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

Dissident

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I guess my writing didn't do justice to my concept.

While I did mention that some people do try and implement a civilianized version of military procedure, the crux of my argument is that the skills taught on PLQ are a great asset to most organization, on an individual basis.

Militaries are inherently wasteful. There is no directly profitable business case for national defence. That said, from the junior leadership side of things, a section leader is successful when he maximizes the utilization of his resources. Translating what I learned into something useful in my civilian occupations has been the most important building block of my current success (and yes, honestly, some failures).

Re-reading your post I realize that, perhaps, you made my point more eloquently than I could.
 

Rick Goebel

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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

It would be interesting to know whether the annual collective training events in 2015 were set up as "all to attend" or as people being selected for certain specific slates.  I recognize that you might get only 3,600 show up when you had an "invited" slate of 4,000 due to changes of life plans but you might get that same ratio if you "invited" 14,000.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Some sort of tax incentive for the employers of said Reserves might alter the equation. Of course actually giving your members enough time to request such time and not screwing the pooch on said exercises will also play a part. In essence the army actually has to "sell the exercises" to it's members. Because they won't use up their leave for it otherwise. Not sure if the Army leadership gets that part? 
 

Staff Weenie

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Ah collective training exercises. In the 1990's and early 2000's, we would all dog-pile into Petawawa with people from 23, 25, and 28 Med Coy (later Fd Ambs), with a few augments from the Reg F, and form a composite Fd Amb. We would have about 250 pers from Pte to LCol. If you were fit, you could get on the bus and go (even a few unfit ones, but that's another story). We planned it for months, and one of the three units would always have the lead - they would coord everything, write the orders and instructions and make it work. The learning opportunities were excellent.

Now, the Fd Amb on Ex SG is run by 2 Fd Amb. 4 H Svcs Gp Det in Toronto develops the initial plan - the Res Fd Ambs don't have a lot of input. The Res Fd Ambs are given about 10-12 positions each, and they really only want Pte/Cpl to attend. All of the leadership positions are typically close-hold by the Reg F.

So, we've gone from a somewhat chaotic, but valuable learning experience for all ranks from newest Medic to CO, to being augmentee labour. I'm not seeing the positive in this at all.

 

daftandbarmy

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Staff Weenie said:
Ah collective training exercises. In the 1990's and early 2000's, we would all dog-pile into Petawawa with people from 23, 25, and 28 Med Coy (later Fd Ambs), with a few augments from the Reg F, and form a composite Fd Amb. We would have about 250 pers from Pte to LCol. If you were fit, you could get on the bus and go (even a few unfit ones, but that's another story). We planned it for months, and one of the three units would always have the lead - they would coord everything, write the orders and instructions and make it work. The learning opportunities were excellent.

Now, the Fd Amb on Ex SG is run by 2 Fd Amb. 4 H Svcs Gp Det in Toronto develops the initial plan - the Res Fd Ambs don't have a lot of input. The Res Fd Ambs are given about 10-12 positions each, and they really only want Pte/Cpl to attend. All of the leadership positions are typically close-hold by the Reg F.

So, we've gone from a somewhat chaotic, but valuable learning experience for all ranks from newest Medic to CO, to being augmentee labour. I'm not seeing the positive in this at all.

I think you have done an excellent job of describing, in microcosm, what has happened across the country.

Once upon a time, we could attract over 100 people per major unit to an annual summer concentration. I recall one exercise where my current unit showed up with almost 200 pax.

Now that we have made it more 'like the Reg F', and have introduced various other confects like overlapping course schedules etc., we are lucky if we can get 30.
 

MilEME09

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Ive said it before but i think moving PRes courses to within the training calender instead of summer would help, many employers would also be more willing to loose a body during a slow period rather then summer.

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mariomike

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MilEME09 said:
Ive said it before but i think moving PRes courses to within the training calender instead of summer would help, many employers would also be more willing to loose a body during a slow period rather then summer.

But, aren't a lot of Reservists students? Would they be able to skip class for two weeks during the training calendar?
 

MilEME09

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mariomike said:
But, aren't a lot of Reservists students? Would they be able to skip class during the training calendar?
That is a problem too, we cant please everyone but can we have both? Give reservists the option of a winter course if there is demand for it

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Jarnhamar

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MilEME09 said:
Ive said it before but i think moving PRes courses to within the training calender instead of summer would help, many employers would also be more willing to loose a body during a slow period rather then summer.

MilEME09 said:
That is a problem too, we cant please everyone but can we have both? Give reservists the option of a winter course if there is demand for it

I've seen this argument before.
 
I think in theory this sounds good but in practice I've found it to often be extremely difficult and frustrating.  Class A students miss training nights and weekends for any number of reasons which means instructors (who are already pressed for time) need to try and find time to make up for the lost training.  That or a bunch of students fail which reflects bad on the members, instructors, unit etc.. which means instructors are pressured to just pass students anyways.
It leads to '6 people didn't show up tonight to learn how to change a tire on an LS? Don't worry we'll find time on some exercise down the road to show them (which never pans out)'.  And we can't forget the pissing contests and empire protection.  We ran a basic mountain ops at a reserve unit (ran by a very strict ex-reg officer) and seemed like a constant battle with brigade and people with their noses out of shape because a bunch of reserves were doing mountain ops- in this case they were very strict about doing it by the book but ultimately still didn;t get the qual as far as I recall.

Doing courses on summer training gives you a captive audience who isn't sick incidentally when modern warfare 2 is released or a Metallica concert happens (true story).


That said however running cool courses could be a way to attract new members, help retention and increase attendance, I just wouldn't want to try and organize that stuff.
 

dapaterson

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Or just treat all courses as Army courses. Don't limit Res F to only summer; if there is space available and a valid requirement then load the Res F soldier on the Reg F course.
 

Jarnhamar

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dapaterson said:
Or just treat all courses as Army courses. Don't limit Res F to only summer; if there is space available and a valid requirement then load the Res F soldier on the Reg F course.

That's a phenomenal idea.  Would be great to see reserves on basic recce,  comms, driver wheeled,  TCCC,  basic mountain ops, cqc and such. (and other trade specific course too).

Especially since they will be augmenting the reg f on tours.
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
That's a phenomenal idea.  Would be great to see reserves on basic recce,  comms, driver wheeled,  TCCC,  basic mountain ops, cqc and such. (and other trade specific course too).

Especially since they will be augmenting the reg f on tours.

Agreed. Which means that we will need to find out about Basic Recce Course vacancies for reservists further than 5 days in advance of the start date, like what happened to us last month.
 

MilEME09

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Problem is some trades are different now reg vs Pres, specifically weapons and vehicle techs, Pres gets the shaft and only gets about 60% of what the reg force does. Just had one of our vtechs transfer reg force. Was ql5 qualified but now must start from the begining because of all the missing stuff PRes doesnt get.

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Haggis

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daftandbarmy said:
Agreed. Which means that we will need to find out about Basic Recce Course vacancies for reservists further than 5 days in advance of the start date, like what happened to us last month.

Several years ago I was course loaded on the old Advanced Combat Intelligence Course. I took the (then) 5 weeks off work after my boss (former Reg F Black Watch) rearranged the schedule to make it work.  I showed up at the Armoury to leave for Borden only to receive a faxed message "Course cancelled - Regret short notice.".  So, I went back to work and pleased with my boss to give me my shifts back.  (In those days the Army didn't have a policy where you would be employed at your unit if the course was cancelled with less than a certain days notice.)  That was the last time that employer ever gave any Reservist time off work for Army stuff.
 

MilEME09

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Another problem the Reserve suffer from is the lack of original training, we show up every september, ask whats the training year going to be like and get basically told SALY, Same as Last year, I'm sorry but I am going to be bored of EX's rather fast if your trying to accomplish BTS is the quickest most direct way instead of making it dynamic and interesting for the troops.
 

Colin Parkinson

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dapaterson said:
Or just treat all courses as Army courses. Don't limit Res F to only summer; if there is space available and a valid requirement then load the Res F soldier on the Reg F course.

I took the Sigs course with 3 RCHA, my biggest criticism was it was a good 2 week course crammed into 4 weeks with a lot of pooch humping.
 

Haggis

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Despite that everyone across the CAF wants to reduce costs and PERSTEMPO, no one is willing to sacrifice course content to do so.  The oft heard complaint that courses are "too long" is heard alongside the assertion that all the content that fills that white space is necessary.

Yet comments like those from Colin P are commonplace.  This begs the question of why, in the Infantry, for example, do we need 34 weeks to train a Regular Force Infantry soldier from civvy to OFP when other nations, who fight in more wars that we do, can do it in 1/2 to 2/3 the time? (see reply #2735 by FJAG).  How much of that content could be safely declared "no train" or "developmental" and delivered either in unit lines (rather that "personal administration time or maintenance on vehicles that don't move) or as part of the now lengthy pre-deployment training?

Every Reg F manoeuver unit travels down the road to high readiness (RTHR).  That's where a lot of this delta can be closed for both Reg F and P Res augmentees. Those augmentees then take it back to the Armoury floor thus shortening the RTHR for the next batch.
 

MilEME09

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Haggis I do agree some items on courses probably could be cut, I painfully went through this on my DP2, they had just redone the PRes weapons tech courses so every course was a pilot course for me, and they just grabbed the reg force MLP and went to it, teaching us much that we didn't need to know. In theory if you have enough courses say part X, Y, and Z could be better taught at unit lines, some ones going to listen and remove it from the course. We then improve and stream line our courses. That creates a new problem, now we have more training to cram into a PRes training year
 

daftandbarmy

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I know a guy who joined the RLI in the 70s. He had had previous experience with the CF as an NCO, and described their weapon training like this:

"During the first week of recruit training they got us in a room, issued us FNs, and took us outside to the range. After a quick safety brief they gave each of us a full mag which we then proceeded to fire off at the targets. We then went back inside and learned about the stripping and assembly of the weapon while we cleaned it."

Much of the rest of the training was apparently like this, and targeted towards new recruits who would be parachuting into combat within 6 months of joining. I have had similar experience with local police on the ranges where they had me shooting a Glock, a weapon I had never used, quite confidently and safely within a couple of hours along with some of their newly recruited reservists (many of whom had never fired a gun before).

This is a good example of the red tape we regularly wrap ourselves in: I have no idea why it takes us weeks to get smart recruits to the point where they can actually fire a rifle at a target when we do 'fun shoots' for civvies all the time.
 
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