Navy uniforms will be a little heavier in the next hundred years.
The executive curl, which disappeared in the ’60s, will make a comeback to the uniform. As well, a badge recognizing long stints at sea will be introduced.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the new additions at a press conference in Halifax yesterday.
He said the curl — a gold loop at the top of a naval officer’s gold bars — dated back to the Crimean War but disappeared after the forces unified in 1968.
“It will distinguish the more than 5,000 naval officers in the regular and reserve forces,” MacKay said.
George Aucoin, a retired chief petty officer, will promptly tell you he spent 43 years and seven months in a navy uniform.
“It’s showing that we have a navy and this is specifically navy,” he said, thrilled with curl’s return.
“We have people today in the lower ranks that are wearing army badges on their sleeves and that shouldn’t be.”
The Sea Service Badge is something new: Any sailor, soldier or air personnel who spends at least 365 days a year at sea during their career will earn one.
Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, said the recognition on the day the navy commemorated the Battle of the Atlantic was especially poignant.
“It means a great deal to us,” he said.
The 100th anniversary of the Canadian navy is tomorrow but events are scheduled all year to celebrate, including a visit from the Queen.