Heritage Structure | Chapter 13 – Military Honours and Gun Salutes

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  1. This chapter shall be read with:
    1. Canadian Forces Administrative Orders (CFAO) 61-4 and 61-16;
    2. A-PD-201-000/PT-000 Canadian Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial (soon to become A-DH-201-000/PT-000 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Manual of Drill and Ceremonial);
    3. Chapter 7 of this manual;
    4. B-LG-381-000/TS-001 chapter 4 section 2; and
    5. Canadian Heritage Honours and Salutes and Table of Precedence for Canada.


  1. The following terminology applies to this subject:
    1. Interval – means the time element between rounds of gunfire, which is:
      1. naval – 5 seconds;
      2. artillery – 10 to 15 seconds;
      3. minute guns – 60 seconds; and
      4. when returning a salute fired by a naval vessel, the interval shall, when practicable, conform to the interval used by the ship which initiated.
    2. Military Honours – Means all or some of the following:
      1. guard of honour;
      2. gun salute; and
      3. musical salute.
    3. Saluting Ship – means a ship with armament suitable for the firing of a salute.
    4. Saluting station – means a location in Canada specifically designated for the firing of a gun salute in accordance with this order.


  1. Co-ordinating authorities listed in CFAO 61-4, Annex A, are responsible for co-ordinating the provision of military honours in accordance with this order, using either Regular or Reserve Force resources. Coordinating authorities are also responsible for coordinating the firing and returning of naval personal salutes. The number of guns to be fired in honour of foreign naval officers visiting these stations shall be as prescribed by the commander concerned.


  1. Except as prescribed in this chapter, military honours consisting of guns salutes and/or guards of honour shall only be accorded to distinguished personages in the military chain of command as listed at Annex A, or, as a courtesy, to dignitaries or representatives in equivalent foreign military chains of command according to national and international protocol.
  2. Gun salutes are not necessarily connected to or related to other military honour ceremonies.
  3. Gun salutes may be fired by any artillery main equipment over 20 mm. Burst fire may be used by a weapon system designed only for automatic fire and where cyclical rate exceeds 500 rounds per minute; in this case, the sound of a 2-3 round burst is counted as a "round" for salute purposes.

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