DAOD 5040-2, Canadian Armed Forces Identity System

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Operating Principles
  3. Consequences
  4. Responsibilities
  5. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2015-06-25

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).

Approval Authority: Chief of Military Personnel (CMP)

Enquiries: Director History and Heritage (DHH)

2. Operating Principles


2.1 The CAF are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and are organized, equipped and trained for tasks that the Government of Canada (GC) may assign, including participation in armed conflict. To identify a person or thing as belonging to the CAF, the CAF identity system embodies visible and audible attributes as set out in paragraph 2.3.


2.2 The CAF identity system is designed to reinforce the chain of command and foster group identity, cohesion and operational effectiveness.

Attributes of the CAF Identity System

2.3 The CAF identity system includes the following attributes:

  1. uniforms, insignias, badges, accoutrements and flags;
  2. marches, calls and other music;
  3. appointments and organizational titles;
  4. military forms of address;
  5. battle honours;
  6. unit lineages and order of precedence;
  7. standardized drill and ceremonial;
  8. alliances, affiliations and partnerships;
  9. days of commemoration; and
  10. the naming of works, buildings and geographical features.

2.4 Details concerning the CAF identity system are set out in the manuals listed in section 5, Other References. Regulations and orders as to dress are set out in QR&O Chapter 17, Dress and Appearance.

Federal Identity Program (FIP)

2.5 Federal departments and their programs, services, assets and activities are identified in accordance with the corporate identity standards of the FIP of the GC. The FIP governs the use of the official symbols of the GC, including the flag symbol, the Arms of Canada and the “Canada” wordmark. The DND is subject to the FIP in its entirety. The CAF is exempt from the FIP but the CAF integrates the “Canada” wordmark on specific communications materials and assets if operationally practical.

3. Consequences

Consequences of Non-Compliance

3.1 Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance may be investigated. The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from actual non-compliance will be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information.

4. Responsibilities

Table of Responsibilities

4.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The … is or are responsible for …
  • managing all aspects of the CAF identity system.
Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel)
  • procuring the various physical elements of the CAF identity system; and
  • protecting the related intellectual property.
Assistant Deputy Minister (Public Affairs)
  • managing the DND and CAF corporate identity in accordance with the FIP and the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada.
commanders of commands
  • ensuring adherence in their organization to the attributes of the CAF identity system and seeking changes as necessary.
  • communicating and promoting the CAF identity system to CAF members and the Canadian public;
  • maintaining templates, archives, sealed patterns and manuals necessary for the preservation of the various elements of the CAF identity system;
  • making changes to policies, plans and procedures associated with the maintenance of the CAF identity system;
  • providing staff and technical advice to the chain of command.
Inspector of CAF Colours and Badges
  • approving insignia and flags on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Staff.

5. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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