Heritage Structure | Chapter 1 – Precedence

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  1. ChThis chapter amplifies Queen's Regulations and Orders (QR&O) article 3.43, which gives responsibility for determining precedence on a parade or at ceremonial functions to the parade commander or other officer in charge of military participation.
  2. ChDepending on the circumstances, precedence will be determined on an individual basis; by component, formation, or unit; or by branch. The normal order of precedence will be respected in each case unless there are clear and obvious reasons to do otherwise.
  3. ChSeniority, which has connotations of age and length of service, is only one of the factors that determine precedence.


  1. ChThe order of precedence for individuals on occasions of state and ceremony in Canada, where state, ecclesiastical, judicial or other high ranking Canadian authorities are present, is shown at Annex A.
  2. ChMembers of the Royal Family, other than Her Majesty The Queen, when in Canada, take precedence after the Governor-General.
  3. ChThe precedence of individual members of the Canadian Forces (CF) is noted in QR&O 3.09 to 3.12 and 3.41.


  1. ChThe precedence for the components and subcomponents of the CF is:
    1. ChRegular Force (refer to paragraph 8.),
    2. ChReserve Force:
      1. ChPrimary Reserve,
      2. ChSupplementary Reserve,
      3. ChCadet Instructors Cadre, and
      4. ChCanadian Rangers.
  2. ChThe Special Force, when authorized and established by the Governor in Council, shall take precedence with the Regular Force as if both formed the same component.
  3. ChOperational and combat elements take precedence over logistic and supporting elements, followed by the training elements.
  4. ChFormations take precedence over independent units. Within formations and units, the headquarters takes precedence.
  5. ChThe precedence among formations and units of a particular environment or functional branch shall be in accordance with the customs of that environment or branch. In general, precedence for each reflects a combination of status (Regular before Reserve, guards before line), numerical order and seniority of various types.
  6. ChWhere precedence of a unit embodied within a component is based on seniority, units that change status to a superior component (e.g. Reserve to Regular Force) take precedence within the new component in accordance with the date of change.
  7. ChA unit formed from the amalgamation of two or more units inherits the rights and privileges of each, including any rights of precedence, according to the customs of the environment or branch concerned.
  8. ChWhere further conflict exists, precedence is determined by employing the former single-service tradition of the sea, followed by land and air elements, and then integrated formations and units.


  1. ChIn joint parades held in Canada, in which troops of other nations or civilians participate, the order of precedence will be as follows:
    1. Chforces of foreign and Commonwealth countries in English alphabetical order of countries, in accordance with United Nations protocol,
    2. ChCF,
    3. ChRoyal Canadian Mounted Police,
    4. Chveterans, subject to paragraph 16.,
    5. ChSea, Army, Air and Canadian Ranger Cadets, and
    6. Chcivilian organizations.
  2. ChVeterans' organizations shall be given the position of honour on days of commemoration (Chapter 9) and other memorial days.


  1. ChA parade commander shall normally determine precedence as follows:
    1. ChDecide if the customs for joint parades and remembrance or memorial days apply.
    2. ChDetermine the structure of the major elements on parade. For example, are several commands or formations (whether or not with large attachments or detachments) on parade as such, or is the parade composed of a number of individual units? For example, is the parade composed of 1 and 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Groups, each with its own commander and its subordinate units or other elements in order of precedence, or composed of a number of units drawn from these two brigades, each independently parading under its own commanding officer, and all in a combined order of precedence?
    3. ChIf several commands or other formations are participating as such in a parade, each formation commander shall determine the order of precedence of units under that commander.


  1. ChThe order of precedence for the commands of the CF is:
    1. Chby tradition, officer cadets of the Canadian Military Colleges when parading as a unit or detachment representing their college;
    2. ChNational Defence Headquarters (NDHQ);
    3. ChMaritime Command;
    4. ChLand Force Command;
    5. ChAir Command;
    6. ChCanada Command;
    7. ChCanadian Expeditionary Forces Command;
    8. ChCanadian Special Operations Forces Command;
    9. ChCanadian Operational Support Command; and
    10. ChMilitary Personnel Command.
  2. ChEach commander shall determine the order of precedence of formations within his command or element based on the principles noted above. Normally, similar numbered formations take precedence in numerical order; e.g. 3 and 4 Wings.
  3. ChNaval precedence among task groups, ships and other naval units is by personal rank and seniority of the commanders present.
  4. ChThe order of precedence for units of the land field force is detailed at Annex B.
  5. ChFlying squadrons take precedence in numerical order by Regular and then Reserve Forces.
  6. ChThe order of precedence for units of Special Operations Forces Command is detailed at Annex C.


  1. ChBranches take precedence within the CF according to the single-service customs in place at unification, 1 February 1968, or in the order of seniority for branches formed after that date. The order of precedence for branches is:
    1. Chnaval Operations Branch,
    2. Charmour Branch (refer to Annex B, paragraph 6.),
    3. Chartillery Branch (refer to Annex B, paragraph 6.),
    4. Chmilitary Engineering Branch,
    5. Chcommunications and Electronics Branch,
    6. Chinfantry Branch,
    7. Chair Operations Branch,
    8. Chlogistics Branch,
    9. Chmedical Branch,
    10. Chdental Branch,
    11. Chelectrical and Mechanical Engineering Branch,
    12. Chchaplain Branch,
    13. Chmilitary Police Branch,
    14. Chlegal Branch,
    15. Chmusic Branch,
    16. Chpersonnel Selection Branch,
    17. Chtraining Development Branch,
    18. Chpublic Affairs Branch,
    19. ChIntelligence Branch, and
    20. Chcadet Instructor Cadre.
  2. ChPrecedence among units of the same branch is in accordance with the customs of that branch.

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