Canadian Maritime Command Enamelled Badge

In 1968 the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy were amalgamated into one unit, with separate commands for the three branches but (on paper at least) all belonging to one unit. New insignia was adopted and today we are looking at one of the new badges introduced when the maritime command was created:

This badge combines traditional elements from both the Air Force and Naval traditions- the anchor obviously represents the naval forces, whilst the eagle and air force blue colour were elements of traditional Air Force insignia. This particular enamelled badge has a slight curve to it and four pins on the rear to attach it to a uniform:

I believe these badges were designed to be worn on a breast pocket of a dress uniform to indicate the wearers posting.

The merger of all the Canadian armed forces into one unit was never popular with servicemen and women and from 2011 onwards the three services were split back out into their original designations. As part of that, the badge used by maritime forces was redesigned as was reported in Crowsnest Magazine at the time:

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has adopted a redesigned command badge that better reflects both the current RCN makeup and its traditional identity.

The original badge was adopted in 1968 with the stand-up of Maritime Command after unification. It has been out of date since 2011 when the historic names of the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) three services – the RCN, the Canadian Army (CA) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) – were restored.

“Like the return to our historic name, the redesigned command badge recognizes our heritage and many years of proud RCN service,” says Dr. Rich Gimblett, the RCN’s Command Historian. “It takes its core inspiration from the pre-unification command badge.”

The redesigned command badge incorporates the following modifications:

  • The background light “air force” blue has been replaced with dark navy blue, which matches the pre-unification badge and better reflects the RCN’s traditional blue;
  • The central device (anchor) has been flattened to reflect the device found on the pre-unification badge and for consistency with the anchor found on the CAF badge. Also, the eagle has been removed to better reflect the RCN’s current makeup; and
  • The motto, “Ready Aye Ready”, already translated for common use in French as “Toujours là, toujours prêts”, has been translated to the Latin “Parati Vero Parati” for consistency with the army and air force badges. The English and French translations will be used below the badge where appropriate.

For uniformity within the CAF, the redesigned command badge retains the standard CAF command badge style with a central circular rope surround and maple leaves clustered at the bottom.

One comment

  1. The Command Badge signified which Command you were attached to.
    The liebral gov’t of the day couldn’t bring themselves to say the ‘Royal’ in Royal Canadian Navy or Royal Canadian Air Force and dressed everyone in the same green uniform regardless of occupation or branch then needed to come up with this to tell people apart. We had Maritime Command, Air Command (plus Air Transport Command) and a host of others rather than just sticking with Army, Navy and Air Force.
    I mostly wore the Air Command Badge (affectionately known as ‘chicken in a basket’) but oddly enough when I was an instructor in a school that while on an Air base was attached to MarCom nobody, including the Base Chief, could tell me which Command Badge I was supposed to wear, Air Command ? Maritime Command ? Training Command ? Apparently, nobody had ever asked before and just wore the same Air Command badge they always did. Luckily the new uniforms were just coming in and most of the command badges went away with the old ones, sort of, mostly.

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