The Royal Canadian Mounted Police

I do not imagine there are many places where one can hear, “And then the cop pulled up next to me on his horse”, and not break a stride. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, or RCMP, are our national police force. Though they no longer carry out typical duties from horseback, horses are ridden ceremoniously or in more picturesque scenes. They are still on-duty police officers


The full Mountie uniform.

Our Mounties, as we prefer to call them, wear a bright red jacket and black pants. The look is completed by a wide-brimmed hat and boots. Inside sources say these boots are handed to new recruits as black boots which they then must polish until they become the brown we all know and love. These outfits are, though, not used within regular duties, as they are not practical once in a car or walking the beat.

The RCMP have been around officially since 1920. They are a national symbol. In fact, souvenir shops are filled with little Mountie figurines and various Canadian wildlife dressed in wide-brimmed hats.

Mounties go through an intense training program in central Canada, where they learn not only discipline and loyalty to the force, but extreme driving skills, police tactics, and how to take pepper spray to the face. Extra training can include taser use.

RCMP trainees parading.

RCMP trainees parading.

As the RCMP services the majority of Canada (a few cities and provinces use their own policing force), Mounties can be deployed any where in the country once they have completed training. Typically, rookies spend their first 4 years in less desirable locations- in the north and smaller towns far from home. Within their career, they will move between many locations. The hope is, especially in smaller towns, that they will not bond past the ability to properly police residents; or create enemies due to their need to arrest or fine individuals.

The RCMP mascot, because it's not Canadian until it includes a bear or a beaver.

The RCMP mascot, because it's not Canadian until it includes a bear or a beaver.


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About the author

Kelly Pohorelic
Kelly is a BC girl through and through, but never lasts at home very long before her feet start itching. She has travelled repeatedly to Australia, Europe, and Mexico (and the US, but that doesn't really count). The goal is every continent, but in every place she goes, there is only more to see. She currently fills the days working too many hours with children, writing, and learning Spanish. Though, friends will always find her in a kitchen filled with new recipes from the countries she has visited.
Other 18 posts by


  • I never had the chance to see a Mountie in full uniform :( It means I have to go back to Canada, a country I liked a lot.

  • maggie

    If you are here in mid-February, you could attend a flag day ceremony and be sure to see a Mountie in full regalia.

  • I have always found your Mounties so smart in their red uniforms, and the good thing about it is that it is a superb “trade mark”, so easy to recognise!

  • Aledys Ver

    How interesting! I thought that mounties used this uniform on a daily basis for their regular duties. I guess I got that impression from watching “Due South”, the series with Benton Fraser.

  • deedee

    As a Canadian, it fills me with pride every time I see the R.C.M.P. Musical Ride perform! Every time they’re in our province, I make a point of going to see them. This past summer, we had visitors from China…and the Ride was an important must-see of our Canadian Pride. And, Aledys, these red serge uniforms are strictly used for formal occasions. :D