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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Peter C. Newman, CC, CD, RCN

Here we have Captain Peter C. Newman, CC, CD, RCN (ret'd), a venerable old sort who seems to need a bit of direction on how to wear his Order of Canada. Newman spent a good number of years in the RCN rising from service as a rating to being a four ringer. Unfortunately no one has bothered to inform Mr. Newman that when in mess dress he is required to wear his CC insignia from a miniature width ribbon. Sadly the internet is littered with photos of him wearing his CC in the Adrienne Clarkson "Olympic medal style" (see the very post ever made to this blog for a full description).
Peter C. Newman wearing his CC in the Clarkson Olympic Medal style
Disturbingly Newman has committed a more serious offence in the wearing of no less than FIVE unofficial medals -- in violation of Order-in-Council 591-1998. The first medal is the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada's Medal of Merit, the other insignia are all of unknown origins (if you recognize some of them please write and let us know). The last one appears to be one of the Japanese Red Cross Medals with rosette. There is really no need to suffer from Instant Dictator Syndrome when you have a CC and such a distinguished career to back you up.

Newman again wearing his CC incorrectly,
along with a bevy of unofficial honours on his miniature medal bar.
The poor Governor General has to smile no matter how poorly turned out a person is. 
Help us identify the mystery medals… is the last one really the Nigeria Independence Medal?
Is the one beside it the Japanese Red Cross Medal? 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Following the CD, I believe the 2nd medal may be the Knight Commander of the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem (awarded in 1983), the 3rd may be the Order of Malta or possibly the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem...?

  3. And what is up with that crimson cummerbund he is wearing with naval mess dress? Yikes!