The rank of master corporal is the highest junior NCO rank in the Canadian Armed Forces, and is one of the few ranks that is unique to the Canadian Army. Following the 1967 unification of Canada's armed services, the rank of lance corporal -- ranking between a private and a corporal -- was abolished. To fill the void, the Department of National Defense created the new rank of master corporal -- outranking corporal, but subordinate to sergeant.

Master corporals may only be addressed as "master corporal." Not "master" and certainly not "corporal." (Privates and corporals have been known to use the term "masterjack" when referring to master corporals.) In the Royal Canadian Navy, the equivalent rank is "master seaman" (insert clever joke here), which may be abbreviated to "MS". En fran├žais, a master corporal is un caporal-chef and an MS is referred to as un matelot-chef. Artillery units call their master corporals "master bombardiers."

The insignia for a master corporal (in all of its flavors) is a set of two downward-pointing chevrons topped by a maple leaf. The insignia is worn in an identical fashion as those of privates, corporals and sergeants. On dress tunics and combat uniforms, it is worn on the upper arm. On parkas, flightsuits, tank suits, flak jackets and sweaters, the badge is sewed onto an epaulet. On dress shirts, it is worn as a set of collar pins.

In order to reach the rank of master corporal, a soldier must pass his or her first level of leadership training, as this is the first rank where it is expected that said soldier will be in direct command of other soldiers.

CorporalCanadian Forces Ranks and InsigniaSergeant

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CANUCK: The Canadian Soldier in the 20th Century -

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