Defense lifts ban on soldiers wearing uniform in public

Dutch soldiers are again allowed to wear their uniforms in public. Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense lifted the ban that was implemented in 2014 due to an increased threat of attacks on soldiers by jihadists, according to a Defense memorandum that will be published on Monday, ANP reports.

"The army has the task of protecting our kingdom and its allies. So it is also important that you are recognizable and approachable", the Minister said. According to her, the ban is being lifted at the express wish of Dutch soldiers. 

Bijleveld hopes that allowing soldiers to wear uniforms in public will also help with recruitment and addressing staff shortages at Defense. "We have to recruit a lot of new people and then it is important to show what soldiers do. That people can speak to them on the street if they want to know more about them."

Defense instituted the ban on soldiers wearing uniforms in public in September 2014, due to an increased threat of jihadists committing attacks on soldiers. The ban was relaxed late in 2016, allowing Defense personnel to wear their uniform in their personal or service cars.