• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Advancing With Purpose 4th Edn Dec 2020

PPCLI Guy

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
499
Points
910
Our entire check in the box culture of ‘readiness’ needs a good scrub. Your example of how flossing relates to disaster relief is a good one. I once needed to qualify with a 9mm Browning pistol before a deployment, even though not only was I not issued a Browning pistol on that tour, but within the entire Task Force there was not a single Browning pistol.
In my last uniformed position in the CAF, I had "Readiness" in my job title. Shortly after taking on that position I discovered that a C17 crew was being held up because they had not conducted a C7 PWT.....even though none of them would be issued a C7, or even have access to one. That was quickly unfucked, and ultimately led to a wholesale review of the training requirements for missions....
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,850
Points
1,040
In my last uniformed position in the CAF, I had "Readiness" in my job title. Shortly after taking on that position I discovered that a C17 crew was being held up because they had not conducted a C7 PWT.....even though none of them would be issued a C7, or even have access to one. That was quickly unfucked, and ultimately led to a wholesale review of the training requirements for missions....
Wouldn't you consider it to be a systemic problem that it had to get all the way to your level to be unfucked rather than to be done at a lower lower level of CoC?

🍻
 

PPCLI Guy

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
499
Points
910
Wouldn't you consider it to be a systemic problem that it had to get all the way to your level to be unfucked rather than to be done at a lower lower level of CoC?

🍻
The problem is that no one before me fixed it...because they didn't know it was broken. Which meant that the Iron Majors and MWOs had been running amok for years, and no one challenged them....because no one asked.

I have always said, at every level, if I don't know it is broken, I cant fix it. Some got it. Others hid. Now I am retired....
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,458
Points
1,060
In my last uniformed position in the CAF, I had "Readiness" in my job title. Shortly after taking on that position I discovered that a C17 crew was being held up because they had not conducted a C7 PWT.....even though none of them would be issued a C7, or even have access to one. That was quickly unfucked, and ultimately led to a wholesale review of the training requirements for missions....

There should be a medal for fearless displays of common sense like that.

But then you'd need a second jacket :)
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
672
Points
910
In 2010 while DAGging for Op CADENCE, I was found deficient due to an incorrectly entered vaccination in my immunization book. The vaccination had been administered a few years earlier prior to another deployment by CFHSC Ottawa. (I had deployed twice following this with no issues.) The Comd LFCA was very insistent that no waivers would be granted during the DAG process and the look on my CO's and TF Comd's faces when they saw a one of their TF RSMs sitting on the "bench of shame" was priceless. Notwithstanding their reaction, I was DAGGed RED in the interim and I had to return a couple of days later to be re-vaccinated and have my book updated.

All that to say I'm thrilled that PPCLI Guy was able to institute a wholesale review, which was probably 20 years overdue. It's disheartening that the DAG and RTHR processes don't evolve and adopt lessons learned. Instead we often were not DAGging/training for Roto 10, we're DAGging/training for Roto 0 for the tenth time.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,458
Points
1,060
In 2010 while DAGging for Op CADENCE, I was found deficient due to an incorrectly entered vaccination in my immunization book. The vaccination had been administered a few years earlier prior to another deployment by CFHSC Ottawa. (I had deployed twice following this with no issues.) The Comd LFCA was very insistent that no waivers would be granted during the DAG process and the look on my CO's and TF Comd's faces when they saw a one of their TF RSMs sitting on the "bench of shame" was priceless. Notwithstanding their reaction, I was DAGGed RED in the interim and I had to return a couple of days later to be re-vaccinated and have my book updated.

All that to say I'm thrilled that PPCLI Guy was able to institute a wholesale review, which was probably 20 years overdue. It's disheartening that the DAG and RTHR processes don't evolve and adopt lessons learned. Instead we often were not DAGging/training for Roto 10, we're DAGging/training for Roto 0 for the tenth time.

I deployed three times to NI in the British Army, as a Reg F member.

The first time, I was fresh out of Sandhurtst (which included some pretty good COIN training) and all I needed was a quick 2 week upgrading course at NITAT Ballykinlar, in NI, prior to being attached to my unit.

The second and third times I went through the full workup package with my regiments, managed by NITAT at Hythe and Lydd. One for a rural tour, and another for a Belfast tour.

Each of these 'full meal deal' experiences represented, from start to finish, about two months of intensive training. Specialist skills, like drivers and search team members, were trained concurrently. Some, like the Int teams, were pulled away to start their training before the main unit training as they had alot more to hoist in. We had some reservists attached to us on these tours and they joined in the training, and then deployed, with us. I don't think we 'rejected' any of these guys but in both cases (Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines) we had reservists who had passed the relevant selection programs - P Company, Commando Course - to make it into those units in the first case. Their total time away from work/ home would have amounted to about 8 months, max.

Fast forward to my experience in the CAF during the Afghanistan experience.

I was a militia rifle company OC during this period of about 4 or 5 years when, for reservists, the work up period seemed interminable, months and months, and was consistently... well... inconsistent. We never really knew when we had to send people, and to where, and to what levels they needed to be trained and prepared prior to attending workups. It was always a colossal PITA for everyone involved, and skewed the whole unit training cycle to try to accommodate the vagaries on the system. In some ways, I don't think the Reserves have ever recovered from this.

I considered deploying myself but faced the prospect of being away from my business and family for up to a year given the interminable workup phase, the tour itself, then the wind down afterwards, plus all the associated uncertainties. This would have put me out of business, and probably seen me divorced as well, so I canned that idea after a hard look in the mirror. I know at least two reservists, one of whom deployed twice, whose businesses and family lives failed because they deployed, and they struggled to succeed in the civilian world following their tours.

All that to say is if we had a really slick, efficient, well integrated system of some kind you could quite easily be able to rely on the reserves to do what they're supposed to do: surge in to support the Reg F as required. Right now we're more of a hindrance than a help, it seems, and have been left to go play with our toys on our own in the corner while not contributing much of anything important to the overall effort.
 

PPCLI Guy

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
499
Points
910
Oh how I hate the Army approach to readiness. Road to High Readiness my ass. It is the driveway to irrelevance.

I did UNTAT (UN Trg Adv Tm) twice when I was with the Brits.First time as a trainer, second time as PTA. It was two weeks of intensive mission specific training. Two years later I returned to Bosnia with a Canadian unit, after an 8 month work up period. And if I am honest, the Canadian Bn was better trained, fitter, and more focused than the Brit one, but we still did 8 months training.

If you command a company or a battalion and it cannot deploy, including leave, with 8 weeks warning you should be fired.

We use the RTHR to get someone else to pay for training we want to do, and then try to train all the risk out of an inherently risky proposition. It is unprofessional and wastes time - our soldier's time. It also erodes our confidence in ourselves, and each other.

Sigh.

<Deep retired breath>
 

CBH99

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
692
Points
990
Oh how I hate the Army approach to readiness. Road to High Readiness my ass. It is the driveway to irrelevance.

I did UNTAT (UN Trg Adv Tm) twice when I was with the Brits.First time as a trainer, second time as PTA. It was two weeks of intensive mission specific training. Two years later I returned to Bosnia with a Canadian unit, after an 8 month work up period. And if I am honest, the Canadian Bn was better trained, fitter, and more focused than the Brit one, but we still did 8 months training.

If you command a company or a battalion and it cannot deploy, including leave, with 8 weeks warning you should be fired.

We use the RTHR to get someone else to pay for training we want to do, and then try to train all the risk out of an inherently risky proposition. It is unprofessional and wastes time - our soldier's time. It also erodes our confidence in ourselves, and each other.

Sigh.

<Deep retired breath>
I wish I could give this 10 thumbs up
 

Infanteer

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Donor
Reaction score
970
Points
1,060
Oh how I hate the Army approach to readiness. Road to High Readiness my ass. It is the driveway to irrelevance.
....
We use the RTHR to get someone else to pay for training we want to do, and then try to train all the risk out of an inherently risky proposition. It is unprofessional and wastes time - our soldier's time. It also erodes our confidence in ourselves, and each other.
So is there a better approach?
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
1,844
Points
910
So is there a better approach?
A lot of the pre-deployment training/screening we do is “check in the box”. It is unimaginative, unfocussed and often, unnecessary.

Nobody (to my knowledge) actually looks at the upcoming mission and puts in place an actual individual/collective training plan that actually makes sense. Rather, a monstrosity gets grabbed off the shelf that tries to reduce risk (the risk of a senior officer or the government being accused of negilience, mind, not actual risk to troops) to zero. So, every conceivable piece of training gets put in place. Training that ignores how different services operate (CJOC, until recently, had yet to admit or accept that RCAF aircrew carry SiG Sauer pistols. The standard pre-deployment training calls for a Browning qualification, dammit!). A gas hut run is deemed more important than aircrew getting their flying stats in order, despite there being no credible NBC threat at sea. When I went to Ramstein in 2017 to work, at a NATO HQ, I was required by CJOC to do a gas hut run and go to the range, despite me working in an office environment in a first world country. Canada keeps neither small arms, nor NBCW kit at that location.

So, in summary, a little bit of common sense and some actual acceptance that soldiers, sailors and air(people?) are pretty well trained to begin with, so let’s not unnecessarily insult everybody’s intelligence by starting over from day one at basic training, every time we deploy.
 
Last edited:

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,458
Points
1,060
So is there a better approach?

So, in summary, a little bit of common sense and some actual acceptance that soldiers, sailors and air(people?) are pretty well trained to begin with, so let’s not unnecessarily insult everybody’s intelligence by starting over from day one at basic training, every time we deploy.

This was the underlying assumption of every tour/deployment I did in the British Army.

The Army had already trained you and the CO & Bde Comd were expected to figure it out and get on with it. Allied with a really good 'sausage machine' type pre-deployment training program run by a Forces-wide, or other, training establishment that was tailored to current conditions (e.g., NITAT), it was fully possible to train up and deploy troops to Arctic Norway (4 months unaccompanied), Northern Ireland (4-6 months unaccompanied, or 2 years accompanied), the Jungle (3-4 months unaccompanied), Armoured formations on the Central Front, or any number of other tasks.

Within 8 weeks. Not including one week pre-deployment leave if you were entitled.
 

rnkelly

Member
Reaction score
7
Points
180
Oh how I hate the Army approach to readiness. Road to High Readiness my ass. It is the driveway to irrelevance.

Driveway to irrelevance, that's awesome!

I'll use that the next time I'm stabbing the gravel with a bayonet for mine training instead of getting ready for an Air Force deployment by actually flying.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,458
Points
1,060
Driveway to irrelevance, that's awesome!

I'll use that the next time I'm stabbing the gravel with a bayonet for mine training instead of getting ready for an Air Force deployment by actually flying.
real and true GIF
 

TangoTwoBravo

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
368
Points
880
I was on the pistol range with my Chalk a couple of hours after my arrival at Kandahar airfield in 2006. The soldier next to me had never been trained on the pistol that he had been issued. Awkward moments ensued.

I was very well prepared for my year-long deployment as a unarmed Observer with the UN in 2014. I found it odd that I had to qualify on the C7 and Pistol since I would not have a weapon, but hey. My training at PSTC was very focused and absolutely prepared me for deployment.

As the ranking senior officer in a high-readiness L2 HQ I was in the tough position on a Saturday of having two key members of a Reconnaissance Team having barely-expired PWT qualifications as we got them ready to leave the country that weekend. I was willing to accept risk, but I still had to go to CJOC.

What shall we cut from our IBTS/pre-deployment requirements? If you stay on top of IBTS then pre-deployment is less of an issue. Who should have the hammer on risk acceptance?
 

Kat Stevens

Army.ca Fixture
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
254
Points
910
Looking at all this from the bottom of the food chain, 8-9 months of runup training for a six month deployment was always pointless. An AEV driver already knows his job. A Leo loader knows his job. Recce Sgts know their job. Very reminiscent of doing the exact same trace 18 times a year in WX just so junior officers could see what it feels like to have their heads sticking out the hatch. "Okay, driver, we're going to be under this tree for 28 minutes, now is a good time for a leak and a quick brew up". It doesn't matter where we do it, the job doesn't change. Other than boning up on the various weapons drills and the threat of prosecution from the legal beagles if you use said weapons, being a bipedal carbon based chess piece for the grownups to shove around the map is not the best use of troops time. IMHO, of course.
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
1,844
Points
910
I was on the pistol range with my Chalk a couple of hours after my arrival at Kandahar airfield in 2006. The soldier next to me had never been trained on the pistol that he had been issued. Awkward moments ensued.

I was very well prepared for my year-long deployment as a unarmed Observer with the UN in 2014. I found it odd that I had to qualify on the C7 and Pistol since I would not have a weapon, but hey. My training at PSTC was very focused and absolutely prepared me for deployment.

As the ranking senior officer in a high-readiness L2 HQ I was in the tough position on a Saturday of having two key members of a Reconnaissance Team having barely-expired PWT qualifications as we got them ready to leave the country that weekend. I was willing to accept risk, but I still had to go to CJOC.

What shall we cut from our IBTS/pre-deployment requirements? If you stay on top of IBTS then pre-deployment is less of an issue. Who should have the hammer on risk acceptance?
The specific issue is that, eventually units just give up on training the basics because it is a waste of time. CJOC will just make you do everything, all over again, anyway as part of pre-deployment training, so why bother?

if we trusted COs and resourced them adequately, maybe we wouldn’t have to do this ”driveway dance“ every single deployment.
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
703
Points
940
The specific issue is that, eventually units just give up on training the basics because it is a waste of time. CJOC will just make you do everything, all over again, anyway as part of pre-deployment training, so why bother?

if we trusted COs and resourced them adequately, maybe we wouldn’t have to do this ”driveway dance“ every single deployment.
It's this mentality that I see heavily in the PRes, which leads to subpar training as a normal to get the check in the box at thats it. I can't tell you how many times of done walk through talk through and thats considered "did it" even though I learned nothing after the first time 11 years ago.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,458
Points
1,060
It's this mentality that I see heavily in the PRes, which leads to subpar training as a normal to get the check in the box at thats it. I can't tell you how many times of done walk through talk through and thats considered "did it" even though I learned nothing after the first time 11 years ago.

For some reason, Pre-COVID anyways, we were forced to 'go through the basics' for the first half of the training year. Every. Single. Year.

It wasn't until January that you could actually begin doing any interesting training. And then you only had two weekends, in January and February, to get the troops ready for any Bde level concentrations in March, during Spring Break. As a result, some experienced soldiers got bored and left/ checked out, and there was always a panic to try and get people ready for whatever Level 4/5 training was being planned for March.

The term 'self-defeating' well fits this approach IMHO.
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
586
Points
910
It's this mentality that I see heavily in the PRes, which leads to subpar training as a normal to get the check in the box at thats it. I can't tell you how many times of done walk through talk through and thats considered "did it" even though I learned nothing after the first time 11 years ago.

And that's a problem within the organization. The "check the box" culture is one of "cover your ass," where we value currency over proficiency. Your pre-deployment training will make you current but not necessarily proficient. However, when something happens, it will be easy to point the finger at the individual, rather than the institution, since they were "current" even though leadership failed the individual and failed to make them proficient.
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
1,844
Points
910
And that's a problem from the organization. The "check the box" culture is one of "cover your ass," where we value currency over proficiency. Your pre-deployment training will make you current but not necessarily proficient. However, when something happens, it will be easy to point the finger to the individual, rather than the institution, since they were "current" even though leadership failed the individual and failed to make them proficient.
This.
 
Top