Steward occupation in the Royal Canadian Navy to be eliminated

June 13, 2022 – Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has announced that the Steward occupation is being eliminated. The announcement was made at a virtual Town Hall held on June 13, 2022, with currently serving Stewards from across the country.

“This is a very tough decision that we have not taken lightly,” said Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander RCN in his statement to Stewards. “While the Steward occupation will phase out over the next three years, we value every one of our Stewards and will work with each of them individually to find the best way for them to continue their careers serving in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the RCN.” 

The RCN is currently undergoing the largest fleet re-capitalization since the Second World War, with multiple new platforms coming online throughout the next decade. Since 2016, the RCN has worked with other organizations to systematically analyse its occupations. A thorough analysis was conducted on the Steward occupation, between 2017 and 2020. Many Stewards participated in that analysis, which generated innovative recommendations. Ultimately, though, all of the tasks identified for the Steward occupation can be performed by other occupations. Furthermore, given the success of the all-ranks cafeteria in the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and a careful study of the expected roles and functions required in the future Canadian Surface Combatants, it was decided that a unique occupation was not viable for the RCN.

The only immediate change is that recruiting new stewards will stop as of this month. Those who are already serving will continue to be employed in all the jobs that they’ve been doing and it will take at least three years to complete the transition. Each individual will be managed separately.

A variety of options will be available to Stewards, based on experience and education.

Options may include:

With this change, there is an opportunity to reassign tasks both ashore and at sea, and to make positive changes in the way the RCN operates. Every effort will be made to ensure that Stewards, who have diligently served their country, will be offered opportunities to remain within the CAF. Retaining our members’ experience, education and spirit is of the utmost importance to the RCN as our fleet and institution continues to grow and improve.

Currently, there are 240 Stewards serving within the CAF and RCN.

For Stewards who would like to reach out for more information, please contact your Steward Transition team:

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