Captain Aralt Mac Giolla Chainnigh of the Canadian army is suing the Federal Government and the chief of the defence staff to stop Canadian soldiers having to toast Elizabeth Windsor, who is the hereditary head of state of both Canada and Britain.
He has been using the military grievance system for five years to have abolished the requirement that military personnel toast Ms. Windsor or salute the God Save the Queen anthem at mess dinner, parades and Remembrance Day ceremonies He says that it is degrading to require individuals to publicly express allegiance contrary to their beliefs.
The Canadian Forces Grievance Board rejected the complaint in May, claiming that the Captain, who has a PhD and is an associate professor at the Canadian military academy "fundamentally misunderstood how Canada was governed". His appeal to the chief of the defence staff Gen. Rick Hillier against this ruling was also rejected. Gen. Hillier said that he could not see how "showing respect to our head of state is anything but proper and lawful" although that head of state is not Canadian and lacks democratic legitimacy.
The Captain swore an oath of allegiance to Windsor when he enlisted at age 16. He is now an associate professor of physics at the Royal Military College.