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"Re-Royalization", "Re-Britification" and the Heritage Transformation

The RCN has its old rank titles and executive curl back. What should be the next step for the CF ra

  • Nothing. The current rank system works, so leave it alone.

    Votes: 128 55.7%
  • Complete return to the pre-unification ranks of the 50s and early 60s.

    Votes: 48 20.9%
  • Complete return to post unification ranks of the 70s and early 80s.

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • Officers only return to the pre-unification ranks of the 50s and early 60s.

    Votes: 9 3.9%
  • Copy the UK rank system - it is the prototype anyway.

    Votes: 20 8.7%
  • Copy the US rank system - they are the new colonial master.

    Votes: 4 1.7%
  • Create a whole new Canadian system.

    Votes: 9 3.9%
  • Lobby for standardized NATO rank insignia.

    Votes: 9 3.9%
  • Copy the French rank system - it is the other founding nation's turn

    Votes: 2 0.9%

  • Total voters
    230

rmc_wannabe

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As with the introduction of pips, which no one except the government wanted, this means that it will go straight to the top of the priority list. ;)
I honestly glad for the stars and crowns. Especially when working with Commonwealth or European Armies. They follow a similar protocol and it's easy to be recognized/recognize who's who in the zoo.
 

daftandbarmy

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The government didn't care. A small cabal of officers in Ottawa undermined the Commander of the Army to get their colonial wish fulfilled.

Which reminds me of some unfinished business ;)

angry captain hook GIF
 

Eaglelord17

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I would argue the simple gold rings was the most Canadian system ever adopted. Everything else being a British tradition.

For those saying it doesn’t work well with foreign militaries, it was very simple to understand. Bars are officers, the more bars the higher the rank. You can explain that effectively to anyone in about 1-2 sentences. Not so much for pips and crowns or any other officer rank variation I have seen.

Either way it doesn’t matter much, we spend so much time arguing about ranks and elements when in reality we have not much of anything, and our manning looks alot like a Russian division.
 

McG

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We lack modern light & heavy trucks. We lack antitank and air defence systems. We routinely stock-out of operational clothing and equipment. We fail to spend our budget every year, and the point of failure has been a lack of people to execute projects. We do not need another project to tinker with uniform aesthetics until we have sorted all those real problems. Leave the procurement staff to focus on the important things.
 

dapaterson

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We lack modern light & heavy trucks. We lack antitank and air defence systems. We routinely stock-out of operational clothing and equipment. We fail to spend our budget every year, and the point of failure has been a lack of people to execute projects. We do not need another project to tinker with uniform aesthetics until we have sorted all those real problems. Leave the procurement staff to focus on the important things.
I'd add that military career management, flipping people around every 2-3 years, also serves to delay and impair delivery of projects. In some respects, the CAF is its own worst enemy.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I'd add that military career management, flipping people around every 2-3 years, also serves to delay and impair delivery of projects. In some respects, the CAF is its own worst enemy.
Agreed. The phrase "breadth of experience" has cost the CAF more in money, time, attrition, and capability loss than any rank change ever could.
 

dapaterson

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"But he/she could be a future CDS / CAFCWO, so letting them stay long enough to complete the task / get it past the next milestone might mean they'll top out at a lower rank!" is and always has been BS.
 

Kilted

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I would argue the simple gold rings was the most Canadian system ever adopted. Everything else being a British tradition.

For those saying it doesn’t work well with foreign militaries, it was very simple to understand. Bars are officers, the more bars the higher the rank. You can explain that effectively to anyone in about 1-2 sentences. Not so much for pips and crowns or any other officer rank variation I have seen.

Either way it doesn’t matter much, we spend so much time arguing about ranks and elements when in reality we have not much of anything, and our manning looks alot like a Russian division.
The ars are a Navy rank, army officers looked out of place when compared to other armies. Now, if we could only get rid of the navel salute.
 

dimsum

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The ars are a Navy rank, army officers looked out of place when compared to other armies. Now, if we could only get rid of the navel salute.
It's not just a Naval salute.

But regardless, it's been since 1968 which makes it 54 years old. At what point is something done long enough that it's considered "the traditional way"?
 

rmc_wannabe

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It's not just a Naval salute.

But regardless, it's been since 1968 which makes it 54 years old. At what point is something done long enough that it's considered "the traditional way"?
About 200 odd years of tradition and culture that developed organically, I'd say.

Consolidation and commonalities needed to happen in 1968; Heyler was right in that regard. Unification was a solution to a problem that existed solely in his mind due to his own Sour Grapes.
 

dimsum

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About 200 odd years of tradition and culture that developed organically, I'd say.
How about a new force - do they not get to create traditions?

e.g. US Space Force now, or the USAF in 1947, or the RAF/RCAF/RAAF/etc in the 1918-1920s?

Are those traditions less valid? I know the Navy says "the Air Force has habits" but really, aren't traditions just codified habits?
 

rmc_wannabe

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How about a new force - do they not get to create traditions?

e.g. US Space Force now, or the USAF in 1947, or the RAF/RCAF/RAAF/etc in the 1918-1920s?

Are those traditions less valid? I know the Navy says "the Air Force has habits" but really, aren't traditions just codified habits?
If the Canadian Marines were to stand up today, we might be having a different conversation. That's a new requirement with a new force generated to suit that need. They may borrow or develop their own traditions, but that is something that occurs organically.

CAF Unification took 3 standing forces, stripped them to the bare metal, foisted an image and branding no one wanted, and threw the rest in the bin.

For example, my Corps outdates both the RCN and the RCAF, however our "Branch" emblem was forced to encorporate the Naval and Air Force elements in iut branding because "there is only one Comms Branch" as per 1971 edict.

Within the C&E Branch now, ATIS/CELE are chomping at the bit to go back to being under the Air Ops umbrella, Sig Int Spec/Cyber Ops are more involved with CFIOG than anyone else, the RCN held firm with their communicators from day one, and the RCCS trades are pretty much managed and overseen by DLCI. So... why retain the Branch, the manufactured identity, etc?

I might be assuming or generalizing at someone who spent most of their career as a hard Navy trade might not see the same kind of slight (as the RCN pushed back harder than the other 2 services in 1968... and maybe got a few more concessions...who knows), but I welcomed the return of element specific rank structure and was a touch disappointed when the NCM ranks didn't. The RCAF made the right call moving back to the prop for Avr and the pearl grey, but I think if would make sense to see the RCN and CA move back at some point. If the ADF and NZDF haven't collapsed in disarray because of it (I have worked closely with both) I think we can manage.
 

dimsum

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I might be assuming or generalizing at someone who spent most of their career as a hard Navy trade might not see the same kind of slight
Despite my profile pic, I've been out of the RCN longer than I've been in. The light blue is a clue.

But, fair points and great context. I will also add that I've worked with the ADF and NZDF, and at least for aircrew, they think that our "everything that flies is Air Force" isn't the worst idea. The NZDF pretty much does that anyway.
 

torg003

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The (original) RCAF was formed along the same lines as the RAF by combining naval air and army air assets. We really don't have enough air assets to justify a separate Air Force identity. I say this with no malice, I do have a great fondness for the RCAF (my father was in it). The whole unification experiment should be scrapped and it would make more sense to have a Ministry of National Defense, with a separate Department of the Army and Department of the Navy, each with their own air assets. The Air Force would basically be split back into a Naval Air Service (RCNAS) and an Air Corps (RCAirC). The single prop insignia and Aviator rank title could still be used by the Air Corps as the Army does allow for Regimental and Corps variations in insignia and rank titles.
Yes, we know it won't happen, but it makes more sense.
 

dimsum

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The (original) RCAF was formed along the same lines as the RAF by combining naval air and army air assets. We really don't have enough air assets to justify a separate Air Force identity. I say this with no malice, I do have a great fondness for the RCAF (my father was in it). The whole unification experiment should be scrapped and it would make more sense to have a Ministry of National Defense, with a separate Department of the Army and Department of the Navy, each with their own air assets. The Air Force would basically be split back into a Naval Air Service (RCNAS) and an Air Corps (RCAirC). The single prop insignia and Aviator rank title could still be used by the Air Corps as the Army does allow for Regimental and Corps variations in insignia and rank titles.
Yes, we know it won't happen, but it makes more sense.
Except that like in other threads discussing returning TAC Hel to the CA and Mar Hel (and LRP?) to the RCN, it just ends up with them being the forgotten ones in green/navy blue instead of light blue.

I’ve advocated for that in those threads before but we run into wrinkles. Recruiting for example - it’s much easier to recruit for Pilot rather than RCAF/RCN/CA pilot. If an 18-year old just wants to fly and doesn’t know whether they want to fly helos off ships or transport, how do they pick?

Also, separating them from the outset means that you can’t select for certain airframes after Moose Jaw (or equiv). RCAF won’t have helicopters, for example, so do those folks have to change uniforms?
 
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