Dress instructions | Section 4 Environmental, branch and regimental insignia

Table of contents


  1. Environmental Identifiers and Insignia
    1. Uniform Design. The colour and cut of the Navy, Army and Air Force uniforms are themselves the principal environmental identifiers. See Chapter 5.
    2. Buttons. Buttons are worn on ceremonial, mess and service dress on an environmental basis. See paragraphs 20. to 24.
    1. Cap Badges. All qualified CAF members (see paragraphs 3. to 14.) shall wear branch/corps cap badges, as detailed in Annex D, except:
      1. flag/general officers, who shall wear common flag/general officer badges;
      2. Army colonels, who shall wear a common badge for their rank – less those holding a Royal or honorary appointment, Chaplains, Legal, Dental and Medical personnel who wear the insignia of their branch or regiment;
      3. Chief Warrant Officer in Senior Appointments and those in Key Positions shall wear the military representation of the Arms of Canada; and
      4. members of the Armour and the Infantry Branches, who shall wear approved regimental cap badges.
    2. Collar Badges
      1. Only Army personnel are authorized to wear collar badges, except on No. 2D CAF Mess standard. (Navy occupation badges worn on the collars of service dress jackets are a different category of insignia. See Annex C).
      2. Army personnel shall wear approved collar badges on ceremonial, mess, and service dress tunics and jackets. See Annex D.
    3. Shoulder Titles. Army officers below the rank of colonel (less those holding a Royal or honorary appointment – see sub-sub-paragraph 2.a.(2)) and Army NCM’s with the exception of those Chief Warrant Officers outlined in para 2 a(3) wear shoulder titles on either a branch, regimental, or unit basis, depending on their force component, unit, or uniform. See Section 5, paragraph 9. and Annex E.
    4. Other Branch/Regiment Insignia
      1. AirForce Officers. Air force officers, less those noted below, shall wear a single-wing branch badge on the right breast in the same manner as for NCM occupation badges (see Annex C):
        1. Air Operations Branch officers do not wear a branch badge as such on their right breast. Aircrew and Flight Crew wear none. Other Air Operations Branch officers wear an occupation badge in lieu.
        2. Medical Branch officers shall wear the common branch metal badge noted in sub-sub-paragraph (2)(b) below.
      2. Medical Branch
        1. Navy Medical Branch officers shall wear distinction cloth between rank insignia braid on ceremonial, mess, and service dress. See Annex D.
        2. Air force Medical Branch personnel shall wear a common metal branch badge above their name tag on service dress jackets and shirts only in a similar manner to chaplains’ regulation metal faith group identifiers. See sub-sub- paragraph (3).
      3. Chaplain Branch. Chaplains shall wear appropriate regulation faith group identifiers (i.e. Latin Cross, Crescent, Tablets with Star of David) on all orders of No. 3 dress. See details listed with other ecclesiastical items in Chapter 7.
      4. Headdress.Distinctive headdress is worn on a branch, functional force or unit basis as detailed in Chapter 5, Section 1, paragraphs 2. to 6.
      5. Additional Army Insignia. Army personnel may be authorized to wear other approved branch or regimental insignia, such as Highland regiment sporran badges. See chapters 5 and 6.


  1. Except as noted below, all personnel shall be issued the following badges on initial enrolment:
    1. the CAF universal-pattern  cap badge; and
    2. the appropriate environmental buttons.
  2. There is no universal-pattern collar badge for wear by army personnel on initial enrolment.
  3. The following policy shall govern the issue to personnel of identifying cap and, where applicable, collar badges.
  4. Combat arms (armour, artillery, engineer and infantry) personnel shall receive regimental cap and collar badges in accordance with regimental directives.
  5. Component and Occupational Transfers. Members who have previously been qualified in their former occupation shall wear the cap badge of their new branch effective on the date of their component or occupational transfer. Members who were not qualified in their previous occupation shall wear the CAF universal pattern cap badge until they qualify for their new cap badge in accordance with the procedures established by the individual Branch Advisors.
  6. Direct Entry officers of the Medical, Dental, Chaplain and Legal Branches, who enroll with all the necessary professional qualifications for the military occupation, shall be issued branch badges immediately upon commissioning.
  7. Personnel commissioned from the ranks to a different CAF environment and issued the uniform of the new environment, shall wear the branch insignia consistent with their new DEU.
  8. Officer Cadets of the Royal Military College of Canada (RMCC), other than UTPNCM cadets, shall wear RMCC badges during the academic year until they are commissioned. They shall be issued branch badges as appropriate on commencement of military occupation training, for wear only during the period of this training. Upon commissioning, they shall wear the insignia of the branch or regiment to which they are assigned.
  9. Officer Cadets attending civilian academic institutions under a subsidized university education plan (CFAO 210-13 refers), shall be issued branch badges as appropriate on commencement of military occupational training.
  10. UTPNCM cadets shall continue to wear their environmental uniforms, branch or regimental insignia until re-assigned.
  11. ROTP officers who fail to qualify in their military occupation and are retained in the CAF to fulfill obligatory service, shall relinquish their branch or regimental insignia and shall wear the CAF universal pattern cap badge only, until their release.
  12. Members of the Cadet Instructors Cadre (C IC) are issued with their Force components’ insignia, which vary by environment, on enrolment.


  1. Flag/General Officers. An embroidered cap badge, CAF pattern, flag/general officer, is provided for wear as follows:
    1. Cap/Hat Service Dress, and Turban. A badge measuring 6.2 cm in height.
    2. Beret and Wedge Cap. A badge measuring 4.2 cm in height.
  2. Senior Officers, Junior Officers, and Non-Commissioned Members
    1. A metal or embroidered branch cap badge and, where appropriate, metal collar badges shall be worn, except as specified in sub-paragraph b.
    2. All senior and junior officers, and all CWOs or equivalent may wear optional wire embroidered versions of their authorized cap badge provided that the badge is identical in both dimension and design and conforms to the approved pattern held by NDHQ/DHH. Regimental officers and Chief Warrant Officers shall conform to regimental direction.
  3. Naval Operations Branch. Members of the Naval Operations Branch shall wear embroidered cap badges which reflect their rank as follows:
    1. Officers and CPO1
      1. Cap/Hat Service Dress, and Turban. A wreath of gold maple leaves surrounding a silver fouled anchor with crown above. The outside dimensions are 80 mm broad by 75 mm high.
      2. Beret. A miniature of the same design with outside dimensions of 60 mm broad by 55 mm high.
    2. CPO 1s in Key Positions and Senior Appointments shall wear an embroidered Coat Of Arms of Canada cap badge.
    3. CPO2, PO1, PO2. A single laurel branch on each side of a silver fouled anchor with crown above. The outside dimensions are 50 mm broad by 70 mm high. This badge is worn on both the service cap/hat and the beret.
    4. MS and Below. A silver fouled anchor surrounded by a braided line (rope) with crown above. The outside dimensions are 50 mm broad by 65 mm high. This badge is worn on both the service cap/hat and the beret.
  4. Armour and Infantry Branches
    1. All ranks with a regimental affiliation shall wear authorized regimental cap and collar badges regardless of whether regimentally or extra-regimentally employed.
    2. New intake officers and recruits of these two branches who have not been assigned to a regiment, as well as certain personnel designated by the branch Advisers, shall wear the branch badges.
  5. Cadet Instructors Cadre (C IC) Officers. C IC officers shall wear only approved C IC badges.


  1. All navy personnel shall wear navy buttons.
  2. Army personnel below the rank of colonel (less those holding Royal or honorary appointments – see sub-sub-paragraph 2.a.(2)) and CWO in Senior Appointment and Key Positions may wear approved branch or, for those in the Armour and Infantry Corps, regimental buttons as optional items. The designs, once approved and procured, shall be worn by all members in the same manner as are cap and collar badges. Army personnel not authorized branch or regimental buttons shall wear the Canadian Army buttons.
  3. All Air Force personnel shall wear air force buttons.
  4. Button sizes and locations of wear are detailed in Annex D.
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