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Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves

dapaterson

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Perhaps that's where the Army can initially invest its efforts: at properly planning ahead, setting dates firmly, and committing to training so Reservists can schedule with confidence around their civilian commitments.

Part of that will involve disintermediation - make information readily available to units, and not have multiple stovepipes limiting the flow of information until the last minute.  There is nothing more frustrating than to discover information sat in the CoC for a prolonged period, while units were champing at the bit to get things done.

For example, announcing a need for summer augmentees for a five month period with only a week or two of notice - when people who could have been available made other plans.  Or an order to units to promote some activity in advance of the summer stand-down, when that order is issued in mid-July.
 

mariomike

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To add to Reply #2719,

The employee may also wish to inquire from their employer if benefits, seniority, vacation entitlement, sick bank credits, pension etc. will, or will not, be affected during LWOP.
 

daftandbarmy

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runormal said:
I personally think the reserves should do a better job of selling what they do and  highlight the skills that reservists recieve. I.e leadership, technical knowledge, attention to detail, problem solving. Things like the liaison council need to be expanded, more spots for "executreks". I mean why can't we bus up a load of bosses/supervisors for every TBG Excercises? I think we should be offering incentives to employers in the terms of Tax Credits to hire reseverists and additional credits if they get time off for courses / excercises. Telling an employer that they have to give Cpl Bloggins time off for an excercise/course isn't the best way to create a positive relationship with not only the  reserves but the reservists career.

We all work for the same government, and Generals, so shouldn't have to 'sell' what we do. We should all be seamlessly integrated into a well oiled machine that is designed to consign our nation's enemies to the garbage heap of history with efficiency and, hopefully, a certain degree of panache.
 

vonGarvin

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dapaterson said:
Perhaps that's where the Army can initially invest its efforts: at properly planning ahead, setting dates firmly, and committing to training so Reservists can schedule with confidence around their civilian commitments.
The "problem" is that the Army dgaf about the reserves. Besides, things happen, things change and the regular army more easily adapts to this change.
Not without some gears grinding along the way, but since the military ignores its own doctrince when it comes to planning, this is not surprising.
"Why plan when you can react..."
 

Kirkhill

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daftandbarmy said:
We all work for the same government, and Generals, so shouldn't have to 'sell' what we do. We should all be seamlessly integrated into a well oiled machine that is designed to consign our nation's enemies to the garbage heap of history with efficiency and, hopefully, a certain degree of panache.

I can think of a few management consultants that make a living out of helping people sell ideas to their management......
 

mariomike

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runormal said:
Legislation is all fine and dandy in theory, but let's look at my current situation.

I need 6 weeks off or 2 3 weeks mod for PLQ as this is my next career course.

Could I get 6 weeks off for PLQ? Possibly, but consider the following:
What happens if I fail or get injured? Whats in it for my employer?
Should I have to use my vacation time? Should my employer have to top up my salary? Why or why not?
What happens to my bills if I take a temporary pay cut? 
How much notice does my employer need  >:D?
Should this notice be a longer period for a 2 month course than a 2 week excercise?
Is getting the time off as important for say PLQ as would be getting the time off for BASIC PARA? What about other none career courses?
What happens when the course is cancelled or my unit loses the spots? Who pays for my replacement employee? If the Army gives the reservist employer a tax credit/money for a temp hire is the reservist obligated to stay in the reserves?
What if due to operational requirements for the civilian employer it isn't possible to give the time off? I.e the employee has a specific skill set, or other members of the reservists team already have booked off vacation time.
Who defines "operational requirements"?
Why should my organization promote me if they know that I could be gone for x amount of time? You might be able to protect my job, but can you protect my career?
What penalities does my organization face if they don't grant me the time off?
Is a reservist obligated to disclose that they are a reservist throughout the hiring process? What if this reservist has no intention of taking any additional time off for courses?

I personally think the reserves should do a better job of selling what they do and  highlight the skills that reservists recieve. I.e leadership, technical knowledge, attention to detail, problem solving. Things like the liaison council need to be expanded, more spots for "executreks". I mean why can't we bus up a load of bosses/supervisors for every TBG Excercises? I think we should be offering incentives to employers in the terms of Tax Credits to hire reseverists and additional credits if they get time off for courses / excercises. Telling an employer that they have to give Cpl Bloggins time off for an excercise/course isn't the best way to create a positive relationship with not only the  reserves but the reservists career.


In closing, let assume that legislation was passed yesterday that protects my job. Do you really think that I'm going to go after my employer if they don't give me the time off for PLQ? Fuck, no. I'm still on probation for crying out loud. Even I wasn't my civilian career is a alot more important and pays a lot more money than the reserves.

A good example of why I was thankful for the Student Summer Employment Program ( SSEP ). Do as much of the training as you can while still a student.

After I started on the job, unless or until the government declared war, Class A and two weeks each summer was my small contribution to the effort.




 

RedcapCrusader

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runormal said:
This is why I don't think it would work or very well. Where I work, there is 2 other people who  manage the pay/benefits for the entire organization. I'm being trained to replace one of them when they retire.

I think that there are lots of unanswered questions. Legislation is all fine and dandy in theory, but let's look at my current situation.

I need 6 weeks off or 2 3 weeks mod for PLQ as this is my next career course.

Could I get 6 weeks off for PLQ? Possibly, but consider the following:
What happens if I fail or get injured? Whats in it for my employer?
Should I have to use my vacation time? Should my employer have to top up my salary? Why or why not?
What happens to my bills if I take a temporary pay cut? 
How much notice does my employer need  >:D?
Should this notice be a longer period for a 2 month course than a 2 week excercise?
Is getting the time off as important for say PLQ as would be getting the time off for BASIC PARA? What about other none career courses?
What happens when the course is cancelled or my unit loses the spots? Who pays for my replacement employee? If the Army gives the reservist employer a tax credit/money for a temp hire is the reservist obligated to stay in the reserves?
What if due to operational requirements for the civilian employer it isn't possible to give the time off? I.e the employee has a specific skill set, or other members of the reservists team already have booked off vacation time.
Who defines "operational requirements"?
Why should my organization promote me if they know that I could be gone for x amount of time? You might be able to protect my job, but can you protect my career?
What penalities does my organization face if they don't grant me the time off?
Is a reservist obligated to disclose that they are a reservist throughout the hiring process? What if this reservist has no intention of taking any additional time off for courses?

I personally think the reserves should do a better job of selling what they do and  highlight the skills that reservists recieve. I.e leadership, technical knowledge, attention to detail, problem solving. Things like the liaison council need to be expanded, more spots for "executreks". I mean why can't we bus up a load of bosses/supervisors for every TBG Excercises? I think we should be offering incentives to employers in the terms of Tax Credits to hire reseverists and additional credits if they get time off for courses / excercises. Telling an employer that they have to give Cpl Bloggins time off for an excercise/course isn't the best way to create a positive relationship with not only the  reserves but the reservists career.


In closing, let assume that legislation was passed yesterday that protects my job. Do you really think that I'm going to go after my employer if they don't give me the time off for PLQ? Fuck, no. I'm still on probation for crying out loud. Even I wasn't my civilian career is a alot more important and pays a lot more money than the reserves.

I'm in the same boat with PLQ, the difference being is that I'm Unionized and out of probation now. It's still a sticky point to get more than  3 weeks off for training.

One of the things you can try selling to your employer is the fact that PLQ is a leadership course and the benefits of it are very valuable to any organization willing to allow their employees to partake.
 

McG

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Wondering out loud here ... how many reservists are actually happy for the lack of employment protection?  They are content with the level of employment/involvement that they get, and they are just happy that (through the nature of the beast) they don't have the legal obligation to show-up any more frequently than they already choose to show.  I know there are a lot of dedicated reservists who would be thrilled with job protection legislation and the increased training opportunity that it would provide, but would the benefit to this group be offset by an exodus of regular and reliable class A types at the more senior ranks who just don't want the hassle of obligatory career courses and summer concentrations?  Any such exodus would probably take all the closet Frontiersmen too, so maybe it would not be a bad thing.

Anyway, the Hill Times seems to provide a much better coverage of the AG's comments.  I can see now that the problem is not so much pre-deployment training as it is the fact that there is no mechanism to specifically close the PRes to Reg F training delta prior to a deployment.  That seems a legitimate concern.  The lack of money in the defence budget seems to be another factor fighting against getting things right.
Feds will face budget ‘strain’ in boosting army reserves: AG
Michael Ferguson also raises concerns with reservist training, and availability of crucial equipment

The Hill Times
By MARCO VIGLIOTTI
21 Sep 2016

The Liberal government will face difficulties in adequately training an expanded Canadian reserve contingent with the resources available in the existing defence budget, according to Auditor General Michael Ferguson.

Speaking before the Senate National Security and Defence Committee on Tuesday, Mr. Ferguson said that if the Canadian Army was tasked with training the number of reservists it planned to accommodate, it would likely squeeze available funding channels.

“I think it’s very clear that if the Canadian Armed Forces…had 21,000 troops in the reserves to fully train, that would put a significant strain on the resources they’ve already allocated,” he told the committee, which is meeting this week to study issues relating to the government’s ongoing defence policy review.

“I think there very much is a strain in terms of how much budget they have been allocated compared to what they’ve been asked to do,” he said, noting that $166-million of the reserves’ roughly $700-million budget is sent back to National Defence to pay for infrastructure.

Although the army has provided funding for 21,000 reservists, who are part-time soldiers, only about 14,000 are active and trained, and when reserve units met for their annual large-scale elective training events across Canada in 2015, only about 3,600 showed, he noted.

In his presentation, Mr. Ferguson also raised pointed concerns about training, and the availability of crucial equipment for reservists.

A study released by his office last spring as part of its annual spring report found that training of the army reserves “was not fully integrated” with that of the regular army units, and though they received clear guidance when preparing for domestic assignments, reserve units did not receive the same level of guidance in how to train troops for international missions, he said.

Army reserve courses, he said, were designed to teach significantly less skills than regular army courses and this skills gap was “not always addressed” prior to the deployment of reserve soldiers.

For example, when Canadians troops began to deploy as part of the NATO mission in Eastern Europe earlier this year, a gap remained in weapons training between reservists and regular members, he said.

“We identified that a number of reserve soldiers weren’t receiving the number of days of training that was predictive for them,” Mr. Ferguson said.

“It’s very important that the Canadian Forces determine what that is that they expect from the Canadian reserves, that they make sure that the reserves have the equipment that they need…and they have enough money to be able to carry out what they’re supposed to do.”

Recruitment has also proven to be challenging for the reserve force.

Mr. Ferguson said his office found many units failed to meet desired troop levels, with 12 of the 123 army reserve units “smaller than half of their ideal size.”

But while the government is pushing to grow the reserves, figures continue to show a precipitous slide in recruits.

“[The government] has set a goal to increase the army reserve by 950 soldiers by 2019 but, in our opinion, this goal will be difficult to achieve given that the number of army reserves soldiers declined by about 1,000 soldiers for the three years we audited,” Mr. Ferguson told the committee.

As of May 15, the number of active and trained army reserve soldiers has declined by a further 1,000 soldiers to 13,180, he said, charging that “National Defence knows that the current reserve recruiting system doesn’t work, and that it needs to take steps to improve retention.”

Jordan Owens, spokesperson for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South, B.C.), said that the Liberals are committed to ensuring reservists are “fully trained and ready” for international and domestic deployments.

“Following up on previous recommendations from the auditor general, the Canadian Armed Forces is taking steps to make improvements [including] ensuring funds are appropriately allocated across the army reserve force, improving recruitment and retention strategies, resolving training gaps during the pre-deployment phase for international operations, and investigating a plan to address the accessibility of equipment to support Reserve Force training,” she said in an emailed statement.

Conservative Senator Daniel Lang (Yukon), chair of the committee said that Mr. Ferguson’s testimony raises alarms about sparse resources being allocated to the reserves.

“The information that he has provided us [shows] the reserves are obviously, at the present time, in a state of flux, and the fact is the necessary financing is being put in place for the necessary training that they need,” he told The Hill Times, calling on the federal government to review the situation and determine what it expects out of the reserve forces, which comprise roughly 20 per cent of those being deployed.

“It brings up a real question that we have to ask in respect to any future deployments: are people being adequately trained and are we meeting the objectives we need to meet?”

Mr. Lang also touched upon safety concerns voiced by Mr. Ferguson, saying that training gaps raise questions about whether reservists are being adequately prepared to safely perform what is being asked of them.

“It’s a very serious issue and something that I think the government has to address,” he charged.

The Senate committee is expected to conclude meetings on the defence policy review this week, and produce a report with recommendations to the government by the end of October.

The federal government concluded public consultations on the review in August, with the development of a formal defence policy paper expected in early 2017.

On Monday, the committee heard from several academics, experts, and retired military brass, including retired Liberal Senator and lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire.

The topic largely centred on the future of Canadian peacekeeping, with the Liberal government pledging this summer up to 600 troops for a still to be determined peacekeeping mission, likely in Africa.

While acknowledging potential difficulties in staffing, Mr. Dallaire urged Canada to step up and contribute to international peace operations.

“We fully understand the complexity of peace operations, but we cannot be an island of stability in an ocean of turmoil. Canada needs to do its part,” he said.

The opposition Conservatives are demanding that any deployment be debated and voted in Parliament. Mr. Dallaire, who accompanied Minister Sajjan on his study trip of African peacekeeping operations in August, said that the Liberal government would welcome a debate on the merits of a peacekeeping mission, though stopped short of promising a vote.

“We are going to take a thorough effort before we put all the facts together and before we have a thorough debate on this,” he said.

Defence chief General Jonathan Vance has said that the military was not recommending any missions that would stretch it too thin, though he was comfortable that the military could conduct a peacekeeping mission in Africa while operating in the Middle East and Latvia, the Canadian Press reported.

He is scheduled to testify before the committee on Wednesday.
 
https://www.hilltimes.com/2016/09/21/army-reserves/80981



 

mariomike

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"Although the army has provided funding for 21,000 reservists, who are part-time soldiers, only about 14,000 are active and trained, and when reserve units met for their annual large-scale elective training events across Canada in 2015, only about 3,600 showed, he noted."

wow

 

daftandbarmy

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mariomike said:
"Although the army has provided funding for 21,000 reservists, who are part-time soldiers, only about 14,000 are active and trained, and when reserve units met for their annual large-scale elective training events across Canada in 2015, only about 3,600 showed, he noted."

wow

And of the 3,600 who showed, how many were in the PTA i.e., 18 year old Pte Bloggins, and his fire team partner, with bay'nets fixed and war face on?

I would hazard a generous guess of about 70%.
 

Kirkhill

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So, based on Afghanistan experience:

How many privates capable of following orders do you need?
How long does it take to convert a civvy to a useable private?
How long does it take to break a reservist of bad habits?  (Just thought I would throw that one in for laughs  >:D )
 

dapaterson

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Based on our Afghanistan experience, we admitted that the Regular Force isn't ready to deploy without a lengthy work-up, so I am less concerned about the need of the Reserve Force to do the same.
 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
Based on our Afghanistan experience, we admitted that the Regular Force isn't ready to deploy without a lengthy work-up, so I am less concerned about the need of the Reserve Force to do the same.

Dang... Mil points don't go up to one billion
 

Jarnhamar

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Physical fitness and an inclination  to jump on the medical chit system  is really what hamstrings reservists at the troop &  jnco level.  The former directly impacting the latter.  A reservists who rides chits for 6 months shouldn't deploy just because no one wants to deal with removing them.

Fit reservists who have strong work ethics have no problem sliding in beside reg force  counter parts.  I'd go so far as to say it's often a bonus when they bring life experience and civilian job experience to a platoon.

IMO there's a lot of Bs and dickery on work up training.  We could probably hammer it out in two,  maybe 3 months instead of 6months work up.  Which of course is difficult for reserves to get time off.

If reserves want to improve then leadership needs tools which enable them to force members to parade and attend exercises.  The reserves dismal numbers would probably sky rocket if that shit show if a recruiting system we have gets burned down and rebuilt.

If the number of leadership allowed to sign the pays sheets for parade nights and exs was directly proportional to the number of troops who showed up then I think it wouldn't be just a few good officers and ncos burning themselves out trying to hold units together and keep morale up. There would be a lot more effort to keep attendence up.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Based on our Afghanistan experience, we admitted that the Regular Force isn't ready to deploy without a lengthy work-up, so I am less concerned about the need of the Reserve Force to do the same.

:goodpost:

Afghanistan and Iraq are interesting cases.

In the US Army, recruits took (and still take) two courses in order to be considered trained: A common to everyone ten-week Basic Combat Training course and a follow on corps specific, varying length Advanced Individual Training course (usually for combat arms these are run as a continuous program at a "One Station Unit Training" facility). For the Infantry MOS the AIT at an OSUT is an additional four weeks for a grand total of fourteen weeks. The training is the same for both Regular and National Guard components.

Unless things have changes (and correct me if I'm wrong) Canadian training to basic infantryman is BMQ 13 weeks; SQ - 20 days; and Inf MOC training 17 weeks (roughly 34 weeks all told and almost two and one half times as long as the US)

The Brits incidentally have a Phase 1 course of 14 weeks but for infantry there is a combined course for Phase 1 and the Phase 2 basic infantry training for a total of 26 weeks from civilian to trained infantryman. (If you don't want to do the math it's eight weeks less than Canada.)

US soldiers were considered deployable and in fact were deployed immediately after AIT with their predeployment training varying widely depending on their units. I've read a number of the interviews published in the Combined Arms Research Library and one can see that some predeployment phases were as short as two weeks especially for individual augmentees. See here:

http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/

and here for a search example:

https://server16040.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=any&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=/p4013coll13&CISOBOX1=joint

I'm not one to say that we should necessarily go to the US experience but I would think that somewhere between the US model of 14 weeks training, the Brits of 26 weeks and ours of 34 weeks there seems to be a very distinct difference of opinion as to what is sufficient training to turn out a basic useable soldier. The same goes for the length of deployment training.

In my humble opinion, the Auditor General isn't a soldier, sailor or airman and has no experience to opine on the military. What he and his staff do is interview key stakeholders in the military and form an opinion based on what they are told. Again, IMHO such a report is generally useless because it usually mimics the head shed party line that "we're doing the best we can on the limited budget that we have." I find this to be so much bulls**t because we waste countless billions each year on bureaucratic and structural inefficiencies.

What we truly need is a complete bottom to top  review of the entire armed forces in order to develop a cohesive combination of viable regular and reserve units that have the funding, equipment, and training to play their respective roles. (I prefer "bottom to top" rather than "top to bottom" because I prefer to analyze military organizations starting from the "bayonets needed" viewpoint and then slate in the top based on the essential elements needed to support those bayonets)  :2c:

:cheers:
 

kratz

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Jarnhamar's post is blunt, but it calls for what is needed.

NavRes has been bleeding corporate knowledge, experience and skills
"hand over fist", the past 5+ years we've been told to quit or OT.

As much as the Navy claims to be "One Navy", many of my old shipmates
have followed the advice to OT....and entered the RCAF or CA.

5 years earlier, there was a panic to fill the mid-ranks of the CAF,
we are now experiencing the results "of the pull" for this effort.

We've hollowed out the PRes again...and in 1 year...there will not even be
a back up for the RegF.
 

Halifax Tar

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dapaterson said:
Based on our Afghanistan experience, we admitted that the Regular Force isn't ready to deploy without a lengthy work-up, so I am less concerned about the need of the Reserve Force to do the same.

I went through a 8 month work up period for TF 1-10. 

Your statement isn't entirely correct.  I know from first hand experience that allot of our work up trg was to ensure our PRes folks were as trained as their UERs and MM said they were.  Not to mention their admin and pay were in a horrendous state.  You cant just willy nilly deploy people with out having their admin all set up.

For our FP platoon it was truly a "try out" phase as roughly 1/3 of them were "cut" after our California confirmation Ex. 




 

Dissident

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While we should still refer to PLQ as a leadership course between us .mil folks, y'all need to "civillianize" the teaching points. I heard that some people even went as far as becoming consultants using the battle procedure and communication process, to help increase efficiency in businesses.

-Any decent/good instructor demonstrates the ability to verbally communicate effectively, even in front of groups.
-Orders format and reports/returns are logical written communications. I typically use the orders format to convey information in emails, minus the headings and military jargon, quite efficient.
-Can work/strive in a diverse environment, under the most difficult situations.
-Focuses on company goals above your own.
-Battle procedure is our term for what really are steps of project management. A successful superintendent I know always referred to the 15/16/17 SBP and claimed it is the main source of his success.
-Evaluating/counselling peers ans subordinates.
-Using PPT. I loath it for how terribly abused it is, but lets not kid ourselves, it can be a great tool to make yourself look good.
-Attention to detail.
-Leading small teams.

A half decent PLQ grad who can translate the skill/teaching points to the civilian world makes a better than average manager, IMHO.

While I am sure most of you had already figured out what I said, we need to ensure to teach it to our troops. People in corporate pay incredible amounts of money and time to teach these things to their employee. And here we are giving it to them for almost nothing, and practiced under some pretty harsh conditions (typically).
 

daftandbarmy

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NinerSix said:
While we should still refer to PLQ as a leadership course between us .mil folks, y'all need to "civillianize" the teaching points. I heard that some people even went as far as becoming consultants using the battle procedure and communication process, to help increase efficiency in businesses.

-Any decent/good instructor demonstrates the ability to verbally communicate effectively, even in front of groups.
-Orders format and reports/returns are logical written communications. I typically use the orders format to convey information in emails, minus the headings and military jargon, quite efficient.
-Can work/strive in a diverse environment, under the most difficult situations.
-Focuses on company goals above your own.
-Battle procedure is our term for what really are steps of project management. A successful superintendent I know always referred to the 15/16/17 SBP and claimed it is the main source of his success.
-Evaluating/counselling peers ans subordinates.
-Using PPT. I loath it for how terribly abused it is, but lets not kid ourselves, it can be a great tool to make yourself look good.
-Attention to detail.
-Leading small teams.

A half decent PLQ grad who can translate the skill/teaching points to the civilian world makes a better than average manager, IMHO.

While I am sure most of you had already figured out what I said, we need to ensure to teach it to our troops. People in corporate pay incredible amounts of money and time to teach these things to their employee. And here we are giving it to them for almost nothing, and practiced under some pretty harsh conditions (typically).

I have seen civilian workplaces where an ex-military guy tries to introduce military battle procedure, complete with our 'unique' phraseology and delivery methods. It provided hours of mirth and ridicule opportunities for the staff, and was discarded almost immediately. Some consultants have tried to sell the military thing to the civilian world but it almost never works outside of a few specialized programs (SealFit comes to mind).

There is no need to 'dumb down' a communications culture designed over the years to help teams of soldiers be really good at killing bad guys, just for the reserves. Really. Good soldiers should make good leaders in the civilian world, and they can usually show up their peers based on merit, which is the best way to show off the military to the civilian world in a good light - of course.

5 Reasons Why You Don't Want to be 'In the Army Now'

Over the past few years, no doubt influenced by the ‘Global War on Terror’ in which western nations have been engaged since 9/11, an enormous amount of material has been published regarding lessons that civilian organizations can learn from the military. They include articles with titles such as:

‘8 Great Business Lessons from Military Leaders’

‘6 Leadership Lessons from a 3 Star General’

‘7 Tough Leadership Lessons from a Navy SEAL Commander’

‘Hiring MBAs? You Should be Looking at NCOs’

This fascination with all things military extends into the corporate training sphere. Various programs offering civilians an opportunity to ‘build character’ within the context of military style selection events have also emerged. Tough Mudder is probably one of the most recognizable examples of this trend. Sealfit, a course that invites participants to endure a ‘Hell Week’ like experience derived from the selection program for the US Navy’s famed special forces unit, is another popular offering intentionally emulating the military in some way.

Mainstream media has also been heavily influenced by this militarization trend. Various individual and small team endurance testing programs challenge innocent, but willing, ‘victims’ to endure privations and other hardships formerly reserved for only the most elite of military units. Survivor, the best known of this genre, is a product of the work of the famous British born TV producer Mark Burnett who, I am inordinately proud to say, is a former member of my old unit: The Parachute Regiment.

I have over 30 years of military service, in both a full and part time capacity as well as 20 years experience as a full time management consultant. I will be the first to admit that my military experience has stood me in good stead, especially with respect to ethical integrity, leadership skills and a personal commitment to physical fitness. Many of my best, lifelong friendships are with military folks I have met along the way. The trouble is that most civilians, and the organizations they work for, have very little in common with the military and, as a result, they should use caution when trying to adopt learnings directly from the Army.

Here are 5 reasons why you don't want to be 'in the Army now’:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-reasons-why-you-dont-want-army-now-richard-eaton?forceNoSplash=true

1. Soldiers have to be really good at doing nasty things

I know it’s self-evident, but the reason why the Army and soldiers exist is to, ultimately, do a really good job at things that civilian organizations will never be involved in unless they are very unlucky: like war. Soldiers are often called upon to do many things that have nothing to do with war, such as supporting civilian agency response to floods and wildfires, but are ultimately required to, as a combat experienced Sergeant once told me ‘shoot bad guys and break all their stuff’.

2. The Army is the most controlling of government jobs, ever, anywhere

You can’t really tell from playing Call of Duty, but the Army is a government job.

Even more importantly, it’s the most rigidly hierarchical and micromanaging of government jobs featuring the most intrusive bureaucracy you can imagine, designed to exert the maximum possible control over its members using a variety of severe, coercive tools. For example, I know a senior Officer who was actively looking for ways to lay a formal charge on someone for not replying to one of his emails.

Ponder that enormity for awhile, if you will.

Worst case: think about it like a maximum security prison without bars (well, most of the time) that pays pretty well, and offers great benefits and world class training. Clearly, this is not something to aspire to in a civilian workplace, that is, of course, unless at your workplace you can be shot at dawn for refusing to kill the enemy.

3. The Army can make soldiers really unproductive

Soldiering is a noun with two meanings, viz:

1 skills that are required for the life of soldier [syn: soldiership]

2 the evasion of work or duty [syn: shirking, slacking, goofing off, goldbricking)

http://soldiering.askdefinebeta.com/

The industrial engineer and original ‘efficiency expert’, F.W. Taylor, famously used the term 'soldiering' to describe workers who slowed their production levels down to match the lowest performing peer. Not that soldiers willingly engage in that activity, much, but the realities of Army life - the phrase ‘hurry up and wait’ was invented by the Army – may mean that soldiers can spend enormous amounts of time doing nothing, or doing the wrong thing and then having to redo it. Certain operational roles, like the somewhat ironically named ‘Rapid Deployment Force’, can also have thousands of troops simply waiting to deploy on a moment’s notice, doing nothing for days.

4. The Army spends far more on training than you could ever dream of

In comparison with most civilian workplaces, the Army expends vastly greater amounts of time, money and resources on training and development of all kinds. For example, in my first 8 years of full time military service I estimate that I spent over two years in one type of training program or another. And that doesn’t include a degree or other educational certificate program. This training was designed to teach me to lead units of various sizes in battle, jump out of airplanes, fight and survive in the high arctic in winter time, lead high intensity counter terrorist operations, and manage the planning and delivery of complex military operations on land, sea and air. A well trained military unit is therefore a truly a formidable force, but represents a price that is far beyond anything that a civilian organization could afford.

5. The Army is a lot of fun, really

Twelve giant, blacked out, C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft dipped below the storm riven cloud base at 500 feet, 300 feet beneath the recommended safety ceiling. Engines screaming, they quickly slowed their airspeed to 120 knots as the drop zone suddenly appeared in the mountain pass. Standing upright bearing 100 pound loads we lurched, some vomiting on the man in front. The green light flicked ‘Go!’ and, bearing rifles, mortars, machine guns and 4 days of combat supplies, we 600 paratroopers leapt into the night sky….

Sounds like the opening scene of the latest ‘Mission Impossible’ movie, right? Well, that was my job for several years. It’s these kinds of experiences that tend to attract people to, and keep them engaged with, the Army despite some of the ‘nausea’ that I described earlier.

So what are the take aways for a civilian organization considering ‘Going Army’?

Berlineaton looks at organizational effectiveness through three dimensions: direction, process and people. Direction, Process and People.
•Direction: the vision, goals, strategies, and tactics propel an organization towards its purpose.
•Process: day-to-day tasks and deliverables yield their best results when processes are clear and strong, and aligned with organizational objectives
•People: they have the skills, capability, and impetus to translate strategic intent into reality. People and the culture they create drive the future of an organization

https://www.berlineaton.com/about/our-approach/

As it relates to the Army life, we suggest that you borrow from the People stuff, while being wary of the Direction and Process stuff.

The ethical underpinnings of the profession of 'good' soldiering are laudable and applicable to any human organization. Tested in countless situations far more stressful than anything you would hope to encounter in civilian life, they can provide you with a sound, virtual, ethical bedrock upon which to build the people focused side of your business. But when it comes to certain organizational goals, motivational factors, training systems and business practices, use caution, because you could accidentally prescribe yourself some of the most coercive, restrictive, expensive and bureaucratic medicine on earth.
 
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