About the RCN

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is Canada’s naval force consisting of approximately 8,300 Regular Force and 3,600 Reserve sailors, supported by around 3,800 civilian employees.

The mission of the Royal Canadian Navy is to generate combat-capable, multipurpose maritime forces that support Canada’s efforts to participate in security operations anywhere in the world, as part of an integrated Canadian Armed Forces.

The RCN fleet, divided between the Atlantic (Halifax, N.S.) and Pacific (Esquimalt, B.C.) coasts, is composed of 28 warships, submarines, and coastal defence vessels, plus many more auxiliary and support vessels.

Founded in 1910 as the Naval Service of Canada and given Royal Sanction in 1911, the RCN was placed under the Department of National Defence in 1923, and amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army to form the unified Canadian Forces in 1968, after which it was known as "Maritime Command" until 2011.

On August 16, 2011, the government renamed Maritime Command the "Royal Canadian Navy."

True to its motto “Ready, Aye, Ready”, the sailors of the RCN stand always ready to defend Canada and proudly safeguard its interests and values whether at home or abroad.  

Over the course of its history, the RCN has served in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the First Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations.