The year of the Logistician: 50 years and counting

Article / February 15, 2018 / Project number: 18-0079

By Master-Corporal Annie-Claude Venne, Canadian Joint Operations Command Headquarters

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Ottawa, Ontario — 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Canadian Forces Logistics Branch. A series of activities and events will take place throughout the coming months to highlight the contribution by Logisticians to the success of Canadian military operations at home and around the world.

Most notably, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, the Logistics Branch will receive the ‘Royal’ designation from Her Majesty as the Branch becomes the Royal Canadian Logistics Service.

With a festive spirit, Lieutenant-General Charles Lamarre, senior Logistician in the Canadian Armed Forces addressed a crowd of Logisticians in a ceremony to launch the “Year of the Logistician” on January 26 in Ottawa.

“This year we will celebrate the continuing support that we are bringing to 20 operations around the world,” said LGen Charles Lamarre. “Fourteen thousand men and women from the Regular and Reserve Force make up the Logistics Branch. It is a massive occupation that that enables the success of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on every operation that we undertake … whether it’s fighting floods like we had recently in the Gatineau area or any other event when Canadians need our help on top of our standing commitments with NATO and NORAD.”

“We are also a great example of diversity,” said LGen Lamarre. “Thirty-three percent of the Branch is made up of women that bring their own excellence to what we do. We’ve got visible minorities around the six to seven percent range and about three percent of us are Indigenous people who are serving their country. That is a great turnout…for diversity and inclusion for a branch that really represents the Canadian population.”

Although the Logistics Branch is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, LGen Lamarre explained that the history of logistical support to the Canadian Armed Forces really began in 1901 with the establishment of four companies that became the foundation the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps.

After the First World War, the various Corps’ were granted the ‘Royal’ designation for the excellence of the work done supporting the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  In 1968, with the unification of Canada’s military, the ‘Royal’ designation was dropped and the Canadian Forces Logistics Branch was created. The contribution of Logisticians is, since the very beginning, critical to the success of any CAF mission.

Throughout 2018, Logisticians will celebrate in their work place and with a series of public events. A dominant activity is the Logistics Branch 50th Anniversary Flag Relay. The relay began in July 2017 and since then, the Flag has been greeted by Logisticians in 11 countries and has travelled more than 45,000 kilometres; greater than once around the world at the Equator. The Flag will now make its way across Canada.

The event calendar also includes a skills-at-arms competition, mess dinners and much more.

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