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

Warrant Officer Class I

Warrant Officer Class I was a rank created during the First World War in the Canadian Army.

In May 1915, appointments previously warranted were given the rank of Warrant Officer Class I (the senior grade), while some appointees previously ranked as senior Sergeants now became graded as Warrant Officer Class II. The new rank of WO II was not recognized in Canada, however.

No warrant officers, class "1", have been, or will be appointed in the CEF in Canada.

There is not, nor has there ever been, any such rank as warrant officer Class "2" in Canada. Therefore, NCOs who have held warrant rank Class "2" overseas, automatically lose the same on return to Canada.

Warrant officers Class "1", who have received their warrants in the field, are permitted to retain their rank in the CEF, in Canada, provided they do not accept an appointment lower than that for which the warrant was granted.

Rank Insignia

The insignia for this rank was originally either a crown and wreath or a Royal Arms badge, generally worn in brass. Other devices were added according to the soldier's trade or employment. In 1918, a Royal Arms in wreath badge was introduced for Conductors.

During the Second World War, embroidered badges of wool (worsted) and khaki drill denim insignia were most common, though the older metal badges were seen on greatcoats or on leather wristbands.

The insignia was worn on the lower forearm of both sleeves of uniform garments, including Battle Dress Blouses, Khaki Drill Jackets, Bush Dress, Service Dress, and Greatcoats. The metal badge was also seen worn on a leather bracelet on the left wrist when in short-sleeved shirt as part of Summer Dress.

The rank was effectively replaced after Unification with that of Chief Warrant Officer in the newly combined Canadian Armed Forces.

Royal Arms badge in Metal, as worn on Service Dress.

After the Korean War, the insignia of a Warrant Officer Class I was changed from the British Royal Arms to the Canadian Coat of arms. Examples above show the worsted badges as worn on Battle Dress.


Regimental Sergeants Major of The Canadian Guards wore a large badge on the sleeve in the style of British Foot Guards regiments. The service dress version was rendered in full colour on a khaki melton backing and measured 5-3/4" tall.

Appointments and Insignia

May 1915-1939

Insignia Appointment/Title
  • Conductor, Army Ordnance Corps
  • 1st Class Staff Sergeant Major, Army Service Corps
  • 1st Class Staff Sergeant Major, Army Pay Corps
  • Master Gunner 1st Class
  • Schoolmaster, 1st Class

 In October 1918, the Royal Arms in Wreath badge was adopted by the British Army to identify a Conductor, it is possible Canada adopted the same badge at that time.

  • Sub-Conductor, Army Ordnance Corps
  • Garrison Sergeant Major
  • Schoolmaster
  • Sergeant-Major
  • Master Gunner 2nd Class
  • Farrier Corporal Major
  • Farrier Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major CAMC
  • Sergeant Major, Gymnastic Staff
  • Sergeant Major, School of Musketry
  • Sergeant Major, Bandmaster (except Household Cavalry and Foot Guards)


Insignia Appointment/Title
  • Conductor (RCOC)
  • Staff Sergeant Major 1st Class
  • Master Gunner 1st Class
  • Bandmaster
  • Master Gunner 2nd Class
  • Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM)
  • Armourer Sergeant Major
  • Farrier Sergeant Major
  • Topographic Surveyor Sergeant Major
  • Garrison Sergeant Major
  • Artificer Sergeant Major
  • Clerk
  • Foreman of Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Saddler Sergeant Major
  • Accountant Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Foreman of Works Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major, Artillery Clerk
  • Armament Sergeant Major
  • Draughtsman Signals, Sergeant Major
  • Lithographer Sergeant Major
  • Sergeant Major Instructor (Instructional Cadre)
  • Mechanist Sergeant Major
  • Staff Sergeant Major
  • Sub-Conductor, (RCOC)
  • Superintending Clerk

Two Canadian artillery soldiers in Dieppe in September 1944; at left a sergeant (note "gun" badge over his 3-bar chevron) and at right a warrant officer Class I wearing the worsted Royal Arms badge on his battle dress in regulation position.


  1. CEF Orders, Ottawa, reprinted in: Law, Clive M. Khaki: Uniforms of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (Service Publications, Nepean, ON, 1997). ISBN 0969984545

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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