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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Honourable Don Ethell, Canada's Colonel Blimp OFFENDER OF THE MONTH!

Too many neck decorations! Where is this man's neck tie?
The late stages of Instant Dictator Syndrom.

Like many I was overjoyed to see that His Honour, Don Ethell Lieutenant Governor of Alberta finally got his miniature medals correctly mounted and has abandoned the layering of miniatures – and it would appear he has also abandoned wearing of medals you purchase and do not earn. Wonderful work.

Sadly he continues to wear his medals incorrectly on every occasion. Here he is during the recent Speech from the Throne.
What is wrong with this photo? 1) you are not allowed to wear miniatures during the day; 2) you are not allowed to wear two neck decorations at a time in civilian attire; 3) you are not supposed to wear your Order of St. John breast star so high; 4) since when is it appropriate to forego the wearing of a neck tie when reading a Speech from the Throne? The lack of a tie is certainly a first for a male Lieutenant Governor in a morning suit. Neck decorations do not replace neck wear! Maybe His Honour could adopt wearing a Vice-Regal Muumuu, there are no rules governing the wearing of medals on a Muumuu, so he could get around the rules with such a loophole.

All those standing are wearing their medals correctly.
The fellow in the middle, the one without a neck tie, he is wearing everything incorrectly.
As demonstrated in this next photo current members of the CF, RCMP and municipal police seem to have no problem wearing their medals correctly. Too bad none of these brass hats are able to advise the erstwhile Lieutenant Governor on his myriad of deportment errors. Clearly Lieutenant Governor Ethell is suffering from the most severe case of Instant Dictator Syndrome since Major General Richard Rohmer was given up as a terminal IDS sufferer.

So the joke of Lieutenant Governor Ethell's "do whatever I want" attitude towards orders, decorations and medals continues. How very sad that after a distinguished career of upholding the customs and traditions of the Canadian Forces, an otherwise outstanding soldier now feels it necessary to ignore the rules related to wearing his well earned decorations.

To loyal readers, many apologies for not posting anything recently. I have been away on a few courses and unable to devote much time to this site. Keep on sending those pictures!