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Esprit de Corps lumps reservists with fat cat generals

RCA

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Esprit de Corps again proves that they won't let or can't let facts get in the way of a good story. In their Vol 11 issue 7 June 2004 edition they have an article entitled- Money to Burn by Bill Twaito where they proceed to document how reservist have their heads in the trough, the same as the generals. They gleaned this from a couple of emails from â Å“concerned reservistsâ ?. By the way Twaito comes up as twit on the spell check, how appropriate.

When talking about the reimbursement for the 10 crse members in BC they quote a financial officer as stating â Å“ the bottom line is that DND is not a benefits smorgasbordâ ?, and the magazine goes on to state, â Å“ That is unless you are a general on a junket or a reservist.â ?

Other notable items fro the article:
Primary Reserve unit COs continue to carry personnel on strength that are Non-Effective (NES) to inflate their actual strength for funding and prestige. Many units with a paper strength of 150 or more have fewer than 50 personalâ ?
If they checked their facts, they would know that funding is now based on parading strength not paper strength. And with fixed establishment numbers, hanging on to NES is a hindrance because it prevents units from filling spots. The bottleneck is higher headquarters and the long drawn out procedure to get rid of NES. My unit had 19 and it took a year to get it down to 2.

Recruiting has been delegated down to the unit level. This is a practice should be reviewed before it results in a media scandal. We cannot entrust members who parade one night a week to properly attract and recruit CF personnel. A young NCO recently asked me to come into his office to read the recruiting oath 'blurb' and sign DND documents to recruit a new member. I refused. I had no idea what process had taken place to screen this member. I will not swear in a terrorist and put my name on a document and be accountable for it when the member breaks into one of our weapons lockers. The reserves are rushing to meet their numbers and in doing so are cutting corners.

If this weren't in a â Å“national publicationâ ? it would be funny. All those that were recruited and processed by your unit, please raise your hands. Just as I thought-Zero. Someone is spreading this bullshit, put the reserves in a bad light and this â Å“correspondentâ ? can't even be bothered to check his facts before printing it.

The reserve are bitter about receiving approximately 85 percent of the Regular pay scale and seem determined to take the other 15 percent by any possible means, including vacations hidden under the guise of official TD.

One of the emails was from a member who is in his/her second Regular Support Staff position in LFWA. First of all that is an old outdated term, and secondly my guess is this is a disgruntled Reg F mbr who is pissed at something. The magazine puts this person across as a â Å“concerned reservist.â ?

Their email address is espritdecorp@idirect.com if you care to drop them a line.
 

Brad Sallows

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What the hell is a vacation under the guise of TD?  As a reservist I've enjoyed myself on course and at conferences in the spare time available, but I've put in some bloody long hours as part of the package and worked pretty much every day of the duration, weekends included.  I do not characterize it as vacation.

If the person complaining about the swearing in is wearing two or more stripes, he is not worth his rank or pay if he understands that little about reserve recruiting by this point in his service.
 
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ags281

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TD vacation? Why the hell didn't anyone tell me I could take a TD vacation? I think I should be entitled to one as all I've had so far is TD WORK. I mean at the very least pay me overtime for all those weekends I worked through   ::)

Units processing applicants? I would be laughing, except someone apparently honestly believes that this is the way it works. They "process" them by showing them how to fill out the recruiting paperwork... right before sending said paperwork to the CFRC where the applicant then goes through THE SAME PROCESS as if they were applying for reg force.

Sure, reservists are all freeloaders trying to feed off of the system. All the people who actually WORK for the CF: :dontpanic:

What an idiot.   :threat:
 

Lance Wiebe

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I thought you were on vacation, AGS281?

Seems that way to me, sometimes!




HEY!

Just kidding, OK?

Stop hitting me! ;D ;)
 
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vr

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One should always consider the source.  Someone who is in his/her second RSS posting with LFWA is obviously not  that highly thought of wherever he/she is from.  My unit hasn't had an RSSO for over 2 years.
 
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ags281

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Lance Wiebe said:
I thought you were on vacation, AGS281?

Seems that way to me, sometimes!

HEY!

Just kidding, OK?

Stop hitting me!    ;D ;)

Yep, not working this summer. Well, by "working" I mean paid work. I'm building a deck and doing some terraforming ("landscaping" doesn't do the job justice) in both the front and back yards, which should keep me occupied for a while. Past couple of summers though I was working on TD... just saying it would be nice if my vacation was on TD as well  ;D
 

Fraser.g

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Lets keep in mind that the publisher of the above mentioned mag has the experience of being a Pte in the RCR for one hitch and then released. He now makes his money mascarading as a military expert. Unfortunately the majority of the civi population does not know better and so buys into his %#!@^%$#!

GF

 

Infanteer

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Perhaps we should write him a polite but firmly worded letter asking for him to cease attempting to represent our interests due to the poor image he gives to us.  I honestly think the NDP got their platform from reading Esprit du Crap.
 

McG

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RN PRN said:
Lets keep in mind that the publisher of the above mentioned mag has the experience of being a Pte in the RCR for one hitch and then released.
Actually, Cpl in 2 PPCLI.  He has been out for over a decade now.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Just curious,
Is the Katherine Taylor on his staff and our CathTaylor one and the same?
 

McG

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She lives in the right town.

Katherine Taylor did some remarkable paintings of our forces in Germany.
 

Fraser.g

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Thanks for the correction McG,
Regiment aside it does not paint a picture of the sound logitician or tactision by any strech of the immagination.
 
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bgreen

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With reference to Mr. Taylor's magazine it is one of the few that I found was provided for free on operational tours.  I  too was incensed by some of the crap that was printed as an informed source when really it was just a diatribe about the reserves that as was pointed out was not factual.  However there was an issue that should be looked at and that was the issue of LFWA having soldiers stay in expensive hotels in Edmonton when there are plenty of bases and armouries.

I raised the issue with area staff several years ago that as soldiers we don't need or require hotel rooms during these conferences and training opportunities.  We have cots and self-inflating air mattresses.  We have messes that could use after hours support.  And we have a public and junior soldiers that we should set an example for.  Most of the misuse (and I realize that that may be too strong) let's say abuse of funds comes near the end of the fiscal year.  As a former CO of a unit I was never allowed to budget for a small reserve nor could I carry over unspent funds.  All funds had to be expended in the current budget year.  The Bde HQ does have some reserve balance as well as unspent money from training cancellations and overbudgeting..  As the month of April approaches some years we were offered more training days or capital purchases.  Because I couldn't keep a reserve I had a list of equipment, armoury improvements and training activities or support work that we could launch on short notice.  The unit usually got a significant boost of funding at this time.

I have respect for Mr. Taylor because he stood beside me in taking a stand on an issue that was not politically correct.  And I still look forward to reading his magazine every month warts and all.

 

Jarnhamar

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Re: Sleeping in hotels.

Everyone likes a good go now and then. For most of my last month in Bosnia on roto 13 i was in a hotel in Croatia working under the airforce on op percheron. (Love the airforce). We were 4 to a room but it was a suite. Obviously we had an amazing time, got a lot of work done and enjoyed our time off. Our buddies back in Bosnia had a serious hate on for us.

Anyways I'm sure we could have spent 25 days sleeping on cots in a little seacan. Probably would have saved money which would have been spent somewhere else on something silly. Everyone likes to have a good go now and then. We didn't really deserve it but we really appreciated it. Like i told my friends who went on the tasking "Hey suck it up, if i was in your shoes I'd be glad for ya and wishing you a good time"

Do i think money is sometimes wasted on luxuries? For sure. People like to be comfortable. Could we do a lot of cutting back, penny pinching and giving out guys the least comfortable accommodations possible? Yes we could. I can pretty much guarantee if that happens it will only be the troops who suffer.  The higher ups will still get 5 star hotels but the powers that be will make sure the troopies get cots and wool blankets. I really respect any officer or NCO who is willing to rough it with the rest of us guys but i just don't see it happening. 
 
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bgreen

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To respond to Gunner,

The fact that LFWA uses hotels in downtown Edmonton is not wrong in practice but its wrong ethically in my opinion as we continue to find ways to maximize training opportunities we should not be seen as living better than our soldiers.  No I didn't camp out somewhere but as I mentioned I did voice my concern that we could have used one of the two new armouries that had just been built and leased.  Alternatively the Alberta Justice Institute provides meals and lodging for a third of the price the room alone downtown cost.  When I was with my unit and conducting training with our sister unit we stayed in their armoury and ate what their caterer provided in a haybox.  I believe this is a better bang for our buck than staying in 4 or 5 star hotels.

I have just returned in April from Roto 13 and found all the support provided to me was exceptional in most circumstances.  The provision of Esprit D'Corps I would include in that assessment as was the Christmas package and Cancon show.

Your remark about not feeding soldiers I don't understand.  But as you raised the point I will tell you I think that 50 dollars a day for food is extravagant- again it is another point that if you are claiming it you are entitled to it but I would sooner see soldiers reimbursed for their actual expenses.

In reviewing the last part of your post you have an advantage on me as I don't know who you are.  Your labelling me as a victim is most inappropriate.  I have done many things in my 30 years of service some which had unintended consequences for me and other soldiers. I have given lots and forgiven lots and I hope have been forgiven by others.  The training scenario I wrote hurt some very good people.  That was not what I intended.  I regret hurting good people. If you are interested in reviewing my intentions perhaps we could do that off line.  As for me I appreciated those that stood with me in a difficult time.  Mr. Taylor was one of those.  I wanted the readers of this thread to see some balance to the invectives written about him and his magazine.

It is too bad you felt you had to attempt to discredit me in order to advance your argument.
 

Scott

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bgreen, I guess you would have been happy to see my fellow troops and I sleeping 30 men to a small classroom in the Blandford Fire Hall during Op Persistence. Thank God for the local lady who opened up her home so that our female members could have some privacy....wait, they should have pitched hootches on her lawn, sorry.

Every Federal Gov't employee is entitled to 50 bucks a day, why shouldn't the Military be entitled to the same?

I agree with Gunner concerning his opinions of Mr Taylor and his rag, I think that he publishes the Frank Magazine of the Military.

Cheers
 

combat_medic

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As much as I hate to defend this article, which I do believe is complete tripe, I have seen a lot of waste in the Reserves and many reservists abusing the system.

Take the ones on class B contracts for example. Ever tried to call a brigade HQ on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon? Many class B pers that I know don't work Mondays at all, and work a half day on Fridays because they're in on a parade night. In addition to that, if they attend an exercise, they get an additional 2 days off during the week. Add to that another 60 days annual leave, not counting sick days or stat holidays. Add all that up, and this 4-day work week plus vacation equals 148 full work days out of 365. That comes out to 40.5% of their time. Tell me there isn't some fat to be trimmed there.

Now, take the average reservist. Works 5 days a week with one parade night a week and approximately one weekend ex a month. Assuming that's the only time commitment, and puts in NO extra time (regimental functions, lesson plans, misc. paperwork), that makes out to be 316 working days, or 86.5%. Also, many reservists will use their work vacation time in order to go away on courses, which would make the ratio even higher. While we may get slagged by some of the Reg Force for being "weekend warriors", the average reservist gives up a LOT of his free time in order to make a decent commitment to this.

While I do think there is some wastage to be accounted for in the reserves, the majority of the people doing it are working their arses off. Our exercises are often so compressed on time that we're constantly on the go and then STILL have to go to work the following Monday.
 
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mclipper

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Well, C-M, I'd like to know who those Class B pers are.  The ones that I know work a lot more than just those hours.  I know for a fact that within the unit, the Class B pers do NOT get extra days off when they have attended an EX.  60 days annual leave?  In what military is that?  They actually only get 24.  Also, you are forgetting something, the Class B pers do not have the option of not coming down on a Thurs night, or the option of not attending an EX.  The only option they have if they don't want to attend is to use annual leave.  Unlike some of the class a soldiers who decide that an EX might be too cold or rainy.......or that they would rather watch 'Friends", they are still there.  Don't even get me started on summer taskings!  :threat:
 

combat_medic

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Sorry, it should have been 24 and not 60. Also, I know many Bde pers who attend weekend exercises and get days off in lieu. And, with the obvious exception of the pers necessary to run the units, does it not make sense to task out the remainder for the summer? While the clerks and RSS are very busy, there are a lot of other positions (particularly within brigade) which are redundant when no one is parading. Does it not make sense to have those people act as staff, particularly now when we're so severely short on instructors?

Please don't misunderstand me, I know a lot of class B guys who bust their buts and DO show up on all training nights and exercises and put in a lot of extra time, but I also know that both Brigade HQs I've been around in my time take at least one day off a week (typically Mondays) and are nowhere to be found after 12pm on Friday. Just trying to get some people to answer a phone during the week can be like pulling teeth. I've seen people leave at 1500 to go for "PT" who end up at Timmy's instead, who take nearly 2 hours of breaks during a 7-hour work day. By no means am I saying it's everyone, but those kind of abuses shouldn't be tolerated to the extent that they are currently.
 
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mclipper

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You know something C-M?  You are right.  There are a couple of people who are always hiding out when it comes to tasks.  On the same note though, to clump most Class B's in with them is wrong.  Most of the full time staff in units are understaffed and very much over worked.  Be carefull when lumping people in together.  Never a good plan.
 
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