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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Kirkhill

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4x40 = 160 minutes out 180 total minutes, so no breaks if you have any kind of roll call / form up / see who’s doing what, who’s squeezing out time now?. Further when do you instructors prep these classes / set up for them? This is the problem with 3 hours a week, and why I’m much more in favour of having two 8 hour days, hell you could push that if you need to, where training can be conducted in much more meaningful way.

Lastly I’d say if your weekly parade night is a two and a half hours of lectures or cleaning your going to start seeing a serious drop in interest. Most of these jobs need hands in the tools.

There is a relatively simple solution to all of this.

First of all the schedule of 4x 40 min schedules every Wednesday night, complete with parade for orders is doable and sustainable. It even allowed for smoke breaks between classes.

Second is the establishment of a standard curriculum across the force. With standard lesson plans.

Third, is to start training the trainers early in their careers and ensuring that Methods of Instruction are taught at the beginning and that recruits start learning how to present lessons from the standard curriculum.
 

daftandbarmy

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On the other hand, I think its extremely difficult to give even a ResF company commander both the necessary training and experience needed for the job on Class A time unless we become considerably less risk averse then we currently are.

I think this is absolutely doable within the scope of currently available courses, as well as training time back at the units.

The main issue is ensuring that there are enough troops, with a viable chain of command, to form a company/ squadron. As well, the 'OCs in training' need proper mentorship from senior leaders, which is non-existent as once a reservist hits LCol their main goal in life seems to be covering their own asses and answering panicky emails from other reservist senior Officers, and not to train their subordinate officers.

To be fair, there is no expectation or capacity to help most of them out in this regard, even of they'd like to do such training and mentoring.
 

Kirkhill

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I think this is absolutely doable within the scope of currently available courses, as well as training time back at the units.

The main issue is ensuring that there are enough troops, with a viable chain of command, to form a company/ squadron. As well, the 'OCs in training' need proper mentorship from senior leaders, which is non-existent as once a reservist hits LCol their main goal in life seems to be covering their own asses and answering panicky emails from other reservist senior Officers, and not to train their subordinate officers.

To be fair, there is no expectation or capacity to help most of them out in this regard, even of they'd like to do such training and mentoring.


How about making the Captains OCs instead of 2iCs and turning the Majors into mentors and inspectors?
 

daftandbarmy

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How about making the Captains OCs instead of 2iCs and turning the Majors into mentors and inspectors?

Because the LCols need a break? I don't think so.

In the CAF an OC is a Major. We need systems in place to train these people properly, or we won't have viable Coys/Sqns. An untrained Major mentoring a Captain wouldn't help much at all.

I could see an opportunity to reform the 'paltoon or so' of Post-Command LCols, currently sheltering under the skirts of Bde HQ doing various pointless little 'special projects' until their chance at Bde Comd pops up, into a proper training and mentoring Cadre to develop Officers throughout the Bde. The same could happen for post-RSM/CWO bods, who could mentor the Bde SNCOS while they wait for the Bde RSM slot to open up.

Or something like that....
 

IRepoCans

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Awesome discussion here. I note that COA 3.1 was selected and we are losing light battalions - well we are really losing half of the Reg F infantry (27 rifle coys to 12) in the Army. We will be left with 6 x 'mech' bns with 2 x coys each (along with a ARes coy). The Army seems to gain a PSYOPS Bn and a FP Bn. Oh, and CANSOF gets a LIB that they don't want. Am I right in feeling this is the stupidest possible COA?
Where was this posted under? A near full strength light infantry battalion with all the dedicated CS and CSS enablers it would require would follow with what I've been hearing out of Gagetown with the DICE program and some of the new LF doctrine that will be formally updated/introduced in the BG-Ls.
 

Mortar guy

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Where was this posted under? A near full strength light infantry battalion with all the dedicated CS and CSS enablers it would require would follow with what I've been hearing out of Gagetown with the DICE program and some of the new LF doctrine that will be formally updated/introduced in the BG-Ls.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "posted under". I am getting my info from within the RCIC and from my work writing infantry doctrine.

"Near full strength light infantry battalion" - another word for that is "understrength light infantry battalion". As I said above, the CS platoons are to be understrength in this, the one and only LIB. The weapons platoons in the rifle coys are similarly understrength (only two wpns sects).
 

IRepoCans

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Was referring to where on ACIMS, but if it isn't there it doesn't matter.

I wonder which capbadge will end up owning the LIB, or are they just going to bring up a new one.
 

daftandbarmy

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Was referring to where on ACIMS, but if it isn't there it doesn't matter.

I wonder which capbadge will end up owning the LIB, or are they just going to bring up a new one.

As I recall, there's one Infantry Regiment with the word 'Light' in their name...


Jimmy Fallon Reaction GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
 

FJAG

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I think this is absolutely doable within the scope of currently available courses, as well as training time back at the units.

The main issue is ensuring that there are enough troops, with a viable chain of command, to form a company/ squadron. As well, the 'OCs in training' need proper mentorship from senior leaders, which is non-existent as once a reservist hits LCol their main goal in life seems to be covering their own asses and answering panicky emails from other reservist senior Officers, and not to train their subordinate officers.

To be fair, there is no expectation or capacity to help most of them out in this regard, even of they'd like to do such training and mentoring.
I would like to believe that we could turn out proper Class A majors in the ResF. I'll grant you that enough troops to "practice" on and proper mentorship is vital but I'm assuming under a reformed system that will happen.

The weakness that I see is that a Class A reservist moving from captain to major will be at a point in his career where the competing family and business interests will be too great to dedicate the time to take the RegF courses needed for that. I find the ResF courses as inadequate (but admit the RegF side could be trimmed back to the bare essentials)

I'm actually having the same argument with myself about artillery FOOs. Once you add in the need to master crew commanding the LAV OPV and being a JTAC over and above just pulling rounds down the skill set becomes pretty intense. One might need to break up the skills within the team amongst several folks into manageable chunks. We already train our Reg F NCO FOO techs pretty well but that's for concurrent activity and redundancy. Hard to do with reservists. And don't get me started on the skill sets needed now by arty majors running battlegroup FSCCs with all the stuff that's there now.

It's been 40 years since I commanded a rifle company (platoon) but I imagine things have gotten progressively more complex for the company commanders as well.

🍻


As I recall, there's one Infantry Regiment with the word 'Light' in their name...
I have that laugh every time I do a paper napkin org chart and see that the "heavy" brigade has the "Light Infantry".

😁
 

Kirkhill

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Because the LCols need a break? I don't think so.

In the CAF an OC is a Major. We need systems in place to train these people properly, or we won't have viable Coys/Sqns. An untrained Major mentoring a Captain wouldn't help much at all.

I could see an opportunity to reform the 'paltoon or so' of Post-Command LCols, currently sheltering under the skirts of Bde HQ doing various pointless little 'special projects' until their chance at Bde Comd pops up, into a proper training and mentoring Cadre to develop Officers throughout the Bde. The same could happen for post-RSM/CWO bods, who could mentor the Bde SNCOS while they wait for the Bde RSM slot to open up.

Or something like that....


Not because the LCols need a break. Because the Militia has too many of them.

A Captain can train a single trade company. The Major gets to manage the Capt in training and plan to manage all the atts and dets associated with a Coy Cbt Tm.

The LCol? In the Militia? Where Lieutenants have been Captains for 60 years courtesy of Paul Hellyer trying to game the Civil Service and Treasury?
 

Kirkhill

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This being Canada it would not surprise to see the LIB tasked to the RRCA as Fusiliers.
 

markppcli

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I would like to believe that we could turn out proper Class A majors in the ResF. I'll grant you that enough troops to "practice" on and proper mentorship is vital but I'm assuming under a reformed system that will happen.

The weakness that I see is that a Class A reservist moving from captain to major will be at a point in his career where the competing family and business interests will be too great to dedicate the time to take the RegF courses needed for that. I find the ResF courses as inadequate (but admit the RegF side could be trimmed back to the bare essentials)

I'm actually having the same argument with myself about artillery FOOs. Once you add in the need to master crew commanding the LAV OPV and being a JTAC over and above just pulling rounds down the skill set becomes pretty intense. One might need to break up the skills within the team amongst several folks into manageable chunks. We already train our Reg F NCO FOO techs pretty well but that's for concurrent activity and redundancy. Hard to do with reservists. And don't get me started on the skill sets needed now by arty majors running battlegroup FSCCs with all the stuff that's there now.

It's been 40 years since I commanded a rifle company (platoon) but I imagine things have gotten progressively more complex for the company commanders as well.

🍻



I have that laugh every time I do a paper napkin org chart and see that the "heavy" brigade has the "Light Infantry".

😁
Well not every FOO is a JTAC nor every JTAC a Foo.
 

markppcli

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Not because the LCols need a break. Because the Militia has too many of them.

A Captain can train a single trade company. The Major gets to manage the Capt in training and plan to manage all the atts and dets associated with a Coy Cbt Tm.

The LCol? In the Militia? Where Lieutenants have been Captains for 60 years courtesy of Paul Hellyer trying to game the Civil Service and Treasury?
This is why I fully agree with @KevinB s suggestion that there needs to be rank caps in the reserves. We’ll maybe, the reserves is probably the only case where I truly thinking it should be mandated NCM -> Officer, because when you just recruit both streams, especially students, you end up with an ungodly amount of Captains just sitting around. The officer positions should be CFRs hired on an as needed basis.
 

daftandbarmy

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It's been 40 years since I commanded a rifle company (platoon) but I imagine things have gotten progressively more complex for the company commanders as well.

Someone here will probably correct me but no, it's not that much different especially in the dismounted role.

I've run fairly OK company level weekend exercises, with up to 60 troops or so, on occasion and it worked well as long as you prepare properly for it during preceding parade nights. If you can get a FOO, which we did sometimes, it adds huge value on terms of learning about fire planning.

Just running company battle procedure is a huge learning for everyone, I found.

IMHO the key is having trained Pl Comds, Pl WOs and a solid CSM. If you don't, you can still run a pretty good patrolling ex in a company context.
 

FJAG

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Well not every FOO is a JTAC nor every JTAC a Foo.
Every RegF FOO is trained as a JTAC as are many of our FOO tech sergeants but its very difficult to keep the qualifications current. To the best of my knowledge none of our ResF FOOs or techs are trained as JTACs. And therein lies the problem. Because our ResF FOOs don't have access to LAV OPVs, they are considered "dismounted" FOOs and when you think about it, light forces probably need JTACs more than mech ones.

I know that during Afghanistan after the MEDUSA incident we trained and used non artillery JTACs from the combat arms and TACPs. We created the regular FOO/FAC party where FACing was a secondary function to the usual FOO functions and FAC/FOO parties which were smaller and concentrated on FACing as the primary function. It was my understanding that concept petered out do to lack of interest and career flow issues across the board; not to mention the RCAF doesn't like providing resources to support the final stages of training. I presume that CANSOFCOM still runs quite a few of non-gunner JTACs through the system.

I know that after Afghanistan, the problem in training and retaining JTACs was considered a capability deficiency issue which received a lot of staff time and I'm pretty sure it was never solved satisfactorily.

IMHO we're on the cusp of a whole new issue what with what should be a major growth in UAV and Armed UAV systems which will augment and, in large part, replace the more traditional air support and the Predator-type of drone support we're used to from the last war as they becomes more vulnerable in high intensity conflict scenarios.

I've run fairly OK company level weekend exercises, with up to 60 troops or so, on occasion and it worked well as long as you prepare properly for it during preceding parade nights.
I'm trying to think next step. Not just the company commander as a trainer of his company, but as a deployable asset in the role of company commander. I knew several ResF majors (and captains) who could prepare and run a pretty good exercise but I would question their ability to command a company in combat. I don't for a second doubt that there are some who might be able to do the training and get the experience to do the job, but as an across the board standard - I have my doubts.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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I'm trying to think next step. Not just the company commander as a trainer of his company, but as a deployable asset in the role of company commander. I knew several ResF majors (and captains) who could prepare and run a pretty good exercise but I would question their ability to command a company in combat. I don't for a second doubt that there are some who might be able to do the training and get the experience to do the job, but as an across the board standard - I have my doubts.

🍻

Unlike many reservists I've had the dubious distinction of having been part of dismounted rifle companies in 'combat'. During a few COIN style tours at any rate. Even then, there's no way I would consider myself 'good to go' without a work up period of some kind, of course. I don't doubt that many Reg F companies would be in the same boat.

Regardless, the 'next step', if there is one, should probably be to - first - confirm that the CAF expects the militia to field competent Coys/Sqns/Btys, and - next - set up the ability to develop these sub-units as an SOP as opposed to, what I was able to achieve a handful of times over a couple of decades, a few 'happy accidents'.
 

FJAG

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Unlike many reservists I've had the dubious distinction of having been part of dismounted rifle companies in 'combat'. During a few COIN style tours at any rate. Even then, there's no way I would consider myself 'good to go' without a work up period of some kind, of course. I don't doubt that many Reg F companies would be in the same boat.
That experience is why I pay attention when you say things. Mine in the seventies was different in that we rarely did or had time for "work up training". We all understood the concept of rehearsals but something like the six months of predeployment training for an op was a non starter. For the Octoberfest we just got on the bus and went. For the 1976 Olympics we did do some specialized training but that was the Olympics immediately after Munich so we were on edge. Battalions going to Cyprus did some work up but those of us on flyover status for either AMF/CAST or 4 CMBG did nothing in particular other than our ordinary training.

I know we all think of SOP per the last war but my thought is that the 6 months of predeployment training with a 6 month rotation model is probably not what the next major event for Canada's Army will look like. IMHO, we should be looking more at something in the nature of REFORGER operations with predeployed equipment and short notice flyover manning as the extreme end of the capability with something in the nature of routine and sustained Op Unifer and Latvia commitments as part of the day-to-day missions to prepare for. The latter ops have predeployment training time the former not so much.

This is where my thought process departs from what Canada's Army does. We seem to be in a rut where we believe we will always have time. And maybe I'm wrong and we always will. Let's face it we've had a tremendously long period of peace where our security as a nation or alliance hasn't been threatened. During the sixties to eighties we felt that the likelihood of having to go quickly was more real so we trained like we would and could. With 20/20 hindsight I'm not so sure that we could have, but at the time it felt like we could.

At the turn of the century the Army's tasking from the government was still to have an IRU light battalion on 10 days notice to move, a mechanized battlegroup on 21 days notice to move and a full mechanized brigade group on 90 days notice to move. LGen Jeffery, the CLS then, said we could do the first, would be challenged to do the second would be a challenge but achievable in six months. He was wishy washy on the brigade issue saying it depended on what you called a "brigade". A small one was doable but a full up brigade - nope - and even a smaller one had sustainment issues.

IMHO, this inability to "mobilize" substantial elements of even our RegF rapidly is a severe capability deficiency. I actually sometimes wonder if that's a real inability or an imagined one brought on by risk aversion. I have a hard time imagining that given a week or two you couldn't assemble a full-up equipped and manned brigade from the resources we have available. I'm not sure whether we have the ability to do the staff work and logistics required to launch it, but assembling it ... I'd be surprised if we couldn't do that.

Anyway that a long roundabout way to get me to my point. Reserves should be there for the big surprise events. And those come with shorter lead times than the low key routine ones. We spend all this money on an army to provide us with an ability to respond rapidly to big events - whether a flood, forest fire or war. We should aim for and build a force that can be called up with an acceptable amount of risk and that means certain levels of individual and group capabilities. Which brings me to:

Regardless, the 'next step', if there is one, should probably be to - first - confirm that the CAF expects the militia to field competent Coys/Sqns/Btys, and - next - set up the ability to develop these sub-units as an SOP as opposed to, what I was able to achieve a handful of times over a couple of decades, a few 'happy accidents'.
Fully agree. Over and over again we have had happy accidents like what ResF members did in the Medak pocket or in small groups during Afghanistan and the odd mortar platoon to Latvia but the overarching RegF leadership attitude is not to expect too much from the ResF beyond individual augmentees and to do nothing to build on those successes. There are dozens of things that could and ought to be done and I see some opportunity in F2025 in that but nowhere near enough.

Since I joined in 1965 I've watched the Army slowly die by a thousand cuts (and I don't mean financial; there's more money going into DND than ever before). Much of the gear is better and I think individually, the soldiers are every bit as good, but as a force, we are a shadow of our former selves and the slip to complete irrelevance is shorter than ever before. Something big needs doing. I don't see F2025 as it.

🍻
 
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