CANSOFCOM announces a new Special Operations Forces Officer occupation

June 1st, 2023 - Defence Stories


The assistant Chief of Military Personnel has approved the establishment of a new Special Operations Forces Officer (SOF O) occupation under the Military Employment Structure. This new occupation, set to be implemented on June 01, 2023, will be the first officer occupation to specialize in special operations and will be directly managed by Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM).

“The CAF’s new SOF Officer occupation recognizes and formalizes an employment structure for SOF qualified operator officers,” said Colonel Hank Szelecz, Director of the SOF Branch within CANSOFCOM. “It represents just one of a number of important CANSOFCOM initiatives undertaken to reinforce the current CAF efforts to reconstitute.” 

The new occupation will help sustain the force generation of SOF officers who are uniquely selected, trained, and equipped. SOF officers are physically fit, demonstrate a relentless pursuit of excellence balanced with a sense of shared responsibility and humility. They are selected for their ability to apply creative thought and determination to complete complex tasks. These qualities enable them to fight, operate and thrive in high risk, asymmetrical security environments. SOF officers are also charged with promoting CANSOFCOM and CAF values of ethical behaviour as operational imperatives while leading and supporting the CANSOFCOM organization in maintaining a culture of inclusion, teamwork, and operational effectiveness. 

Members of the new occupation will specialize in one of three sub-occupations: Special Operations Assaulter (SOA) Officer, Special Operations Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear (SO CBRN) Officer, and Special Forces Operator (SF Op) Officer. At its implementation, the occupation will recruit and select from the broader CAF under the annual voluntary occupation transfer program commencing in Summer 2023.

“This new initiative to formalize SOF officer employment is representative of the importance the CAF places on its people and enables CANSOFCOM to better train and manage their personnel in order to optimize the delivery of SOF capabilities in the defence of Canada,” said Colonel Szelecz.


Page details

Date modified: