Army policy that addresses CADPAT uniform wear rolls out

Article / October 9, 2018 / Project number: 18-0393

By Steven Fouchard, Army Public Affairs

Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members have said they would like more opportunities for personal expression with Canadian Army Operational Dress (Op dress) – also known as Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT) uniforms – and their leaders are listening.

Under the new instructions, all CAF members who wear Op dress will be able to wear badges or patches indicating their units or formations, and skills/qualification badges, so long as they do not compromise safety or mission objectives.

The change is just one part of a newly-released set of dress instructions issued to ensure uniformity in the wear of Op dress.

Discussion of a badging philosophy was initiated by 2nd Canadian Division Commander Brigadier-General Jennie Carignan at a meeting of the Canadian Army Dress and Ceremonial Committee in November 2017, when she was serving as Chief of Staff Operations.

BGen Carignan said then that, in light of interest from members, a set of basic principles on badging should be established.

Chief Warrant Officer Stuart Hartnell, the Canadian Army Sergeant-Major, welcomed the dress instructions, saying badges in particular allow soldiers to show pride in individual achievements and their units.

“Badges help to cultivate the pride soldiers feel when we achieve great things or become experts in various domains,” he said. “And they allow us to show that pride to others.”

The new dress instructions supersede a directive issued in 1986 and also introduce a new operational order of dress for physical training, 5C, which consists of CADPAT pants and unit t-shirts.

The 5A order of dress (full fighting order) may be worn by all ranks in the Army while they are engaged in operations or training. All Army personnel may wear 5B as dress of the day when not in the field (in garrison or unit lines).

All CAF ranks may also wear Op dress to meet their specific needs in accordance with Army dress instructions.

Dress variations may be authorized on deployments outside of Canada where they will not compromise safety or mission objectives. Non-issued clothing or equipment may also be authorized on deployments where they will not affect safety or mission objectives.

The new dress instructions also allow CAF members to wear badges or patches indicating their units or formations and specialty skill/Army master badges with Op dress.

Approximately $750,000 is being spent to design and acquire new badges.

L2 (Division) badges will be ready for distribution soon. A process for the design of L3 (Brigade) badges and specialty skill/Army master occupational badges is underway at Directorate Land Requirements.

Specialty skill/Army master occupational badges will also be commercially available at CANEX stores and clearly labelled as approved for wear. Only accessories purchased at CAF supply or CANEX stores may be worn with Op dress.

Individual members will be responsible for repair, maintenance, and replacement costs of items purchased from CANEX.

Authorized badges are to be worn on the hook and loop Enhanced Combat Uniform version of the Op Dress in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Authorized L2 patches on the top right shoulder;
  • L3 patches will be worn below L2s;
  • The national flag on the top left shoulder;
  • Specialty skill/Army master occupational badges will be worn below the national flag in hierarchical order.

L2 and L3 badges are not to be worn with 5A Op dress, except during Public Affairs events and Individual Battle Task Standards/ Battle Test Standards demonstrations.

CAF members can obtain more details on the CAF internal website.

CWO Hartnell emphasized the importance of ensuring all CAF commands make consistent and uniform use of Op dress.

“Uniformity is the visible hallmark of a professional force,” he said. “These new dress instructions will reinforce the CAF’s professional image to Canadians and our Allies alike.”

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