Monday, April 9, 2007

Who needs camouflage in Ottawa?

What ever happened to dress uniforms at National Defence Headquarters? It seems that over the past few years more and more of our Ottawa-based military feel that camouflaged combat gear is appropriate for daily wear in the capital.

Having spent a few years in operational units, I fully appreciate the value of combat clothing for people who are out in the field doing the things the Canadian Forces does best. However that is not the case here where the only fighting that gets done is with the Ottawa traffic on the daily commute or with the vast military bureaucracy. And frankly, seeing all those out-of-shape officers and NCOs (there are no enlisted men or women at NDHQ it seems) strutting around the city in full camouflage not only looks ludicrous, it also, I think, brings the entire force into disrepute – let’s face it, most people look like unkempt slobs in combat uniforms. Consider this: How much respect would you have for the authority of the Ottawa Police if they patrolled the city in sweat suits?

So General Hillier, put the combat clothing back where it belongs – in the field as operational wear – and restore a sense of respectability to National Defence Headquarters.