Ottawa, Ontario - 9 May 2014
In March 2014, Canada’s operations in Afghanistan, the longest armed conflict in Canadian history, drew to a close. Over the past 12 years, more than 40,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen served in the South-West Asia region in the largest deployment of Canadian troops since the Second World War.
Canada is committed to recognizing the dedication and sacrifice made by Canada’s men and women in uniform who took part in the conflict in Afghanistan. To this end, on May 9, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that eligible units of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces that participated in the South-West Asia theatre of conflict have been bestowed with the “Arabian Sea” or the “Afghanistan” Theatre Honour.
Theatre Honours are a type of Battle Honour given to publicly recognize a Canadian Armed Forces unit for successful participation in a theatre of armed conflict. Such honours have been awarded after every major conflict in which Canada has been engaged.
The following units will be receiving the Theatre Honours:
The process for the creation of Theatre Honours is the same for all types of Battle Honours. Following the end of a conflict, the Canadian Armed Forces begins the process of determining battle nomenclature (theatres, campaigns, battles, etc.) in order to create the specific Battle Honours for that conflict. Afterward, the eligibility criteria for awarding each of those honours is then determined. Each of these steps ultimately leads to approval by the Chief of the Defence Staff, who then forwards them to the Governor General, the final authority for the creation of Battle Honours and the eligibility criteria for each. The third step in the process is the allocation of the Battle Honours to individual Canadian Armed Forces units by the Chief of the Defence Staff.
The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers and Joint Task Force 2 do not carry individual battle honours, but instead use the motto “UBIQUE,” meaning “everywhere.”