Forces members told to ‘reconsider daily routines’, limit wearing of uniforms

Watch above: The recent attacks on Canadian soldiers have prompted military and police to take extraordinary precautions to protect themselves. Vassy Kapelos reports.

OTTAWA – Military brass are telling members of the Canadian Armed Forces to continue to limit the wearing of military uniforms outside of garrison, with the exception of Remembrance Day.

The warning comes more than two weeks after the Ottawa attack that left one soldier dead, and was conveyed in an internal email from officials at the Department of National Defence on Wednesday afternoon.

Members were told to minimize stopping in public venues and “reconsider their daily routines and adapt behaviour that will reduce personal vulnerability.”

While members were encouraged to participate in Remembrance Day activities, the email cautioned “taking appropriate precautions and minimizing exposure,” along with a risk assessment.

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It was also suggested members go in groups of two or more if they head to a bar or public place after ceremonies.

“There remains a threat against CAF personnel and establishments. Therefore, it is not business as usual and, as a prudent measure, additional force protection measures remain necessary,” read a National Defence department statement sent to Global News on Thursday.

Police are also taking precautions leading up to Remembrance Day.

In an internal directive from Commissioner Vince Hawkes, members of the Ontario Provincial Police were told to wear a full working uniform to Remembrance Day ceremonies if they attend.

Members would normally wear a dress uniform – without body armour or a weapon – to Remembrance Day ceremonies.

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According to OPP Sgt. Peter Leon, the directive was issued to ensure the safety of members.

“Obviously because of the events which have taken place over the last two weeks…the safety of our officers could be at risk,” he said.

On Oct. 22, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was shot and killed while standing guard outside the War Memorial in Ottawa.

Two days before that, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run down and killed outside a shopping centre in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Police say both were targeted by people who had been radicalized.

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