National Defence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-5)

Act current to 2014-10-27 and last amended on 2014-08-18. Previous Versions

Units and Other Elements

Marginal note:Organization
  •  (1) The Canadian Forces shall consist of those of the following elements that are from time to time organized by or under the authority of the Minister:

    • (a) commands, including the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force;

    • (b) formations;

    • (c) units; and

    • (d) other elements.

  • Marginal note:Components

    (2) A unit or other element organized under subsection (1), other than a command or a formation, shall from time to time be embodied in a component of the Canadian Forces as directed by or under the authority of the Minister.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 17;
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 168.

Chief of the Defence Staff

Marginal note:Appointment, rank and duties of Chief of Defence Staff
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint an officer to be the Chief of the Defence Staff, who shall hold such rank as the Governor in Council may prescribe and who shall, subject to the regulations and under the direction of the Minister, be charged with the control and administration of the Canadian Forces.

  • Marginal note:Responsibility and channels of communication

    (2) Unless the Governor in Council otherwise directs, all orders and instructions to the Canadian Forces that are required to give effect to the decisions and to carry out the directions of the Government of Canada or the Minister shall be issued by or through the Chief of the Defence Staff.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 18.
Marginal note:Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

 There shall be an officer appointed by the Chief of the Defence Staff to be the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.

  • 1998, c. 35, s. 6.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity of Chief of the Defence Staff

 In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, or any other officer that is specified by the Minister or the Chief of the Defence Staff, has the control and administration of the Canadian Forces.

  • 1998, c. 35, s. 6.

Canadian Forces Provost Marshal

Marginal note:Appointment
  •  (1) The Chief of the Defence Staff may appoint an officer who has been a member of the military police for at least 10 years to be the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (in this Act referred to as the “Provost Marshal”).

  • Marginal note:Rank

    (2) The Provost Marshal holds a rank that is not less than colonel.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office and removal

    (3) The Provost Marshal holds office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding four years. The Chief of the Defence Staff may remove the Provost Marshal from office for cause on the recommendation of an inquiry committee established under regulations made by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Powers of inquiry committee

    (4) An inquiry committee has the same powers, rights and privileges — other than the power to punish for contempt — as are vested in a superior court of criminal jurisdiction with respect to

    • (a) the attendance, swearing and examination of witnesses;

    • (b) the production and inspection of documents;

    • (c) the enforcement of its orders; and

    • (d) all other matters necessary or proper for the due exercise of its jurisdiction.

  • Marginal note:Reappointment

    (5) The Provost Marshal is eligible to be reappointed on the expiry of a first or subsequent term of office.

  • 2013, c. 24, s. 4.