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Dark Cloud/Silver Lining: Recruiting in a Recession

TCBF

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- I am of the opinion that the current economic climate may cause a lot more of our nation's quality youth to consider the Canadian Forces as a viable career choice.  Get ready to see even more Degree'd C9 gunners.

- Good news for us, right?
 

Harris

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Hopefully you are correct.

As well, hopefully a FRP II isn't in the future.
 

Kilo_302

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Get ready to see even more Degree'd C9 gunners.

I hope to be one of those. Started my application a couple weeks ago. I will have a joint-major degree in Political Science and History, so I might as well have my grad party in the unemployment office. But I was planning on joining up anyways, ' cause desk jobs suck. Can't wait to trade in Foucault and Ferguson for a C9.
 

Weinie

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  The pessimist in me, (who was around in the mid 90's when we went through another economic downturn) is far more concerned about our Capital Equipment projects budget and the ramifications for that. When times were good, i.e the last few years, nobody got their knickers in a knot about C-17, new MBT, UAV's, and Chinooks. I wouldn't want to be the guy trying to push through a major capital project right now.
 

geo

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TCBF said:
- I am of the opinion that the current economic climate may cause a lot more of our nation's quality youth to consider the Canadian Forces as a viable career choice.  Get ready to see even more Degree'd C9 gunners.
- Good news for us, right?
Recruiting ???
Think about retention of the troops we have already trained.  With the economy going down the toilet, there'll be a whole lot of people who'se original plans were to pack it in... staying.
 

pbi

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Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that even in the "good times" of the last few years, we were actually having little or no problems recruiting for the Army (Navy and possibly Air Force being different situations, I think...). I thought the problems actually were a very badly reduced ability to conduct indvidual training for all the soldiers we were getting in from the CFRCs, and difficulty retaining experienced leaders at the the Capt/WO levels at the other end. These two things were translating into manning problems, which are still hurting us. I guess that if we are actually going into an economic crisis, then maybe military service might seem more attractive to some people,  but we need to be careful that these are actually people we want. I hope we don't drift back to the "job-ism" that was such a huge problem in the 90's but which I think the war is largely purging out of the system. Sorry...I'm going off on a tangent here....

Cheers

pbi
 

geo

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pbi...
I think that the increased interest in enrollment has a lot to do with the fact that the Amry is, after many years of "peace corp / salvation army- isms", is an army once again.  We have a "raison d'être" and our rules of engagement are such that we no longer have our hands tied behind our backs.

Retention IS / WAS a huge problem.  After those FRPs in the 90s, our middle managers (Capts & WOs) are gettion on in years - hitting their 25 years of service - and it is the ones that are just behind them that aren't able to fill the gap.  In times of a booming economy, the junior Captains & WO/Sgt/Mcpls were being poached by industry..... NO MORE (I think).

Time will tell if this lousy economic outlook will result in an easing of manning problems... stay tuned
 

Infanteer

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It's all about retention in my neck of the woods.  The last figures I had showed my branch (Refrigerator Tech  ^-^) to be green.  On the floor of the lines, we have lots of soldiers - the problem lies in distribution of ranks.  Many, many no-hook privates and few, if any, Sergeants.  What we need is a few good years to turn these troops into NCOs; keeping the Army interesting enough is a leadership issue from top to bottom that we should all (and I believe we are in some departments) confront now, especially as Afghanistan winds down and soldiers start getting bored with no war front and center to focus on.
 

pbi

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Infanteer said:
  What we need is a few good years to turn these troops into NCOs; keeping the Army interesting enough is a leadership issue from top to bottom that we should all (and I believe we are in some departments) confront now, especially as Afghanistan winds down and soldiers start getting bored with no war front and center to focus on.

This is exactly what worries me. We have a potential gold mine of excellent NCOs/WOs in our combat-experienced soldiers, but the question is how to keep them in. I fear the same scenario as we had a decade or so ago: too much wasted time in garrison, pointless and poorly organized activities, and the overwhelming dead hand of bureacratic peacetime bullshit. Soldiers with a couple of tours in combat won't stick around for that if they have any choice. One  thing we've learned is that it can't just be about money alone: there has to be a deeper sense of belonging and satisfaction in professional soldiering or we will lose people as badly as we did under FRP. Much will depend on how active the govt of the day wants to be in the world.

Cheers

pbi
 

JayJay144

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Hey fellas how are your holidays going. I'm reminded of the author Blatchford. "Stories of bravery and courage from inside the NEW Canadian Army." It very much is a new military. provided that This coalition thing doesn't go through and wreck havoc on the military budget.

A few points I want to bring up are what some of my instructors at St. Jean told me. From what they understand is that 60% of the forces is roughly at the retiring age. Bad in a way but also a good way to pass on great experience to the new generation. Just as long as they can keep these experienced people in military related jobs it should be okay. As in outside instructors for various areas in training. 

It should be okay. There's new platoons of recruits that were coming up every week until before christmas. to me a recruit who's almost on to the next phase of training there doesn't seem to be any shortage. And whenever I was phoning the recruiting offices they were always too busy to talk long on the phone. The economic problems are only going to get worse as Obama inherits the helm of the Titanic. Which should in turn get more people to think military. It's not like the world political situation will get any better as the years go by. I don't know about you but I certainly don't expect the democrats to save the world. There's still a war on terror going on and it's not going to end anytime soon.

What I'm keeping my eye on is the Commercial Real-estate market. When that bubble bursts it could get messy.
 

ltmaverick25

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I would agree that the economic downturn is going to help our recruiting numbers, but a bad economy cant do it alone.  I think that ultimately our military needs to be more visible to the Canadian public.  We need to engage our communities and help bridge the gap between the myth of movies like Full Metal Jacket and the reality of our training today.  Building connections with people and sharing the bonds that we so ably develop with each other to the greater outside world in my view is the most powerful recruiting platform the CF can offer.  There is nothing more alluring then the prospect of being a part of something large and great.

On a side note more visibility will ensure that civilians do not mistake me for a cruise line worker when they see me in my 1As, god I hate that! :)

I think the Navy and Air Force in particular have its work cut out for them.  As for the Navy in particular, sadly Canada has never had much of a maritime identity outside of the maritime provinces and visibility will be key.

The possible dark lining to this cloud that worries me though is that perhaps the military budget will be the first to be cut when the going gets tough.  That seems to be what happened in the 90s, I pray we do not see history repeating itself.
 

geo

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Navy could do alright for itself... in that the Fed may see shipbuilding as a "make work" project.
Unfortunately, the maritime shipbuilding infrastructure needed to carry out that work is somewhat in tatters right now
 

JimMorrison19

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If the CF is really as stable and secure as I've always heard, there's no reason why it wouldn't be overloaded with applications should the economy continue down the slope; I know I want to join partially for that reason. It still excites me, the thought of being a part of it and doing something, especially if that means I don't have to worry about not having the career thanks to job security. Maybe I'm just too naive about it, but we'll see. Hopefully when the time comes that I can finally sign-up I won't have any extra issue getting in because of said economy. :D
 

firm_believer

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I'm with you there...I'm totally attracted to the Army due to the ability to rise in the ranks over time, finish my degree, then go Officer over time, and go from there. Civy life just doesn't do it for me, and I see a world of opportunity in the CF (Not to sound like a radio ad).

Like anything, I'm sure it's what you make of it! Attitude determines altitude.
 

geo

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finishing your degree over time will be a challenge... cause you are subject to missions (with lead up training), Rank & trade courses, etc....
 

Edward Campbell

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geo said:
finishing your degree over time will be a challenge... cause you are subject to missions (with lead up training), Rank & trade courses, etc....

But not impossible. Several of us, here on Army.ca, did it. It wasn't, still isn't, the "best" way and it wasn't easy, and geo is correct about it being a challenge, now - just as it was in the '60s, and '70s and so on. But, it can be done and I'm pretty certain that several sailors, soldiers and air force members earn their degrees - while on full time service - every year.

You will need to make a few sacrifices; you will need to work while others are relaxing; you will need to be well organized and committed; but you can do it.
 
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