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Portal:Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces Portal

Introduction

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The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; French: Forces armées canadiennes, FAC), or Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces canadiennes, FC), are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."

This unified institution consists of sea, land, and air elements referred to as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Personnel may belong to either the Regular Force or the Reserve Force, which has four sub-components: the Primary Reserve, Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, and the Canadian Rangers. Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian Armed Forces are an entity separate and distinct from the Department of National Defence (the federal government department responsible for administration and formation of defence policy), which also exists as the civilian support system for the Forces. Current end strength is authorized at 126,500, including 71,500 Regular Force members, 30,000 Reserve Force members and 25,000 civilian employees. The number of filled positions is lower than the authorized strength.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces is the reigning Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor General of Canada. The Canadian Armed Forces is led by the Chief of the Defence Staff, who is advised and assisted by the Armed Forces Council.

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Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
The Victoria Cross of Canada (French: Croix de Victoria) is a military decoration of Canada modelled on the original British Victoria Cross—instituted in 1856—in both intent and appearance, with several small changes. Created in 1993, it and the original are the highest honours in the Canadian honours system (though the latter is no longer presented to Canadians), taking precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals. It is awarded by either the Canadian monarch or his or her viceregal representative, the Governor General of Canada, to any member of the Canadian Forces or allies serving under or with Canadian military command for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing hostile forces. Whereas in many other Commonwealth countries the Victoria Cross can only be awarded for actions against the enemy in a wartime setting, the Canadian government has a broader definition of the term enemy, and so the Victoria Cross can be awarded for action against armed mutineers, pirates, or other such hostile forces without war being officially declared. Recipients are entitled to use the post-nominal letters VC (for both English and French), and also to receive an annuity of C$3,000.

The Victoria Cross is awarded for "the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy" at any point after 1 January 1993, may be presented posthumously, and, unlike its British counterpart, may be revoked. The main distinction between the Victoria Cross and the Cross of Valour is the specific reference to "the enemy", which the Canadian government has defined as a force hostile towards the Canadian Crown, including armed mutineers, rebels, rioters, and pirates, meaning that the Queen-in-Council does not officially have to declare war to give acknowledgement of the existence of a hostile force that fits the official description. Thus, a Canadian serving as part of a peacekeeping operation is eligible to be awarded the Victoria Cross if the service member fulfils the above criteria.

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A Handley Page Halifax, of No. 4 Group, over Caen's burning northern suburbs following the previous night's bombing.
Operation Charnwood was a Second World War Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8–9 July 1944, during the Battle of Normandy. The operation was intended to at least partially capture the German-occupied French city of Caen (French pronunciation: ​[kɑ̃]), which was an important Allied objective during the opening stages of Operation Overlord. It was also hoped that the attack would pre-empt the transfer of German armoured units from the Anglo-Canadian sector to the lightly-screened American sector, where a major US offensive was being planned. The British and Canadians advanced on a broad front and by the evening of the second day had taken Caen up to the Orne and Odon rivers.

Preceded by a controversial bombing raid that destroyed much of Caen's historic Old City, Operation Charnwood began at dawn on 8 July, with battalions of three infantry divisions attacking German positions north of Caen behind a creeping artillery barrage. Supported by three armoured brigades, the forces of the British I Corps made gradual progress against the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend and 16th Luftwaffe Field Division. By the end of the day the 3rd Canadian and British 3rd and 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Divisions had cleared the villages in their path and reached Caen's outskirts.Moving into the city at dawn the following morning, the Allies encountered resistance from remnants of German units who were beginning a withdrawal across the Orne. Carpiquet airfield fell to the Canadians during the early morning and by 18:00, the British and Canadians had linked up and were on the Orne's north bank. Discovering Caen's remaining bridges to be defended or impassable and with German reserves positioned to oppose their crossing, I Corps closed down the operation.

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John Babcock 1920.jpg
John Henry Foster "Jack" Babcock was the last known surviving veteran of the Canadian military to have served in the First World War, and after the death of Harry Patch was the conflict's oldest surviving veteran. Babcock first attempted to join the army at the age of fifteen, but was turned down and sent to work in Halifax until he was placed in the Young Soldiers Battalion in August 1917. Babcock was then transferred to the United Kingdom, where he continued his training until the end of the war. He died on February 18, 2010, at the age of 109, having been housebound since October 2009 following a case of pneumonia. He was cremated and his remains were scattered across the Pacific Northwest. Governor General Jean and Prime Minister Harper made statements of condolence shortly after his death
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HMCS Montreal FFH336.jpg
HMCS Montréal, is a Halifax-class frigate that has served since 1993.
The frigate is assigned to Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) and is homeported at CFB Halifax

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