Legion Dress

We as members of The Royal Canadian Legion Windermere District #71, project an image when wearing our distinctive dress. It is a positive image that recognizes our organization and demonstrates pride in our country and ourselves. In order to ensure that this image is reinforced, it is of utmost importance that we wear our distinctive dress in the appropriate manner. It is recommended that Legion dress be worn while attending any formal Legion functions that would include:

a. Commemorative ceremonies such as Remembrance Day parades, all ceremonies held at Cenotaphs, Decoration Day and Memorial Day;
b. Church parades;
c. at Tributes and/or funerals of Legion members;
d. at an installation ceremony by those comrades participating in the installation, (ie. The installing officer, the comrades(s) being installed, the Sergeantat-Arms and members of the Colour Party);
e. Legion Meetings and Conventions;
f. visits by Command Officers to Branches;
g. Legion banquets, especially Remembrance banquets;
h. when representing the Legion at meetings or events other than those of the Legion;
i. other occasions where, in the opinion of the body issuing the invitation or instruction.

It is further recommended that Legion Dress be worn by:

a. all Officers or Executive members occupying a position at the Head Table of any Legion function;
b. members of the Colour Party, including the Party Commander and Parade Commander.

The following instructions also serve as a guide for Legion members which permits them to better understand Legion dress and Legion traditions.

Standard Legion Dress.
The order of dress for Legion activities is as follows:

a. Navy blue beret with Legion beret crest;

i. Brass Branch numerals may be worn on the beret, parallel to the head band and the first number is to be 3/8” to the wearer’s left of the beret badge;
ii. The beret is worn with the band one inch above the eyebrows, the beret crest over the left eye, the beret pulled back and smoothed to the right side;


b. Headdress acquired during current or previous service with Canadian or Allied Forces (excluding ceremonial and peaked caps) complete with the service cap badge of the unit/regiment/service being served or was served.

This type of headdress may not be worn by Colour Party members including the Colour Party Commander and Parade Commander;

c. Legion Dress – Headdress. It is not normal practice for headdress to be worn indoors with the exception of the Sergeant-at-Arms, Colour Bearer(s), members of the Ladies Auxiliary, by members whose religious doctrine or customs require that the head be covered and by Officers presiding at official functions, such as Installations and may also include those who are being installed.

Some units, Branches, Zones, Districts and Commands have developed a tradition to wear headdress during opening and closing ceremonies. Although unusual, such traditions are not discouraged by the Royal Canadian Legion. Where employed, these practices will be at the call of the Senior Officiating Officer;

d. Legion headdress is to be worn at all outside ceremonial events when Legion dress is being worn;
e. When headdress is worn inside a building on appropriate ceremonial occasions, the protocol for wear is the same for men and women;
f. Navy blue blazer, complete with the appropriate Legion blazer crest on the left-hand breast pocket and Legion buttons on the front and on the sleeves. A Regimental Service Blazer Badge of the unit/ regiment/service being served or was served may be worn on the lower right side pocket of the Legion Blazer. If for any reason the wearing of the Regimental Badge on the lower right side pocket would appear to bring discredit to the unit/regiment/ service, then and only then, would the Badge be allowed to be worn on the lower left side pocket.

g. Black shoes, black socks, grey trousers for males and black shoes, dark grey hose, grey knee length skirts or slacks for females. Black shoulder strap purses may be carried on parade and small stud or keeper earrings are appropriate for females;
h. Plain white shirt and the official Legion long striped tie;
i. White gloves are worn by comrades participating at ceremonies.

Note: This manual describes Legion dress only and not civilian dress. Civilian dress including headdress is addressed through Branch House Rules.

Summer Dress.
This order of dress may be worn in Canada from the 1st day of May to the last day of September each year in accordance with climatic conditions. Dress for events may be determined in accordance with climatic conditions at all times throughout the year. Summer dress should be worn on occasions where, in the opinion of the body issuing the invitation or instruction, the wearing of summer dress would be appropriate. This would include Colour Parties. Summer dress is the same as for the standard Legion dress except that blazers are not worn, ties are optional, a Legion shirt badge is displayed on the shirt pocket, and no epaulettes, shoulder badges, or medals are to be worn. Undress Service Ribbons may be worn. Formal Dress. From time to time, Legion Officers are called upon to attend formal military or civilian events. Some invitations call for Black Tie and others call for White Tie. Tuxedo/Dinner Jacket attire does not properly identify the Officers as Legion representatives. While Standard Legion dress qualifies as Association Dress, the wearing of blues and greys with standard medals and with long Legion tie, pocket badges and name tags, etc., does not fit the normal requirement of ‘formality’ for these occasions. Dominion Executive Council has authorized the following as optional Legion Dress for all ‘formal’ occasions, military or civilian, where black tie or white tie formal dress is called for:

a. Legion (single-breasted) blazer including Legion left breast pocket crest;
b. One Legion lapel badge + Canadian Armed Forces Service pin (as applicable), worn on left lapel;
c. Canadian Honours, i.e., Order of Canada neckwear, lapel badge (as appropriate);
d. Minister of Veterans Affairs Decoration (as appropriate);
e. Miniature Service Medals;
f. White formal shirt w/standard fold-down collar;
g. Black/white formal bow tie;|
h. Black cummerbund;
i. Dark suspenders may be worn;
j. Grey trousers;
k. Black socks;
l. Black shoes;
m. Ladies – as above but including optional dark hose and formal length grey skirt;
n. Legion or military association headdress is appropriate but optional with formal Legion dress;
o. Association right pocket badge not recommended with formal dress;
p. Name badges and commemorative or support the troops pins are not to be worn on the right lapel of formal Legion dress.

Legion Informal Dress
Legion Informal Dress will consist of a blue shirt, available only through Legion supply, will be embroidered with the Legion crest. A Legion nametag may be worn on the right side of the blue shirt, below the collar, centered with the bottom of the nametag levelled/lined up with the upper edge of the pocket. Undress Service ribbons can be worn on the left side, levelled/lined up with the right side nametag. No other pins, member designation pin, blazers, ties, epaulettes, shoulder badges, medals, or else are to be worn with Legion Informal Dress.” 

Legion Informal Dress is permitted to be worn in the following situations: 

a. Business Occasions

-  Convention business sessions, excluding the opening ceremonies.

-  Various Legion meetings, i. e. Executive, General and Special (Note: Shirt must also be worn with black shoes, grey trousers for males and black shoes, grey hose, grey knee length skirts or slacks for females.)

b. Informal Occasions

-  Informal Branch events.

-  Hospital visitations to Veterans.

-  Where appropriate (Note: Grey trousers/skirts and black shoes not required.)

Items that are included with Legion dress are as listed below:

a. Lapel and blazer badges with appropriate scrolls are to be worn by members;
b. A Legion name tag may be worn on the right side of the Legion blazer above Legion medals;
c. Only one Legion lapel badge shall be worn on the left lapel of the blazer. A Canadian Armed Forces Service lapel pin may also be worn to the left of the Legion lapel badge (for exceptions, see Sections 127 and 128 of this manual);
d. From time to time commemorative or celebratory pins may be authorized for wear only for a specified time. These items shall be the only pins worn on the right lapel of the Legion blazer and shall be parallel to the Legion badge;
e. A parade commander, colour party commander or sergeant-at-arms may wear a red sash. The sash is worn over the right shoulder across the body to the left hip. Other than the Legion Badge, no other items are to be worn on the sash;
f. Overcoats may be worn in inclement weather;
g. A parade commander may authorize a parade to remove their blazers when considered necessary and appropriate. See Section 103 – Summer Dress.

Dress for members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary is under the jurisdiction of Provincial Commands.
The Poppy is worn by Legion members during the annual Remembrance period which commences the last Friday in October and ends immediately following Remembrance Day. Other occasions when the Poppy may be worn are during special Remembrance services such as a service at a Legion Convention, The Battle of the Atlantic, The Battle of Britain, etc. The Poppy is also authorized for wear by Legion Colour Parties when on parade and by members attending funeral services for veterans or ordinary members. The Lapel Poppy is worn on the left lapel immediately above the Legion lapel badge when wearing Standard Legion Dress. The Lapel Poppy is worn on the shirt, immediately above and centred on the shirt badge when wearing Summer Dress. When faced with inclement weather the Lapel Poppy is worn on the left side of the outer garment close to the heart.
The Red Maple Leaf may be worn during the Legion Tribute at the funerals of Ladies Auxiliary members and Legion members who were not veterans or ordinary members. The Red Maple Leaf is worn in the same manner as the Lapel Poppy. This is the only occasion where the Red Maple Leaf is authorized to be worn or utilized.
There may be an occasion and the honour for a Legion member to be assigned to fulfil special duties and responsibilities. As such, this may be an exceptional honour and privilege which not only recognizes the person assigned to these duties but also recognizes the Legion as an organization. When a member is approached to take on these duties contact is to be made with Dominion Command to obtain the manner in which Legion dress is worn.
Service medals should be worn above the left breast pocket and on full Legion dress on such Legion occasions as:

a. Commemorative ceremonies such as Remembrance Day parades, all ceremonies held at cenotaphs, Decoration Day and Memorial Day;
b. Church parades;
c. At tributes and/or funerals of Legion members;
d. At an initiation ceremony by those comrades participating in the initiation, for example – the Presiding Officer, the Chairman of the Membership Committee and the comrade reciting the Purposes and Objects of The Royal Canadian Legion;
e. At an installation ceremony by those comrades participating in the installation, for example – the Installing officer, the comrade(s) being installed, the Sergeant-at-arms and members of the Colour Party;
f. Opening and closing of a convention;
g. Visits by command officers to Branches;
h. Legion banquets, especially Remembrance banquets;
i. Other occasions where, in the opinion of the body issuing the invitation or instruction, the wearing of service medals would be appropriate. A General Meeting of the Branch may be considered such an occasion.

If medals are not available, Undress Service Ribbons may be worn on Legion Dress.
NOTE: It is an offence under Sections 419 A and B of the Criminal Code of Canada for anyone, other than the recipient, to wear a uniform of the Canadian Armed Forces or Service Insignia, such as medals, ribbons, badges, chevrons or other decoration. It is also an offence for anyone to wear any imitation of the above if it is likely to be mistaken for the said uniform, or service insignia, etc.
The order of precedence in which service medals shall be worn is under the jurisdiction of The Chancellery at Government House. From time to time, the order of precedence is amended. In the event there are questions as to the wearing of a medal, members are advised to communicate with The Chancellery regarding such matters at 1-800-465-6890 or write:

The Chancellery
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General
Government House,
1 Sussex Drive
Ottawa Ontario,
K1A 0A1.

The information may also be found on the Internet at www.gg.ca and follow the links to the Chancellery.
Miniature Medals.
These medals may be worn on the Legion blazer on social occasions such as Legion banquets, but are not to be worn on parade.
Legion medals are worn on full Legion dress on the right breast in order of precedence from wearer’s centre to right, in a single row and in a horizontal position that corresponds to the position of service medals which are worn on the left breast (also see Section 121).
The ribbons for Legion medals are 1½” wide and have a visible length of 2″.
Legion medals should be worn on such Legion occasions as described in Section 113 of this manual.
Medals awarded by the Legion may only be worn by the members to whom they are awarded and may only be worn on Legion uniforms or formal Legion dress described in Section 104 in the order of their seniority of office and in the following order:

a.The Meritorious Service Medal (MSM);
b. Dominion level Past Office medals;
c. Provincial level Past Office medals;
d. District level Past Office medals;
e. Zone level Past Office medals;
f. Branch level Past Office medals;
g. The Long Service Medal which denotes 50 years of continuous service;
h. Branch Service Medal;
i. Other Legion medals, such as anniversary medals and the Canadian Cadet Medal of Excellence, in the order that they have been received.