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Acting Chief of Military Personnel on Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture Change Short-Term Initiatives

Humphrey Bogart

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We love to talk about this mythical creature who loves their job is good at their job and who wants to stick around and who we want to stick around.

Very few of them have all of those checks in the box.

How long do we let people stay in and clog the system/positions ?

Do we want a bunch a middling people hanging about ?
I personally think they should revert to 20 years for the ability to draw an immediate annuity. Heck you could even make it 15 for NCMs like the French Military.

I would happily hang around for 2 more years and then collect a couple of thousand bucks a month for the rest of my life while doing something else.

It would help the system naturally cleanse itself I think.
 

Navy_Pete

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We love to talk about this mythical creature who loves their job is good at their job and who wants to stick around and who we want to stick around.

Very few of them have all of those checks in the box.

How long do we let people stay in and clog the system/positions ?

Do we want a bunch a middling people hanging about ?
Opting out of PERs seems to becoming more regular, so I'm sure there are stats on that.

I think we really need to get out of the mindset that there is something with doing a job adequately. Like the movie says, if you want people to do more than the minimum, raise the minimum standard.

We have lots of tools to make sure people's performance is up to par, and a filled postion being done good enough is a hell of a lot better than an empty billet. With vacancy rates between 25-50% (or higher) across a lot of trades, really don't see anything being clogged up.

I don't think any company drives every employee to become management, so all 'up or out' accomplishes really is rank inflation, and people in Chief/Major jobs doing MCpl/2Lt work.
 

Weinie

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We love to talk about this mythical creature who loves their job is good at their job and who wants to stick around and who we want to stick around.

Very few of them have all of those checks in the box.

How long do we let people stay in and clog the system/positions ?

Do we want a bunch a middling people hanging about ?
We get middling people. We also get high performers and shyte.

I suggest that we are not in a position right now to be “righteous” about the perfect CAF creature. The vast, vast majority of folks I have served with over the last 39 years have been, at minimum, competent, and I have seen/worked with outstanding folks, from Pte to General. But not all were, nor should we expect that.

The demands on the CAF have changed markedly since I enrolled. I would suggest that some demands were needed, some were required by outside influences, and some were imposed. We are where we are…..but.

To expect a viable, high-functioning CAF while imposing unattainable expectations has been a continuous problem. I still think that the majority of CAF folks provide value for the costs incurred.

My .02
 

Halifax Tar

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Opting out of PERs seems to becoming more regular, so I'm sure there are stats on that.

I think we really need to get out of the mindset that there is something with doing a job adequately. Like the movie says, if you want people to do more than the minimum, raise the minimum standard.

We have lots of tools to make sure people's performance is up to par, and a filled postion being done good enough is a hell of a lot better than an empty billet. With vacancy rates between 25-50% (or higher) across a lot of trades, really don't see anything being clogged up.

I don't think any company drives every employee to become management, so all 'up or out' accomplishes really is rank inflation, and people in Chief/Major jobs doing MCpl/2Lt work.

We get middling people. We also get high performers and shyte.

I suggest that we are not in a position right now to be “righteous” about the perfect CAF creature. The vast, vast majority of folks I have served with over the last 39 years have been, at minimum, competent, and I have seen/worked with outstanding folks, from Pte to General. But not all were, nor should we expect that.

The demands on the CAF have changed markedly since I enrolled. I would suggest that some demands were needed, some were required by outside influences, and some were imposed. We are where we are…..but.

To expect a viable, high-functioning CAF while imposing unattainable expectations has been a continuous problem. I still think that the majority of CAF folks provide value for the costs incurred.

My .02

Well I can tell you we are quickly reaching critical mass in some trades because we've chosen to continue to employ people who are in essence only providing a half or less of the value of their salary.

Opting out of a PER should start a clock. After 3 years the member should be released.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Why? Should every NCM be groomed to be a CAFCWO and every officer a CDS? Many people don’t want to progress in rank and that’s absolutely okay. Not sure why that should trigger a release…
Nor should every Officer be groomed to be the CDS. This is done by actually managing people's careers and figuring out what they want out of their time in uniform.

If folks want to climb the ladder, great! lets identify these pers, see if they have the right qualities and attributes, and plot a course for them to follow. If Cpl or Capt Bloggins is great at their job and are happy at doing their job... also great! They are allowing others move forward and filling roles that need to be filled. If Cpl Bloggins knows that this is a 5 year gig before he leaves? Cool. Lets make sure those 5 years are meaningful and useful to the CAF and the mbr. If MCpl McFuckknuckles is a bottom performer and sees himself riding 25 years to a pension on minimal work... I don't care how hard up for people we are; don't offer that mbr an IE25.

We have a bad problem with talent and personnel management within the CAF. "Career Management" has become "Position Management", much to our detriment. Until we start looking at these situations as "right person for the right job" instead of "fill the hole this APS and hope for the best.." We're going to have a bad time at all levels.
 

Halifax Tar

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Why? Should every NCM be groomed to be a CAFCWO and every officer a CDS? Many people don’t want to progress in rank and that’s absolutely okay. Not sure why that should trigger a release…

Fair. At what point has ones inability or choice to not progress become a hindrance to the further development of others ?

How long do we let someone hold up positions and locations ?

That's why I said 3 years, that's seems reasonable to give someone a chance to set themselves up for a life after the CAF.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Fair. At what point has ones inability to choice to not progress become a hindrance to the further development of others ?

How long do we let someone hold up positions and locations ?

That's why I said 3 years, that's seems reasonable to give someone a chance to set themselves up for a life after the CAF.
I think it really depends on the occupation.

A 15 year Cpl turning wrenches on aircraft is generally seen as an expert; a SME; a gold mine of corporate knowledge. Assuming they are not just hiding in canteen. But, that is what leaders are for.

If a trade is under borne or at PML, I don’t see a problem.

If a trade is overborne, I would look first at getting rid of the low hanging fruit of the problem children before I necessarily get rid of career Cpls (yes, the Venn diagram may overlap).
 

Halifax Tar

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Look I've been that guy who lived out of duffle bag doing pier head jumps for years and coming home to an empty apartment after deployments while the same people who shared my ranks and trade continued malingering and holding up other and not carrying their weight.

We need to do better at shedding dead weight. I'd rather lose another 25% if it meant it was the cancers and oxygen thiefs who we lost.

My only concern is that we just retain people because reasons. If we're going to retain someone it needs to done very selectively and with concern for the organisation.
 

Navy_Pete

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Look I've been that guy who lived out of duffle bag doing pier head jumps for years and coming home to an empty apartment after deployments while the same people who shared my ranks and trade continued malingering and holding up other and not carrying their weight.

We need to do better at shedding dead weight. I'd rather lose another 25% if it meant it was the cancers and oxygen thiefs who we lost.

My only concern is that we just retain people because reasons. If we're going to retain someone it needs to done very selectively and with concern for the organisation.
I think you are conflating promotion and retention. Someone can be really gung ho and want to get promoted, and still be a soup sandwhich that should be released. Someone can be happy where they are and still have a lot of valuable contributions to the CAF at that rank.

There are positions that are flagged for 'up and comers', but still far more empty billets where we could just someone competent that knows what they are doing, so who cares if they have career intentions?

Most places it's the absolute norm to have most people stay in roughly the same spot for their career, and only promote those with the desire/competence. We have more than enough tools to either get people up to competence, or release them, but not everyone has to be an astronaut (and even the worst astronaut is still a highly qualified person).

Funnily enough, comparing the trade progression now to about 10 years ago people are now hitting PO1 when they would have previously been senior LS in line for PLQ, so we're actually promoting far quicker than historically, which means a lot less cumulative experience in senior people (and officers similarly have less sea time/experience). So it's fast enough it's a genuine issue, as the system is still built around the assumption that we have those really experienced senior LS doing maintenance.
 

cyber_lass

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But why? I someone likes what they are doing, is good at it, and opts out of a PER, are we going to turf them just because?

Higher ranks are a very different skill set which not everyone is suited for, and in a lot of cases, totally different work which not everyone is interested in. If someone likes turning a wrench and doesn't want to take on additional responsibilities, should we get rid of them?

The US 'up and out' model has a lot of drawbacks, but they have massive numbers and pretty minimal training for new people so can make it work. We have much smaller numbers with a lot more individual training, so it's a big difference.

Forcing people to move up the ranks doesn't help retention either.
I come from the private sector and we have the problem (at least in tech) that many people want to move up to "management" because it means higher pay, not because they want to leave being technical. For the longest time there was no way to get more pay increases without going into management. So that it was just assumed you would go into management. Many just are not suited for that role. Now there is more push for tech leads and leadership/higher pay grade work within the "hands on" group of roles. This is something I can see as an issue if people can chose to stay technical.
 

Navy_Pete

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I come from the private sector and we have the problem (at least in tech) that many people want to move up to "management" because it means higher pay, not because they want to leave being technical. For the longest time there was no way to get more pay increases without going into management. So that it was just assumed you would go into management. Many just are not suited for that role. Now there is more push for tech leads and leadership/higher pay grade work within the "hands on" group of roles. This is something I can see as an issue if people can chose to stay technical.
Same thing here; we could do some things like add additional pay levels at each rank, but generally the more management you take on the higher the pay potential is. At least some of the tech trades have spec pay when they reach certain milestones, but promotion always comes with a pay bump.

Still, we collectively make a pretty solid salary, so you still do better than a good chunk of the Canadian population. Personnally looking at what comes with some of the more senior ranks and the pay to me isn't worth the work/life imbalance, and prefer the kind of work I'm currently doing, so might opt out. But with the CAF culture that can lead to punishment postings etc, which is equally stupid when there are way more holes than people to do them.
 

Quirky

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There will always be issues with promotions and retention when CF pay is tied to rank rather than competence. Your top performers who can fix things are promoted into management, planted into office jobs and generally hate their life. Personally, I joined to turn wrenches and loved it, but staying a junior NCM meant a lower salary forever.
 

Brad Sallows

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I come from the private sector and we have the problem (at least in tech) that many people want to move up to "management" because it means higher pay, not because they want to leave being technical.

Some companies figured that out long ago and restructured their occupational specifications to increase the comp ranges for non-management.
 

dapaterson

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Abolish MCpl pay rates. Give MCpls a monthly allowance of $240 or so. Expand Cpl pay rates by another 3-4 Pay Incentives to gently overlap Sgt basic pay.

To fund it, for one year give the CAF a zero pay increase.
 

Halifax Tar

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I think you are conflating promotion and retention. Someone can be really gung ho and want to get promoted, and still be a soup sandwhich that should be released. Someone can be happy where they are and still have a lot of valuable contributions to the CAF at that rank.

There are positions that are flagged for 'up and comers', but still far more empty billets where we could just someone competent that knows what they are doing, so who cares if they have career intentions?

Most places it's the absolute norm to have most people stay in roughly the same spot for their career, and only promote those with the desire/competence. We have more than enough tools to either get people up to competence, or release them, but not everyone has to be an astronaut (and even the worst astronaut is still a highly qualified person).

Funnily enough, comparing the trade progression now to about 10 years ago people are now hitting PO1 when they would have previously been senior LS in line for PLQ, so we're actually promoting far quicker than historically, which means a lot less cumulative experience in senior people (and officers similarly have less sea time/experience). So it's fast enough it's a genuine issue, as the system is still built around the assumption that we have those really experienced senior LS doing maintenance.

Negative. Retention has massive impacts on promotion and the ops tempos of other pers.

So do we retain evey Cpl/S1 who decides they don't like promotion and just want a day job ?

Bet we very quickly run out of second and third line billets to manage people's ops cycles with. Rinse and repeat with greater effect the higher up you go.

Oh wait were having that problem now, so why don't we just exasperate it ?

Not everyone has to be in competition for CAFCWO but if you've been in for rank for 3+ years post EPZ with no potential or desire for advancement, what value are you are you to the organization anymore ? Who are you holding up ? And what impact on others ops tempos are you having ?
 

Brash

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Negative. Retention has massive impacts on promotion and the ops tempos of other pers.

So do we retain evey Cpl/S1 who decides they don't like promotion and just want a day job ?

Bet we very quickly run out of second and third line billets to manage people's ops cycles with. Rinse and repeat with greater effect the higher up you go.

Oh wait were having that problem now, so why don't we just exasperate it ?

Not everyone has to be in competition for CAFCWO but if you've been in for rank for 3+ years post EPZ with no potential or desire for advancement, what value are you are you to the organization anymore ? Who are you holding up ? And what impact on others ops tempos are you having ?
So wait, now you want to drum out skilled people because checks notes they want to do their job. Is that correct?
Only from the navy.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Negative. Retention has massive impacts on promotion and the ops tempos of other pers.

So do we retain evey Cpl/S1 who decides they don't like promotion and just want a day job ?

Bet we very quickly run out of second and third line billets to manage people's ops cycles with. Rinse and repeat with greater effect the higher up you go.

Oh wait were having that problem now, so why don't we just exasperate it ?

Not everyone has to be in competition for CAFCWO but if you've been in for rank for 3+ years post EPZ with no potential or desire for advancement, what value are you are you to the organization anymore ? Who are you holding up ? And what impact on others ops tempos are you having ?
Why does everything have to be either/or to you?

I do not see how having some career Cpls/S3 will doom our career management system.
 

Halifax Tar

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We love to talk about this mythical creature who loves their job is good at their job and who wants to stick around and who we want to stick around.

Very few of them have all of those checks in the box.

How long do we let people stay in and clog the system/positions ?

Do we want a bunch a middling people hanging about ?

Fair. At what point has ones inability or choice to not progress become a hindrance to the further development of others ?

How long do we let someone hold up positions and locations ?


That's why I said 3 years, that's seems reasonable to give someone a chance to set themselves up for a life after the CAF.

Negative. Retention has massive impacts on promotion and the ops tempos of other pers.

So do we retain every Cpl/S1 who decides they don't like promotion and just want a day job ?

Bet we very quickly run out of second and third line billets to manage people's ops cycles with. Rinse and repeat with greater effect the higher up you go.

Oh wait were having that problem now, so why don't we just exasperate it ?

Not everyone has to be in competition for CAFCWO but if you've been in for rank for 3+ years post EPZ with no potential or desire for advancement, what value are you are you to the organization anymore ? Who are you holding up ? And what impact on others ops tempos are you having ?

Look I've been that guy who lived out of duffle bag doing pier head jumps for years and coming home to an empty apartment after deployments while the same people who shared my ranks and trade continued malingering and holding up other and not carrying their weight.

We need to do better at shedding dead weight. I'd rather lose another 25% if it meant it was the cancers and oxygen thiefs who we lost.

My only concern is that we just retain people because reasons. If we're going to retain someone it needs to done very selectively and with concern for the organization.

Why does everything have to be either/or to you?

I do not see how having some career Cpls/S3 will doom our career management system.

Its not, re-read my posts. My concern is that we retain the right people; for the right reasons; for the right amount of time. Not just anyone who wants it because they want a civilian job in in uniform for an indefinite amount of time.

While we should be concerned for the individual the focus needs to remain on the organization and mission.

So wait, now you want to drum out skilled people because checks notes they want to do their job. Is that correct?
Only from the navy.

We have a Navy that has too many empty billets and too many billets half filled by pers on MELs and retentions. And this only causes more of our fit and able people to be burned out, as they cant get the breaks the deserve.

At what point do we stop sacrificing the fit and able for the sake of the unfit and unable ?
 
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