Canadian Intelligence Corps (C Int C), 1968 (Security Branch), 1982 (Intelligence Branch), 2017 (C Int C)

The C Int C was dissolved on February 1968...

...and integrated within the new Canadian Forces

During the early 1960's the Canadian Government was exploring the possibility of amalgamating the three Services into a single, unified command structure. Although the government publicly stated that there was full consultation with the military, the process was essentially enacted by decree. The Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force ceased to exist and became the Sea, Land, and Air Elements of the Canadian Armed Forces. Individual Corps and Services common to the three elements such as Provost, Signals, Medical, Ordnance and Chaplains were unified and designated as Branches. New uniforms (the CF Greens) were authorized, and the rank structure unified.

Canadian Forces Security Branch (1968-1982)

The Police and Intelligence units of the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army and Royal Canadian Air Force were amalgamated into the Canadian Armed Forces Security and Intelligence Branch on 1 Feb 1968.  New insignia, Branch Colours and a Branch March were approved.  In the 1980's the Intelligence part of the Branch separated to become it's own service. The policing portion of the Branch was renamed the Security And Military Police Branch.  In 1999, the Branch was renamed again and designated the Military Police Branch.

The Security cap badge was introduced about 1970, it was originally worn by all ranks, although many former members of the Canadian Intelligence Corps, the RCN and the RCAF Clerk Intelligence trade could be seen wearing their old cap badges until the mid 1970's.  Security Branch collar badges were being worn shortly before the cap badge was issued.  A large number of collar badges in dark green on gold were produced in the early 1970s before being replaced by the full colour current pattern.  Security collar badges were worn by all ranks below Colonel on the CF Green jacket and Army DEU jacket.

Canadian Intelligence Corps, Canadian School of Military Intelligence, bronze plaque on a memorial cairn located near the Logistics Branch HQ, CFB Borden, Ontario.

Each of Canada's post-integration Army Brigades held Intelligence Sections on strength.

1 CMBG with its HQ in Calgary, now moved to 3 Canadian Division Support Base (3 CDSB) Edmonton, Alberta.  2 CMBG with its HQ in 2 CDSB Petawawa, Ontario.  Its predecessor was the First Special Service Force (centre badge).  4 CMBG with its HQ in Lahr, Germany, disbanded in 1993.  5e GBMC with its HQ in 2 CDSB Valcartier, Quebec. Elements are also located at 5 CDSB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

(CFSIS Photo)

Outdoor Int briefing map preparation, c1960s.

(DND Photo)

Col RJG Weeks, Canadian Forces Attache, meeting with Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Bonn, Germany, 1969.

(DND Photo)

Capt W. Doug Whitley was OC Field Security Section, 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in 1971. The Section had been located in Fort Henry, near Soest, Westphalia, since its arrival in 1954 from Hanover and until its move to Lahr on 6 Oct 1970.  Moving out were Capt Whitley, WO Norman Pope, Sgt J.G. Felix Labelle, and Sgt Arthur E. Roemer.  MWO Jim C.Poirier remained in Soest until the closeout of that base. Lt John I.R. Weller was also part of this crew.  Doug returned to Canada that year and on 19 Jul 1971,  Capt K. George Wolf became new OC of the FS Section. Doug is shown here on the left presenting a C Int C plaque to a UK Int Col, and a UK Int CWO on the right.

(DND Photo)

2Lt H.A. Skaarup, 3 Intelligence Company, on exercise at Camp Aldershot, Nova Scotia, 1974.

(Author Photo)

Browning 9-mm semi-automatic pistol issued to the author during range training, ca 1973.

(CF Photo)

WO Alfred E. Brown, 3 Intelligence Company, and an RCA 2Lt on exercise at Camp Aldershot, Nova Scotia, 1975.

Intelligence Section, 1 Commando Group, Nicosia, Cyprus, 1974. Cpl Andre Tremblay, Capt Ian A. Nicol, Cpl Rick Mader, Sgt William “Bill” L. Dickson, and driver Cpl Gary Hodge.

CFSIS Intelligence Training Company Staff, December 1975. WO G.W. Handson, WO J.R.G. Cossette, Capt R. Bordeleau, Capt J.E.H.B. Lemieux, Sgt J.E.G. Charlebois, 6. Mrs Edna Turcotte, WO R.K. Bushe, Maj W.L. Watt, Capt K.G. Young, Sgt W.R. Jones, WO R.G. Oliver, Sgt A.B. Armstrong.

The Canadian Airborne Regiment had its own Regimental Intelligence Section on strength.

Intelligence Branch personnel serving with the Canadian Airborne Regiment wore the regimental cap badge (cloth or metal) on a maroon beret, which was part of the FSSF before being disbanded.

1988, Canadian Airborne Regiment Intelligence WO John Cranston, left, Regimental Intelligence Officer Captain Hal Skaarup right, on Ex Capitol Stroll, a few days march to base from the Connaught Ranges, near Ottawa, back to Petawawa.

The Canadian Intelligence Corps Marchpast: "Silver and Green".

The Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch Marchpast: "Eine Kleine Nacht Musik".

In 1978, the CRAVEN Report, proposed that ADM(PER) separate the CF Police and Intelligence personnel comprising the unified Security Branch and reorganize them independently into a structured Security Branch and a new Intelligence Branch. Following further studies, discussions and recommendations, DGIS concurred with the CRAVEN Report and on 3 December 1981 the CDS directed that separate Security and Intelligence Branches each containing the applicable officer classification and trade be established, with an implementation target date of 1 October 1982. On 29 October 1982, a ceremony was held at the Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) which inaugurated the new Intelligence Branch and rededicated the Security Branch.  This was the 40th anniversary of the birth of the C Int C.

(Inga kk Photo)

Vietnam, 1974, Bell UH-1H Iroquois flown for the ICCS.

Intelligence Branch members Maj Tom F. Davie, Capt Bernie N. Wright and WO Gary W. Handson served in Vietnam with the International Commission for Control and Supervision (ICCS). Capt Peter Wilson served with ICCS Vietnam as a team member of ICCS Gao Linh and Quang Tri and later as the team leader (never deployed to site) Lao Boa.

During the First Indochina War (19 Dec 1946 to 20 July 1954) between France and the Indo-Chinese nationalist and communist parties, Canada remained militarily uninvolved but provided modest diplomatic and economic support to the French. Canada was, however, part of the International Control Commission (ICC) (along with Poland and India) that oversaw the 1954 Geneva Agreements that divided Vietnam, provided for French withdrawal and would have instituted elections for reunification by 1956. Behind the scenes, Canadian diplomats tried to discourage both France and the United States from escalating the conflict in a part of the world Canadians had decided was not strategically vital.

Canadian negotiators were secretly involved in exchanging messages between the U.S. and North Vietnam on behalf of the Americans, with the approval of the Canadian government. Canada tried to mediate between the warring countries, aiming for a conclusion that could allow the U.S. to leave the conflict honorably.

Between 28 Jan and 31 July 1973, Canada provided 240 peacekeeping troops to Operation Gallant, the peace keeping operation associated with the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS) Vietnam, along with Hungary, Indonesia, and Poland. Their role was to monitor the cease-fire in Vietnam per the Paris Peace Accords. After Canada's departure from the Commission, it was replaced by Iran. The work of the ICCS continued until the April 1975 fall of Saigon.

The Protocol to the Paris Agreement detailed the functions of the ICCS. At Article 4 it named the locations of seven regional teams and twenty-six teams within those regions in Vietnam. It also called for seven teams to be assigned to ports of entry (for replacement of armaments, munitions and war material permitted the two Vietnamese parties under Article 7 of the Agreement) and seven teams to supervise the return of captured and detained personnel.

In summary, the ICCS was to supervise the cease-fire, the withdrawal of troops, the dismantlement of military bases, the activity at ports of entry and the return of captured military personnel and foreign civilians. It was to report on the implementation, or violation, of the Peace Agreement and Protocols. As with the old ICSC, there were continuous disagreements between the communist and non-communist nations about the causes of treaty violations. Canada attempted to counter this with an "open mouth policy" to the world's media.

For reasons of distance and for reasons of safety, in a time of conflict, the ICCS often traveled by air. Requiring pilots experienced at flying over mountain and jungle, and men accustomed to the unpredictable military background of the region, the ICCS gave a contract to a locally well-established operation, Air America. Initially under the command of Colonel J. A. Mitchell, of Canada, this organization gave a coat of white paint to its aircraft and panels indicating 'ICCS', to operate as: ICCS Air Services. Captain Charles Laviolette (-1973), 12e Régiment blindé du Canada ICCS Canada, was the only Canadian fatality with the ICCS, though others were lost with the ICC.

During the period there were 18,000 alleged cease-fire violations, which resulted in over 76,000 killed, wounded and missing to both sides: on 29 May 1973 the Canadians announced that they were withdrawing from the ICCS because they had come to supervise a ceasefire but were instead observing a war.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch (1982 to present day)

Intelligence Branch, Air Intelligence wing, current Intelligence Branch cap badge, Army Intelligence  trade badge, early CF Intelligence garrison belt buckle and current Intelligence Branch dress belt buckle.

Army Intelligence Trade badges, TQ 1, TQ 2, TQ 3 and TQ 4, worn on the right hand sleeve of the DEU dress uniform.

The RCAF Intelligence Operators began to wear a half wing with the star in 1986.  These badges are worn above the right breast pocket on the blue DEU service dress. The Officer's version has a gold star and the Non Commissioned Member's version has a silver star.

The RCN Intelligence staff wear just the star with a maple leaf over the top of the star (no additional variations), in dark blue and gold, worn on both the lapels of the blue Navy DEU jacket.  Other ranks wear a gold crown over a gold star on a white background on the dress white shirt.

The Army Intelligence Branch green cloth badge is worn on the combat field hat.

The first pattern Intelligence cap badge issued in 1982 was gilt and enamel.  The second variation worn by all ranks is a cloth badge worn on the beret.  Intelligence Branch Officers wear a wire embroidered badge with a metal star.

Operational Deployments

A great number of Intelligence Branch personnel have served overseas on almost all operations deployments.

Map of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the NATO medal for service in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Medals earned by members of the Intelligence Branch for service with UNPROFOR, Kosovo, Haiti, Rwanda and East Timor.

Many Intelligence Branch members have also served with North American Aerospace Command,and United States Northern Command.  McDonnell F-15 Eagle intercepting a Soviet Bear bomber.  (Photo courtesy of the USAF)

More than 40,000 Canadian Servicemen and Women have served in Afghanistan since 2002, many of them members of the Intelligence Branch.  (The author is shown here serving with the Kabul Multi-National Brigade (KMNB), International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in Kabul in 2004).

Author, Former Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel for 3 Intelligence Company (Halifax), Feb 2015 - Feb 2018.

3 Intelligence Company

3 Intelligence Company (3 Int Coy) is a line unit of the Canadian Armed Forces assigned to support the Canadian Army, and reports directly to the 5th Canadian Division, with both headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Intelligence personnel assigned to the unit train regularly to augment Regular Force counterparts on domestic and foreign operations thereby enabling the “total force” concept which comprises both a regular and reserve component.

On 15 Nov 1950, HQ Eastern Command authorized the formation of 3 Intelligence Company.  3 Intelligence Training Company was given the important role of being the Intelligence Unit responsible to Group HQ.  3 Intelligence Company was formally stood up at the Queen Street Armouries on 7 February 1951, by Major Edward Fairweather Harrington, the units first Commanding Officer.  This new company office was located on the corner of Queen and Spring Garden Roads.

During the 1950s the role of 3 Intelligence Training Company encompassed a wide number of subjects/topics including: the monitoring of the enemy order of battle; equipment recognition; training in interrogation of POW; Security training; Air Photo Interpretation; Foreign Languages Training; and map provisioning.

Dissolved at Unification in Feb 1968, the unit became the HQ Militia Area Atlantic Security Platoon.  Unit members (including the author from Feb 1971 to March 1978), continued to wear the C Int C insignia for many years until Reserve personnel were issued the Security badge.  This changed on the stand up of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Branch on 29 Oct 1982 when all were issued the new Intelligence badge.  The current unit was stood up on 4 November 1995 at a parade near the old library building in Royal Artillery Park, downtown Halifax.

Former Commanding Officers of 3 Intelligence Company, Halifax, 5 Nov 1975.

Standing: BGen George C. Piercey, Maj Ken N. Lord, LCol W.A. Landry, Maj R.V.A. Swetnam. Seated: Maj E.F. Harrington, Col C.R. Raefe Douthwaite.

In its lifetime, the Intelligence Company has had many homes.  Initially 3 Intelligence Training Company was housed in the Queen Street Armouries at the corner of Queen Street and Spring Garden Road (near the present day Halifax Central Library).  The first move took place in 1952 when the unit moved to the Barrington Street Armouries.  The next move was in 1958, was to the Halifax Armoury at the Corner of Cunard and North Park Streets, the location that was to last for 14 years.  The unit moved again in 1972, to Building 3 on Ahern Avenue.  This building was located at the base of the Citadel Hill.  In 1986, the unit moved to Building 1 on Ahern Avenue.  In 1991, with the implementation of Land Forces Atlantic Area HQ, the Intelligence Section (Platoon) moved to the old MARCOM building located at the corner of South and Barrington Streets.  In 1995 the Intelligence Unit moved from the MARCOM building to Building 6, Royal Artillery Park.  In the summer of 2002, 3 Int Coy moved to its present home at Windsor Park in Halifax.

3 Intelligence Company is identified in the Intelligence Master Development Plan (IMDP), as both a national and regional Intelligence augmentation unit.  Its role, as it was for 3 Intelligence Training Company in 1951 is training.  This role in many ways embraces many of the same themes as the former company.

In 2013, the capability of 3 Int Coy was elevated beyond the training capacity to also include the provision of force generation through the addition of the 3 Int Coy High Readiness Intelligence Support Team (HR IST). This HR IST is a full time Class B High Readiness Intelligence Support Team tasked to support the Comd 5 Div to fulfill tasking to deploy 2 x Intelligence Support Teams concurrently in the event of a domestic operation and the deployment of the Div Incident Response Unit (IRU).  The company also continues to provide Intelligence support to all collective training events and exercises. In line with the “total force” concept, the unit continues to routinely deploy one or two personnel a year to support assigned Regular Force international military missions.

Evolution of the true north and magnetic north arrows on Canadian Corps of Guides, Canadian Cyclist Corps, Canadian Intelligence Corps and Intelligence Branch cap badges.

Present day Intelligence Branch cap badge.

“The successful Intelligence officer must be cool, courageous, and adroit, patient and imperturbable, discreet and trustworthy. He must understand the handling of troops and have a knowledge of the art of war. He must be able to win the confidence of his General, and to inspire confidence in his subordinates. He must have resolution to continue unceasingly his search for information, even in the most disheartening circumstances and after repeated failures. He must have endurance to submit silently to criticism, much of which may be based on ignorance or jealousy. And he must be able to deal with men, to approach his source of information with tact and skill, whether such source be a patriotic gentleman or an abandoned traitor.”[1]

[1] Anthony Clayton, Forearmed - A History of the Intelligence Corps, p. 13.

New collar dogs for the C Int C.  On 29 October 2020, C Int C badges from the "neck down" were restored to a modern version of those worn originally from 1942-1968.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Group badge.  Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, represents the Group’s tasks of searching and gathering information. She is shown in a shooting position to indicate that the members of the Group focus on a common target. The compass rose is a symbol traditionally associated with intelligence units. The black and white background indicates that the group operates night and day. The mount evokes the worldwide scope of operations of the Group.  The Latin phrase "Venator Collector", means “Hunter-gatherer”.  Badge approved 20 Nov 2014.

Canadian Forces Intelligence Command badge.

Met Tech QL trade badge.

Intelligence Operator trade qualification level badges.

The C Int C is the historical perpetuator of the (Canadian) Corps of Guides, the Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion and the Cyclists of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.  It is comprised of all Canadian Army members of the Intelligence Branch, including Intelligence Officers, Intelligence Operators, Meteorological Technicians, and Source Handlers.

Le C Rens C est le successeur historique de le Corps (canadien) des guides, le bataillon de cyclistes du Corps canadien et les cyclistes du Corps expéditionnaire canadien. Il est composé de tous les membres de l'Armée canadienne de la Branche du renseignement, y compris des officiers du renseignement, des opérateurs du renseignement, des techniciens en météorologie et des gestionnaires de sources.

The Canadian Army Intelligence Regiment (CA Int Regt) is tasked with fighting for the information necessary for mission success in the land environment. The CA Int Regt is part of the Canadian Combat Support Brigade, and the 5th Canadian Division. The Regiment is a “Total Force” unit with elements across Canada. Regimental Headquarters are in Kingston.

Its sub-units include 11, 12, 13 and 15 Military Intelligence Companies [Regular Force] in Edmonton, Petawawa, Ottawa and Valcartier respectively, as well as 3 and 7 Military Intelligence Companies [Primary Reserve] in Halifax and Ottawa.

(Author Collection)

3 Intelligence Company Mobile CP, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 17 Nov 2015.

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