The Canadian Army Special Force

On August 17, 1950, as the Korean crisis deepened, the Government authorized the recruitment of the Canadian Army Special Force (CASF). It was to be specially trained and equipped to carry out Canada's obligations under the United Nations Charter or the North Atlantic Pact.

The CASF was to be raised and trained as part of the regular army. The new citizen volunteers, many of them Veterans of the Second World War, were enrolled for a period of 18 months or for a further period, if required, under certain conditions. The new field units were established as separate units of existing Active Force regiments. The ranks would be filled, where necessary, by Active Force members.

Later, as the requirements for overseas forces continued, important changes in policy were introduced. A system of rotation was adopted which included the Active Forces Units. These units proceeded to Korea and were replaced at home by volunteers from among the returning Korean Veterans.

The original components of the Special Force included the second battalions of The Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), and Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR); "C" Squadron of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians); 2nd Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA); 57th Canadian Independent Field Squadron, Royal Canadian Engineers (RCE); 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade Signal Squadron; No. 54 Canadian Transport Company, Royal Canadian Army Service Corps (RCASC); and No. 25 Field Ambulance, Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC).

On August 8, 1950, Brigadier J.M. Rockingham returned from civilian life to accept command of the Canadian Infantry Brigade for service under the United Nations. During the Second World War Brigadier Rockingham had commanded the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade in the campaign in Northwest Europe.

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