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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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A medal awarded for participation in repelling the Fenian raids, with the image of Queen Victoria, denoting the monarch's place as fount of honour.
The place of the Canadian Crown in relation to the Canadian Armed Forces is both constitutional and ceremonial, the sovereign of Canada being the supreme commander of the forces, while he or she and the rest of the Canadian Royal Family hold honorary positions in various branches and regiments, embodying the historical relationship of the Crown to its militia. This modern construct stems from Canada's origins as a colony of the United Kingdom and France, through 200 years of associations with the Royal family, and is today evidenced through royal symbolism, such as crowns on military badges and coats of arms, as well as the bestowing of a royal prefix.

The role of the Canadian Crown in the Canadian Armed Forces is established through both constitutional and statutory law; the National Defence Act states that "the Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada," and the Constitution Act, 1867, vests Command-in-Chief of those forces in the sovereign – presently Queen Elizabeth II – though, the sovereign's representative, the Governor General of Canada carries out the duties and bears the title of that position on the monarch's behalf.

The Canadian Forces have derived many of their traditions and symbols from the military, navy and air force of the United Kingdom, including those with royal elements. Contemporary icons and rituals, however, have evolved to include elements reflective of Canada and the Canadian monarchy. Members of the country's Royal Family also continue their two century old practice of maintaining personal relationships with the forces' divisions and regiments, around which the military has developed complex protocols.

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Bombcarpiquet.jpg
Operation Windsor was a Canadian offensive launched as part of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. Taking place between 4–5 July 1944, the attack was undertaken by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in an attempt to capture the Norman town of Carpiquet and the adjacent airfield from German forces. The attack was originally intended to take place during the later stages of Operation Epsom, as a means of protecting the eastern flank of the main assault. It was postponed and launched the following week.

On 4 July 1944, four battalions of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division attacked Carpiquet in conjunction with flanking attacks by armoured regiments of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. Although the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade succeeded in capturing Carpiquet by mid-afternoon, heavy resistance to the south prevented the airfield from being captured—despite significant Allied armour and air support. The following day, Canadian forces defeated multiple German counterattacks and succeeded in holding Carpiquet in preparation for British attacks on Caen as part of Operation Charnwood.

Three days after Operation Windsor ended, full-scale attacks on Caen were renewed, with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division taking part in Operation Charnwood. On 9 July, the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade succeeded in capturing Carpiquet airfield, as 450 aircraft of the Royal Air Force bombed the town in preparation for a full assault. By 11 July, the northern half of Caen had been seized by British forces, the remainder of the town had been leveled.

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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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First Canadian Army generals in Hilversum, the Netherlands, on May 20 1945.

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Avro Lancaster Mk. 10MP of the No. 405 Squadron RCAF, at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida (USA), in 1953

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