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A "Why" Dress Thread split from OCdt Speaks at Freedom Rally

dimsum

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I have dealt with chubby folks who were amazing at their jobs, bags of shyte who delivered (and sucked) , and super soldiers who folded under pressure. At the end of the day, I looked at them to do their job. Full stop.
Agreed. Unfortunately not everyone has that knowledge/experience, and the US media representation of the military has created some subconscious biases.
 

PuckChaser

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Every professional military or paramilitary (Police, Fire, EMS, CBSA, etc) have some sort of dress and grooming standards. If your supposition is that we need to completely bin those as useless, I'd argue you completely miss the point on why those dress and grooming standards exist in the first place. Even in the paragon of non-conformity CANSOF, I've noticed those folks walking about all have some sort of standard on garrison where it makes sense. If you're suggesting our dress and grooming standards are archaic and need an update, I'm right there with you. There's also an appropriate way to handle dress/deportment issues in a quiet, adult conversation. Flying off the handle is classic loudership, and isn't required unless the individual isn't tracking the nice guy approach.

At the end of the day, people's first impression of you is your dress and deportment. If you can't figure out how to wear your hair or keep your boots clean, then what other details are you lacking in your operational performance?
 

Weinie

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Every professional military or paramilitary (Police, Fire, EMS, CBSA, etc) have some sort of dress and grooming standards. If your supposition is that we need to completely bin those as useless, I'd argue you completely miss the point on why those dress and grooming standards exist in the first place. Even in the paragon of non-conformity CANSOF, I've noticed those folks walking about all have some sort of standard on garrison where it makes sense. If you're suggesting our dress and grooming standards are archaic and need an update, I'm right there with you. There's also an appropriate way to handle dress/deportment issues in a quiet, adult conversation. Flying off the handle is classic loudership, and isn't required unless the individual isn't tracking the nice guy approach.

At the end of the day, people's first impression of you is your dress and deportment. If you can't figure out how to wear your hair or keep your boots clean, then what other details are you lacking in your operational performance?
Agree somewhat with your post.

The CAF represents a persona that is judged, and likely should be. But maybe grooming and how we reflect ourselves demonstrates dated thinking. (After all, the folks who make policy have, on average umpteen years of service and have been "influenced" by their previous experiences. )

I am speaking to how we judge pers internal to our CAF construct, If the person is valuable, and delivers in an Ops construct, should we chastise him/her for how they look?
 

FJAG

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Let's face it, the short military haircut has its roots in the WW1 and thereabouts when it was introduced as a way of preventing disease, head lice etc. Military standards before that were considerably different and more mirrored the hair prevalent in society.

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And then there was this during the sixties and seventies:

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And who in the Canadian Army at any time from the 1940s to 2000 would have thought we'd ever look like this:

MM2JCOA6CFGEBLO5LQEDDZXWGU.jpg


One thing that always annoyed me when I was still in the Reg F was the daily occurrence of 40 year-old men telling twenty to thirty-year old men that their hair's too long. In a way I guess we're showing real progress: now we have forty-year old men telling twenty to thirty-year old women that their pony-tail is too long or in the wrong place.

The standards are arbitrary and based on what a bunch of old guys sitting around a table thinks looks right. We all like neat and clean but sometimes the whole thing gets a little too anal.

😉
 

mariomike

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Every professional military or paramilitary (Police, Fire, EMS, CBSA, etc) have some sort of dress and grooming standards

They understand the taxpayers - who we want to vote for politicians who support strong pay and benefit packages for the uniformed services - expect us to look good. Especially if you are being sent into their homes.
 

PuckChaser

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I am speaking to how we judge pers internal to our CAF construct, If the person is valuable, and delivers in an Ops construct, should we chastise him/her for how they look?
I think there's 2 issues here:

1. We need to update our dress and grooming standards to a more modern, professional standard that is accepted by society. There's lots of room for improvement here, but until we do so CFP 265 is the law of the land and our Snr NCOs need to enforce it... when it makes sense and is appropriately handled. Easier said than done on the 2nd part.

2. This is the complex one, and I think this is where you're going. Someone is great at their job but is unhealthy, overweight and looks like a 4 button claymore in their DEU. Should they be chastised? Not publicly. Here's the rub though, that individual should be encouraged by leadership in a positive manner to work on their fitness levels as a push to move them from good to great/excellent. You can be the best widget operator in the RCAF but if you look like you're about to have a jammer walking up a flight of 5 stairs people will (fairly or unfairly) judge that person before they've even spoken to them. Its also going to be career limiting, especially if they're promoted into the Snr NCO/Snr Officer world and is expected to lead by example. Like it or not our profession does require a certain level of fitness. The more appropriate way to handle this case is for leadership to speak to the individual and take a personal interest in helping them see the benefits from leading a healthy lifestyle and positively reinforce/acknowledge any efforts they're making to get better.
 

Kilted

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One thing that I have learned from Covid is that I hate long hair, there is nothing worse than it getting in my ears. Then again, I didn't effect my ability to do my job (as long as I was wearing a headdress to keep it under control) or start voting Green Party or something weird like that.

That being said, it wasn't ideal. Does anyone really want to do an extended period in the field with long hair? Although if you're there long enough it won't make much of a difference.
 

FJAG

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One thing that I have learned from Covid is that I hate long hair, there is nothing worse than it getting in my ears. ...
I'm the same way. I keep my hair quite short and in fact shorter then when I served in regiments in the seventies, but then longer hair was part of society. Short hair is now quite in as it was for the most part in the fifties and sixties which started with brush cuts as a thing before hippieness took hold.

I remember too that in the seventies we kept our "military" hair very short but every time we worked with a Brit regiment one couldn't help but notice how shaggy they were compared to us.

Things change. One standard does not fit all.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

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Our dress standards are out of date and completely unaligned with the youth we should be aiming to recruit. If a woman can do my job with long hair why cant I do my job with long hair ? IMHO Our dress regs are only one gender based challenge away from being shattered. We should get out in front of if.

Fitness tests... Most places (Police and Fire) only do them on enrollment. Perhaps we should do the same. I am not really sure what our current tests prove. I don't think anything will change. We're a reflection of Canada. We will still have the Uber fit folks, the gelatinous blobs; and the vast majority middle ground folks.

On policing the standards, what ever they are. As mentioned in the CAF Sexual Assault thread it comes down to basic discipline. If I cant rightly expect people to dress accordingly and if we don't enforce something as simple as that, how do we expect our leaders to be confident or empowered enough to tackle big issues WRT discipline ?
 

mariomike

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Fitness tests... Most places (Police and Fire) only do them on enrollment.
Maybe depends on the municipality / department? The one I was familiar with,

"Must be physically capable of performing the required duties." That is throughout your career.

Prospective recruits, members returning to work, and special operations teams are all sent for fitness testing.

Members returning to work who did not pass the fitness test were not returned to 9-1-1 operations.

To maintain my Ontario Class CZ driver's license I had to submit a medical report from my doctor every three years.

( Sorry about the photos. I was not able to remove them. )
 

daftandbarmy

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Our dress standards are out of date and completely unaligned with the youth we should be aiming to recruit. If a woman can do my job with long hair why cant I do my job with long hair ? IMHO Our dress regs are only one gender based challenge away from being shattered. We should get out in front of if.

Fitness tests... Most places (Police and Fire) only do them on enrollment. Perhaps we should do the same. I am not really sure what our current tests prove. I don't think anything will change. We're a reflection of Canada. We will still have the Uber fit folks, the gelatinous blobs; and the vast majority middle ground folks.

On policing the standards, what ever they are. As mentioned in the CAF Sexual Assault thread it comes down to basic discipline. If I cant rightly expect people to dress accordingly and if we don't enforce something as simple as that, how do we expect our leaders to be confident or empowered enough to tackle big issues WRT discipline ?

"Truly then, it is killing men with kindness not to insist upon physical standards during training which will give them maximum fitness for the extraordinary stresses of campaigning in war."

S.L.A. Marshall
 

OldSolduer

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"Truly then, it is killing men with kindness not to insist upon physical standards during training which will give them maximum fitness for the extraordinary stresses of campaigning in war."

S.L.A. Marshall
Being physically fit will help you be mentally fit. I was in the infantry and the more fit you were the better soldier you were when it came to crunch time.
 

OldSolduer

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Being physically fit will help you be mentally fit. I was in the infantry and the more fit you were the better soldier you were when it came to crunch time.
I should add that in the 80s and 90s we - infantry - never prepared our troops to deal with casualties to our own side. We stopped talking like soldiers and started using bureaucratic language. IMO we did our troops a disservice.
 

lenaitch

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Maybe depends on the municipality / department? The one I was familiar with,

"Must be physically capable of performing the required duties." That is throughout your career.

Prospective recruits, members returning to work, and special operations teams are all sent for fitness testing.

Members returning to work who did not pass the fitness test were not returned to 9-1-1 operations.

To maintain my Ontario Class CZ driver's license I had to submit a medical report from my doctor every three years.

( Sorry about the photos. I was not able to remove them. )

This mirrors what is in the Ontario Police Services Act, but it is only enforced in the negative. There is no periodic testing.
 

mariomike

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This mirrors what is in the Ontario Police Services Act, but it is only enforced in the negative. There is no periodic testing.
I guess the way ours looked at it was if you passed the fitness test to get the job, and since then worked 40 hours every week, year after year, on operations, that proved you were fit!

Sort of a Catch-22. :)
 

LittleBlackDevil

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Physical injuries, mental health issues, long COVID, etc. etc etc. Also appearance doesn't always track with fitness. I'm tall and skinny but after not being able to breathe properly for a year after getting sick betting most overweight people could outrun me, and generally kick my ass on a FORCE test, but I guess at least my uniform fits properly. Really happy to be in recovery now but holy crap did a year of inactivity/illness really crush my fitness level.

In any case, we probably shouldn't be slagging someone off for a PR photo, bit of a dick move.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't significant injuries or mental health exempt individuals from PT/FORCE test in normal times? My question was meaning why would healthy people stop doing PT during COVID?

@Eye In The Sky gave the example of living in a built-up urban area an being scared of possibly encountering people in the hallways, stairwells, or elevator. That doesn't explain to me why you can't do pushups, squats, lunges, etc. in one's apartment? I've been doing a lot of routines over the last year that can be done in a bedroom and it's a pretty decent workout.
 

daftandbarmy

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't significant injuries or mental health exempt individuals from PT/FORCE test in normal times? My question was meaning why would healthy people stop doing PT during COVID?

@Eye In The Sky gave the example of living in a built-up urban area an being scared of possibly encountering people in the hallways, stairwells, or elevator. That doesn't explain to me why you can't do pushups, squats, lunges, etc. in one's apartment? I've been doing a lot of routines over the last year that can be done in a bedroom and it's a pretty decent workout.

Last year I climbed a local peak with some of my troops. Everyone was outside, apart, in the fresh air, and masked up when required. I even got a little lecture about the SOPs to make sure that I didn't screw up.

They begged people not to take photos in case they got shared around and the CO & RSM found out, which means they would get into trouble. Alot of trouble.

An excellent example of a particular approach to leadership that drives the wrong behaviour.
 

Eye In The Sky

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At the end of the day, we need to support Ops. Who cares what the Cpl/MCpl/Sgt who effectively enables Ops looks like, according to the dress manual? FFS.


 

Weinie

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Ummmmm, that's a bit of stretch, to dispute my point, wouldn't you say?
 

Eye In The Sky

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Nope. You said:

Who cares what the Cpl/MCpl/Sgt who effectively enables Ops looks like

What do you think will happen if this "dress regs aren't important" stuff goes too far?

People not following, not enforcing dress regs...why does it irk me? Not because of the dress regs so much...what REALLY grinds me is the lack of basic obedience, giving the middle finger to the basic leadership idea of "leading by example"...especially when it is in black and white that is part of any CAF members duties...including GOFO and Senior Officers.

THAT...is really the bigger issue, in the CAF ; an open lack of discipline and obedience...pony tails and earrings are minor.
 
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