Canadian Armed Forces Combat Boot Funding Assistance Program - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is this a permanent Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) directive?

This is an interim program. Phase 2 will be the introduction of a pre-qualified product list eventually followed by the transition to an on-line model similar to the one currently in place for Distinctive Environmental Uniform (DEU) items.

2. Who is entitled to use this program? When do I gain or lose these entitlements?

All CAF (Regular Force and Primary Reserve) members who are authorized to draw combat boots as part of their scale of issue are entitled to use this program after having completed their Basic Military Qualification (BMQ). Reserve soldiers must be on the effective strength of their unit in order to be entitled.

Tier 1 units are entitled to be reimbursed the stated amount every fiscal year.

Tier 2 units are entitled to be reimbursed the stated amount every two fiscal years.

Tier 3 units are entitled to be reimbursed the stated amount every three fiscal years.

Entitled individuals must complete this process while on the effective strength of their unit. If a member is posted from a Tier 1 unit to a Tier 2 unit, they must have finished the claim process before being posted to the Tier 2 unit in order to be entitled annually.

3. Am I eligible for this entitlement even though I am on a temporary medical category (TCAT) or on Maternity (MATA) or Parental Allowance (PATA) leave?

Yes.

4. Can I apply to be reimbursed for boots that I bought before this CANFORGEN was published?

No. This program is effective as of the date stated in the CANFORGEN.

5. What is the entitlement year?  When does my claim need to be finalized?

The entitlement year spans from April 1st to March 31st.  All members must have their claims finalized by April 1st, which means claims will have to be submitted well in advance of this date. Please check with your Unit Orderly Room to confirm your unit’s cut-off date.

6. How long do I have to submit my claim?

Your claim must be submitted within the entitlement year (fiscal year).  If you do not use your entitlement, the funds do not carry over into the next year. 

7. Does this program apply to safety boots or orthopedic footwear?

No. This program addresses the temperate combat boot only. Safety boots and other types of operational footwear, such as hot weather, naval combat and wet weather boots, will continue to be provided by the supply system until further notice. Existing programs for reimbursement of orthopedics and special sizing will remain in place.

8. Can I be reimbursed for the costs of repairing or re-soling my current pair of combat boots?

No. This program will only provide reimbursement of the purchase of replacement combat boots. Lace replacement is not covered under this program.

9. What happens if I lose or damage my boots and I have already used my entitlement for this fiscal year?

If you lose or damage your recently purchased combat boots, you are entitled to a replacement pair provided that you have a written authorization from your Unit Commanding Officer (CO).  The loss or damage must be directly attributable to military service. Additionally, your boots are likely subject to a commercial warranty and the manufacturer will normally guarantee their products for defects. It is recommended to check the warranty before submitting a request to your CO.

10. How long will it take to be reimbursed for the purchase of my boots?

There is no set time for how long this reimbursement process should take. Depending on how many claims your base cashier is processing, this process should take no more time than the average claim. Claim advances will be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

11. What happens if I lose my receipt? Can I still claim my boots?

If you lose your receipt, you can submit a statutory declaration.  This is the same process that applies if you were to lose a receipt on a claim.

12. If my reimbursement is delayed, what happens if I end up paying interest on my credit card?

Interest will not be reimbursed.

13. Can I have my boots shipped to me while I am deployed overseas?

Yes. This can be done using the CAF postal service based out of Trenton or via commercial means.  However, shipping costs are only reimbursable if they are within the maximum entitlement.

14. What if I am unsure if my boots meet the requirements for my job?

You are highly encouraged to seek guidance from your chain of command when selecting combat boots and remember that the boots that you purchase must meet the requirements listed in the CANFORGEN. Non-compliant boots will not be reimbursed.

15. Can I continue to wear combat boots that I bought privately before the CANFORGEN was released?

Yes.  The regulations for the new boots are nested within the CAF Dress Regulations (accessible via internal DWAN only). This CANFORGEN does not change the CAF Dress Regulations. 

16. Do I have to return my issued boots after BMQ?

No. 

17. Can I buy and claim more than one set of boots within my entitlement period?

No. You will only be reimbursed for one pair of boots up to the maximum amount depending on your unit’s tier.

18. Can I buy a pair of boots that is above my entitlement? 

Yes, however you will have to pay the difference out of your own pocket.

19. Do I have to bring my old boots in before I can buy another pair?

No. However, members are not expected to buy boots if they do not have a genuine need for them. Prior to purchasing combat boots, individuals must first confirm that they have a legitimate need for a new pair of boots, and this requirement must be accepted by their chain of command.  Furthermore, all members who are covered by the applicable scale of issue are responsible to always have two pairs of serviceable combat boots.

20. I have recently been posted from a Tier 1 unit to a Tier 3 unit during the normal summer period.

a. Before being posted, I purchased boots in the previous FY, does this mean that I have to wait three years before I can purchase another pair?

No.

b. Before being posted, I purchased boots in the current FY, does this mean that I have to wait three years before I can purchase another pair?

Yes. In the spirit of this program, the boots purchased in the new FY are meant to be used at the unit to which you are being posted.

21. I am in the Primary Reserve working on Class B contract in a Tier 3 unit wearing DEU as dress of the day, but I am also serving in a Tier 2 unit as Class A on weekends. What is my entitlement?

You are authorized to have a Tier 2 entitlement and your Reserve Unit CO can certify this if required.

22. What happens if I buy a pair of boots that do not meet the selection criteria as outlined in the CANFORGEN?

This situation is extremely administratively problematic and should be avoided at all costs. You are highly encouraged to seek advice before making a purchase. If your chain of command determines that your boots do not meet the criteria, you should immediately try to return or exchange them. If this is unsuccessful, you may be subject to an administrative deduction from your pay.

23. How can I tell if I need a new pair of boots?

The serviceable life of operational footwear is highly dependent upon the amount and severity of field use. Contributing factors include the durability of the material components selected, storage conditions, and the frequency and extent of cleaning and maintenance. Failure to properly care for this equipment will lead to a shortening of the service life.

The following may be used as general guidelines for determining if a new pair of boots is required:

a.  The protective qualities of a boot have been compromised. For example: 

  1.  
    1. The outer shell of the boots and/or sole are punctured, cut or abraded;
    2. The tread wear on the outsole is worn down and affects traction or stability; and
    3. The lining is torn or thin due to abrasion due to physical changes, normal day-to-day usage, or exposure to unusual circumstances.

b. Boots have a questionable appearance or characteristics. For example: 

  1.  
    1. Loose or broken components such as eyelets or speed laces;
    2. Deep cracks, loss of adhesion to the upper in the outsole or midsole;
    3. Discomfort of the foot due to sharp edges protruding through the lining or insole; and
    4. Overwhelming discolouration of the leather due to splashes of petroleum, oils or lubricants (POLs) or chemicals.

All members are reminded of the requirement to properly maintain their boots in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines for care. 

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