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

Colin Parkinson

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What the reg forces needs/wants out of the reserves may not be viable for the Reserves. The Reverse have to compete not only with other employers but with recreational activities and other distractions that will want to share the same time slot as the reserve unit can offer. You have to give people a reason to give up their free time. Cool training will be part of it, proper equipment is another, but the uniform, belonging also play a part and is harder to quantify. You could name units "Manning pool #2" but we can guess how attractive that will be.
 

Ostrozac

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Colin P said:
What the reg forces needs/wants out of the reserves may not be viable for the Reserves.

Admittedly, the CF seems to want some odd stuff out of their part-time force. Stuff like intricately detailed reports and returns, official bilingualism, an incredibly complicated travel policy and an Army Reserve Establishment model that likes to assign roles without providing training and equipment (Reserve Geomatics, I'm looking at you). Our reserve force provides first class soldiers, but I think it's in spite of our structure, not because of it.
 

RocketRichard

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Ostrozac said:
Admittedly, the CF seems to want some odd stuff out of their part-time force. Stuff like intricately detailed reports and returns, official bilingualism, an incredibly complicated travel policy and an Army Reserve Establishment model that likes to assign roles without providing training and equipment (Reserve Geomatics, I'm looking at you). Our reserve force provides first class soldiers, but I think it's in spite of our structure, not because of it.

Good post :salute:
 

Kirkhill

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MilEME09 said:
... (not to mention many trades don't get trained to their reg force counterparts level)....

To be honest, I don't think it is realistic for the Reserve Force to train any trade to the Reg Force level.  Especially technical trades.  The only way I can see those capabilities been supplied from the Reserves if if they are brought into the Reserves with trained soldiers from the Regs.  That makes the Reserve Force a very different creature than a Volunteer Force.

Enthusiasts should be encouraged, engaged and exploited as far as possible.  They can make a useful auxiliary force.  They can even be employed in the Reg Force order of battle as individuals if they pass an appropriate standard.  But I don't think it is reasonable to expect a Reservist to learn how to become a mechanic on their own time, in addition to working their regular job and raising a family, much less become a mechanic qualified to the same standard as one who is fully engaged repairing equipment.  Also I don't think it is reasonable to expect to see a steady stream of volunteerss willing to give up a year of their life for foreign service.

Agreeing to serve in time of crisis is vastly different to agreeing to serve on a full time basis.



 

MilEME09

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Chris Pook said:
To be honest, I don't think it is realistic for the Reserve Force to train any trade to the Reg Force level.  Especially technical trades.  The only way I can see those capabilities been supplied from the Reserves if if they are brought into the Reserves with trained soldiers from the Regs.  That makes the Reserve Force a very different creature than a Volunteer Force.

Enthusiasts should be encouraged, engaged and exploited as far as possible.  They can make a useful auxiliary force.  They can even be employed in the Reg Force order of battle as individuals if they pass an appropriate standard.  But I don't think it is reasonable to expect a Reservist to learn how to become a mechanic on their own time, in addition to working their regular job and raising a family, much less become a mechanic qualified to the same standard as one who is fully engaged repairing equipment.  Also I don't think it is reasonable to expect to see a steady stream of volunteerss willing to give up a year of their life for foreign service.

Agreeing to serve in time of crisis is vastly different to agreeing to serve on a full time basis.

I agree with your points because as a reserve force we dont have the time or the resources to keep trained on every piece of kit in the technical trades. That said I think maybe we should create a way to get PRes techs atleast familiarized with reg force kit, example the LAV 6. That way we walk into a shop or if we are trying to deploy it can say on paper "oh Cpl Bloggins has work with the LAV before but we will need to give him a refresher when he arrives" sort of a learn on the spot. Let's face it for us techs there is a manual for everything that will tell you everything you need to do (well almost). With the right supervision any tech should be able to be shown how to work on any kit whether the all might RCEME School in Border says you have a qualification or not.
 

ballz

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MilEME09 said:
I agree with your points because as a reserve force we dont have the time or the resources to keep trained on every piece of kit in the technical trades. That said I think maybe we should create a way to get PRes techs atleast familiarized with reg force kit, example the LAV 6. That way we walk into a shop or if we are trying to deploy it can say on paper "oh Cpl Bloggins has work with the LAV before but we will need to give him a refresher when he arrives" sort of a learn on the spot. Let's face it for us techs there is a manual for everything that will tell you everything you need to do (well almost). With the right supervision any tech should be able to be shown how to work on any kit whether the all might RCEME School in Border says you have a qualification or not.

I know our maintenance platoon would be happy to have augmentation, even if it were only 1x a month. Using their Class A payday to actually come to an operational unit and work on vehicles would be a good ROI IMO. It's stuff we're always undermanned for and would provide excellent experience / training for the PRes member.
 

MilEME09

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ballz said:
I know our maintenance platoon would be happy to have augmentation, even if it were only 1x a month. Using their Class A payday to actually come to an operational unit and work on vehicles would be a good ROI IMO. It's stuff we're always undermanned for and would provide excellent experience / training for the PRes member.

I'm sure if you reached out to what ever PRes Service Battalion is closest to you, I am sure something can be arranged, if your at 1 SVC BN in Edmonton shoot me a PM and I can get the ball rolling with 41 SVC.
 

MilEME09

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Sorry for the double post. For those that took part in that retention survey last year, follow up emails are now being sent out along with a brief summery of the information now being compiled, heres a little snippet. For reference it notes only just over 3000 PRes members took part in this survey.

Commitments outside the Res F:

o It is estimated that whereas 36% of P Res members work solely as Reservists, 39% hold civilian employment, 15% are attending school, and 10% are doing both in addition to their Reserve service;

o In the COATS, only 14% of members work solely as Reservists; 69% hold civilian employment, 4% are attending school, and 13% are doing both.

Leave intentions:

o It is estimated that 8% of P Res members and 5% of COATS members definitely intend to leave within three years;

o The most commonly cited reasons for leaving the Res F were a perceived lack of opportunities in the Reserves, conflict with one’s civilian obligations (e.g., work, school), family reasons, and dissatisfaction with aspects of the job.
 

RedcapCrusader

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MilEME09 said:
Sorry for the double post. For those that took part in that retention survey last year, follow up emails are now being sent out along with a brief summery of the information now being compiled, heres a little snippet. For reference it notes only just over 3000 PRes members took part in this survey.

I never got that survey... But I agree.

The lack of opportunities is the one thing that keeps pushing me closer to release, especially in my trade where we keep getting promised all this cool new stuff and deployments... But when it's offered to us, we're never selected.
 

Dissident

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Conflicts with other commitments is always code words for: the training is not interesting/challenging enough.
 

MilEME09

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NinerSix said:
Conflicts with other commitments is always code words for: the training is not interesting/challenging enough.

whats not interesting about doing the exact same thing you did when you joined 10+ years ago? seriously I'm all for repetition to create a sense of second nature for a skill set, but if your going to do it, do atleast something to make it fresh. As my unit it does it, its pretty much hold the troops hand every time as a walk through talk through, and I'm sorry but your troops won't learn how to exacute a mission properly if they know some WO is going to come over tell them where to stand and where to look. Why? "This exercise is more geared towards training the command staff" every single damn time unless its a road move EX where to purpose is to just get Km's.
 

Dissident

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Don't get me wrong, I tend to be underwhelmed when unmotivated troops complain about doing the same training over and over, while still not being able to recall basic info. Sure we do battle procedure every year, but how many can rattle off something close to the 15/16/17 steps?

Sigh.
 

MilEME09

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NinerSix said:
Don't get me wrong, I tend to be underwhelmed when unmotivated troops complain about doing the same training over and over, while still not being able to recall basic info. Sure we do battle procedure every year, but how many can rattle off something close to the 15/16/17 steps?

Sigh.

well you get the once a year lecutre yes, but how often do you actually practice it? I have once on my MRT commander course, that was it.
 

Kirkhill

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And every year you get a new team that is shaking down for the first time.....
 

MilEME09

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Chris Pook said:
And every year you get a new team that is shaking down for the first time.....

in some cases yes, i've had 98% the same command team for 4 years, really isn't it our courses that are teaching us to do X, so why should our command team be re teaching us? it should be the objective is Y, go. We do the mission, do an AAR, then accomplish Y better and more effectively next time.
 

Kirkhill

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MilEME09 said:
in some cases yes, i've had 98% the same command team for 4 years, really isn't it our courses that are teaching us to do X, so why should our command team be re teaching us? it should be the objective is Y, go. We do the mission, do an AAR, then accomplish Y better and more effectively next time.

I was thinking more along the lines of the troops than the command team.  I agree there is a lot of continuity at the command level.  Is that true at the section/platoon level?
 

MilEME09

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Chris Pook said:
I was thinking more along the lines of the troops than the command team.  I agree there is a lot of continuity at the command level.  Is that true at the section/platoon level?

it is a little more unstable there, the platoon level command has changed hands twice in four years, and change S/C's more times then I can count. Also doesn't help if no NCO's show up on EX. leading to more problems.
 

Kirkhill

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MilEME09 said:
it is a little more unstable there, the platoon level command has changed hands twice in four years, and change S/C's more times then I can count. Also doesn't help if no NCO's show up on EX. leading to more problems.

Seems to me it is kind of difficult to have an army without a steady supply of switched-on sections......no matter how many Majors and Warrants you may have.
 

MilEME09

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Chris Pook said:
Seems to me it is kind of difficult to have an army without a steady supply of switched-on sections......no matter how many Majors and Warrants you may have.

warrants? don't have any of those, but we have two senior, and 2 junior nco's, and a bunch of cpl's and pte's. Many are reluctant to get plq and go up the ranks because we hear our command team is a shit show, and really doesn't care what the troops think.
 
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