• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

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

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
413
Points
910
You seem focused on who does what, and which names I placed where

Yes, to an extent. Not for cap badges, thought. For 'current role/capability'...and that makes sense.

I know I'm circling the same topic points again...so I'll say 'thanks for the discussion' at this point. :)
 

markppcli

Member
Reaction score
109
Points
530
Well I mean I was looking for discussion more than anything else, I don't actually expect a sudden email and secondment to the the Reserve Restructure Program lol. Cheers.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,891
Points
1,040
Just to focus on the Class system for a moment. And kind of in line with something I saw Dimsum post about the Aussies and varying terms of service.

What would be wrong with

Enroll all entrants as Class A
Entrants proceed to Class B for training
Trained personnel remain in Class B to support Mark's 3rd Battalion and local support personnel for the Reserves
Career personnel move to Reg Force
Deployable Reserves temporarily operating in support of the Regs go to Class C
Reserves liable for service but not actively serving remain on strength as Class A so long as they parade on the traditional Militia schedule.
It's normal that immediately after enrollment a reservist is automatically on Class A;
It's also normal that when a reservist goes on DP1 training that part or all of that is on Class B;
It is also normal that a reservist could fill into a vacant Reg F position on Class B service (albeit the rule of thumb is not for more than three years);
It is has even become normal to hire reservists on Class B positions for lengthy periods of time as staff augmentees in headquarters positions for which there is no Reg F position vacant (albeit I think this practice defies the letter and spirit of the NDA respecting reserve service);
But. When you start creating battalions filled by Class B personnel as permanent organizations for continuing, full-time service, you have crossed the line completely with the fundamental distinction between regular force and reserve force which is based on "continuing, full time service" and "other than continuing, full time service".

The government regulates the number of continuing, full-time positions through the allocation of person years (PYs). The CAF cannot create additional PYs without the government's authorization. BUT - the CAF uses other funds (primarily the reserve force budget or O&M funds) to pay for Class B positions which are in many cases "continuing, full-time" positions. It's a financial slight of hand trick that the CAF uses to increase their full-time positions over and above government authorized PYs which has become more and more tolerated.

Quite frankly, if that continuing, full-time battalion is needed then the CAF should justify its requirement to the government and get the allocation of additional PYs rather than syphoning funds off from other sources. What frosts my gourd is that 4,000 Class Bs in Ottawa (if that's still the number) syphon off almost half a billion dollars from other sources such as equipment or training for Class A reservists.

I dislike shell games played at the institutional level.

As an aside, I see nothing wrong with the idea of re-roling units from one arm to another. The artillery re-roled several reserve units from field guns to air defence quite successfully. I also think that we have more combat arms units then we need in the reserves and could use a better pool of service support and I would happily re-role a few units to transport companies or maintenance companies (assuming we properly train, equip and use them). I also do not see anything wrong with (and in fact find it desirable) to have combined arms battalions made up of two companies each of tanks and armoured infantry.

On the other hand I don't see much value in mixing a given unit up with a variety of trades unless the specific unit needs those specific trades for it's normal functions and can properly train them and utilize them. My guess is that we are not far off from having to re-role various units to other skill sets that do not exist right now but which are desperately needed in the future.

🍻
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
502
Points
910
People are genuinely proud of their units history; PEIR as an example has battle honours from the South African War (1900) to WWII. Mbr have served in UN mission like Cyprus, Yugo (including Medak Pocket), Afghanistan...so while not serving as a formed unit or sub-unit even, like many reserve units, they have still augmented the Reg Force on operations.

Regimental mafia's are an issue...official lineage and cap badges aren't. My old unit, for example, has a pretty storied history. Light Horse, Highland, Regt members have visited the The 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's). There's much to be proud of in the cap badge itself, and the strong ties serving members feel to PEI.

Take a few minutes and read thru the history. I'm not saying it is the most important thing...but it is important, at the same time. I think we can 'make change' without making proud troops and Officers re-badge to the 36 Atlantic Inf Bn, or some other "generic" title...end of the day, everyone still have to have a cap badge.

The official lineage of The Prince Edward Island Regiment (RCAC) armour regiment

Is the PEIR a capable Regiment? No. Are they even a functional Sqn at this point in time? No.

Why is that? Because of the decisions of the Govt of Canada and the CAF.

- when I joined way back when...PEIR could field a 3-Tp recce sqn with A1 Ech and SHQ with 4/4B (step up CP)...the stuff you'd expect. Depending on VORs, those recce tps could be 7 car, but 5 car was normal.

- each veh had double-banked comms. Jnr C/S's had a 77-set as their double-bank but...that's all the needed.

- the budget allowed for 2 trg nights a week (Mon and Thurs). Sep - Nov and April - June, we would do 2 FTXs a month sometimes. Jan/Feb was winter indoc stuff, and we'd knock off our mandatory stuff like AFV, etc.

- we used to do mini-ex's on trg nights because we had the time and kit. Mon night might be 'issue Wng O, begin Battle Procedure for a mounted Op screen". Thurs night...bomb up the veh's, kit checks, comms check...and off to estab a mounted Op on the harbour or something. didn't matter, it was exercising the BP, getting crews into the crew lockers, testing radios and all that kind of stuff. once the last OP report was sent...End Ex....quick Stables, then a Troop hot-wash in the mess with pizza and beverages. Morale was high...we had a normal 90%+ turn out for FTXs.

- then...Iltis was replaced, but not one for one, with G Wags.

- TCCS replaced 46/49/77 sets...but not one for one.

- Cl A trg was cut in half, and then some more. FTXs were 'a couple a year'....

- on FTXs...it wasn't unheard of for OPs to send "contact reports" over people's pers cell phones...because there wasn't enough radios to have one in each C/S.

- morale dropped...interest dropped. people released, or stopped showing up. everyone knows how Cl A funding works...


Changing 36 and 37 CBG isn't to 40 CRB isn't going to change the REAL issues. Kit shortages, morale shortages, training budget shortages. All these 'rename/reorg this to that' conversations that don't address equipment, training money and morale issues do nothing to increase capability and morale.

Fix the kit and training $ shortage. If you want to rename "36 CBG" to "40 Cdn Bn of Rifles" or whatever...fine, but do it so people aren't throwing away cap badges and history....go after the bloated Command/HQ aspects. Cpl and Capt Bloggins are proud of their cap badge...why kick the shit out of what morale is left out there?
The British Army doesn't seem to have an issue with this.

Regiments exist to serve the Army, not the other way around.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
502
Points
910
It's normal that immediately after enrollment a reservist is automatically on Class A;
It's also normal that when a reservist goes on DP1 training that part or all of that is on Class B;
It is also normal that a reservist could fill into a vacant Reg F position on Class B service (albeit the rule of thumb is not for more than three years);
It is has even become normal to hire reservists on Class B positions for lengthy periods of time as staff augmentees in headquarters positions for which there is no Reg F position vacant (albeit I think this practice defies the letter and spirit of the NDA respecting reserve service);
But. When you start creating battalions filled by Class B personnel as permanent organizations for continuing, full-time service, you have crossed the line completely with the fundamental distinction between regular force and reserve force which is based on "continuing, full time service" and "other than continuing, full time service".

The government regulates the number of continuing, full-time positions through the allocation of person years (PYs). The CAF cannot create additional PYs without the government's authorization. BUT - the CAF uses other funds (primarily the reserve force budget or O&M funds) to pay for Class B positions which are in many cases "continuing, full-time" positions. It's a financial slight of hand trick that the CAF uses to increase their full-time positions over and above government authorized PYs which has become more and more tolerated.

Quite frankly, if that continuing, full-time battalion is needed then the CAF should justify its requirement to the government and get the allocation of additional PYs rather than syphoning funds off from other sources. What frosts my gourd is that 4,000 Class Bs in Ottawa (if that's still the number) syphon off almost half a billion dollars from other sources such as equipment or training for Class A reservists.

I dislike shell games played at the institutional level.

As an aside, I see nothing wrong with the idea of re-roling units from one arm to another. The artillery re-roled several reserve units from field guns to air defence quite successfully. I also think that we have more combat arms units then we need in the reserves and could use a better pool of service support and I would happily re-role a few units to transport companies or maintenance companies (assuming we properly train, equip and use them). I also do not see anything wrong with (and in fact find it desirable) to have combined arms battalions made up of two companies each of tanks and armoured infantry.

On the other hand I don't see much value in mixing a given unit up with a variety of trades unless the specific unit needs those specific trades for it's normal functions and can properly train them and utilize them. My guess is that we are not far off from having to re-role various units to other skill sets that do not exist right now but which are desperately needed in the future.

🍻
I think I may have asked this before, but in your opinion are we giving the CA Res trades that they can actually be expected to become functional and proficient at in a reasonable about of time ?

If it takes 5 years to get a Res RCEME pers to OFP is the problem the training cycle or is this a job that just doesn't fit a reserve model ?

In the RCN Res not every trade is available. Simply because training times and actual usefulness at expected task doesn't exist.
 

OldSolduer

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,693
Points
910
The British Army doesn't seem to have an issue with this.

Regiments exist to serve the Army, not the other way around.
You are correct BUT the point he was trying to make was that the bureaucracy (aka The Man lol) can and does have an effect on morale,

Note the budget cuts and equipment cuts EITS stated.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
502
Points
910
You are correct BUT the point he was trying to make was that the bureaucracy (aka The Man lol) can and does have an effect on morale,

Note the budget cuts and equipment cuts EITS stated.
I understand. To this outside observer its seems the Armys obsession with the regimental system and protection of its individual regiments customs and traditions defeats any willingness or effort to effect change and bring the CA Res back into a credible fighting force.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,891
Points
1,040
I think I may have asked this before, but in your opinion are we giving the CA Res trades that they can actually be expected to become functional and proficient at in a reasonable about of time ?
IMHO the short answer is, no.
If it takes 5 years to get a Res RCEME pers to OFP is the problem the training cycle or is this a job that just doesn't fit a reserve model ?

In the RCN Res not every trade is available. Simply because training times and actual usefulness at expected task doesn't exist.
Personally I think trades like RCEME could fit very well into the reserves.

I'm more and more convinced that our reserve system is not fit for purpose. Yes, we do have a large number of dedicated reservists who are quite good at what they do but under our current system they all require extensive pre-deployment training before becoming "deployable". In my opinion a reserve system should create a "low cost" manpower pool that can be quickly brought into full-time service when needed. On the other hand I'm also convinced that our Reg F Army is no longer fit for purpose. Think about it. Under the managed readiness system and fleet management system, two thirds of our army is considered NOT ready to deploy. If we needed more than 1/3, we'd have to cobble together a structure from what is left and put them through a lengthy training cycle or accept the risk of failure or high losses. Don't even get me started on equipment and skills capability gaps where we simply do not have key stuff that any modern army needs to have to fight.

I think we need to rebuild structures, but particulalry reserve structures, from the ground up. Fundamental to that is the question of determining what we need for peace and conflict and then designing a system which is low cost during the former but capable of rapid expansion for the later.

I think that the reserve RCEME trade is a perfect example of a system that could be vastly improved but before you even start with it you need to improve the underlying reserve concept. For me the greatest failing of the reserves are 1) courses are too short to teach the fundamental skills needed by each individual regardless of trade; 2) there needs to be a period of mandatory training each year to allow individuals to hone their basic skills further and units advance collective training (I think 48 days per year would do) Any additional training or employment, if any, would be voluntary; 3) people can quit anytime meaning we've wasted expensive training resources. I think there should be set terms of service and, in exchange for the moneys invested in training, the individual is required to complete set years of his/her contract to be available in case he/she is needed; and 4) in order to facilitate the previous points there needs to be some really solid legislation to protect reservists civilian jobs, and to ensure that there is a clear, predictable pattern of service that ensures that the employer's, the reservist's and the reservist's family's interest are balanced so as to make being a reservist, hiring a reservist and being a member of the family of a reservist attractive.

I could see a RCEME trade working like this in order to create an effective system:

1. The Army sets up "Workshop depots" in four or five major cities;

2. A high school student in his last year is interested in mechanics. He enrolls in the reserves as a craftsman on a fifty-month (4 years plus two months) contract and for his first summer school vacation attends a six-day a week BMQ/SQ program for the full summer for which he is paid as a private;

3. In September he starts a course in automotive mechanics at a local community college the tuition for which is paid for by the military but for which he does not receive a salary. He does however parade for one mandatory weekend (Fri evening to Sun evening) a month for additional military training for which he is paid;

4. In June he commences a basic craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has already learned at the CC but converts those skills to the essential ones needed to be a DP1 mechanic. He is paid for this training;

3. In September he starts another course with the community college (maybe heavy equipment maintenance). Again the military pays the tuition but no salary except for the mandatory 1 weekend per month;

4. In June he commences an advanced craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has again learned at the CC and again converts those skills to selected ones needed for a DP 2 specialty. He is paid for this training;

5. In September he is transferred to the RCEME company of a service battalion within the same city and which is affiliated with the workshop depot. He now starts a one year mandatory Class B contract with his RCEME company during which his primary responsibility is to conduct maintenance on all of the vehicles which are part of his reserve brigade. He is paid for this work and builds experience for his resume. The following August he attends his first three-week collective training exercise with his RCEME company;

6. In September he reverts to Class A status with a requirement over the next year to attend ten 2.5 day monthly weekend trg sessions Sept to June, to have all of July off and to attend another 23-day exercise in August as well as any additional voluntary trg or Class B employment available. (This becomes the standard Class A service year for all fully trained personnel) At the end of August his contract ends but he has the opportunity to sign up for additional fixed-term contracts each of which has a mandatory 48 day trg requirement.

The end result is that you have an individual who has received a subsidized education, a civilian recognized trade certification and a year of practical experience as a mechanic and as such should become a valuable commodity for any employer. Throughout this the individual has continued to live in his family's home at no cost to the military. The military has a fully trained and experienced individual who has also provided one year of valuable maintenance service for his brigade. By having established an additional year of a fixed pattern of reserve service, both the individual and his employer can see the benefit of continued Class A service. Just as importantly, after completing the year of Class B service, any individual who wishes to transfer to the Reg F should be able to do so seamlessly, at rank, with no further training required.

The "workshop depot" is a training institution separate from the reserve brigade which is fully responsible for recruiting and managing the individual until fully trained and ready to serve in a line unit. It's makeup could include a core of managers during the winter augmented by either reserve or regular force instructors during the summer training cycles. The Class A RCEME coy would have a core of Reg F NCOs to supervise and conduct maintenance (together with the Class B's) to service the brigade fully.

That's just one idea. There are hundreds of options and similar programs could be run for many skilled trades from cooks to transport operators to health services specialist--wherever there are community course which teaches the bulk of the basic skills and techniques for a given occupation and provides the civilian certification which greatly benefit the reservist's opportunities in the civilian world.

In this kind of model, there is room to vary some of the terms. For example you could make it a 5 year plus two month first contract to increase the period of "pay-back" service for the tuition. You could offer additional Class B contracts if there is a high maintenance load. You could offer signing bonuses for reenlisting for another 3-5 year term of service. You could have a term of mandatory years (say 2-3) of supplementary reserve service after release which would permit calling individuals "back to the colours" in a major emergency. The possibilities are endless.

🍻
 

Remius

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
983
Points
860
I saw an interesting an interesting idea for reserve RMS clerks. Make them all CRs as PSE. Then when they serve class A they essentially get paid Class A or deploy as needed. This would be more for the class B type clerked we currently have at reserve units. Make them all PSEs for all their daytime work, then on training nights, weekend exercises or deployments they put their uniforms on.
 

Halifax Tar

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
502
Points
910
IMHO the short answer is, no.

Personally I think trades like RCEME could fit very well into the reserves.

I'm more and more convinced that our reserve system is not fit for purpose. Yes, we do have a large number of dedicated reservists who are quite good at what they do but under our current system they all require extensive pre-deployment training before becoming "deployable". In my opinion a reserve system should create a "low cost" manpower pool that can be quickly brought into full-time service when needed. On the other hand I'm also convinced that our Reg F Army is no longer fit for purpose. Think about it. Under the managed readiness system and fleet management system, two thirds of our army is considered NOT ready to deploy. If we needed more than 1/3, we'd have to cobble together a structure from what is left and put them through a lengthy training cycle or accept the risk of failure or high losses. Don't even get me started on equipment and skills capability gaps where we simply do not have key stuff that any modern army needs to have to fight.

I think we need to rebuild structures, but particulalry reserve structures, from the ground up. Fundamental to that is the question of determining what we need for peace and conflict and then designing a system which is low cost during the former but capable of rapid expansion for the later.

I think that the reserve RCEME trade is a perfect example of a system that could be vastly improved but before you even start with it you need to improve the underlying reserve concept. For me the greatest failing of the reserves are 1) courses are too short to teach the fundamental skills needed by each individual regardless of trade; 2) there needs to be a period of mandatory training each year to allow individuals to hone their basic skills further and units advance collective training (I think 48 days per year would do) Any additional training or employment, if any, would be voluntary; 3) people can quit anytime meaning we've wasted expensive training resources. I think there should be set terms of service and, in exchange for the moneys invested in training, the individual is required to complete set years of his/her contract to be available in case he/she is needed; and 4) in order to facilitate the previous points there needs to be some really solid legislation to protect reservists civilian jobs, and to ensure that there is a clear, predictable pattern of service that ensures that the employer's, the reservist's and the reservist's family's interest are balanced so as to make being a reservist, hiring a reservist and being a member of the family of a reservist attractive.

I could see a RCEME trade working like this in order to create an effective system:

1. The Army sets up "Workshop depots" in four or five major cities;

2. A high school student in his last year is interested in mechanics. He enrolls in the reserves as a craftsman on a fifty-month (4 years plus two months) contract and for his first summer school vacation attends a six-day a week BMQ/SQ program for the full summer for which he is paid as a private;

3. In September he starts a course in automotive mechanics at a local community college the tuition for which is paid for by the military but for which he does not receive a salary. He does however parade for one mandatory weekend (Fri evening to Sun evening) a month for additional military training for which he is paid;

4. In June he commences a basic craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has already learned at the CC but converts those skills to the essential ones needed to be a DP1 mechanic. He is paid for this training;

3. In September he starts another course with the community college (maybe heavy equipment maintenance). Again the military pays the tuition but no salary except for the mandatory 1 weekend per month;

4. In June he commences an advanced craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has again learned at the CC and again converts those skills to selected ones needed for a DP 2 specialty. He is paid for this training;

5. In September he is transferred to the RCEME company of a service battalion within the same city and which is affiliated with the workshop depot. He now starts a one year mandatory Class B contract with his RCEME company during which his primary responsibility is to conduct maintenance on all of the vehicles which are part of his reserve brigade. He is paid for this work and builds experience for his resume. The following August he attends his first three-week collective training exercise with his RCEME company;

6. In September he reverts to Class A status with a requirement over the next year to attend ten 2.5 day monthly weekend trg sessions Sept to June, to have all of July off and to attend another 23-day exercise in August as well as any additional voluntary trg or Class B employment available. (This becomes the standard Class A service year for all fully trained personnel) At the end of August his contract ends but he has the opportunity to sign up for additional fixed-term contracts each of which has a mandatory 48 day trg requirement.

The end result is that you have an individual who has received a subsidized education, a civilian recognized trade certification and a year of practical experience as a mechanic and as such should become a valuable commodity for any employer. Throughout this the individual has continued to live in his family's home at no cost to the military. The military has a fully trained and experienced individual who has also provided one year of valuable maintenance service for his brigade. By having established an additional year of a fixed pattern of reserve service, both the individual and his employer can see the benefit of continued Class A service. Just as importantly, after completing the year of Class B service, any individual who wishes to transfer to the Reg F should be able to do so seamlessly, at rank, with no further training required.

The "workshop depot" is a training institution separate from the reserve brigade which is fully responsible for recruiting and managing the individual until fully trained and ready to serve in a line unit. It's makeup could include a core of managers during the winter augmented by either reserve or regular force instructors during the summer training cycles. The Class A RCEME coy would have a core of Reg F NCOs to supervise and conduct maintenance (together with the Class B's) to service the brigade fully.

That's just one idea. There are hundreds of options and similar programs could be run for many skilled trades from cooks to transport operators to health services specialist--wherever there are community course which teaches the bulk of the basic skills and techniques for a given occupation and provides the civilian certification which greatly benefit the reservist's opportunities in the civilian world.

In this kind of model, there is room to vary some of the terms. For example you could make it a 5 year plus two month first contract to increase the period of "pay-back" service for the tuition. You could offer additional Class B contracts if there is a high maintenance load. You could offer signing bonuses for reenlisting for another 3-5 year term of service. You could have a term of mandatory years (say 2-3) of supplementary reserve service after release which would permit calling individuals "back to the colours" in a major emergency. The possibilities are endless.

🍻

Just a fore note, I wasn't picking on RCEME just an example that existed above. I have no dog in their fight.

I like your idea, but you and I dig military stuff, not sure this will sell to Joe civi and convince them its worth giving up their summers.
 

markppcli

Member
Reaction score
109
Points
530
You are correct BUT the point he was trying to make was that the bureaucracy (aka The Man lol) can and does have an effect on morale,

Note the budget cuts and equipment cuts EITS stated.

IMHO the short answer is, no.

Personally I think trades like RCEME could fit very well into the reserves.

I'm more and more convinced that our reserve system is not fit for purpose. Yes, we do have a large number of dedicated reservists who are quite good at what they do but under our current system they all require extensive pre-deployment training before becoming "deployable". In my opinion a reserve system should create a "low cost" manpower pool that can be quickly brought into full-time service when needed. On the other hand I'm also convinced that our Reg F Army is no longer fit for purpose. Think about it. Under the managed readiness system and fleet management system, two thirds of our army is considered NOT ready to deploy. If we needed more than 1/3, we'd have to cobble together a structure from what is left and put them through a lengthy training cycle or accept the risk of failure or high losses. Don't even get me started on equipment and skills capability gaps where we simply do not have key stuff that any modern army needs to have to fight.

I think we need to rebuild structures, but particulalry reserve structures, from the ground up. Fundamental to that is the question of determining what we need for peace and conflict and then designing a system which is low cost during the former but capable of rapid expansion for the later.

I think that the reserve RCEME trade is a perfect example of a system that could be vastly improved but before you even start with it you need to improve the underlying reserve concept. For me the greatest failing of the reserves are 1) courses are too short to teach the fundamental skills needed by each individual regardless of trade; 2) there needs to be a period of mandatory training each year to allow individuals to hone their basic skills further and units advance collective training (I think 48 days per year would do) Any additional training or employment, if any, would be voluntary; 3) people can quit anytime meaning we've wasted expensive training resources. I think there should be set terms of service and, in exchange for the moneys invested in training, the individual is required to complete set years of his/her contract to be available in case he/she is needed; and 4) in order to facilitate the previous points there needs to be some really solid legislation to protect reservists civilian jobs, and to ensure that there is a clear, predictable pattern of service that ensures that the employer's, the reservist's and the reservist's family's interest are balanced so as to make being a reservist, hiring a reservist and being a member of the family of a reservist attractive.

I could see a RCEME trade working like this in order to create an effective system:

1. The Army sets up "Workshop depots" in four or five major cities;

2. A high school student in his last year is interested in mechanics. He enrolls in the reserves as a craftsman on a fifty-month (4 years plus two months) contract and for his first summer school vacation attends a six-day a week BMQ/SQ program for the full summer for which he is paid as a private;

3. In September he starts a course in automotive mechanics at a local community college the tuition for which is paid for by the military but for which he does not receive a salary. He does however parade for one mandatory weekend (Fri evening to Sun evening) a month for additional military training for which he is paid;

4. In June he commences a basic craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has already learned at the CC but converts those skills to the essential ones needed to be a DP1 mechanic. He is paid for this training;

3. In September he starts another course with the community college (maybe heavy equipment maintenance). Again the military pays the tuition but no salary except for the mandatory 1 weekend per month;

4. In June he commences an advanced craftsman course at the workshop depot for 3-4 months which lasts the entire summer vacation and which builds on what he has again learned at the CC and again converts those skills to selected ones needed for a DP 2 specialty. He is paid for this training;

5. In September he is transferred to the RCEME company of a service battalion within the same city and which is affiliated with the workshop depot. He now starts a one year mandatory Class B contract with his RCEME company during which his primary responsibility is to conduct maintenance on all of the vehicles which are part of his reserve brigade. He is paid for this work and builds experience for his resume. The following August he attends his first three-week collective training exercise with his RCEME company;

6. In September he reverts to Class A status with a requirement over the next year to attend ten 2.5 day monthly weekend trg sessions Sept to June, to have all of July off and to attend another 23-day exercise in August as well as any additional voluntary trg or Class B employment available. (This becomes the standard Class A service year for all fully trained personnel) At the end of August his contract ends but he has the opportunity to sign up for additional fixed-term contracts each of which has a mandatory 48 day trg requirement.

The end result is that you have an individual who has received a subsidized education, a civilian recognized trade certification and a year of practical experience as a mechanic and as such should become a valuable commodity for any employer. Throughout this the individual has continued to live in his family's home at no cost to the military. The military has a fully trained and experienced individual who has also provided one year of valuable maintenance service for his brigade. By having established an additional year of a fixed pattern of reserve service, both the individual and his employer can see the benefit of continued Class A service. Just as importantly, after completing the year of Class B service, any individual who wishes to transfer to the Reg F should be able to do so seamlessly, at rank, with no further training required.

The "workshop depot" is a training institution separate from the reserve brigade which is fully responsible for recruiting and managing the individual until fully trained and ready to serve in a line unit. It's makeup could include a core of managers during the winter augmented by either reserve or regular force instructors during the summer training cycles. The Class A RCEME coy would have a core of Reg F NCOs to supervise and conduct maintenance (together with the Class B's) to service the brigade fully.

That's just one idea. There are hundreds of options and similar programs could be run for many skilled trades from cooks to transport operators to health services specialist--wherever there are community course which teaches the bulk of the basic skills and techniques for a given occupation and provides the civilian certification which greatly benefit the reservist's opportunities in the civilian world.

In this kind of model, there is room to vary some of the terms. For example you could make it a 5 year plus two month first contract to increase the period of "pay-back" service for the tuition. You could offer additional Class B contracts if there is a high maintenance load. You could offer signing bonuses for reenlisting for another 3-5 year term of service. You could have a term of mandatory years (say 2-3) of supplementary reserve service after release which would permit calling individuals "back to the colours" in a major emergency. The possibilities are endless.

🍻
This plan could be achievable by allowing RCEME, and other specialists / in demand trades, to "front load" their Education Benefit, ie instead of after six or 12 years, they get that money for school and are then contracted for X amount of service. We do it for ROTP by not for skilled trades? Similarly the Reserves Education Reimbursement should be reevaluated to cover trades training. I like the idea of a regional workshop structure to build skills. I wonder if a trade union partnership, where those hours worked in the CF can count towards apprenticeship time would be doable?
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
299
Points
880
The British Army doesn't seem to have an issue with this.

Regiments exist to serve the Army, not the other way around.
I would not say the British don’t have this problem. Amalgamation of Scottish regiments in the UK has brought about protest movements several times in different decades.
I think I may have asked this before, but in your opinion are we giving the CA Res trades that they can actually be expected to become functional and proficient at in a reasonable about of time ?
No. There are trades and occupations in the PRes that cannot be trained on PRes timelines.
I think that the reserve RCEME trade is
There is no such thing as the RCEME trade. There are several skilled NCM trades in the corps.
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
299
Points
880
This plan could be achievable by allowing RCEME, and other specialists / in demand trades, to "front load" their Education Benefit, ie instead of after six or 12 years, they get that money for school and are then contracted for X amount of service. We do it for ROTP by not for skilled trades?
The RCAF basically does this with several reserve trades that primarily recruit by component transfer of qualified members from the Reg F. If we want a system that takes 12 to 18 months to train someone & then has the member “work off” the education benefit, then the Reg F is already set-up to do it. Introducing such a scheme to the PRes again gets back to that distinction of being for other than full time employment.
 

markppcli

Member
Reaction score
109
Points
530
The RCAF basically does this with several reserve trades that primarily recruit by component transfer of qualified members from the Reg F. If we want a system that takes 12 to 18 months to train someone & then has the member “work off” the education benefit, then the Reg F is already set-up to do it. Introducing such a scheme to the PRes again gets back to that distinction of being for other than full time employment.
Fair enough then, how about we let reg force who retire to the reserves keep their education benefit so they don't just completely get out like they do now?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,891
Points
1,040
Just a fore note, I wasn't picking on RCEME just an example that existed above. I have no dog in their fight.

I like your idea, but you and I dig military stuff, not sure this will sell to Joe civi and convince them its worth giving up their summers.

Neither was I. RCEME are some of my favourite people. They kept all the mech stuff in my M109 battery humming like a top (and there's a lot of mech stuff in an M109 battery). We have far to few of them and need many, many more - both reg and res.

I think most young folks who join the reserves figure it will be more demanding then it turns out to be. I think too that if we're up front with people and spell out for them exactly what the first five years of their contract will be and what it will do for them, then--as long as the CAF keeps up its side of the commitment--we would have people tripping over each other to join.

Employment legislation currently mandates paid leave in all jurisdiction. I'm of the opinion that one could make federal legislation that would also mandate a certain period of unpaid leave for annual military service (together with legislation which would protect pension credits (or merges with CFSA) etc which would otherwise have been earned during such period. School breaks are generally a minimum of 2 months which leaves five weeks for family vacations even after military service. Quite frankly there are numerous options to make this type of service very attractive to Joe civi if we sat down and worked out what's important to both Joe civi, Herbie reservist, Jill spouse and Dave employer and designed a system that provides for those things while creating stable and equipped reserve units that can function at a collective level.
There is no such thing as the RCEME trade. There are several skilled NCM trades in the corps.
You are absolutely right and I'm letting my age show. Folks that fix stuff and keep it operating are my heroes (as are the folks that keep the parts flowing). On the other hand, systems (by whatever name they go by) that keep these folks from doing their jobs well need to be kicked to the curb.

🍻
 
Top