Occasionally, you see them in their "dress" uniforms on the anniversaries of their military services. They look like something out of 19th century history books or full colour tintype photographs. Sometimes this costume-ball attire seems more designed for the Charge of the Light Brigade than 21st century armed forces. These are the military attachés that are an integral part of the major embassies around the world and, as reflected in Ottawa, part of the normal diplomatic scene. But other than during these formal social occasions, in Ottawa, military attachés blend into the background; they are as likely to be wearing civilian style pin-striped suits as the basic working uniforms of their military services.