The Canadian Rangers are a sub-component of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reserve and are the military’s eyes and ears in the north.
They provide patrols and detachments for national-security and public-safety missions in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada that can not conveniently or economically be covered by other parts of the CAF.
The Canadian Rangers protect Canada’s sovereignty by:
- Reporting unusual activities or sightings;
- Collecting local data of significance to the CAF; and
- Conducting surveillance or sovereignty patrols as required.
Canadian Rangers by the numbers:
- Approximately 5000 – current number of Canadian Rangers;
- Over 200 – number of communities where Canadian Rangers live; and
- 26 – dialects/languages spoken by Canadian Rangers, many of whom are Aboriginal.
The Rangers’ Tasks
The Canadian Rangers are the military’s eyes and ears in the sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada. Appropriately, their motto is Vigilans, meaning “The Watchers.”
As members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the Canadian Rangers:
- Conduct and support sovereignty operations:
- Conduct sovereignty and surveillance patrols and training
- Conduct North Warning Site patrols
- Report suspicious and unusual activities
- Collect local data of military significance
Conduct and assist in CAF domestic operations:
- Conduct coastal and inland water surveillance
- Provide local knowledge and expertise
- Participate in search and rescue operations
- Provide support in response to natural or man-made disasters and humanitarian operations
- Provide assistance to federal, provincial/territorial or municipal authorities
Maintain CAF presence in the local community:
- Instruct and supervise youth in the Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) Program, a program that has significantly improved the quality of life of young people in the most isolated areas of Canada
- Support and participate in events in the local community (such as Yukon Quest, Canada Day, and Remembrance Day)
Canadian Rangers in the past have
- Conducted routine search and rescue operations;
- Provided assistance during the avalanche at Kangiqsualujjuaq in northern Québec;
- Provided support during the drinking water crisis in Kashechewan, Ontario; and
- The Rangers perform their tasks exceptionally well and are extremely valuable to the CAF.