Author Topic: Wearing Uniform in Public (Cadets)  (Read 91752 times)

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Offline RemembranceDay

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Wearing Uniform in Public (Cadets)
« on: January 23, 2012, 07:12:48 »
We've pretty much all done it, gone out in public in uniform after training, off 'duty'. Whether to pick up groceries, or just hang out at the mall with some friends waiting for the ride home. As long as we keep our behavior in check, then I've never had a problem.

The public, though, can be a regular hoot. From the confused stares to the well-meant questions.

My funniest encounter was probably yesterday. A cadet friend of mine and I went up to the local mall to chill. We were sitting in the 'round' when a young boy (4 or 5) came up to me and asked "have you ever shot a gun?" I said yes, and explained to his mom that we only typically shoot (rather) harmless air rifles, which (if properly used) couldn't hurt anyone and are used for marksmanship, and that we were only cadets, and not regular service members. We had actually just gotten back from marksmanship training. The kid was satisfied, and wandered off.

So, what's your funniest 'Public Encounter'? How do you deal with the hard questions, in which the entire fate of their love/hate (I exaggerate. A bit.) of the Cadet Movement lies in your hands?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 11:20:08 by milnews.ca »

Offline quadrapiper

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 13:42:42 »
Though there's no specific regulation to cover pre- or post-cadet-event wear of uniform, reason suggests that a cadet waiting for a ride, running an errand on the way home, or meeting for coffee with friends, need not change into civilian attire. As long as things stay professional, and there's no area-specific reason for cadets to keep a low profile, it's not something in need of restriction.

There will always be the fool misguided person that takes it too far, and decides to play dress-up, of course...

Offline Peace

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 18:39:23 »
Its one thing to play dress up,  and another to go out of your way to hide who you are.

Im so far down the rabbit hole I dont think I would be able to seperate the uniform from my skin... in some places I cant.   

Just dont create a PR problem and if anything bad happens report it to your CIC officers.   Also ref being allowed, consult your units SOP in reguards to what is and isnt kosher.

Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2012, 11:44:23 »
Hey guys,
I, when I first received my uniform, asked what the policy about public wear is. Basically the Stores Officer said "don't create a ruckus, be respectful and don't go crazy." Really, I see nothing wrong in going to the mall to hang out with friends in work dress (our new and improved uniform). We were respectful, quiet and really undisturbing. I've gone many places in uniform, including grocery stores and restaurants (after training), and had next to no negative responses (only two, and those were reported.)
So really, as long as you wear the uniform properly, and be respectful, then there should be no problems (in accordance with the corps/squad's rules).

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2012, 12:10:41 »
I am not a Cadet and never been one.  I been in uniform 32 years.  Hanging out at malls is considered loitering which is illegal in all provinces (although not always enforced).  As a veteran and a professional soldier, if I saw you I would be disappointed in you as I would expect better.  That is my personal opinion.

Offline Pusser

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 12:51:23 »
I am not a Cadet and never been one.  I been in uniform 32 years.  Hanging out at malls is considered loitering which is illegal in all provinces (although not always enforced).  As a veteran and a professional soldier, if I saw you I would be disappointed in you as I would expect better.  That is my personal opinion.

The reason it's rarely enforced is that it's very difficult to determine the difference between loitering and being in the mall for a legitimate purpose.  Browsing through the shops (even if you don't buy anything), having something to eat or drink at the food court or even relaxing on one of the benches (which is what they are there for) are all legitimate activities at the mall.  The ones who get kicked out for loitering (which is most often the preferred course of action vice charges) are the ones who are there every day, never buying anything and who are usually causing problems. 

There is no reason anyone (cadet of CF) cannot wear a uniform while shopping at the mall or grocery store, as long as it's the appropriate uniform, properly worn and properly maintained.  Why should anyone have to change in a washroom to avoid appearing in public in uniform?  Why are people ashamed to be seen in uniform?  I'm not saying we should be in uniform all the time, but if it's more convenient for someone to wear a uniform for picking up groceries on the way home, then don't worry about it.  In fact, being seen in uniform in public can enhance the public's perception of the military.  If we're seen doing normal things then civilians can see that we are normal people too.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline RemembranceDay

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 13:14:41 »
I am not a Cadet and never been one.  I been in uniform 32 years.  Hanging out at malls is considered loitering which is illegal in all provinces (although not always enforced).  As a veteran and a professional soldier, if I saw you I would be disappointed in you as I would expect better.  That is my personal opinion.
By "Hanging out" I mean browsing the shops, maybe making small purchases (that time I had to pick up a pair of headphones), getting a drink and maybe a small meal at the food court. I apologize for not defining this earlier. On the subject of ANYONE being out in uniform, the other day at Costco (about 30 mins away from Borden), there were two officers in uniform. I noted that they were efficient and respectful, more so than many of the people around them.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 07:29:23 »
I am not a Cadet and never been one.  I been in uniform 32 years.  Hanging out at malls is considered loitering which is illegal in all provinces (although not always enforced).  As a veteran and a professional soldier, if I saw you I would be disappointed in you as I would expect better.  That is my personal opinion.

He's a cadet. I could care less what he does in a cadet uniform. I personally spend as little time as possible in uniform (including on tour) but that is my personal opinion. I joined to fight wars not play dress up.

Offline Pat in Halifax

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 08:01:51 »
He's a cadet. I could care less what he does in a cadet uniform. I personally spend as little time as possible in uniform (including on tour) but that is my personal opinion. I joined to fight wars not play dress up.

You might wish to reread stuff like CFDS, NCM 2020 etc. I don't believe it says anywhere in the documentation that we are mandated to "fight wars". If you see your uniform in public as "playing dress up", I question your motives for joining the CF in the first place.

This may raise a few eyebrows but I have dedicated too much of my life NOT to be proud of wearing my uniform in public. I don't do it regularly but if a stop for gas, groceries, whatever sees me in uniform, I don't stick my nose in the air, but do stand a little 'taller' than if I were in civis.

As someone said earlier...My opinion.
"No ******* ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb ******* die for his"
George S. Patton

Offline Pusser

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2012, 11:59:56 »
 :goodpost:

Very often, it's the uniform that marks one of the key differences between the honourable profession of arms and the mercenary rabble.
Sure, apes read Nietzsche.  They just don't understand it.

Offline rmc_wannabe

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2012, 12:33:04 »
I do think that part of the reason the Canadian population was so alienated from the military for the longest time was the lack of uniformed personnel walking around every day life. We were no longer identifiable members of society. So long as pers are not making jackasses of themselves I see nothing wrong with it IMHO.
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Offline sprl

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2012, 12:40:05 »
Wearing the uniform in public (in accordance with regs of course) is an important Public Affairs function (it ain't just for paffos anymore ;)).  How many times have members complained about a fundamental disconnect between the military with the rest of the pop?  A visible presence in public (especially by reservists) is an important reminder to the public that the CF is ultimately drawn from and part of society.

(On the OPs note, this is the only one of these memes I found remotely interesting or funny:)

Sh** Civilians Say to Veterans:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4Esni1RbwU

Offline Jed

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2012, 12:55:04 »
I do think that part of the reason the Canadian population was so alienated from the military for the longest time was the lack of uniformed personnel walking around every day life. We were no longer identifiable members of society. So long as pers are not making jackasses of themselves I see nothing wrong with it IMHO.

That is  what I observed when I was wearing the uniform.

As the old man used to say: " I used to be a coyote, but I'm alright nooooOOOOWWW!"

Offline Pat in Halifax

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2012, 13:15:45 »
I think since our participation in Afghanistan (and I bow before those who have served there as I have not), the public is not only more engaged but want to know what we do. I have now lost count the number of times I have had people come up, shake my hand and say "Thank You" or offer to buy me a cup of coffee. Someone went so far as to pay for a breakfast my wife and I had at the Ottawa airport once.
I like what you said sprl. For years, we complained that the public didn't know who we were...and then many complained when we 'had to' wear uniforms to work. Amazing how we have come full circle. I actually had a PO2 at my previous job who requested to wear 3Bs vice NCDs at work (and he travelled to/from in uniform).

That said, nothing pisses me off more than seeing some clown wondering through a store looking like crap. When I am in uniform, it is not an issue (though my wife used to get embarrassed, now she just says "Oh Oh" and stands back to 'watch') but if I am in civis too, I find some of the response are quite colourful. If I get a name (which I have), I look them up in OUTLOOK and send an email to their Unit CWO/CPO. The majority of the time (oddly enough), they are Officers. (in Ottawa anyway)
"No ******* ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other dumb ******* die for his"
George S. Patton

Offline Robert0288

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 13:32:46 »
Quote
The majority of the time (oddly enough), they are Officers. (in Ottawa anyway)

Agreed.  :facepalm:

Offline 2010newbie

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2012, 13:38:42 »
As an Officer Cadet attending civilian university, I was instructed to wear my uniform (combats or DEU's) to school once in a while. I usually end up wearing it for the first day of classes and once a month or so thereafter. I have never had an issue and I usually have people asking me how to apply, how ROTP works, and I've even met some reservists that happen to go to the university as well. I think being in view of the public, especially in an area that is not used to seeing people in uniform frequently (like the GTA), is important because it can make people feel a little more connected to the CF, rather than seeing it as some far off faceless entity.

Offline sprl

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2012, 16:50:37 »
Much more common in the States, which makes sense as the service makes up a larger proportion of the general population (though less so after the AVF became the norm).  Always endearing to see people at the airport saying things like "be careful" and "you take care, now" to a passing soldier in transit.

Offline GnyHwy

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2012, 17:14:11 »
I was in Wainwright training in the early 90s.  We were let free for the weekend and we were allowed to Lloydminster for the day (woo hoo), but we had to wear our uniforms.

I was approached by a little boy about 10 yrs old.  He asked me "Are you in the Army"?

I replied "yes".

Little boy - " I didn't know Lloydminster had an Army".

Me - "No, I am in the Canadian Army"

The little boy, with an amazed look on his face replied " YOUR IN THE CANAAAADIAAAAAN ARMY?  AWWWWWESOOOOME"!


Offline gun runner

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2012, 17:20:46 »
As a CIC in a small town, as in most small towns with cadet activities, we are sometimes the only visible CF members that people will see. My town has a PRes unit in town, and they are very visible most days. People are proud to have a CF unit here, and they support all activities that the two cadet units we have do. My two cents. :cdn: :yellow:
Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Sir Winston Churchill.

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Offline dogger1936

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2012, 19:15:13 »
I was 18 and told to report to battle school in CF after my Christmas leave. New years eve I was waiting at a friends place to go to the airport in my then bland blank DEU. A drunk came up and began to tell me how he would never quit drinking (explaining how he had his drinking well in control) and tried to give me money for the poor. It was at that point it all came together and I told the man I was military and not a member of the Sally ann.

Offline Brasidas

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2012, 19:22:13 »
I was 18 and told to report to battle school in CF after my Christmas leave. New years eve I was waiting at a friends place to go to the airport in my then bland blank DEU. A drunk came up and began to tell me how he would never quit drinking (explaining how he had his drinking well in control) and tried to give me money for the poor. It was at that point it all came together and I told the man I was military and not a member of the Sally ann.

After a mess dinner, a crowd went out for a drink and the sergeant major alone was denied entry. On asking what the problem was, the doorman replied that while they were pretty full, the army guys could come in. The bellboy could not. The sergeant major, of course, was the only one in mess dress.

Offline dogger1936

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2012, 13:14:21 »
After a mess dinner, a crowd went out for a drink and the sergeant major alone was denied entry. On asking what the problem was, the doorman replied that while they were pretty full, the army guys could come in. The bellboy could not. The sergeant major, of course, was the only one in mess dress.

Outstanding! I hope someone said "the bell boy's with me" ;D

Offline Baden Guy

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2012, 13:27:02 »
Happened to be in Niagara Falls many years ago, in uniform, and was asked what time did the lights come on for the Falls.

Offline Cui

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2012, 14:30:05 »
Wasn't the guy who was slashed in Nanaimo in uniform at the time? I guess sometimes being in uniform would make you a target to some left-wing nutcases. 
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Offline Melbatoast

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Re: In public in Uniform...
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2012, 14:50:49 »
Wasn't the guy who was slashed in Nanaimo in uniform at the time? I guess sometimes being in uniform would make you a target to some left-wing nutcases.

The guy in Nanaimo was almost certainly slashed by a meth/crackhead who probably has not got a well articulated political position. There aren't too many "left wing nutcases" in that city anyhow.  I'm a left wing nutcase myself and like others of my ilk prefer Victoria, where I regularly wear my uniform in public.  I have never had any sort of problem.