Occupational Patrol Dress
Throughout the world, Military Police have usually worn the standard issue uniforms of their country's military. The only way to distinguish an MP from any other soldier was by insignia or a few items of special equipment. Canadian Forces Military Police however, are very much unique, as unlike other Military Police, Canadian MPs are Peace Officers, with training and experiance that equals or exceedes that of most civilian police services. Military Police Occupational Patrol Dress (MPOPD)is a marked departure from standard military uniforms and fills a requirement for an all weather uniform that is suited for general and domestic police patrol duties, and is immediately recognisable as a police uniform.
Versions of MPOPD underwent user trials for several years. It is intended only for police patrol duties and was initially worn only by Military Police up to and including the rank of Sergeant, however some units appear to have authorised it's wear by more senior Non Commissioned Members.
A number of patterns of ballistic vest, shirt, jacket and trousers were tested, all very similar in design to those worn by civilian police forces. There are versions for male and female MPs.
Until 2005, MPOPD was worn with standard environmental headdress: the scarlet, blue or black berets worn by the Army, Air Force and Navy respectively. In 2005, CANFORGEN (Canadian Forces General Order)103-05 ordered that:
IAW CHAP 6, PARA 2F OF REF A, MP, REGARDLESS OF THEIR ENVIRONMENTAL AFFILIATION, SHALL WEAR THE SCARLET BERET OR TURBAN, AS FOLLOWS, EXCEPT WHEN DIFFERENT HEADDRESS IS ORDERED TO SUIT THE CIRCUMSTANCE OF DUTY OR WEATHER
NAVAL MP WITH ALL ORDERS OF DRESS EXCEPT NO 1, 1A, 1C, 1D AND 3
LAND FORCE MP WITH ALL ORDERS OF DRESS AND
AIR FORCE MP WITH ALL ORDERS OF DRESS EXCEPT NO 1 AND 1A
Several patterns of civilian police style shoulder patches were proposed for wear with MPOPD, images of 3 of the proposed shoulder patches are shown below. Option 2 was initially the preferred patch in user trials, however a modified version was selected. Issues of MPOPD began in 2001 and it is now standard across Canada.
None of the 3 options trialed above were adopted. The final approved version of the patch is shown below and in wear. There was an initial requirement for 10,000 patches, this appears to have been increased to 15,000. Additional patches will be acquired as needed.
The final version of MPOPD consists of a black bomber style jacket for wear in cold weather, black covered soft body armour, black short sleeve shirt and black trousers. The MP in the image is a Navy Leading Seaman and is wearing the black Navy beret. Rank insignia on MPOPD is worn on slip-ons and is the dull gold on black navy pattern.
The cold weather jacket has two exterior and two interior pockets and a removable liner. Rank insignia is worn in the form of shoulder slip-ons.
Back view of the jacket. The jacket has two zippers on the sides to facilitate wearing with the patrol equipment belt.
The jacket cuffs can be turned back to reveal reflective strips, an aid for traffic control duty.
A panel on the back can be folded down to reveal a reflective black and silver Military Police patch.
On normal Police patrol duties, body armor must be lighter and more flexible than armor worn in combat. Known as "soft body armor", vests for police use conform to standards established by the American National Institute Of Justice Police body armor must be able to stop most handgun rounds as well as be resistant to stap/puncture/slash.