Chaplains Return to its Historical Identity
On October 16, 2014, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Chaplain Branch was renamed the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service. This Royal designation has been restored to honor and commemorate the Branch’s long and proud history of providing spiritual care and support to CAF operations, its military members and their families.
The restoration of a Royal prefix to the CAF Chaplain Branch was sought to reconnect with the heritage of the former Royal Canadian Army Chaplain Corps and the chaplain services of the pre-unification Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force.
His Excellency the Right Hon. David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, communicated the approval of these changes by Buckingham Palace while addressing CAF leadership.
The restoration of the Royal designation to the CAF Chaplain Branch is another step in the process to recognize traditional service and corps identities in the CAF that began in August 2011, and in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the start of the Second World War.
To date, the restoration of historical names has included the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Canadian Medical Service, the Royal Canadian Dental Corps, the Royal Canadian Armored Corps, the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, the Royal Canadian Engineers, and the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Both at home and on international operations, CAF chaplains provide comprehensive religious and spiritual support, advice, and care to military commanders, CAF members and their families. An interfaith team, the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service includes representation from over twenty different Christian denominations and from the Jewish and Muslim faiths.