Defence Force to remove Rising Sun badge from Grade 2 Slouch Hat, deeming it ‘disrespectful'
Adding a clip to the "Grade 2" hat would make more sense and be more respectful. As I have worn a digger hat myself in my time, I feel rather strongly about this. It just seems a snide way to downgrade a very proud tradition. Men died under that badge
The Australian Defence Force has made the controversial decision to remove the badge from the downward brim of the Grade 2 Slouch Hat from July 1, deeming it "disrespectful".
A Defence spokesman said the decision had nothing to do with widespread cuts announced in the Budget.
"The Rising Sun Badge should never be hidden from view or worn pointed to the ground as is the case when worn on the downturned brim of the Grade 2 Slouch Hat, as this may be viewed as disrespectful," the spokesman said.
"This decision was made in respect of army's symbol."
Lieutenant General Morrison told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra today that it was his decision alone to ban the badge from the Grade 2 hat.
"The Grade 2 Slouch Hat is constructed in a way that its side can never actually be put up," he said. Lt Gen Morrison said there was no interlocking latch on the top of the hat so it could never be worn up showing the Rising Sun badge. It had always been on the underside of the brim.
"It seemed to me to be inappropriate and I made the decision as the chief of army to take the badge off the hat," he said. "It seemed disrespectful to me."
Lt Gen Morrison said most soldiers understood the logic behind his decision. "I know that there have been a few people that have said that they don't agree with it," he said. "It was on my shoulders to make the decision and I did."
The Rising Sun Badge will remain on the upturned brim of the Grade 1 Slouch Hat during ceremonial duties.
Soldiers will be allowed to keep the Rising Sun hat badges they currently own.
The Rising Sun badge was originally known as the General Service Badge but is now officially called the Australian Army Badge.