The Canadian military will review its badges, uniforms, flags and associated ceremonial activities to ensure they are welcoming to women, visible minorities, the disabled, indigenous people and members of the gay and transgender communities.
The move is part of the Canadian Armed Forces Diversity Strategy approved last May by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance.
It is now up to the Canadian Forces to figure out how to move ahead with Vance’s strategy, and in January of this year the military produced a diversity strategy action plan, which was forwarded to the Ottawa Citizen by sources inside National Defence headquarters.
The action plan focuses on Designated Group Members, which the Canadian Forces defines as women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. Also included in the strategy is the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning and 2-Spirited) community. The plan includes a detailed list of initiatives the Forces can take to accommodate those members, among them:
• “Review current dress, badges, flags, music, lineages, affiliations, drill and ceremonial, etc. and ensure these customs complement and expand towards a more diverse and inclusive national military institution (Allow dress appropriate to one’s gender identity.)”
• “Consider family circumstances when posting CAF members, including if possible, geographic proximity to family for cultural reasons, when requested.”
• “Dedicate a room at the workplace where CAF members feel encouraged and not at risk to practice their religion.”
• “Develop policy and guidelines to address the spiritual needs of Indigenous CAF Members.”
Canadian military to review uniforms, badges, ceremonies to ensure it is welcoming to women, minorities | National Post