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Arms & Badges - Sea Cadet Badges

Introduction

Royal Canadian Sea Cadets / Cadets de la marine Royale CanadienneNavy League of Canada / Ligue Navale du Canada
Since World War II, seamen of the RCN and its shore establishments have worn ships’ badges on their work-dress. This form of identification was not originally permitted for the Sea Cadets, although a few older corps were using badges based on those of their namesake ships. However, this was entirely unofficial and there were no rules governing such things as badge sizes or shapes, or of their proper location on the uniform.

By the early 1980’s, however, there was a significant problem with morale in the Sea Cadet ranks, resulting from the unification of the Canadian Forces – which many saw as an “army-fication” of traditional Sea Cadet training, uniform and institutions. Within the Navy League of Canada (a volunteer civilian body that operates the Sea Cadets in conjunction with the Canadian Forces), it was hoped that the institution of officially-approved unit or corps badges would give each corps a feeling of pride and – at least in some measure – help to boost morale.

In 1982, when Dr. Kevin Greaves (a subsequent member and later President of our Society) was serving as the Navy League’s National Sea Cadet Chairman, permission for the use of such badges was granted by the Canadian Forces, under certain conditions. These included: (1) that the outline of the badge conform to the shape and size of those used by the Navy; (2) that Sea Cadet badges be distinguished by the use of three red maple leaves at the bottom in place of the gold ones used by the Navy; (3) That the badges be worn on the left front of the uniform jacket; (4) that all designs conform to heraldic rules; and (5) that all designs be approved by the Navy League of Canada.

The result was the formation of the Navy League Badge Committee which, between 1982 and 1985, designed and/or painted the badges for all the then-existing Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps and Training Establishments – approximately 224 at that time. These badges are illustrated in the following section, which will have the badges of subsequently-formed corps added as they are obtained and copied. Our sincere thanks go to Mr. Joe Drouin of Joe Drouin Enterprises of Gatineau, QC, for his invaluable help in obtaining depictions of these later badge designs.

Over the next few months, the newly-obtained badges (and eventually all the badges in the collection) will be copied by a superb heraldic artist, LCdr Steve Cowan of the BC/Yukon Branch. These excellent depictions will in time replace the original sealed patterns, many of which have become less distinct with age. We thank Steve for his first-class work on this project.

Instructions

To view a particular Sea Cadet corps’ badge, click on the letter below which is the first letter of the name of that corps. A new window will materialize showing “thumbnail” images of all the badges of the Sea Cadet corps whose name begins with that letter. On this page, find the Sea Cadet corps of interest and click on the thumbnail image. This will retrieve a page containing a full-size colour representation of the badge, including its blazon and symbolic significance. Corps names marked with an asterisk * indicate that the corps has closed since the badge was designed and issued. Such names (and the associated badges) are, so to speak, “in reserve” and available for use by newly-formed units.