Naval Reserve

Naval Reservists are individuals engaged in their civilian lives while pursuing a military career. They work for the Navy in the evenings, on weekends and during the summer period, in a occupation of their choice. They can be students, teachers, lawyers, delivery persons, secretaries, or other members of society. Most serve on a part time basis, with no obligation to participate in any mission overseas. However, many full-time employment opportunities and deployments are available to those Reservists who volunteer for them.

Naval Reservists are active members of your community who are willing to share their experience and who can attest that the Canadian Armed Forces and our government are committed to defending this nation and her people.

Discover how you can serve part-time in the Naval Reserve.

Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels

Our Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels (MCDV) are crewed mainly by Reservists. These Kingston-class ships were designed and built to commercial standards, although some key areas such as stability, flood control, manoeuvrability and ammunition storage are built to military specifications. The ships are very flexible — inter-changeable modular payloads can be fitted for route survey and bottom object inspections.

  • Patrols: The MCDVs’ primary mission is coastal surveillance and patrol. Coastal surveillance involves general naval operations and exercises, search and rescue, law enforcement, resource protection and fisheries patrols. MCDVs offer an economical alternative to major surface units for routine but nevertheless important patrolling duties, as these are vital in maintaining our sovereignty and protecting our shores. The 12 vessels are divided equally between both coasts.
  • Mines: Payloads can be added to the MCDV to provide limited mine countermeasure capabilities. The vessels' design accommodates three modular payloads: a mechanical minesweeping system (MMS), a route survey system, and a bottom object inspection vehicle. These can be on- or off-loaded within 12 hours. During Route Survey tasks, the ships deploy a partially controllable "towfish" fitted with side scan sonar. This towed system creates imagery and a database of the condition and objects on the seabed for subsequent investigation. The database can later be used, during mine hunting tasks for example, to avoid investigating previously located and known objects. A remote operating vehicle (bottom object inspection) can also be deployed to closely investigate objects that have been observed.

Naval Reserve Division: An asset to the community

Located in Quebec City, Naval Reserve Headquarters co-ordinates the activities of 24 units called Naval Reserve Divisions (NRD) located in most major cities across the country. Naval training in the NRDs is usually one or two evenings per week and one weekend per month. There are a number of activities carried out by Naval Reservists here, as well as the training and other activities they conduct when they visit other cities. Furthermore, Naval Reserve Divisions are active in their community, providing vital emergency services, fundraising for local charities, and participating in numerous community events.


Contributing to the Canadian economy, Defence investments bring prosperity to businesses, industries and communities across Canada. With more than 100 000 people on the payroll, Defence is Canada's third-largest employer, making a significant contribution to local, provincial and territorial economies. Defence invests in industries such as aerospace, shipbuilding, weapons, armoured vehicles and electronics, as well as spending in goods and services industries, such as construction, fuel-supply, transport and other essential services.

As a part of the Department of National Defence, a Naval Reserve Division brings these economic benefits to its hometown. Moreover, an NRD provides valuable employment opportunities to the community. The summer training schedule complements student schedules and a number of Naval Reservists are able to fund their educations this way.

Emergency service

In times of natural disaster, such as the Red River (Manitoba), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec) and Saguenay River (Quebec) floods, the forest fires in the British Columbia interior, and the ice storms in southern Ontario and Quebec, the Naval Reserve has offered assistance whenever communities have needed help. Naval Reservists give up their time to contribute to their home communities, to help save lives and restore order when disaster strikes.


Naval Reserve Divisions act as invaluable fundraisers, taking every opportunity to give back to the communities that support them. Naval Reservists have raised tens of thousands of dollars for different charities, such as the CIBC Run for the CURE, St. Mathew's House Charity in Hamilton, Harbour Lights in Saint John, Noël des Enfants in Québec City, Christmas Daddies and Hope Cottage in Halifax, the YWCA, The United Way, International Earth Day, and dozens of other local charities and charitable campaigns.

Community events

Each Naval Reserve Division strives to participate actively in its community, both as a demonstration of civic responsibility and in an effort to advertise their presence within their hometown. Personnel have participated in the Marathon des Deux-Rives in Québec City, the Calgary Cup Sailing Regatta, and in the Saskatoon Dragon Boat Festival.

Most importantly, the Naval Reserve plays a key role in recognizing the sacrifices of sailors and soldiers who have served our country in the past. With unswerving dedication, they plan and participate in such events as Remembrance Day and celebrations of the Battle of the Atlantic and Trafalgar Day.

Page details

Date modified: