The roles played by the branches of the Cana­dian mil­i­tary

The Western Star - - REMEMBRANC­E DAY -

Each year on Nov. 11, Cana­di­ans pause in a silent mo­ment of re­mem­brance for the men and women who have served and con­tinue to serve their coun­try dur­ing times of war, con­flict and peace. Known as Re­mem­brance Day, the day honors the brave peo­ple who fought for Canada in the First World War (1914-1918), the Sec­ond World War (1939-1945) and the Korean War (19501953), as well as those who have served since then.

More than 1.5 mil­lion Cana­di­ans have served in the mil­i­tary. Trag­i­cally, more than 100,000 of those brave men and women have died.

The Cana­dian Armed Forces, or CAF, make up the gov­ern­ment’s largest fed­eral de­part­ment. The CAF serves on land, in the air and on the sea and branches in­clude the Cana­dian Army, the Royal Cana­dian Air Force and the Royal Cana­dian Navy. Each branch serves a unique role. Learn­ing about each branch is a great way for civil­ians to gain a greater un­der­stand­ing of the ef­forts and sac­ri­fices the men and women pro­tect­ing their free­doms make each and ev­ery day.


The largest el­e­ment of the CAF, the Cana­dian Army is the land com­po­nent of the coun­try’s mil­i­tary. Sol­diers in the Cana­dian Army are trained at bases, ar­mouries and train­ing cen­ters through­out Canada. It’s these train­ing ses­sions that pre­pare Cana­dian sol­diers for a wide range of sce­nar­ios, in­clud­ing op­er­a­tions at home and abroad. There are 23,000 full-time sol­diers in the Reg­u­lar Force and an ad­di­tional 17,000 part-time, vol­un­teer sol­diers in the Re­serve Force.


The Royal Cana­dian Air Force pro­tects Cana­dian and North Amer­i­can airspace in part­ner­ship with the United States. The RCAF pro­vides the Cana­dian Armed Forces with rel­e­vant, re­spon­sive and ef­fec­tive air power to meet present and fu­ture de­fence chal­lenges. Among its many roles, the RCAF pro­vides con­trol and sur­veil­lance of Cana­dian ter­ri­tory, airspace and mar­itime ap­proaches while also con­duct­ing search and res­cue mis­sions to aid those in dis­tress any­where in Canada. Those are sig­nif­i­cant re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, as Canada has the sec­ond largest ter­ri­tory and airspace in the world. The RCAF in­cludes 12,000 Reg­u­lar Force per­son­nel and 2,100 Air Re­serve per­son­nel.


The mis­sion of the Royal Cana­dian Navy and its leader is to lead the strate­gic de­vel­op­ment and gen­er­a­tion of com­bat-ca­pa­ble, multi-pur­pose mar­itime forces while pro­vid­ing ad­vice and sup­port to mar­itime op­er­a­tions. The Mar­itime Forces Pa­cific, Mar­itime Forces At­lantic and Naval Re­serve are di­rectly re­spon­si­ble to the Com­man­der of the Royal Cana­dian Navy. The Mar­itime Forces Pa­cific and Mar­itime Forces At­lantic gen­er­ate, main­tain and sus­tain an armed ca­pa­bil­ity to guard Canada’s Pa­cific and At­lantic mar­itime ap­proaches. Mar­itime Forces At­lantic, which em­ploys more than 5,000 mil­i­tary and 2,000 civil­ian per­son­nel, is head­quar­tered in Hal­i­fax and home to 18 ships and sub­marines. Mar­itime Forces Pa­cific, head­quar­tered in Esquimalt, Bri­tish Columbia on Van­cou­ver Is­land, is home to 15 ships and sub­marines and em­ploys around 4,000 mil­i­tary and 2,000 civil­ian per­son­nel.

Cana­dian mil­i­tary per­son­nel play an in­valu­able role, both in Canada and abroad.


More than 1.5 mil­lion Cana­di­ans have served in the mil­i­tary in one of the three spe­cial­ized branches.

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