Canadian Forces Military Police Branch

Airborne Military Police

The Canadian Airborne Regiment on parade circa 1983
DND Photo

Historical Background

During the Second World War, the Ist Canadian Parachute Batallion formed the Airborne element of the Canadian Army. It was disbanded in 1945. In 1948, an airborne brigade group was established. Called the Mobile Striking Force, its assigned task was Canadian defence. It consisted primarily of a battalion from The Royal Canadian Regiment, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and the Royal 22e Regiment. In 1958, the Mobile Striking Force was disbanded and reformed as the Defence of Canada Force. The Defence of Canada Force consisted of an infantry jump company from each of the above 3 Regular infantry regiments.

The Canadian Airborne Regiment (CAR) was organized in 1968 with it's home base in Edmonton, Alberta. Unit strength was about 900 all ranks, consisting of a regimental headquarters and six sub-units: an airborne headquarters and signal squadron; two infantry commandos: 1er Commando Aéroporté and 2nd Airborne Commando; a battery of field artillery; a field engineer squadron; and an Airborne Service Company providing service support.
In 1977 the Canadian Airborne Regiment (less the artillery and engineer sub units which were disbanded) became part of a new Special Service Force (SSF), a brigade-sized airborne/air transportable formation with a strength of about 3,500. The SSF was based at CFB Petawawa Ontario.

In 1979, the CAR was reorganized and reduced in size to about 750 all ranks. The infantry "sharp end" of the Regiment now consisted of three company sized commandos each primarily recruiting from the three Regular Infantry regiments: 1 Commando from the Royal 22é Régiment; 2 Commando with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry; and 3 Commando with The Royal Canadian Regiment.
The Canadian Airborne Regiment was disbanded in 1995 due to misguided political considerations.

From it's formation in 1968, the Canadian Airborne Regiment had a section of 4 Military Police as part of the HQ Squadron. All were airborne qualified and were taken on strength as members of the Regiment. The Airborne MP Section normally consisted of a Sergeant, Master Corporal and 2 Corporals. The MP section worked closely with the Airborne Headquarters Intelligence Cell in setting up PW cages and collection points. Other duties in the field consisted primarily of security of the staging area, and Close Protection for the Regimental Commander and Headquarters.

Uniforms And Insignia

Airborne Military Police wore the same uniforms and insignia as the rest of the Regiment. Headress in garrison was the maroon beret with the Regimental beret badge. An Airborne version of the standard M1 helmet was worn when jumping, and in the field either the maroon beret, helmet or combat cap was worn. When on duty, the MP Identification Badge was worn on the Service Dress or Work Dress uniforms, the MP brassard was worn with the Combat dress or the Parachutist's Smock.

Airborne Insignia

Beret and Combat Cap Badges

Officer's Cap Badge
NCM's Cap Badge

Combat Cap Badge

Shoulder Titles

CF Green and Garrison Uniform
Shoulder Title
DEU Shoulder Title
Combat Shoulder Title

Collar Badges

Collar badges worn on the CF Green and Army DEU jackets by all ranks.

Paratrooper Qualification Badges

The red maple leaf indicates a soldier who is parachute qualified, the silver maple leaf indicates service with an operational paratroop unit
Jump Smock Qualification Badge
Garrison Uniform Qualification Badge

CF Green & DEU Qualification Badge
CF Green & DEU Qualification Badge

Military Police Duty Brassard


The brassard was worn in garrison on the jump smock or combat uniform. A subdued green brassard with the bilingual MP patch was worn in the field.

CF Service Dress

CF Green Service Dress was worn until the introduction of the Army Distinctive Environment Uniform in the mid 1980s.


CF Green Service Dress as worn by an Airborne MP Master Corporal circa 1979. All insignia is standard Airborne issue with the exception of the MP Identification Badge. Regimental pattern buttons are not worn, they were more common after the introduction of the DEU uniform.


Details of the shoulder title, Special Service Force patch and rank insignia. Upon the adoption of the DEU uniform, the shoulder title was made of metal and was worn on the epaulettes.


Typical jump smock and insignia as worn in garrison circa 1990. The smock was invariably worn over the maroon Regimental T-shirt or sweatshirt. A 1964 Pattern web belt is worn as a waistbelt. Note the Special Service Force patch worn on the brassard.

The Smock Parachute Disruptive Pattern, commonly known as the jump or para smock is virtually identical to the 1950's OG 7 Jacket, Airborne, Nylon in cut and design. The fabric of the jump smock is a light nylon/cotton mix rather than the heavier nylon of the original Airborne Jacket. The introduction of the para smock began as a private initiative in 1975 by the Deputy Commanding Officer of the CAR, Lt Col G.R. Hirter. He contracted Peerless Garments Limited of Winnipeg to make the smock which would be availible for private purchase by members of the Regiment. National Defence Headquarters eventually stepped in and Peerless Garments recieved a full official contract for the manufacture of the smock. From the mid 1980s additional smocks were made by Uniformes FOB of La Guadeloupe, Quebec.
The para smock was found to deteriorate in field use. The camouflage pattern was prone to fading, pocket snaps were fragile and separated easily. Seams and the fabric itself frayed under stress. Use of the smock on operations appears to be limited, it was more commonly worn in training and in garrison. Upon the introduction of the CADPAT uniforms, the smock was obsolete and remaining quantities were sold as surplus.

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