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Auditor General Suggests RMC Not Working

dapaterson

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ballz said:
Random tangent... I find it pretty frustrating how their seems to be very little data on this stuff. Can we seriously be not monitoring it?

The folks in DGMPRA have a lot of I/O psychologists - military, retired military, and civilians - who study a bunch of things.  They have much more data (of varying qualities, admittedly) than they will ever be able to assess.  On an annual basis, all the CAF (and DND as well) submit requests for research; they produce reviews & reports that are distributed to sponsors.  There's also a large library available.  Some of it is material only available in one official language, which can cause problems, but there is an index available from them (at least, that's what I recall - I'd have to check in with the Director General there, an officer of The RCR turned PSel, now a "LCol (ret'd), MSc, PhD").


Some of the research is inferential.  So, for example, I doubt there is any comprehensive data on socioeconomic status of ROTP enrolees.  However, using the Canadian postal code of their address on enrolment, coupled with census data by postal code might permit some inferences, given a large enough sample size.  (This is me spitballing near midnight on a Friday, so there's not a whole lot of academic rigour right now).
 

Journeyman

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dapaterson said:
(This is me spitballing near midnight on a Friday, so there's not a whole lot of academic rigour right now).
That's OK, there's no shortage of people here stating "I think" when it's obvious they mean "I choose to believe."  ;)


/my 'opinion vs informed  opinion' hobby-horse
 

kev994

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Some universities are cheaper than others, should we contract to the lowest bidder? Maybe everyone should get an online degree from the University of Phoenix.  Better yet, I got an email from a guy who will sell me a genuine degree based on life experience for $100. #leadingchange
 

Humphrey Bogart

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kev994 said:
Some universities are cheaper than others, should we contract to the lowest bidder? Maybe everyone should get an online degree from the University of Phoenix.  Better yet, I got an email from a guy who will sell me a genuine degree based on life experience for $100. #leadingchange

My brother has a doctorate in divinity that he paid $25 dollars for, he is allowed to marry people in Louisiana.  Padre material  ;D

Journeyman said:
That's OK, there's no shortage of people here stating "I think" when it's obvious they mean "I choose to believe."  ;)


/my 'opinion vs informed  opinion' hobby-horse

That's because nobody on either end of the opinion spectrum wants to do the Mission Analysis/Estimate.

Mission of RMC:  "The mission of the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) is to produce officers with the mental, physical and linguistic capabilities and the ethical foundation required to lead with distinction in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)"

We can start by quantifying what exactly we mean by mental, physical, linguistic and ethical foundation.

RMC is my alma matter so I would prefer it doesn't close; however, I acknowledge that the program in its current state needs to be looked at.
 

Halifax Tar

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Humphrey Bogart said:
My brother has a doctorate in divinity that he paid $25 dollars for, he is allowed to marry people in Louisiana.  Padre material  ;D

That's because nobody on either end of the opinion spectrum wants to do the Mission Analysis/Estimate.

Mission of RMC:  "The mission of the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) is to produce officers with the mental, physical and linguistic capabilities and the ethical foundation required to lead with distinction in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)"

We can start by quantifying what exactly we mean by mental, physical, linguistic and ethical foundation.

RMC is my alma matter so I would prefer it doesn't close; however, I acknowledge that the program in its current state needs to be looked at.

Wait now.  Are you implying that we create mission statements and credos that we actually have no intention of living up too ?
 

Infanteer

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ballz said:
Get off your high horse.

It's not a high horse.  You made two claims: that ROTP is useful as tuition subsidization and that socio-economic status has some sort of effect on leadership.  It doesn't matter if you offer the defence of "it is my personal opinion" or not, the claim is either grounded in some sort of fact or its not.

I've seen enough poor decisions made in this military by people relying on opinion, and its bigger brother, "experience."  Like Humphrey mentioned, in any real estimate, we need to start with the facts.  Everything else is static.
 

Gunner98

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dapaterson said:
Some of the research is inferential.  So, for example, I doubt there is any comprehensive data on socioeconomic status of ROTP enrolees.  However, using the Canadian postal code of their address on enrolment, coupled with census data by postal code might permit some inferences, given a large enough sample size.  (This is me spitballing near midnight on a Friday, so there's not a whole lot of academic rigour right now).

Some data could be quickly gathered by comparing the number of current Col/GOFO who have RMC undergrad degrees with the number who are DEO/ROTP/OCTP.  One Source: http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/about-army/leadership.page, maybe someone else wants to search RCAF and RCN - for giggles. 

CDS over last 35 years:

Gen Vance - RRMC 1986
Gen Natynczyk - RRMC/CMR - 1979
Gen Hillier - allegedly rejected by RMC, went to MUN, grad 1975
Gen Lawson - RMC 1979
Gen Henault - not RMC
Gen Baril - UOttawa 1964
Acting CDS- VAdm Murray - not RMC
Gen Boyle - RMC 1971
Gen de Chastelain - RMC 1960
Adm Anderson - UBC
Gen de Chastelain - RMC 1960
Gen Manson - RMC 1956
Gen Thériault - Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University)
Gen Ramsey Muir Withers - RMC 1952

Some other notables:
LGen Beare - RMC 1983 - former Comd CEFCOM
LGen Leslie - UOttawa - former Chief of Transformation as well as Chief of Land Staff
LGen Devlin - UWO - 1978 - former Chief of Land Staff
MGen Howard - RMC 1984

Here is the Army - Current Senior staff of 10 GO - 5 RMC/CMR including:
Army Comd Lieutenant-General P.F. Wynnyk - RMC 1986,
DComd MGen Turenne - CMR 1989,
Army COS Brigadier-General M.A.J. Carignan - RMC 1990
2 Div Comd Brigadier-General J.P.H.H. Gosselin - CMR 1988
4 Div Comd Brigadier-General S.M. Cadden - CMR 1989,

Major-General S.C. Hetherington - Commander Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre Headquarters - Oakville, PoliSci - not RMC
Brigadier-General S. Kelsey - Chief of Staff Army Strategy - OCTP 1988
Brigadier-General R.R.E. MacKenzie - Chief of Staff Army Reserve - UBC 1989
Brigadier-General Trevor Cadieu - Commander 3rd Canadian Division - No info available
Brigadier-General D.A. Macaulay - Commander 5th Canadian Division - OCTP 1989
 

McG

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Simian Turner said:
Some data could be quickly gathered by comparing the number of current Col/GOFO who have RMC undergrad degrees with the number who are DEO/ROTP/OCTP.  One Source: http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/about-army/leadership.page, maybe someone else wants to search RCAF and RCN - for giggles.
That raw data is barely a start point.  How do you normalize it against the original inputs ... for whatever percentage of today’s generals are RMC grads, what percentage of officer production was RMC (or other mil col) when today’s generals were themselves in the training system?

Raw numbers have a dangerous ability to facilitate confirmation biases or to just simply lead to wrong conclusions.
 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
The folks in DGMPRA have a lot of I/O psychologists - military, retired military, and civilians - who study a bunch of things.  They have much more data (of varying qualities, admittedly) than they will ever be able to assess.  On an annual basis, all the CAF (and DND as well) submit requests for research; they produce reviews & reports that are distributed to sponsors.  There's also a large library available.  Some of it is material only available in one official language, which can cause problems, but there is an index available from them (at least, that's what I recall - I'd have to check in with the Director General there, an officer of The RCR turned PSel, now a "LCol (ret'd), MSc, PhD").


Some of the research is inferential.  So, for example, I doubt there is any comprehensive data on socioeconomic status of ROTP enrolees.  However, using the Canadian postal code of their address on enrolment, coupled with census data by postal code might permit some inferences, given a large enough sample size.  (This is me spitballing near midnight on a Friday, so there's not a whole lot of academic rigour right now).

Slight tangentially, socio-economically, the CAF Officer Corps is far less diverse than the British Army IMHO. I find this deliciously ironic, of course, as we are supposed to be the great 'social melting pot'.

For example, I had a guy in my intake at Sandhurst whose Grand dad owned the Bank of Scotland, as well as a guy who had been a bouncer in Glasgow nightclubs. We even had red heads (e.g., Prince Harry). This socio-economic diversity helps make the British Army a more 'wholly owned' subsidiary of the British people, of course.

Canada? I don't see many kids joining up who are connected to the various seats of industrial and political power in this country. No one I know who could be classified as a 'socio-economic elite' would ever counsel their kids to join the CAF, sadly.

This is a leadership failure of the highest order, of course, which only serves to further distance a military from its most important support base: the people it serves.
 

Old Sweat

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In general you are correct, although there are a few exceptions. I once was introduced to an officer in the reserve battalion of the Royal Highland Regiment of Canada named Redpath. In the regular force there was a Patricia officer whose family owned (I think) Sobeys and whose father had been the CEO of British Aerospace while Andrew Leslie, whose two grandfathers both had served as MND, is a gunner.
 

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My uncle (son of an orphaned, immigrant Scottish baker) served in the Black Watch before and during WWII with Bill Molson.  My Dad remembers Bill visiting the house before the war.  The class distinctions didn't seem to matter.

Maybe part of the difference between the Canadian and British Armies is the difference of class mobility between the two countries.  Canada has very few true "old money" families.  In days past I think you did see members of those families (like in Britain) serving in the military as it was seen as an "honourable" profession. 

Perhaps because the "nouveau riche" don't have a "family name" to uphold they don't view military service in the same way.  And since Canadian society is in general much socially mobile than in Britain you don't see the same type of class differences. 
 

BC Old Guy

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MCG said:
Are you saying ROTP is the only answer to attracted low income officers?  Have you considered a RESO stystem where officers are put into the PRes and paid when training.  Four months of summer training plus a few evenings and/or weekends a month will go a long way to covering the costs of university.

RESO was implemented as a replacement for the previous Canadian University Officer Training Corp (COTC) at various universities. 

1.  The concept of establishing a COTC type of training has been discussed in at least 2 articles:

a. Spring 2004  - An Officer Training Corps for Canada -  http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo5/no1/doc/ot-fo-eng.pdf 

b.  Apr 2010 - Will Universities salute a new campus corps? - https://www.universityaffairs.ca/features/feature-article/will-universities-salute-a-new-campus-corps/ 

Both provide interesting views.  So far the CAF has not seen fit to follow-up on these ideas. I've worked with and for individuals that came through the COTC system, and appreciate the dedication that graduates of the COTC have for the program.  Some followed up their COTC program to serve with a Reserve unit, or to become a Reg F officer.  Most did not. 

-Care would be needed in setting up a new COTC-like program, to meet the requirements for officer production.

2.    As a former RSS officer, (3 years, Ont, early 80s) and as a leader in a Reserve unit (5 years, BC, mid-00s), I would have concerns about adding to, or depending on, RESO to provide the officers required for the CAF. 

- Reserve units have a lot on their plate, and their ability to deliver quality programs, for their own soldiers depends on dedicated and willing leadership. 

-Currently, most units have a limit of 2 vacancies per year for officer intake.  This intake is required to build the leadership for the future especially at the Captain and Major level.  It takes a great deal of effort to select, train, and retain leaders in the Reserves, so any effort in this area needs to have payback  in the form of leadership that stays with to plan, organize, and lead,  interesting and challenging training for the unit's members, in a resource constrained system.

-With care, effort and resources, the program could be made to work.  However, I am skeptical about CAF leadership devoting the people, time and equipment and funding needed to set up the system, so it would successfully meet the requirements currently met by ROTP (civvy-U and RMC).

(edited to completed my discussion - seems I don't contribute enough!)

BCOG
 

tomahawk6

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Interesting discussion.The US armed forces uses the following sources for officers military academy,ROTC, OCS and direct appointments. Those with a college degree but didnt attend ROTC can apply for OCS.
 

ballz

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Infanteer said:
It's not a high horse.  You made two claims: that ROTP is useful as tuition subsidization and that socio-economic status has some sort of effect on leadership.  It doesn't matter if you offer the defence of "it is my personal opinion" or not, the claim is either grounded in some sort of fact or its not.

Actually, I made about three actual "claims" and gave three personal thoughts in that one paragraph. I'm not particularly sure why you have chosen the one claim or the one particular thought out of the bunch to be calling "hasty generalizations" over the others.

I've addressed the one that's an actual claim of fact. You spotted it, questioned it, and I provided reasoning. If you need empirical data to confirm for you that "ROTP gives us access to a whole lot of people who come from lower income families" that we would otherwise (barring some other subsidized education plan) not have, then that's your prerogative, it's up to you to set your own standards for what it takes to be convinced. However, the post was not a persuasive essay, I didn't write it with the intention of persuading anybody and I couldn't care less if you are not convinced by the reasoning alone.

As for the second point you picked out, "my personal opinion" was not meant as a defence, if you think I feel the need to defend myself for stating an opinion after explicitly stating that it just that, you're very much wrong. I just thought you must have missed the part where it was explicitly stated that it was just a personal thought of mine, based on you interpreting it as a "claim." But sure, if it settles this banter, it is not a thought I have formed based on hard empirical evidence or statistical analysis. Again, it was not meant to be an assertion of fact, if it was I wouldn't have said that it's just a personal thought.

dapaterson said:
The folks in DGMPRA have a lot of I/O psychologists - military, retired military, and civilians - who study a bunch of things.  They have much more data (of varying qualities, admittedly) than they will ever be able to assess.  On an annual basis, all the CAF (and DND as well) submit requests for research; they produce reviews & reports that are distributed to sponsors.  There's also a large library available.  Some of it is material only available in one official language, which can cause problems, but there is an index available from them (at least, that's what I recall - I'd have to check in with the Director General there, an officer of The RCR turned PSel, now a "LCol (ret'd), MSc, PhD").


Some of the research is inferential.  So, for example, I doubt there is any comprehensive data on socioeconomic status of ROTP enrolees.  However, using the Canadian postal code of their address on enrolment, coupled with census data by postal code might permit some inferences, given a large enough sample size.  (This is me spitballing near midnight on a Friday, so there's not a whole lot of academic rigour right now).

While the topic at hand turned to demographics and such... but what I was thinking when I had said that are stats on the various entry plans and their successes / failures etc. Or for example, 1 out X recruits makes it to OFP, 1 out of Y recruits from ROTP / RMC / DEO / etc, retention rates, etc., historical intake through each plan, etc... I would think this kind of data is well-tracked by the HR pers.
 

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Attrition rates are tracked through the pers production pipeline,  although you need to be precise in any request; someone whose pilot career ends when their final landing does not include lowering gear may shows up in the report as a successful PAO, for example.
 

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Pre-flight said:
Most of the recent RMC grads I've talked to feel more bitter and cynical about their time at RMC than invested in the CAF. It's not a good vibe coming out of that school, your personal attachment aside.

lol. That's not a recent thing; it's part of the experience. Misery loves company and create lasting bonds.

Infanteer said:
It doesn't matter if you offer the defence of "it is my personal opinion" or not, the claim is either grounded in some sort of fact or its not.

I respectfully disagree. This is a complex issue, and not every issue can be firmly solved by facts; this is socio-economics and psychology, and a lot of "opinion" (supported by facts) goes into these field.

You're right that "that's my opinion" is not a valid defence if I am asserting something to be true, and not inviting others to question my assertions. However, if I acknowledge (either explicitly or implicitly) that I am merely making my best guess at presenting a root cause to a complex problem, then hells yes I can say "this is my opinion".

"Based on my experience and what facts I do have, I posit this to be a potential cause. Please, let's discuss." In my opinion ;), that's a perfectly acceptable way to discuss things, and that's essentially what half this thread has been. The other half has been criticisms of those opinions, not so much on their merits, but on the basis that we're not all physiology experts with a treasure trove of empirical HR data.

If I had said "More senior officers are milcol grads because RMC produces better officers, and I don't care what the report says about officers of various intake streams being equal in performance metrics, that is just my opinion", then you can come down hard on me, because I'm clearly stating a rejection of verified and available facts on the basis that it is my opinion. If we don't have enough facts, we're just going to have to keep guessing and debating.



 

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daftandbarmy said:
Slight tangentially, socio-economically, the CAF Officer Corps is far less diverse than the British Army IMHO. I find this deliciously ironic, of course, as we are supposed to be the great 'social melting pot'.

For example, I had a guy in my intake at Sandhurst whose Grand dad owned the Bank of Scotland, as well as a guy who had been a bouncer in Glasgow nightclubs. We even had red heads (e.g., Prince Harry). This socio-economic diversity helps make the British Army a more 'wholly owned' subsidiary of the British people, of course.

Canada? I don't see many kids joining up who are connected to the various seats of industrial and political power in this country. No one I know who could be classified as a 'socio-economic elite' would ever counsel their kids to join the CAF, sadly.

This is a leadership failure of the highest order, of course, which only serves to further distance a military from its most important support base: the people it serves.

Agreed. Case in point, myself. Joined the British Army at 21 with a smattering of Grade 11 credits (no grade 12). Someone noticed some potential during my initial training and recommended me for the Regular Commissions Board, I did the pre-board, and was placed on a 12 week Potential Officers Course at Worthy Down with another Canadian High School dropout, an Australian Guardsman, a South African from the Adjutant General Corps, a "braveheart" jock from the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, and a number of other 'Other Ranks' for a grooming course for Sandhurst. Admittedly, my heart wasn't in it and I didn't do well enough at RCB to go onto Sandhurst but a number of my peers did, the other Canadian dropout is now a Major and OC of one of the EOD Squadrons in the Royal Engineers, the aussie went on to be a Major in the Aussie Army. Point being, I didn't see that level of class mobility in the CF, yes there is the UTPNCM program but I don't recall seeing anyone actually get accepted, and I only saw one CFR, equivalent to the UK's Late Entry commission. The lunacy of the Canadian commissioning system is that other Canadian cannot move home and conduct a lateral transfer......he doesn't have a degree..... But I may be digressing.
 

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Now, once again, I will state my opinion on the senior leadership question.

The report claims that 50% of the current intake is from DEO officers. This means that today, some level less than 50% is made up of RMC grads and the rest are ROTP civi-U, CFR, UTPNCM, and CEOTP. It will be interesting to see in 20 years what portion of our senior officers are RMC grads.

Alas, to answer why 62% of our current senior office corp is made up of milcol grads, we need to look into the past, and I wish we had the data for this. I imagine that when we had 3 milcols open before 1995, that the proportion of the officer corps made up of milcol grads was higher than it is today. Whatever the number was 20-25-30 years ago, if it is less than 62% (which I suspect it was), then a disproportionate number of the senior officer corps came from milcols.

If, as the report suggests, both milcol grads and officers from other entry schemes perform at the same level, than I can only imagine the reason for the disproportion is either:
A. Milcol grads enjoy being in the military more (or the inverse, that is, non-milcol grads dislike being in the military more);
B. Nepotism.

Now, I've seen examples of nepotism in the military, but as I've said earlier, the examples I've seen have been between friends, and not everyone who went to milcol together are "automatically" friends, nor do we automatically look out for each other.

So, I would say it is more likely A. Everything we do in life is based on self-interest, and apparently, if you rule out milcol centric nepotism, it has been in the self-interest of a greater number of milcol grads to stay in the military than non-milcol grads. Why is this? You could isolate their self-interest a number of ways. Why do they enjoy the military more? Do they get along with people in the military more? Do they see greater opportunity for career growth? Do they feel more a part of the institution? Do they get more respect for having gone to milcol? Do they find it easier working in the military structure? Do they find it easier to socialize, network, and work with the rest of the military community?

It could be one, or more, or all of these, but my opinion is that whatever the prime reason or reasons, they stem from the influence RMC (or CMR or RRMC) had on them, and more specially, I believe that milcol had a greater influence on their sense of belonging to the institution than going to civi-U (either ROTP or DEO), and this sense of belonging is further reinforced by the social aspect of having attended milcol; we run into former cadets all the time, and this reinforces our sense of belonging to this "community".

For those who may find my words insensitive, I once again stress that I am not saying that non-milcol grads lack a sense "immersion" or "belonging" with the CAF. Across the board, there are those that do, and those that don't, and I'm just saying that a small percentage more were milcol grads.

This is my opinion, and I'm leaving it open for debate. It's based on whatever I could glean from the report, my experience, and whatever logical and rationale I could throw in.
 

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Interesting.  Is it possible that non-MilCol (DEO, ROTP-Civy U) individual have greater mobility due to a greater social network built outside the CAF?  Or, in other words, MilCol are not necessarily more vested, but less connected and less able to transition out?  Is it that they belong to the CAF, or that they don't belong to other, larger groups?

There are implications to that suggestion - a risk of increased dislocation between the CAF and Canadian society writ large.  Risk that rather than obtaining the best and brightest to command, that we're getting those with the least ability to cope outside a heavily regimented organization, with the least visibility and awareness to introduce transformational change.
 

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Lumber said:
Now, once again, I will state my opinion on the senior leadership question.

The report claims that 50% of the current intake is from DEO officers. This means that today, some level less than 50% is made up of RMC grads and the rest are ROTP civi-U, CFR, UTPNCM, and CEOTP. It will be interesting to see in 20 years what portion of our senior officers are RMC grads.

Alas, to answer why 62% of our current senior office corp is made up of milcol grads, we need to look into the past, and I wish we had the data for this. I imagine that when we had 3 milcols open before 1995, that the proportion of the officer corps made up of milcol grads was higher than it is today. Whatever the number was 20-25-30 years ago, if it is less than 62% (which I suspect it was), then a disproportionate number of the senior officer corps came from milcols.

If, as the report suggests, both milcol grads and officers from other entry schemes perform at the same level, than I can only imagine the reason for the disproportion is either:
A. Milcol grads enjoy being in the military more (or the inverse, that is, non-milcol grads dislike being in the military more);
B. Nepotism.

Now, I've seen examples of nepotism in the military, but as I've said earlier, the examples I've seen have been between friends, and not everyone who went to milcol together are "automatically" friends, nor do we automatically look out for each other.

So, I would say it is more likely A. Everything we do in life is based on self-interest, and apparently, if you rule out milcol centric nepotism, it has been in the self-interest of a greater number of milcol grads to stay in the military than non-milcol grads. Why is this? You could isolate their self-interest a number of ways. Why do they enjoy the military more? Do they get along with people in the military more? Do they see greater opportunity for career growth? Do they feel more a part of the institution? Do they get more respect for having gone to milcol? Do they find it easier working in the military structure? Do they find it easier to socialize, network, and work with the rest of the military community?

It could be one, or more, or all of these, but my opinion is that whatever the prime reason or reasons, they stem from the influence RMC (or CMR or RRMC) had on them, and more specially, I believe that milcol had a greater influence on their sense of belonging to the institution than going to civi-U (either ROTP or DEO), and this sense of belonging is further reinforced by the social aspect of having attended milcol; we run into former cadets all the time, and this reinforces our sense of belonging to this "community".

For those who may find my words insensitive, I once again stress that I am not saying that non-milcol grads lack a sense "immersion" or "belonging" with the CAF. Across the board, there are those that do, and those that don't, and I'm just saying that a small percentage more were milcol grads.

This is my opinion, and I'm leaving it open for debate. It's based on whatever I could glean from the report, my experience, and whatever logical and rationale I could throw in.

Although you make a few decent inferences, I think that you are misreading the available factors.

The stat you have is that 62% of the senior officers are MilCol grads. While all senior officers have clearly stayed in the CAF beyond the nine-year mark, not all officers who stay for 20+ years become senior officers. The stat you have has nothing to say about retention or motivation. I think that much of your post is you thinking aloud to defend your university.

We will see variation in population percentages due to variances in past intakes (I call it the pig in the python) as the present military population is a prisoner of past decisions. We didn;t have enough Sgts/Capts in 2006 because we didn't enrol them as recruits in 1994. Of course we overcorrected with hiring/promotions. Park that. When I was a new subbie at the Regiment (1997) virtually all the officer intakes of the early/mid-nineties had been ROTP (to keep the Colleges open), so virtually all of the subbies were MilCol/ROTP officers. By 2005 it was more mixed with closer to a 50/50 split between ROTP/DEO. Nevertheless, when I was a senior officer at the Regt in 2012 virtually all of my fellow officers were MilCol/ROTP as the eligible population was still that one from 1997. The proportion will change as the population split moves through.

The report on RMC might make you uncomfortable - that's OK.

Cheers,

T2B


 
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