And now, an article in the CMJ
Is the Term “Warrior” Suitable for the Canadian Armed Forces?
by T. Kent Gregory
Chief Petty Officer 1st Class (Retired) Thomas Kent Gregory, CD, served in the Royal Canadian Navy for 37 years as a Finance Clerk and a Resource Management Support Clerk, before retiring in September 2021 as the Base Chief Petty Officer of Canadian Forces Base Halifax. Immediately following his retirement, he joined the Professional Concepts and Leadership Development team at the Canadian Defence Academy.
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) William G. Cummings, CD; Captain Lee T. Jarratt, CD; Guilherme Martinelli.
There is an ongoing debate whether or not all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members can be described as warriors, given that they are first and foremost members of the profession of arms. There are historical, positive and invigorating aspects of being a warrior, and this may resonate more with certain sub-groups within the CAF. However, a strong argument can be made that this term does not define all CAF members today because they are part of a modern military profession with a wide range of occupations and ranks that perform a wide spectrum of tasks from institutional staff-work to war fighting. In addition, a case could be made that warrior identify causes more harm to the military than good.
Although a warrior is defined primarily as a person engaged or experienced in warfareFootnote 1
, it is also more popularly understood as a person who demonstrates great vigour, courage, or aggressiveness, as in business or athletics. Because it has this second, much broader and therefore accessible definition outside the field of military conflict, it has been adopted by many different groups, such as first responders, to suit their particular circumstances. It has also been widely used in popular media in varying contexts. As well, other military forces view and experience it differently.
If the term warrior is to make its way into official doctrine in a positive manner, it needs to be critically defined, and these gaps of perception will need to be bridged, so it becomes an encompassing term that resonates with everyone who wears the Canadian military uniform.