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, December 5, 2019

Governor General Payette Doesn't Care About the Rules... or the Canadian Armed Forces

It is unfortunate that our Commander-in-Chief thinks that the lowly Canadian Forces Decoration (the C.D.), which rank and file members of the Canadian Armed Forces earn and wear with pride, is not worthy of being worn for an important national event like the Speech from the Throne. Does Her Excellency not like the red and white ribbon in the colour of our national flag or the gold coloured multi-sided disc? Why has the poor C.D., been relegated to a sock drawer at Rideau Hall for today's ceremony? 
The Canadian Forces Decoration
Good enough for members of the Canadian Armed Forces
but not good enough for
Julie Payette, CC, CMM, COM, CQ, CD.

In advance of today's event in Ottawa we received more than thirty emails speculating on just what newfangled manner Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, would find to wear her gongs... well she has opted for a rather lazy approach, one that is disrespectful to members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Her Excellency has adopted the "jewellery method" of wearing medals. The Jewellery Method demands that you simply "wear whatever looks nice," as opposed to following the rules so clearly defined by the Office of the Governor General.

Governor General Payette & her first speech from the throne,
medals all wrong again. It's clear she just doesn't care about the rules. 
For today's event, December 5, we see the Governor General wearing the insignia of Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.) and Chevalier of the Ordre National du Quebec (C.Q), ... but what about her actual group of medals, with the 2012 Jubilee Medal and Canadian Forces Decoration? Obviously a provincial honour is more important to our Commander-in-Chief than serving as the head of the Canadian Armed Forces. Had she simply worn her medal group all would have been fine. She just needed to put her medal group where she has her Ordre of Quebec bow. The ultimate offence is that she places more importance on her C.Q., than she does on displaying her role as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. 

Exceedingly rare photo!Governor General Payette in a rare moment of
almost following the rules.

As readers, and anyone in the CAF will know, the Canadian Forces Decoration (C.D.) is awarded to members of the Canadian Armed Forces after 12 years of service (12 years of undetected crime as it is often put jokingly). The Governor General gets this medal when they are appointed as Governor General to signify that they also serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. 

To the right above we have an exceedingly rare photo showing Governor General Payette wearing her medals ALMOST correctly. She just needed to shorten her Order of Canada ribbon and all would have been fine (or put her C.C. on a bow). Is it really too much someone who gets two free houses, staff, travel and more than $300,000 a year to follow the rules that her office is suppose to uphold and regulate? 

Despite this snub to the CAF it could have been worse. The Governor General could have decided to wear  her NASA Medals! 

Surprisingly few Remembrance Day 2019 offences reported, so no posting was required this year.


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  2. I would like to believe that Her Excellency the Governor General might have been instructed by the Right Honourable the Prime Minister to signal out the province of Québec more, by wearing her insignia of a knight of the National Order of Québec on a bow. Seeing that Her Excellency was wearing her full medal bar as early as yesterday, I would have a hard time to believe that she would have purposefully removed her insignia, and remount it on a bow, just to "snub" her other honours.

    At least, I am trying to find a positive way to explain this situation.

  3. Is the C.Q. really a provincial honour, though? Quite sure Quebeckers would tell you that it's a 'national' honour... after all, it's called the "L'Ordre National Du Quebec" here: . Just sayin'