Department of National Defence

The Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence:
Canada’s Defence Team 

Who we are

The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) make up the largest federal government department. Under Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – the Defence Team will grow to over 125,000 personnel, including:

  • 71,500 Regular Force members (from 68,000)
  • 30,000 Reserve Force members (from 27,000)
  • 25,000 civilian employees (from 24,000)

What we do

DND and the CAF have complementary roles to play in:

  • Providing advice and support to the Minister of National Defence
  • Implementing Government decisions regarding the defence of Canadian interests at home and abroad.

The CAF members serve on the sea, on land, and in the air, with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, while defence civilians perform a number of critical enabling functions.

At any given time, the Government of Canada can call upon the CAF to undertake missions for the protection of Canada and Canadians and to maintain international peace and stability.

Our comprehensive defence policy provides a 20-year roadmap for the Defence Team, ensuring support for our members and their families from recruitment through retirement, recapitalizing core fleets across all of the services, and modernizing our defence capability to defend against threats now and into the future. With Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Defence Team is prepared and equipped to advance Canadian international security objectives and to support our allies where our shared interests are at stake. This approach ensures Canada is:

  • Strong at home, with a military ready and able to defend its sovereignty, and to assist in times of natural disaster, support search and rescue, or respond to other emergencies;
  • Secure in North America, active in a defence partnership with the United States to monitor and defend continental airspace and ocean areas;
  • Engaged in the world, with the CAF doing its part in Canada’s contributions to a more stable, peaceful world, including through peace support operations and peacekeeping.