Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer
Introduced 1978.
Image:Cfcomchief.gif
  • Command Chief Warrant Officer
Introduced circa 1971.
Image:Cfcwo.gif
  • Regimental Sergeant Major
Image:Cfbasecwo.gif
  • Base Chief Warrant Officer
Introduced circa 1971.
Image:Cfformcwo.gif
  • Formation Chief Warrant Officer
Introduced May 1994.
Image:Cdbdersm.gif
  • Brigade Chief Warrant Officer
Introduced late 1990s.
Image:Cfmastergunner1.gif Gun badge always pointed to wearer's front.
Image:Cfpmcwo.gif
  • Pipe Major
Image:Cfdmcwo.gif
  • Drum Major
Image:Cftmcwo.gif
  • Bugle Major
Master Warrant Officer Image:Cfmwo.gif
  • Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Squadron Sergeant Major
  • Battery Sergeant Major
  • Company Sergeant Major

 

 
Image:Mastergunner2.gif Master Gunner Gun badge always pointed to wearer's front.
Image:Cfpmmwo.gif Pipe Major  
Image:Cfdmmwo.gif Drum Major  
Image:Cftmmwo.gif Bugle Major  
Warrant Officer Image:Cfwo.gif
  • Warrant Officer
  • Troop Warrant Officer
  • Platoon Warrant Officer
  • Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Battery Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Company Quartermaster Sergeant
  • Colour Sergeant (Foot Guards)
 
Image:Cfpmwo.gif Pipe Major  
Image:Cfpmwo.gif Drum Major  
Image:Cftmwo.gif Bugle Major  
Sergeant
  • Sergeant
  • Chief Clerk
  • Infantry Section Commander
  • Orderly Room Sergeant
 
Image:cfpm.gif Pipe Major  
Image:cfdm.gif Drum Major  
Image:Dftm.gif Bugle Major  
Corporal
  • Master Corporal
  • Master Bombardier (Artillery)

 

 
  • Corporal
  • Bombardier (RCA)

 

The original insignia for a Cpl was thought to be too easily confused with that of Master Corporal and was replaced with a plain 2-bar chevron.

Private

Trained Private Alternate titles included:
  • Trooper (Armoured Regiment)
  • Gunner (RCA)
  • Sapper (Canadian Military Engineers)
  • Guardsman (Foot Guards)
  • Fusilier (Fusilier Regiment)
  • Rifleman (Rifle Regiment)
  • Craftsman (EME)
NO INSIGNIA
  • Basic Private
  • Recruit

 

 

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