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Department of National Defence (Canada)

From Academic Kids

The Department of National Defence, frequently referred to by its acronym DND, is the department within the government of Canada with responsibility for Canada's military, the Canadian Armed Forces. DND is the largest federal department in terms of personnel/employees and budget; there are 62,000 members of the Canadian Forces regular force, 23,000 members of the Canadian Forces primary reserve force, and approximately 22,000 civilian DND support employees. Departmental spending in 2004 was about C$14 billion.

Until a December 2003 reorganization of the federal government, DND was in charge of emergency preparedness and response in Canada, through the Office of Critical Infrastructure and Emergency Preparedness. DND also holds responsibility for the Communications Security Establishment which is an organization staffed by a mixture of civilian and military personnel.

The current Minister of National Defence is Bill Graham.

DND is headquartered at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa.

History

DND was created on January 1, 1923 through an amalgamation of the Department of Naval Services with the Department of Militia and Defence and the Air Board. DND was intended to reduce administrative costs among the three services, as well as improve the coordination of national security policies. DND brought under a single department, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Militia and Canadian Army, and the Canadian Air Force (later the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Early efforts at integrating the services failed and the RCN, army, and RCAF maintained separate headquarters. During the Second World War, a Minister of National Defence for Air and a Minister of National Defence for Naval Services were appointed in May and July 1940 respectively. In 1946, DND reverted to having a single minister, whereby efforts were renewed at reducing duplication among the services.

In 1964, the position Chief of Defence Staff was created, replacing the heads of the individual services as the nation's top military officer, and on February 1, 1968, the three services were merged to form the Canadian Armed Forces. In a controversial October 1972 DND reorganization, the previously separate civilian and military branches in Ottawa were merged to form the single Department of National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ), with appointments being filled by both civilians and Canadian Forces officers.

See also

External link

Template:Government Departments of Canada

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