How Canada’s Iconic Mountie Uniforms Are Made | Boot Camp


These men and women are some of the newest members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, also known as the Mounties. The RCMP is Canada’s federal police force, known worldwide for their
iconic scarlet tunics, referred to as the Red Serge. Each cadet gets fitted for their tunic about halfway through their 26-week training program. Cadet: It’s a really exciting moment. It makes you very proud to be here. Cadet: When you put it on, you feel pride. Cadet: I cannot believe it when
I saw myself in the mirror. Narrator: While this is what you’re likely to see Mounties wearing in the field, the Red Serge is worn
at ceremonial events. It’s part of what’s known as the kit that’s issued to the 1,000 cadets that graduate from the RCMP
training academy each year. Along with the tunic, the uniform includes trousers known as breeches, a Stetson hat, a Sam Browne belt, and a pair of high
leather Strathcona boots. The tunics are made by a company in Quebec before being shipped here, to the RCMP Academy in
Regina, Saskatchewan. They’re made of wool and
include a satin lining. Sean Lussier: Right now they’re not as comfortable as you would think, but they are custom-made
primarily for the look, so they’re not gonna be as functional to do your everyday kind of job in them. Narrator: Here at the academy, a team of 20 tailors perform all the alterations for each cadet. Nila Filoteo: About eight
of them are custom tailors, and the rest are general tailors, and general tailors usually do the pants and the breeches, and the custom tailors are the one that does the red tunic. We take them apart, we put them together, and do the alterations. Narrator: Alterations for each tunic can take up to two days. Tailor: Now you try on the overalls. Narrator: If an officer
outgrows his or her uniform, they simply request a new one at no additional charge to them. According to the RCMP, the total cost of each cadet’s uniform,
including the Red Serge and their normal duty clothing, comes out to about 4,500 Canadian dollars. And about $500 of that
cost is for the boots. Each pair is handcrafted by the Alberta Boot Company… before being sent to the leather shop at the RCMP Academy, where each pair is
custom fit to each cadet. Rod Johnson: So, we look after all of the brown ceremonial leather. Each pair of boots is fit to each individual cadet, whether that means stretching them or making them smaller. To stretch them, they are soaked in a tub and then we open them up
with a series of blocks. A block that mimics the calf, a block that mimics the shin, and then, depending on the
amount we need to stretch them, we open them up to the appropriate size that we need for each individual. Once we reach that size by
blocking them like that, then we put them in our drying booth, and they dry for about a week so that they will take that shape permanently. We do up to 32 pairs of boots in a week, and then they’re issued to the cadet, and they begin to do the arduous task of putting 20 to 40 different
coats of polish on them so that they no longer
look one-dimensional. After the cadets are done polishing them, they look more three-dimensional. Narrator: They might look shiny, but these pictures don’t
quite do them justice. When you see them in person, these boots boast an
almost otherworldly sheen. To get there, it takes a lot of polish. Chris Darcy: We used to make
them pay for it, but now Her Majesty decides she’s
gonna buy us polish. This is one of the techniques. The idea here is to build up the color. You see, the difference
in color is pretty drastic for polished boot and unpolished boot. We get it, it’s superhot water, and put a coat of polish on here. All we’re doing is take the hot sponge, and we simply are rubbing the polish in. And it looks like it’s doing nothing, and all that’s happening is
we’re filling in the pores. So we would do about 20 coats of these. One of the tricks we do,
though, is we take pantyhose. You put an old pair of socks in there, and it’s kind of like
when you sand your car, you start with coarse grit
and go to a finer grit, and these pantyhose are actually
a little bit finer grit, and we’d actually just brush it off. The longer you go, you start
getting character in it, and it has a bit of a marbling effect as it takes the grain of the leather. All those memories you make shining boots with your troop mates. Each pair of boots kind
of tells its own story. Lussier: The Red Serge is
just one of those things that just kinda stands out as being as Canadian as it can be. Johnson: That, you know, signifies to them that they’re becoming a Mountie ’cause that is, you know,
one of the iconic symbols that separate the Mounties from other police forces in the world.

69 thoughts on “How Canada’s Iconic Mountie Uniforms Are Made | Boot Camp

  1. this man literally said her majesty decided to buy us wax to polish…thats a cute way to say taxes

  2. I’ll just pay someone to polish my boots professionally. I’m too much of a lazy piece of shit to polish my boots with 20+ coats of polish. Plus, I never learnt to polish or clean my own boots, lol. I wonder if professional boot polishers exist in my area and actually know what they’re doing and not damaging the material? Hmm..might look into it.

  3. Correctional officer's uniform's in Texas are made in the prisons by the inmates. Most of them are badly proportioned, and have crooked stitching. Our government probably spends $10 per uniform lol.

  4. Spend less time polishing your boots and more time training : ) . The Queen sends you polish when you are in need howver, big bro to the South will have your bacj when you/if you ever need US 🇺🇸

  5. It isn't her Majesty paying for these uniforms, it's the tax payer. "The RCMP is a fucked up organization" -retired RCMP staff sergeant Iian 'fergy' Ferguson

  6. $4500 (give or take a few hundred dollars) is roughly the same amount of money for tuition for a college (or community college if you are not from Canada – both mean the same thing) in Canada.

  7. Caring about fashion and image rather than functionality. I think it would be better to show the tactical fashion and gears as well. Also the cadets performance in cross fit, shooting, fighting.

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