Dress instructions | Chapter 4 Orders, decorations, medals and other honours

POLICY

  1. Authorized honours (orders, decorations, medals, and the insignia for mentions-in-dispatches, commendations and citations) may be worn, when appropriate, by entitled personnel. Where doubt exists on entitlement, the Command concerned shall refer the matter to NDHQ/DH&R for clarification. No officer or non- commissioned member shall carry or wear an order, decoration or medal while engaged in operations against the enemy.
  2. Orders, decorations and medals may be worn with ceremonial and mess dress orders. See Chapter 2, Annex A, and Chapter 5. Guidance on selecting honours for wear should follow the principles in sub-sub-paragraphs 8.a. (1) and (2) and sub-paragraph 9.a.
  3. Undress ribbons and related insignia are worn on lesser dress orders as detailed in paragraph 12. and Chapter 5.
  4. Honours are not worn on military outerwear, such as topcoats (gabardines), parkas, and raincoats. These are worn over ceremonial dress tunics and jackets, which themselves bear the honours. (See paragraph 11 for comparative civilian protocol).
  5. Although honour insignia may be bequeathed or given to a relative or friend (for Canadian orders, with the concurrence of the Order), only  honours actually  awarded to the individual concerned may be worn, regardless of the occasion.
  6. The members have the option of choosing the means of having medals court mounted, e.g. getting the work done themselves and claiming reimbursement via a CF 52 General Allowance Claim or having the work done through base supply, who will action via LPO or whatever means provides the best economies.
    1. Members claiming via CF 52 will be limited to amount determined by local commanders in accordance with financial regulations;
    2. Miniature medals must be court-mounted at personal expense.

METHOD OF MOUNTING AND WEARING ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS

  1. General
    1. Order of Precedence. The insignia of Canadian, Commonwealth and foreign orders, decorations and medals shall be worn in order of precedence without interval, with the senior closest to the centre of the chest.
    2. Method of Wear. Medals should hang in one row so that they are fully visible. Should this not be possible, because of the number being worn, they shall be overlapped horizontally with the senior medal showing in full. Normally, six or more standard size medals and more than eight miniatures will require overlapping. The maximum width of the mounting is governed by the physique of the individual. The bar should not normally project beyond the outer edge of the lapel or the arm seam of the jacket.
    3. Court Mountings. Court mounting shall be used. The length from the top of the medal bar suspender to the bottom edge of the medal shall be 10 cm. The ribbons and medals shall be mounted on a panel, its size being determined by the number of ribbons worn. The lower edge of the panel shall be in line with the centre of the medals. Commencing from the lower edge, each ribbon runs up the front of the panel to the top and back down to the medal. The medals shall then be stitched to the panel to prevent them from swinging. This method prevents medals from clinking against each other.
    4. Undress Ribbons. Undress ribbons are worn as detailed in paragraphs 12 and 13. Undress ribbons shall not be visible when full size orders, decorations and medals are worn. Detachable ribbon bars should be used where necessary and appropriate and removed prior to affixing medals to the jacket.
    5. Broad Riband. The broad riband of the senior degrees of some Commonwealth and foreign orders is worn over the shoulder, with the bow from which the badge is suspended on the opposite hip; normally the right shoulder and left hip, although officers of the orders concerned will provide correct instructions. With ceremonial tunics and jackets, the broad riband passes under any shoulder strap or board. With mess dress or civilian evening attire, it is worn under the jacket and over a waistcoat, and over a gown for a woman’s civilian evening dress. Wear may be restricted to occasions in the presence of official representatives of the country to which the order belongs or during visits to or service in that country. Only one riband will be worn, normally the senior if the member possesses more than one. However, the occasion will guide the choice.
    6. Collars of Office. The wear of a collar of office of an order is limited to those official occasions of significance and import to the office and order. When a collar is worn, any broad riband or neck ribbon of that order is not. The collar does not include the badge or insignia of the order. The badge or insignia is worn suspended either from the collar of office, when it is worn, or from a ribbon, when the collar is not worn. Collars are worn under shoulder straps, hanging an equal distance back and front, with the badge suspended below the front centre.
    7. Stars of Orders. A maximum of four stars of orders may be worn on the left side of a tunic or jacket, or civilian evening dress (white tie) or equivalent woman’s civilian gown. Only one star may be worn with a civilian dinner jacket (black tie) or equivalent long or short gown:
      1. The first or only star is worn in line with the centre line of the breast pocket, and with the star’s upper point 2.5 cm below the lip of the pocket, below any medals, or in the corresponding position on garments without a breast pocket.
      2. If more than one star may be worn, a second star is placed directly below the first, 2.5 cm apart. A third is worn horizontally with the second, senior to the right, 2.5 cm apart, and both centred below the first. (If this position interferes with a broad riband, the first and second stars may be worn in a horizontal line, with the senior to the right, and the third star beneath.) A fourth star is worn below the second and third, in vertical line with the first.
      3. Canadian commendations are worn above foreign Stars of Orders.
  2. Ceremonial Dress (for wear of stars and broad ribands, see paragraph 7.).
    1. Neck Badges
      1. A maximum of two neck badges may be worn with service dress jackets, and three with high collared jackets. Since neck badges cannot be worn on the left breast with other orders, decorations and medals, those in excess of the maximum authorized shall not be worn.
      2. Members in possession of more than the maximum number of neck badges may select which ones to wear, normally, but not necessarily, the senior ones in order of precedence. The occasion will guide the choice.
      3. Neck badges shall be worn as illustrated in Figures 4-1 and 4-2. The ribbon of the sole or senior badge shall be worn under the shirt collar and the badge over the tie, immediately below the knot.
      4. A second neck badge shall be suspended by a ribbon passed through the appropriate button hole so that the medal is suspended under the button, overlying the seam. With navy blue jackets, the next senior badge shall be worn with a full size ribbon immediately below the senior badge, the lower part of the badge resting on the cross of the lapel of the jacket.
      5. Members wearing authorized high collared tunics and jackets shall wear the senior ribbon round the neck inside and under the collar, with sufficient ribbon emerging from immediately above the top closure button to position the top of the badge 2 cm below the collar. The second and third badges shall be suspended by ribbon, passed through the appropriate button hole so that the medal is suspended under the button, overlying the seam.
    2. Other Decorations and Medals (see Figures 4-1 and 4-2)
      1. Decorations and medals are worn court mounted, suspended from the left breast of the service dress jacket, immediately above and centred to conceal any undress ribbons.
      2. Bars and clasps shall be evenly spaced between the top and bottom ends of the ribbon, unless manufactured to grasp the hanger of the medal or a previous bar. In either case, where bars and clasps differ in design, the one first earned shall be nearest the medal.
      3. The numeral signifying United Nations/NATO tours shall be worn by members who have completed two or more qualifying tours with the same mission for which a numeral has been approved. The numeral for UN missions is silver in colour and bronze coloured for NATO missions. The numeral shall be centred on the appropriate ribbon of UN medals. On NATO medals the numeral shall be centred below the bar.
      4. If a mention-in-dispatches has been awarded during a campaign or conflict recognized with a separate medal, the insignia shall be worn centred on the medal ribbon and undress ribbon, or worn above and spaced evenly with any bars, numerals or similar devices on the medal ribbon (see also paragraph 15.).
  3. Mess Dress (see Figure 4-3 – for wear of stars and broad ribands, see paragraph 7.).
    1. Neck Badges
      1. Only one neck badge is worn. It should normally be the senior, however a junior or foreign badge may be worn if it is more appropriate to the occasion.
      2. The badge shall be full size and shall be worn hanging 2 cm below the bow tie and 2 cm below the bottom collar seam of the blouse. The badge shall be suspended by the neck ribbon of the order, preferably of miniature width.
      3. Miniature insignia of all the neck badges entitled to be worn, including the one worn round the neck, shall be worn with other miniature insignia on the left breast unless the insignia is one which is never worn in miniature, e.g., Order of Merit (British) and Order of the Companions of Honour (British).
    2. Other Decorations and Medals
      1. Navy Mess Dress. Miniature decorations and medals are worn centred on the left lapel, 1 cm below the horizontal edge of the lapel notch on the navy blue jacket and in a corresponding position on the lapel of the navy white jacket. They shall not extend beyond the lapel on the inner side, but, when necessary, may extend beyond the lapel towards the shoulder.
      2. Army, Air Force (and CAF Midnight Blue) Mess Dress. Miniature decorations and medals are worn on the left breast, centred between the seam of the sleeve and the edge of the lapel, 11.5 cm down from the shoulder seam, or 1.3 cm below a flying or specialist skill badge.
      3. Dimensions. Length from the top of the medal bar suspender to the bottom edge of the medals shall be a maximum of 5 cm. Regular size Arabic numerals for medals such as United Nations medals are worn centred on the miniature ribbon.
  4. Civilian Evening Dress (for wear of stars and broad ribbons, see paragraph 7.). Where decorations are appropriate for the occasion, the following shall apply to either evening dress or a dinner jacket, as applicable:
    1. Neck Badges
      1. Men. As described in paragraph 9.
      2. Women. Wear only one full size badge. It is worn on a bow and attached to the dress immediately above any miniatures being worn. In addition to the full size badge, a miniature shall also be included on a medal bar when other miniatures are being worn. If miniatures are not being worn, the full size badge shall be worn without a miniature, with the top of the bow centred on the left side of the dress, approximately 7.5 cm down from the shoulder seam.
    2. Miniatures
      1. Men. Wear miniatures on a narrow lapel jacket centred above the left breast pocket, with the bottom of the miniature 0.6 cm above the top of the pocket. On a wide lapel jacket, miniatures are worn centred on the left lapel, at approximately the same height above the pocket line as in the case of narrow lapels.
      2. Women. Wear miniatures suspended from a medal bar attached to the left side of the dress, approximately 13 cm down from the shoulder seam, where practicable. If in possession of only one such award, it may be worn on a bow.
  5. Civilian Morning Dress, Lounge Suits, Blazers, and Women’s Day Dresses
    1. Where decorations are appropriate for the occasion, such as investitures, Remembrance Day and other memorial services, and some formal parades, one neck badge and/or full sized medals are normally worn.
    2. As many as four stars of orders may be worn on a tailcoat, but only one on a director’s (short black) coat or an afternoon dress. Stars of orders are not worn on lounge suits or blazers.
    3. When lounge suits, blazers and equivalent women’s attire are worn in the evening in lieu of evening dress, it is quite acceptable to wear miniatures rather than full sized medals.
    4. Only those full-size insignia mounted on a medal bar may be worn on a civilian overcoat at outdoor functions. Neck badges are covered normally by outerwear. Stars of orders are not worn on overcoats.
    5. Included in the insignia of some orders and decorations is a lapel badge. This badge may be worn on the left lapel of a coat or jacket at any time when the full size or miniature insignia or the undress ribbons are not being worn. Women wear this badge in a similar position on a dress.
    6. When orders, decorations, and medals are worn, commendations and other authorized emblems shall not be obscured, and where necessary shall be repositioned lower, 2.6. cm from the bottom of the medals to the top edge of the senior commendation or emblem.

METHOD OF WEARING UNDRESS RIBBONS

(see Figure 4-4)

  1. General
    1. Undress ribbons of orders, decorations and medals may be sewn, but shall normally be placed on a detachable ribbon bar and pinned, on the left breast of the service dress jacket, and on Nos. 2B, 3B and 3D orders of dress. Ribbons shall be worn in order of precedence from right to left of the wearer, with the senior ribbon closest to the centre of the chest on the top or only row. Where a single ribbon constitutes a row, it shall be worn centred above a lower row, or when worn as a single ribbon, centred on the garment as detailed in paragraph 13.
    2. Ribbon rows shall not be worn more than 0.3 cm apart.
    3. The number of ribbons worn in a single row is governed by the physique of the individual and the type of garment being worn. The grouping, however, shall respect the following conditions:
      1. ribbons shall not be fully obscured by the lapel of the garment;
      2. a maximum of three ribbons may be worn in a single row on authorized service dress jackets;
      3. up to three ribbons may be worn in a single row on short-sleeved shirts;
      4. where three ribbons cannot be worn in a single row without one becoming fully obscured, ribbons shall be worn in two rows, with two ribbons on the bottom and the senior ribbon centred above;
      5. ribbons shall not be arranged in more rows than are necessary to comply with these instructions;
      6. where more than one row of ribbons is worn, no row shall contain fewer ribbons than the row above;
      7. when more than one row of ribbons is worn, a single ribbon shall not be worn as a lower row;
      8. succeeding rows shall, without fully obscuring any ribbon, be centred above the lower row;
      9. when there is such a significant number of ribbons that centering the two ribbons above or the single ribbon above a full row causes the ribbons to be obscured by the lapel, then the ribbons may be left justified as appropriate; and
      10. standard arrangements of ribbons by row(s) are illustrated in Figure 4-5.
    4. Where a device such as a miniature cross, an oak leaf, a rosette or maple leaf, or a tour numeral is appropriate for wear on an undress ribbon, it shall be centred on the ribbon. Where there is more than one, they shall be evenly spaced across the ribbon with the senior device on the wearer’s right.
  2. Detailed Instructions. Undress ribbons shall be positioned in rows, centred immediately above the left breast pocket of authorized jackets and shirts.

PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION OF THE UNITED STATES

  1. This emblem (see A-DH-200-000/AG-000 The Heritage Structure of the Canadian Armed Forces) shall be worn by authorized personnel on both sleeves of the service dress and mess dress jackets, centred 6.5 cm below the shoulder seam. The insignia shall also be worn on both sleeves of the No. 3B short-sleeved shirts of authorized personnel, centred 6.5 cm below the shoulder seam. If both the Presidential Citation NAVY and ARMY are worn, the NAVY goes below the ARMY.

MENTIONS-IN-DISPATCHES AND COMMENDATIONS

  1. Mention-in-Dispatches (MID). A bronze, single oak leaf emblem, normally worn on campaign ribbons (see sub-sub-paragraph 8.b. (4), above). If awarded under circumstances where no appropriate ribbon  is available, it is worn as noted below.
  2. Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air A bronze, single oak leaf emblem, available in three sizes. CAF recipients shall wear the medium size emblem.
  3. Other commendation Insignia
    1. Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation (CinC Commendation): The insignia will be worn for life by members of the unit or persons attached to the unit, on duty and directly involved in the action for which the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation has been awarded. The insignia shall be worn as per paragraph 18.
      1. Individuals posted to the unit after the award of the Commendation may only wear the insignia during their posting with the honoured unit. The CinC Commendation shall be worn on the right side flap pocket, centred between the buttons and the top of the pocket flap. Uniforms without flap pocket shall wear the CinC Commendation on the right side of the tunic centred 1.3 cm under the nametag. When the members leave the unit, they shall return the CinC Commendation to the unit quartermaster.
      2. Only members who were personally awarded the CinC Commendation and serving with a unit also awarded the commendation shall wear two CinC Commendations as per paragraph 18.d.
    2. Vice-regal Commendation. An insignia consisting of a bar enamelled in royal blue, edged gold, upon the centre of which is superimposed a disc, enamelled white, bearing three maples leaves conjoined on one stem, enamelled red, surrounded by a blue enamel border, all edged silver, surmounted by the Royal Crown in silver and enamel.
    3. Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation. A gold-plated insignia, consisting of a bar with a poppy enamelled red in its center, upon which is a gold maple leaf, the whole surmounted by the Royal Crown in gold and enamel.
    4. Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation. A gold plated, satin-finished insignia, consisting of a bar with three maple leaves, measuring 2 cm long by 0.5 wide.
    5. RCMP Commissioner's Commendation. An insignia consisting of a bar divided diagonally in two fields, the upper left field being enamelled yellow, the lower right field being enamelled dark blue, edged gold, upon the centre of which is superimposed a gold buffalo head.
    6. Command Commendation. A silver plated, satin-finished insignia, consisting of a bar with three maple leaves, measuring 2 cm long by 0.5 cm wide.
    7. RCMP Commander's Commendation. An insignia consisting of a bar divided diagonally in two fields, the upper left field being enamelled yellow, the lower right field being enamelled dark blue, edged silver, upon the centre of which is superimposed a silver buffalo head.
    8. Order of St. John Chancellor's Commendation. A gold-plated, frosted insignia, consisting of a bar with the badge of the Order of St. John, enamelled white, edged gold, superimposed in its center.
    9. Order of St. John Provincial/Territorial Commendation. A silver-plated, frosted insignia, consisting of a bar with the badge of the Order of St. John, enamelled white, edged silver, superimposed in its center.
    10. Royal Australian Air-force Meritorious Unit Citation. A gilt sterling-silver frame, with a design of flames emanating from the edge of the center. The frame surrounds a ribbon bar of old gold, which displays rhodium-silver frame, sterling Federation Star on its center.
  4. MID and Commendation Insignia – Method of Wear
    1. Men
      1. Worn horizontal and centred on the left breast pocket of high collar and service dress jackets half way between the bottom of the pocket flap and the bottom of the pocket. On the navy blue service dress jacket, the emblem shall be worn similarly, 11.5 cm down from the pocket opening. The stem of the oak leaf on the MID and the Queen’s Commendation shall point to wearer’s right.
      2. Worn on the mess dress jacket with the top edge of the insignia horizontally positioned and centred 1.3 cm below any badge or medals. If only a commendation is worn, army and air force personnel shall wear the insignia 10 cm from the left shoulder seam to the top horizontal edge of the insignia and centred between the edge of the lapel and the sleeve. Navy personnel shall wear the commendation alone centred on the lapel of the navy blue mess dress jacket, 1.3 cm below the horizontal edge of the lapel notch, and in a corresponding position on the left lapel of the white mess dress jacket.
      3. Worn on the left breast of the full dress tunic or doublet in same relative position as for No. 1 order of dress, with the top edge of the insignia horizontally positioned and centred 1.3 cm below any, badge or medals.
      4. Commendations shall be worn on the short-sleeve shirt in a similar location to that on the service dress jacket.
      5. Royal Australian Air-force Meritorious Unit Citation to be worn 0.6cm centered above the name tag on service dress jacket and short sleeve shirt. To be worn on the right breast in line with the top of the medals on the mess dress jacket.
    2. Women. As for men on jackets. Otherwise:
      1. On the female mess dress jacket, and on full dress tunics and doublets,the positioning of the insignia is identical to the description for male mess dress (sub-sub-paragraph 18.a.(2)) and full dress (sub-sub-paragraph 18.a.(3)).
      2. On the short-sleeve shirt, the insignia is worn above the button, centred between the button and the top of the pocket flap.
    3. Multiple Commendations. If more than one insignia (Mention-in-Dispatches, where no ribbon is authorized, Queen’s Commendation, Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation,  Vice-regal Commendation, Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation, Chief of the Defence Staff Commendation, RCMP Commissioner’s Commendation, Command Commendation, RCMP Commander’s Commendation, Order of St. John Chancellor’s Commendation, Order of St. John Provincial/Teritorial Commendation, secondary miniature metal flying and specialist skill badge, and Letson Trophy or Clarence R. Smith Championship Badge) is authorized to be worn, the precedence shall be in that order and shall be positioned as follows:
      1. Two Emblems. The senior emblem shall be worn as described above, and the second spaced 2.6 cm below the first on men’s jackets and short-sleeve shirts, and 1.3 cm below on women’s jackets. On the women’s short-sleeve shirt, both insignias shall be worn above the button, centred between the button and the top of the pocket flap. They must be positioned side by side, in order of seniority, and spaced 1 cm.
      2. Three or More Emblems. On Army and Air Force service dress jackets and men’s short-sleeved shirts, the emblems shall be spaced evenly beginning 3 cm below the bottom of the pocket flap and ending at a point 15 cm below the top of the pocket flap. On Navy jackets, the emblems shall be spaced evenly beginning 9 cm from the pocket opening and ending at a point 15 cm below the pocket opening. To be positioned in the same relative position on mess or full dress. On women’s short-sleeve shirts, the insignia shall be worn above the button, centered between the button and the pocket flap, side by side, in order of seniority, and spaced 1 cm apart. Members may not be able to fit all emblems earned onto their jackets or shirts and shall wear the emblems as per the precedence in Para 18. c.
    4. Multiple Commander in Chief Unit Commendations.
      1. For members awarded the CinC Unit Commendations, they shall wear two (2) or more (if awarded) emblems on the left pocket.
      2. Members serving with the unit shall only wear one (1) on the right pocket flap or same relative position on the mess dress or full dress tunic.
      3. Members awarded the CinC Commendation and serving within a unit awarded the CinC Commendation, shall wear two emblems (one on the left pocket, and one on right pocket flap) or same relative position on mess dress or full dress tunic.
    5. Orders, Decorations and Medals. When orders, decorations and medals are worn, commendations and other authorized emblems shall not be obscured, and where necessary the senior most emblem shall be repositioned lower.

THE MEMORIAL CROSS

  1. A member of the Canadian Armed Forces who is the legal recipient of the Memorial Cross may wear the Memorial Cross on the service dress jacket with Nos. 1, 1A, and 3 orders of dress. The Cross is worn 2 cm above the left breast pocket, or 2 cm above any ribbons, medals or specialist badge the person may be entitled to wear. The Cross may have to be offset in order to not be obscured by the lapel of the jacket. (see Figure 4-6)

Figure 4-1 Medthod of Wear for Honours on Ceremonial Dress

Figure 4-2 Method of Wear for Honours on Ceremonial Dress

Figure 4-3 Method of Wear for Honours on Mess Dress

Figure 4-4 Method of Wear of Undress Ribbons on Service Dress Jackets and Short Sleeved Orders

Figure 4-5 Arrangement of Undress Ribbon Rows

Figure 4-6 Memorial cross

Figure 4-7 Method of Wear for Honours on Canadian Rangers Distinctive Uniform

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