About the Army

Soldiers must always be ready for combat

The Canadian Army is the land component of the Canadian Armed Forces.

The Army protects Canadians and our interests by:

  • defending Canadian territory
  • maintaining Canada's sovereignty by providing land surveillance and combat-ready forces
  • contributing to the collective defence of North America
  • providing armed and unarmed assistance to civil authorities when needed to maintain public order and security
  • assisting provincial and other authorities with natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, storms, forest fires and other emergencies
  • supporting Canadian interests abroad, by providing forces to the UNNATO, and other operations involving more than two nations
  • serving as peacekeepers
  • providing humanitarian assistance

Army Organization

The Canadian Army is the largest element of the Canadian Armed Forces:

  • 21,600 members serve as full-time soldiers in the Regular Force
  • 24,000 are part-time, volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force
    • including 5,000 Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada
  • 4,900 civilian employees who support the Army 

Regular Force

The Regular Force has three Mechanized Brigade Groups composed of units stationed in Western Canada, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

Each brigade is made up of

  • three infantry battalions (two mechanized, one light),
  • an armoured regiment
  • an artillery regiment
  • a combat engineer regiment
  • a reconnaissance squadron
  • appropriate combat support, communications, medical and service support units

As well, there is an engineer support regiment, air defence regiment, and electronic warfare squadron.

Reserve Force

The Army Reserve Force is organized into ten Brigade Groups spread across the country.

In total there are:

  • 51 infantry battalions
  • 19 logistic units
  • 18 armoured units
  • 17 artillery units
  • 12 engineer units
  • 10 signals regiments
  • four military police units
  • four intelligence units

These units are located in more than 100 communities across the country.

Army Command

The Army Command is divided into four geographical regions:

The senior leaders of each of these formations report to the Canadian Army Commander who is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa.

The Canadian Rangers are the military’s eyes and ears in the North.

Canadian Rangers and the North

The Canadian Rangers are part of the Army Reserve. Over 170 Ranger patrols are organized into five patrol groups:

CADTC provides courses, such as Civil-Military Cooperation courses

Doctrine and Training

The Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (CADTC) is an important part of Army Headquarters. This formation is headquartered in Kingston, Ontario, and controls all individual and collective training activities for the Army.

In addition to its headquarters, three other units are based in Kingston:

  • Peace Support Training Centre
  • Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College
  • 2 Electronic Warfare Squadron

Also part of CADTC is the Army’s Combat Training Centre, a formation with units at

The 1st Canadian Division conducts humanitarian operations.

1st Canadian Division

On 01 April 2015, transfer of Command Authority for the 1st Canadian Division took place from the Canadian Army to the Canadian Joint Operations Command.