Canadian Rangers: Wikis


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Canadian Rangers
Shield of the Canadian Rangers
Active March 3, 1942-
Country Canada Canada
Branch Army
Type Niche element
Role Domestic operations; surveillance and sovereignty patrols, first response
Size 4323
Part of Canadian Forces Land Force Command
Garrison/HQ Canadian Ranger National Authority, Land Staff, Ottawa
1 CRPG: Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia
2 CRPG: Quebec
3 CRPG: Ontario
4 CRPG: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
5 CRPG: Newfoundland and Labrador
Motto Vigilans (The watchers)
Engagements Second World War
LGen Leslie

The Canadian Rangers (mistakenly called the Arctic Rangers) are a sub-component of the Canadian Forces reserve that provide a military presence in Canada's sparsely settled northern, coastal, and isolated areas. Formally established on May 23, 1947, the primary role of this part-time force is to conduct surveillance or sovereignty patrols (SOV PATS) as required. Some Canadian Rangers also conduct inspections of the North Warning System (NWS) sites and act as guides and scouts when southern forces are in their area of operations. Each Canadian Ranger is issued a red Canadian Ranger sweatshirt, CADPAT pants, combat boots, baseball cap, safety vest, rifle and navigation aids. The Canadian Rangers are a volunteer force made up Inuit, First Nations, Métis and non-Aboriginals. These members of the Canadian army are paid when on operations and when training and are paid an equipment usage rate when utilizing their own light over-snow vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, watercraft and other tools and equipment.



Modern Canadian Rangers can trace their history back to the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers (PCMR). Formed on March 3, 1942, the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers were volunteers who patrolled, performed military surveillance, and provided local defence of the coastlines of British Columbia and in the Yukon against the wartime threat of a possible Japanese invasion. At their height, the Pacific Coast Militia Rangers consisted of 15,000 volunteers in 138 companies. The Pacific Coast Militia Rangers were officially disbanded on September 30, 1945.

Patrol area of the PCMR

Canadian Ranger at the Mackenzie River Delta near Inuvik

The PCMR was composed of 138 companies under three major patrol areas, which were Vancouver Island, the lower Fraser Valley and the Bridge River area. Some of the principal officers of the PCMR were Lieutenant-Colonel C.W. Peck, Lieutenant-Colonel A.L. Coote and Major H. Ashby. There are currently more than 4,400 Canadian Rangers serving in five Canadian Ranger Patrol Groups (CRPG) in 163 communities. By 2012, they are expected to reach a strength of over 9,000.[1][2]


Make Type Quantity Year entered service Details
Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle rifle N/A 1940s using .303 British
Astrocompass N/A N/A N/A
ParaComm PCX 250 High Frequency shortwave radio N/A N/A


Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk I*: Longbranch in .303

The previously issued weapon of the Canadian Rangers was the .303 British calibre Lee Enfield No 4 rifle, with each user being provided with 200 rounds of ammunition every year.

While the Lee-Enfield is an old WWII-era, bolt action repeating rifle, it has proved very reliable in freezing Arctic conditions. Rangers carry the weapon, even though they are no longer expected to engage enemy forces, for subsistence and protection against predators.

On August 10, 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced[3] the Canadian Forces Land Force Command is embarking on a Canadian Ranger modernization program which will procure a replacement weapon for the Lee-Enfield.

Patrol areas

Canadian Ranger in 2009

There are five main patrol areas of the Rangers. Those are the Canadian Forces Northern Area (CFNA), Land Forces Quebec Area (LFQA), Land Forces Central Area (LFCA), Land Forces Western Area (LFWA) and the Land Forces Atlantic Area (LFAA).

Patrol area patrols Rangers Junior Rangers Headquarters
JTFN 56 1,500+ 1,500+ CFNA HQ Yellowknife, NT[4]
LFQA 23 696 585 CFB Saint-Jean, QC[5]
LFCA 15 422 440 CFB Borden, ON[6]
LFWA 37 700 500 (approx) Victoria, BC[7]
LFAA 29 715 n/a Gander, NL[8][9]

The Junior Canadian Rangers Programme was created on May 31, 1996, and consists of more than 3,400 members in 119 locations. Under the supervision of the Canadian Rangers, the Junior Canadian Ranger Programme is open to young Canadians, from ages 12 to 18.[10]

Issued on September 1, 1942, the training publication, The Ranger, was in circulation for the PCMR, as it contained such articles as "Know where to shoot", "Edible plants of BC", "What can you do with a tarp?", and "Dig or die".

The Canadian Rangers' motto is "Vigilans".

See also


External links

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