What is an Honorary Colonel?
An Honorary Colonel is an officer on virtually all issues except operations.
They work behind the scenes and provide a much needed connection between the community and the Canadian Forces. Each unit decides who they want as an Honorary Colonel. On the recommendation of the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Minister of National Defence approves all honorary appointments. These unpaid positions are usually for tenures of three years, but they are renewable.
While some Honorary Colonels are former Air Force members, many are not. Members Air Force Honorary Colonels program come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including many well-known public and community figures.
Honorary appointments bring with them certain responsibilities. Their duties include:
- Fostering esprit de corps;
- Developing, promoting and sustaining strong community support for the unit;
- Establishing and maintaining liaison with unit charities and associations;
- Maintaining close liaison with the unit Commanding Officer or Commandant and other honoraries in the area;
- Assisting the unit in hosting parades and other unit functions;
- Carrying out other duties or providing expertise in matters where they are qualified through background and knowledge when requested by higher authority;
- Assisting the unit through the donation of plaques, trophies for competitions/course.
Honorary rank is “honorary and advisory,” and honorary rank does not confer authority or command function. Honoraries can provide continuity within the unit on matters of community events and activities, unit traditions etc. – of importance can be speaking to new recruits and young officers on unit history and traditions.