Publication of The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve  

News release

June 10, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is pleased to announce the publication of The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve – an important and thorough revision and expansion of part of the 2009 publication Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms. Trusted to Serve is our renewed commitment to professionalism through a 60-page operational guide on how best to apply the CAF ethos and its elements in daily military service. Trusted to Serve comes at a particular turning point in our history, as we evolve to better reflect Canadian values, change our military culture, and rebuild trust.

The first and most important principle found in Trusted to Serve is to respect the dignity of all persons. As it stands, respecting the dignity of all persons is the only way the Profession of Arms can build and maintain credibility and trust, at home and abroad. Everyone must be treated with respect and humanity at all times and in all places. Everyone deserves to serve in a safe, inclusive environment. This foundational principle, as well as other Defence Team values and ethics, are now incorporated in the CAF Ethos in a way that more fully articulates what is expected from military personnel – with a strong emphasis on character, competence, and trust.

Trusted to Serve is our most essential doctrine. It must guide our conduct and performance at all times, both on- and off-duty. The CAF Ethos will continue to evolve through our commitment to professionalism and by holding each other to account. It is strengthened and sustained through our collective efforts to pursue excellence, knowledge, diversity, inclusion, and through leading by example.

Every CAF member at all rank levels has a role to play and is expected to take ownership of the renewed principles, values and expectations. Prepared learning material will help leadership facilitate discussions within their units on how to best apply The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve


“Through the new CAF Ethos, we are renewing our commitment to growth and change to improve the culture, rebuild trust, and expand the existing sense of ethos and Canadian values in the military. The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve is founded on core Canadian values and professional expectations, and will be the basis for judgement, decision-making, and conduct within the Canadian Armed Forces. This publication is part of a continuous process to evolve our professional culture – not just to make us more operationally effective, but because it’s the right thing to do.”

The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence

“Our goal is an armed forces in which every member is able to be their authentic self, and feels valued, included, and empowered to bring their best in service to Canada every day. Trusted to Serve represents our renewed commitment to culture change and is a road map for the necessary growth required to rebuild trust. It is a critical tool that will help us achieve this lasting change in our institution.”

General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff

Quick facts

  • The CAF Ethos: Trusted to Serve builds upon Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada. This new publication amplifies the parts from Duty with Honour (Chapter 2) dedicated to our foundational ethos. 

  • Duty with Honour: The Profession of Arms in Canada remains valid at this time; however, it is also undergoing review with the intent to release a new version of the entire publication in 2023.

  • The Canadian Defence Academy will help each command develop content to raise awareness and empower leaders to engage in discussions with their subordinates year-round. To assist with the development of this material, anonymous stories may be submitted at the link below (Related Links: CAF Ethos – We need to hear from you!).

  • Trusted to Serve will be published and available in various formats: hard copy booklet, digitally and on, with digital learning content accessible autumn 2022 via a multimedia website. 

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Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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