Corporal - Canada

Canada

Corporal (Cpl) is an Army and Air Force non-commissioned member rank of the Canadian Forces. Its Naval equivalent is Leading Seaman (LS). It is senior to the rank of Private and its naval equivalent Able Seaman, and junior to Master Corporal (Caporal-Chef) and its equivalent Master Seaman (Matelot-Chef). It is part of the cadre of junior non-commissioned officers, and one of the Junior Ranks. In French the rank is caporal (cpl).

The rank insignia of a corporal is a two-bar chevron, point down, worn in gold thread on both upper sleeves of the Service Dress jacket; in rifle green (Army) or dark blue (Air Force) thread on CADPAT slip-ons for Operational Dress; in old gold thread on blue slip-ons on other Air Force uniforms; and in gold metal and green enamel miniature pins on the collars of the Army dress shirt and outerwear coats. On Army ceremonial uniforms, it is usually rendered in gold braid (black for rifle regiments), on either both sleeves, or just the right, depending on unit custom.

Corporal is the first non-commissioned officer rank, and the lowest rank officially empowered to issue a lawful command. Corporals can lead troops if they have the formal qualifications to be promoted to Master Corporal but have not been promoted yet. However, the rank of Corporal was severely downgraded after Unification, along with the attendant responsibilities. A corporal in the Canadian Army in 1967 had the same duties and responsibilities that a sergeant has today. In an infantry section a Corporal will sometimes command a assault team if a Master Corporal is leading the section or they are pending promotion to Master Corporal.

Another effect of Unification was to delete the appointments of Lance-Corporal and Lance-Sergeant (a Corporal holding the acting rank of Sergeant). The former is still common in other Commonwealth militaries.

Corporal is deemed to be the substantive rank of the members carrying the appointment of Master Corporal. On pay documents, Corporal was formerly listed as "Cpl (A)" and Master Corporal as "Cpl (B)".

Privates in the Canadian Forces are considered to be apprentices in their trades, and corporals are journeymen. To become a Corporal one must have served four years as a private, and have achieved Qualification Level 5 trades training, or two years in the reserves but only require the completion of their trades course (DP1). In some cases, privates having served a minimum of 3 years may be advance promoted to the rank of Corporal with the approval of their superiors, providing they have shown dedication to the military and exemplary skills with reference to their trade. The rank of corporal in artillery units follows the British convention and is styled Bombardier (Bdr) — thus a Master Corporal is a Master Bombardier (MBdr).

In rifle regiments, a distinction was historically drawn between a Corporal and an Acting Corporal; The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada had a special insignia to distinguish between the two.

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