Ranks and responsibilities
The Regular Force and the Naval Reserve share the same ranking system and the same responsibilities within those ranks. The difference between them lies in whether a sailor is a non-commissioned member or an officer.
Non-commissioned members and officers
Non-commissioned members tend to be tradespeople and technicians and have often attended a vocational school. Usually, officers must have at least an undergraduate degree and are in leadership and managerial positions, with exceptions occurring during shortages.
The top position in the Canadian Navy is the Vice-Admiral. If the Vice-Admiral is appointed as head of the entire Canadian Forces, this designation changes to Admiral. The rank of Admiral is equivalent to a General in the Army or Air Force. Of the 19 ranks in total, 11 are at the officer level; the remaining levels are non-commissioned sailors.
All members of the Navy wear black. The difference between an officer’s uniform and that of a non-commissioned member is on the cuffs and shoulders. A high-ranking officer has thin gold rings around the cuffs of the blazer and gold bars on the shoulders. The rank of a non-commissioned member is often displayed in chevrons or other insignia rather than straight lines.
Responsibilities depend on rank and job description. However, all naval personnel must adhere to certain dress standards and fitness levels. Uniforms don’t have to be worn all the time, but men’s hair must be kept short and neat, and women’s hairstyles must allow them to wear the uniform hat. If a female sailor has long hair, it must be braided. Beards and moustaches are allowed, but some restrictions apply, such as length. When it comes to hairstyles and facial hair, there are exceptions for certain religious beliefs and aboriginal peoples.
For jewellery, simple rings such as an engagement ring or a wedding band are permitted, and women can wear plain stud earrings. Neither sex is permitted any other visible body piercings while in uniform.
Physical fitness is tested yearly in both the Regular Force and the Naval Reserve. Depending on age and gender, sailors must reach minimum requirements for such things as sit-ups, push-ups and running. For instance, women under 35 must be able to do nine push-ups and 15 sit-ups, and men under 30 must be able to run 2.4 kilometres in 11 minutes 56 seconds or less.
Fluency in both official languages is required for certain positions as well, and training is available.
This piece allows users to scroll down a list of Navy ranks and their corresponding insignia, including General, Senior, Junior and Subordinate Officers.