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NCM Regard for Officers; Army vs RCAF vs RCN

Lumber

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So, after reading the thread where a Sgt claimed only officers' pensions are indexed, I decided I wanted to ask about something that's made me curious.

Bottom Line Up Front: Is there a difference in the way that NCMs regard officers between the CA, RCAF, and RCN, specifically with regard to junior officers?

The long version: A junior enlisted member of the US army commented on a facebook post I saw (about what I can't even remember), but his comment read simply "Why do we even have Officers"? His follow on discussion revealed that this wasn't the usual (but not too common) question about whether we needed two distinct "cadres" instead of just having Snr NCMs become officers; rather, he really didn't see any benefit/need for officers at all.

So it got me thinking about my own experience in the CAF. While not at all common, I've have seen this opinion shared within the CAF as well. The thing is, while I have heard this type of opinion expressed within the CAF, I've primarily heard it form those in the Army. I've heard it said (not literally word for word) that infantry platoons really belong to the WO, who babysits and string-pulls the next-to-useless junior officer. I've heard it said that the troops judge a platoon commander's tour not by how effective he was at leading the platoon and achieving the mission, but by how many "good ideas" they dont't have and by how little damage they managed to do.

I have heard it in the Navy too, but it's not the same. I've had friends who are/were sailors who jokingly referred to me as a "paper pusher", but this was more in jest that an actual assessment of my role on the ship.

Is this something others have seen as well, or am I allowing all the war movies and TV \I've watched to cloud my perception of what it's really like in the Army in general, and the infantry especially? Or is the relationship between officers and NCMs aboard an HMC ship fundamentally that different from the army?

This is all anecdotal and I can't give you any specific examples other than the one I provided above, but I am certain I have encountered these types of questions/situations throughout my career.

Or am I way out to lunch?

:salute:

(I have no real experience with the RCAF in this matter)
 

quadrapiper

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Lumber said:
So, after reading the thread where a Sgt claimed only officers' pensions are indexed, I decided I wanted to ask about something that's made me curious.

Bottom Line Up Front: Is there a difference in the way that NCMs regard officers between the CA, RCAF, and RCN, specifically with regard to junior officers?

The long version: A junior enlisted member of the US army commented on a facebook post I saw (about what I can't even remember), but his comment read simply "Why do we even have Officers"? His follow on discussion revealed that this wasn't the usual (but not too common) question about whether we needed two distinct "cadres" instead of just having Snr NCMs become officers; rather, he really didn't see any benefit/need for officers at all.

So it got me thinking about my own experience in the CAF. While not at all common, I've have seen this opinion shared within the CAF as well. The thing is, while I have heard this type of opinion expressed within the CAF, I've primarily heard it form those in the Army. I've heard it said (not literally word for word) that infantry platoons really belong to the WO, who babysits and string-pulls the next-to-useless junior officer. I've heard it said that the troops judge a platoon commander's tour not by how effective he was at leading the platoon and achieving the mission, but by how many "good ideas" they dont't have and by how little damage they managed to do.

I have heard it in the Navy too, but it's not the same. I've had friends who are/were sailors who jokingly referred to me as a "paper pusher", but this was more in jest that an actual assessment of my role on the ship.

Is this something others have seen as well, or am I allowing all the war movies and TV \I've watched to cloud my perception of what it's really like in the Army in general, and the infantry especially? Or is the relationship between officers and NCMs aboard an HMC ship fundamentally that different from the army?

This is all anecdotal and I can't give you any specific examples other than the one I provided above, but I am certain I have encountered these types of questions/situations throughout my career.

Or am I way out to lunch?

:salute:

(I have no real experience with the RCAF in this matter)
Looking forward to this discussion.

Very outsider view: the Navy's approach to officers, and the shipboard environment, sees them substantially better trained/experienced before they're in a position to substantially and independently affect NCMs, and the ship, compared to the battalion, is of necessity an environment where most of the people you come in contact with, outside of your department, would be novices at your job, however skilled they are at their own, including the CO and coxswain. Equally, the SLt NWO's job isn't done while also having to be sufficiently good as (say) a boatswain to keep up with S1 boatswains, unlike a platoon commander.
 

boot12

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This is a complex question, but I think that it may be important is to look at what the core competencies required of each element are early on in their careers (1LT/SLt level). Specifically, if we were to put these competencies on a spectrum of technical skill sets vs leadership of personnel, it would probably look something like this:

Technical Competence |---- Pilots ------ NWOs -- 50/50 --------- Cbt Arms ---| Personnel Leadership

This is obviously oversimplified as it only includes a small segment of operational trades across the elements, and is really just to illustrate a point rather than set exact "distances" to each end of the spectrum.

The point being is that I think the anecdotes you offered in your post are probably more likely to be encountered somewhere like the Infantry, because the early skill sets required of a junior officer have much more overlap with the duties and responsibilities of their subordinates. Whereas an NWO will within the first couple years of entering the Fleet take charge of a warship as the OOW, which is a position unique to the start of an NWO's career and not done by any NCMs (obscure exceptions like Tender Charge notwithstanding).

Junior pilots primarily just fly planes to get their quals and hours, so are even further focused on technical skills.

My :2c:
 

Good2Golf

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Ironically, the RCAF is the organization where placing officers in positions of responsibility and accountability including directly with NCMs, happens in its entirety, especially with potentially very young officers. If people want to dismiss, for instance, a young pilot’s skills as all technical, that reflects poorly on their appreciation of the weight of responsibility that comes with a young officer’s role as an aircraft captain, especially in crewed aircraft. A read of the QR&Os regarding responsibilities, and powers of an aircraft captain, as with a Ship’s captain, are notable for the extent of responsibility placed on potentially very young officers.  In the RCAF, they (officers) are by and large very well supported by NCMs, young and old alike, less and more experienced alike. Perhaps it’s because everyone’s life in the crew literally depends on that aircraft captain each and every flight.  Every flight could, at its worst, be everyone’s last.  That creates a tie amongst the crew that often/usually transcends rank.  I have very rarely experienced Air Force NCMs, particularly senior NCMs (Sgt-CWO) derisively critique officers, especially junior officers the way that I have personally witnessed Army senior NCMs critique, even ridicule junior Army officers.  Perhaps this is because those Army senior NCMs’ lives don’t literally depend 100% on those junior officers executing their responsibilities correctly in the regular conduct of their organization’s mission?  I don’t know for sure, but I saw it (direct or indirect derisive treatment of officers by NCMs in the Army) happen relatively regularly in some 25+ years of operating across both Air Force and Army environments.  As Air Force officers gain more experience in their career, I have seen NCMs less hesitant/inhibited to address their views to the officers if they believe there’s cause to do so.

:2c:

Regards
G2G
 

Colin Parkinson

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The junior infantry officer certainly gets the short straw.

He is entering a physically tough environment without a lot of experience

Their main skill is leadership, often of older, more experienced people, now many with real combat experience.

To lead properly they must use their NCO wisely, but eventual must take the reins. This is a skill that does not come easily to young males, learning how to make your NCO your ally and able to respect your authority.

You have many demands put on you by the higher ups that your platoon do not see or hear about, taking you away from your time with them, which diminishes their respect for you without the fault being you.

D&B just did a talk and mentioned in the Para's ruckmarches he made sure his pack was heavier than the men's and to lead all the marches. I would think that a junior officer who shows up to do the hard stuff. Respects their NCO's but is willing to take lead and make mistakes and own them. Makes an effort to know everyone and what their issues are and is willing to protect "their people" from crap, will earn respect, but it won't be easy. 
 

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That's a great question and worthy of a deeply researched book. Keeping it simple, however, I have a few thoughts.

Historically in our western society (well after tribal society at least), officership had originally been tied to class status. A good example is the Roman system where the senior leaders, legates and tribunes were in fact political appointments generally reserved to the senior social classes, the patricians and the equites, as part of their climb through the cursus honorum by which high political office was earned. Under the Marian system armies were commanded by either the consuls or proconsuls of a province who picked their legates (commanders of legions) and tribunes (legion staff officers) from these two classes for any given campaign. Leadership in the ranks came from the centuriate who were professional soldiers who rose through the ranks to ultimately the tactical leadership of a 6,000 man legion under the "supervision" of a legate. Along the way a lower caste Roman in the army could hold numerous leadership positions which we could consider NCOs from tent group commanders (the equivalent of a section) to standard bearers, musicians, optios (second in command to centurions), and others. The lowest level of centurion commanded 80 fighting men (and 20 non-combatants although the number varied greatly - hence "centuria") and hence would probably be considered the equivalent of a company commander in our system. The centurions commanding a cohort (i.e 6 x centuria) would be the equivalent of a battalion commander and of the legion (10 x cohorts) the equivalent of a brigade commander. What's noteworthy, again, is that every centurion had risen from the ranks and his entire schooling learned on the job. Similarly there were no formal schools for legates and tribunes although some had informal education in tactics and warfare through tutors and gained some experience as they worked their way up the cursus honorum.

Cut to the post-Roman era where feudal systems created a different form of ruling class which also formed the backbone of the military leadership of any given kingdom.  Again, military studies were an informal regime of studies of books (for those who read), tutors (for those who couldn't read) and practical experience. There were few standing armies (in fact for much of it's history, Rome didn't have standing armies either, raising and disbanding legions as needed) most being raised as needed from the various subject nobility that owed its allegiance and status to the king and hence these nobles formed the leadership. In many cases the various nobles would hire mercenaries experienced in war to form a loose subordinate leadership structure.

Cut again to the end of the middle ages and the demise of much of the feudal system and we find a the king cut out the middle men issuing officer appointments directly by way of a commissioning system whereby the individual officer swore his allegiance not to some lord in the feudal chain but to the king directly. A more formalized rank structure, independent of the feudal structure, became set. Notwithstanding the fact that military leaders were not required to be nobles, in almost every country, the nobility did form the vast majority of the commissioned officer class in large part because of their higher education, in part because most nobilities passed to the eldest sons and therefore younger sons needed to find employment, and in some cases because commissions needed to be purchased and only the high borne could afford the expense of being an officer.

With time, and industrialization, formal military education by way of war colleges found their way into the systems of most countries. While some countries retained the need to be "upper class" for it's commissioned officers for quite some time, others turned more to merit especially as commoners started to receive public education and were found to be the equals of their upper class peers.

For the most part, the rest of the world went through similar stages as western society.

Currently the main division as between commissioned officers and the other ranks is their respective education levels and other competence evaluation systems. While some countries require university degrees for commissioning, others still accept candidates from lower level, usually matriculation levels, but then put them through a formal officer commissioning education process (such as Sandhurst)

So. Why does the army take newly commissioned officers and make them platoon commanders. Simple. To give them the experience they need to round out their formal leadership training. At every leadership stage for Army officers, there is a formal education component coupled with a practical experience component up to and including battalion command.

Would warrant officers make better platoon commanders. In all probability, absolutely. But then where does the junior commissioned officer get his experience? One example would be the officer training regime in the German inter-war Wehrmacht. Individuals who were evaluated and selected for officer training would take the same basic training as other recruits and subsequently train for, attend schools for and serve in several layers of ranks which were the equivalent of specific NCO ranks (and in units alongside regular NCOs) all the while being evaluated for their leadership abilities. At any time they could be found wanting and remain "in the ranks". It is only after having gone through this lengthy schooling, training and experience and probation (roughly two years) and being considered acceptable that the candidate would be commissioned as a second lieutenant.

In many ways, those units had many more troop leadership positions for NCO and in fact most platoons would be led by NCO. German infantry regiments (typically three infantry battalions of three rifle companies and a machine gun company each, a close support artillery battery, a close support anti-tank battery, a signal platoon, two motorcycle platoons and a pioneer platoon) would have on their establishment only 48 officers but 316 NCOs and 1,644 privates. In effect, a rifle company had two officers and 140 other ranks. The officers consisted of one captain as company commander and one lt/2ndLt who commanded the first platoon and deputy to the company commander.

The lesson here quite simply is that you can easily staff many of the battalion level leadership positions with NCOs as long as you are willing to accept a lower ratio of officers to ORs (which also means a lower quantity of officers at the myriad of higher level staff positions - a situation which could be remedied by having more NCOs at higher level staff or a higher level of CFR'd officers there - both of which IMHO are desirable but are contradictory to the current "most commissioned officers must have degrees" policies) Again IMHO, considering how bloated our officer corp is, there is little appetite to change the system.

The Navy has a similar, albeit later, history as the Army. For most navies, however, navigation and sailing was, in many ways, a much more complex art than soldiering and there was an earlier drift towards education, especially navigation, than the Army. Post industrialization many of the same factors vis a vis an educated commissioned officer corp dictate the division between such officers and other, more technically oriented and skilled tradesmen other ranks.

I've never understood why the Air Force has every aircraft operated by one or more commissioned officers. We used to have flight sergeants and quite frankly I think that we still should and flight warrants could easily handle small tactical groups. We certainly do not need that many to feed the staff pyramids. More and more Air Force rank seems to be tied to pay and occupying the same mess rather than any leadership component. I presume much of it comes from the history of the formation of the air forces from volunteers amongst the numerous cavalry etc officers during WW1. Technical skill can easily be rewarded with pay supplements rather than rank while sufficient leaders to feed the system could be done through a limited number of flying status commissioned officers or through commissioning from the ranks.

425 Tac Fighter Sqn has 22 officers and 141 other ranks for give or take 12 aircraft; 436 Tpt Sqn has some 77 officers and 338 other ranks for give or take 17 aircraft; and 408 Tac Hel Sqn has 70 officers and 223 other ranks for give or take 16 aircraft. To me, that makes very little sense although I'm quite sure I'm about to get a heavy lecture on why an Air Force squadron needs more officers then the average infantry battalion (who are also already bloated).

Let the bun fights commence.

:cheers:
 

Halifax Tar

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I have been really struggling lately with something akin to this. 

I have 20+ years in the CAF now.  Multiple deployments at sea and on land.  I have done and excelled at my trade in all scenarios.  But an early 20 something year old is my boss.  Who not only lacks the "life experience"  but lacks the professional experience as well.

The conundrum that rolls around in my brain is this; no PD or FD out there would take a 20 something off the street with some education and put them in charge of anything.  There is a long road of experience and competency that must be gained and proven to be put in those positions of leadership.  Yet we in the CAF poo poo on that and still trump experience with education.  I understand and appreciate the tying of Snr NCOs and Jr Officers together to help guide and train the youngins but that is only because that is the system we use, neigh inherited from the Britain.

I find this is evident in the Naval Logistics world where our Officers will spend very very little time in operational positions (HOD or AHOD) and then spend the rest of their careers driving the Naval Logistics world.  Its my opinion the further away they get from their time as a HOD or AHOD the less relevant their experience becomes.  And yet these are the folks deciding policy and making decisions that have huge operational impacts on our fleet.  And the policy is poor IMHO. 

Personally, I dont think we need Naval Log Os to join through RMC or direct entry and any other avenue.  And I would like to see us go the route that the Med Tech world did and commission from the ranks soley as a means of officer production. 

I am in my first "staff" job, and its killing me.  Too long on ships and in the field I think.  I recently had a long an animated conversation about how my position isn't required and should be downgraded in rank.  I was told that Snr Officers wont listen to a PO2 or below and this is why we are staffed with PO1s and CPO2s.  I found this befuddling.  And I think screams that we do not take the experience and ability of ORs as we should and tie way too much to some thread on an epaulette, vice ones ability, knowledge and expertise. 

As for the cultural differences, neither service holds the prize of producing the best or worst officers.  Its completely individual, but I have to say from my limited dealings with RCAF officers they seem more inclined to use the experience of their Snr NCOs and show a greater interested in the lives of the non-commissioned ranks. 
 

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In the RCAF, most officers (the smart ones, anyway- there are dolts everywhere) take the word and opinion of their NCMs quite seriously and treat them with respect. They are the ones repairing and maintaining our aircraft. They quite literally hold our lives in their hands.

I have had more than one occasion where, on the say so of a Cpl (obviously backed up and fact checked by the Det Chief- but the Cpl is the SME usually), I have gone to the CO of a ship and broke bad news or good news that has had a major impact on the ship and it’s operation. On occasion, I have brought the Cpl to the CO’s cabin with an offending part and asked them to explain the problem directly without any filter. It is good for both sides to do that. The Cpl gets to see the impact their actions have and the CO gets to see just how smart and capable most of our techs are.

This is quite literally the definition of a strategic Cpl.
 

Navy_Pete

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quadrapiper said:
Looking forward to this discussion.

Very outsider view: the Navy's approach to officers, and the shipboard environment, sees them substantially better trained/experienced before they're in a position to substantially and independently affect NCMs, and the ship, compared to the battalion, is of necessity an environment where most of the people you come in contact with, outside of your department, would be novices at your job, however skilled they are at their own, including the CO and coxswain. Equally, the SLt NWO's job isn't done while also having to be sufficiently good as (say) a boatswain to keep up with S1 boatswains, unlike a platoon commander.

Don't forget about NTOs; a big part of my OJT was effectively learning how to do the roundman and watchkeeper jobs by shadowing the ODs, LS and MS (S3, S1 and MS now I guess). Technical competence was part of it, but basically got the bulk of my training from the NCMs and NCOs, so they generally took time to actually mentor you, and that went beyond just how systems worked. I wouldn't have passed my board without the help I got from the CERA and some of the PO1s, but also learned all kinds of things from them about how to actually make the department work that made the actual leadership position a lot easier, while also winning a bit of trust by jumping in and volunteering to do the really dirty jobs alongside them while a subbie. That also made it much easier to call BS about someone saying it was too hard, couldn't be done, or would take longer then it should, while also appreciating why some things will take a lot longer then you think or maybe shouldn't be done at sea.

Most of the folks I worked with in the Navy seemed to hold the view that it was their chance to make a juniour officer into a decent one. You had to take the advice with a bit of a grain of salt and figure it out for yourself, but almost never saw the same kind of thing you hear about in the army (with the exception of some complete soup sandwhiches that didn't listen to advice or direction from anyone and were just dangerous to be in charge).

Suspect it's highly trade dependent and really will vary with how it runs everyone's training, but generally found the NCOs in other departments did the same when I was working with them.

I popped out the other end with the idea that I'm responsible for the people in the org chart below me (vice they work for me). Lead to some sleepless nights worrying about if I was dropping the ball, but I think generally made me a better leader. Not really sure I'd have had the same attitude if I was getting undercut or belittled while I was going through training, and probably wouldn't have gone out on a wing to the detriment of my own career on a few occasions as a result .
 

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SeaKingTacco said:
In the RCAF, most officers (the smart ones, anyway- there are dolts everywhere) take the word and opinion of their NCMs quite seriously and treat them with respect. They are the ones repairing and maintaining our aircraft. They quite literally hold our lives in their hands.

I have had more than one occasion where, on the say so of a Cpl (obviously backed up and fact checked by the Det Chief- but the Cpl is the SME usually), I have gone to the CO of a ship and broke bad news or good news that has had a major impact on the ship and it’s operation. On occasion, I have brought the Cpl to the CO’s cabin with an offending part and asked them to explain the problem directly without any filter. It is good for both sides to do that. The Cpl gets to see the impact their actions have and the CO gets to see just how smart and capable most of our techs are.

This is quite literally the definition of a strategic Cpl.

This is even more evident with NCM aircrew.  Pilots and ACSOs learn to trust their AESOPs, FEs, SAR Techs, and Loadies, regardless of rank.
 

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FJAG said:
I've never understood why the Air Force has every aircraft operated by one or more commissioned officers. We used to have flight sergeants and quite frankly I think that we still should and flight warrants could easily handle small tactical groups. We certainly do not need that many to feed the staff pyramids. More and more Air Force rank seems to be tied to pay and occupying the same mess rather than any leadership component. I presume much of it comes from the history of the formation of the air forces from volunteers amongst the numerous cavalry etc officers during WW1. Technical skill can easily be rewarded with pay supplements rather than rank while sufficient leaders to feed the system could be done through a limited number of flying status commissioned officers or through commissioning from the ranks.

Well, the "doctrine" reason for that is fairly simple, and isn't pay or WWI tradition. It comes down to formal authority. Aircrew exist to take aircraft over the horizon and do the Queen's (very indirect) bidding. That requires authority for decision making beyond arms reach of the CoC, which "by the book" is the role of an officer. In theory, this could be a guy in the back (and is with ACSO Mission Commanders), but it makes more sense to vest authority for the aircraft in the aircraft experts vice the systems experts.

I'm also going to echo G2G and note that pilots are in leadership roles from very early stages. I'm the closest thing the RCAF has to a "flight sergeant", a young technical specialist pilot. My "degree" was just 2 years of dubiously related academics tacked on to make a "4 year bachelor's" when combined with flight training. Despite that, in a scant few years (assuming I continue to not suck), the system expects that I'll be an aircraft captain. I'll be expected to sign for an aircraft with a dozen souls onboard, and go forth to "do", with associated responsibility (and trust in my NCM experts). So you could, I suppose, make me a flying Cpl as an FO, but then will you commission me when I upgrade to AC? We could make a special category for pilots, like the US Army Aviation Warrant Officer, and vest that category with the aforementioned authority to command aircraft. Of course, they'd have to be paid appropriately (otherwise Air Canada comes knocking, a unique pressure of the trade), so really you're not changing anything. It solves "officer bloat", and replaces it with "AvWO bloat", while limiting your selection pool for promotion and command.
 

Lumber

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Halifax Tar said:
I have been really struggling lately with something akin to this. 

I have 20+ years in the CAF now.  Multiple deployments at sea and on land.  I have done and excelled at my trade in all scenarios.  But an early 20 something year old is my boss.  Who not only lacks the "life experience"  but lacks the professional experience as well.

The conundrum that rolls around in my brain is this; no PD or FD out there would take a 20 something off the street with some education and put them in charge of anything.  There is a long road of experience and competency that must be gained and proven to be put in those positions of leadership.  Yet we in the CAF poo poo on that and still trump experience with education.  I understand and appreciate the tying of Snr NCOs and Jr Officers together to help guide and train the youngins but that is only because that is the system we use, neigh inherited from the Britain.

I find this is evident in the Naval Logistics world where our Officers will spend very very little time in operational positions (HOD or AHOD) and then spend the rest of their careers driving the Naval Logistics world.  Its my opinion the further away they get from their time as a HOD or AHOD the less relevant their experience becomes.  And yet these are the folks deciding policy and making decisions that have huge operational impacts on our fleet.  And the policy is poor IMHO. 

Personally, I dont think we need Naval Log Os to join through RMC or direct entry and any other avenue.  And I would like to see us go the route that the Med Tech world did and commission from the ranks soley as a means of officer production. 

I am in my first "staff" job, and its killing me.  Too long on ships and in the field I think.  I recently had a long an animated conversation about how my position isn't required and should be downgraded in rank.  I was told that Snr Officers wont listen to a PO2 or below and this is why we are staffed with PO1s and CPO2s.  I found this befuddling.  And I think screams that we do not take the experience and ability of ORs as we should and tie way too much to some thread on an epaulette, vice ones ability, knowledge and expertise. 

As for the cultural differences, neither service holds the prize of producing the best or worst officers.  Its completely individual, but I have to say from my limited dealings with RCAF officers they seem more inclined to use the experience of their Snr NCOs and show a greater interested in the lives of the non-commissioned ranks.

I think this would be a solid justification for warrant officers within the engineering and logistics world.
 

Halifax Tar

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Lumber said:
I think this would be a solid justification for warrant officers within the engineering and logistics world.

Its funny you say that.  I have been thinking similar paths as well.  To expand on that further, with the creation of the CPO1/CWO Occupation and removal of said ranks from their former trades there has been a loss of practical and technical trade knowledge that was previously relied upon, while no reinforcement of the CPO2/MWO has happened.  Perhaps the creation of Warrant Officers akin to those used by the USN for the Eng and Log branches would go a long way in improving the technical oversight and governance of those trades and operations.  Does the USN employ these folks as HODs ?

I do have admit my knowledge of the USN's employment of Warrant Officers is rudimentary at best.  But my thought is that they lay somewhere between an NCO and an Officer. 

 

dimsum

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reveng said:
What about something akin to the USN Limited Duty Officer (LDO)?

What is the difference between LDO and "standard" officers?
 

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reveng said:
What about something akin to the USN Limited Duty Officer (LDO)?

The only difference is that they are commissioned from the ranks, don’t need a degree and cannot command (although this is changing).

Not sure what we would gain from it.  We don’t have a shortage of interested applicants for the jobs.  We have a shortage of experienced operators.  This would not fix that issue.
 

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The degree thig.  Sigh.  I commanded a lot of troops in two different Armies and on operations before I got  a degree....
 

Cloud Cover

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PPCLI Guy said:
The degree thig.  Sigh.  I commanded a lot of troops in two different Armies and on operations before I got  a degree....

A graduate of the University of Adversity.
 

SupersonicMax

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PPCLI Guy said:
The degree thig.  Sigh.  I commanded a lot of troops in two different Armies and on operations before I got  a degree....

I am not saying I am an advocate of a degree to pursue the Officer route but rather that the system is not worth changing towards and LDO avenue given it would not fix our issues.
 
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