CJCR Dress instructions | Section 3 Religious and Spiritual Considerations on Dress
- The purpose of this section is to address any religious and spiritual considerations that are not already covered in the above directives related to dress and appearance. All CCO members are encouraged to develop their awareness and sensitivity in order to provide inclusive leadership when addressing religious and spiritual considerations and the following guidelines.
- The normative standards / requirements of various religious and spiritual traditions should be respected at all times, as must be the desire of cadets from these traditions who choose not to identify with a specific custom / practice. Advice may be obtained through the chain of command from the RCSU Chaplain and Formation Chaplain, while ensuring CJCR CDC is informed and consulted.
- Religious and spiritual-related items or accessories which are not visible or otherwise apparent are unregulated and may always be worn provided they do not interfere with personal safety, the proper wear and use of uniform items, accoutrements, and / or equipment.
- Requests. Exceptions to the dress instructions for religious, cultural, and societal reasons will be considered when a cadet submits a written request to the training establishment CO. The request shall be forwarded to the RCWO, through the Area OC (or Zone Trg O), that includes the following requirements:
- identify the religion, culture, or societal group of which the cadet is a member; and
- provide as many supporting details that will clearly explain the need, belief, and requirement to support the request for accommodation.
- The training establishment CO shall consider the accommodation with respect to the dignity and viability of the request until such time as a final decision is received. If the request cannot be accommodated by the CO due to a supply concern, refer to Chapter 2, Section 1, Para 15.
Wear of headdress
Introduction. The wearing of headdress on different occasions reflects a combination of the cultural etiquette of formal Canadian society, military custom, and religious practices. As a guideline, the norms of formal etiquette should be followed. Further guidelines for common situations are given in the paragraphs that follow. These highlight the differences between those whose customs require removing headdress as a sign of respect, especially by cadets in religious circumstances, and those who cover the head as a sign of religious respect. Similar requests to retain headdress may also apply to cadets who choose not to have religious affiliation. In addition:
- special details for Indigenous peoples are contained in Para 11 of this section;
- special details for cadets of the Sikh faith are contained in Para 12 to 19 of this section;
- special details for cadets of the Muslim faith are contained in Para 20 to 23; and
- special details for cadets of the Jewish faith are contained in Para 24 to 25.
- Consecrated Buildings. All cadets shall observe the custom of the religious denomination concerned.
- Messes, Dining Halls and Canteens. Cadets entering any of these establishments shall remove headdress on entering the premises, except for those following religious practices.
- Parades. Headdress shall be removed, when so ordered, by all cadets on parade except for musicians, flag bearers and their close escorts, sentries in the vicinity and for those where it is indicated by their religious or spiritual practice (see Para 3.).
- For spiritual and religious reasons, cadets may wear a modified long sleeve shirt in lieu of a short sleeve (SS) shirt, and a modified ankle length Service Dress skirt. Oxford shoes shall be worn with the skirt in lieu of ankle boots. In certain orders of dress, cadets may wear a long sleeve shirt under their short sleeve (SS) shirt or t-shirt. The long sleeve shirt, Service Dress skirt, and oxford shoes may be ordered through the chain of command.
- Availability of religious covering by the CCO are based on the individual's specific need and requirement. Supply of these items shall be provided through the CAF supply system and are based on availability at the time of the request. These uniform items shall be worn IAW A-DH-265-000/AG-001 CFP 265 Canadian Forces Dress Instructions.
Religious covering (Sea Cadet)
Religious covering (Army Cadet)
Religious covering (Air Cadet)
Religious covering (Junior Canadian Ranger)
Figure 2-3-1 Religious Coverings (examples of Pentecostal and Muslim)
- The Métis Sash may be worn by Métis cadets during all ceremonial occasions or events, including but not limited to parades, mess dinners, award presentations, Indigenous events, or recruiting events. The Sash is not limited to an order of dress.
- The Métis Sash is to be worn as per Métis teachings as follows:
- round the waist, outside the tunic or jacket, tied on the left, with the sash ends falling off the left hip. The sash is worn under a ceremonial waist belt when worn; or
- over the right shoulder, falling off the left hip. The sash is worn under a ceremonial waist belt when worn.
- The Métis Sash is to be worn as per Métis teachings as follows:
Cadets of the Sikh faith
- Cadets who are adherents of the Sikh religion (Keshadharis) shall wear the cadet uniform and adhere to standard Cadet Program dress policy and instructions, with the following exceptions:
- Five symbolic requirements of the Sikh religion are authorized for wear (see para 15), with all orders of dress. Should a conflict arise between the requirements to wear safety or operational items of clothing and equipment and these religious symbols, the manner and location of wearing these symbols shall be adjusted. Training establishment COs retain the right to order the manner of this adjustment as necessary to meet safety and operational requirements.
- A turban may be worn by cadets with ceremonial, mess, and service dress. Turbans may also be worn with environmental training dress, subject to the safety considerations noted in sub-paragraph a., above.
- Except as otherwise provided, the turban worn by cadets and additional authorized headdress worn by cadets shall not be ordered to be removed, including the cap badge, while wearing their uniform. Similarly, when on duty wearing civilian clothing, a civilian turban and an appropriate civilian head covering shall not be ordered to be removed. Specifically, such headdress shall not be ordered to be removed:
- On parade;
- By a member of the bearer party at a funeral;
- When entering a consecrated building;
- When entering a mess, canteen, or dining room; and
- At formal or informal functions when the removal of headdress might otherwise be considered appropriate.
- Adherents of the Sikh religion may, subject to the provisions of Para 12, observe the following five symbolic requirements:
- Kesh – leave hair on the head, face, and body unshorn;
- Kanga – wear a comb;
- Kara – wear a bangle (bracelet);
- Kacha – wear under-drawers of a specific design; and
- Kirpan – wear a symbolic dagger with an overall length (including handle and sheath) not less than 11.5 cm (about 4-1/2 in) and not exceeding 19 cm (about 7-1/2 in).
- The colour of turbans worn by cadets shall be:
- Sea Cadets – white when Sailor’s caps are worn, or navy blue (black) when berets / ball caps are ordered worn;
- Army Cadets – rifle green or Canadian average green;
- Air Cadets – RCAF blue; and
- JCRs – rifle green or Canadian average green
- Crossed ribbons may be worn on the sea cadet, army cadet, air cadet or JCR turbans in accordance with elemental / regimental customs.
- Cadet units afflicated with MP units shall wear two 3 cm wide scarlet ribbons.
- The Patka / Pug / Fiftee shall be the same colour as the turban.
- Method of Wear. The following instructions are not intended to detail the method of styling and wearing hair on the head, of wearing the comb or of winding the turban. Instead, they provide sufficient direction to ensure uniformity of dress amongst Sikh cadets. Accordingly, symbols and associated badges shall be worn as follows:
- Turban (or Pug). Worn in a low, conventional Sikh manner, with the final winding right over left on the forehead. If ribbons are worn, their lower edge shall be 2 cm (3/4 in.) from the lowest edge of the turban at the sides of the head and crossed right over left at the centre of the forehead. The ribbons shall be secured on the turban by tucking their ends into the folds at the front and rear;
- Cap Badge. Worn centred on the front of the turban and on the crossing point of any ribbons. The cloth or metal badge shall be locally modified to provide a brooch fastener or clip to secure it to the cloth;
- Patka. A traditional Sikh cloth head-covering worn when a turban is not suitable, such as under helmets, or during sports or strenuous physical activity (see Figure 2-3-2);
- Fiftee. Instead of Patka or a Pug, a Fiftee is a small band of cloth that is visible on the forehead just under the Turban;
- Kesh (Hair). Cadets may wear their hair tied in a knot at the crown of the head, and shall secure the hair of the beard under the chin, presenting a close-to-face, groomed appearance or wear their hair styled in a bun at the rear of the head to facilitate the proper wearing of standard cadet headdress;
- Kanga (Comb). Worn concealed in the hair;
- Kara (Bangle or Bracelet). Worn on the right wrist; and
- Kirpan (Dagger). Shall remain sheathed, except for religious occasions and for cleaning purposes. The sheathed kirpan, worn under the outer shirt or jacket, shall be supported by a black cloth sling, slung from the right shoulder to the left side. Should the kirpan interfere with the wearing of uniform accoutrements or equipment, it may be slung from the left shoulder and worn on the right side
Turban with fiftee visible on the forehead just under the Turban.
Turban with ribbons, the lower edge 2 cm from the lowest edge of the turban at the sides of the head.
Figure 2-3-2 Sikh Accoutrements
Cadets of the Muslim faith
- For religious and / or spiritual consideration, cadets are authorized to wear the hijab, a long sleeve shirt in lieu of a short sleeve (SS) shirt in any order of dress, and a modified ankle length Service Dress skirt in lieu of the uniform pants (see figure 2-3-1). Hijabs must be worn in consideration of applicable safety standards and will not interfere with the wearing of protective equipment while participating in training activities. If necessary, cadets shall modify hairstyles, hijabs, or both to allow the proper wearing of these items.
- Method of wear:
- The hijab must be worn in a fashion to permit the correct wearing of head dress and any necessary safety equipment; and
- When the long sleeve shirt is worn, the hijab is worn over the collar but under the service dress jacket or sweater and the tie is not worn. When the long sleeve shirt is worn in lieu of the short sleeve shirt in 3B order of dress, the hijab will be worn under the collar and all accoutrements normally worn on the short shirt, including ribbons and Specialist Skill badges, will be worn. All buttons, with the exception of the top button to allow for the hijab to be tucked in, and fasteners will be closed. In this order of dress the hijab will be worn inside the shirt collar. The shirt will be worn outside the skirt or pants.
- Specific requirements for wearing of the hijab are as follows:
- The hijab must be versatile, comfortable, neat, breathable, and easy to remove. It must also provide the wearer with adequate protection against specific climate and environmental training condition;
- The hijab may be two pieces; and
- The hijab must adjust to fit the face of the wearer and it must allow for the proper wearing of headdress, and headgear. The hijab must also conform to the colours and uniformity of the uniforms worn in all environments.
- The colour of hijab shall be:
- Sea Cadets – white;
- Army Cadets – Canadian average green in Training Dress, Light Green in Ceremonial, Highland, and Service Orders of Dress and white in Mess Dress;
- Air Cadets – Canadian average green in Training Dress, RCAF blue in Ceremonial, Highland and Service Orders of Dress and white in Mess Dress; and
- JCRs – Canadian average green in all Orders of Dress.
Cadets of the Jewish faith
- For religious and / or spiritual consideration, cadets of the Jewish faith are authorized, when not wearing military headdress, to wear Canadian average green, or a navy blue (black) kippot with Training Orders of Dress, and to wear an authorized plain, unpatterned, unadorned, cloth kippot in accordance with elemental headdress materials and colours (white for sea cadets, green for army cadets, blue for air cadets, and green for JCRs) with Ceremonial and Mess Orders of Dress. Civilian kippot are not authorized for use while in uniform.
- The colour of kippot upon removal of headdress shall be:
- sea cadets – white when sailor’s caps are worn, or navy blue (black) when berets are worn;
- army cadets – dark green / rifle green in Ceremonial / Mess Dress;
- air cadets – RCAF blue in Ceremonial / Mess Dress;
- JCRs – dark green / rifle green;
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