By Popular Demand: Orders of Dress

Many readers of eVeritas have requested a guide to the modern cadet orders of dress, after all, there have been a lot changes over the years. So, as requested here is a quick reference guide courtesy of 26497 NCdt (III)Matthew Noonan.

Ceremonial/Dress Uniform

Scarlet Tunic – Worn by all cadets during ceremonial occasions in place of Distinctive Environmental Uniform (DEU) 1A dress. Not worn in wet weather. Worn with proficiency badges, medals and accoutrements when applicable. Headdress: Pith Helmet, Pill Box, Glengarry (Band/Highland Dance), Wolseley Helmet (Brass and Reed), Feather Bonnet (Pipes and Drums), Astrakhan (winter).

Scarlet Tunic Pipes and Drums – Consists of scarlet tunic, with feather bonnet, kilt, hackle, sporran, skean dhu dirk, hose tops and oxfords. Worn during ceremonial occasions. Scarlet tunic can be replaced with blue tunic in wet weather.


#4/Blue Tunic – Worn by all cadets during ceremonial undress occasions. Worn during wet weather in place of scarlet tunic. Worn with proficiency badges, medals and accoutrements when applicable. Headdress: #4 Blue Wedge (undress), Pith Helmet, Pill Box, Glengarry (Band/Highland Dance), Wolseley Helmet (Brass and Reed), Feather Bonnet (Pipes and Drums), Astrakhan (winter).

Dress of the Day (Undress)

#5 Uniform – Consists of a white shirt and black pants with red piping on the outer seem. #5’s may be worn with a black jacket or with a black sweater depending on the weather. Worn as dress of the day during regular duty hours and class. Worn with proficiency badges, medals and accoutrements when applicable. Headdress: #5 Wedge (Black with Red Piping), Glengarry (Band/Highland Dance).

Combats/Naval Combat Dress (NCDs) – Combats and NCDs are worn by cadets on the following occasions. Military training, practical classroom labs, during duty weekends as instructed and by the First Aid Response and Security teams during events. Combat dress for the Army and Air Force consists of standard issue digital camouflage with elemental t-shirt and beret. NCDs consist of a blue long sleeved shirt, black pants and steel toed boots worn with beret or naval ball cap is applicable.

Distinctive Elemental Uniforms (DEUs) – DEUs may be worn in place of RMCC uniforms provided the order of dress worn matches the order of dress for the RMCC uniform specified. However, RMCC uniforms are given preference and are to be worn if available unless otherwise specified. DEU uniforms are the same as those worn by other members of the Canadian Armed Forces with OCdt/NCdt rank insignia.


Proficiency Badges – worn on the sleeves of the scarlet and blue dress tunic. Proficiency pins such as ships team diver, jump wings and pilot wings may be worn on #5s as well as the scarlet and blue dress tunics.

Sashes and Bars – Sashes are bars are worn by senior cadets throughout the college in the following manner.

Bars: worn on shoulders flashes for #5s and on tunic collar for scarlets and #4s.

5 Barmen: Cadet Wing Commander Only. 5 Bar insignia with red waist sash. Tassels on sash are gold.

4 Barmen: Senior bar appointments such as Cadet Division Leader and Cadet Squadron Leader. 4 bar insignia with red waist sash. Tassels on sash are red.

3 Barmen: Senior bar appointments or junior bar appointments if directly subordinate to a 4 barmen. 3 bar insignia with red shoulder sash. Gold shoulder braid worn be the Cadet Aide-de-camp.

2 Barmen: Junior bar positions. No sash.

Shoulder Flashes – Shoulder flashes denote a cadet’s academic year by the number of slashes on them as well as the colour of the patch upon with the slashes are sewn. Example: 3 slashes and an orange patch denotes a third year cadet from 9 squadron.

Pith Helmets – Pith helmets are worn on parade with the scarlet or blue dress uniform by 3,4 and 5 barmen holding parade positions.

Wolseley Helmets – Similar to the pith helmet but with a flat brim and rounded top. Worn by members to the brass and reed band.

Glengarry Hat – Worn by members of the band or highland dancers in place of the #5s wedge, pillbox, or feather bonnet.

Gaiters – Worn by armed guards, parade positions, lancers and colour parties when on parade.

Winter Dress

Winter dress consists of gabardine, winter boots and Astrakhan (gigantic fuzzy wedges) and is worn as directed in addition to other orders of dress.



  • Paul Crober

    October 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Wolseley pattern helmet (not Wolsey) is the correct spelling. I hope it is just the article that is wrongly spelled and that it is not the College that thinks “Wolsey” is correct. It is named after a very famous British general who also served on distinguished duty in Canada. Wolseley Barracks in London Ontario are named after him — as is the typical pith helmet worn by several Cdn infantry units as part of Full Dress scarlet uniform.

  • Dave Wightman

    October 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for this. It answers a lot of questions. More to come I hope like bars vs braid rank badges and narrow vs wide braid for rank badges etc.

  • Randy and Shelley Aalders

    October 15, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Thank you so much for all this information!! It really does explain a lot to us 1st year parents!!

  • Gene Fedderly

    April 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    When did they start calling them wedges instead of FS caps and when did they start putting red piping on them? I notice they have no chin strap on them either. The cadet pictured also does not appear to be wearing the tri-colour stable belt. Interestingly, during my time at Royal Roads, CMC ascots were always worn with short sleeve shirts and pillboxes always worn with 4s.