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Frequently Asked Questions

This is a list of questions and  answers which may be in the form of a web link giving more information. 




Reserves Medals and Awards


Employer Support to Reserves Canadian Rangers
Land Force Western Area


Canadian Military History


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Land Force Western Area



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Employer Support to Reserves

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Canadian Rangers

Canadian Military History

Medals and Awards


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What is the purpose of the Canadian Army?
Trained and ready for combat, the defence of Canada and North America is the primary mandate.  The Army has the skills and capability necessary to respond to a wide variety of potential threats to our security.  The Army is ready to respond to conflict across the globe, restoring peace and representing Canada internationally.  The Army is also prepared to assist provincial and territorial authorities with natural disasters in your community, including earthquakes, floods, storms and forest fires.  More information on the Army's Mandate can be  found on the National Army site.


Where can I get a photograph or electronic copy of my unit badge?
This information can be found on the Directorate of History and Heritage website.


Where can I find information regarding Medals and Awards?
This information can be found on the Directorate of History and Heritage website.


How do I go about finding personnel records for someone in my family?
This information can be found on the National Archives Site 

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Where can I find information about Vimy Ridge?
Several links regarding the battle at Vimy Ridge can be found on the LFWA_HQ links page.  


Who are the Canadian Rangers and what do they do?
Canadian Rangers are volunteers who contribute to Canadian sovereignty by patrolling Canada's hinterland. Rangers provide a military presence in the sparsely settled northern coastal and isolated areas of Canada, which cannot be conveniently or economically covered by other elements of the regular or reserve forces.  More information on the Canadian Rangers can be found on the Canadian Rangers website. 


Is there a Canadian Rangers Unit connected to LFWA?
Yes, LFWA is home to 4CRPG .


What is Bold Eagle?
Bold Eagle is a a unique summer training and employment program that combines military training and First Nations cultural awareness.  

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What are the Reserves?
Information can be found on the 39CBG Headquarters website, one of 3 Primary Reserves in LFWA.


What and where are the Reserve Units in Canada?
Information can be found on the Army Reserve website (click on Reserve Units). 


What are the benefits of being an active member of the Reserve?
Information can be found on the 41CBG Headquarters website, one of 3 Primary Reserves in LFWA.


What are the different types of Reserve units and their role? 
Information can be found on the 38 CBG Headquarters website, one of 3 Primary Reserves in LFWA.


What are the Canadian Forces?
The Canadian Forces (CF) consist of two primary components: the Regular and Reserve forces. Within the Regular and Reserve forces, there are the Army, Navy and  Air Force elements. 

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What is the Army?
The Land Force, the land component of the Canadian Forces, has a mission to maintain combat-capable multi-purpose land forces to meet Canada's defence policy goals.


What is the Regular Force?
Made up of about 60,000 uniformed Canadian men and women serving full-time in the regular force who have made the military their career.


What is an Armoury? 
A building where the militia (army reserve) trains.


Where can I find information about Rank Structure?
This information can be found on the DND website and the 1PPCLI website


Are there honourary military ranks in the Reserves?
Yes. You can find more information on the Army Reserve website (click on Honouraries). 


What is a battalion?
A battalion is a group of 300 to 1,000 people working in a unit toward the same goal.


What is a brigade?
A brigade is the smallest combat entity that is completely self-sufficient. It includes 4,300 personnel in peacetime and 6,200 in wartime.  More information on the Brigades in LFWA can be found on the LFWA Headquarters website. 

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What is Operation Nijmegan?

The Nijmegen Marches are a rigorous and prestigious annual event. One which has involved Canadian participation since 1952. The Marches require that military entrants complete the four-day 160-km (4 x 40-km) march in combat uniform, carrying a minimum rucksack load of 10-kg. The event annually draws over 40,000 marchers from 50 different nations -- and is witnessed by over 1 million spectators along the 160-km route. 

The Nijmegen Marches helps commemorate the more than 7,600 Canadians who gave their lives to liberate the Netherlands during the Second World War. At the same time we, the people of Canada and the Netherlands, take comfort in the knowledge that out of the anguish and horror of war there developed warm and powerful bonds of friendship which still endure.

The year 2003 will mark the 87th time the Marches have been held since they began in 1909, and Canadian servicemen and women will once again "ruck-up" and take to the roads and trails of Canada, in preparation for this world class endurance event. The Marches are both a challenging and an emotional experience, especially for Canadian Forces members. Challenging in that the 160-km Marches are the ultimate test of a CF member’s physical fitness and stamina, in an event that requires effective teamwork and strong leadership. 


More Background information can be found on the National DND site


Nijmegan March 2003 Photos from Combat Camera. 


What is Partnership for Peace?
The Partnership for Peace aims to expand political and military co-operation throughout Europe, to increase stability, and to diminish threats to world peace. Canada is an active member of this partnership. More information can be found on the DND Policy Goup web pages. 

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What is a regiment?
A regiment is a group of three infantry battalions.


What is the Corporal's Report and where do I find it?
Two soldiers of 2PPCLI have entered the arena of shaping our Army's future - constructively and in writing.  Corporal W.C Gomm and Corporal R.K Moran of the battalion's intelligence section have studied key army literature, including most recently Army Strategy. They have taken it upon themselves to offer a challenge to some of the views espoused in the stragy and its associated initiatives.  While they admit to not having all the facts or factors affecting strategic decisions, their work in creating the "Corporal's Report" (starting at page 70)  is notable for many reasons. 


What are the Military Valour Decorations?
As part of the Canadian honours system, a family of three Military Valour Decorations, comprising the Victoria Cross (VC), the Star of Military Valour (SMV) and the Medal of Military Valour (MMV) has recently been designated and styled. These medals are being incorporated into the Canadian honours and awards system to enable Canada to recognize members of the Canadian Forces, or members of an allied armed force serving with or in conjunction with the CF, for deeds of military valour.  

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How many people are in the Canadian Army?
The Canadian Army is made up of 19,500 Regular and 15,500 Reserve soldiers.  4,200 civilian employees provide essential support to the Army Team. 


What is Land Force Western Area Training Centre?
Land Force Western Area Training Centre, located in Wainwright, Alberta, also known as WATC is the primary training location for the Army in western Canada.  More information can be found in the LFWA Backgrounder.


How many people make up Land Force Western Area?
As of March 2003, Land Force Western Area has a total defence team strength of 12, 552 personnel.  It  is made up of 5,878 Regular and 5,476 Reserve Force soldiers.  1,198 civilian employees provide essential support to the Army Team. 


What is Land Force Western Area?
Land Force Western Area is one of four area Army commands.  It covers the area from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Vancouver Island.  More information on Land Force Western Area can be found on the LFWA Headquarters website.  

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What is the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC)?
The Canadian Forces Liaison Council is a group of 12 Canadian business persons who volunteer their time and effort to promote the Reserve Force. They believe in the “Profitable Partnership” and the advantages employers can gain by recognizing the valuable training that reservists undertake. More information can be found on the Canadian Forces Liaison Council website.


What do I need to enroll into the Army Reserves?
The selection criteria can be found on the 39 Canadian Brigade Group, a Reserve Brigade in Land Force Western Area website and the Army website. 


What is the relationship between DND and the CF?
As per information found on the DND FAQ page:  In the National Defence Act, Section 3 creates DND as a “department of the Government of Canada … over which the Minister of National Defence appointed by commission under the Great Seal shall preside.” Section 4 of the Act sets out the duties of the Minister as follows: “to manage and direct the Canadian Forces and all matters relating to national defence,” having specific responsibility for: “the construction and maintenance of all defence establishments and works for the defence of Canada; and  “research relating to the defence of Canada and to the development of and improvements in materiel.” 

DND exists to carry out the work assigned to the Minister of National Defence, so the department’s relationship with the CF is that of a support system.

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What is the role/mission of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council?
The role of CFLC is to enhance the availability of Canada's reservists for participation in military training and operations, without penalty to the reservists. 


Are reservists obligated to serve?
Although a reservist may be obliged to serve under a few special circumstances as outlined by the National Defence Act, reserve military service is essentially voluntary.

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Are employers in Canada required by law to give time off to employees who are reservists?
Canada does not have legislation requiring employers to provide time-off for military service. As reserve service is voluntary, the government of Canada has chosen to make employer support of reservists voluntary. There are provisions in bill C-17, currently before the House of Commons that will protect reservists’ civilian employment if they are called-up to mandatory service by the Federal Government in certain emergencies.

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Why doesn't Canada adopt wide sweeping job protection legislation or consider other methods of ensuring employer support?

Each country designs its employer support programs to take into account the size, and composition of its Reserve Force, how the military is utilized and the legislative jurisdictions of their various levels of governments. Each country’s program has its advantages and challenges, but most follow the basic rule of voluntary support for voluntary duty and mandatory support for mandatory duty. Canada’s model follows that basic premise and works for Canada’s situation.

If I were an employer, how might I show support for reservists?

In one or in several ways: 
· become familiar with the advantages that military skills can bring a company when they are applied in a civilian workplace;
· grant reservists time off for military training if it is requested; 
· sign a statement of employer support with the Canadian Forces Liaison Council; or, 
· develop a military leave policy as part of your overall human resources policy.

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What if I do not have any reservists working for my organization?

You may have reservists working for you and not know it. Not all reservists divulge their military activity. Even if you do not have a reservist working for you, it is a good idea to consider the support you would give if you do hire a reservist, or if one of your employees decides to join the reserves. Signing a statement of support with CFLC is a good start.

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What if a reservist who is serving is injured? Who looks after medical costs/long term disability?

The Canadian Forces medical system attends to reservists who are injured while serving on a domestic or an international operation. Short-term disability issues are handled by the reserve disability compensation program and coordinated through “The Centre” for the support of injured members (a National Defence and Veteran’s Affairs Canada’s joint initiative). The Service Income Security Insurance Plan covers long-term disability issues after release.

Updated:  2003-08-29  

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