Honorary Navy Captains program

Honorary Navy Captains, formally written as Honorary Captains (Navy) and abbreviated before a person’s name as HCapt(N), are an integral part of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) family and provide an important link between the RCN and the communities in which they are based.

Honorary Navy Captains are distinguished Canadians, many of whom are well-known public, community or business leaders. Each Honorary Navy Captain brings to the RCN a set of unique talents and skills, has a keen desire to contribute, and specific goals that they wish to achieve, in line with the objectives of the RCN.

Appointment process

Appointed by the Minister of National Defence on the recommendation of the Chief of Defence Staff, Honorary Navy Captains act as the Navy’s ambassadors to the Canadian people, supporting its ongoing outreach and engagement work. Through their personal influences and networks, they help build on the RCN’s existing relationships within the community.

Affiliations with formations and units

Each Honorary Navy Captain is assigned to an RCN-affiliated formation, unit or supporting unit. Affiliation between an RCN formation or unit and individuals or communities is a long-standing and honoured naval tradition. The duration of an appointment of an Honorary Navy Captain is normally for three years, and extensions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Les capitaines de vaisseau honoraires portent cette épinglette sur leur uniforme, ce qui permet de reconnaître leur statut spécial.

Honorary Navy Captains wear this lapel pin on their uniforms, which identifies their special status.

Honorary appointments bring with them certain responsibilities. The duties of an Honorary Navy Captain can include:

Honorary Navy Captains continue a century-long tradition of service and are just as important today as when the program first began. Individually and collectively, Honorary Navy Captains are making an impact in their communities by actively raising awareness of their RCN – both in Canada and around the world.

Specialty badge

The Honorary Navy Captain insignia pin was developed in 2017 and depicts the RCN fouled anchor. The new insignia pin is similar to the Sea Service Insignia worn by all eligible RCN members to mark their days at sea. A red maple leaf added to the centre of the anchor on the Honorary Naval Captain insignia pin represents their voluntary service to Canada by their honorary duties, and provides a unique differentiator to recognize our Honorary Naval Captains.

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