DAOD 5023-0, Universality of Service

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Policy Direction
  3. Consequences
  4. Authority
  5. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2006-05-19

Effective Date: 2006-05-08

Date of Last Modification: 2022-06-24

Application: This DAOD is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (“CAF members”).

Approval Authority: Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)

Policy Office of Primary Interest: Director Military Careers Policy and Grievances (DMCPG)

Enquiries: Administrative Response Centre (ARC)

2. Policy Direction


2.1 The mission of the DND and the CAF is to defend Canada, its interests and its values, while contributing to international peace and security.

2.2 To execute this mission the CAF must be given broad authority and latitude in utilizing CAF members and their skills. The statutory basis for this authority is section 33 of the National Defence Act. The fundamental importance of this authority that impacts the functioning and effectiveness of the CAF is recognized in subsection 15(9) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which provides that the duty to accommodate under subsection 15(2) of that Act is subject to the principle of universality of service. Under this principle, CAF members are at all times liable to perform any lawful duty.

2.3 Effective performance of the broad range of defence and security tasks assigned to the CAF requires that CAF members be capable of performing a similarly broad range of general military, common defence and security duties, in addition to the more particular duties of their military occupation or occupational specification. The open-ended nature of military service is one of the features that distinguish it from the civilian notion of employment governed by a contract, which obliges employees to perform only those duties specified in their job description or contract.

Policy Statement

2.4 The CAF is committed to the application of the principle of universality of service in the CAF.


2.5 The principle of universality of service or “soldier first” principle holds that CAF members are liable to perform general military duties and common defence and security duties, not just the duties of their military occupation or occupation specification. This may include, but is not limited to, the requirement to meet the CAF Common Military Tasks Fitness Evaluation standards, as well as being employable and deployable for general operational duties.

3. Consequences


3.1 Should clarification of the policy statement, requirements or authorities set out in this DAOD be required, CAF members may seek direction through their chain of command. The anticipated results set out in the policy statement may not be achieved by the CAF if the requirements specified in this DAOD are not properly implemented. Not achieving the anticipated results could affect the ability of the CAF to ensure that the CAF is prepared to undertake missions for the protection of Canada and Canadians and the maintenance of international peace and stability.

4. Authority


4.1 CMP has the authority to develop and approve policy concerning universality of service.

5. References

Act, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD


Other References

Page details

Date modified: