Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

October 09, 2013 13:00 ET

The Canadian Armed Forces Health Services Return to Their Historical Identities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 9, 2013) - Traditional designations have been restored to the two health services branches of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to honour and commemorate Canada's proud history respecting its military medical and dental professionals.

The Canadian Forces Medical Service will be renamed the Royal Canadian Medical Service to reflect the tri-service integration of the three former navy, army, and air force medical services since 1959. The Canadian Forces Dental Services will be restored to the Royal Canadian Dental Corps.

"The bestowing and restoration of the Canadian Forces Health Services historical names is an essential part of the government's commitment to honour the memories of so many brave Canadians who have sacrificed in service to Canada," said the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence. "It reinstates an important and recognizable part of our military heritage, as well as a key part of our nation's identity."

The Governor General, in his role as Commander-in-Chief of the CAF, communicated the approval of these changes by Buckingham Palace, while addressing the CAF leadership on October 8, 2013.

"Just as the original granting of Royal designations to the military medical and dental services was in recognition of their heroic service during the World Wars, their restoration honours the skill, dedication, and valour of our personnel in recent operations," said Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, the Surgeon General. "In providing care to our military colleagues and to any other population, whether deployed or in garrison, Canadians can count on us to prove worthy of this symbolic link to our heroic predecessors and to our sovereign."

The restoration of Royal designations for the two CAF health services branches is another step in the phased approach that began in August 2011 to recognize traditional service and corps identities in the CAF. This initiative began with the restoration of the historical names of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

These and other heritage changes are being phased in over the next year as Canada and its military prepares to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War.

Note to editors / news directors: For more information, please visit the Canadian Armed Forces Health Services Group.

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