An official tartan for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has been registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In a similar vein to the Carruthers tartan, the colours of this tartan were chosen to represent different aspects of what it represents ie the Royal Canadian Navy, where:
- black is their new uniform;
- dark blue represents the old traditional uniform;
- yellow is for laurel on the cap badge;
- white is for the anchor on the cap badge;
- red symbolizes ties to the sovereign and also sailors lost
- purple represents the non-seagoing members who wear a naval uniform.
The Register is the only official registration authority for tartans worldwide. All officially recognised clan/family tartans for instance, are registered with this body. Therefore if it isn’t listed under a particular clan/family, it isn’t officially recognised of that Name and as such, will not be weavable commercially.
Proud of their Scottish links and heritage, the Royal Canadian Navy follow other such bodies as the Royal Canadian Airforce, Canadian Irish Regiment and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Australia has also has registered their official tartans for military and police personnel : Australian Defence Force Academy, Australian Federal Police, Royal Australian Airforce and the Royal Australian Regiments
Even in the USA, such institutions as the Virginia Military Institute, the Cub Scouts of America and the Daughters of the American Revolution in celebration of their links with Scotland, have their own officially registered tartan.
The Royal Canadian Navy
According to Military Wikia: The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) (French: Marine royale canadienne), formerly Maritime Command (MARCOM), is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Forces. As of 2015 Canada’s navy operates 15 surface combatants, 4 patrol submarines, 2 support ships, 12 coastal mine countermeasures ships and 11 unarmed patrol/training vessels, as well as several auxiliary vessels. The Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 5,300 civilians. Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff.
Established following the introduction of the Naval Service Bill by then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Naval Service of Canada (NSC) was intended as a distinct naval force for the Dominion, that, should the need arise, could be placed under British control. The bill received royal assent on 4 May 1910. Initially equipped with two former Royal Navy vessels, HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow, the service was renamed Royal Canadian Navy by King George V on 29 August 1911.
During the first years of the First World War, the RCN’s six-vessel naval force patrolled both the North American West and East coasts to deter the German naval threat, with a seventh ship, HMCS Shearwater joining the force in 1915. Just before the end of the war in 1918, the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was established with the purpose of carrying out anti-submarine operations; however, it was disbanded after the armistice of 11 November.
After the war, the Royal Canadian Navy took over certain responsibilities of the Department of Transport‘s Marine Service, and slowly started to build its fleet, with the first warships specifically designed for the RCN being commissioned in 1932. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Navy had 11 combat vessels, 145 officers and 1,674 men. During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy expanded significantly, ultimately gaining responsibility for the entire Northwest Atlantic theatre of war. By the end of the war, the RCN had become the third-largest allied navy in the world after the United States Navy and the Royal Navy. During the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN sank 31 U-boats and sank or captured 42 enemy surface vessels, while successfully completing 25,343 merchant crossings. The Navy lost 24 ships and 1,797 sailors in the war.
In 1940–41, the Royal Canadian Navy Reserves scheme for training yacht club members developed the first central registry system.
From 1950 to 1955, during the Korean War, Canadian destroyers maintained a presence off the Korean peninsula, engaged in shore bombardments and maritime interdiction. During the Cold War, the navy developed an anti-submarine capability to counter the growing Soviet naval threat. In the 1960s, the Royal Canadian Navy retired most of its Second World War vessels, and further developed its anti-submarine warfare capabilities by acquiring the Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King, pioneering the use of large maritime helicopters on small surface vessels. At that time, Canada was also operating an aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure, operating the McDonnell F2H Banshee fighter jet until 1962, as well as various other anti-submarine aircraft.
In 1968 – Present
In 1968, under the Liberal government of Lester B. Pearson, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form what is today the Canadian Forces, a single service under the Department of National Defence (DND), at the time overseen by Defence Minister Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger resulted in the abolition of the Royal Canadian Navy as a separate legal entity. All personnel, ships, and aircraft became part of Maritime Command (MARCOM), an element of the Canadian Forces. The traditional naval uniform was eliminated and all naval personnel were required to wear the new Canadian Forces rifle green uniform, worn also by former Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army personnel. Ship-borne aircraft continued to be under MARCOM command, while shore-based patrol aircraft of the former Royal Canadian Air Force were transferred to MARCOM. In 1975 Air Command was formed and all maritime aircraft were transferred to Air Command’s Maritime Air Group. The unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968 was the first time that a nation with a modern military combined its formerly separate naval, land and air elements into a single service.
The 1970s saw the addition of the Iroquois class destroyer, which were later updated to air-defence destroyers, and in the later 1980s and early 1990s the construction of the Halifax class frigate. In 1990, Canada deployed three warships to support the Operation Friction. Later in the decade, MARCOM deployed ships to patrol the Adriatic Sea during the Yugoslav Wars and the Kosovo War. More recently, Maritime Command provided vessels to serve under Operation Apollo and to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
On 16 August 2011, the government renamed Maritime Command the “Royal Canadian Navy”, renamed Air Command the “Royal Canadian Air Force” and Land Force Command the “Canadian Army”.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario the Royal Canadian Navy is split into three sections: he Atlantic Fleet, the Pacific Fleet and the Naval Reserves. As an integral part of world security, it has seen service in the two World Wars, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, the Afghan War, the Somali War and the Libyan Civil War
Carruthers in the Canadian Navy
Capt (Rtd) James Franklin Carruthers, Ph.D., P.Eng.
A native of Drumheller, Alberta, Jim attended Royal Roads. He received his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from RMC in 1965 and his Ph.D. in EE in 1974 from Dalhousie (Tech). He was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces Command and Staff College class of 1977.
Jim served as a general list officer and was the prototype for the Combat Systems Engineer (CSE) military occupation.
After leaving the Navy in 1982 Capt(N) Carruthers was CEO of Norpak Corporation until he retired in 2006. Post retirement Jim has become involved with several non-profit/charitable organizations and serves on the Boards of the RMC Foundation, the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, the Naval Officers Association Of Canada Ottawa Branch, the Canadian Naval Technical History Association, the HMCS Bytown Foundation, the RMC ’65 Class, and is a member of the Quart Club.
He is the originator of the SHINPADS concept of ship combat system integration and the author of numerous papers on combat system design, interactive television and data broadcast.