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

Kirkhill

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So we want to copy the ANZACS instead of the Brits? Why?

She was the colonel in chief of all those Canadian Units as well. That’s the commonality.

I would like my Brit relatives to know there were Canadians on parade. They all recognized the Mounties. Strangely, I am proud of being a Canadian.
 

daftandbarmy

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RangerRay

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I would like my Brit relatives to know there were Canadians on parade. They all recognized the Mounties. Strangely, I am proud of being a Canadian.
I thought they looked Canadian. Just the normal dog’s breakfast that we always are!

But we also don’t have distinctive bits of uniforms like lemon squeezers and slouch hats to distinguish ourselves. But unless we want to go all Yukon Force and bring back Stetsons and muskrat fur hats, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
 

OldSolduer

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I thought they looked Canadian. Just the normal dog’s breakfast that we always are!

But we also don’t have distinctive bits of uniforms like lemon squeezers and slouch hats to distinguish ourselves. But unless we want to go all Yukon Force and bring back Stetsons and muskrat fur hats, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
I think alot of the issue is the major complexes the CAF and Canada in general has towards the UK. We want to be better but we can't look as good as them well because Canadian you know....Can't spend money on fancy la dee da uniforms or even operational gear without massive interference and red tape.

And actually Dan Carlin brought this up. He basically said you can equip other people like Romans, give them the same training but at the end of the day they aren't Romans nor do they perform the same way.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I think alot of the issue is the major complexes the CAF and Canada in general has towards the UK. We want to be better but we can't look as good as them well because Canadian you know....Can't spend money on fancy la dee da uniforms or even operational gear without massive interference and red tape.

And actually Dan Carlin brought this up. He basically said you can equip other people like Romans, give them the same training but at the end of the day they aren't Romans nor do they perform the same way.
Honestly, we're in that weird awkward spot where our doctrine is British, our Staff/HQs are structured (and commanded by those who wish we were) like an American Division HQ, but our equipment and funding are akin to that of Jamaica or Ireland.

We have a bad identity crisis in that we want to break away from our colonial roots, establish an identity (which emulates Big Bro to the South), but we don't want to pay for any of it.

This is extremely evident with our Reserve forces that are Brigades and Regiments in name only.
 

daftandbarmy

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Honestly, we're in that weird awkward spot where our doctrine is British, our Staff/HQs are structured (and commanded by those who wish we were) like an American Division HQ, but our equipment and funding are akin to that of Jamaica or Ireland.

We have a bad identity crisis in that we want to break away from our colonial roots, establish an identity (which emulates Big Bro to the South), but we don't want to pay for any of it.

This is extremely evident with our Reserve forces that are Brigades and Regiments in name only.

I think I saw that movie ;)

Wizard Of Oz GIF
 

FJAG

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Honestly, we're in that weird awkward spot where our doctrine is British, our Staff/HQs are structured (and commanded by those who wish we were) like an American Division HQ, but our equipment and funding are akin to that of Jamaica or Ireland.

We have a bad identity crisis in that we want to break away from our colonial roots, establish an identity (which emulates Big Bro to the South), but we don't want to pay for any of it.

This is extremely evident with our Reserve forces that are Brigades and Regiments in name only.
Personally, I had no problem with what I saw. If you were to take British regiments and parade them in a block with 4 to 5 members per regiment they would look very little different from the way we looked what with Highlanders, Rifles, Guards, Line regiments, Ghurkhas, gunners and tankers and the various logistics and paras etc. It too would be a polyglot.

I personally do not like the standard green army uniform. I started in brown and think that's what a soldier should be wearing, but it doesn't offend me to see the green, or red, or blue.

We do not have British doctrine or uniforms nor do we emulate the American staff system. We do have our own doctrine that is a derivative of several NATO nations and our staff system is "continental" in nature. Canada has both a British and French heritage and its only natural that there are still traditional elements of that reflected in our uniforms and some of our culture. IMHO, it should stay that way. Traditions are a way of honouring those who represented this country before us and who put their lives on the line for it. Traditions should be thrown out only when they are counterproductive. My own opinion is that the homogenization which went on in the '60s was an early version of a "woke" culture. It was an unnecessary throwing out of babies with the bathwater in the name of forcing a national identity and in order to create a distinctive Canadian culture. If you look at the Australians and New Zealanders you basically see a continuation of the British uniform with a distinctive national touch by way of the slouch hats. They didn't need a wholesale "one uniform fits all" revolution to create a distinctive national identity.

Don't decry the fact that we still have some traditional individualism; celebrate it!

🍻
 

GR66

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It really is a false economy though.

If you look at the Militia in Canada, it’s not going to be able to expand to anything meaningful.
1) Equipment is lacking worse than the Reg Force
2) A very very very slim amount of SNCO’s and Officers at Capt and above have any experience in their jobs beyond a 2 week ex.

Other countries make it work by having a real system, not some sort of pre WW2 relic.
Responding to this here so I'm not blamed for yet another Army Reserve sidetrack of another thread... :cool:

Maybe a two tier Reserves/Militia for the Army is the way to go.

Reserve units where they can be located within a reasonable travel distance to existing Reg Force facilities. They are integrated directly into Reg Force units and meant to augment the Reg Force as a complete unit when mobilized. Reg Force leadership. Draw heavily on former Reg Force personnel that CT to the Reserves so they have the required training already. Supplemented by Class A recruits off the street to fulfill the lower level positions for which adequate training can be provided locally during summer school breaks, weekends at a centralized location, etc.

Militia units would be those units to distant to Reg Force resources to be able to meet the requirements of being a "Reserve" unit. Similar to the existing AR structure. Act as a source of individual augmentees (from those individuals that had the time/opportunity to get the required training levels) and some specialized skills (STAR specializations) as well as being a source of organized manpower available to the Government in time of emergencies. During mobilization the Militia units wouldn't deploy as units, but like WWI they would provide an initial base of partially trained soldiers to feed into the training system in order to fill out existing units, provide replacements, etc.
 

FormerHorseGuard

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A reserve unit, should be paired up with a Reg force unit that does the same sort of operational tasking. Money should be budgeted for the Reserve Unit to send soldiers on the Reg Force Exercises. Then it should also work backwards. Reg Force soldiers at all levels should be tasked back to on the Res Units exercises to help mentor the Reserve soldiers on how to improve things. How to use the equipment better and how to take care of it better could be shared on exercises. No matter what the soldiers will learn and gain valuable skills. The Res Troops would learn how to operate beyond a section or platoon, because they would be filling in positions within an actual full company or platoon.
Operators of equipment would gain knowledge and skills by watching and learning how to operate the equipment more often than a weekend every few months. Reg force would learn that the Reserve soldiers can provide a valuable skillsets from their non uniform jobs and experience. Not every skill is transferable but everyone can learn from the other side
 

daftandbarmy

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A reserve unit, should be paired up with a Reg force unit that does the same sort of operational tasking. Money should be budgeted for the Reserve Unit to send soldiers on the Reg Force Exercises. Then it should also work backwards. Reg Force soldiers at all levels should be tasked back to on the Res Units exercises to help mentor the Reserve soldiers on how to improve things. How to use the equipment better and how to take care of it better could be shared on exercises. No matter what the soldiers will learn and gain valuable skills. The Res Troops would learn how to operate beyond a section or platoon, because they would be filling in positions within an actual full company or platoon.
Operators of equipment would gain knowledge and skills by watching and learning how to operate the equipment more often than a weekend every few months. Reg force would learn that the Reserve soldiers can provide a valuable skillsets from their non uniform jobs and experience. Not every skill is transferable but everyone can learn from the other side

What about inviting each other to Mess functions too?

And this time hope that 3 VP doesn't steal some of the priceless treasures from your mess but, luckily, your regiment has several cops (Twice the Citizen!) and the unofficial 911 call nailed them before they got too far. ;)
 

Remius

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A reserve unit, should be paired up with a Reg force unit that does the same sort of operational tasking. Money should be budgeted for the Reserve Unit to send soldiers on the Reg Force Exercises. Then it should also work backwards. Reg Force soldiers at all levels should be tasked back to on the Res Units exercises to help mentor the Reserve soldiers on how to improve things. How to use the equipment better and how to take care of it better could be shared on exercises. No matter what the soldiers will learn and gain valuable skills. The Res Troops would learn how to operate beyond a section or platoon, because they would be filling in positions within an actual full company or platoon.
Operators of equipment would gain knowledge and skills by watching and learning how to operate the equipment more often than a weekend every few months. Reg force would learn that the Reserve soldiers can provide a valuable skillsets from their non uniform jobs and experience. Not every skill is transferable but everyone can learn from the other side
There are already integration exercises happening. Not sure if it’s happening everywhere but the RCR is integrating reserve troops in their exercise planning.
 

Colin Parkinson

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"Ops tasked units" enter chat. Getting ops tasked really made a difference in my unit, mostly equipment wise, but also focus.
 

daftandbarmy

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"Ops tasked units" enter chat. Getting ops tasked really made a difference in my unit, mostly equipment wise, but also focus.

As long as we can 'keep the plot', and provide the right kind of continuous and longer term leadership and logistical support.

I've seen those things fall through the cracks a couple of times due to a lack of real commitment.
 

FJAG

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As long as we can 'keep the plot', and provide the right kind of continuous and longer term leadership and logistical support.

I've seen those things fall through the cracks a couple of times due to a lack of real commitment.
10/90 gun batteries and 4 AD Regt enter the chat.

🍻
 

FormerHorseGuard

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Responding to this here so I'm not blamed for yet another Army Reserve sidetrack of another thread... :cool:

Maybe a two tier Reserves/Militia for the Army is the way to go.

Reserve units where they can be located within a reasonable travel distance to existing Reg Force facilities. They are integrated directly into Reg Force units and meant to augment the Reg Force as a complete unit when mobilized. Reg Force leadership. Draw heavily on former Reg Force personnel that CT to the Reserves so they have the required training already. Supplemented by Class A recruits off the street to fulfill the lower level positions for which adequate training can be provided locally during summer school breaks, weekends at a centralized location, etc.

Militia units would be those units to distant to Reg Force resources to be able to meet the requirements of being a "Reserve" unit. Similar to the existing AR structure. Act as a source of individual augmentees (from those individuals that had the time/opportunity to get the required training levels) and some specialized skills (STAR specializations) as well as being a source of organized manpower available to the Government in time of emergencies. During mobilization the Militia units wouldn't deploy as units, but like WWI they would provide an initial base of partially trained soldiers to feed into the training system in order to fill out existing units, provide replacements, etc.
one problem I see with this a lot of former Reg force when they transfer to the Reserves, they transfer for a a few different reasons, but they fall into these groups. 1) aging out and do not want a full time army job. they come and get a promotion, then expect the Res Unit to work like the Reg force, do not understand how a part timer cannot give 110% to get the job done every day. 2) they found a new job in the civilie world and do not have the time to drop everything go running back to the former Reg Force Regiment every time the bell rings. So the odd training night and weekend exercise to earn extra money and have fun sounds good still. 3) They come in expecting to change the world of the Res Unit by showing how the Reg Force does it and then realizes the Res Unit has to beg borrow equipment from every where to just to get to the training area. The former Reg Force soldiers has some back door connections and this really helps.
10/90 gun batteries and 4 AD Regt enter the chat.

🍻
was Part of 1AD before I transfered to the HorseGuards. With the right leadership and budgets they could of made this work, they made it work for a while then, equipment issues, lack of training area big enough to operate , and personnel issues. The Area Command put more money in the budget for Res Training, the SSF Command put money in the hat, but once money dried up training ceased on all levels. ( I was educated after the Regiment was made in to mud gunners, so I admit I do not have all the facts).
If they really wanted these units to workable and operational, they needed to put in place leadership from the top down to the lowest 1 hook soldier from the Reg side of the chart, and the Res side had to step and realize the commitment they were making was serious and could be real. A good Res Unit is only as good as the lowest rank on the ladder, the CO , RSM can be great but if the soldiers under them are willing to perform, show up and do the job assigned, it looks like a circus and everyone complains.
Reg Force Leadership team needs to know what the Res Leadership can bring to the table, and they have to know the weakness of both sides.
It cannot be a dumping ground for Reg Force career managers getting rid of the troops that are on their way out anyways, or problem children. They have to be professionals and leaders to show the Res Force team how it really works. They have to work as a team, not one side doing all the work and just show up.
Planning & Ops has to be shared work load
Equipment clean up has to be shared
The Res troops when they show up have to show up as professionals too. Show up to the job they are assigned and lead, and be willing to learn at all Ranks so they can do the job if the bell is rung and it is real. Does not have to be a shooting war, but they could be tasked a real operation in Canada where troops are needed and are expected to work shoulder to shoulder.


I believe the Reg Force career managers let the 10/90 units down by giving them mostly the unwanted or unneeded soldiers, and gave in some cases officers who were poor performers to hide them . The Res unit saw the changes and did not like the changes because their way of doing things was changed. Change is never good unless both sides are going to work and make the changes a positive thing
 

daftandbarmy

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I believe the Reg Force career managers let the 10/90 units down by giving them mostly the unwanted or unneeded soldiers, and gave in some cases officers who were poor performers to hide them . The Res unit saw the changes and did not like the changes because their way of doing things was changed. Change is never good unless both sides are going to work and make the changes a positive thing

Memories of a 10/90 Reg F MWO who, in about a week, threw the whole unit into a tailspin and had to be removed about 6 months later.

Too late to prevent several key leaders leaving.
 

FJAG

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I believe the Reg Force career managers let the 10/90 units down by giving them mostly the unwanted or unneeded soldiers, and gave in some cases officers who were poor performers to hide them .
Which RegF person to give to a reserve unit has been a fluctuating issue that varies over time. I think that there are a couple of us on this board with RSS time under our belts who do not consider themselves too shabby. But I will agree with you that there were ones who suck big time. I thought that the guy that I had replaced had been a waste of rations.

There were big differences between the 10/90 concept and 4 AD. 4 AD effectively consisted of four units, 4 AD itself, 1 AD, 18 Ad and 58 BAA which collectively had a role and which, collectively, was more in the nature of a 50/50 unit. They could afford to put a large RegF component in with the ResF units (in fact the three RegF manned Airspace Coordination Centres were located within the ResF units to be geographically close to the three brigades they supported.) Each ResF unit's taskings were modest (1 or 2 Javelin troops) and achievable.

10/90 arty regiments were equipped to field a complete 105mm battery right down to the kitchen vehicle. That should have been sustainable and I'm not sure why they ever petered out. Funding is not the prime issue. The RegF 10/90 battalions were a completely different story.

I think that there are two fundamental issues that need addressing if one wants to blend ResF units with RegF leadership/support.

The first is "what do the RegF folks do when the reservists aren't there to train?" Yes there are things to prepare for but in general there are large periods of time that can easily be wasted. Just like its important to keep reservists motivated and challenged, RSS staff need to be as well or they can, and some will, just phone it in or worse and will consider an RSS posting as either an assignment to purgatory (for those who are motivated) or a place to slack off (for those who aren't motivated).

The second is regularity of training. I'm not a fan of the two weekends per month, every Thursday night and a week in the summer model of reserve training. While it's a good model for some of the younger folks it's too much time for many of the working senior members. It results in inconsistent and irregular attendance across the board which makes it very difficult to advance the training beyond the very basics. IMHO there needs to be use made of the "ordered to train" provisions of the KR&Os to, let's say, 1 weekend for each ten months and two weeks per summer as mandatory where everyone shows up for a well regulated progressive training cycle. Separate that entirely from additional voluntary training activities and hand every scrap of administration over to the RegF staff so that the mandated training becomes the primary focus of the reservists.

There are a whole lot of other things that need doing, but if you cannot get a grip on those two issues, the reserve system will continue to underperform (or, some say, continue to fail).

🍻
 

KevinB

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10/90 arty regiments were equipped to field a complete 105mm battery right down to the kitchen vehicle. That should have been sustainable and I'm not sure why they ever petered out. Funding is not the prime issue. The RegF 10/90 battalions were a completely different story.
2 Bty 30Fd didn't have a kitchen during 10/90.
I suspect that PY issues came to bite the Artillery and so 10/90 was deemed superfluous.
Some friends of mine where in 3VP when it went to 10/90, it really was a system that should have worked - but the PY's where again salvaged to make the 1st and 2nd Bn's whole again (at the same time as absorbing the CAR, and a bunch of new BSL intake Pte - which resulted in some fairly large BN's with 4 full Rifle Coy and Cbt Spt (albeit no MG Platoon).

I think that there are two fundamental issues that need addressing if one wants to blend ResF units with RegF leadership/support.

The first is "what do the RegF folks do when the reservists aren't there to train?" Yes there are things to prepare for but in general there are large periods of time that can easily be wasted. Just like its important to keep reservists motivated and challenged, RSS staff need to be as well or they can, and some will, just phone it in or worse and will consider an RSS posting as either an assignment to purgatory (for those who are motivated) or a place to slack off (for those who aren't motivated).
The same thing that Unit employed Class B personnel do -- required Admin and Maintenance.
Which isn't the same thing as doing all the maintenance - a lot of inspection work can be done by the RegF members that can allow the PRes members to correct any faults in the equipment.

The second is regularity of training. I'm not a fan of the two weekends per month, every Thursday night and a week in the summer model of reserve training. While it's a good model for some of the younger folks it's too much time for many of the working senior members. It results in inconsistent and irregular attendance across the board which makes it very difficult to advance the training beyond the very basics. IMHO there needs to be use made of the "ordered to train" provisions of the KR&Os to, let's say, 1 weekend for each ten months and two weeks per summer as mandatory where everyone shows up for a well regulated progressive training cycle. Separate that entirely from additional voluntary training activities and hand every scrap of administration over to the RegF staff so that the mandated training becomes the primary focus of the reservists.
I'd go for 2 weeknights (there are some admin issues than can dealt with on those), but yes on the 1 weekend Ex a month (I would say 8 Months Sept-April - leaving May--Aug as stand down or summer tasking times for the unit -- but 110% on the mandatory (and protected by legislation) 2 week summer Ex.

There are a whole lot of other things that need doing, but if you cannot get a grip on those two issues, the reserve system will continue to underperform (or, some say, continue to fail).

🍻
 

childs56

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Honest question, what does the Regular Force do day to day in Garrison that makes them so special?
How many live training days of training do the Regular Force conduct in a year?
How many hours a day, week, month, year are spent doing PT, sweeping the lines or doing routine maintenance on equipment? That is just filler time.

I had a gun Det that was trained up in any of the gun drills on 105mm and very proficient in those drills. They were trained and competent at their jobs. Some of them were great CP Techs, Recce Techs, Sigs etc. When they worked with the Regular Force besides not wearing RCHA epaulettes you would not of known they were Reservists. (except for the amount beer they drank).

We begged, borrowed and stole equipment to train with. We were not properly supported, nor equipped or staffed. We made things work because people were dedicated to the cause. We turned out some pretty decent Soldiers. Few of them carried onto successful Careers in the Military, most of them have become very successful in their Civilian Jobs.
To me Send every Reserve Unit 10 Regular Force competent willing to work, motivated and supported members and see what happens. Things will change.

They could even run Regular Force units spread around the Country who come together for Main training events. For example, 1 RCHA could disperse one Gun Battery to Victoria and one to Vancouver. Then have two Gun Battery's in Shilo along with HQ who supports all the units.
The Reserves 5th (BC) and 15 Field could supply 100 Soldiers each to fill in another Battery each. You could have 6 gun batteries with four of them Regular Force and two Reserve. Provide the equipment and training to "bring them up to the standard" All while filling in the regular hours the Reserves do.
You could do the same with C-Scott R and Royal Westminster Regiment. and etc.

It is a workable solution it just needs more thinking and will power to happen.
 
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