1st Canadian Division Headquarters

The 1st Canadian Division Headquarters (1st Cdn Div HQ) leads operations for the Canadian Joint Operations Command. It is staffed and equipped to meet Canada’s military objectives to counter any potential threat.

1st Cdn Div HQ is a joint headquarters. This means that it is set up for sea, land and air operations. It is a high-readiness unit, able to move on very short notice. It works with military allies and other partners.

1st Cdn Div HQ is positioned to respond to any crisis, anywhere in the world. It is charged with four high-readiness tasks:


1st Cdn Div was founded at the beginning of the First World War (WWI). It was Canada’s first fighting element of the conflict. During WWI, members of the Division brought great honour to Canada. They gained a reputation for courage, discipline and endurance. This began with the gas attack at the 2nd Battle of Ypres. Canada won respect with the efforts of soldiers who prevailed on Vimy Ridge and during the last 100 days of WWI.

In the Second World War (WWII), the Division trained long and hard in the United Kingdom. This was followed by arduous campaigns in Sicily, Italy and North-West Europe. It engaged in fierce battles at Agira, the Moro River, in Ortona and on the Hitler and Gothic Lines. These rank with the fighting at Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele in WWI.

1st Cdn Div was established three more times after WWII: once after the Korean War in 1954, again near the end of the Cold War, in November 1989 and then in Kingston, Ontario, under its current format in 2010. Its new mission is to provide a high-readiness headquarters, able to move on short notice to command sea, land and air missions and work with mission partners to meet national objectives anywhere in the world.

The Red Patch

The red patch has long been a badge of honour for all Canadian military members. The “old red patch” was worn for the first time during the Battle of Somme. This tradition carried into WWII.

During WWII, 1st Cdn Div earned praises from both sides of the conflict. The Germans nicknamed the Canadians of 1st Cdn Div "the little red devils." This was due to their determination and skill during the Italian campaign. The members of 1st Cdn Div continue to wear the distinctive red square shoulder patch as a symbol of recognition today.

The Red Patch



Command Team

Division Commander
(accessible only on the National Defence network)

Louis Lapointe

Brigadier-General Louis Lapointe

Division Sergeant Major
(accessible only on the National Defence network)

Chief Warrant Officer
Donovan Crawford

CWO Donovan Crawford

Contact Information

(613) 541-5010 Ext. 4923

1st Canadian Division Headquarters Canadian Forces Base Kingston

P.O. Box 17000 STN Forces Kingston Ontario, K7K 7B4

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