New Royal Canadian Air Force uniform unveiled
The Royal Canadian Air Force unveiled its new uniform Sunday, a move that's supposed to bring the force closer to its distinguished history and traditions.
The new uniform, complete with small changes including the move from gold to pearl-grey buttons and details, was launched at the annual Battle of Britain ceremony at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
One rank will be changing, despite initial reports the RCAF would return to British-style ranks. Privates will now be known as Aviators, a gender-neutral term that will be identified by a single stich propeller. One RCAF official told CTV News that changing all the ranks would be too complicated and confusing.
Hundreds of current and former airmen and airwoman were on hand for the ceremony, in addition to dignitaries including Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, and Lieutenant General Yvan Bloudin.
In a statement, Minister Nicholson said the updated uniform will strengthen the bond between current forces members and their predecessors.
LGen Godin offered similar sentiments, saying he is proud to wear a uniform that more closely resembles what RCAF members wore when the force was created 90 years ago.
"It's our link to the Royal Canadian Air Force of the Past," he told CTV Ottawa.
"We are proud to be wearing the uniform of our forefathers, the ones who taught us what we are doing."
Veterans who attended the ceremony said they are happy to see the air force returning to their roots.
"I joined the RCAF and I put that uniform on and wore it for years. It's nice to see it back," said one veteran.
"I think they are very nice. It's about time," said a WWII veteran.
RCAF personnel will begin wearing the new uniform on April 1, 2015. All personnel will be in the new uniforms in time for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Click here for more information on the uniforms.