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April 17 2017 at 12:26 PM
Dan Martel 

Response to Sources for CAO, CFOO and MOO


I've been studying the associated orders issued by Army Headquarters for a couple of decades now, particularly those from 1939 to the 1970's. Luckily I've had access to the archives of the RCMI Library which hold a lot, but not all, of them and I have been able to visit DHH and LAC from time to time. Like Micheal says, DHH would be your best bet if you're ever in Ottawa. I've never seen a set on-line.

Like you say, the orders went through several changes over the years. Up to Dec 1940, everything was promulgated through General Orders. While GO's continued to be issued, in Jan 1941 AHQ also began to publish Canadian Army Orders in two versions, one for the Active Army and another for the Reserve Army. CMHQ also began to issue CAO's for the Army Overseas. CAO's were published in numerical order for each, from 1 to 6897 in the case of the Active Army.

In Jan 1947 the entire system was revamped. All three versions and General Orders were done away with. To quote directly from CAO 6842 of 15 Nov 1946:

1. Effective 1 Jan 47, General Orders, Canadian Army Routine Orders and Canadian Army Orders will cease to be issued in their present form and orders issued from AHQ will be published in a single series of orders entitled “Canadian Army Orders” (CAOs).

2. The new series of orders will be issued in the following manner:-
(a) Orders and instructions of a permanent nature will be produced in a loose leaf form for insertion is a binder similar to KR(Can). Each order will be allotted a number which will always remain the same. Amendments or revisions to an order, unless small enough to be inserted in ink, will be effected by means of revised pages for the binder.
(b) In addition the loose leaf book of orders, “Supplements” will be issued which will contain matters of record, notifications, etc, such as-
Amendments to KR(Can), FR & I, etc
Appointments, Promotions, Retirements, etc
Certificates obtained
Formation, designation and disbandment of units, etc
Honours and Awards-Lists of
Militia Forms and Books
Priced Lists
Publications available for issue
Qualifications obtained etc

Supplements will be printed separately and will be suitably cross-referenced in the loose leaf binder of CAOs.

3. The new series of CAOs will supersede orders previously published on the subjects dealt with therein. Orders previously published but not included in the new series will continue to be effective where applicable until cancelled or superseded by publication in the new series.

4. The new series of Canadian Army Orders will be applicable to the Canadian Army generally, except when otherwise indicated by one of the following notations-
Applicable to Active formations, units and personnel of the Canadian Army on Active Service only
Applicable to Active Force only
Applicable to Reserve Force only
Applicable to Supplementary Reserve only

All of this is the easy part. The transition from Army Orders to CF Orders is a nightmare to follow, seeing as it didn't begin until well after Unification in 1968 and lasted several years before it was complete.

As I said my interest only goes up till the mid-70's so I'm afraid I can't help you much after that. If you have any questions or are looking for specific things let me know and I'll see what I can do.


PS: What is a MOO?

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