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Canada Military


The Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces Canadiennes), officially the Canadian Armed Forces (French: Forces Armées Canadiennes), are the unified armed forces of Canada. This singular institution consists of three main branches: Maritime Command (MARCOM), Land Force Command (LFC), and Air Command (AIRCOM), which are together overseen by the Armed Forces Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff. At the pinnacle of the command structure is the Commander-in-Chief, who is the reigning Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor General.

The current incarnation of the Canadian Forces dates from 1 February 1968, when the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force were merged into a unified structure. Its roots, however, lie in colonial militia groups that served alongside garrisons of the French and British armies and navies; a structure that remained in place until the early 20th century. Thereafter, a distinctly Canadian army and navy was established, followed by an air force, that, because of the constitutional arrangements at the time, remained effectively under the control of the British government until Canada gained legislative independence from the United Kingdom in 1931, partly due to the performance and sacrifice of the Canadian Corps in the First World War. The Canadian forces were then heavily involved in World War II and Korean War, and, from the 1950s on, adopted more the role of a peacekeeping force within United Nations sanctioned conflicts.

The forces are today funded by approximately $20 billion annually ranked 16th, and are presently ranked 74th in size compared to the world's other armed forces by number of total personnel, and 58th in terms of active personnel, standing at a population of roughly 67,000, not including the 26,000 reservists. These individuals serve on numerous CF bases located in all regions of the country, and are governed by the Queen's Regulations and Orders and the National Defence Act.

Canada has played a leading role in UN peacekeeping efforts. During the Suez Crisis of 1956, then-future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson eased tensions by proposing the inception of the UN Peacekeeping Force. Canada has since served in 50 peacekeeping missions, including every UN peacekeeping effort until 1989, and has since maintained forces in international missions in Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia, and elsewhere.

Since 2001, Canada has had troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the US stabilisation force and the UN-authorised, NATO-commanded International Security Assistance Force. Canada has committed to withdraw from Kandahar Province by 2011, by which time it will have spent an estimated total of $11.3 billion on the mission.


Military branches
Canadian Forces: Land Forces Command (LFC), Maritime Command (MARCOM), Air Command (AIRCOM), Canada Command (homeland security) (2009)

Military service age and obligation
17 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for reserve and military college applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2008)

Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 8,072,010
females age 16-49: 7,813,462 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 6,647,513
females age 16-49: 6,413,748 (2009 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
male: 223,238
female: 210,797 (2009 est.)

Military expenditures
1.1% of GDP (2005 est.)





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