Phonetic Alphabet



Glossary - D

Departure Assistance Group (DAG) - an administrative organization set up by a unit or base to assist members preparing to deploy for a mission, set up just prior to the actual departure. The term "DAG" was sometimes used as a verb, indicating the actual process of preparing to deploy. The term was sometimes modified with traffic signal nomenclature to refer to individuals, as follows:

  • DAG Green indicated an individual soldier was ready to deploy.
  • DAG Yellow indicated an individual soldier had encountered an encumbrance to deploying, but that the problem could be remedied in time to permit a change in status to green.
  • DAG Red indicated a problem preventing a soldier from deploying, such as an adverse medical report, family trouble, etc.

Division - a large military formation usually consisting of ten to fifteen thousand soldiers. In the Canadian Army, a division was made up of brigades and two or more divisions were grouped into a Corps. A division was generally commanded by a major general.

Wartime Divisions

The first division raised by Canada was the first contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. Known initially as the "Canadian Division", this formation went into action in France and Flanders in April 1915, and when joined by a second contingent that summer was redesignated the First Canadian Division. Five divisions eventually went to Europe in World War One, with four seeing action as part of the Canadian Corps. The fifth division was broken up for reinforcements, and the four fighting divisions were disbanded in 1919.

In the Second World War, Canada raised five divisions once again for overseas service, and organized three divisions for home defence in Canada. Additionally, a division was organized for the Canadian Army Occupation Force which stayed in Germany after their surrender in 1945, and a sixth combat division was raised in 1945 for service in the projected invasion of Japan as the Canadian Army Pacific Force, but was disbanded after the dropping of the atomic bombs before it was at full strength.

  • 1st Canadian Infantry Division
  • 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
  • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
  • 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, CAOF
  • 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division
  • 5th Canadian (Armoured) Division
  • 6th Canadian Division
  • 6th Canadian Division, CAPF
  • 7th Canadian Division
  • 8th Canadian Division

Postwar Divisions

A First Canadian Division Headquarters (later renamed First Division) was authorized in April 1946, but remained dormant until formally disbanded in July 1954. Simultaneously, however, another "Headquarters, First Canadian Infantry Division" was authorized as part of the Canadian Army Active Force, in October 1953. This, the first peace-time Division in Canadian history, consisted of a brigade in Germany, one in Edmonton and one at Valcartier. This Division was disbanded in April 1958.

The 1st Canadian Division was reactivated in 1988, with a divisional headquarters remaining active in Kingston, Ontario, though divisional level training was never conducted with troops in the field.

Foreign Divisions

Canadian troops on occasion were attached to foreign divisions, notable examples are:

Second World War

  • 6th British Airborne Division - to which the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was assigned.
  • 79th British Armoured Division - to which the 1st Canadian Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment was assigned.

Korean War

  • 1st Commonwealth Division - to which the 25th Canadian Brigade was assigned.

canadiansoldiers.com 1999-present