08/02/2017 12:47 EDT | Updated 08/02/2017 12:48 EDT

Gen. Jonathan Vance: All Military Members Can Wear Uniforms At Pride Events

Personnel used to have to ask permission first.

MONTREAL — Military personnel attending Pride festivities will no longer have to ask permission to wear their uniforms following a directive from Canada's top soldier.

"In an effort to promote diversity and inclusion, the (Chief of the Defence Staff) encourages all members of the CAF to attend and participate in Pride events in uniform," said the directive, which was written in June by Gen. Jonathan Vance.

It specifies the uniform can't be altered in any way.

'We want to be accepted'

The vice-president of Montreal Pride welcomed the news and said a group of army members will march in the city's parade for the first time this year.

"As LGBTQ, no matter where we work or what we do, we want to be accepted," Jean-Sebastien Boudreault said in a phone interview.

"So when a government body as strict as the army makes a step forward, it's always a positive news for the LGBTQ community."

He says that while military personnel have been present at some Pride functions before, he believes it's the first time they'll march in the parade as a group.

Chris Wattie / Reuters
Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance takes part in a news conference on the findings of the Statistics Canada Survey on Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa Nov. 28, 2016.

He said about 10 members of the army have so far signed up to participate in the Aug. 20 event.

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, head of the Canadian Navy.

The order is part of a wider strategy to increase diversity and inclusion in the Canadian Forces.

Military personnel have been able to march in Pride parades for several years but generally have to ask permission to wear their uniforms at public events.