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"Re-Royalization", "Re-Britification" and the Heritage Transformation

The RCN has its old rank titles and executive curl back. What should be the next step for the CF ra

  • Nothing. The current rank system works, so leave it alone.

    Votes: 118 58.1%
  • Complete return to the pre-unification ranks of the 50s and early 60s.

    Votes: 40 19.7%
  • Complete return to post unification ranks of the 70s and early 80s.

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • Officers only return to the pre-unification ranks of the 50s and early 60s.

    Votes: 9 4.4%
  • Copy the UK rank system - it is the prototype anyway.

    Votes: 17 8.4%
  • Copy the US rank system - they are the new colonial master.

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • Create a whole new Canadian system.

    Votes: 8 3.9%
  • Lobby for standardized NATO rank insignia.

    Votes: 7 3.4%
  • Copy the French rank system - it is the other founding nation's turn

    Votes: 1 0.5%

  • Total voters
    203

Kirkhill

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OGBD - I understand your point.

It was just that, on review, I found it noteworthy that all the ranks above those of Subaltern, as ERC notes, wear a crown. This includes both Field and General officers.

Given the history of the ranks

Captain is the leader or head of a company  (ship's or army)
Lieutenant holds his place during his absence
Sergeant, or servant, serves the Lieutenants and Captain with the Sergeant-Major being the Big Servant.

The next appointment, when a whole bunch of Captains were engaged, during the Tudor times, was a Captain placed in general control of all the other Captains - the Captain-General, subsequently shortened to General.  The Captain-General brought along his own place holders and servants or Lieutenants-General and Sergeants Major General, subsequently Major General

It wasn't until, to my knowledge, the era of Nassau, Adolphus and the New Model Army when the armies were regimented into agglomorations of Companies that marched in columns that Column Commanders, or Colonels became common.  The Colonels of course needed their own place holders and servants or Lieutenant-Colonels and Colonel's Sergeant Major, subsequently Major.


I couldn't help but wonder if the lack of a crown on the Major-General's shoulder reflected the original position of the rank as an NCO. 

On the other hand both Company Sergeants-Major as well as Majors (Colonel's Sergeants-Major) wear a crown, to the confusion of many Yanks.

Also, ERC, isn't the lower insignia on the General officers' tab a Field Marshall's baton crossed with a sword?  Perhaps that could indicate that the rank is within the gift of, and at the pleasure of the General (or Captain-General, who wears crossed batons in a laurel wreath)?

 

dimsum

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milnews.ca said:
Not to mention Non-Commissioned Officer Cadet Rank in the Air Force - full ADF rank chart here.

The reason for the NCOCDT rank is that aircrew NCOs such as Flight Engineers, AEAs (their version of AESOPs), etc. are promoted to Sgt once they finish training, due to some reason or another that I forget now.  Therefore, they are NCOCDTs while in training to differentiate them from the "other" NCMs that go through LAC, CPL, etc.

The side effect is that since you can be an aircrew Sgt at 19-20, the RAAF ends up with all sorts of aircrew WOFFs (CWO equivalent) with about 8-10 years' experience in the Forces (the last bunch going through our unit had a guy who was 29 or so) instead of the time in that you'd expect for a CWO-equivalent. 
 

Edward Campbell

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Dimsum said:
The reason for the NCOCDT rank is that aircrew NCOs such as Flight Engineers, AEAs (their version of AESOPs), etc. are promoted to Sgt once they finish training, due to some reason or another that I forget now.  Therefore, they are NCOCDTs while in training to differentiate them from the "other" NCMs that go through LAC, CPL, etc.

The side effect is that since you can be an aircrew Sgt at 19-20, the RAAF ends up with all sorts of aircrew WOFFs (CWO equivalent) with about 8-10 years' experience in the Forces (the last bunch going through our unit had a guy who was 29 or so) instead of the time in that you'd expect for a CWO-equivalent.


Back in the 1950s and '60s there were, in Canada, to apprentice programmes: one Navy and one Army.

The Army's soldier apprentice programme took 16 year olds and put them through a fairly intensive two year academics and trade regimen - they ended up as privates, trained, with better educations than they would have had, otherwise, many managing to matriculate after a few more correspondence courses. The programme existed in, at least, the RCA, RCE, RCCS and RCEME - it produced some very good, indeed exceptional NCOs and a few very good officers, too - some of whom rose up to the general officer level.

The RCN's programme was different, and I cannot recall all that much about it except that it had higher entry standards (age 17 and grade 11?) was restricted to a few very technical trades and took three years. But the RCN apprentices finished as PO2s, as I recall, which led to the same problems Dimsum just described in Australia.

Neither programme survived Mr. Hellyer.
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Have we derailed this topic, too?
:trainwreck:
 

Old Sweat

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E.R. Campbell said:
Back in the 1950s and '60s there were, in Canada, to apprentice programmes: one Navy and one Army.

The Army's soldier apprentice programme took 16 year olds and put them through a fairly intensive two year academics and trade regimen - they ended up as privates, trained, with better educations than they would have had, otherwise, many managing to matriculate after a few more correspondence courses. The programme existed in, at least, the RCA, RCE, RCCS and RCEME - it produced some very good, indeed exceptional NCOs and a few very good officers, too - some of whom rose up to the general officer level.

Neither programme survived Mr. Hellyer.
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Have we derailed this topic, too?
:trainwreck:

Sorry if i have added to the train wreck, but an ex-apprentice soldier rose to CLS, and I had a beer or two with him last weekend at a gunner gathering. We and our wives have been friends since circa 1976. At that time I told my wife I thought he would go the highest of any of the officers in CTC.
 

The Bread Guy

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E.R. Campbell said:
Have we derailed this topic, too?
:trainwreck:
That's what the split & move thread functions are for - good discussion, now standing on its own.

Milnet.ca Staff
 

ModlrMike

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Kirkhill said:
Interesting, that just as in the British Army, the only officer above the rank of Captain to carry no visible sign of Her Majesty's warrant, in the form of a Crown, is the Major-General.


Perhaps it stems from them being originally know as Sgt Maj General? Which also probably explains why an LGen outranks an MGen.
 

Blackadder1916

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Snakedoc said:
Interesting, on the west coast I've only ever seen stars on flag officer vehicles.  I'll have to keep my eye out for leaf plates next time I'm in Ottawa.

Must be hippies!  They don't want to conform.

A-AD-200-000/AG-000, The Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces
SECTION 4
FLAG/GENERAL OFFICER PLATES
CAR PLATES

1. When officers of flag/general rank, including
foreign officers, are travelling by staff car or other
military vehicle in their official capacity, or proceeding
on official business, a special plate shall be displayed
on the front and rear of the vehicle. Plates shall not be
displayed during routine travel. If more than one officer
of flag/general rank is in the vehicle, the plate for the
highest rank shall be displayed.

2. The universal-pattern plate (Figure 14-4-1)
shall be in the Canadian national colours (red with silver
maple leaves
- silver heraldically representing white);
however flag/general officers may, at their own
personal expense, have alternative colour plates
produced in the following traditional service colours:

a. navy – navy blue;
b. army – scarlet (which is the universal pattern);
and
c. air force – air force light blue.

3. The plate shall be displayed at all times when
the officer is in the vehicle or while the vehicle is parked
waiting for the officer. It shall not be displayed when
proceeding to pick up or returning from delivery of the
officer; nor shall it be displayed while proceeding
without the officer except a short distance to and from
a parking place. A hood shall be provided to cover any
plate which is not reversible or removable.

4. Distinguishing plates shall not be displayed on
staff cars when the entitled officer is driving the vehicle.
 

dimsum

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E.R. Campbell said:
But the RCN apprentices finished as PO2s, as I recall, which led to the same problems Dimsum just described in Australia.

I'm not totally sure that the RAAF thinks of what I said as a "problem" per se; that's just me projecting.  That's a good question to ask my co-workers though (we have a few FSgts and WOFFs, both aircrew and non.)
 

Edward Campbell

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Dimsum said:
I'm not totally sure that the RAAF thinks of what I said as a "problem" per se; that's just me projecting.  That's a good question to ask my co-workers though (we have a few FSgts and WOFFs, both aircrew and non.)


I should not have put words in your mouth; and I'm not sure it was a "problem" for the RCN, either - it was just different from the way we did things in the Canadian Army.
 

McG

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Snakedoc said:
Out of curiosity, is the star system used to refer to Canadian Flag/General officers something borrowed from the Americans or is it a NATO standard to refer to all of them that way? 
Reference to one, two, three and four stars is a colloquialism that we adopted from the US.
 

McG

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This topic seemed to make it back into a number of newspapers over the past week:
More Royal ruckus in Canadian military
Sub-units of army, navy, air force up for redesignation

Murray Brewster
Edmonton Journal
17 Aug 2012

The decision to rebrand the Canadian Forces touched off a Royal ruckus of sorts last year as National Defence went about extending the name change to the military's smaller branches, documents suggest.

Restoring the "Royal" prefix to the navy and air force has since become a huge point of pride for the Harper government, which billed the move as one that would help today's soldiers, sailors and aircrew connect with their storied history.

One year later, a series of briefing notes prepared for the country's top military commanders show that subordinate commands - the smaller subsets of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army - are next.

But it's not as simple as new business cards and stationery. Each designation must meet with the Queen's approval, something that takes protocol and paperwork. The latest round of recommendations have already been forwarded to Buckingham Palace.

Prior to the unification of the Forces in 1968, each branch of the military maintained its own separate engineers, logisticians and signallers. They're combined now, with each branch contributing people to the pooled system. The Canadian Army was never designated "Royal," but was eager to re-adopt the prefix for many of its sub-commands, including engineers, signallers and logisticians. But the documents show the move was considered "divisive and a potential threat" to unity if their air force and navy counterparts were excluded.

It was seen as point of tension and "controversy," said the analysis, dated Oct. 13, 2011. Lt.-Gen. Peter Devlin was urged to consult other commanders to smooth the way.

Despite three days of requests, National Defence refused to comment on the documents. But Defence Minister Peter MacKay said earlier this week he believes the designation has been "warmly embraced" by those in uniform. "It has long been associated with the Canadian Forces since our inception, but it has also been warmly embraced by veterans, by Canadians far and wide, and it was well received within the Commonwealth," MacKay said.  "I suspect the Queen herself was quite happy."

The army chose to drop the antiseptic-sounding Land Forces Command and returned to its roots as simply the Canadian Army.

The artillery and armoured corps were eager to designate themselves as "Royal" once again, documents show.
 

Bass ackwards

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From the article:

The artillery and armoured corps were eager to designate themselves as "Royal" once again, documents show.

Did I miss something or has it not always been RCAC, RCD, RCHA, RCA, etc ?
 

Old Sweat

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The article had been shortened before publication. The longer version which I read in another paper noted that the artillery had already applied for and been granted the Royal designation as a regiment, ie The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery. It also reported that the armour had continued to use Royal Canadian Armoured Corps "unofficially" [my word].
 

je suis prest

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At least as far as the artilley goes, the article is mistaken.  The artillery has been "Royal" since 1893 and it adopted the title "the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery" in 1956.  Unification did not affect that status.  The Regiment did not need to re-apply for use of the "Royal" designation as it was never removed.
 

McG

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Bass ackwards said:
From the article:

The artillery and armoured corps were eager to designate themselves as "Royal" once again, documents show.

Did I miss something or has it not always been RCAC, RCD, RCHA, RCA, etc ?
Versions of the article in other papers included the statement "The artillery and armoured corps were eager to designate themselves as "Royal" once again, documents show. In fact, the tank branch never stopped informally referring to itself in the traditional sense and gunners petitioned years ago for permission to restore their connection to the monarchy. "  While "RCD" and "RCHA" remained official titles, use of "RCAC" was an unauthorized title.  I do not know if "RCA" remained authorized or not.

Looking to other parts of this thread, it would appear that the artillery is content to stick with the current  "Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery."
 

RCA

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RCA is the official abbreviation for "The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery"
 

Wolseleydog

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MCG said:
Reference to one, two, three and four stars is a colloquialism that we adopted from the US.

Quite so, and not just us -- even the Brits themselves are beginning to succumb to this.

I was in ISAF IX HQ, commanded by the Brit Gen Richards (now the UK CDS).  He had the traditional Brit rank symbology for a general on his epaulet, but because so few internationally would recognize such arcane symbols, he wore on his shirt tab (US style) a four-star patch.  Indeed, I am sure that all he had done was gotten a US four star's combat patch, and had it sewn onto his combat shirt tab.

True story.  So its not just us here in Canada...
 

Journeyman

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Canadian, British, and Aussie exchange officers in the US regularly wear US rank pinned to our own national rank slip-ons. Sometimes you just have to work to the lowest common denominator -- the Americans.  ;)
 

Blackadder1916

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Journeyman said:
. . . . . lowest common denominator -- the Americans.  ;)

Over twenty years ago when I was down at Fort Sam Houston, I wore equivalent US rank insignia (captain's bars) pinned to my Canadian uniform, the same was also true for the Aussie, German, Malaysian, Philippino, Thai, Somali, El Salvadoran . . . that were there.  The only foreigners that didn't wear US rank insignia were the Chinese Republic of China Taiwanese.  But they also were not permitted to wear their own rank insignia (or national uniforms) and could not be referred to by rank, only "mister".

A few months after I left San Antonio, the unit I was with deployed in support of the Americans during Desert Storm.  As there was a significant mixing of our troops with the Americans, it was suggested to us (and the Germans) that we (at least the officers) wear US rank insignia so they could know who was in charge.  They were politely told to get f***ed.
 

Infanteer

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I've worked in U.S. organizations and refused to wear their insignia.  If people can't be bothered to learn their allies rank insignia (as we all learn the U.S.) then that is their problem.  As well, people tend to listen more intently when they are not sure if you are a Captain, a Major or a Colonel.... :blotto:
 
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