In August 1989, the RCMP issued a directive with regard to authorized head dress for members who practiced the Sikh religion. It was noted that "this directive will not be effected until the appropriate regulation is amended." The directive noted that members of the RCMP who practiced the Sikh religion were authorized to wear:

1 - an RCMP-issued turban in place of the standard headdress;
2 - under the uniform, a small Kirpan, the symbolic Sikh sword, or replica thereof, having a maximum overall length of 8.9 cm;
3 - a Kara, i.e., a symbolic Sikh iron bracelet, and a Khanga, i.e. a Sikh comb worn in the hair under the turban, and
4 - facial hair and other uncut hair.

Although there was considerable opposition to the change, the Canadian government approved the amendments to RCMP Regulations on March 15, 1990. Adopted were:

Two turbans - dark blue for the duty uniform and light brown for the ceremonial uniform.

Three head bands - yellow for the duty uniform; dark brown for the ceremonial uniform and dark blue for Auxiliary Constables uniform.

The small number of required cap badges were modified at RCMP Headquarters in Ottawa. The shanks were removed and replaced with a pin back. The badge was worn only with the dark blue turban.

The first baptized Sikh joined the RCMP in August 1990.

Regimental Details | Uniforms


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by Stephen Luscombe