Aide-Memoire - Honoraries

A. QR&O 3.06 (Honorary Appointments)
B. QR&O 3.07 (Honorary Ranks)
C. QR&0 Chap 17 (Dress and Appearance)
D. CFAO 3-4 (Honorary Appointments and Honorary Ranks)
E. CFAO 26-3 (Identification Cards)
F. DAOD 2016-0 (Approval to Travel on Canadian Forces Aircraft
G. CAO 11-09 Canadian Army Honorary Appointments
H. DH&R (Canadian Honours Chart – Canadian Decoration)
I. CFTDTI Jan 2012
J. A-AD-265-000/AG-001 (Canadian Forces Dress Instructions)
K. A-PD-201-000/PT-000 (The Canadian Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial)
L. TOR - The Council of Honorary Colonels of the Canadian Army Executive Committee
M. DSA Booklet – 24 Apr 2014

1. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to you, the Honorary member, as it provides information on various topics concerning your appointment. This Aide-Memoire is released under the authority of the Commander of the Canadian Army and is to be used in conjunction with the Director Senior Appointments (DSA) Booklet (reference M). The Council of Honorary Colonels of the Canadian Army Executive Committee is responsible to the Commander to make recommendations for amendments to this document. This document will be reviewed annually in order to maintain its currency. The references quoted herein are effective the date of release of the Aide-Memoire.

2. The Canadian tradition of appointing honoraries to units originated with the British military but has only been in practice in Canada for a little over a century. The first Honorary Colonel appointment in Canada was that of Lieutenant-Colonel the Honourable J.M. Gibson, a Provincial Secretary in the Ontario Government. He was appointed as Honorary Lieutenant Colonel to the 13th Battalion of Infantry in 1895.

3. Early in the 20th century the prime minister of Canada, Sir Robert Borden described the practice of appointing honoraries as: “of greatest advantage to the Militia to be able to enlist the interest and sympathy of gentleman of position and wealth by connecting them to Regiments”. That sentiment remains true today. The Honorary is seen to be the guardian of Regimental traditions and history, promoting the units identity and ethos and being an advisor to the Commanding Officer on virtually all issues EXCLUDING operations. Although the movement originated with the army, over the years the practice of appointing honoraries has evolved and we now have Honorary members representing all the environments and major components of the Canadian Forces. Honorary members work behind the scene and provide needed support that would otherwise not be available.

4. The CF consists of a Regular, full time component and a Reserve (ordinarily part time) component. The Reserves is the collective name applied to the Navy Reserve, the Army Reserve (Militia) and the Air Reserve.

5. The Army is organised into four geographic Divisions currently known as 3 Canadian Division, 4 Canadian Division, 2 Canadian Division, and 5 Canadian Division. Additionally, the Army has grouped all of its training organizations into the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre (CADTC). Each Division is further divided into Regular Force Brigades known as Canadian Mechanised Brigade Groups (CMBG) and Reserve Force Brigades known as Canadian Brigade Groups (CBG). There are a total of three CMBGs and ten CBGs across the entire Canadian Army. With the exception of certain specialty units, every Army Reserve unit is grouped within one of the ten Army Reserve CBGs.

6. Members of the Reserve component will normally serve in one of three categories: Class A – normal Reserve Unit duties i.e. one evening a week training with their Unit and weekend exercises or training scheduled throughout the year; Class B – “Called Out” to serve on a full time basis in support of the Reserves or a Reserve Unit, usually no longer than six months or Class B (permanent), which consists of a relatively small number of individuals who serve on a full time basis, at all levels, within the CF organization; Class C – “Called Out” to supplement or fill a Regular Force position. There may also be other, special, “Call Outs”.

7. The difference between “Colonel of the Regiment” and “Honorary Colonels/Lieutenant Colonels” is based on the unit to which they are appointed and whether that unit is Regular or Reserve Force – “Colonel of the Regiment” is appointed to a Regular Force unit, and an Honorary Colonel is appointed to a Reserve unit. Some Reserve units are battalions of a Regular Regiment and the Colonel of the Regiment is the Honorary appointment for the entire Regiment including the Regular and Reserve battalions.

8. To be eligible a person must:

a. be a former Canadian Forces (CF) officer, a former officer of any of Her Majesty’s Forces who has a record of distinguished service, a distinguished Canadian citizen or a distinguished British subject; and

b. meet such other conditions as the Minister may prescribe.

9. While not being a criterion for selection, but rather an asset to the performance of their duties, the candidate for honorary appointment should, preferably, be able to communicate in both official languages.

10. The Minister of National Defence (MND), on the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the approving authority for all appointments. The tenure of appointment of an Honorary member will normally be for a period of three years. This three-year period is very specific with start and end dates. Unit Commanding Officers (COs) are responsible, prior to reaching the termination date for their Honorary member, to initiate a request, through the Chain of Command, eighteen months prior to the appointment termination, for a new appointment or extension request. This time frame should allow the staffing process to conclude in order to have a replacement in place in a timely fashion.

11. Extensions to the tenure of appointment may be granted for a period of one, two or three years. Subsequent extensions can also be requested. An extension request is processed in the same manner as an original appointment except that extensions will be processed directly by DSA to MNDO, without requiring input from CDSO. Unit COs are also responsible to initiate extensions and should do so eighteen months prior to the appointment termination for the same reasons as above.

12. The Chain of Command will be informed by DSA that the extension has been approved. The nominee will then be asked to confirm that they accept the extension (again this must be done personally by the appointee). Until such time as the acceptance of the extension is received, normally by email, the extension will not be entered into the system. It should be noted that there will be no letter from the MND for honorary extensions as this is only extended for initial appointments.

13. If no request for a new appointment or extension is initiated, an Honorary member will be considered as having completed the term of his/her appointment as soon as the termination date is reached. As such, the member is no longer entitled to all entitlements associated with the honorary appointment from that date.

14. All nominations must be submitted through the Canadian Army Chain of Command. Once the nomination is signed off by the Commander Canadian Army (Comd CA) it is forwarded to DSA for final staffing through the CDS and subsequently to the Minister’s office.

15. A recommendation for appointment must contain:

a. a biographical sketch in accordance with Annex A of reference G which shall include the nominee's Social Insurance Number (SIN) or SN; rank (if applicable); surname and all given names; and a telephone number and e-mail address where the nominee is best reached should the MND wish to congratulate the individual personally upon their appointment. This information will not be provided by CA HQ to any third party;

b. a clear photograph (coloured preferred) of nominee;

c. a completed Appointment Questionnaire as per Annex B of reference G that includes concrete examples of what the nominee will be able to do for the unit/CAF;

d. when applicable, a copy of the Verification of Former Service (VFS) or Members Personnel Record Résumé (MPRR);

e. the name of the incumbent and appointment termination date, or the name of the last appointee with the date and manner in which the position became vacant, and recommended new appointment date; and

f. the name of the local Member of Parliament for the nominee and unit (if different).

16. Correspondence dealing with requests for nomination or extension are to be treated as Honours in Confidence - Protected A.

17. Once a nomination reaches DSA from the Comd CA it is incorporated into the DSA Honorary Appointees Database and the submission is checked to confirm it contains all the necessary paperwork before it is submitted to the Minister through the CDS’ office. All nominations go through the CDS’ office for vetting and recommendation by the CDS to the Minister. Any nomination that could be perceived as a potential conflict of interest may be denied by the Minister. Once a nomination reaches the Minister’s office it may take up to six months before it is authorized. DSA advises the Comd CA on the status of his nominations in a monthly report and will question the Minister’s office to obtain a status report on any particular file, but be aware that this procedure will not expedite the file. The sensitivity of the appointment process dictates that this is an Honours in Confidence issue, and as such the status of ongoing appointments being considered will not be shared or transmitted. Division points of contact will be provided with a regular report of the incumbents in Honorary Appointments with limited information in keeping with the Privacy Act.

18. Once the Minister approves a nomination, DSA is notified and a congratulatory letter signed by the Minister is forwarded to their office. A message is prepared to inform the Chain of Command that the Minister has approved the nomination and the unit is asked to confirm that the nominee has accepted the appointment. Accepting the nomination is critical. Until this information is received, the file is considered not active. Once DSA is notified (normally by e-mail) that the nominee has accepted, the congratulatory letter is forwarded to the member. Procedures are initiated by DSA in order to have an appointment scroll prepared for eventual presentation to the recipient by an appropriate authority. No substantiation will be provided for non-successful nominations as this is an Honours in Confidence issue.

19. Press releases are the responsibility of the Public Affairs Personnel.

20. Honorary members are entitled to travel expenses, decorations and others awards, uniforms, an ID card, an appointment scroll and a security clearance (as and if required). Please refer to the appropriate annexes at the end of the document for additional information concerning these matters.

21. Honorary appointments carry responsibilities. An Honorary appointment may include, but is not restricted to, the following duties and responsibilities. Some points are Army oriented, but most fit all environments.

a. General:

(1) fostering esprit de corps;

(2) developing, promoting and sustaining strong community support for the unit;

(3) establishing and maintaining liaison with unit charities and associations;

(4) maintaining close liaison with the unit CO or Commandant (Cmdt) and other honoraries in the area;

(5) assisting the unit in hosting parades and other unit functions;

(6) carrying out other duties or providing expertise in matters where they are qualified through background and knowledge when requested by higher authority. Such requests will be submitted through and with the approval of the unit CO or Cmdt;

(7) Honorary rank is “honorary and advisory.” Honorary rank does not confer authority or command function (even if the Honorary previously held a substantive rank higher than that of the CO;

(8) expect to be treated with respect, but do not expect “Royal Treatment.” Be realistic in what your unit can supply. You are there to serve the unit, so enjoy the association and work with/for your unit;

(9) ensuring units have copies of this booklet, as some units do not know what to expect from their Honorary;

(10) Honoraries can provide continuity within the unit on matters of Regimental (unit) and ceremonial dress, participation in community events and activities, unit traditions, etc. Of importance can be speaking to new recruits and young officers on unit history and unit traditions;

(11) assisting units through the donation of plaques, trophies for competitions/courses. If appropriate, assist in the purchase of unit requirements that may be outside the unit’s capability/resources to provide (all assistance of a financial nature is strictly voluntary);

(12) for the Army units, ensuring the new Honorary is aware of the Council of Honorary Colonels of the Canadian Army Executive Committee, which can provide advice and assistance. A copy of reference L is herein attached as Annex L;

(13) providing advice on unit succession. Assisting in recruitment of young officers by way of business and community connections;

(14) assisting the Canadian Forces Liaison Council (CFLC) with matters of mutual interest. This enables CFLC to become familiar with individual units and provides a conduit/assistance for unit personnel between CFLC and local employers;

(15) when appropriate and with the knowledge of the CO, maintaining contact on the unit’s behalf with higher HQ/formations; and

(16) “time spent” is perhaps the most important attribute, and attention must be paid to all ranks of the unit.

b. Unit Specific:

(1) being a sounding board for the CO;

(2) being available to all members of the unit for advice and support;

(3) being a representative of the unit within the community, at public gatherings and at conferences;

(4) learning and help maintain the customs and traditions of the unit;

(5) attending formal unit parades and social functions;

(6) attending unit training and exercises (when requested) to be seen and heard;

(7) contributing to overall unit morale and effectiveness in whatever manner you and the CO agree;

(8) being involved with charities, organizations and memorials that are important to the unit;

(9) participating in the Regimental Council, Senate or Advisory Board if invited to do so;

(10) being prepared to take on other duties/responsibilities that you and the CO agree are in the best interest of the unit, Army and/or Canadian Armed Forces; and

(11) at no time should you get involved with operations.

22. The general public and the news media consider Honorary appointees to be representatives of the Department of National Defence, the same as any other serving member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Thus, the appointment must never be used to promote political opinion or to seek political favour for the unit or any member thereof. Public relations are a very important part of the activities of an Honorary members and due to their high visibility in the local community, they are in demand by the news media. It is desirable, however, that Honorary members remain outside any public controversy concerning the Canadian Armed Forces. Honorary members are encouraged to accept invitations as guest speakers or as participants in public functions.

In order to respect the spirit of official languages, any nominee to an honorary appointment is strongly encouraged to promote the use of both official languages. In fact, due to the nature of their appointment, the honoraries are the perfect medium to promote the use of both French and English during conferences, public relation events in the local community and in public appearances.

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