U.S. forces stationed in Canada “will comply” with the country’s directive ordering Canadian soldiers not to wear their uniforms in public during off-duty activities, U.S. Northern Command told Breitbart News.
The edict was issued by Canada’s Department of National Defense on October 23 in the wake of two fatal attacks against Canadian forces that have been described as acts of terrorism by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“U.S. military personnel stationed in Canada will comply with the current Canadian forces uniform policy for off-duty and off-installation wear,” Preston Schlachter, a spokesman for U.S. Northern Command in charge of American troops in Canada, told Breitbart News.
The Canadian directive “prohibits” service members from wearing their military uniforms during off-duty activities such as shopping, eating out, and using public transportation, reported The Canadian Press (CP), which obtained a copy of the mandate.
Soldiers are allowed to wear their uniforms to and from work.
“Let me be clear, we will not hide,” said Chief of the Canadian Defense Staff Gen. Tom Lawson, shortly after the Canadian National Defense issued the order, CP reported.
“We will not be deterred, nor intimidated from our duties,” added the top Canadian general.
CP noted that the order is not sitting well “with some of the rank and file to whom the uniform is more than an article of clothing, but also a statement of pride and allegiance.”
“I’m not afraid to wear my [uniform] in public,” said Canadian Lt. William McArthur. “It has come down that we will not be wearing our [uniforms] in public, but let’s just say we respect the decision and we won’t be wearing our [uniforms] in public.”
Lt. McArthur served with Canadian counterpart Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who was killed during the terrorist attack on October 23.
Cpl. Cirillo, 24, was fatally shot on October 22 by Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, an Islam-convert, while serving at National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Zehaf-Bibeau was ultimately shot himself by Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms of Canada’s House of Commons who has been hailed a hero.
On October 20, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, was killed and another soldier was injured in a hit and run.
The car was driven Martin Rouleau who has been described as “radicalized” by law enforcement and wanted to join the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS and ISIL), CBC News reported.
Primer Minister Harper has described both incidents as acts of terrorism.
“We will be vigilant and we will not run scared. We will be prudent butwe will not panic,” Harper told Canadians on October 23.”Terrorism hasbeen here with us for a while and dangerously close on a number ofoccasions. Our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in thearea of surveillance, attention and arrest.”
Canada has joined the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic extremist group has called for retaliation against nations that have joined the coalition.