Author Topic: Navy brass demands veterans seek permission to wear uniforms at ceremonies and p  (Read 7042 times)

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Sylvain Chartrand CD

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Navy brass demands veterans seek permission to wear uniforms at ceremonies and public functions

By DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN June 19, 2013 6:06 PM

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Navy+brass+demands+veterans+seek+permission+wear+uniforms/8549465/story.html



Canada’s navy brass is lowering the hammer on veterans who are wearing their uniforms to ceremonial and other public functions, demanding that they receive permission in writing before doing so.

But the June 13 directive from the head of the Royal Canadian Navy has the potential to create a public relations nightmare in which elderly veterans who wear their old naval uniforms at Remembrance Day and other anniversary functions are told they are violating military rules.

A number of serving military personnel forwarded the directive to the Citizen, adding that they worry such a decree is unworkable or will backfire on the navy if it tries to prevent Second World War or Korean War veterans from wearing their uniforms during memorial events.

“Requests by former RCN service members to wear uniforms, including mess dress, will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” wrote navy commander Vice Admiral Paul Maddison in the message now being circulated to units and veterans groups. “Such approval shall be limited to exceptional circumstances where the wearing of the uniform is necessary and will favorably contribute to the RCN.”

The commander of the RCN is the only one with the authority to permit non-active navy members to wear uniforms, he added.

The message also noted that local units do not have the ability to give veterans permission to wear uniforms.

A navy spokesman said that the service plans to issue a response to the Citizen’s questions submitted Tuesday but that it still has to receive approval before releasing that to the newspaper. Under a system put in place by the Conservative government and Defence Department leadership, that approval process can take anywhere from several days to a month.

The navy already has in place a policy that requires veterans who want to wear their uniforms to seek permission. It, however, has not been strictly enforced.

But military sources say the impetus for Maddison’s message was an event honouring the navy and commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic, held at the Canadian War Museum in early May. A number of retired admirals attended in their mess uniforms even though they did not have permission to do so.

Serving officers objected to that and a number of heated emails were exchanged between the navy and retired officers after the event. Emotions are still running high, say sources, with one former senior officer threatening to return his medals because of the dispute.

Mess uniforms are specially designed tuxedos for formal occasions. They meet military specifications and officers pay for the uniforms themselves.

Maddison’s message notes that the authority to permit the wearing of such mess dress for former service members lies solely with the head of the navy.

Mess dinners, in general, do not warrant the wearing of uniforms by former navy members, he added.

Requests to wear uniforms must now be sent to navy headquarters far enough in advance so approval can be issued. Blanket requests for events will not be considered except in the most exceptional circumstances, the message added.

Andrew Warden, a spokesman for the Navy League of Canada said in an email that in regard to the uniform policy for recently retired members, “the Navy League supports current DND policies relating to the wearing of uniforms by retired members.”

He suggested the Royal Canadian Legion would be better able to speak about how the issue might affect veterans.

Legion spokesman Bruce Poulin, however, said since the organization has not yet seen Maddison’s message it cannot comment.

Another source said that “technically speaking” the elderly veterans who wear their navy uniforms on Remembrance Day and at other ceremonial events are supposed to obtain permission but rarely do. If Maddison’s directive is followed to the letter, those veterans could be challenged, the source added.
© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

armysandy

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If the mess kit is paid for by the member, can they be told when they can wear it?

vangary

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These old Uniforms no longer exist today, so big deal if these Vets want to wear them, it shows that they are still proud to have been in the Navy. So this also means that a Vet who still has the old Battle Dress from way back, can't wear them and these are no longer Army Issue.  So, who is going to tell them to remove the Uniform. They can't be charged and the old uniforms are no longer recognized. So, who they going to call, the MP's and the MP's won't help, the Vets are Civilian. 
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 12:50:33 AM by vangary »

Another slap in the face for veterans.
It sickens me to think that I can no longer wear my uniform at Rememberence Day ceremonies.  I wonder if I have to ask permission to wear my medals with civilian clothes for Rememberence Day.   Maybe that will be the next thing that I'll have to submit a request for or better still, get permission as to what civilian attire is considered acceptable to wear with my medals on Rememberence Day.
As far as my Mess Kit is concerned, I'll wear it when I damn well please at an appropriate function (family weddings, etc) since I paid for it myself.   The CF should be damn well pleased that I'm willing to present myself as a veteran in my Mess Kit at a non military related function where I can shine a favourable light on the military.   I'd like to think that us veterans have had enough years experience and enough maturity and pride to present ourselves in a favouable manner at public functions in a military uniform.
Shame on this Admiral for bandying about a relic old protocol that needs to be re-aligned.

alex74

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seems to be an ongoing theme these days, thanks for your service but now back into your closet.

Sylvain Chartrand CD

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National News: NDP blasts attempt to restrict veterans from wearing uniforms

Contributed by admin on Jun 20, 2013 - 05:06 PM

http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=22985#.UcRS_MX4LIg



OTTAWA – Reports that the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has issued a directive requiring veterans to obtain permission before wearing their uniforms at special events is both outrageous and insulting, according to NDP Defence critic Jack Harris (St. John’s East).

“Canada’s veterans have bravely served this country and wear their uniforms with pride at ceremonies commemorating their service,” said Harris. “It shows an absolute lack of respect for this service to tell veterans that they now need to ask permission to wear their uniforms and show their pride for having served this country.”

Veterans’ requests to wear their uniforms will reportedly be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be limited to occasions where the RCN believes it will reflect favourably on the navy. As officers pay for their uniforms themselves, it is not clear how the RCN intends to enforce this policy.

“Conservatives have faced increased criticism for failing veterans – much of it coming from veterans themselves,” said Harris. “This seems to be yet another attempt by the Conservatives to silence opposition.”