CDS and CAF CWO Message to the Defence Team: Release of The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve

June 10, 2022 - Defence Stories


Values like integrity, humility, and accountability are foundational elements of our modern profession of arms. Duty with Honour: The Profession or Arms in Canada, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Code of Values and Ethics clearly laid out the expected behaviours and the professional ethos all members of the Canadian Armed Forces must uphold.

As our society’s values evolve, we must evolve as well. To this end, a thorough review of our CAF ethos and its guiding publication, Duty with Honour, was conducted by the Canadian Defence Academy in consultation with a range of experts and groups from within and outside the CAF.

The result of this review is our new The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve. This new publication amplifies the parts from Duty with Honour dedicated to our foundational ethos. Trusted to Serve is our renewed commitment to professionalism within the CAF, and is a roadmap for the necessary growth and change required to improve our culture and rebuild trust. It is intended as an operational guide with a change in tone from academic to plain language to better connect with those in uniform. We encourage all of you to read it carefully, and take it to heart, as an expression of the CAF’s desired professional values system.

The CAF Ethos has expanded from the 2009 version by incorporating the entire Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces Code of Values and Ethics into one comprehensive publication. Where the 2009 ethos had nine elements, it now has 17 elements. Four of these elements are new: inclusion, accountability, leadership, and readiness. Most importantly, the CAF Ethos has also added the new concept of character.

Duty with Honour remains valid at this time; however, it is undergoing a renewal with the intent to release a new version in 2023. The new publication will be primarily an academic textbook for use in professional military education institutions. Trusted to Serve will remain the primary reference on how we live our military ethos day-to-day on bases, wings, ships, and deployed operations.

Trusted to Serve will be introduced gradually starting today. The Canadian Defence Academy will provide each L1 Command assistance in the development of content such as scenarios, case studies, and/or podcasts to raise awareness and help leaders engage in discussions with their subordinates year-round.

To assist with content development, the CDA is seeking stories that illustrate how elements of the Ethos, such as character, competence, commitment or trust operate within unit lines and across teams. Stories submitted will be anonymous to respect all individuals’ privacy and will become part of a continuously refreshed bank of learning content. We therefore encourage you to play an active part by submitting your stories directly to

Our goal is an armed forces that embodies Canadian values, and in which every member is able to be their authentic self, feels valued, included, and empowered to bring their very best in service to Canada each and every day. Trusted to Serve is the framework that will enable this growth to take root, as we work together towards lasting change.

General Wayne Eyre
Chief of the Defence Staff

CPO1 Gilles Grégoire
CAF Chief Warrant Officer

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