“Thunderbird lives with the other spirits in heaven and works with them to control the affairs of men. His thunder and lightning warn of the death of a member of his sign and Killerwhale called ‘Spouting-at-Mouth-of-River’ comes to take away a dead person. He takes him aboard a small canoe, which then becomes a killer whale. The dead one is told to spout, and if he does he goes to heaven with Thunderbird and Killerwhale. If he does not, he is taken back to his grave and left there”.
(As published in The Thunderbird Journal, Autumn 1983)
18 December 1950
The first contingent of Canadians, including the newly formed 25 Provost Detachment, arrive in Pusan for combat in the Korean war. That unit would form 1 Commonwealth Division Provost Company, the only integrated unit of its kind in the Allied Forces.
10 December 1939
No. 1 Provost Company (RCMP), which had formed in Rockliffe, ON, set sail to Great Britain to act as the military police for the First Canadian Infantry Division. These MP would form the nucleus of the first formation which would later become the Canadian Provost Corps.
Shortly after Canada's declaration of war on September 9th, 1939, the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recommended to the Canadian Minister of Justice that a "Provost" company be formed from RCMP volunteers and used to provide military police support to 1 Canadian Infantry Division, the first expeditionary element to be deployed overseas since World War 1. This unit, designated No. 1 Provost Company (RCMP), was the first of several military companies that would be formed and mobilized throughout the following months.
“The bravest warriors are the children of Thunderbird. Qolos, the younger brother of Thunderbird, lives in heaven and flew down to become the ancestor of the Lalelamin of the Nimkish and also of the Wiwomasgem and the Sisemle. The daughters of Thunderbird found a box drifting in the sea and one of them married the man who was hidden in the box and later taught him to wear an eagle skin so that he could fly and learn to catch whales like the Thunderbird. Thunderbird has endowed his people with great gifts which are theirs for evermore. He appeared to the Qexsem as a person with a face like a bird called Kwakunxbalisela (Thunderbird – at End of World) and gave them supernatural gifts which included the ability to look into the soul of men”.
(As published in The Thunderbird Journal, Summer 1983)
The Thunderbird is officially adopted as the insignia of the Security Branch (later renamed the Military Police Branch).
Read more about the history behind the selection of the Thunderbird here.
20 November 1985
LCol William John McCullough and Sgt Larry Douglas Abbott are presented the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General for their actions while serving in Beirut, Lebanon from 1982-1984. They were the first MP to ever be awarded this decoration.
Their citations read as follows:
"During the period 4 July 1982 to 5 August 1984, Lieutenant-Colonel W.J. McCullough was the Canadian Forces Attaché at the Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The period was marked by the complete collapse of law and order, and assaults on diplomats and diplomatic premises. Throughout his tour Lieutenant-Colonel McCullough undertook a number of significant military and diplomatic tasks. Notwithstanding considerable personal risk, including frequent exposure to both small arms and artillery fire, he travelled extensively to maintain essential contacts with Lebanese agencies. During the times when the Chancery was under threat of fire, his exceptional professionalism and calm competence were a constant source of reassurance to all members of the Embassy staff. Throughout his tour, Lieutenant-Colonel McCullough performed both military and related duties in an outstandingly professional manner, of such a rare high standard as to reflect great credit on himself and the Canadian Forces."
"During the period 7 November 1983 to 11 August 1984, Sergeant L.D. Abbott was the non-commissioned officer in charge of military police security guards at the Canadian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The period was marked by the complete collapse of law and order, and assaults on diplomats and diplomatic premises. In the performance of protective and other duties, Sergeant Abbott frequently risked his life over an extended period to ensure the safety of both Canadian and locally employed staff members. When a drastic reduction in staff taxed resources to their fullest, he assumed the additional duties associated with two officer positions, performing them with a rare high standard of both flexibility and adaptability. His leadership, professional expertise and qualities of character made a deep impression on all members of the Embassy staff. Sergeant Abbott's outstandingly professional performance of military duties, tailored to the priority needs of the Canadian Government in Lebanon and frequently beyond those normal for his rank, have brought great credit to both himself and the Canadian Forces."
“There was a time when the animals led by Omat and Kwekwaxawe went to war with Thunderbird. Now the four eldest children of Thunderbird were mighty fishermen and known from their prowess as One-Whale-Carrier, Two-Whale-Carrier, Three-Whale-Carrier, and Four-Whale-Carrier. They were always fishing and the other animals sought to catch them by guile. So they built an artificial whale in which they went to Thunderbird’s village, Kunwaas. One by one the eldest children of Thunderbird were lured to the artificial whale and drowned. Only the nine-month old infant son survived to carry on his family and this is why it does not thunder very often nowadays, only when Thunderbird moves from the winter to the summer side of his house or as an omen when someone who has the Thunderbird crest is about to die. Because the infant Thunderbird was painted with ochre and wore a strap around his neck, these are now put on infants when they are nine months old”.
(As published in The Thunderbird Journal, Spring 1983)
27 October 1977
The Military Police Fund for Blind Children is established as a registered Charitable Corporation.
The MPFBC was first informally established in 1957 by Army Provost Marshal Colonel James Riley Stone after his daughter Moira passed away from cancer of the eye. Throughout its history, this registered charity, which is run and managed entirely by MP volunteers, has raised thousands of dollars to provide assistance to visually impaired children.
8 October 1993
The first United Nations MP Platoon in Bosnia-Hercegovina was inaugurated.
The UN MP Platoon included 6 Canadian MP, who were responsible for war crimes investigations within the Bosnian theatre.
6 October 1986
Amendments to the National Defence Act were proclaimed that brought various orders and regulations into line with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This would have a major impact on how MP conduct investigations.
Several months before unification comes into effect for the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Provost Corps (C Pro C) School, RCAF Police School, and the School of Military Intelligence amalgamate into the new Canadian Forces School of Intelligence and Security (CFSIS) at Camp Borden.
The graduation parade for the last recruit class to march off at the former Canadian Provost Corps School at Camp Shilo, Manitoba in 1960 shortly after which the School moved to Camp Borden where it remains to this day. Taking the salute is the late Col Anthony (Tony) Scotti, MC, CD, Provost Marshal Army. (Photo: Canadian Provost Corps Association)
15 September 1995
Maj Jean-Guy Plante was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal with citation for his actions as part of the military the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda during the civil war and subsequent genocide of 1994.
Members of the Security Branch and their families begin deploying to nine different Canadian Embassies throughout the world.
This program would later evolve into the Military Security Guard Unit (MSGU), the predecessor to the Military Police Security Service (MPSS).
The CMPA is please to announce a major new feature to our website. For the first time, all surviving issues of Thunderbird Journal have been digitized in PDF format and are available for your online enjoyment in both English and French versions.
Originally published from 1982 until 1997, Thunderbird Journal was the official Security Branch magazine. It provided MP with Branch and CMPA news, Canadian case law and policing developments, and opinion pieces, as well as “SITREPs” from MP units across the country and around the world.
You can review these old magazines by clicking here, or by visiting the “media” tab in the menu.
Although they are very much a product of their time, leafing through these old magazines presents a fascinating glimpse into the early days of the MP Branch.
10 July 1943
No. 1 Provost Company lands west of Cape Passero, Italy, as part of the Allied invasion of Sicily. Over a 6-week long period, MP would move the Canadian Division almost 600 km, conduct traffic control & route signing, deal with accidents & Prisoners of War, while under constant danger from artillery and land mines.
Photo: Library & Archives Canada
15 June 1940
The Canadian Provost Corps (C Pro C) is formed. The C Pro C would continue to provide policing services to the Canadian Army until unification in 1968. Its history and traditions are still observed in today's Military Police Branch.
10 June 1995
The Master Access Control System (MACS) went on line at 22 Wing North Bay, thus eliminating the requirement for 4 or more MP to be assigned access control duties at any given time. This was the first time a fully computerized and automated access system was utilized by the Canadian Forces.
A member of the Military Police guarding the North Tunnel entrance to the NORAD underground complex at CFB North Bay, circa 1969. The MP detachment was situated directly above this tunnel, and featured a cargo elevator that reached down to just inside the tunnel entrance. (Photo: Canadian Forces / Department of National Defence)
6 June 1944
D-Day, Normandy. Six sections from 4 Provost Company landed on Juno Beach and partake in the assault that would eventually lead to the downfall of Nazi Germany on 7 May 1945.
The RCAF Police begin deploying 34 sentry dogs and their MP handlers to RCAF fighter bases throughout France and Germany. The sentry dogs were used to ensure the safety and security of nuclear weapons assigned to the RCAF. The sentry dog program, which was first introduced to the RCAF in 1963, lasted until 1972 when Canada eliminated its limited nuclear capability.