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Naval Reserve centennial - NAVRES 100

The Naval Reserve is celebrating a major milestone in 2023, marking 100 years of service to Canada. Each of our 24 Naval Reserve Divisions, located in most major cities across Canada, are holding their own special events to mark the occasion. Twelve of these divisions are celebrating their own centennials with local celebrations.

Upcoming events

ISODate Date Event Location

What is the Naval Reserve?

The Naval Reserve employs over 4,000 sailors in cities across the country. These units, known as Naval Reserve Divisions, help communities in land-locked provinces such as Saskatchewan or Alberta maintain a relationship with their Navy.

Reservists train and work for the Navy on a part-time basis during evenings, on weekends, or over summer breaks in the trade or occupation of their choice. Members of divisions are the students, teachers, lawyers, firefighters or civil servants of the communities they live in and ultimately serve.

Naval Reservists are members of the Royal Canadian Navy who typically serve on a part-time basis while also holding a civilian job – including students, teachers, lawyers, firefighters, or civil servants of the communities they live in and ultimately serve. Though the Naval Reserve isn’t a full-time job for most, members must become qualified and can deploy at home and abroad with their regular-force counterparts.

History of the Naval Reserve

On January 31st, 1923, the Government of Canada authorized the organization of a Force named the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve (RCNVR). Rear-Admiral Walter Hose, the RCNVR’s founder, strongly believed in the necessity of a citizen-navy.

The force was seen as a great way for the young Royal Canadian Navy to build support and awareness from coast to coast. Rear-Admiral Hose’s vision included Naval Reserve Divisions in every major Canadian city, bringing the Navy to Canadians living far from our coastlines.

By the end of the Second World War, Canada had the third largest navy in the world with 95,000 men and women in uniform. Approximately 77,000 of those men and women were members of the RCNVR.

A modern Naval Reserve

Today’s Naval Reservists support provincial and local authorities in domestic operations, usually in response to natural disasters. This includes support to flooding in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec; forest fires in British Columbia; hurricanes in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland; as well as supporting the care of seniors in Ontario and Quebec during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some specialized units of the Royal Canadian Navy are made up entirely of Reservists, such as the Naval Security Team and Port Inspection Divers. Both teams are uniquely employed to keep Canadian and allied warships safe in port.