CANADIAN MILITARY POLICE


Prior to the First World War, there was no unit in Canada that resembled a modern military police element.

North West Mounted Police

Royal North West Mounted Police
In 1885, the NWMP (North West Mounted Police), forerunners of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, fought in the North-West Rebellion at Duck Lake, Fort Pitt and Cut Knife Hill in pursuit of Big Bear. During the Second Anglo-Boer War from 1899-1902, 290 all ranks served in two mounted rifle units, namely the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles and Lord Strathcona's Horse.

After being conferred the prefix "Royal" by King Edward VII (1904) the RNWMP provided a cavalry squadron in World War I, and after WWI, a RNWMP squadron served with the Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force from 1918 until 1919.

Canadian Military Police Corps

Canadian MP Corps - Cap Badge
During the first years of the WWI, Regimental Police were the only police element in the Canadian Army. The situation was such that the 2nd Candian Division made their brigades responsible for the provision of "Trench Police" to perform traffic control duties. The Canadian Military Police Corps was formed during October, 1917 with a total of 850 all ranks.

The CMPC school was formed at Ottawa, 1 June 1918, and closed ten months later on 11 March, 1919.

The CMPC itself was disbanded during 1920 on 30 June.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police
At the outbreak of World War Two the Canadian Army was without any form of military police. On September 13, 1939, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) requested and received permission to form a Provost Company using volunteers from the RCMP. This was 1 Provost Company (RCMP), of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division, Canadian Active Service Force, and was the forerunner of the Canadian Provost Corps.


Canadian Provost Corps

Canadian Provost Corps In mid June, 1940, the Canadian Provost Corps ( C Pro C ) was officially born. For the most part of 1940, 1 Pro Coy was stationed in England, but was involved in the battles surrounding the fall of France (Brest, Laval, Sable and Chateaubriant). The Canadian Provost Corps Training Center operated from November 1942 to May 1946, training 1897 all ranks.

During WW2 most of the Canadian Army in England was stationed at Aldershot. Canadian "MP's" were armed with .38 revolvers carried in a holster on the left hip together with a pattern 1937 web belt, brace and brace attachment in the same manner as the British CMP.

The corps saw action for the first time on 18 August 1942 when the Dieppe Raid took place. Of the 41 members who took part:
  • 22 returned to England
  • 1 was killed
  • 18 were taken prisoner with 7 of them wounded
During 1943, 1 Provost Company became involved in operations in Sicily (Pachino, Valguarno, Assoro, Agira, Adrano and Regalbuto) and after the crossing into Italy on 3 Spetember 1943 the company continued with its support to the 8th Army as the Allied forces crept northwards from the toe of Italy. Places where 1 Pro Coy were involved include
  • 1943 - Campobasso, Torello, Motto Montecorvino, San Leonardo, The Gully, Ortono.
  • 1944 - San Nicola, San Tomasso, Cassino II, Gustav Line, Liri Valley, Hitler Line, Got Lamone Crossing.
  • 1945 - Misano Ridge, Rimimi Line, San Martino, San Lorenzo, Fossa Vechio
In the Cassino area of Italy the Canadian provost assisted the British CMP on "Highway 6" where 11000 vehicles were handled per day. The Canadians were part of twenty-four provost and traffic control companies, two SIB sections that were attached to the 8th Army.

Shortly after the Normandy landings in June 1944, the 2nd Canadian Line of Communications (LoC) Provost HQ and six sections were deployed in Northern France on traffic control duties

Before VE-Day on 8 May 1945, 1 Provost Company was also involved in North-West Europe at Apeldoorn, Holland.

On 18 October 1945, 1 Provost Company was de-activated when it was repatriated to Canada. By September, 1945, the C Pro C numbered 6,120.

The Canadian Provost Corps School was formed at Camp Borden in the late 1940s and by 1948 there were at least 10 Provost Companies including 5 Militia Provost Companies in the Canadian Army.

25 Provost Detachment headed to Korea in 1950 where it formed part of 1 Commonwealth Division Provost Company ("1 COMWEL Div Pro Coy"). It was stated in the Standing Orders of this unit that they were the only integrated unit of its kind in the Allied Forces. In 1955, the Provost Detachment was disbanded after a total of 264 Canadian MP's had served in Korea.

Members of the Canadian Provost Corps in Korea. Both members are wearing the C Pro C badge on their headdress and "Canadian Provost Corps" shoulder titles. The member at left is also wearing whitened webbing belt and cross-strap.

Canadian Provost Corps shoulder title


On 23 November, 1951, the 27th Brigade Provost Detachment was located in Hanover, Germany with NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization ). In November, 1958, the 4 Canadian Infantry Brigade Group rotated into Germany, and from that point the name remained. The Provost Platoon in Germany became No 4 Provost Platoon.

During the 1960's members of 4 Provost Platoon wore an embroidered shoulder title similar to that at left on both shoulders of their battledress together with the CANADA titles and the standard miniature Canadian flag. During 1968 the platoon was renamed to 4 MP Platoon and was located at Canadian Forces Base Larh Germany until the pull out of 4 CMBG (Canadian Mechanised Battle Group) in 1992.


Other members of the Canadian Provost Corps that were not part of a Field Platoon wore a shoulder title similar to that at left on their battledress together with the CANADA titles and the standard miniature Canadian flag.
In March of 1964, the United Nations authorized a force to serve on the island of Cyprus. Since that time, members of the Military Police served on Cyprus until Canada pulled out in 1992.

On the 1st of February, 1968 the Provost Corps ceased to exist, when all branches of the Canadian military were unified into the Canadian Armed Forces

   

Canadian Security Branch

ThunderbirdPrior to the unification of the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force into the Canadian Armed Forces, the security and police functions were performed differently by each arm of service.
  • The Army had divided the responsibility for security and security incidents between the C Pro C and the Canadian Intelligence
    Corps (C Int C). Field inquiries were conducted by the security sections of the C Int C whilst the police functions of the C Pro C involved the provision and supervision of guards, the operation of Service Detention Barracks and the investigation of service (disciplinary) and criminal offences.
  • The Air Force Police (AFP) had the dual tasks of performing both police and security duties and were under the command of the base that they served.
  • Security in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) was the responsibility of the Assistant Director Naval Intelligence who reported to the Director of Naval Headquarters. The navy had no police organisation comparable to the C Pro C or the AFP, but relied on the Dockyard Police, Corps of Commissionaires, local Civil police and shore patrols to maintain security of establishments and to maintain discipline.
  • The RCMP conducted field inquiries in support of the security program.
All police and security elements of the Canadian Forces were initially amalgamated when the Directorate of Security was formed during October 1964 at Canadian Forces Headquarters. When the functional command structure was introduced in April 1966,
  • the security staffs and Provost Marshals in existing single service command structures were eliminated,
  • the command and base security officers were appointed at the new HQ's, and
  • the investigative elements of the Services were joined into a single organisation called the Special Investigative Unit (SIU).
To achieve a common approach within the Canadian Forces, security and police functions were regrouped into three categories - personnel security, police and custody, and security of information and materiel. Five trades that had previous existed were replaced by a single trade of Military Police. This also provided standards for the training required by all NCO's in the police and security field.

  TURCOT report. In June 1966, Maj Gen Turcot was instructed to examine the role, organisation and responsibilities for security within the Canadian Forces and to make recommendations for any changes. At the time there were two philosophies within the police, intelligence and security families.
  • Director General Intelligence saw a distinction between police and security, but saw a closer relationship between security and intelligence.
  • The Chief of Personnel saw the police and security functions as complimentary.
The TURCOT report when completed on 22 July 1966 directed that the responsibility for security should be placed under DGI.

  PIQUET report. In January 1967, the Chief of Defence Staff directed the Director General Intelligence to perform a management analysis in order to make recommendations for the future management system for Intelligence, Security and Military Police in the Canadian Armed Forces. The report which was submitted in March 1967, concluded that the security/intelligence/police should be managed under a Directorate General Intelligence and Security (DGIS) in the Vice Chief of Defence Staff Branch. The Security Branch was officially created on 1 February 1968.

With the C Pro C gone, Military Police platoons were integrated with the Service Battalions. It was deemed that the Service Battalions would provide all support, including MP support, to the units in the Brigade. Only in 1971 did the Regular Force MP units leave the Service Battalions to be established as independent units.

During 1968 the Provost Corps School was renamed Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security ( CFSIS ).

The official Branch motto is "SECURITAS",
Latin for "Securing".

Canadian Military Police are probably unique in the world as they are classified as Peace Officers in terms of the Canadian Criminal Code, and because this gives them the same powers as civilian police they have the power to arrest civilians and any member of the Canadian Forces, regardless of RANK!

  CRAVEN report. In 1978, the CRAVEN report proposed that the CF Police and Intelligence personnel comprising the unified Security Branch be reorganised into a structured Security Branch and an Intelligence Branch. Following further studies, discussions and recommendations, DGIS agreed and on 3 December 1981, the CDS directed that separate Security and Intelligence Branches be established. On 29 October 1982, a ceremony was held at the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security that inaugerated the new Intelligence Branch and rededicated the Security Branch.

4 Provost Platoon memberIn 1989, the Canadian Government decided to pull the Canadian Military out of Germany, and 4 Military Police Platoon was disbanded.

On the 1st of April, 1997, the Canadian Army was restructured, allowing the Reserve Military Police Platoons to become independent units operating in support of the Brigade.

  DICKSON report. After recommendations were made by the former Chief Justice Brian Dickson a new era was ushered into the Security Branch. Changes included
  • The re-establishment of the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal

    The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) is responsible for developing policies and plans to guide the management of security and military police resources of the Department. The CFPM is the Departmental Security Officer (designate), the Branch Advisor for the Canadian Forces Security Branch, an active member of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the departmental member of the interdepartmental Security Advisory Committee. The CFPM exercises command and control over the National Investigation Service and exercises functional control over the Canadian Forces Service Prison and Detention Barracks.

  • The creation of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service

    The CFNIS originated in 1993. In its current form it is mandated to investigate serious and or sensitive service and criminal offences against property, persons, and the Department. It has authority and jurisdiction over persons subject to the Code of Service Discipline without regard to rank and status throughout the world and wherever the Canadian Forces are established or deployed. The CFNIS is commanded by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal who reports directly to the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. The CFNIS has four regional offices currently located in Halifax (Atlantic Region), Valcartier (Eastern Region), Ottawa (Central Region) and Edmonton (Western Region). The Ottawa Central Region office also provides an international investigation section for investigation outside of Canada. Although these regional offices are located on military bases, CFNIS personnel are independent from the normal military chain of command and they report to and receive their directions from the CFPM.

  • The creation of the National Counter Intelligence Unit (a security and military police unit under the Director General of Intelligence)


CF Military Police & Security Academy
On 1 April 1999, Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) was "stood down".
  • Intelligence Training Company was reformed as the Canadian Forces School of Military Intelligence - Project (CFSMI) to be located at Canadian Forces Base Kingston.
  • The Military Police component was reorganized to form Canadian Military Police & Security Academy (CFMPSA) and remains at Canadian Forces Base Borden.


Today, members of the Security Branch serve on every base and station of the Canadian Forces in Canada, as well as with the various regiments and battalions. MPs continue to serve with UN forces; as part of the NATO component in Geilenkirchen, Germany, as well as in twenty-nine Military Police Security Guard Detachments at several Canadian Embassies around the world.

Military Police also serve at Royal Military College Kingston, CFSRSHQ, CFSU Europe, CFNA HQ Yellowknife, SHAPE Casteau Belgium and many other Canadian Force Bases (CFB) locations. Units of the Canadian Military Police include:
  • 1 MP PL (Regular) - CFB Edmonton, Alberta
  • 2 MP PL (Regular) - CFB Petawawa
  • 5 PPM (Platoon Police Militaire) (Regular) - Base de Force Canadienne Valcartier, Quebec
  • 8th Security & Military Police (SAMP) Wing - Trenton (Ontario)
  • 11 MP PL - Victoria (British Columbia)
  • 12 MP PL - Richmond (British Columbia)
  • 14 MP PL (Reserve) - Calgary (Alberta)
  • 15 MP PL- Edmonton, Alberta
  • 19th Security & Military Police Wing - Comox
  • 25 MP PL (Reserve) - Toronto (Ontario)
Canadian MP Field Vehciles



INSIGNIA OF CANADA'S MILITARY POLICE

Cap Badges

Various cap badges have been worn

Royal North West Mounted Police Royal North West Mounted Police
  Canadian Military Police Corps

Three different badges were worn by the CMPC.
Canadian MP Corps - Cap Badge Canadian MP Corps - Collar Badge Canadian MP Corps - Cap Badge (2nd pattern)

Canadian Provost Corps Canadian Provost Corps










Security Branch

The Branch badge is based on the Thunderbird - a mythical native spirit, probably derived from the eagle, whose name signifies the voice of thunder. It is one of the most common emblems of the North West Coast native tribes and is usually the crowning figure on the carved totem poles placed before a chief's house. It is believed to be a symbol of supremacy and power in the life of the tribe. The mystique surrounding this emblem varies according to the legends of the tribe concerned. A common feature of its attributes, however, concerns its role as a protecting spirit, one which gives wise counsel and guards the tribe from evil and misfortune. The face on the breast symbolizes dual transformation. The thunderbird is worn by personnel of the Security Branch as follows:
  • For all dress orders Army MPs wear a red beret with a cloth Security Branch cap badge. When a member is on ceremonial parade, the standard Canadian Army forage cap is worn, with a red band and a metal Security Branch cap badge. When tactical situations require, the standard army bush hat is worn with a subdued Security Branch cap badge. No MP badges are worn on helmets. Military Police who are posted to the Regimental Police Sections of armoured units wear the Security Branch cap badge on a black beret without a red felt backing.
  • Air Force MPs wear the air force blue beret with a red felt backing to the cloth cap badge. The cap badge is also displayed on the Air Force wedge cap. On ceremonial parades the standard Canadian Air Force forage cap is worn, with a red band and metal Security Branch cap badge.
  • Navy MPs wear a black beret with a red felt backing to the cloth cap badge. On ceremonial parades a standard Canadian Navy forage cap is worn, with a red band and a metal Security Branch cap badge.
The collar badges are also worn in the following manner:

 
Peacetime -
looking inwards
  Wartime -
looking outwards


Brassards

Various brassards have been worn by members of the military police throughout Canada's military history

Canadian Military Police Corps 1918-20 Canadian Military Police Corps 1918-20.
Worn on right arm.

1 (RCMP) C Pro C Company No. 1 (RCMP) C Pro C Company.
1939-1941.

Canadian Provost Corps 1940-56 Canadian Provost Corps 1940-56.
Worn on right arm.

Canadian provost Corps 1957-68 C Pro C 1957-68.
Worn on right arm.

Security Branch MP 1969-78 Security Branch MP 1969-78.
Worn on left arm and on left wrist of winter jacket.

Combat brassard 1978-date At the present moment Military Police from the Canadian Forces Security Branch wear a bilingual brassard on the left arm. It consists of three horizontal lines of lettering, "MILITARY POLICE MILITAIRE", the first two lines being English and the last two lines being French. The brassard is used for garrison and routine operations. For garrison duty the lettering is white on a black background.

When 2 MP PL was part of the Special Service Force, they wore "MP" armbands with the SSF badge on garrison brassards and red "MP" on a navy blue square on the combat brassards.

However, from time to time "MP" with white lettering on a black brassard is worn at the whim of the Commanding officer. By dress regulations "MP" armbands are only to be worn outside of Canada.

For NATO operations Canadian MP's use the brassard illustrated at left.


1MP Platoon garrison brassard 2MP Platoon
garrison brassard 5 PPM garrison brassard Non-field
unit garrison brassard
1 MP Platoon garrison brassard.
1980 - Present.

2 MP Platoon garrison brassard.
1995 - Present.

5 PPM (Platoon Police Militaire) garrison brassard.
1980 - Present.

Non-field units at Air Force and Navy bases and stations.
1980 - Present.

Combat MP Badge Canadian MP wearing combat brassardCombat brassard.
1978 - Present.

The MP on the right is wearing the combat brassard.
Combat brassard worn on left arm.
1978 - Present.

Unofficial combat brassard worn by 2 MP Platoon.
1990 - 1995.

Combat brassard worn by 1 MP Coy, 1 Cdn Division 1994 -

Flags
Security Branch flag The Branch flag was approved by National Defence Headquarters in June 1976 and is flown in front of all Military Police Guard Houses, by field MP units when deployed and Detention Barracks.
Security Branch flag The three Regular Army field Platoons (5 PPM and 1 & 2 MP PLs) display their unit numbers in the upper left corner. Reserve MP platoons are not authorized to do so but 25 MP PL has been seen to do so.
Other Badges
The badge illustrated at left was worn on a trial basis by Security Branch military police attached to the National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa in the middle 1980's. The badge was however not approved as it looked to civilian. A number of these badges were later made into baseball cap souvenirs that were sold from the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security.
A new shoulder patch identifier for wear with the Military Police Occupational Patrol Dress uniform, has received final approval from the Director of History and Heritage, the CF Dress Committee and the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal. The new patch will replace the black MP brassard currently worn on the uniform. Once the contracting process for the production of the patch is complete, the patch will become available in the CF Supply System. Delivery to units may occur by summer 2002. It is intended that the patch will be worn on both shoulders of the OPD shirts and jacket.
   
   
Sources

Canadian Provost Corps Home Page
5 Provost Company (Unofficial) - a really great site!



In the development and compilation of this page,
support from Marc Inglis,
an ex-Canadian MP, and Daniel Labonte is acknowledged.
.