Over the past decade we have noticed a rampant increase in the number of people who are wearing their orders, decorations and medals incorrectly. The cadre of people who flagrantly violate the official rules on how you are supposed to wear your medals ranges from the average veteran right up to current and former Governors General. Indeed, there is much evidence to suggest that the higher the rank of the individual the more likely they are to just wear whatever they want, however they want. We like to think of this as “Instant Dictator Syndrome” or self-aggrandizement at its most obvious.

Why do people wear their medals incorrectly? Often it is because they simply do not know any better. If you are one of these people you should consult WEARING ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS which is available from the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall. This guide will help you figure out how you are supposed to wear your officially granted orders, decorations and medals.

When it comes to wearing your medals incorrectly the worst offenders tend to be former Governors General, Lieutenant Governors and retired Generals. When these people – all in authority and all surrounded by staff who know better – wear their medals wrong they are obviously suffering from the dreaded Instant Dictator Syndrome. The attitude accompanied with this most severe condition is “the more medals I wear the more important I will look.”

This simple blog is aimed at revealing the myriad of fellow Canadians who cannot seem to wear their medals correctly.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why wear unofficial medals Colonel Ethell?

As noted in my post of November 16, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, His Honour, Colonel (ret) Donald Ethell has been spotted sporting two unofficial medals in his layered group of miniatures. Given that this retired officer has legitimately earned 17 medals (in his mini group) one has to wonder why he has resorted to puffing up his group with two Veterans Association ersatz medals that you purchase for $150.00+ from a company in Denmark. Even the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association website directs its members who purchase these souvenirs NOT to wear or mount them with their official medals. Quote;
“The Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association (CPVA) does not approve nor condemn the purchase and wearing of private commemorative medals and other insignia by its members. However, CPVA members should exercise good judgement regarding the sentimental value of these unofficial commemoratives versus the greater value of the official service decorations which they wear in public. These medals and devices are not recognized by the Government of Canada and are not listed in the official order of precedence. Members are hereby advised that such commemorative devices are to be worn over the right breast only and may not be juxtaposed with official service medals or affixed to the ribbons thereof. Members are further advised to consult the official website of the Governor-General of Canada.
It has been rumoured that Colonel Ethell is soon to be made an honorary Colonel in the CF. I wonder if there is an RSM out there who will be brave enough to confront Ethell on his host of errors in wearing Canadian orders, decorations and medals?

Several readers from Alberta have expressed the view that their Lieutenant Governor just doesn't care about the rules. I have no idea if this is the reality of the situation, however in the New Year the plan is to send this blog out to a few media outlets -- it seems that public attention to the total lack of respect for the regulations governing the wear of Canadian medals is the only tool we have to get this erstwhile Colonel/Lieutenant Governor to follow the rules... rules that he spent a highly successful career in the service of his country following. Sadly Ethell's knowledge and regard for what is proper (in terms of wearing medals) appears to have evaporated in civilian life.

1 comment:

  1. Keep on naming and shaming this strutting cock. Unfortunately, I no longer wear the big badges so it wont be me trying to sort him out... He'll continue to do as he pleases as he's not a member of the regiment that never passes a fault...