Fonds 2002/20 - James Robert Near fonds

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James Robert Near fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material

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Reference code

CA ON00093 2002/20

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  • 1876-2016 (Creation)
    Near, James Robert

Physical description area

Physical description

2.2 m of textual records
169 photographs: col; 25.5 x 20.5 cm or smaller
65 photographs: b&w; 20.5 x 15.5 cm or smaller
2 maps
87 transparencies

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Major James Robert Near (1950- ) commanded the Area Readiness Training Company at the Land Force Central Area Training Centre in Camp Meaford, Ontario in 1997. Born in Woodstock, Ontario, he graduated from Carleton University in 1973 with an Honours B.A in Political Science. He joined the Regular Forces in 1973 and was posted to 2nd Batallion, The Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) at CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick. He accompanied 2 RCR to Cyprus on UN peacekeeping duties, and in 1981 he was posted to 3 RCR in Germany. Returning to Canada in 1984, he served in various planning capacities in Chief Land Doctrine and Operations in NDHQ. After promotion to major in 1986, Near, in 1987 returned to Regimental Duty as Administration company Commander with 3 RCR, serving in Winnipeg and Baden Soellingen, Germany. In 1989, he was posted back to NDHQ to work in the Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence. In 1991 he was posted to Germany a third time to be Canadian Liaison Officer to the Bundeswehr's 4 Panzergrenadier Division. He also served as GI of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. He helped oversee 4 CMBGs closeout from Germany, including being project officer for the acclaimed history book War Without Battles - Canada's NATO Brigade in Germany 1951-1993. From 1993 to 1997 Major Near served on the Army staff in Ottawa in the Directorate of Land Force Development. In 1997 Near returned to the field to assume command of the Area Readiness Training Company at the Land Force Central area Training Centre in Camp Meaford, Ontario. There he was responsible for evaluating combat readiness of LFCA militia units as part of the Land Force Reserve Restructure project.

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Scope and content

Fonds consists of material documenting the state of Canada's Army in the 1990s and issues facing the Army in the 21st century, and relating to Canadian Forces policies and doctrines, specifically, plans for special operations, the development of a new CF Spectrum of Conflict, the development of an operational level doctrine as well as policies on non-lethal weapons. There are also records on NATO/Canada activities concerning the Alliance defence planning, as well as CF training and training exercises, primarily Combat Readiness Evaluation (CRE), Land Force Development, and other Human Resources issues. Also includes first person accounts, scripts and reports of United Nations peacekeeping operations in the Balkans as well as papers prepared by General Romeo Dallaire, as well as information regarding "leadership failure" within the Canadian Forces. Finally, there are documents detailing the development of the Canadian Army’s keystone doctrine manual “CFP 300 – Canada’s Army.”
There are 10 series:

  1. Canadian Forces Doctrine
  2. Training
  3. Other Human Resources Issues
  4. United Nations Peacekeeping Operations
  5. General Romeo Dallaire Material
  6. Leadership in the Canadian Forces
  7. Army Renewal, Restructure and the Future of the Army
  8. General Reference Files
  9. NATO/Canada Material
  10. CFP 300 - Canada's Army

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds received from Major Robert Near between 2002 and 2005, and in 2018.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Classified material is stored in Boxes 4, 6 and 9.

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Finding aids

Copies of the finding aid are located in the Reading Room at the Directorate of History and Heritage. Electronic copies are also available.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

The files within the series are quite similar at times, and are inter-related. For example, a great deal of information on UN Peacekeeping Operations can also be found in the Leadership in the Canadian Forces series. For this reason, researchers are encouraged to consult other series in addition to their main area of interest.

General note

The cassette tape regarding the army in the future was transferred to Library and Archives Canada in 2008.

General note

The 84 computer disks and 10 compact disks have been withdrawn from circulation. Resaerchers must use the textual copies for Unclassified material in Files 1.8, 2.15 and 8.13-8.36.

General note

4 compact disks for Series 10 includes the photographs for CFP 300. These have been withdrawn from circulation. Researchers must use Box 11 Files 10-13.

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