Okay, there has been a lot of confusion and some legitimate concern expressed to me over this issue. I don't want anyone to think I am not taking their concerns seriously, so let me state my position on the matter.
This is a forum set up for the discussion of 20th Century Canadian Army topics, with a focus on history and uniforms, as those are my interests. From that main topic, we start to see some breakdown of "side" interests. Collectors make up a large part of the interested parties here. That's not technical "history" but it's related, so I gladly entertain such discussions. Re-enactors are another similar category. Other hobbies such as scale modelling and wargaming are connected. Genealogy is another big part of the picture. Many different facets of the main topic.
Recognizing that the Canadians served as part of the UK's war effort, in so many ways, from training manuals to the zone of communication to being part of 21st and 15th Army Groups, etc., I expanded the focus of the board early on - 10 years ago I think - to include "British" in the forum description. "Commonwealth" crept in somewhere also.
Over the years, as noted, it has become apparent that those who like to talk about 20th Century Canadian Army "stuff" also often have an interest in the other services, and find it difficult to find appropriate venues to ask questions, particularly regarding collecting questions, and find it easy to get quick answers here. This has not been a burden since the atmosphere I've wanted to foster is that if you're among friends, a slight deviation isn't a great bother, as long as it doesn't get to be intrusive.
In this particular case, Dan, since I didn't lock up the thread or delete it on sight, or caution anyone, I think you can presume that you're safe in responding (keeping on topic to the original query). If a judgement call needs to be made as to the appropriateness of the original question, perhaps going forward, I would be the best one to make that call. If there are concerns that the forum is straying too far from the beaten path, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work this out.
I may need to revise the rules at the top of the forum and post some stronger advice on this.
Otherwise, usual common sense stuff applies; respect and courtesy goes a long way. Clive posted today about "dumb posts." It may sound trite, but I don't believe in dumb questions. Some people have certainly expressed a bit of exasperation about stupid answers, and I don't necessarily agree with that either. On the one hand, people come here with all good intentions looking to seek help knowing that there are well-respected, knowledgeable people with a reputation for being helpful and informative, if not entertaining. On the other hand, those same people sometimes show fatigue and impatience when answering questions they believe to be elementary or if they receive no appreciation (by which I mean the simple courtesy of a word of thanks), or if they suspect the motives of the person asking the questions (an extreme example is an ebay fake artist canvasing for free advice on how to make first rate counterfeit badges).
Basically, best advice is treat others as you would want to be treated. I will watch a little more closely how off-topic and newcomers are responded to, and if some "battle fatigue" sets in I will prefer to deal with it via email. Which is why I prefer the use of real names and emails, and have had no qualms in the past, and continue not to, about deleting "Anonymous" posts on sight, particularly the disrespectful ones.
Hopefully this clears up some issues for the benefit of all.