Canadian Army

Domestic Military Organization


Militia HQ

Canadian Forces HQ

National Defence HQ (NDHQ)

Political Institutions

Dept. of Militia & Defence

►►Minister of Militia & Defence

►►Militia Council

Department of National Defence

►►Minister of National Defence

►►Chiefs of Staff Committee


1902-1904 Dundonald Reforms
1920 Otter Committee
1936 Reorganization
1954 Kennedy Board
1957 Anderson Report
1964 Suttie Commission
1968 Unification
1995 Special Commission

Organizational Corps/Branches

1900-1968 Organizational Corps
1968-2000 Branches

Field Forces


Canadian Expeditionary Force
CEF Regional Affiliations

Territorial Reinforcement Regts.


Canadian Exped Force Siberia

1939-1940 (1945) 

Canadian Active Service Force


Canadian Army Pacific Force


Canadian Army Special Force

Field Force Formations

Canadian Corps




1st Div  | 2nd Div | 3rd Div  | 4th Div

5th Div

1st Canadian Army

1st Canadian Corps

2nd Canadian Corps

Atlantic Command

Pacific Command
1st Infantry Division
2nd Infantry Division

3rd Infantry Division

4th (Armoured) Division
5th (Armoured) Division
6th Division 

7th Division 

8th Division 
1st Armoured Brigade
2nd Armoured Brigade
3rd Armoured Brigade
3rd Tank Brigade

1 Com Div | 25 Inf Bde

Foreign Headquarters

Allied Forces HQ (AFHQ)

►►15th Army Group

►►►8th Army


►►21st Army Group

►►►2nd British Army
►►►►Beach Groups

Special Forces

1st Canadian Para Battalion

First Special Service Force

Pacific Coast Militia Rangers

Canadian Rangers

Special Air Service (SAS) Coy

The Canadian Airborne Regt

Organizational Formations

Reserve Bdes - 1941-1945

13 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

14 Cdn Infantry Training Bde

27th Canadian Brigade






1st Cdn Division (1954-1958)

1st Cdn Division (1988-2000)

Special Service Force

Auxiliary Services

1914-1918 Triple Alliance
1939-1945 Allies
1949-1999 NATO

Veteran's Organizations

Defence Associations

Canadian Cavalry Association
Canadian Infantry Association
Intelligence Branch Association

National Defence Emp Assoc
RCAC (Cavalry)
RCA Association
RCOC Association
Union of Nat Def Employees

Veteran's Associations

Royal Canadian Legion

Supplementary Order of Battle

Unit Listings by year

1900 | 1901 | 1902 | 1903 | 1904
1905 | 1906 | 1907 | 1908 | 1909
1910 | 1911 | 1912 | 1913 | 1914
1915 | 1916 | 1917 | 1918 | 1919
1920 | 1921 | 1922 | 1923 | 1924
1925 | 1926 | 1927 | 1928 | 1929
1930 | 1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934
1935 | 1936 | 1937 | 1938 | 1939
1940 | 1941 | 1942 | 1943 | 1944
1945 | 1946 | 1947 | 1948 | 1949
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954
1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959
1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964
1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974
1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979
1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984
1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994
1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

Unit Listings by Corps/Branch

Armoured Units 1940-1945

Cdn Dental Corps 1939-1945
Cdn Intelligence Corps 1942-45

Cdn Provost Corps 1940-1945

Infantry Battalions 1939-1945

RCOC 1939-1945


Dundonald Reforms

During 1902-1904, The last officer to hold the appointment of General Officer Commanding the Forces (Canada), extensively reorganized the Canadian Army.

Lord Dundonald, who had achieved fame in the Boer War with the British Army, particularly at Ladysmith created five districts and laid the groundwork for the Militia Act in 1904, which would see the creation of cavalry, artillery and infantry units of Canadian militia, to be completed by 1908. As two new provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan) were added to Confederation in 1905, the government and the Department of National Defence proceeded to reorganize the entire military.

Dundonald is described at the Canadian Military Heritage site as thus:

Major-General the Earl of Dundonald (was) a cavalryman who had built his reputation in South Africa with gallantry, daring, joviality and modesty. Dundonald's friends had advised him to refuse a position that had become increasingly unhealthy for its incumbents, but in the end, despite some clear reservations, he accepted. In London he was coached about avoiding blunders. Upon reaching Canada, he took command of a defence system viewed as a necessary evil by the local politicians.

Dundonald's analysis of the situation led him to suggest a first-line force of 100,000 men, based in reality on a militia 40,000 to 50,000 strong ready to react to any threat to the national territory. The second line of defence would rest on the shoulders of 100,000 more men who could be rapidly recruited and trained by officers who were supernumerary in peacetime units; hence the purchase of large training camps like the one in Petawawa. Dundonald also wanted to rebalance the arms and set up the necessary support services, reforms he was permitted to implement. It was he who suggested the regional commands that still exist in the army despite changes and a 20-year eclipse. Naturally these serious labours came at a price. Acceptance of his plan would entail initial expenditures of $12 to $13 million and an annual $5-million investment for upkeep. The outcry in the press did not stop the minister from implementing some of Dundonald's proposals while keeping the whole picture from the public. Two of his recommendations would not be acted on: compulsory service in cadet corps by all young boys and the enlistment of a surplus of officers and men, a move that would have doubled militia strength in times of emergency.

Nonetheless, between 1902 and 1904 the militia underwent a major reorganization that had been begun by Dundonald's predecessors. These years saw the creation of an Intelligence Service and a Central Records Office and the construction of arsenals and indoor ranges. A new Militia Pensions Act supported the Permanent Force, which was receiving more and more RMC graduates.

Dundonald was the first commander since Wolseley to arouse the militiaman's enthusiasm. Soon, however, things would turn sour between the Earl and Frederick Borden. Dundonald had taken up one of Hutton's habits and was speaking publicly about the militia and its problems. Even though his 1902 report had not been made public, it had largely been accepted, whereas the 1903 report was revised by the minister. Dundonald grew annoyed at delays, especially when it came to creating the central camp, and at the constant political intrusions into his world.

Dundonald, who cultivated relations with the Conservative opposition, ended his career, lamentably, over a patronage matter. In June 1904 he was shocked when the acting minister, Sidney Fisher, crossed out the name of a Conservative chosen by Dundonald to command a new regiment in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The major-general protested publicly, and on 14 June an order in council dismissed him from his post. Before leaving the country, he took advantage of the election campaign to get up on any platform that would have him and deliver stinging attacks on the outgoing Liberal regime. These goings-on would not hurt Wilfrid Laurier's team, which was returned to power, but they did bring the public to the realization that Dundonald had been right on the issue that ended in his dismissal.

The circumstances surrounding Dundonald's departure augured well for a reform that had been gathering momentum for years, one that would replace the General Officer Commanding with the Canadian minister of militia and defence as the government's principal advisor on military matters. Borden, who had already set in motion a review of the Militia Act, now brought it to a vote, and the new system came into effect in November 1904. An order in council immediately established the Militia Council (similar to the British Army Council), to include the minister, his deputy minister and the departmental accountant, along with the chief of the general staff, the adjutant-general, the quartermaster-general and the master general of ordnance. Though less powerful than the General Officer Commanding had been, this Council would in fact be more influential. The minister was its unchallenged master. He could vet the agenda for discussion and was better informed about his department's requirements. As for the military members, they were finally made aware of the minister's problems. The first Chief of the General Staff, Brigadier-General P.H.N. Lake, was of British origin. Others of his ilk would follow, but the function would very soon be reserved for native-born Canadians.


1. 1999-present