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Dress and Deportment

mariomike

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FJAG said:
We do need to look and move on parade like professionals both to look good to others and feel good about ourselves. That takes a bit of practice and supervision of the basics and shouldn't take a Herculean effort. If we do want ramrod precision and creases that we can shave with to impress the locals and foreigners then let's form a ceremonial guard for that purpose.

Well said.
 

TCM621

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Throwaway987 said:
I think we’re saying the same thing from slightly different sides. The whole ship is sinking and this is the issue we’re fixated on?

We’re undermanned and trying our best to do get our work done. We get forced to do a parade that none of us wanted to do and now there’s a whole thread mocking us. I think of that other thread on work hours and we also have Sgt who’s telling us that he owns our asses 24/7. This paragraph is totally fictitious but is it that far from the truth?

Edit: Don’t get me wrong though. I’m pro-internal motivation and doing things right. My concern is that in a pseudo-Maslow’s hierarchy of needs point of view, dress and deportment comes after meeting more basic needs (such as performing our primary duty with pride).  The internal pride in one’s dress and deportment is a sign that one’s more basic needs have been met and there is leftover time and energy to focus on this higher order need.

I can see why some posters are so irrationally fixated on dress and deportment but it mistakes cause and effect. Dress and deportment is a symptom of healthy troops but the blind pursuit of dress and deportment does not lead to health.

The reason we care so much is that its embarrassing to see and projects an unprofessional appearance. When I joined the army, i had to have creases in my combats and my combat boots had to be highly shone. That was stupid, especially as I headed off to the field. Now I walk around base and I see unkempt beards, boots that haven't ever been blackened or cleaned, pants that are poorly bloused, sleeves half assed rolled to the elbow, berets of indiscernible colour and its often on people who can not contain their bellies within their shirts. We are the military equivalent of showing up to work in sweat pants and a stained wife beater.  We have enough issues with poor quality uniforms and critical shortages that are completely out if our hands, we can take 2 hours a month to spend attempting to look professional.

FJAG,
On my base we have a guard whose do honour guards as a secondary duty. Granted its Air force, so they don't do regular practices but I think it is a good idea. Lets send out the group who are getting PER points for looking good and then the rest wouldn't have to worry about it as often. They could practice, get extra points allocated for new DEUs. It's probably a better system than grab 25 guys and throw together a quarter guard.
 

dimsum

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Tcm621 said:
Lets send out the group who are getting PER points for looking good and then the rest wouldn't have to worry about it as often. They could practice, get extra points allocated for new DEUs. It's probably a better system than grab 25 guys and throw together a quarter guard.

That works until either a) those folks are deployed/posted or b) they get pissed off that they're doing all the parades and stop caring about their DEUs to get out of them.
 

gcclarke

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Tcm621 said:
The reason we care so much is that its embarrassing to see and projects an unprofessional appearance. When I joined the army, i had to have creases in my combats and my combat boots had to be highly shone. That was stupid, especially as I headed off to the field. Now I walk around base and I see unkempt beards, boots that haven't ever been blackened or cleaned, pants that are poorly bloused, sleeves half assed rolled to the elbow, berets of indiscernible colour and its often on people who can not contain their bellies within their shirts. We are the military equivalent of showing up to work in sweat pants and a stained wife beater.  We have enough issues with poor quality uniforms and critical shortages that are completely out if our hands, we can take 2 hours a month to spend attempting to look professional.

I'll be frank here. Your embarrassment sounds like a personal problem. Because this is definitely the type of stuff that only people in the CAF ever seem to get worked up about. The public doesn't have a massive preference for seeing people in their DEUs rather than combats. They're just fine seeing us in the orders of dress in which we actually work. What's the point of blackening work boots? Hell, half of them are brown now-a-days anyways. Those "unkempt" beards you're going on about? Likely well within regulations. 2 cm of bulk is a fair amount of beard, and no where in the regulations does it state stuff like keeping your neck shaved which I also often see as a complaint.

Frankly, I'd kindly suggest that it'd be a lot better for your mental health if you try to focus upon being embarrassed only for yourself and your own actions, and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing. Because, once again, none of this actually affects operational performance. So therefore a lot of people who got into this job to actually defend Canada, and didn't join for the dog-and-pony shows simply won't give a hoot, and will put in the bare minimum required to adhere to the minimum standards set out in the regulations.
 

Throwaway987

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A root cause of this interesting discussion is that we’re all talking about different types of people in the CAF. I recall a model of motivation and capability where members are divided into four groups with high versus low motivation and high versus low capability.

Highly motivated members require minimal supervision WRT dress and deportment. They self-regulate and correct themselves before anyone needs to talk to them. e.g. members who desire to be a part of a hypothetical ceremonial unit. These members aren’t really the topic of discussion since they’ve already self-corrected their dress.

A lot of the concerns from previous posters relate to the lower motivation members (e.g. why do they not care about their boots?!).
  • Some of these members don’t care and aren’t that competent at their jobs either. These members have no future and we need the power to terminate their employment to truly control and motivate them. Don’t want to follow our standards? No contract renewal and TYFYS.
  • Some of these members are good at their jobs but have motivation issues. It is this low motivation and high capability group that we need to invest our resources in.

There’s a Chinese proverb that motivation is based on either fame/pride, wealth, or love. If we want long lasting dress and deportment, we need to find what drives these low motivation high capability people and help them want to have higher personal standards.

TL;DR? I’m arguing that dress and deportment is a systemic problem related to human motivation. The CAF doesn’t have any true power or leverage over highly capable members (who can just release) or low capability members (who are protected by bureaucracy). Applying the wrong solution (e.g. individual solution or wrong systemic solution) will only accelerate driving the highly capable and high/low motivation members out of the CAF. What better way is there to destroy a village than to kill all their children?
 

Eye In The Sky

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gcclarke said:
Those "unkempt" beards you're going on about? Likely well within regulations. 2 cm of bulk is a fair amount of beard, and no where in the regulations does it state stuff like keeping your neck shaved which I also often see as a complaint.

Actually, it does.

CANFORGEN 158/18 CMP 078/18

SUBJ: AMENDMENT TO BEARD POLICY

4.WHERE THE WEARING OF A BEARD IS AUTHORIZED:

A. IT SHALL BE WORN WITH A MOUSTACHE,

B. IT SHALL BE NEATLY TRIMMED, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER NECK AND CHEEKBONES,

C. IT SHALL NOT EXCEED TWO CENTIMETERS IN BULK. A MEMBER WILL, ON THEIR OWN ACCORD OR UPON DIRECTION FROM THEIR COMMANDING OFFICER OR THEIR CO S DESIGNATE, SHAVE OFF UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO GROW A BEARD.

5.THE DIRECTION PERTAINING TO THE TRIMMING OF A BEARD AT PARA 4 ABOVE DOES NOT APPLY TO CAF MEMBERS WHO ARE EXEMPT, FOR MEDICAL REASONS, FROM SHAVING THE LOWER NECK OR CHEECKBONES
 

gcclarke

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Eye In The Sky said:
B. IT SHALL BE NEATLY TRIMMED, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER NECK AND CHEEKBONES,

You're not supposed to just quote regulations. You should actually read them first too.

"It shall be neatly trimmed, especially on the lower neck and cheekbones" are different words than "the lower neck and cheekbones shall be clean shaven".

Words have meaning you know? If they wanted to mandate that the lower neck and cheekbones be kept clean shaven at all times, they could have easily said that. They didn't. Instead they just mandated that it be more neatly trimmed than the rest of the beard is. Therefore you 're expected to keep those parts of the face trimmed at least a bit shorter than the rest of the face.

It's impossible to construe the word "neatly trimmed" to mean "must be clean shaven", given that direction of neatly trimming applies to the entire beard. Especially neatly trimmed does not mean the same thing as clean shaven.

 

Eye In The Sky

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Word have meaning.  Really?  If you've got a headache, try taking some Midol.  I've heard it works.

As for the "trimming vs shaving" part...that's not the way 9 out of 10 people on my Wing are seeing it, that's right up to and including the Wing Comd and WCWO when they had beards on the go.  But it's not the hill I'd chose to die on, there's more important things.  I trim my entire beard with a #1 guard every week and shave my neck and cheekbones 3 times a week.

I've seen enough poorly worded policy/direction/etc in the CAF in my time;  I'd be more likely to agree with you if the para said clearly "shaving of the neck and cheekbones in not required, however they shall be neatly trimmed".

What does neatly trimmed mean to you then?  What does it mean to the Base RSM/CPO/CWO...or Unit COs? 
 

gcclarke

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Eye In The Sky said:
Word have meaning.  Really?  If you've got a headache, try taking some Midol.  I've heard it works.

As for the "trimming vs shaving" part...that's not the way 9 out of 10 people on my Wing are seeing it, that's right up to and including the Wing Comd and WCWO when they had beards on the go.  But it's not the hill I'd chose to die on, there's more important things.  I trim my entire beard with a #1 guard every week and shave my neck and cheekbones 3 times a week.

I've seen enough poorly worded policy/direction/etc in the CAF in my time;  I'd be more likely to agree with you if the para said clearly "shaving of the neck and cheekbones in not required, however they shall be neatly trimmed".

What does neatly trimmed mean to you then?  What does it mean to the Base RSM/CPO/CWO...or Unit COs?

Well hell, petty tyrants just making crap up to suit their own personal opinion of what the regulation should be rather than what the regulation actually is is hardly a new thing in the CAF.

Also, petty tyrants making crap up is one of the primary things which is driving our ongoing retention crisis. I'm not a big fan.

I interpret that part of the regulation to be "neatly trimmed, and shorter than the rest of the beard". Anything anyone does to go above and beyond that, such as actually shaving it three times a week is all well and good, but under no reasonable interpretation of what the regulation actually says would I consider it a requirement. Personally, I just shave the neck whenever I trim the rest of the beard.

As for what neatly trimmed itself means, I'd say the requirement there is a beard which is relatively uniform in length, or at least locally (I wouldn't consider it a problem to, for example, trim the moustache shorter than the rest of the beard), without any spots that protrude excessively. And of course keeping within the requirements for a maximum bulk.

Personally, I find I usually need to trim approx every 3 weeks in order to keep within the 2 cm bulk rule.
 

Gunplumber

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When my boss tells me to get my hair trimmed he means that I have to shave the back of my neck where the wispy hair is. This is the same meaning of trimming your beard. They dont want hair all the way down your neck. Seems pretty clear.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I just spent a little over a month on a RCN-run course.  I don't recall seeing any sailors without the neck clean shaven (ish).  It seems to be the standard in the AF as well.  Is this people just doing it, command direction, or is it just the majority of folks interpretation of the CANFORGEN wording?

https://www.facebook.com/RCAF.ARC/photos/a.10150142814416237/10156200820656237/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/RCAF.ARC/photos/a.10150142814416237/10156095120561237/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CanadianForces/photos/a.1524483394445524/2567060270187826/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CanadianForces/photos/a.1524483394445524/2562005460693307/?type=3&theater

https://www.facebook.com/CanadianForces/photos/a.1524483394445524/2519297461630774/?type=3&theater
 

Gunplumber

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"I interpret that part of the regulation to be "neatly trimmed, and shorter than the rest of the beard". Anything anyone does to go above and beyond that, such as actually shaving it three times a week is all well and good, but under no reasonable interpretation of what the regulation actually says would I consider it a requirement"

B. IT SHALL BE NEATLY TRIMMED, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER NECK AND CHEEKBONES,

5.THE DIRECTION PERTAINING TO THE TRIMMING OF A BEARD AT PARA 4 ABOVE DOES NOT APPLY TO CAF MEMBERS WHO ARE EXEMPT, FOR MEDICAL REASONS, FROM SHAVING THE LOWER NECK OR CHEECKBONES
 

Remius

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This argument, and the fact that people can’t follow what should be simple directions is why the Army Commander has threatened to rescind the beard policy.  People think they can do what they want and look like crap.  I’ll be interested to see what people have to say once we lose the privilege.

These “petty” tyrants are actually trying to do their jobs so we don’t lose the priviledge.

Good grief.
 

dimsum

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Remius said:
This argument, and the fact that people can’t follow what should be simple directions is why the Army Commander has threatened to rescind the beard policy.  People think they can do what they want and look like crap.  I’ll be interested to see what people have to say once we lose the privilege.

These “petty” tyrants are actually trying to do their jobs so we don’t lose the priviledge.

Good grief.

Thank you for saying what I wanted to say.

Also, I think we lost an opportunity for the FORGENs when we didn't call them CANBEARDGEN, CANBOOTGEN and CANBLUNTGEN  :nod:
 

Jarnhamar

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It's easy to maintain a high standard of dress and deportment. Mbrs are told what to wear, how to wear it, when to wear it. We also have a system in place where leaders inspect their team members. Pretty straight forward. It doesn't take a lot of effort to keep care of your equipment and yourself.

The problem is there is this ridiculous notion that being checked in a field environment means you look like a bag of shit in garrison. The old garrison vs field soldier mentality. 
If someone can't take care of themselves or their kit in garrison I personally don't trust them in the field. But this garrison vs field soldier mentality persists and is worn as a badge of honour the same way guys and girls will wear the shit out of a beret until it's practically white with age to show off they have TI.


CAF members are expected to parade so they should maintain some semblance of being able to do drill. CAF members in general don't need to practice marine core rifle drill where they're flinging M14s at each other but they should be able to march out on a parade for something and not look clueless. Or with a couple hours refresher drill, should be able to pull off a standard parade.
 

gcclarke

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Gunplumber said:
"I interpret that part of the regulation to be "neatly trimmed, and shorter than the rest of the beard". Anything anyone does to go above and beyond that, such as actually shaving it three times a week is all well and good, but under no reasonable interpretation of what the regulation actually says would I consider it a requirement"

B. IT SHALL BE NEATLY TRIMMED, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOWER NECK AND CHEEKBONES,

5.THE DIRECTION PERTAINING TO THE TRIMMING OF A BEARD AT PARA 4 ABOVE DOES NOT APPLY TO CAF MEMBERS WHO ARE EXEMPT, FOR MEDICAL REASONS, FROM SHAVING THE LOWER NECK OR CHEECKBONES

If you're exempt from Y, you don't have to do Z doesn't mean that Z suddenly means Y. Clarifying that someone who is medically exempt from engaging in directed PT, also doesn't need to do participate in a unit sports day doesn't mean that all directed PT has to be done in the form of a sports day. If you're exempt from shaving, you don't need to keep the chin trimmed; this is just acknowledging that the typical manner in which people would keep that section of the face "especially" neatly trimmed is by shaving that part occasionally, say whenever they trim the rest of the beard. Section 5 there isn't redefining anything in section 4; they're clarifying requirements in light of some external factor which would affect how people would keep the beard especially trimmed if they have a medical condition.

Remius said:
This argument, and the fact that people can’t follow what should be simple directions is why the Army Commander has threatened to rescind the beard policy.  People think they can do what they want and look like crap.  I’ll be interested to see what people have to say once we lose the privilege.

These “petty” tyrants are actually trying to do their jobs so we don’t lose the priviledge.

Good grief.

Look, if they want us to bloody well shave our necks, that's fine. They should just amend the policy so that's what it actually bloody well says. That's all you need to do! You don't need to threaten to cancel the entire thing. All you need to do is to use simple, clear wording.

But I generally trust the CDS to not be a complete moron. Maybe I'm wrong in this. But I think if he wanted us to all shave our necks, then he would have ensured that the regulation actually said so.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Remius said:
This argument, and the fact that people can’t follow what should be simple directions is why the Army Commander has threatened to rescind the beard policy.  People think they can do what they want and look like crap.  I’ll be interested to see what people have to say once we lose the privilege.

These “petty” tyrants are actually trying to do their jobs so we don’t lose the priviledge.

Good grief.

Hopefully, the Comd CA issues direction to subordinate commanders to police their people and ensure policy is being followed.  Leaders are supposed to be fulfilling that aspect of the leadership duties as well.  I'm not a fan of punishing everyone for the transgressions of a certain percentage of mbrs.  We have tools to deal with people for conduct and/or performance deficiencies...use those instead of wide-brush techniques.

The CANFORGEN content doesn't actually seem to give the Comd CA the authority to rescind the policy.  It seems like it would be Comd CA to CMP for review, amendment.  Not sure the Army will be able to forego while everyone else can still have beards.  :dunno:

CANFORGEN 158/18 CMP 078/18

3.EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, THE WEARING OF A BEARD IS AUTHORIZED FOR ALL CAF MEMBERS UPON ATTAINMENT OF THEIR OPERATIONALLY FUNCTIONAL POINT (OFP) OR HAVING COMPLETED DEVELOPMENTAL PERIOD ONE, WHICHEVER COMES LAST. HOWEVER, COMMANDERS OF COMMANDS, TASK FORCE COMMANDERS AND COMMANDING OFFICERS RETAIN THE RIGHT TO ORDER RESTRICTIONS ON THE WEARING OF A BEARD TO MEET SAFETY AND OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS.  THIS INCLUDES RESTRICTIONS PERTAINING TO OPERATIONS AND TRAINING WHERE, IN A CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL RADIOLOGICAL NUCLEAR (CBRN) ENVIRONMENT OR CBRN TRAINING ENVIRONMENT, A BEARD CAN BE ORDERED TO BE REMOVED TO ENSURE FORCE PROTECTION ON OPERATIONS OR TRAINING.  SUCH RESTRICTIONS WILL BE AS TEMPORARY AS FEASIBLE (E.G. AS LONG AS THE ENTIRE DURATION OF AN OPERATIONAL TOUR IN A CBRN ENVIRONMENT OR AS SHORT AS A SINGLE TRAINING DAY FOR CBRN OPERATIONS).

If NCOs, Warrant/Petty Officers and Officers do their jobs...there should not be any issues.  They, of course, should be leading by example.  These concepts are pretty clearly laid out both in QR & O, Vol 1 Ch's 4 & 5 (General Responsibilities of Officer/NCMs) and CFP 265, Ch 1 (Command/Control).
 

Eye In The Sky

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gcclarke said:
Look, if they want us to bloody well shave our necks, that's fine. They should just amend the policy so that's what it actually bloody well says. That's all you need to do! You don't need to threaten to cancel the entire thing. All you need to do is to use simple, clear wording.

But I generally trust the CDS to not be a complete moron. Maybe I'm wrong in this. But I think if he wanted us to all shave our necks, then he would have ensured that the regulation actually said so.

A-hem.  You mean...like this policy is clearly worded and COs, etc still fuck it up?

A CF 100 is not required for a member proceeding exclusively on weekends and/or designated or other holidays, except when:
- when travelling to a foreign country, or to a country other than the one where the member is employed;
- when travel benefits are requested (eg. LTA); or
- when required for ration accounting purposes for members authorized to draw rations on a continuous basis.

Clearly worded, vaguely worded...there will still be people 'lower in rank than the issuing authority' who feel they can put their own spin on things.  :nod:
 

garb811

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gcclarke said:
...
Look, if they want us to bloody well shave our necks, that's fine. They should just amend the policy so that's what it actually bloody well says. That's all you need to do! You don't need to threaten to cancel the entire thing. All you need to do is to use simple, clear wording.

But I generally trust the CDS to not be a complete moron. Maybe I'm wrong in this. But I think if he wanted us to all shave our necks, then he would have ensured that the regulation actually said so.
You seem to think that you can just cherry pick the part of the Instruction that fits your desire but you can't, you need to read it in totality. In this case, although the BEARDFORGEN was the means to make the announcement, the final authority is what is in the dress instructions. Fortunately, when they put them together they had the foresight to understand that a picture is worth a thousand words, and from the diagram they inserted, it is VERY clear they want you to shave your neck, as well as your cheekbones, as well as there to be a clearly defined edge to the beard. If you think they wanted you to be able to taper it, like you seem to think, they would have inserted a diagram illustrating that, just like they did with haircuts.

Ref the prohibition on pers with a medical chit from shaving their necks and cheekbones, that does not support your argument. It simply states that a no-shave chit or PCAT is exactly that, no shave. At all. That was to throw a wrench into the pers who were trying to do end runs around the old prohibition on beards by getting a no-shave chit and then promptly showing up with a beard groomed to the latest style
 

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gcclarke

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Eye In The Sky said:
A-hem.  You mean...like this policy is clearly worded and COs, etc still frig it up?

Clearly worded, vaguely worded...there will still be people 'lower in rank than the issuing authority' who feel they can put their own spin on things.  :nod:

Yup, another fine example of the whole "petty tyrant" thing cropping up.

garb811 said:
You seem to think that you can just cherry pick the part of the Instruction that fits your desire but you can't, you need to read it in totality. In this case, although the BEARDFORGEN was the means to make the announcement, the final authority is what is in the dress instructions. Fortunately, when they put them together they had the foresight to understand that a picture is worth a thousand words, and from the diagram they inserted, it is VERY clear they want you to shave your neck, as well as your cheekbones, as well as there to be a clearly defined edge to the beard. If you think they wanted you to be able to taper it, like you seem to think, they would have inserted a diagram illustrating that, just like they did with haircuts.

Now this is just asinine. There's two different hair styles outlined in the dress instructions. Does that mean that every person in the CAF has to have a hair style that matches that hair style exactly, and no deviation at all is allowed? No. The fellow in the picture does not, after all, have a hairstyle with 2 inches of bulk and up to 6 inches of length, nor is he shaved bald. He's somewhere in between the two allowable extremes. Much like beards, there's a myriad of variations allowed, and they're not about to go printing out every single possible hair style and every single possible beard grooming and every single possible acceptable moustache. You actually need to read the regulation for the interpretation.

If they expected a clearly defined edge to the beard, then they should bloody well say that in the regulation. This is not difficult. If they expected the cheeks and the neck shaved, all they need to do is say it.

If they issue regulations that are flexible enough to allow for variation within them, then people should't get all worked up when not everyone's beard looks exactly the same.
 
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