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.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Chief Ron Gignac, Belleville Police Service and the wearing of "extra medals"

As we have noted in a number of posts over the years, police officers, especially Commissioners, Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs are often guilty of breaking the rules when it comes to wearing Canadian Orders, Decorations and Medals. Yes some of the people who oversee the enforcement of the law of the land seem to feel they are not subject to the same medal wearing regulations that the rest of the population is supposed to follow. 

Sadly the more gold you add to some uniforms the more likely the wearer is to come down with a serious case of the dreaded "Instant Dictator Syndrome" whereby they take the liberty of enhancing their group of medals by adding in unauthorized gongs -- be it foreign, provincial or municipal. What it all comes down to is these people wanting to look even more important  than they really are. All of these people know better, or have people on their staff who know better, but they trudge ahead through life with a few extra ribbons -- just for that added touch of colour on their uniform! The former Commissioner of the RCMP, Bob Paulson spent his entire time at the top of the RCMP wearing a totally unauthorized medal, the British Columbia Police Meritorious Service Medal, so this is not a problem suffered by municipal and provincial protective services alone. If the Commissioner of the RCMP can wear a medal without lawful authority then can't anyone do the same? 

So that brings us to the subject of this particular post, Chief Ron Gignac, Chief of Police for Belleville Ontario. By all online accounts a rather upstanding fellow, who served in the first Gulf War and with the UN deactivating mines and then training people how to undertake this rather hazardous task. He proudly wears his undress ribbons and medals; sadly, 3 of the 8 ribbons he wears (or 38% of his medals) are unauthorized -- and all three duplicate his service in the Gulf War -- so unlike all the other Canadians who served in the Gulf & Kuwait who received the Gulf and Kuwait Medal (a single medal), Chief Gignac has an additional three medals for the same service! Four for the price of one -- this is quite honestly a new record for enhancing medal group. 

Chief Ron Gignac, wearer of unauthorized medals;
four for the price of one!
So the first two rows of Chief Gignac's ribbons are totally legitimate; Gulf & Kuwait Medal, Canadian Peacekeeping Medal, UN Medal for Cyprus, UN Medal for Iraq and the Canadian Forces Decoration. These five are all approved and well recognized. 

Then we get into the magical land of unauthorized foreign medals. The first appears to be the United States South West Asia Service Medal, followed by the Saudi Arabia Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait and lastly the Kuwait  Medal for the Liberation of Kuwait. Given that Canada does now allow doubling up on medals for the same campaign, and the fact that NO person serving the Canadian Armed Forces was ever authorized to wear these last three medals (just check the Canada Gazette) how did Chief Gigac get permission? His name appears nowhere in the Canada Gazette or a new book out by DND related to Canadian Armed Forces Personnel who have been awarded foreign medals. We encourage Chief Gignac to just remove the last three ribbons, it would be the honourable and proper thing to do. Not even Chiefs of Police are permitted to violate a Federal Order-in-Council. 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Just for my education, can you post the links to the relevant (current) regulations as they apply to civilians and as well to military members?

  4. Never mind, i iound them.
    Now, I wonder if you tried tocontact him directly before posting?

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