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Restoration of Army Traditions – Including the Pips and Crown July 10, 2013

Posted by J. Hawkes in Military, News.
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The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced today the Government of Canada’s intent to restore Canadian Army rank insignia, names and badges to their traditional forms.

“Our Government is committed to honouring the traditions and history of the Canadian Army,” said Minister MacKay. “The restoration of these historical features will encourage the esprit de corps of our soldiers and reinforce a rich military tradition that will continue to develop as they serve their country. Wherever I travel in Canada, these changes continue to be cherished in the hearts of our veterans.”

The changes include the re-introduction of divisional nomenclature and patches for the current Land Force Areas; traditional rank insignia for officers; corps shoulder titles from the restoration of Royal titles to a number of Canadian Army corps in April 2013; and the Canadian Army’s secondary badge. Further, the Minister of National Defence announced the intention to restore the historical Army rank names for non-commissioned members.

“The restoration of these features is a significant step in the restoration of the Canadian Army’s traditions,” said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army. “Symbols and traditions establish links to soldiers’ heritage, and are important. It is very significant that our non-commissioned members have the prospect of being able to bear the same ranks as their forbearers, and our officers will proudly wear the same insignia worn by Canadians who fought in the First and Second World Wars and Korea.”

These restorations are the next step in the phased approach that began in August 2011, [personally, I would say it began in 2010 with the restoration of the Elliot’s Eye for sailors as part of the Naval Centennial] when the historical name of the Canadian Army was restored. Stemming from this initial restoration, and in line with historical lineage, the Canadian Army’s secondary badge will be reinstated, and the Land Force Areas will be renamed under division names, with division patches introduced accordingly.

Additionally, following from the restoration of traditional titles to a number of Canadian Army corps, shoulder titles for members of these corps will be restored. The intent is also to restore historical rank names for non-commissioned members, the traditional and internationally recognized convention of army insignia of stars and crowns for officers, and gorget patches for colonels and general officers.

(below from the DND/CF backgrounder):

When the Government of Canada announced that it was reinstating the historical name of the Canadian Army in August 2011, it restored an important part of the Canadian Army’s heritage. The restoration of traditions related to the historical identity of the Canadian Army appropriately reflects the re-designation of the institution.

The proposed changes include the re-introduction of divisional nomenclature and patches for the current Land Force Areas; traditional rank insignia for officers; corps shoulder titles following the restoration of traditional titles to a number of Canadian Army corps in April 2013; and the Canadian Army’s secondary badge. Further, the Minister of National Defence announced the intention to restore the historical Army rank names for non-commissioned members.

Divisional Nomenclature and Patches

Land Force Areas will be renamed as divisions and Canadian Army personnel will wear appropriate division patches. Formations will be renamed as follows:

  • Land Force Quebec Area will be referred to as “2nd Canadian Division”;
  • Land Force Western Area will be referred to as “3rd Canadian Division”;
  • Land Force Central Area will be referred to as “4th Canadian Division”;
  • Land Force Atlantic Area will be referred to as “5th Canadian Division”; and
  • Land Force Doctrine and Training System will be referred to as “Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre”.

There will be no change to 1st Canadian Division Headquarters.

Corps Shoulder Titles

Following the restoration of the Canadian Army’s corps in April 2013, corps metal and cloth shoulder titles will be produced.

Army Rank Names

The historical rank names for non-commissioned members, which have long been used informally, are being considered for formalization, at which point they would change as follows:

  • Privates of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps will be referred to as “Trooper”;
  • Privates and corporals of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery will be referred to as “Gunner” and “Bombardier” respectively;
  • Privates of the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers will be referred to as “Sapper”;
  • Privates of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals will be addressed as “Signaller”;
  • Some Privates of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps will be referred to as “Fusilier,” “Rifleman” or “Guardsman”, depending on their type of unit; and
  • Privates of the Corps of Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will be referred to as “Craftsman”.

In addition, the second lieutenants and warrant officers in Guards regiments will be addressed as “Ensign” and “Colour Sergeant”, respectively.

Traditional Insignia for Officers

In line with the formalization of historical rank names for non-commissioned members, the traditional army officer rank insignia – with the stars, or “pips,” and crowns – are being restored. This ranking system is more than a hundred years old and continues to be used by armies the world over. Historically, the variations of the stars and crown were used to delineate rank so that officers could recognize each other on the battlefield. Canadian Army colonels and general officers will also wear the traditional gorget patches.

Canadian Army Secondary Badge

The new Canadian Army secondary badge is based on the historical Canadian Army badge used during and after the Second World War. It features the crossed swords, overlaid by three maple leaves conjoined on one stem. A crown is placed atop the maple leaves. The secondary badge will be displayed on the Canadian Army ensign and pocket badge.

(News release from the DND)

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Comments»

1. Harreson Garner - July 13, 2013

Nice to see! we lost our Canadian Army Identity with those US styled Rings and calling them these foreign name ranks (Master Corporal, Warrant officer etc…) Our beloved Canadian Army was lost with Trudeau in 1968, when he wanted everyone wearing Pepsi-Cola uniforms, He hated the Military, as he was thrown out (Insubordination) during the war. Most of our Commonwealth allies today still where the same Rank system as 100 years ago. It brings us back to our heritage, and will be identified by our commonwealth allies.
realizing of course that the soldiers over the last 2 decades are not familiar with these ranks, they will soon adapt and feel proud of their new found Canadian traditions that their Great Grandfather, Grandfather and father wore. With the return of the Corps shoulder flashes that were striped away, will bring back more “Esprit-de-Corps. I know these days well, I was a member of the Canadian Army when we were striped of all we held dear! Thousands of us left the service because of it. Great Regiments that had hundreds of years of proud tradition were disbanded ( Black Watch of Canada) (Queen’s own Rifles of Canada) to name a few, These were fine dedicated soldier’s who overnight were nothing but a number and transferred to regiments they didn’t want to go to. I say to Our Minister of National Defense: Good on you! Mr Mckay, and your forsight and devotion to the best fighting force in the world (Small but well known for their “Take Charge”) Anywhere our military is sent, they generally run the show, because of their professionalism ,As well as Canada’s pride and joy!

2. Restoration of RCAF Tradition as well | North Saskatchewan Branch of the Monarchist League of Canada - July 20, 2013

[…] I noted in a previous post the Canadian Army is reviving various traditions including the Pips and Crown which are […]


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