POLITICS

DND photo ban of soldiers in identifiable manner relaxed for Iraq repatriation

03/09/2015 06:37 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - The Canadian military's recent predilection for banning the identifiable photographing of Canadian soldiers on deployed operations was relaxed on Monday to allow for the public release of images from Sgt. Andrew Doiron's ramp ceremony.

The move was highly unusual given it was just last week that the brass was called upon to justify the prohibition of shots of troops as they departed for a training mission in eastern Europe.

A spokesman for National Defence, Daniel Le Bouthillier, says safety is always paramount, but the military is continually adapting its force protection measures and ultimately it is the on-scene "commander's prerogative" to determine what is appropriate.

He says, given the threat-level assessment, the gravity of the incident and "the importance of adequately honouring our fallen, it was deemed appropriate" to release the picture which showed troops carrying Doiron's casket.

The ban on face shots was imposed last fall at the height of concern over Islamic State terrorists retaliating against soldiers at home.

It is also unusual given that special forces have throughout their existence been rarely photographed, except in tightly managed circumstances.