Topic: Canadian Army
Army Traditions Safe, Says Ottawa
Change to U.S. Weapons Won't Mean "Americanization" of Service
The Montreal Gazette, 8 May 1951
Lieutenants in the Canadian Army will continue to be known as leftenants.
Ottawa, May 7.—CP—The Army's switch to American weapons won't mean any major changes in organization and it won't touch tradition at all, the Defence Department maintained today.
A white paper on defence, tabled in the Commons, gave that reply to charges that the switch is going to mean "Americanization" of the Army.
(The 27th Brigade Group now being mustered for Europe will use U.S. arms and is expected to come under U.S. command in Europe.)
The white paper said:
"The announcement Canada was going to replace U.K.-type equipment by that of U.S. design was received with general approval. Such replacement entails certain minor organizational changes in the Canadian Army.
"There is no intention of making any changes which will affect traditions of units of corps of the Canadian Army, badges or rank, regimental badges, colors, regimental affiliations with regiments of the British Army or other Commonwealth countries, distinctive items of dress such as those of Canadian Scottish and rifle regiments, or the titles of units. Lieutenants in the Canadian Army will continue to be known as leftenants.
"There will be no need to undertake major changes in unit organization and tactical doctrine. Changes necessary as a result of variations in the characteristics of individual types of weapons will be kept to the minimum consistent with the proper use of weapons.
"Insofar as training is concerned, changes will be related to those necessary to learn the mechanism and handling of weapons, a relatively easy matter for trained soldiers, while it will not involve any greater difficulty for soldiers in training to learn with one weapon rather than another. Training methods in general will continue as heretofore in accordance with the well-established principles and experience of the Canadian Army."
As it happened, no wholesale switch to U.S. weapons and equipment was actioned in the early 1950s.