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

FJAG

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We've known all this for decades. Why are we, as a system, this stupid and hidebound?

:brickwall:
 

medicineman

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daftandbarmy said:
:rofl:

It's OK.... he was an Anti-tank guy. We have no use for those kind of skills :)

Y'all need recce, pioneers or mortars right?  Though anti-armour can teach the AFV recognition for recce I would think...hope...pray.

MM

 

dapaterson

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Most of the problems are leadership (or lack thereof).  Processes exist to address CTs, occs not in the PRes - but people insert opinions into processes that delay them, or are ignorant and lazy and don't make the effort to sort it out.

The systems in place are generally halfway decent; the people responsible for implementing them... not so much.
 

Kirkhill

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Some comments I have made on other means that I think bear repeating to a wider audience.

Serious side of things for a minute.  One of the greatest losses in society over the past few decades has been the diminution of the "official" volunteer.

The Specials, St John's, Red Cross, Terries, Cadets, Scouts etc

People that are organized and organizable and willing to follow a plan.  People you  can base a plan on.

If I remember some ancient rules of planning it was recommended that 2/3 of the time available be allocated to subordinates and that 1/3 be the maximum allowed to self for planning.
I also seem to remember allocating 2 out of 3 units up and keeping 1 third back to react.  And 1/3 of those held back (10% of the total) being held as a flexible, untasked reserve.

That general division of 60-30-10 is what I hold to when planning projects and budgets (and fight over with accountants).

Essentially they want a contingency not to exceed 10%.  Myself I want a contingency of 40%.

I want 60% to cover the known knowns
I want 30% to cover the known unknowns
I want 10% to cover the unknown unknowns.

Given enough time (and information) then I can run through enough planning iterations to start approximating their desired levels of uncertainty.

But if time forces me to act on the basis of my first iteration then I need a contingency of unknown size and max flex capability (ie unknown and undefined skill sets) to be able to manage plan b when the first throw of the dice inevitably fails to completely resolve the crisis at hand.

I continue to argue that it is fools errand to over think your contingency planning.  It is more important to have a contingency of dollars and man-hours than it is to have a detailed plan on how to use them.  Each crisis will generate its own unique demands.

It is critical to have people used to following plans and on whom you can base plans.  How you keep them engaged and entertained until needed is entirely secondary.

The Reserves need to be available to cover Class 4 and Class 5 estimates - conceptual crises dominated by unknown unknowns.

Estimating_Classes_AACE_Table.JPG


https://assetinsights.net/Glossary/G_Classes_of_Estimates.html
 

Kirkhill

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By the way, if I haven't got a clue about the situation, as is often the case, then I can be inclined to reverse the 60-30-10 ratio and argue for a 10-30-60 commitment. 

Holding back the majority of available assets until my exploratory 10%, thrown into the dark, gives me enough information to start working on.

10% Special Forces
30% Regs
60% Reserves.
 

FJAG

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So about five months ago some of the discussions on this thread got me to putting down my thoughts on paper and offering it to the Canadian Military Journal as an article. They said: "Sure!" And gave me 7,000 words to express my ideas. Did that and my article will be out in the upcoming issue which I'm told is in the process of being distributed. Keep an eye out for it on their website.

Since I'm a lawyer you all know that I can't say everything that I want to in 7,000 words which got me sitting down at the keyboard again to expand that and lo and behold I've produced my first non fiction book (which comes in at 165 pages.)

The article is called: "The Canadian Army Needs a Paradigm Shift". I went a little more broadly (and into a whole lot more detail) for the book which is called "Unsustainable At Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis."

I've posted Chapter one on my web site here: https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-unsustainable-at-any-price-ch-1. I'll be posting a few more chapters from time to time.

The Kindle version of the book is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian-ebook/dp/B086HXC66Q

And the paperback is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian/dp/1926521250

I truly believe that at the pre Covid rate of expenditures, the CAF had maybe another ten years before it's personnel costs would have priced it completely out of business. With the tightening of discretionary budgets that will be necessary in the aftermath of this health and economic crisis, there won't be even that much time.

:cheers:
 

GK .Dundas

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FJAG said:
So about five months ago some of the discussions on this thread got me to putting down my thoughts on paper and offering it to the Canadian Military Journal as an article. They said: "Sure!" And gave me 7,000 words to express my ideas. Did that and my article will be out in the upcoming issue which I'm told is in the process of being distributed. Keep an eye out for it on their website.

Since I'm a lawyer you all know that I can't say everything that I want to in 7,000 words which got me sitting down at the keyboard again to expand that and lo and behold I've produced my first non fiction book (which comes in at 165 pages.)

The article is called: "The Canadian Army Needs a Paradigm Shift". I went a little more broadly (and into a whole lot more detail) for the book which is called "Unsustainable At Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis."

I've posted Chapter one on my web site here: https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-unsustainable-at-any-price-ch-1. I'll be posting a few more chapters from time to time.

The Kindle version of the book is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian-ebook/dp/B086HXC66Q

And the paperback is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian/dp/1926521250

I truly believe that at the pre Covid rate of expenditures, the CAF had maybe another ten years before it's personnel costs would have priced it completely out of business. With the tightening of discretionary budgets that will be necessary in the aftermath of this health and economic crisis, there won't be even that much time.

:cheers:
I'd love to buy your book I really would but Amazon won't ship a book on the Canadian military to Canada ....yeah .
 

FJAG

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Well. I learned a new thing today. Bit slower though. I usually get my copies through Amazon.com within two weeks but still--that's pretty godd. Too bad CA still doesn't have an Author's Page that aggregates all you books though. They do in the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan.

Thanks for the order. Hope you enjoy it.

:cheers:
 
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stellarpanther

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MilEME09 said:
You are indeed correct, we are likely to fail this, not necessarily because we dont have enough bodies to throw at the problem,but because we do not have enough trained bodies to effectively handle the situation. Bloggins from the infantry can easily handle say helping deliver supplies to a remove community, but what about techs, cooks, etc to keep the battle group going? even the reg force is hurting there last i saw.

This is the perfect example for this question my wife recently asked who isn't in the CAF.  I didn't have an answer.  What is the point in actively trying to recruit people into the Reserves or even Reg F if they go untrained for years.  My son for example has been in the Reserves  for about 2 years and only has his BMQ and BMQ-L, years ago when I was a Reservist we did weekend courses to get people trade qualified, not much of that anymore.  Even if this pandemic wouldn't have occurred, he was already told he wouldn't be getting his trade qual this summer because others have been waiting longer than him.  Why can't units run some of these courses like the old days?
 

Lumber

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stellarpanther said:
This is the perfect example for this question my wife recently asked who isn't in the CAF.  I didn't have an answer.  What is the point in actively trying to recruit people into the Reserves or even Reg F if they go untrained for years.  My son for example has been in the Reserves  for about 2 years and only has his BMQ and BMQ-L, years ago when I was a Reservist we did weekend courses to get people trade qualified, not much of that anymore.  Even if this pandemic wouldn't have occurred, he was already told he wouldn't be getting his trade qual this summer because others have been waiting longer than him.  Why can't units run some of these courses like the old days?

A member of the reserve unit I worked at was a Leading Seaman for almost 20 years because he could never get away from his job long enough to complete PLQ and QL5.

Not all courses CAN be conducted in-house on weekends. Some require specialist equipment and instructors. How are you going to teach a jr boatswain boat driving skills in the prairies?
 
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stellarpanther

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Lumber said:
A member of the reserve unit I worked at was a Leading Seaman for almost 20 years because he could never get away from his job long enough to complete PLQ and QL5.
If people can't get away from their regular job, they shouldn't join.  Becoming a MCpl or MS isn't a requirement do I wouldn't worry about the PLQ but QL5 has to be done.  They should have a time limit to get it.  My concern though is even if someone is making themselves available during the summer, they often don't have enough instructors so people go unqualified for years.  I assume people join because they want to do a specific job.  In the Reg Force people end up quitting because they get stuck on PAT Platoon's for too long and get tired of just sitting around.  They should have it set up so you go from Basic to your trade course with a short period of rest in between.
 

daftandbarmy

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Dimsum said:
If they knew that in advance, sure.  But, how many people know for certain what the next 20 years will be like in terms of job situation and time off?

Exactly.  :nod:

On the upside, as an Adm Coy OC I had three (very senior) Cpls, who were all fully employed with civilian logistics/ long haul firms, who were 100% reliable when it came to moving troops and kit on time, safely, for most exercises. Because of their jobs, none of them could take the 3 or 4 months off required for their next career course with the CAF, because the CAF course had no ability to adapt to a reservist with a full time job, and they were fine with that as was I.
 
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stellarpanther

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Dimsum said:
If they knew that in advance, sure.  But, how many people know for certain what the next 20 years will be like in terms of job situation and time off?

I understand that and it's good that people want to join and continue to serve,but there needs to be a point that mbr's realize that they just won't be able to meet that commitment despite the best of intentions.  That's what got me to release from the Res.  If we're going to depend on the reserves as we have in the past few years (floods come to mind) maybe the government needs to pass legislation that guarantees the right to time off for mandatory training. The civilian sector would push back though I'm sure.
 
 

PuckChaser

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stellarpanther said:
Why can't units run some of these courses like the old days?

Because Reservists wanted equivalent training to the RegF. That means providing a condensed version of the training at the appropriate school. I mean, we could go to 5 different versions of the Basket Weaver QL5, but then the (now slower than molasses in the Winter) CT process would involved a lot of ranks being lost and hurt feelings. As an example, my Father CT'd in the 80s. Was qualified to be a CWO in his trade (was MWO). RegF sent him on his QL5 again and made him a Cpl. Flash forward 20 years, same trade, I CT and keep my rank, all my Quals and was EPZ for Sgt right away (and they gave me a signing bonus).

You pick what system is better...
 
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stellarpanther

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PuckChaser said:
Because Reservists wanted equivalent training to the RegF. That means providing a condensed version of the training at the appropriate school. I mean, we could go to 5 different versions of the Basket Weaver QL5, but then the (now slower than molasses in the Winter) CT process would involved a lot of ranks being lost and hurt feelings. As an example, my Father CT'd in the 80s. Was qualified to be a CWO in his trade (was MWO). RegF sent him on his QL5 again and made him a Cpl. Flash forward 20 years, same trade, I CT and keep my rank, all my Quals and was EPZ for Sgt right away (and they gave me a signing bonus).

You pick what system is better...

I don't have a good answer but something needs to be done. What's the point in actively recruiting people if it takes years to get them trained?
 
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