Rank and Responsibility

Table of Ranks & Responsibilities

Table of Ranks & Appointments

Staff Officers

Rank & Appt Abbreviations



►►Lieutenant General

►►Major General

►►Brigadier General

►►Brigadier (1928-1968)

►►Col.-Commandant (1922-1928)


►►Lieutenant Colonel




►►2nd Lieutenant

►►Officer Cadet

Warrant Officers

►►Chief Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class I (1915-1968)

►►Master Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class II (1915-1968)

►►Warrant Officer (1968-)

►►W.O. Class III (1939-1945)

Non-Commissioned Officers

►►Staff Sergeant (1900-1968)


►►Lance Sergeant (1900-1968)

►►Master Corporal (1968-2000+)


►►Lance Corporal  (1900-1968)

Non-Commissioned Mbrs (Men)




Master Gunner

Platoon Sergeant Major

Honorary Ranks


Colonel of the Regiment

Honorary Colonel

Colonel Commandant


The rank of General was an uncommonly held rank in the Canadian Army up until 1968. Before Unification the rank was considered appropriate for an officer in command of an Army (i.e. a formation of two or more Corps). The term "general" is also a common term for any General Officer (i.e. holding the rank of Brigadier General, Major General, Lieutenant General, or General) regardless of actual rank.


The rank of General traces its lineage back to the Middle Ages, when the highest officer in an army was referred to as Captain General. A Captain General outranked the Lieutenant General and Sergeant Major General (later shortened to Major General). Over time, the Captain designation was dropped. Other similar ranks in other nations have included Colonel General. In some armies, a General has been outranked by a Field Marshal; the Canadian military has never authorized that rank or included it in its organizational structure.


Up until the time of Unification in 1968, the insignia for a General included a set of gorget patches in addition to his standard badges of rank. The rank of General was introduced after the First World War in Canada, and a general officer insignia was identified by a crossed baton and sabre surmounted only by a rank star and crown, the pre-1922 insignia for a Lieutenant General.



(King's Crown)

(Queen's Crown)

Canadian Forces Slip-On


At the time of Unification in 1968, the rank of General had been re-introduced and was considered the appropriate rank for the Chief of the Defence Staff. The insignia was changed to consist of the crown, a crossed sabre and baton, and four maple leaves replacing the rank star. The number of maple leaves matched the number of stars an American General employed in his rank insignia, and the rank was sometimes referred to colloquially as a "Four Leaf General" in emulation of US colloquialisms such as "Four Star General". It is also sometimes referred to in conversation as a "Full General" (i.e. not diminished by a prefix).


The rank of General was held by General H.D.G. Crerar as commander of the First Canadian Army. The rank was next held by General Jean V. Allard as the first Chief of the Defence Staff following Unification. The rank was then the standard working rank for the CDS.

Canadian Army Ranks/Appointments
Non-Commissioned Ranks
Private  | Lance Corporal | Corporal | Master Corporal | Lance Sergeant | Sergeant | Staff Sergeant
Warrant Officers




Warrant Officer | Warrant Officer Class III | Warrant Officer Class II Warrant Officer Class I |  Warrant Officer | Master Warrant Officer | Chief Warrant Officer
Officer Cadet  | 2nd Lieutenant | Lieutenant | Captain | Major | Lieutenant Colonel | Colonel | Colonel Commandant | Brigadier
 Brigadier General | Major General | Lieutenant General | General


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