South-West Asia Theatre Honours

Ottawa, Ontario
9 May 2014

In March 2014, Canada’s operations in Afghanistan, the longest armed conflict in Canadian history, drew to a close. Over the past 12 years, more than 40,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen served in the South-West Asia region in the largest deployment of Canadian troops since the Second World War.

Canada is committed to recognizing the dedication and sacrifice made by Canada’s men and women in uniform who took part in the conflict in Afghanistan. To this end, on May 9, 2014, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that eligible units of the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Special Operations Forces that participated in the South-West Asia theatre of conflict have been bestowed with the “Arabian Sea” or the “Afghanistan” Theatre Honour.

Theatre Honours are a type of Battle Honour given to publicly recognize a Canadian Armed Forces unit for successful participation in a theatre of armed conflict. Such honours have been awarded after every major conflict in which Canada has been engaged.

The following units will be receiving the Theatre Honours:

ARABIAN SEA

Royal Canadian Navy Units

HMCS Algonquin

HMCS Calgary

HMCS Charlottetown

HMCS Fredericton

HMCS Halifax

HMCS Iroquois

HMCS Montréal

HMCS Ottawa

HMCS Preserver

HMCS Protecteur

HMCS Regina

HMCS St. John’s

HMCS Toronto

HMCS Vancouver

HMCS Winnipeg

AFGHANISTAN

Royal Canadian Navy Units 

Fleet Diving Unit (Atlantic)

Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific)

Canadian Army Units 

The Royal Canadian Dragoons

Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians)

12e Régiment blindé du Canada 1

The Governor General’s Horse Guards

The Ontario Regiment (RCAC)

The Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment) (RCAC)

8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s)

1st Hussars

The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC)

The Royal Canadian Hussars (Montreal)

The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own)

The South Alberta Light Horse

The Saskatchewan Dragoons

The King’s Own Calgary Regiment (RCAC)

The British Columbia Dragoons

The Fort Garry Horse

Le Régiment de Hull (RCAC)

The Windsor Regiment (RCAC)

The Royal Canadian Regiment 2

Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry

Royal 22e Régiment 3

Governor General’s Foot Guards

The Canadian Grenadier Guards

The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

Les Voltigeurs de Québec

The Royal Regiment of Canada

The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment)

The Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment

The Lincoln and Welland Regiment

The Royal Highland Fusiliers of Canada

The Grey and Simcoe Foresters

The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)

The Brockville Rifles

Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders

Les Fusiliers du St-Laurent

Le Régiment de la Chaudière

Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal

The Princess Louise Fusiliers

The Royal New Brunswick Regiment

The West Nova Scotia Regiment

The Nova Scotia Highlanders

The CapeBreton Highlanders

Le Régiment de Maisonneuve

The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own)

The Royal Winnipeg Rifles

The Essex and Kent Scottish

48th Highlanders of Canada

Le Régiment du Saguenay

The Algonquin Regiment

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada (Princess Louise’s)

The Lake Superior Scottish Regiment

The North Saskatchewan Regiment

The Royal Regina Rifles

The Rocky Mountain Rangers

The Loyal Edmonton Regiment (4th Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry)

The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada

The Royal Westminster Regiment

The Calgary Highlanders

Les Fusiliers de Sherbrooke

The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

The Canadian Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s)

The Royal Montreal Regiment

The Irish Regiment of Canada

The Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Own)

Royal Canadian Air Force Units 

408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron

430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

436 Transport Squadron

Special Forces

Canadian Special Operations Regiment

1    As a regimental-level award, the theatre honour “Afghanistan” is awarded to the regiment and shared by its Regular and Reserve Force regiments
2    As a regimental-level award, the theatre honour “Afghanistan” is awarded to the regiment and shared by all of its Regular and Reserve Force battalions
3    As a regimental-level award, the theatre honour “Afghanistan” is awarded to the regiment and shared by all of its Regular and Reserve Force battalions

PROCESS FOR THE CREATION OF THEATRE HONOURS

The process for the creation of Theatre Honours is the same for all types of Battle Honours. Following the end of a conflict, the Canadian Armed Forces begins the process of determining battle nomenclature (theatres, campaigns, battles, etc.) in order to create the specific Battle Honours for that conflict. Afterward, the eligibility criteria for awarding each of those honours is then determined. Each of these steps ultimately leads to approval by the Chief of the Defence Staff, who then forwards them to the Governor General, the final authority for the creation of Battle Honours and the eligibility criteria for each. The third step in the process is the allocation of the Battle Honours to individual Canadian Armed Forces units by the Chief of the Defence Staff. 

ALLOCATION CRITERIA

“Arabian Sea” Theatre Honour

  • Units of the Royal Canadian Navy will be granted the Theatre Honour “Arabian Sea” if they deployed to Combined Task Force 50 or Combined Task Force 150 within the geographical boundaries of the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and those parts of the Indian Ocean north of 5 degrees south latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude.
  • Units of the Royal Canadian Air Force will be granted the Theatre Honour “Arabian Sea” if they deployed within the air spaces of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and those parts of the Indian Ocean north of 5 degrees south latitude and west of 68 degrees east longitude.

“Afghanistan” Theatre Honour

  • Units of the Royal Canadian Navy will be granted the Theatre Honour “Afghanistan” if their cumulative contribution of personnel reached a minimum of 20 per cent of the strength of the originating unit in the geographical area of Afghanistan.
  • Units of the Canadian Army will be granted the Theatre Honour “Afghanistan” if their cumulative contribution of personnel reached a minimum level of 20 per cent of the effective strength of the originating unit in the geographical area of Afghanistan.
  • Units of the Royal Canadian Air Force will be granted the Theatre Honour “Afghanistan” if they deployed within the air space of Afghanistan.
  • Units of the Canadian Special Operations Forces will be granted the Theatre Honour “Afghanistan” if they deployed within the land space of Afghanistan and their cumulative contribution of personnel reached a minimum level of 20 per cent of the effective strength of the originating unit in the geographical area of Afghanistan.

UBIQUE Motto

The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, the Corps of Royal Canadian Engineers and Joint Task Force 2 do not carry individual battle honours, but instead use the motto “UBIQUE,” meaning “everywhere.”