Evolution of Soldier’s Tunics of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada

Over the past 156 years, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada have worn numerous uniforms. From fighting Fenian invaders, the Metis, the Boers, Germans in both World Wars, North Koreans, Chinese and, most recently, the Taliban, Rifleman of the Queen’s Own have always adorned themselves with the Rifle Green of our uniforms. For formal parades and ceremonies the Full Dress uniform has been similar with only slight alterations throughout our history. I hope you enjoy the information and pictures below.

1863 – On 7th February 1863, the Government of Canada decided to supply its volunteer militia force with uniforms. This authorization was to purchase some 20,000 uniforms from Great Britain.

The ordinary riflemen’s tunic was rifle green with scarlet collar, cuffs and piping in front and at the rear of the skirt. Each pointed cuff had an Austrian knot of black cord. The shoulder strap consisted of a black cord doubled and stitched together except for the button loop. The collar was edged with black piping. The buttons were bronzed and blackened. The shako was the new model rifle green “quilted” model introduced in the British Army in 1861 with a rifle green round pompon, bronzed plate and socket, black band, visor and chin strap. Trousers made in Canada were dark grey with red piping. It should be added that there was no allowance for the clothing of sergeant-majors. They were supplied “with the same uniform as the rank and file” and had to “purchase all extra ornaments and accoutrements” on their own while swords and other equipments for staff sergeants were loaned to the sergeant majors by their battalion.” 

Ref: Uniforms of the Militia from 1837-1901René Chartrand

Unique to the Q.O.R. the cuffs of the sergeants’ tunic would see the removal of the Austrian knots and its replacement with black lace, about one inch wide on the top of the scarlet cuff. (See below)

Sgt posing
Sgt in Stratford June 1866 – QOR Museum photo
1866 Sergeant Fenian Raids – QOR Museum Photo

1867 – Little to no alterations were done from 1863-1867 but the Q.O.R. decided that the men’s tunics needed to have a more regimental flair with the addition of shoulder straps with  Q.O.R. embroidered in scarlet upon them.

QOR shoulder
QOR in scarlet on shoulder strap – QOR Museum photo

1877 – With the supply system not as fast as some would like, the Commanding officer offered the men an opportunity to purchase their own uniforms.

Head Quarters

Toronto 11 September 1877

Regimental Orders

No 3

The officer Commanding has pleasure in announcing that an issue of Cloth tunics, busbys and Serge Trousers will shortly be made to the Regiment.

As there appears to be a desire on the part of the Corps Officers and men to purchasing their own uniforms, an arrangement will be made with such at the following prices:

Tunics (Cloth) $5.75

Trouses (Serge) 2.75

Busby & Badge 2.25

Glengarry & badge .75

Total cost $11.50

No 4

As at present there exists a want of uniformity in the Sergeants Crossbelts, it is ordered that all at once conform to the Regimental Patter, which is as follows.

Belt – Goatskin 3 inches wide

Pouch – black patent leather with bugle enclosing figure 2 and surrounded with a crown (in bronze) on the flap.

Ornaments – Bronze lions head, whistle and chain, the centre piece of wreath of maple leaves, surmounted with a brown, (all in bronze) enclosing a maltese cross, in scarlet enamel with the figure 2 and words Queen’s Own Rifles.

The chevrons of Officers must also be of our pattern, which is to be seen at the master tailors.

By Order


Capt & Adj

Ref: Adjutants notes from 1875-1880: QOR Museum

1880 – Upon writing of the 1880 QOR Dress Regulations the Regimental uniform changed slightly. The cuffs changed from being of scarlet cloth to the same green cloth as the rest of the tunic.

Full Dress

The tunic of the NCOs had a collar with an inch black braid around the top, with scarlet 1/4 of an inch below. The shoulder straps were plain, with scarlet QOR embroidered onto the straps. The Band and Bugles of the Regiment would have a regimental pattern “wing” on the shoulders which looped onto the shoulder straps; as well as arm and back seams piped with bugler’s cord. Sergeants would have an Austrian knot of black square cord upon the sleeves, and the first class staff-sergeants be similar to a subaltern officer and having shoulder strap in place of the cord.

Ref: 1880 QOR Dress Regulations

pirie, james henry
Rfn, James Henry – QOR Museum photo
1890s issued Rfn tunic – QOR Collection
1885 QOR Sergeant Northwest Rebellion – QOR Museum Photo

1896 – In 1896, the Canadian Government decided to follow the example of the British Military and changed the issued tunic to a more economic jacket better suited to non-ceremonial duties and termed it a “frock”. The collar of the same material as the body and not in scarlet but only with a narrow red braid around the base of the collar, a narrow black braid ‘Crow’s Foot’ was also added to the cuffs and with seven Black Canadian militia buttons down the front, two on each chest pocket and two on each cuff as this was an open cuff.

1896 Frock coat – Service Publication photo
Frock Coat
Frock Coat being worn 1900 – QOR Museum Photo
1908 Corporal on the Unit Rifle team – QOR Museum photo
G Coy, High park, 1904
G Coy, High Park Toronto, 1904 – QOR Museum Photo

1910 – With the mounting of Sir Henry Pellat’s privately funded trip to take some 600 members of the Regiment to England for manoeuvres with the British Army, the Canadian Government would provide the latest and newest issued khaki Service Dress uniform to the Regiment. All of these items were “QOR Special.” The Q.O.R. contingent would have their very own uniquely styled uniform and webbing.

 Clothing &c for 2nd QOR.
For special tour in England.


I have the honour, by direction of the Minister in Militia Council, to inform you that the issue of the following articles to the 2nd Queen’s Own Rifles, has been specially authroized, for the unit’s tour of duty in England next summer, Viz:-
Boots, ankle, prs —- 700
Coats, great, khaki —- 700
Caps, forage, special, —- 700
Frocks, serge, rifle, —- 500
Puttees, khaki, prs, —- 700
Shoes, canvas, prs —- 700
Trousers, serge, rifle —- 500
Tunics, rifle —- 500
Shirts “service” —- 700
Trousers “service” —- 700
Bags, kit, O.E. —- 1200
Belts, waist, black, —- 700
Scabbards, Ross,
Bayonet and frog “black”, —- 700
Pouches, black, —- 700
Slings, rifle, black, —- 700

Will you please cause the necessary indents to be submitted by the Officer Commanding 2nd Queen’s Own Rifles, also, please note, that if the unit is not now in possession of Ross Rifles mark II and Ross Bayonets, the issue of these for the full strength of the Corps, should also be attended to.

I am also to inform you that the Commanding Officer is being granted compensation in lieu of the following, viz:-
Frocks, serge, khaki, —- 700
Trousers, serge, khaki, —- 700
Numerals cap and shoulder,
(5 per man), —- 3500
Badges collar prs, —- 1400

I have the honour to be,
Your obediant Servant

Brig. General.

Ref: Archives Canada

With delivery of this all happening around 25th July 1910 just in time for the trip, the tunics consisted of:
This tunic was of khaki serge, with a collar and shoulder boards made of rifle green wool. This tunic had 7 oxidized silver Regiment bugle buttons with two chest pockets with the same size buttons as down the centre. Trousers with this tunic was of same khaki serge as the tunic and worn with long puttees.
1910 Sgts tunic
QOR Sgt 1910 – QOR Museum photo

Dear Mr. Scully,

You have already under order a quantity of khaki chevrons, 4-bar; also a quantity of badges crossed hatchets, khaki. Two chevrons of this description and 34 of the badge are required immediately for issue to members of the Queen’s Own Rifles who are sailing for England in about ten day’s time. If at all possible, pelase have these made up and shipped by Express to Lt. Col. Sir Henry Pellatt, Commanding QOR, Toronto, not later than the evening of the 7th August.

The foregoing is not to be taken as a new order, but merely as a hastener of goods already ordered from you.

In addition to these please supply at the same time, namely, not later than the evening of the 7th August, the following bages for which no order has hiterto been placed with you:

Crossed Bugles, khaki, 40

Badges, Stretcher Bearer, 40

Chevrons, khaki, 2 bar, 10

Ref: Archives Canada

It is noted that sometime after this order was placed with Scully an order of 40 Stretcher Bearer badges was ultimately cancelled due to this badge not existing in the Canadian Militia repository. But the Regiment still went through and wore these Badges, the Stretcher Bearer badge consisted of a white ‘S’ in a circular backing.

Stretcher barrer closeup
Stretcher Bearer – QOR Museum Photo
QOR in England 1910 – QOR Museum Photo
02069O - Arrival in London
QOR arrival in England 1910 – QOR Museum Photo

During the trip Full Dress was ordered for when they were on a formal parade. This was of the 1880’s pattern tunic without chest or waist pockets on the tunic and without the scarlet cuffs.

1890s issued Rfn tunic – QOR Collection
QOR 1910 Contingent in full dress – QOR Museum Photo

1914 – With the declaration of war against Germany the Canadian Government mobilized the Canadian Militia. The Queen’s Own would send their commitment in September 1914 to Valcartier. There they would be put with soldiers from the Governor General’s Body Guards and the 10th Royal Grenadiers to form the Third Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. This contingent, while traveling from Toronto to Valcartier, would wear the 1910 pattern uniforms but as they would soon form the Third Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, they would exchange these uniforms for a generic khaki seven-button tunic and brass Canada buttons. Collar badges consisted of a C over a 3 on the collar of the tunic. This same tunic would be issued to every battalion that the Queen’s Own would raise; 83rd, 95th, 166th, 198th, and 255th. All of these battalions would have their own unique collar dogs as well as numbers to be placed over the Canada should brass titles centered on the shoulder strap.

Rifleman at Valcartier 1914 – QOR Museum Photo
1914 1 Company 3rd Battalion – QOR Museum photo

1915 – With training on the muddy planes of Salisbury as well as combat experience the Canadians slowly would exchange their Canadian made seven-button tunic for the British-style five-button pattern tunic. This was made looser which helped with movement which was sorely lacking with the Canadian made tunic. With the adoption of the Canadian Corps the Third Battalion would be issued a divisional and brigade patch to be worn on the shoulder. This patch which represented the 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade in the 1st Canadian Division which was a scarlet patch with a green triangle above sewn centered with the divisional patch and in line with the centre of the shoulder strap.

Cpl of the 3rd Battalion (Toronto Regiment) Canadian Expeditionary Force 1918 – QOR Museum Photo

1919-1939 – The Canadian seven-button and British five-button tunics would be both used throughout the next twenty years. The only slight alterations that occurred during this time was the adoption of silver Queen’s Own buttons as well as changing to the traditional black on scarlet ranks and skill badges.

1930s 5 button uniform
D Company Sergeant Major with 5 Button tunic 1930 – QOR Museum photo
1930s 7 button tunic
A Sergeant from D Company with a 7 button tunic 1930 – QOR Museum photo

1925 – Regimental Dress Regulations

FULL DRESS TUNIC shall be as issued by the Department of National Defence. Company Sergeants Major, Company Quartermaster-sergeants and Sergeants shall wear an Austrian knot of square cord in place of the braid on the cuffs. The Band and Buglers shall wear “wings” on the shoulder, of Regimental pattern; with the latter, the arm and back seams shall be piped with green and scarlet Bugler’s cord, and for bandsman, with scarlet cloth. The tunic of Warrant Officers, Class 1, shall be frogged similar to a Subaltern Officer’s, having the shoulder strap in place of the cord.

Sept 13, 1934 – The QOR adopted a new/old uniform that was worn prior to the Great War. This uniform was the same pattern as the seven-button World War One pattern. It was of Rifle green wool, silver buttons, black worst on scarlet backing rank, and with scarlet braid along the bottom of the collar.

1930s Full dress 7 button
1934 Full Dress uniform – QOR Museum photo

1939 – In September the entire Regiment turned in their uniforms, less the Officers. At the same time, an influx of recruits arrived wishing to serve in the Second World War and as such there was a shortage of 1937 pattern Battle Dress across the country. Regardless, the QOR carried on with training, but with this an armband was implemented into service to denote volunteers. The arm band consisted of Green wool band, 4 inches in width, near the edge a scarlet band painted just shy of the edging. Scarlet Q.O.R. would be also be painted to show unit identity. Rifleman with Rank would have a similar arm band but with their rank painted above a smaller painted Q.O.R.

1939-40 QOR Armband – QOR Museum Collection
1940 Newspaper Article – QOR Museum Photo

1940 – On 10th June, the first issue made to the Regiment of Battle Dress with which Rifle rank as well as brass Q.O.R. shoulder title on the epaulets.

edited ww2
Pre War Brass QOR title – Bob Dunk’s Collection

Regimental Orders by Major MacKendrick E.D. Comd 1st Bn QORofC

Camp Borden, Ontario 12 July 1940

Dress, Officers & Other Ranks

Extract C.A.S.F. R.O.521

  1. The collar of the battle dress may be worn open on all occasions during the summer season.
  2. The regulation Khaki shirt will be worn with battle dress. The wearing of various coloured shirts and collars is not permitted.
  3. Other ranks will not wear ties
  4. The collar of the blouse may be lined to protect the neck.
  5. The ribands of orders, decorations, and medals will be worn in undress, service dress and battle dress in the prescribed manner.
Rifleman in Newfoundland 1940 – QOR Museum Photo

Before leaving Newfoundland on 31st October 1940, the QOR were issued the worsted “CANADA badge which would be worn on both sleeves of the Battle Dress Blouse, an inch and a half away from the seam of the shoulder. Upon arrival at Camp Sussex, New Brunswick in December of 1940 the QOR would adopt a Regimental shoulder title which would consist of a rifle green backing with “QUEEN’S OWN RIFLES” stitched in scarlet..

Canadian Made QOR and Canada insignia – Graham Humphrey’s Collection
Rifleman in Sussex – QOR Museum Photo

15 Dec.  1942 Standing Orders and Instructions

  1. Dress

Other ranks

(e) A red whistle cord will be worn on the left shoulder by all officers, warrant officers and sergeants.

(j) Badges – On joining the unit each man will be provided free with regt. Badges, cap, shoulder badges Q.O.R., Canada and Div. Patch also cap F.S. Green. From then on he will be held responsible that he is always in possession of these articles.

(p) Good conduct Stripes are awarded after two years good service and are worn on the left arm below the elbow.

1941 – June, Camp Sussex with the war being brought to the African campaign the QOR were issued with a Canadian Khaki drill uniform, upon the QOR adding Regimental black buttons to the tunic.

Khaki Drill Jacket

The prewar Other Ranks Khaki Drill jacket had two beast pockets, brass buttons, sewn in brass belt hooks, and was to be worn buttoned to the neck.

Ref: Dressed to Kill – Michael A Dorosh, CD

Leave in Sussex walking
Khaki Drill Jacket – QOR Museum Photo

England – With the formation of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, the QOR was place in its 8th Brigade with Le Regiment de la Chaudiere and the North Shore (New Brunswick) Regiment. The Divisional formation patch was of French Grey Melton wool fabric which measured 3 inches by 2 inches. A number of shades of this French Grey were seen throughout the war.

Canadian Made QOR insignia – Graham Humphrey’s Collection

Toronto – The reserve Battalion of the QOR being in Toronto and on the home front the battalion was outfitted with the Canadian pattern Other Ranks Service Dress starting in 1941. This style of uniform was for “Walking Out” which had Rifle regiment rank and Canada sewn on the shoulders of this jacket. Interesting to note is that the Other Ranks did not wear QOR collar dogs on the collar of this jacket.

In 1941, an entirely new Canadian pattern Other Ranks Service Dress jacket was introduced, referred to as a “jacket, serge, drab, open collar.”

This also seems to have been refereed to as “Walking Out dress” and may have been an issued item to some units. It featured an open collar, box pleated breast pockets, patch pockets on the uniform skirt, and a cloth belt. It was issued with a Khaki Drill shirt and black necktie.

Ref: Dressed to Kill – Michael A Dorosh, CD

Cpl Alex irvine in Service Dress (wool)
Cpl Alex Irvine in Toronto 1942 – QOR Museum Photo

1944 – Introduced around mid-1944 was the British-made canvas insignia. Examples of this come in the 3rd Division French Grey flashes, Canada titles, and “QUEEN’S OWN RIFLES” shoulder titles. These had a tendency to fade and fray.  This characteristic was not desirable and many chose to keep wearing the embroidered badges.

IMG_5546 - Copy (6)
British made Canvas insignia – Graham Humphrey’s Collection
Corporal 1944 D-Day landings – QOR Museum Photo
1946 – With the end of hostilities in Europe the Queen’s Own would form a 4th Battalion QOR for occupational duties. This formation would wear the war time insignia but with the addition of a Melton wool bar below the Divisional flash with the same width as the Divisional flash and of 1 centimeter in height. Around this time a new type of QOR shoulder title would be introduced which was locally made in Holland.
03064 Left
Occupation tunic – QOR Museum Collection
1949 – With the end of hostilities in Europe World War Two battle dress was worn until the introduction of Pattern 1949 Battle Dress. This tunic consisted of two pleats along each shoulder blade, with an open collar which was the practiced during the later years of the Second World War. This tunic would be worn all the way up till the introduction of the Combat Olive Drab. The unit shoulder title worn with this tunic was of the Second War’s pattern, as well as numerous formation patterns over the next 20 years.
Pattern 49 Battle Dress – QOR Collection

1951 – With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 the Canadian Government had to keep its comitment to NATO which they formed the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade. The QOR would provide rifleman for this brigade helping supply personnel to both the 1st and 2nd Canadian Rifles. The unit shoulder title would continue to be worn but a sky blue shield with a rifle regiment bugle would form this badge that was worn below the unit title.

QOR Rifleman – QOR Museum Photo

1953 – On October 16 the 1st and 2nd Canadian Rifles would become 1st and 2nd Battalions of The QOR of C and the militia battalion would be the 3rd Battalion, QOR of C. Which resulted in the different units within the Canadian Rifles would rebadge as QOR.

1954 – With the deployment of the 2nd Battalion to Korea the Battalion would wear the 25th Canadian Infantry Brigade shield worn in the same position as the previous Canadian Rifles badge just below the unit shoulder title. This badge in the shape of a shield made of scarlet wool with embroidered white wreath surrounding a gold maple leaf with the writing “CANADA” at the top.

Rifleman unloading from a landing craft on his way to Korea – QOR Museum Photo

Regimental Standing Orders – 1965


Ordnance pattern. Worn with No 6 Order of Dress. Basic configuration and detail not to be altered. To be worn buttoned to the trousers. To blouse slight over the belt but not to obscure the belt buckle. Left flap to be vertical and in line with the fly of the trousers. Sleeves to be creased pressed.

a. Badge Army Flying

b. Badge, Canadian Parachute

c. Badges, Good Conduct

d. Badges, Marksmanship

e. Badges, Rank, Officers

f. Badges, Rank, Other Ranks

1) Warrant Officers Class 1

2) Warrant Officers Class 2

3) Staff Sergeants

4) Sergeants

5) Corporals

6) Lance Corporals

g. Badges, Tradesman and Specialist

h. Patches, Formation

j. Titles, Shoulder

QOR Rifleman with .30 Caliber Machine Gun
Third Battalion Rifleman being demonstrators of the .30 caliber machine gun – Gerry Senetchko’s photo

Bush Dress – Bush Dress was issued to the 1st Battalion whilst training in Canada for use during the Summer months. This consisted of a denim like material of dark green, Collar could be worn closed but almost always worn open, five front buttons, two pleated chest pockets, two hip pockets, and cented cuffs which had a button on each. The rank was usually not sewn onto the actual jacket but on an armlet made of the same cloth as the jacket worn on the right arm. The unit shoulder title, divisional marking, and rank would be worn on this similar as on the Battle Dress.

1962 QOR Rfn
1962 Rifleman – QOR Museum Photo
Sergeant 1960s – QOR Museum Photo

Regimental Standing Orders – 1965


Ordnance pattern. The armlet is worn on the right sleeve of the jacket with No 7 Order of Dress, on the shirt with No 8A (except by officers) and 8B Orders of Dress with the following badges, as applicable, centred thereon in the following order:

a. Titles, Shoulder

b. Patches, Formation

c. Badges of Rank

1) Warrant Officers Class 1

2) Warrant Officers Class 2

3) Staff Sergeants

4) Sergeants

5) Corporals

6) Lance Corporals

QOR Armlet – QOR Museum Collection

Regimental Standing Orders – 1965

Serial 14 J: Field Summer (All Ranks)

Ordnance pattern. Basic configuration not to be altered. Worn with No 7 Order of Dress. Sleeves to be creased pressed and worn rolled up to the elbow.

a. Badge Army Flying – Mounted on material same as jacket and fastened thereon with dome fasteners.

b. Badge, Canadian Parachute – Mounted as per Serial 14 j (1), above.

e. Badges, Rank, Officers – Mounted on slip-ons, see Serial 22, below.

f. Badges, Rank, Other Ranks – See Serial 2 c, above.

h. Patches, Formation – See Serial 2 b, above.

j. Titles, Shoulder – See Serial 2 a, above.

Tropical Service Dress – The Tropical Service Dress as issued for use during the summer months. Made of a lighter material, this dress was worn with Regimental buttons, collar dogs, QOR rank, and black QOR metal shoulder titles.

02185-62-1953 107 Pl
QOR Sergeant – QOR Museum Photo

Wool Sweater – In the colder months an American made wool sweater was issued to the QOR which had a five button up collar. The QOR would alter this sweater by adding Battle Dress pleated chest pockets, epaulettes, the replacing and use of Regimental Bugle buttons.

Mortar team 1962
QOR Mortar team setting up 1962 – QOR Museum Photo

Patrols – During the 1950s-60s all Battalions of the Regiment would adopt the patrol dress as standard issued in lue of the more expensive Full Dress uniform. This uniform of bottle green serge, would have five Regimental buttons down the front, pleated chest pockets, hip pockets with straight flaps, stand up collar with collar dogs, and shoulder straps with metal QOR shoulder titles pinned to the base of the shoulder strap. It is interesting to see in the RSO’s of 1965 the lack of use of scarlet backing to this metal QOR shoulder title. Rifle Regiment rank also worn with trade badge, marksmanship, and specialist badges (Jump wings).

Regimental Standing Orders – 1965

b. Patrol (Other Ranks)

Army specification. Worn with Nos 1 and 2 Orders of Dress. Detail as for officers except: shell of bottle green serge; slash type hip pockets have straight flaps; shoulder strap 2 1/8 inches wide throughout the length to rounded point, sewn on and not stiffened, fastened at the point with button and buttonhole; no buttons on the cuffs; detachable black strip collar not worn and studs in collar of jacket therefore not necessary. Sleeves to be creased pressed.

a. Badge Army Flying

b. Badge, Canadian Parachute

c. Badges, Good Conduct

d. Badges, Marksmanship

e. Badges, Rank, Officers

f. Badges, Rank, Other Ranks

1) Warrant Officers Class 1

2) Warrant Officers Class 2

3) Staff Sergeants

4) Sergeants

5) Corporals

6) Lance Corporals

g. Badges, Tradesman and Specialist

h. Patches, Formation

j. Titles, Shoulder


b. Metal (Officers and Warrant Officers Class 1) – Ordnance pattern. Dark gun metal. The title “QOR” being 1/2 inch in height and 1 3/8 inches in length. Scarlet backing material to show through and 1/16 inch all around.

c. Metal (Other Ranks) – As for Serial 27 b, above, less scarlet backing.

Sgt Mjr in Patrols
Warrant Officer Class 2 in Patrols – QOR Museum Photo
Raising or lowering flag at sunset ceremony
Third Battalion members hoisting a flag at a sunset ceremony in 1966 at Toronto City Hall – Gerry Senetchko’s photo

Lanyard – Sometime in the late 1940s, the Regiment put a request to Department of National Defence to change the Regimental lanyard from the Red lanyard worn since 1910 to a more Rifle Regiment lanyard of black chord. This change has been in use ever since.

Regimental Standing Orders – 1965

Serial 20: LANYARDS

a.Officers, Warrant and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers – Black double cord approximately 24 inches in length, terminating in a white metal swivel snap-fastener. Three sliding runners and one fixed “runner” in the form of Turks Head Knots. Worn on left shoulder. The snap-fastener tucket into the right top corner of breast pocket under the left pocket flap.

b. Other Ranks – Worn by Corporals, Lance-Corporals and by Rifleman who have completed Recruit training. Black single cord approximately 33 inches in length. A 1/2 inch loop at one end and a white metal swivel snap-fastener at the other. Worn on left shoulder. The snap-fastener ticked into the left top corner of breast pocket under the left pocket flap.

1965 shoulder chords

Cyprus 1865 – QOR Museum Photo

Combat Dress (Olive Drab) – The 2nd Battalion upon deployment to Cyprus in 1967 the whole Battalion was issued with brand new stocks of Combat Dress. Worn with ARMLET, OLIVE, DRAB on both sleeves the left armlet would have the Queen’s Own Rifles shoulder title, the 25th Infantry Brigade shield, then with rank underneath. On the right arm replacing the 25th Infantry brigade shield the United Nations circular patch was worn. As well as a slip-on was worn on the epaulette of the shoulders of the uniforms, which was the same drab material as the jacket with a olive drab Q.O.R. On a sewn on title. This uniform was worn with slight alterations until 2006 by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions of the QOR. The 3rd Battalion did not receive this uniform in full until the mid 1970s, which before this was purchased from surplus stores as the supply system for the Militia was in rough shape. After 1970, the wearing of rank was changed from the Armlet to being sewn directly onto the sleeve of the tunic. These rank was of the same colour and thread as the tunic which gave it a camouflaged appearance for wear in the field.

2 QOR 1967 deploying to cyprus
2 QOR departing for deployment to Cyprus 1967 – QOR Museum photo
2 QOR 1967
2 QOR Rifleman saying goodbye to loved ones before departing for deployment to Cyprus 1967 – QOR Museum photo
Combat Dress (Olive Drab) – QOR Museums Collection
Rifleman 1990s – QOR Museum Photo

Distinctive Environmental Uniform Greens – With the coming of unification of the three services of the Canadian Armed Forces a new distinctive uniform which was to be introduced for all three services. This uniform which was designated Distinctive Environmental Uniform Greens which was of similarity to Tropical Service Dress which had been in use for the past 20 years, but in green. The 1st Battalion was the first to use this new uniform in the QOR but would be the last they would wear it on the disbandment on April 26th, 1970. The uniform lacked Epaulets, and under orders to wear gold Canadian Armed Forces buttons as well as no collar dogs. The only item that would signify that the Rifleman was QOR was the units cap badge on the forage cap worn and rifle green colour. This changed when the 3rd Battalion was issued DEU greens in the mid 1970s, the wearing of black QOR buttons, QOR Collar dogs, and felt Queen’s Own Rifles  shoulder flashes were reintroduced.

Disbandment parade 1 QOR
Rebadging ceremony of 1 QOR to 3 PPCLI – QOR Museum Photo
1984 DEU Green
DEU Green worn in 1984 – QOR Museum Photo

Work Dress – Work dress adopted around the same time as Distinctive Environmental Uniform Greens, this was a new pattern of jacket of dark green cotton jacket, two chest pockets, and a full front zipper. Rank was of a new pattern which had a dull gold thread upon it.

1972 recruit course
1972 3rd Battalion recruit course – QOR Museum Photo

Regimental Full Dress – Around 1985, a new full dress tunic was purchased for use in the Regiment. Consisting of similarity to the 1880 Government issued tunic, this tunic consisted of quarter inch black braid around the top, with 1 inch scarlet below. The cuffs still similar had quarter in black braid with 2 cm of scarlet cloth below. Rank was only worn on the right sleeve, and embroidered Q.O.R. On the epaulet.

Sgt Figa Change of RSM
Sgt Figa wearing 1985 Full Dress tunic – QOR Museum Photo

Parachutist Smock 1983 – With the QOR receiving the Parachute tasking to support 3 Commando of the Canadian Airborne Regiment a fresh batch of Airborne Rifleman passed their Airborne Indoctrination course in 1983 which were the first members of the Parachute tasking. With the operationally tasked to provide an airborne platoon these Rifleman were allowed to wear the coveted Parachutist smock worn by the Canadian Airborne Regiment. Similar in camouflage as the British combat uniform Disruptive Pattern Material this smock had a full front zipper, two chest pockets, two waist pockets, epaulets with Olive Drab slip-ons with QOR sewn on, Name tape, and Olive Drab rank worn on both sleeves. This smock was worn as combat clothing (rarely done) and with Work Dress, as well with a maroon t-shirt.

Pitts Smock Front
General Pitts Parchutist Smock – QOR Museum Collection

Section 3.09 Smock Parachutist, p.306-307.

The para smock may be worn as desired or ordered with either Combat or Work Dress. The same condition outlined in paragraph 3.07 reference the wearing of combat clothing to and from place of residence and employment and brief stops enroute will apply.

a. Rank and Regimental Badges.

(1) Officers.

(a) Field. Appropriate combat clothing, combat rank badges with Regimental shoulder flashes at base of slip-ons on epaulettes.

(b) Garrison. Appropriate work dress, work dress rank badges with CANADA shoulder flashes at base of slip-ons on epaulettes.

(2) Men.

Appropriate combat clothing rank badges, on both sleeves, base of rank badge 5 ½” from shoulder seam. Regimental shoulder flashes at base of slop-ons on epaulettes.

b. Name Tape. Combat clothing name tapes will be sewn on the parachute smock horizontally with the tape positioned so that it straddles the two seams above the right breast pocket.

c. Combat Jump Wing. Worn above the left breast pocket as for the name tape.

d. Ranger Tabs. The olive drab pattern may be worn by qualified personnel on the normal position 1” below the seam on the left shoulder. These badges are available from the Regimental Kite Shop.

e. US Army Parachutist Wings (Basic Qualification Only) . Black embroidered US Wings are to be centred 1/2” above the name tape and may be worn by persons qualified. These badges are available from the Regimental Kite Shop.

f. Other Foreign Para Badges. One additional foreign wings may be worn on the right sleeve positioned centrally 1” below the shoulder seam or ½” below the Pathfinder badge where applicable. Basic qualification badge may only be worn.

g. Pathfinder Badges. A distinctive cloth pathfinder badge ( subdued ) plate 2, Fig. 6 , may be worn on the right sleeve 1” below the shoulder seam by qualified personnel in accordance with TSQs.

h. US Army Special Forces Qualification Badges. The US Army Special Forces Qualification Badge in olive drab is authorized for wear on the left sleeve 1” below the shoulder seam.

i. Zipper Position. The zipper as to be done up to a point in line with the top edge of the name tape.

j. Shirts. No shirt will be showing at the neck.

k. Cleaning. To preserve the waterproof nature of the smock, the manufacturer recommends dry-cleaning.

l. Modification. The para smock will not be modified in any way but will be worn as issued and as described above. The Silver Maple Leaf is authorized for wear on the CF. service dress and work dress. It is not to be worn on the parachute smock.

m. Peerless Garments Ltd. 515 Notre Dame Ave., Winnipeg, Man. Is the supplier of the parachute smock.

Ref: 1976 Canadian Airborne Regiment RSOs

Distinctive Environmental Uniform Greens Version 2 – In March, 1988 a new style of DEU Green was introduced to the Regiment. This in similar to what was worn before but the addition of shoulder epaullets which brought back in wear of the black metal Q.O.R. Shoulder title. Worn with this was Black ties, Crossbelts, Black waist belts, and black sword carriers.

Distinctive Environmental Uniform Tans – In March, 1988 the Regiment was issued a new uniform for summer months. This uniform known as Tans which was to be worn during the summer months was of the similar cut as the DEU Greens but a light weight material but with the addition of shoulder epaullets which brought back the black metal Q.O.R. Shoulder title. All badges and accoutrements were the same as with the DEU Greens. Worn with this was Black ties, Crossbelts, Black waist belts, and black sword carriers.

Cpl Yang
QOR Tans – QOR Museum photo

Garrison Dress – Around the same time as the introduction of Tans the Regiment was issued a new working dress. This dress consisted of a tan shirt and a camouflage jacket worn with DEU green pants bloused into a new paratrooper like boot. The felt Queen’s Own Rifles shoulder flash was worn on the shoulder of the sleeve.  Within the Regiments parachute company the Smock Parachutist smock and a maroon t-shirt would replace when garrison dress was worn the camouflage jacket and tan shirt.

QOR contingent on parade in the US – QOR Museum Photo

Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 1 (CADPAT Temperate) – Around 2003, Rifleman who were deplayed to Afghanistan were issued with this new discruptive camouflage developed starting in 1995 then followed suit by the rest of the battalion. This uniform was an exact copy in cut as the Combat Dress (Olive Drab) but in a pixelated camouflage pattern. Rank was worn on a slip on that is located center of the chest, of the same material and in cadpat the rank was embroidered with olive drab stitching as well as a Q.O.R. Embroidered tab, velcro name tape in olive drab stitching as well, and a velcro coloured and olive drab Canada flags.

Rifleman in Kabul – QOR Museum Photo

Canadian Disruptive Pattern (CADPAT Arid) – Starting half way through the first tour of Rifleman in Afghanistan the Cadpat Arid discruptive camouflage was issued. This being worn by Rifleman up until the pull out in 2015, but is currently still being worn whenever deployed to an arid region of the world. Rank was worn on a slip on that is located center of the chest, of the same material and in cadpat the rank was embroidered with tan coloured stitching as well as on the Q.O.R. Embroidered tab below. During the first couple years of this being issued olive drab armlets were worn similar to those worn with Bush Dress, Canada flag, and the Internation Security Assistant Force patch were worn on this armlet. The use of private or base tailors arm pockets were added with velcro on them, this brought into the issue of number different types of patches being worn, as well as the addition of a tan canada flag.

QOR Rifleman with rest of Section 2003 – QOR Museum Photo
Uniform worn by MCpl Debartok in 2008-9 – QOR Museums Collection
Sgt Paton, MCpl McGibbon, and MCpl Kurelo 2009 – QOR Museum Photo

Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 2 (CADPAT Temperate) – The main difference of type 2 was the use of covered buttons which put a material covering the button similar to Battle Dress worn in the Second World War up until the mid 1970s.

Para Pals
Airborne Rifleman – QOR Museum Photo

Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 3 (CADPAT Temperate) – The main difference was the addition of arm pockets with velcro similar to the Arid Cadpat. During the same time of the starting of issue the introduction of High Visiable ranks was introduced. The slip on the same as before but the olive drab stitching was changed to an off white which is used on the rank as well as the Q.O.R. Tab at the base, as well as the velcro name tag now produced in the off white as well.

altered cadpat tunic
Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 3 (CADPAT Temperate) – Graham Humphrey’s Collection

Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 4 (CADPAT Temperate) – This is the first complete redesign of the combat uniform which started to being issued mid 2015. The tunic which is a radical change to what was worn before which was designed for the FN this new tunic is now designed to be worn with body armour. Consisting of a mandarin collar & velcro, arm pocket, pen pocket along the form arm, an action back, and elastics along the sides to help with a better fit. The Canadian flag increased in size to be worn on the sleeve pocket, starting in 2017 Division, Brigade, and 2 specialist courses will be worn on the left and right sleeve pockets. The rank slip on has changed from a slip on to a velcro rectangular tab in high visable off white with CANADA or Q.O.R. Below, and velcro name tag in off white stitching.

Newest version of Cadpat
Canadian Disruptive Pattern type 4 (CADPAT Temperate) – Graham Humphrey’s Collection
I would like to send my gratitude for reading this article about the Evolution of the Rifleman's Enlisted tunics. There are numerous people I would like thank for contributing with the research and photos for this article and I hope everyone has learned something from this.


Graham Humphrey
Assistant Curator

"In Pace Paratus – In Peace Prepared"

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