Ceremonial Guard Transfer of Command Authority to Governor General’s Foot Guards

Backgrounder / March 26, 2018

March 27, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces


With the approval of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, on June 7th, 1872, Militia General Order 16 authorized the formation of a Battalion of Foot Guards in Ottawa, to have the same precedence and status in the Active Militia as held by Her Majesty’s Foot Guards in the Imperial Army.

The Governor General’s Foot Guards (GGFG) continues to be the senior reserve infantry regiment in Canada. Recognizable for its function as Household soldiers to the Canada’s Governor General the Regiment is first and foremost an active primary reserve combat arms unit. The GGFG, along with other Army Reserve Infantry Units, are also capable of deploying on short notice in the event of a domestic emergency, such as forest fires, ice storms, or flooding. 

Members of these units are “reservists” – or “citizen soldiers”.  Along with our part-time military commitment to Canada, we are also members of your community. Among our ranks you will find a wide cross-section of society; students, teachers, civil servants, police officers, musicians as well as others who are employed in the private sector.

History of the Governor General’s Foot Guards

Members of the Regiment took part in the Nile Expedition of 1884 and the following year provided a company of sharpshooters in response to the North West Rebellion. The Regiment also served in the South African War, Boer War, the First and Second World War and Afghanistan. Members of the Regiment have participated in numerous United Nations peace-keeping operations, notably in the Middle East, Cyprus, Africa, and Yugoslavia, and Poland.

For service on active duty, members of the Regiment have been awarded over 500 decorations, including 3 Victoria Crosses. Twenty-two of the Regiment’s 35 Battle Honours are emblazoned on both the Regimental and Queen’s Colours.

The Regimental Motto Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra translates to “Our Sovereign and Country are our Concern”. The Regiment is based in Ottawa, Canada and has been headquartered at the Cartier Square Drill Hall since 1879.

Ceremonial Duties

The Guards are well known for their ceremonial presence in scarlet tunic and bearskin hat. During the summer the GGFG, (along with the Canadian Grenadier Guards) conduct public duties as part of the Ceremonial Guard. The Ceremonial Guard is most famous for the Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill, and the posting of sentries at the National War Memorial and Rideau Hall. Between September and June, you will also see our Guardsmen serving Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada during special events at Rideau Hall.

Associated Links


Second Lieutenant James Benning
Unit Public Affairs Representative
Department of National Defence
Governor General’s Foot Guards
Phone: 613-668-7546
Email: James.Benning@forces.gc.ca

Media Relations

Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca

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