Honorary ranks in the Canadian Forces have been modeled on the purest British traditions. The first honorary appointment was in 1895.

Today major Militia units (i.e. those whose establishments are commanded by a Lieutenant-Colonel) may have both an Honorary Colonel, and an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel. Prior to the mid 1970s, honorary rank in the Reserves was confined to former officers. Since then honorary status may also be conferred on distinguished Canadian citizens.

The handbook covering honorary appointments lists the following as the principal responsibilities for Militia Honoraries: act as an advisor to the Commanding Officer on all matters pertaining to regimental dress and traditions; provide advice on regimental charities and associations; help to maintain close liaison with allied regiments; encourage the Regiment's Cadet Corps; attend formal parades and social functions in which the unit is involved; occasionally attend unit training including field training exercises; take an active part in efforts to improve the Militia, and indeed the Canadian Armed Forces; attend the Honorary Colonels' and Lieutenant-Colonels' conferences, and generally keep abreast of policy developments affecting the Militia.

Once a nominee for an honorary appointment is approved by the Regimental Senate, their request is passed to the Commanding Officer for processing through the army chain of command. The Chief of the Defence Staff passes the application to the Minister of National Defence who is the approving authority for such appointments. Once approved by the Minister the appointment is promulgated in Army Orders, and is signified by the issuance of a Commission Certificate signed by the Governor-General and the Minister of National Defence acknowledging the appointment.

Such appointment "Gives and grants full power and authority to have, hold, and enjoy said appointment accordingly, together with all and singular the privileges thereunto belonging .... and commands all Officers and Non-Commissioned Members to acknowledge you as such".
The Honorary Colonel and Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel personalize the institutional structure of the regiment, assist in the promotion of regimental affairs when the attention of the serving officers is normally focused on training and operational matters, and add a further dimension to the concept of the regimental Family.



Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 1937 - 2002
(given the added title of Queen Mother following the death of her husband, King George VI in 1952)
His Royal Highness, Charles, The Prince of Wales 2005 -
Major-General Sir James H. MacBrien KCB, CMG, DSO, NWMP, RCMP 1921 - 1931
Major-General Garnet B. Hughes CB, CMG, DSO, ED 1931 - 1937
Colonel Roy H. Lord Thomson of Fleet 1962 - 1967
Air Marshal Wilfred E. Curtis CB, CBE, DSC, ED, CD 1967 - 1971
Colonel Robert H. Hilborn, LVO, MBE, CD 1971 - 1976
Colonel W.G. Mackenzie Robinson ED, CD 1977 - 1982
Colonel James A. Northey 1982 - 1984
Colonel Bryan A. Upjohn CD 1984 - 1987
Colonel John R. Massingham CD, AdeC 1987 - 1996
Colonel Hugh P. Stewart CD 1996 - 2002
Colonel Frederic L.R. Jackman OOnt CD 2002 - 2009
Colonel Gilbert W. Taylor  2009 - 2015
Colonel Donald Fisher CD 2015 - 2017
Colonel Helen Vari CM, CLH, OONM 2017 -
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick B. Robins 1924 - 1931
Colonel Colin C. Harbottle CMG, DSO, VD 1931 - 1933
Lieutenant-Colonel Alan M. Thomas MBE, VD 1936 - 1939
Lieutenant-Colonel William A.H. MacBrien 1939 - 1949
Brigadier Guy S. N. Gostling CBE, ED, CD 1949 - 1959
Lieutenant-Colonel Robert H. Hilborn MBE CD 1968 - 1971
Lieutenant-Colonel Donald H. Wilkins 1971 - 1977
Lieutenant-Colonel Bryan A. Upjohn CD 1977 - 1984
Lieutenant-Colonel John R. Massingham CD 1984 - 1987
Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh P. Stewart CD 1987 - 1996
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederic L.R. Jackman 1996 - 2002
Lieutenant-Colonel C. Dennis Flynn OOnt, EM 2002 - 2003
Colonel Robert G. Douglas CD 2004 - 2010
Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Fisher CD 2010 - 2015
Lieutenant-Colonel Justin R. Fogarty 2016 - 

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