Garrison Petawawa Military Museum

63 Colborne Road

Garrison Petawawa



Today’s Canadian paratroopers can trace their roots back to two highly distinguished units: the First Canadian Parachute Battalion and the First Special Service Force.


What manner of men are these who wear the maroon beret?
They are firstly all volunteers and are toughened by hard physical training. As a result they have the infections optimism and that offensive eagerness which comes from physical well-being. They have “Jumped” from the air and by so doing have conquered fear.

Their duty lies in the van of the battle, they are proud of their honor and have never failed in any task. They have the highest standards in all things whether it be skill in battle or smartness in the execution of all peacetime duties. They have shown themselves to be as tenacious and determined in defence as they are courageous in the attack. They are, in fact, men apart – every man an Emperor.

Of all the factors which make for success in battle, the spirit of the warrior is the most decisive. That spirit will be found in full measure in the men who wear the maroon beret.

Field Marshal The Viscount Montgomery of Alamein

Paratrooping History in Canada

Since World War II paratrooping skills have been preserved in Canada through the formation of such organizations as:

  • the Canadian Special Air Service (SAS) Company
  • Mobile Striking Force
  • Defence of Canada Force
  • Canadian Airborne Regiment.

The Canadian Special Air Service Company was formed in 1947 but was subsequently disbanded in 1949. The Mobile Striking Force (MSF) was formed in 1948. The MSF formed an airborne brigade and was comprised of various battalions from different units across Canada. This brigade was stationed at widely divergent locations in Canada at various units’ home base locations. Continuation parachute training and arctic warfare were carried out until 1958 at which time the size of the force was reduced. Thereafter, only companies of parachutist trained with the various battalions.