Heritage Structure | Chapter 15 – Authorized voluntary bands  and alternate ceremonial  sub-units


ChAll of Chapter 15 should be considered as being a change.

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  1. An authorized voluntary band or alternate ceremonial sub-unit is one comprised of members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) authorized to participate as a formed body in performing music or in other ceremonial activity outside their normal occupation and training on a voluntary basis. Alternate ceremonial sub-units shall not be re enactment units. Associate members (civilians) may be authorized by the respective L1 to participate in band activities at unit, base/wing and formation level and to wear a uniform in public performances in accordance with A-DH-265 000/AG-001, CF Dress Instructions, Chapter 2, Section 1 and Chapter 5, Section 2 and as detailed in L1 Dress Instructions.
  2. Authorized voluntary bands are established to provide basic, economical and integral musical support for CAF organizations. Provision of this support must not prejudice the accomplishment of an organization's assigned missions; authorization will be given only to organizations large enough to sustain the effort, i.e. bases/wings and other formations, and major units.
  3. Normally, authorized voluntary bands are only established coincident with an authorized voluntary band leader or an instructional cadre to ensure musical and organizational effectiveness and continuity (see paragraphs 16 and 17).
  4. Other authorized voluntary ceremonial sub-units, such as a mounted cavalry troop, shall only be authorized as an alternate to an authorized voluntary band and must be substantiated as a special case by tradition and custom.
  5. The role of voluntary bands is to provide music support to their base or wing; they should not normally perform outside their region. There may be unique circumstances in which a voluntary band is requested to perform outside their region at events in Canada or internationally. If a voluntary band is being considered for international travel, in accordance with DAOD 5041-0, all requests for international music support must be vetted by the Supervisor of Music (DHH 7), before sourcing a band through their respective L1. If a voluntary band is contacted directly by any international organization they should immediately contact the Supervisor of Music. The Supervisor of Music will advise the L1 OPI, via Director DHH, regarding the capabilities and availability of the musician or ensemble that is being considered for an international performance. This ensures that the L1 is provided critical information by the functional authority,CMP, in order to fulfil the specific technical requirements of the request.


  1. National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ)/DHH is the approving authority for the establishment, conversion, change of establishment strength or disbandment of an authorized voluntary band or alternate ceremonial sub-unit.
  2. To obtain approval for establishment or change in status, a request shall :
    1. include a commanding officer's statement, indicating, among other relevant facts :
      1. a description of any current, unofficial voluntary group and its strength,
      2. the basis of continuing financial support for the requested voluntary activity upon authorization, and for an alternative to an authorized voluntary band, and
      3. the traditional and ceremonial substantiation for the special request including comments from the regimental senate where applicable;
    2. include a recommendation, and a commitment for continuing support and supporting data from the base commander; and
    3. be forwarded through the chain of command to NDHQ/DHH (Command Headquarters approval is required).


  1. Technical music advice shall be sought from the Supervisor of Music on all aspects related to the employment of an authorized voluntary band, composition, equipment, training, professional development and personnel matters for musicians.
  2. Authorized voluntary bands should have a minimum strength of 25 members for Brass and Reed, and 8 members for Pipes and Drums. Alternate ceremonial sub-units may have varying strengths depending on the nature of the sub-unit.
  3. The instrumentation of each type of band shall be as directed by the Supervisor of Music.


  1. Grants for providing and maintaining ceremonial uniforms are authorized only for uniforms not otherwise provided at public expense.
  2. Grants for authorized voluntary bands shall be claimed and accounted for in accordance with:
    1. CFAO 210-18, Grants to Bands – Uniforms, for providing and maintaining ceremonial uniforms (see also paragraph 11);
    2. CFAO 210-19, Annual Grants to Bands – Regular Force, Reserve Force, and Canadian Cadet Organizations, for providing and maintaining the sub unit's equipment; and
    3. CFAO 210-4, Grants to Units for the Purchase and Maintenance of Kilted Orders of Dress – Reserve Force, for the provision and annual maintenance of kilted orders of dress (see also paragraphs 11 and 14).
  3. Grants for authorized alternate ceremonial sub units shall be claimed and accounted for in accordance with:
    1. QR&O 210.35, Grants to Alternate Voluntary Ceremonial Sub-units – Regular Force; and
    2. QR&O 210.354, Grants to Alternate Voluntary Ceremonial Sub-units – Ceremonial Dress Uniform.
  4. Grants for kilted orders of dress are intended for Reserve Force Units authorized to wear kilted orders of dress. As kilted service dress items are issued in lieu of the normal service dress, authorized voluntary bands may request either ceremonial dress or kilted grants, or both, for their voluntary band leader, instructional cadres and CAF serving members.
  5. CAF members may be issued publicly funded uniforms, however, the provision of ceremonial uniforms at public expense is defined in the respective L1 Dress Instructions. Associate members may be authorized to wear the appropriate CAF uniform, but only at non-public expense (see paragraph 2). CAF members posted to a voluntary band leader or instructional cadre position (see paragraph 16) may be counted for the purpose of ceremonial or kilted grants.


  1. Authorized voluntary band leaders and instructional Cadres are CAF members in the Music 00210, Musician 00166 or Pipes and Drums 00377 occupations posted to fill positions on CAF bases/wings, units or formations.
  2. Authorized voluntary band leaders and Instructional cadres are responsible to the base/wing, unit or formation commander for:
    1. the organization, administration and musical efficiency of the voluntary band;
    2. the recruitment and training members for the voluntary band;
    3. the security, care and maintenance of band property in accordance with Queen's Regulations and Orders, Article 32.04; and
    4. providing advice on local band and music matters (see also paragraph 5).


  1. Authorized voluntary bands are listed in Annex A.
  2. Authorized alternate ceremonial sub-units are listed in Annex B.

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