New Canadian Armed Forces policy removes promotion barriers for ill and injured members

Photo by Joint Task Force Ukraine

Photo by Joint Task Force Ukraine


Members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) who have medical challenges and are up for potential promotion no longer have to feel they need to choose between the two.

Effective Jan.18, 2017, ill and injured members can be promoted while undergoing medical care. If they have a condition that is preventing them from achieving fitness or training promotion prerequisites, they can be promoted in an acting capacity with no time pressure for meeting these conditions. Once their medical treatment has been completed, a member can be fully promoted to their new position.

CAF leadership is committed to caring for our members and encourages those in need of medical care to take advantage of the resources available to them, without stigma or worry of impacts on their career advancement.

“When you’ve earned your promotion, it shouldn’t be denied to you just because you’re treating a medical condition,” said General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff. “For too long, people have avoided seeking help for fear of professional implications. We need people who can reach their full potential now and in the future. Get the help you need: your promotion will not suffer.”

The CAF recognizes the talents and dedication of our ill and injured members, and their expected future contributions. A member’s posting and appointment at the next rank will take into account his or her employment and deployment limitations.

“This is a significant change for the CAF. Our hope is that it will encourage members to get the support they need right away, allowing them to focus on both their health and career,” said Colonel Rakesh Jetly, Mental Health Advisor, Canadian Forces Health Services.

Removing medical health from promotion criteria is just one of the ways the CAF is working to improve how administration and support is provided to our members and their families.

For more information on these changes to promotion criteria, consult CANFORGEN 012/17 CMP 009/17 De-linking of Medical Condition from Promotion Criteria.
Learn more about health programs and services available to CAF members, including physical and mental health care, support for families, and comprehensive reintegration and return-to-work programs, on the CAF health services website.

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