Commendations and Coins
The Canadian Forces have developed a number of methods of recognition for both units and individuals.
Commander in Chief's Unit Citation
The C-i-C Unit Citation was created in July 2002 by the Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, Governor General Adrienne Clarkson, to recognize "an extraordinary deed or activity of a rare high standard in extremely hazardous circumstances" performed during a time of "war or war-like conditions in an active theatre of operations." To date the award has been bestowed seven times, including one retroactive award for the events at Medak Pocket in the former Yugoslavia in 1993. Individual Calgary Highlanders serving with Regular Force units as augmentees have been bestowed the award for their service.
Canadian Forces Unit Commendation
Service that is considered beyond the demands of normal duty that does not qualify for a CinC Unit Commendation may be considered for the CF Unit Commendation. The CF Unit Commendation is awarded to any formation, unit or sub-unit of the CF that has performed a deed or activity considered beyond the demand of normal duty. The commendation was created by the Chief of the Defence staff in November 1980. Recipient units receive a scroll, medallion and pennant which is flown for one year and then retained as a historical artefact. Some of the most recent recipients include:
On 9 January 2015 The Calgary Highlanders was presented the Canadian Forces Unit Commendation by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson, CMM, CD. The award is a first for a reserve force infantry regiment and recognizes the unequalled contribution of The Calgary Highlanders in the War in Afghanistan. During the submission for Battle Honours, which required the unit to have contributed 20% of its strength to overseas missions to qualify for the Theatre Honour "Afghanistan", the regiment was found to have contributed more reservists for overseas missions than any other reserve unit in the Canadian Forces. A total of 126 overseas tours were completed by 105 Calgary Highlanders. The citation for the CF Unit Commendation also recognized the unique relationship the unit maintained with civilian employers, permitting so many soldiers to perform military duty and return to their full-time vocations in the community.
Commander-in-Chief's Certificate for Good Service
During the Second World War, the General Officer Commander-in-Chief of 21st Army Group, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, issued certificates to soldiers whose service was brought to his attention. The 21st Army Group was the formation which commanded all Commonwealth soldiers in Northwest Europe from D-Day on June 6, 1944 to the end of the war. The Calgary Highlanders landed in France in July 1944 and served to the end of the war on 8 May 1945.
No distinctive uniform insignia was presented in conjunction with the award. According to correspondence from Library and Archives Canada held by the regimental museum, "awards were normally submitted without citations at the time periodical awards were forwarded for approval, and when approved the certificate was issued countersigned by the Army (Group) Commander."
The Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation is awarded by the CDS to recognize deeds or activities beyond the demand of normal duty. An individual recognized by receiving a Command Commendation is permitted to wear the insignia shown above on their Distinctive Environment Uniform (DEU). The recipient also receives a signed and framed scroll.
The Command Commendation is awarded to recognize deeds or activities beyond the demand of normal duty. The commendation is made on the authority of the commander of a Canadian Forces command. An individual recognized by receiving a Command Commendation is permitted to wear the insignia shown above on their Distinctive Environment Uniform (DEU). The recipient also receives a signed scroll. Calgary Highlanders serving as augmentees to Regular Force units in Afghanistan have been recognized in this manner.
Formation and Unit Commander Commendations
Similar to Command Commendations, these are presented by the commanders of formations/units, but do not entitle the recipient to a distinguishing mark or insignia on the uniform.
A less formal means of recognition that has evolved is the development of "commander's coins" as an additional method of recognition for exemplary service.
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