CAF releases new CANFORGEN regarding Combat Boot Reimbursement program

Above image courtesy of Photo: Corporal Djalma Vuong-De Ramos Canadian Armed Forces. 

On October 13th, the Canadian Armed Forces released CANFORGEN 135/20 regarding the Combat Boot Reimbursement Program. Noting that operational footwear is mission-critical, highly personalized, and is an integral component of an individual’s personal equipment.

The CANFORGEN went on to state all Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members entitled to wear combat (CBT) boots in accordance with the approved scale of issue would benefit from greater flexibility in selecting the type of CBT boot that is best suited to their operating environment.

The CANFORGEN aimed to announce an update to manage temperate non-safety CBT boots and provide direction for Phase 1 implementation. CANFORGEN 35/20 SJS 008/20 131929Z supersedes CANFORGEN 127/18 – COMD CA 015/18 271530Z JUL 18.

This program is for temperate non-safety CBT boots only (NSNs 21-872-4291, 20-001-9296, 20-005-2273, 20-001-2410 or 20-008-2050).

Safety boots, Naval CBT boots, desert boots, and other operational footwear types will continue to be provided by the defence supply chain (DSC) or other means as applicable.

The management of CBT boots will eventually transition to the operational clothing and footwear consolidated contract (OCFC2), an online model, similar to the non-operational clothing and footwear contract (NOCFC) for DEU items.

This transition will be executed over several years and will occur in two phases:

(1) Phase 1. Entitled CAF members will be able to purchase temperate weather non-safety CBT boots of their choice based on simple selection criteria and local chain of command guidance and be reimbursed for this expense up to a pre-determined maximum dollar value. This is an interim policy that will remain in effect until the OCFC2 on-line model is established.

(2) Phase 2. This phase will transition the management of temperate weather non-safety CBT boots to an on-line model similar to the way DEU are currently managed.

Ref A: signal operating instructions (SOI) D01341CFS (AF operational clothing & equipment) has been amended such that entitled Air Force members, as per paragraph 3, are authorized one pair (1) of temperate weather non-safety CBT boots.

Air force personnel are reminded that this entitlement does not change the safety boot requirement for occupations and trades working in industrial settings.

Key changes to existing clothing stores program:

Effective immediately, all entitled regular force and primary reserve force will be eligible for temperate weather non-safety CBT boot funding assistance. Entitled members are those individuals within the CAF who are authorized to draw operational clothing in accordance with Ref A, have successfully completed basic training, are at operational functional point (OFP), and are on effective strength (primary reserve).

As a general principle, clothing stores will transition away from routine one-for-one exchanges for individuals who have completed basic military training. That said, the DSC would maintain the ability to replenish CBT boots in emergency circumstances where local purchase is not practical due to time or geographic constraints.

When new members join the CAF, they will continue to receive issued CBT boots in accordance with their scale of issue (SOI) during the initial kitting process. National inventory will be prioritized and centralized in specific locations that support initial kitting for recruits.

The policy for the reimbursement of orthopaedic footwear remains extant.

Entitlement for reimbursement is based on a tiered system, which takes into consideration both the expected usage of temperate weather non-safety combat boots and the operational environment in which they are used.

(3) For Air Force personnel only Tier 2 is further broken down into two sub-groups based on the type of temperate weather combat boots (safety or non-safety) that each group requires for their daily tasks. The priority for entitlement is given to the sub-group that only requires non-safety boots for their daily tasks. Thus, Tier 2 for Air Force personnel is broken down as follows:

Applicable taxes will be reimbursed over and above the $340 funding entitlement. Regular shipping costs and foreign currency exchange costs will be reimbursed only if they are within the $340 funding entitlement.

Members serving in an isolated post in accordance with Ref B (CBI 11.2.03 Isolated Post Instructions) will be reimbursed for standard domestic shipping costs over the $340 funding limit. This entitlement does not accumulate from year to year.

Individuals deploying on a named mission for greater than five months and whom are being force generated from a Tier 2 or 3 unit will be eligible for an additional pair of boots not to exceed $340. Authorization for this entitlement will be via CFTPO.

Co-authorization is mandatory if an individual requires an additional entitlement within the same period. This should be the exception and must be directly attributable to military service.

The CAF also has the responsibility to ensure that the operational footwear in use by CAF members is safe for use, adheres to dress regulations, and will meet the demands of an operational environment.

For Air Force only, a self-cleaning outsole, a speed lacing system with closed loops, and boots must not utilize zippers nor slide fasteners.

The local chain of command will assist the member with key information about the environment in which the member can be expected to operate in. Guidance from the chain of command is not the same as issuing specific direction on the type or model of footwear to be purchased.

Process for Phase 1:

Prior to purchasing CBT boots, individuals must establish a real need for a new pair of boots, and the individual’s chain of command must authorize this. Individuals are responsible to purchase a CBT boot that meets the criteria. Non-compliant boots will not be reimbursed.

Advances for CBT boot claims will not be made except under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis as deemed appropriate by the members unit.

Individuals must submit their original proof of purchase and unit authorization to their unit orderly room IOT initiate the reimbursement process. This will be done via CF 52, general allowance claim. Certified copies of claims must be kept on member’s personal file. Receipts and supporting documentation must be dated within the same FY as the claim being submitted.

For audit purposes, bases/wings will be required to maintain a list of all members that have claimed the CBT boot financial entitlement (itemized by name and service number). Units will be required to retain all claims, receipts, and supporting documentation. The audit account process will transition to DRMIS as soon as practical. The CA and ADM (MAT) will jointly lead transition planning.


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Julia Lennips

Julia is a journalist who is an avid reader and an artist. She is living in North Bay, ON pursing her passion for reporting.

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