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On the Toxicity of the ‘Warrior’ Ethos

Jarnhamar

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On the other hand our career obsessed professional soldiers will ignore subordinates being sexually harassed and assaulted, or try to dissuade then from coming forward. Likely due to how they perceive it will make them look/make their leadership look bad.

We've swapped a misguided view of honour with the misguided view of importance and prestige that comes with careers.
 

Navy_Pete

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On the other hand our career obsessed professional soldiers will ignore subordinates being sexually harassed and assaulted, or try to dissuade then from coming forward. Likely due to how they perceive it will make them look/make their leadership look bad.

We've swapped a misguided view of honour with the misguided view of importance and prestige that comes with careers.
I don't think that's unique to the CAF; seems to be at the root of a lot of corporate behavioural cover ups.

If protecting subordinates from criminal abuse is a career killer, then that's really an organization I don't want to be part of. I don't think that's where we actually are in the CAF, but maybe it is a common perception and residual old boys club carryover that needs to be swept away with good old fashioned sunlight. It's just unfortunate that it's typically exposed via newpaper stories because people try and bury things, when it should be something we can clean up internally ourselves (without going full witch hunt), but seems more to be the exception than the norm. A lot of the things that pop up are also historical, so bit hard to say how much of it is previous culture vs how we currently do business.

@Halifax Tar, if it makes you feel better, no one makes movies about engineering either unless things have gone horribly wrong. No one is interested in the millions of sea days without incident when you can make something about the Titanic.
 

Halifax Tar

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I don't think that's unique to the CAF; seems to be at the root of a lot of corporate behavioural cover ups.

If protecting subordinates from criminal abuse is a career killer, then that's really an organization I don't want to be part of. I don't think that's where we actually are in the CAF, but maybe it is a common perception and residual old boys club carryover that needs to be swept away with good old fashioned sunlight. It's just unfortunate that it's typically exposed via newpaper stories because people try and bury things, when it should be something we can clean up internally ourselves (without going full witch hunt), but seems more to be the exception than the norm. A lot of the things that pop up are also historical, so bit hard to say how much of it is previous culture vs how we currently do business.

@Halifax Tar, if it makes you feel better, no one makes movies about engineering either unless things have gone horribly wrong. No one is interested in the millions of sea days without incident when you can make something about the Titanic.

I don't feel bad about anything. My point was more about the Army portion of my branch and a seemingly insidious inferiority complex that many (most ?) have. But I know what you're getting at.

Its another reason I would like to the RCN portion of my trade (maybe the whole RCN portion of the branch) detached and returned to the RCN.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I don't feel bad about anything. My point was more about the Army portion of my branch and a seemingly insidious inferiority complex that many (most ?) have. But I know what you're getting at.

Its another reason I would like to the RCN portion of my trade (maybe the whole RCN portion of the branch) detached and returned to the RCN.
I notice a lot of the Purple trades feel this way, sort of like a post-Afghanistan hangover.
 

RangerRay

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I don't think that's unique to the CAF; seems to be at the root of a lot of corporate behavioural cover ups.

If protecting subordinates from criminal abuse is a career killer, then that's really an organization I don't want to be part of. I don't think that's where we actually are in the CAF, but maybe it is a common perception and residual old boys club carryover that needs to be swept away with good old fashioned sunlight. It's just unfortunate that it's typically exposed via newpaper stories because people try and bury things, when it should be something we can clean up internally ourselves (without going full witch hunt), but seems more to be the exception than the norm. A lot of the things that pop up are also historical, so bit hard to say how much of it is previous culture vs how we currently do business.

@Halifax Tar, if it makes you feel better, no one makes movies about engineering either unless things have gone horribly wrong. No one is interested in the millions of sea days without incident when you can make something about the Titanic.
Engineers were pivotal in A Bridge Too Far and Kelly’s Heroes.
 

Halifax Tar

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I notice a lot of the Purple trades feel this way, sort of like a post-Afghanistan hangover.

Perhaps. I don't know I did 2 tours. I'm not a door kicker but I am proud of that service and the small role I played.

I think is probably two way. Some of it is internal and some of it is external.

Engineers were pivotal in A Bridge Too Far and Kelly’s Heroes.

I think he meant more Naval engineers.
 

Blackadder1916

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@Halifax Tar, if it makes you feel better, no one makes movies about engineering either unless things have gone horribly wrong. No one is interested in the millions of sea days without incident when you can make something about the Titanic.

Sure they do did, even had Charles Bronson and Lee Marvin in it, along with Gary Cooper. So it should be up there with The Great Escape and The Dirty Dozen. 🚢

 

Navy_Pete

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@Ranger Ray you are right there are some movies that have engineers in general (Apollo 11 comes to mind as well), and I'm sure there are a few times logistics comes up generally when it becomes critical.

I think if you look at entertainment in general support never really comes into it when things are going well, but when you outrun the supply lines, things break down etc then it becomes part of the story.

No real difference than sports though; pretty complain joke in rugby that the wingers get all the glory for taking the ball the last few yards to score, and the 80 yards of work by the forwards gets forgotten. On the Navy side doesn't matter if you provide power/propulsion/hotel services 364 days a year, people will still be pissed off the one day they get a cold shower.

All totally off topic I guess, but I guess going back to the warrior example, the knights got all the glory, and the squires, baggage train and supporters they required to actually do things gets totally ignored (unless their armor got forgotten or something). People get similarly enamored by the Spartans but miss the bit that to have a standing army of professional warriors they needed a standing group of slaves/servants to do all the farming and other routine stuff that makes societies actually function.

I'm personally happy to let other people be the pointy end of things (especially as I get older), but it's a bit more obvious and directly observable on the Navy side how quickly the pointy end goes from being combat capable to less functional than a fishing boat without support, so maybe less of an inferiority complex from the RCN/RCAF side of things compared to a service battalion.
 

rmc_wannabe

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@Ranger Ray you are right there are some movies that have engineers in general (Apollo 11 comes to mind as well), and I'm sure there are a few times logistics comes up generally when it becomes critical.

I think if you look at entertainment in general support never really comes into it when things are going well, but when you outrun the supply lines, things break down etc then it becomes part of the story.

No real difference than sports though; pretty complain joke in rugby that the wingers get all the glory for taking the ball the last few yards to score, and the 80 yards of work by the forwards gets forgotten. On the Navy side doesn't matter if you provide power/propulsion/hotel services 364 days a year, people will still be pissed off the one day they get a cold shower.

All totally off topic I guess, but I guess going back to the warrior example, the knights got all the glory, and the squires, baggage train and supporters they required to actually do things gets totally ignored (unless their armor got forgotten or something). People get similarly enamored by the Spartans but miss the bit that to have a standing army of professional warriors they needed a standing group of slaves/servants to do all the farming and other routine stuff that makes societies actually function.

I'm personally happy to let other people be the pointy end of things (especially as I get older), but it's a bit more obvious and directly observable on the Navy side how quickly the pointy end goes from being combat capable to less functional than a fishing boat without support, so maybe less of an inferiority complex from the RCN/RCAF side of things compared to a service battalion.
I think watching the Russians run out of POL, food, Medical support, or any semblance of C4ISR; 40 kms and 48hrs into invading a country adjacent to them has snapped some folks back to reality.
 
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Colin Parkinson

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I don't think that's unique to the CAF; seems to be at the root of a lot of corporate behavioural cover ups.

If protecting subordinates from criminal abuse is a career killer, then that's really an organization I don't want to be part of. I don't think that's where we actually are in the CAF, but maybe it is a common perception and residual old boys club carryover that needs to be swept away with good old fashioned sunlight. It's just unfortunate that it's typically exposed via newpaper stories because people try and bury things, when it should be something we can clean up internally ourselves (without going full witch hunt), but seems more to be the exception than the norm. A lot of the things that pop up are also historical, so bit hard to say how much of it is previous culture vs how we currently do business.

@Halifax Tar, if it makes you feel better, no one makes movies about engineering either unless things have gone horribly wrong. No one is interested in the millions of sea days without incident when you can make something about the Titanic.
In the Engineering and Infrastructure business (and I suspect logistics) if nothing goes wrong, then nobody notices that you did a good job.
 

Edward Campbell

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In the Engineering and Infrastructure business (and I suspect logistics) if nothing goes wrong, then nobody notices that you did a good job.
And that's how it's supposed to be ... engineers and logisticians are supposed to know what they're supposed to be doing; they're supposed to figure out how to do it right; they're expected, then to DO it right, the first time, without needing to be reminded or 'encouraged.'
 

Colin Parkinson

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AKA "Quiet Professionalism"

If you want to confuse people, ask them when was the last time they marvelled over the bridge they just crossed and thanked (even quietly in their head) the engineers and builders for doing such a great job.
 

Navy_Pete

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In the Engineering and Infrastructure business (and I suspect logistics) if nothing goes wrong, then nobody notices that you did a good job.
Honestly those are my favourite kinds of days; I've spent to much on the other end of scrambling to make things work because everything is going wrong. Those rare days when everything goes according to plan are a pleasure to be savoured, and have never had them happen frequently enough that it becomes boring.

And on the flip side if you get a reputation for troubleshooting things all the time, you get rewarded with 'special projects' of fixing incredible messes. That's interesting but can be exhausting (especially when you don't necessarily have the authority to do anything substantial due to GoC rules). Making things work (safely) can be really interesting though, as that's when you can do some real practical engineering, and use the SMEs and skillsets available, which we don't always do in routine work.

A happy medium between 'quiet professionalism' and work arounds is awesome if you can manage it, but don't think I'll ever be at risk of complaining about being bored because everything is working like it's supposed to.
 

Halifax Tar

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And that's how it's supposed to be ... engineers and logisticians are supposed to know what they're supposed to be doing; they're supposed to figure out how to do it right; they're expected, then to DO it right, the first time, without needing to be reminded or 'encouraged.'

Funny story. I was deployed on FRE for a NATO when the pandemic broke out the stalker crash, which my guys were intimately involved in as CCT members.

Obviously the pandemic played havoc on our supply and sustainment. Well I had a great group of Sup Techs and they all worked ridiculous hours and efforts to keep the ship going until we came home late july.

I nominated everyone in my section from PO2 to OS for the trade coin for excellence. It was denied as unqualified.

Sometimes we are out own worst enemy.
 

Navy_Pete

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I had a similar experience unfortunately; we were working 16+ hour days to prep for the deployment, coming in on weekends to get trials done so equipment was operationally available etc, and was a cross department effort between MSED, Log, CSED and Deck (for the lifting trials) and no nominations for that went forward. Similarly to the insanity of the ship reactivation, it has become expected that this is 'normal'.

Contrast that with Cbt department, who gets awards for standing watches while deployed (ie their basic job), or the NWOs who gave themselves a badge for hitting non-OFP related qualifications and posting messages, and the frustration is real. Translates to folks punching out at 1540 with the rest of the crew or otherwise hanging up their uniform; if everyone is 'sailors first' don't have double standards.
 

Halifax Tar

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I had a similar experience unfortunately; we were working 16+ hour days to prep for the deployment, coming in on weekends to get trials done so equipment was operationally available etc, and was a cross department effort between MSED, Log, CSED and Deck (for the lifting trials) and no nominations for that went forward. Similarly to the insanity of the ship reactivation, it has become expected that this is 'normal'.

Contrast that with Cbt department, who gets awards for standing watches while deployed (ie their basic job), or the NWOs who gave themselves a badge for hitting non-OFP related qualifications and posting messages, and the frustration is real. Translates to folks punching out at 1540 with the rest of the crew or otherwise hanging up their uniform; if everyone is 'sailors first' don't have double standards.

Excellent post
 

daftandbarmy

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I had a similar experience unfortunately; we were working 16+ hour days to prep for the deployment, coming in on weekends to get trials done so equipment was operationally available etc, and was a cross department effort between MSED, Log, CSED and Deck (for the lifting trials) and no nominations for that went forward. Similarly to the insanity of the ship reactivation, it has become expected that this is 'normal'.

Contrast that with Cbt department, who gets awards for standing watches while deployed (ie their basic job), or the NWOs who gave themselves a badge for hitting non-OFP related qualifications and posting messages, and the frustration is real. Translates to folks punching out at 1540 with the rest of the crew or otherwise hanging up their uniform; if everyone is 'sailors first' don't have double standards.

We clearly need more coin bitches!

1661812068646.png
 

Furniture

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I had a similar experience unfortunately; we were working 16+ hour days to prep for the deployment, coming in on weekends to get trials done so equipment was operationally available etc, and was a cross department effort between MSED, Log, CSED and Deck (for the lifting trials) and no nominations for that went forward. Similarly to the insanity of the ship reactivation, it has become expected that this is 'normal'.

Contrast that with Cbt department, who gets awards for standing watches while deployed (ie their basic job), or the NWOs who gave themselves a badge for hitting non-OFP related qualifications and posting messages, and the frustration is real. Translates to folks punching out at 1540 with the rest of the crew or otherwise hanging up their uniform; if everyone is 'sailors first' don't have double standards.

I've seen people get recognition for just doing their job in all occupations, and have seen lots of people doing extra get overlooked. It's hardly a "Ops vs. MSE" thing, though MSE never misses an opportunity to remind people how important they are. ;)
 

SupersonicMax

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I've seen people get recognition for just doing their job in all occupations, and have seen lots of people doing extra get overlooked. It's hardly a "Ops vs. MSE" thing, though MSE never misses an opportunity to remind people how important they are. ;)
A good buddy of mine had some fairly significant damage to his aircraft deep over Libya that resulted in an engine fire. After dealing with the fire, he brought the aircraft back in one piece (with an engine out), along the with the weapons that he carried. He could have jettisonned them but there was a haze layer that prevented him from seeing underneath. He elected to keep them to avoid potential collateral damage. He got nothing despite being written up for several awards. In the meantime, more than one OR clerk got a CEFCOM commendation for essentially doing their job, at a reduced schedule because it was tiring. That one never sat well with me. Exactly 0 fighter aircrew (other than the ATF Comd) received anything beyond a non-article 5 medal. Some did some pretty incredible things…
 
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