Canadian Special Operations Forces Command Headquarters (HQ)


About the unit

The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) Headquarters (HQ) is an integrated command headquarters that provides operational level command and control to CANSOFCOM. We advise and assist the Commander of CANSOFCOM by offering support in:

  • Force Development
  • Force Management
  • Force Sustainment
  • Force Generation
  • Force Employment.

Our responsibilities

We provide the command with the following:
  • Command and control of all units and Special Operations Forces (SOF) operations around the globe.
  • Continental staff functions:
    • J2 Intelligence
    • J3 Operations
    • J5 Plans
    • J6 Signals
    • J7 Training.
  • Force Development:
    • Development of future force capability concepts
    • Project direction for the implementation of new capabilities
    • Capability management
    • Coordination of procurement activities
    • Coordination of SOF-specific research and development.
  • Force Management:
    • J1 Personnel
    • SOF occupation management
    • Personnel selection
    • Organization and establishment
    • Optimizing Performance Force and Family (OPF2) program
    • Security/Access to Information (ATI)
    • Reserves
    • Civilian staffing.
  • Force Sustainment:
    • J4 Logistics
    • J8 Finance
    • Business planning and corporate reporting
    • Occupational health and safety.
  • Special advisors:
    • Legal
    • Policy
    • Medical
    • Public Affairs
    • Provost Marshal.
  • Administrative support to HQ members.

Our expertise

Our HQ is comprised of a motivated and diverse collection of non-commissioned members, officers, and public servants who are specialists in leadership, human resources, policy, finance, and procurement.

In addition to sharing the Canadian Armed Forces core values, our HQ members embody the SOF values of:

  • Relentless pursuit of excellence
  • Determination
  • Shared responsibility
  • Creativity
  • Humility.

All military members of the HQ are fully trained in their trade and come from the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Military Personnel Command, and Canadian Forces Intelligence Command.


The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) created CANSOFCOM on February 1, 2006. Its genesis was the Counter-Terrorism Special Operations cell – the strategic interface between JTF 2 and National Defence headquarters – which was folded into the CANSOFCOM headquarters (HQ) once the Command was stood up. Command HQ was established to support its Commander and units of the command.

With time the HQ grew and became pivotal to CANSOFCOM's success, which is largely based on its command-and-control framework. CANSOFCOM is commanded by a major-general who reports directly to the CDS. The Commander is supported by his strategic level HQ, which is largely self-contained. It ensures command continuity and supports ongoing operational planning and execution of SOF tasks both at home and abroad.

Command HQ is configured along standard continental lines with some variations to address the divergent requirements of its unique status as both a service-like entity and an operational command. Specifically, it is responsible for stewarding the SOF enterprise: leading the development, generation, management, sustainment, and employment of the Canadian Armed Force's SOF capabilities. It also manages a robust network of liaison officers with its principal allies, as well as with its inter-agency partners.

The Command HQ unit relies on the diligence and innovation of its personnel to support the other units in their operational roles. It is this dynamic relationship that has allowed CANSOFCOM to overcome the challenges of continuous operations in complex and inhospitable environments to provide SOF effects that achieve national objectives. This effort was validated on 1 September 2011, when the Minister of National Defence awarded the Command with the first Minister's Award for Operational Excellence for CANSOFCOM's contribution to the war in Afghanistan.

Join our unit

If you are interested in joining HQ, please contact our recruiting office at 1-613-687-5511 ext. 4007 or email:

Contact information

Public Affairs


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