New Visual Identifier for 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown’s Support Formation

Article / May 10, 2018 / Project number: 18-0150

By Stéphanie Duchesne, 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown Public Affairs

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Gagetown, New Brunswick — A new visual identifier for 5th Canadian Division Support Group (5 CDSG) was unveiled on May 9, 2018 during the 60th anniversary gala dinner for 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.

Traditions past and present strengthen military units

A sense of identity and esprit de corps are at the heart of military life. Throughout history, colours and flags have been used as group and individual identifiers, battlefield markers and signalling tools. To this day, unit colours are treated with reverence and pride as they are a symbol of honour, duty and devotion to our country.

Traditions are also an important characteristic of Canada’s military because they unite and preserve a sense of belonging and responsibility in those who serve.

It was a restoration of traditions related to the historical identity of the Canadian Army that led to the reinstatement of divisional nomenclature for Land Force Areas, traditional rank insignia for officers and Army rank names for non-commissioned members back in 2013.

For the largest military training facility in Eastern Canada, it meant that it would no longer be called “Canadian Forces Base Gagetown.”

In a ceremony held on August 27, 2013, its name was officially changed to “5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.” This also meant that the Base’s command and support structure, Atlantic Canada’s largest military support organisation formerly known as 3 Area Support Group, would now be called 5th Canadian Division Support Group (5 CDSG).

New badge and formation patch

With this change came a need to design a new badge and formation patch for the men and women who serve within 5 CDSG. Creating a visual identity for a new unit may seem like a small task, but it requires artistic skill, ingenuity and an official approval from the Canadian Heraldic Authority with the endorsement of the Inspector of Canadian Armed Forces Colours and Badges. Not a quick and easy process, to say the least.

Led by 5 CDSG’s Sergeant-Major, Chief Warrant Officer Walt Laughlin, the project was successfully concluded and 5 CDSG’s badge and patch approved on October 20 2017.

‘The approval of the 5 CDSG badge and patch coincides nicely with the base’s 60th anniversary being celebrated in 2018,” said CWO Laughlin. “It was officially unveiled on May 9, during the 60th anniversary gala dinner with base personnel and our local community partners present.”

Indeed, the base is celebrating 60 years of training Canada’s Army. It is the second largest military base in Canada and the third largest employer in New Brunswick, contributing millions of dollars into its local and provincial economy.

“We are proud to be part of the Greater Fredericton Area community and to provide support to the training of Army soldiers who will go on to serve our country with pride and distinction,” notes Colonel Keith Osmond, Commander of 5 CDSG. “The 5 CDSG badge and patch is a symbol of the pride we have in the support role we hold and will be a visual representation of our unit’s cohesion and connection to our past.” 

The meaning of the colours and elements

The dark red is the colour of the 5th Canadian Division, one of six major Army formations that is comprised of both Regular and Reserve Force units across Atlantic Canada. The blockhouse is a distinctive historical military structure found in all four Atlantic provinces. The moose symbolizes the wildlife of the area in which the base, home of the 5 CDSG headquarters, is located.

All of these elements, along with the ‘Support’ motto, were taken from the previous badge that represented the formation prior to its name change. Credit is given to painter Debra MacGarvie and calligrapher Yolande Lessard for their contribution to the design.               

Symbols and traditions have long established links to soldiers’ heritage and represented meaningful reminders of military history. In restoring the historical identity of the Canadian Army and developing a new badge and formation patch for 5th Canadian Division Support Group, we reinforce the link between today’s soldiers and previous generations of brave war heroes and provide a symbol that connects them with their proud history.

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