Nova Scotia

Uniforms at work to highlight part-time soldiers

There was a mix of pencil skirts, business suits and army uniforms in many workplaces across the province Wednesday as part-time soldiers marked the first Army Reservists Recognition Day.
Paul Allen traded the garb he'd usually wear as a charted accountant for the uniform he wears as a part-time soldier. (CBC)

There was a mix of pencil skirts, business suits and army uniforms in many workplaces across the province Wednesday as part-time soldiers marked the first Army Reservists Recognition Day.

The event is supposed to highlight co-workers who moonlight in the Canadian military.

Paul Allen traded the garb he'd usually wear as executive director of Nova Scotia's Utility and Review board for the uniform he wears as a part-time soldier.

Allen said his lieutenant-colonel uniform stands out at the office.

"From time to time they see me in uniform and it's a bit of a surprise. If I have a military event and I arrive at the office in combats or in dress uniform as I am today. it does remind them that I am in the army but they don't think about that day in and day out," he said.

Cpl. Nicole Reid, 19, said she joined the reserves three years ago to help with the family finances.

She said the uniform comes with a new set of priorities and friends.

"Instead of going shopping for three hours they'd be like, 'hey, do you want to go to the gym, I've got a new workout.' It's very different."

The army said it hopes honoring its reservists and asking them to wear the uniform to their day jobs will show a side of the military people rarely think about.

Allen said the two jobs overlap in many ways.

"I mean here at the board we do public hearings all over the province and the set up of those hearings, the co-ordination of the hearings, there is a tremendous overlap to military planning."

According to the Canadian Army's website, Oct. 3 was chosen because this was the day in 1914 that the volunteer group the 1st Canadian Division left from Quebec to sail to Europe at the start of the First World War.

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