The cadet program recognizes and understands different cultural and religious requirements of various groups, and respects the need for specific religious accommodation, especially during periods of religious expression. To ensure that this happens, the cadet program provides accommodation to the dress that those cadets observing specific religions are required to wear. Those cadets who have a religion that is not listed below and require specific accommodation are encouraged to speak to our Commanding Officer.
The following are the steps required for a cadet in order to ensure cadets are respected in their religious requirements:
1. Exceptions to the dress instructions for religious reasons will be considered when the cadet submits a written request to the corps and follows their chain of command. This written request shall include:
1. The name of the religion the cadet belongs to.
2. Confirmation by a leader of the religion that the cadet is an active participant and that the exception requested is a core requirement of the religion
3. Proof of status if the cadet is aboriginal
For aboriginal cadets whose religion requires the wearing of hair in a specific style, authority to do so will be given to the cadet. Cadets who are aboriginal are required to follow the steps above.
Cadets who are adherents of the Sikh religion (Keshadharis) shall follow the steps above, and then shall wear the Sea Cadet uniform and adhere to Sea Cadet dress instructions with the following exceptions which are directed by their religion: hair and beard shall remain uncut, neat and tidy, provided that safety is not jeopardized. When a hazard clearly exists, the hair and/or beard shall be modified to accommodate the wearing of the required equipment; in addition to uncut hair, four other symbolic requirements of the Sikh religion are authorized for wear by both male and female cadets, with all orders of dress.
Should a conflict arise between the requirement to wear safety items of clothing and equipment and these religious symbols, the manner and location of wearing these symbols shall be adjusted. COs retain the right to order the manner of this adjustment as necessary to meet safety requirements; and male cadets shall wear a CAF white turban. Female cadets shall wear the seaman’s cap.
Both male and female cadets shall wear the five symbolic requirements of the Sikh religion (as mentioned below). These items shall be worn with all orders of dress.
Wearing of Headdress
The turban worn by male cadets and authorized headdress worn by female cadets shall not be removed while wearing the uniform. Similarly, when on duty wearing civilian clothing, a civilian turban and an appropriate civilian woman’s head covering shall not be removed.
When wearing the headdress, it shall not be removed in the following circumstances:
1. on parade;
2. during the administration of the cadet promise;
3. when entering a consecrated building;
4. when entering a canteen or dining room; and
5. at formal or informal functions when the removal of headdress might otherwise be considered appropriate.
Authorized Symbolic Requirements
Adherents of the Sikh religion shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph 3, observe the following five symbolic requirements:
1. Kesh. Leave hair on the head, face and body uncut;
2. Kanga. Wear a comb;
3. Kara. Wear an iron bangle (bracelet);
4. Kacha. Wear under-drawers of a specific design; and
5. Kirpan. Wear a symbolic dagger with a blade length not less than 11.5 cm and not exceeding 13 cm and an overall length (including the handle) not exceeding 19 cm.
Methods of Wearing
The following instructions are not intended to provide in detail the method of styling and wearing hair on the head, of wearing the comb or of winding the turban; they are however intended to provide sufficient direction to ensure uniformity of dress amongst Sikh members of the CCO. Accordingly, religious symbols and associated badges shall be worn as follows:
Turban: Worn in a low, Sikh conventional manner, with the final winding right over left of the forehead;
Cap Badge: Worn centred on the front of the turban. The badge shall be locally modified at no cost to the public to provide a brooch fastener with which to fasten the badge to the turban;
Kesh (Hair): Male cadets shall wear their hair tied in a knot at the crown of the head, and shall secure the hair of the beard under the chin, presenting a close to face, groomed appearance. Female cadets shall wear their hair styled in a bun at the rear of the head to facilitate the proper wearing of the Headdress;
Kanga (Comb): Worn concealed in the hair;
Kara (Bangle or Bracelet): Worn on the right wrist; and
Kirpan (Dagger): Shall remain sheathed, except for religious occasions requiring the presence of the exposed dagger, and for cleaning purposes. A black cloth sling, slung from the right shoulder to the left side, shall support the sheathed kirpan, worn under the outer shirt or jacket. Should the kirpan interfere with the wearing of uniform accoutrements or equipment, it may be slung from the left shoulder and worn on the right side.
Wearing of Hijab
Female muslim cadets shall wear the Sea Cadet uniform and adhere to Sea Cadet Dress Instructions. For spiritual and religious reasons, cadets are authorized to wear the hijab, provided that any danger should be avoided when they carry some types of safety gear. In case of real danger, these cadets shall modify their hairstyling or hijab, or both, in a way that will allow them to wear the requested gear.
Method of Wearing.
The hair covering worn by female Muslims is a hijab. The hijab must:
a. be versatile, comfortable, neat, breathable, and easy to remove;
b. be black in colour;
c. be two pieces;
d. be adjusted to fit the face of the wearer and allow for the proper wearing of headdress; and
e. cover the hair and be tucked into the shirt collar.
Hijab with no Headress
Hijab with Headress