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Hair colouring, face tattoos permitted under new military dress rules


Members of Canada’s military will quickly be soldiering under a lot much less strict dress rules because the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) introduces up to date laws on private grooming.

Under the new rules — which have been launched Tuesday and go into impact in September — CAF will enable military personnel to, amongst different issues, color their hair and develop it to any size, and to sport face tattoos.

“The bottom line is, the Canadian Forces Dress Instructions are about fifty years old and so the policy as a whole was overdue for revision,” says a Department of National Defence (DND) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page detailing the update.

“The appearance of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has not kept pace with the Canadian society which it serves.”

Many of the new liberties are conditional. Unnatural hair color, for instance, is allowed “unless it inhibits an operational duty,” the DND web page says.

“For example, bright coloured hair may have a negative operational impact during field operations or training. Leaders are invited to discuss with their members to find a simple, suitable accommodation, such as a scarf to cover the hair.”

Restrictions on hair size are additionally out — hair will be grown to any size but it surely have to be tied up if it extends past the shoulders. Hair additionally should not inhibit a CAF member’s imaginative and prescient and should enable them to put on head coverings, akin to berets.

Facial hair might also be grown to any size, as long as it is neatly groomed and symmetrical. Commanding officers will nonetheless have the best to order a member to shave or to not develop facial hair, relying on security and operational necessities.

A backpack can now be slung over only one shoulder, as long as it is the left.

“This leaves the right arm free to salute,” the web page says.

“Uniformity does not equal discipline, or operational effectiveness, any more than the colour or length of your hair defines your commitment or professional competence,” Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada’s chief of the defence employees (CDS), mentioned in a video CAF posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

He acknowledged the adjustments could possibly be divisive inside the military.

“Some will consider this progress, while others may see this as unwarranted,” Eyre mentioned.

“We must be wary of the false dichotomy that we must choose between changing our dress and appearance, or be strong.”

The replace dress directions comply with comparable strikes by different military forces all over the world, together with the United States Army and the United Kingdom Army.

Uniforms not divided by gender

CAF uniforms will not be divided into “male” and “female” classes, and will be worn together.

“Both catalogues are open to all members and they may be intermixed. CAF members may choose whichever design best fits, as long as it is worn as per the Dress Instructions,” the web page says.

Under the current Dress Instructions, solely ladies are permitted to put on skirts and blouses as a part of a uniform. The revisions enable males to put on this stuff as nicely.

In a press release issued to CBC, a DND spokesperson mentioned the adjustments are supposed to strike a stability.

“The revisions will provide individuals with more choices to support respect, diversity, and inclusiveness, while continuing to prioritize operational effectiveness and safety of CAF members,” the assertion reads.

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