Dress instructions | Chapter 5 Orders of dress Section 1 General

Table of contents

Alternate format

(Temporarily unavailable)


  1. This chapter describes orders of dress – less full dress and undress, see Chapter 6 – and their detailed composition, and provides instructions for wearing uniform items. See also chapters 2 and 3, the detailed descriptions found in CAF Scales of Issue, and sealed patterns held by NDHQ/DSSPM (as noted in Chapter 2, Section 1, paragraph 27.).


  1. General. The headdress worn shall correspond to the details in Annexes A to D, the special instructions for Sikhs in Chapter 2, and the environmental policies in paragraphs 3. to 6. below, except when a member is posted to duty with the forces of the following international organizations:
    1. the United Nations (UN) – members of UN forces shall wear the authorized UN blue headdress; and
    2. the Multi-national Force and Observers (MFO) – members of this force shall wear the authorized MFO orange headdress;
    3. badges will not be worn on toques or Yukon caps. This applies to toques of all environments.
    4. headdress will not be worn with orders of mess dress. This applies to all environments.
  2. Navy Uniforms
    1. Except as noted in sub-paragraph 2b. Navy personnel shall wear the following headdress:
      1. Ceremonial and service dress – cap/hat service dress, toque, Yukon cap, or turban;
      2. No. 5D (tropical shipboard) orders – as above and beret; and
      3. operational dress (other than No. 5D) – beret, turban, or other headdress suitable for wear on operations.
    2. Members of a submarine’s company may wear the beret with all orders of dress as required, when deployed away from their home port or when moving to and from their boat on the day of departure or return from deployment.
    3. Navy military police shall wear a scarlet band/ribbon on their cap/hat/turban service dress and a scarlet cloth backing to their cap badges on the beret in accordance with Chapter 7.
    4. The beret may be worn as an optional headdress with the following Navy order of dress: Nos. 3A, 3B (with black trousers/ pants/skirt) and 3C. The service dress CAP/HAT shall be the only authorized headdress to be worn with No. 3 and 3B (summer whites) orders of dress.
  3. Army Uniforms
    1. Armour Personnel and Units. The black beret or turban shall be worn with all orders of dress, less orders of mess dress, by Armour Corps personnel and by non-Armour Corps personnel wearing the Army uniform who are on the posted strength of an armoured unit, except when precluded by operational or safety requirements (see full dress and undress (patrol dress), Chapter 6).
    2. Regiments of Foot Guards. Customary, approved, guards-pattern undress forage caps (see Chapter 6, sub-sub-paragraph 16.f.(3)) are authorized for wear as optional items by all ranks of these regiments with ceremonial and service dress, in lieu of other authorized headdress.
    3. Rifle Regiments. Customary approved pattern undress field service (wedge) caps (see Chapter 6, sub- sub-paragraph 16.f.(4)) are authorized for wear as optional items by all ranks of rifle regiments with ceremonial and service dress, in lieu of other authorized headdress.
    4. Kilted Regiments.See paragraphs 7. to 13. that follow.
    5. Paratroop Personnel and Airborne Units. The maroon beret or turban shall be worn with all orders of dress, less orders of mess dress, by qualified parachutists wearing the Army uniform, when on the posted strength of an airborne unit, designated airborne sub-unit or element, and the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Centre. The maroon beret or turban is further authorized for wear by qualified parachutists wearing the Army uniform when on staff, exchange, or liaison duties, and, while so employed, in receipt of paratroop allowance.
    6. Military Police Personnel. Only Army members of the Military Police Branch shall wear the scarlet beret (or turban) with all orders of dress which authorize the wearing of a beret, except when a different headdress is ordered to suit the circumstances of duty or weather. See Chapter 7.
    7. CanadianRangers (CR). See paragraphs 14 to 17 that follow.
    8. Others
      1. The rifle green beret or turban shall be worn with all orders of dress other than mess dress, full dress and patrol dress, except when personnel are authorized to wear a beret or turban of a different colour or when precluded by operational or safety requirements.
      2. General officers and CWOs in senior appointments who serve alongside a General or Flag officer may wear the service dress cap as an alternative wear/optional dress item with No. 1 and No. 1A order of dress.  With the following exceptions the service dress cap shall include a scarlet melton band:
        1. Medical branch General officers –  dull cherry band;
        2. Dental branch General officers –  emerald green band;
        3. Chaplain branch General officers – purple band;
        4. Applicable CWOs – rifle green band (no peak embellishment).
      3. Fusilier  plumes  and  hackles,  and  patches,  may  be  worn  on  undress  headdress  (berets  and balmorals) by those so authorized. See Chapter 6.
  4. Air Force Uniforms
    1. Air Force personnel shall wear the following headdress:
      1. ceremonial dress – wedge cap, toque, Yukon cap, or turban;
      2. service dress – as above and beret;
      3. operational dress:
        1. Flying clothing– wedge cap, beret, toque, or turban; and
        2. CADPAT – beret, toque, or turban.
  5. SpecialOperations Forces
    1. All members of Canadian Special Operations Forces shall wear a tan beret or turban with operational orders of dress.
    2. Navy members shall wear a tan ribbon on the peaked cap with 1 and 3 orders of dress.
    3. Army members shall wear a tan beret or turban with all orders of dress, less orders of mess dress.
    4. Air force members are not permitted to wear a beret with No. 1 and No. 1 A orders of dress.


  1. Kilted orders of dress are authorized variations of ceremonial, mess and service dress, and are approved for wear by members of Scottish and kilted Irish units. Outside of Scottish or kilted Irish units, kilted orders of ceremonial and service dress may be approved for wear by pipers and drummers in authorized pipe bands while performing. See Section 2, paragraph 18.
  2. In infantry units, kilted orders may either be worn by all unit members or only those who belong to the Infantry Corps, depending on regimental policy as determined by precedent or by the commanding officer in consultation with the regimental senate. A precedent of wear by all unit members has been set when any non- infantry member of the unit or attached to the unit has been authorized to wear kilted order of dress. The privilege, once granted, shall not be rescinded. In units where kilted orders have never been worn by non- Infantry Corps personnel, the commanding officer may maintain that practice.
  3. CIC Officers of Army and Air environments employed in a dedicated Pipes and Drums instructor or supervisor position, with the approval of Comd CJCR, may be authorized kilted orders of dress. Army element officers shall wear Maple Leaf tartan and Air element officers shall wear RCAF tartan.
  4. Kilted dress orders  shall include the following items, either provided or subsidized financially (see paragraph 11.) by the public for all except voluntary bands:
    1. kilt, approved tartan;
    2. balmoral, glengarry, or caubeen;
    3. hose, cable stitched;
    4. jacket, service dress, doublet (cut-away pattern);
    5. sporran; leather;
    6. shirt;
    7. necktie; and
    8. shoes, black.
  5. The doublet pattern service dress jacket shall be the standard service dress jacket modified locally to the approved design (see Figure 5-1-1).
  6. Grants– Reserve Force. Grants are available to assist Scottish and kilted Irish units – currently all in the Reserve Force (Army Reserve) – in the provision and annual maintenance of kilted orders of dress. See paragraph 9. and QR&O 210.346.
    1. Limits.Grants cannot be obtained for kilted orders of band dress where the band uniform grant payable under QR&O 210.345 is claimed (see also A-PD-202-001/FP-000, Canadian Armed Forces Military Bands and Marches – Volume 1: Band Instructions) or when kilted orders of dress are otherwise provided and maintained at public expense.
    2. GrantTimings. Grants may be claimed at the following times:
      1. An initial purchase grant – when the unit is established;
      2. A supplementary purchase grant – on 30 June and 31 December, if warranted because of increases to unit strength since the date of the last claim for an initial or supplementary purchase grant, as applicable; and
      3. A maintenance grant – annually, after 31 August.
    3. Procedures. The commanding officer shall prepare a form CF-52, General Allowance Claim, in duplicate, showing:
      1. for an initial purchase grant – the authorized and actual strengths of the unit as at the date of the claim;
      2. for a supplementary purchase grant – the authorized and actual strengths of the unit as at 30 June or 31 December, as applicable, and the actual strength on which the last previous claim was based; and
      3. for an annual maintenance grant:
        1. the period covered,
        2. the authorized and actual strengths of the unit as at 31 August,
        3. the number of kilts, sporrans, hose and balmorals accounted for as public property prior to the period covered by the claim, and
        4. the number of kilts, sporrans, hose and balmorals purchased, with relevant dates or purchase, during the period covered by the claim; and


The amount of maintenance grant payable in respect of kilted orders of dress purchased from an initial or supplementary  purchase grant during the year shall be one-twelfth of the annual maintenance grant for each full month from date of delivery.

    1. sign and pass the original and one copy of the claim to the accounting officer for action in accordance with A-FN-100-002/AG-004, Financial Administration Manual, Chapter 61.
  1. Accounting for Grants. Grants shall be accounted for through the financial records of the Unit Fund in accordance with instructions issued by NDHQ in the NPF Accounting Manual.
  2. Accounting for Kilted Clothing Items. Kilts, sporrans, hose and balmorals purchased from grants shall be accounted for as public property in accordance with A-LM-007-100/AG-001, Supply Administration Manual.
  3. After the Official Change in Status of a Unit. Subsequent to the official notification of a change in status of a unit, i.e., disbandment, reduction to nil strength, etc, no further commitment or liability of the grant for kilted orders of dress shall be incurred except that, where the commanding officer considers it necessary to the continued operation of the unit, a commitment or liability during the period up to the effective date of the change in status may be authorized by the Division commander. Expenditures from a grant for kilted orders of dress in respect of a commitment or liability incurred prior to the date of official notification of change in status may be made in the normal manner.
  4. Unexpended Grants on Disbandment. Where a unit is disbanded or reduced to nil strength, any unexpended balance of the initial or supplementary purchase grant or the annual maintenance grant shall be refunded to the Receiver General for Canada.
  1. Authorized Optional Items. The following list indicates in general terms optional items which may be worn by members of Scottish and kilted Irish regiments and pipers in authorized pipe bands, in accordance with regimental custom, and as ordered by the commanding officer. Units shall obtain approval for the adoption and design of each optional item as noted in Chapter 2, Section 1, paragraphs 24. to 26. Full dress and undress items are noted in Chapter 6. Other authorized optional items are:
    1. balmoral or glengarry (for Scottish regiments);
    2. caubeen (for Irish regiments);
    3. necktie (regimental pattern);
    4. kilt pins;
    5. trews;
    6. dress sporrans;
    7. garter flashes;
    8. skean dhus (inserted in the top of the hose on the right leg);
    9. claymore;
    10. dirk (regimental pattern, worn at the waist on the right side);
    11. hose;
    12. spats;
    13. brogues (officers, CWOs, and MWOs only); and
    14. pipers waist and shoulder (sword) belts of approved regimental pattern.


  1. The following paragraphs provide direction for Canadian Rangers (CR) on authorized variations of ceremonial, mess and service orders of dress; they do not provide direction on operational/field dress. See CR orders of dress Annex F.
  2. The CR uniform/orders of dress are a blend of authorized CR red items, CADPAT T/W and Army/CAF items:
    1. CR Authorized Items:
      1. Ball-cap: red with embroidered CR badge;
      2. Sweatshirt: red hooded, with CR badge on front, rank tab centered above badge and Velcro removable Canadian Flag on left shoulder;
      3. T-shirt: red CR badge on left chest and CAF flag on left sleeve;
      4. CADPAT T/W pants;
      5. CAF black belt;
      6. Black WW boot;
    2. Authorized Cold Weather Items:
      1. Red fleece toque;
      2. Red ICE jacket;
      3. Red fleece top or olive green thermal underwear top zipped up to neck are authorized as an undergarment only;
      4. CADPAT T/W wind pants; and
      5. Black/OG gauntlet gloves/glove CW.
  3. Rank:
    1. CR Rank is to be worn on CADPAT epaulets with CRPG legend on the Sweatshirt and Red ICE jacket.
  4. Honours, decorations and medals:
    1. Authorized for wear on the Sweatshirt in No. 1 and No.2 orders of dress.
    2. To be displayed on the left breast, see Annex F.


  1. Orders of dress and their composition are detailed in the following annexes:
  2. The occasions for wearing each order are in Chapter 2, Annex A.
  3. Authorized occupational dress is detailed in Chapter 7.


Figure 5-1-1 Kilted Dress – Jacket Modification

Page details

Date modified: