The Army tan uniform was very good for what it was intended but the Army Commander at the time decided that the DEU Rifle Green was the only dress uniform that would be issued to Army personnel. Garrison dress was an abomination and a huge waste of money.
What the then CLS said about uniforms to the Commons defence committee in 1997 was:
Evidence - NDVA (36-1) - No. 18 - House of Commons of Canada
The Chairman: And comment on the uniform.
LGen W.C. Leach: I have every intention to comment on the uniform.
You might notice that my body is shaped the way it is. It's not long and thin; it's a little bit shorter and a little bit broader, and I've been in some of those situations myself.
However, if I want to go back a couple of years and look at what our soldiers said about uniforms, our soldiers said quit screwing us around, we don't need a lot of different uniforms, we just need the basic uniforms and let's make some decisions and get on with life. The soldiers said there are two uniforms that are important if you're a soldier, and one is combat clothing; get it for us, get the right amount, get the right type, because when we're on the battlefield we want to feel comfortable operationally, comfortable personally, and then morale will be okay. We're addressing that.
The second issue from the soldiers is why is it that we have this green uniform, which is technically called rifle green and which the soldiers like, and the tan uniform, which you described quite well—I would probably be a little ruder and cruder—what people look like in it. So we made a decision. I've made a decision. I've been led to believe by the Chief of the Defence Staff that he agrees with my decision and would be making it happen. The army is going to give the soldiers what they want. There are going to be two uniforms in the army in the future, and they're going to be combat and this uniform, the green. We are going to stop swapping back and forth. We are going to stop wearing a uniform in the summer that doesn't breathe and makes you like a bag of you know what
and is just all-round uncomfortable.
I don't know, I may have pre-empted the opportunities of the minister to say yes or no. But the fact is the soldiers said all these other things are important, but you are absolutely right, dress is critical; why don't you make some decisions and get on with life. We've made them. It's happening. I would expect that as early as this summer you probably aren't going to see people walking around in tan uniforms the way they have in the past. When you tell the soldiers in Bosnia, and they say what are you doing about my dress, and we tell them, even though it's not public yet, they say thank you.