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Reserve Restructure

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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 13:41:34 -0800
>The proposals to date will not work because the structural conditions which
have lead to the weakening of the Army Reserve have not been discussed, and
little has been done to fix them.
Would anyone care to identify any structural conditions which have led to the
weakening of the reserves? I have long wondered about the effect of direct
component transfers, for example.
>As many on this list have already observed, they joined their particular unit
because of the esprit de corps associated with their units
I think people join their unit because it is the only game in town, or in those
towns with multiple units, because it is the only one with the role of interest.
Regimental parochialism is something we instill after the fact. It‘s
unfortunate that we insist on turning soldiers into regimental fanatics in
wartime an inability to work together will probably cost lives as it has in the
past. CSS units are perfectly capable of instilling unit loyalty, if not branch
fanaticism.
We must learn to instill unit pride in such a way that it doesn‘t interfere with
cooperation between units, arms, and branches.
>Does anyone else find it odd that the proposals being floated by NDHQ for the
Reserve are similar to what has happened to the USAR?
Perhaps this is simply coincidence. We lack CSS capability in both the reserve
and regular forces and there is a notable lack of CSS reservists employed in
trade as operational augmentees drivers being the exception. From those two
facts one can easily conclude it might be a good idea to increase our reserve
CSS.
>how will the Army Reserve retain skilled applicants in the CSS once they
realize that the current AC/NC course structure caters to high school students
and not the skilled applicants.
This is the critical problem, and must be addressed before any reroling takes
place.
>With the senior positions at the centralized training establishments now mostly
held by Regs, the few opportunities left for reservists to learn the art of
command are at the Brigade HQ‘s.
"Art of command"? That is a bit of a stretch, don‘t you think? The training
schools and brigade HQs are all administrative organizations. There‘s not much
command and leadership once you get past the platoon level. Senior ranks would
benefit more from CPX, TEWTs, and so forth conducted within the scope of a
brigade.
>- Army Reserve units do not regularly conduct combined arms training.
This is difficult to do properly outside the scope of a concentration. Once we
get used to mastering our core BTS and we must fight against BTS creep if we
are ever to reach a level at which combined arms activities are useful we can
train together. In the past I‘ve seen some very lame attempts at combined arms
training which taught no useful lessons at all and in fact reinforced some
improper ones.
>all pursue their own unit training plans without co-ordination or co-operation
with each other - this within the context of Reserve Brigades.
Again, unless I‘m mistaken each reserve brigade exists purely for administrative
purposes to hold the gaggle of units in its geographical area together and
provide the requisite control and support.
>This has the net effect of encouraging parochialism.
I have observed parochialism being heavily overshadowed by simple unfamiliarity
with procedures and practices when different arms and services work together.
Parochialism mainly presents when two or more units of the same branch are
amalgamated into a single training element.
Brad Sallows
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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 13:47:56 -0800
>Very well said, it is the essence of why anyone joins a particular unit and
sticks with it, it is the driving force behind the Militia. In fact I do recall
when the Victoria Rifles One of Canada‘s Oldest Regiments was struck from the
order of battle, of the members of the unit, only 10 went to another, the others
all retired, having lost their enthusiasm.
Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Wherever this attitude exists, I can
only see that the soldiers involved are less interested in service to their
country or soldiering than they are in having their unit as a private social
club.
If and when reroling and amalgamations occur, I hope the leaders show some spine
and lead the soldiers into the new task rather than going home because they
don‘t like the change of venue.
Brad Sallows
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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 13:51:50 -0800
>What if we were to, collectively, generate a clear question that would then be
asked to the members of our respective units hopefully by an outsider so as to
prevent a charge of mutiny to determine how many troops would re-badge to a
non-combat arms unit if directed to do so by DND.
What we, collectively, need to do is decide whether we are soldiers or mess
members and lead accordingly to instill the idea that all army jobs are worth
doing and ensure soldiers are retained if and when change occurs. The only
soldiers we should be losing are those who are 100 committed to a particular
trade, not to a particular unit.
Brad Sallows
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Posted by Derrick Forsythe <Derrick.Forsythe@gov.ab.ca> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:03:55 -0700
I guess what I‘m saying Brad is that no one knows for sure what the impact
of re-badging will have on the rank and file membership ofthe Reserves as
presently constituted. Sure it‘s great to lead - my question is will there
be anyone there following....in my trade without soldiers the guns we serve
will collect rust on a parade square. Likewise developing intricate re-supp
and DP exercises are pointless if no one is there to load and drive the
trucks.
Until we have positive data on the question of what will be left in the wake
of any proposed re-structure any gnashing of teeth and waving of fists is
pointless. The question is how best to gather that "hard data" if indeed
that is required. Given the number of responses in this forum I would argue
some form of polling of existing and potential members of our Reserve Army
is required prior to implementation of any decision.
It‘s called informed leadership - maybe you heard of it.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:Bradley Sallows [SMTP:Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com]
> Sent:Wednesday, March 29, 2000 2:52 PM
> To:army@cipherlogic.on.ca
> Subject:RE: Reserve Restructure
>
>
>
> >What if we were to, collectively, generate a clear question that would
> then be
> asked to the members of our respective units hopefully by an outsider so
> as to
> prevent a charge of mutiny to determine how many troops would re-badge to
> a
> non-combat arms unit if directed to do so by DND.
>
> What we, collectively, need to do is decide whether we are soldiers or
> mess
> members and lead accordingly to instill the idea that all army jobs are
> worth
> doing and ensure soldiers are retained if and when change occurs. The
> only
> soldiers we should be losing are those who are 100 committed to a
> particular
> trade, not to a particular unit.
>
> Brad Sallows
>
>
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Posted by Derrick Forsythe <Derrick.Forsythe@gov.ab.ca> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:17:11 -0700
Ted - you out there?
do you have an e-mail address for the Fraser Committee? I wonder if
they have looked at the question of retention relative to a re-strucutre.
May prove interesting.
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Posted by Ted Underhill and Heidi Schmidt <edward@IslandNet.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 14:53:32 -0800
wait - out.
At 03:17 PM 3/29/2000 -0700, you wrote:
>Ted - you out there?
>
>do you have an e-mail address for the Fraser Committee? I wonder if
>they have looked at the question of retention relative to a re-strucutre.
>May prove interesting.
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Posted by Patrick Cain <patrickcain@snappingturtle.net> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 17:52:00 -0500
At 13:51 29/03/2000 -0800, Bradley Sallows wrote:
>
>What we, collectively, need to do is decide whether we are soldiers or mess
>members and lead accordingly to instill the idea that all army jobs are worth
>doing and ensure soldiers are retained if and when change occurs. The only
>soldiers we should be losing are those who are 100 committed to a particular
>trade, not to a particular unit.
Well, maybe. In my own experience, morale and MOC were closely related. The
unit did one really interesting thing: some soldiers and officers got to
participate in it, and cam back from weekend exes all pumped and happy, and
others didn‘t, because of their capbadge. The effects on morale followed,
particularly for CSS officers and senior NCOs, who can‘t easily be slotted
into a combat-arms subunit structure. Log and EME officers got to go on
exercise annually at best. If you missed the concentration, that was it for
your training for the year, apart from Warrior. It wasn‘t surprising, under
the circumstances, that they went through supply officers with discouraging
regularity. Recruit, train, disillusion, process release. Repeat on an
18-month cycle.
Patrick Cain
voice: 416 539-0939
fax: 416 515-3698
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Posted by Ted Underhill and Heidi Schmidt <edward@IslandNet.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:06:54 -0800
A quick search of the DND website I was unable to find an email address for
the Fraser Committee. Perhaps other list members know of it?
Chapter 7 of their report does deal with the reserves but not much
specifically about the problem of retention.
At 03:17 PM 3/29/2000 -0700, you wrote:
>Ted - you out there?
>
>do you have an e-mail address for the Fraser Committee? I wonder if
>they have looked at the question of retention relative to a re-strucutre.
>May prove interesting.
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>
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Posted by Derrick Forsythe <Derrick.Forsythe@gov.ab.ca> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:03:00 -0700
It‘s an interesting question though - I mean what is the expected retention
rate my suspicion is it‘s "optimistic and can the Reserves fulfil their
mandate should the projections be inaccurate. If not what then?
All good questions in my humble opinion.
Wyn - what do you think.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:Ted Underhill and Heidi Schmidt [SMTP:edward@islandnet.com]
> Sent:Wednesday, March 29, 2000 4:07 PM
> To:army@cipherlogic.on.ca
> Subject:RE: Reserve Restructure
>
> A quick search of the DND website I was unable to find an email address
> for
> the Fraser Committee. Perhaps other list members know of it?
>
> Chapter 7 of their report does deal with the reserves but not much
> specifically about the problem of retention.
>
> At 03:17 PM 3/29/2000 -0700, you wrote:
> >Ted - you out there?
> >
> >do you have an e-mail address for the Fraser Committee? I wonder if
> >they have looked at the question of retention relative to a re-strucutre.
> >May prove interesting.
> >--------------------------------------------------------
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> >message body.
> >
> >
> >
>
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Posted by "Steve Kuervers" <skuervers@HOTMAIL.COM> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:50:52 PST
Well said Bradley. I think many of us and by us I mean Officers and NCO‘s
of the Reserve Force are so busy complaining about the system NOT working
that we forget that sometimes we have to make the system work despite
itself.
It‘s amazing how often a bit of thought and consultation can give us a
method of forcing the system to work.
I guess the thing to note here... we are all Soldiers first... not
politicians, and although a few on this list might be ‘in the know‘, the
majority of us have a very simple yet significant job to do. That is
‘soldier-on‘. We follow the orders issued, with loyalty, upwards and
downwards as we were taught.
I honestly believe in the Reserves and the Regular Force, but I don‘t
believe the current system works properly. To fix it is going to take
political and higher level military decisions that may make some of us
unhappy.
But realistically, take a look around. Can any of us, Reg or Reserve
actually say that our current situation is viable? We need more money, more
equipment, and more soldiers. But us ‘peons‘ can‘t make these things
happen! Those of you on this list that don‘t currently or may never have
worn a uniform can act to help us through whatever connections you have.
Those of us in uniform will make it work because WE HAVE NO CHOICE. It is
is OUR JOB, whether reserve or regular force.
I hope that those leaders out there remember this. Bitching is all well and
fine, but remember the time and place to do so.
Steve
Now I‘ll get down from my high horse.
>From: "Bradley Sallows"
>Reply-To: army@cipherlogic.on.ca
>To: army@cipherlogic.on.ca
>Subject: RE: Reserve Restructure
>Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 13:51:50 -0800
>
>
>
> >What if we were to, collectively, generate a clear question that would
>then be
>asked to the members of our respective units hopefully by an outsider so
>as to
>prevent a charge of mutiny to determine how many troops would re-badge to
>a
>non-combat arms unit if directed to do so by DND.
>
>What we, collectively, need to do is decide whether we are soldiers or mess
>members and lead accordingly to instill the idea that all army jobs are
>worth
>doing and ensure soldiers are retained if and when change occurs. The only
>soldiers we should be losing are those who are 100 committed to a
>particular
>trade, not to a particular unit.
>
>Brad Sallows
>
>
>--------------------------------------------------------
>NOTE: To remove yourself from this list, send a message
>to majordomo@cipherlogic.on.ca from the account you wish
>to remove, with the line "unsubscribe army" in the
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______________________________________________________
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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:06:48 -0800
>It‘s called informed leadership - maybe you heard of it.
I understand your point and agree the information has value. I don‘t see why
simple information gathering should be seen as disloyal or mutinous. However,
if it‘s not done carefully and with absolute clarity of intent, imagine the
rumours that might start in response to questions about reroling and
amalgamation. Consider what has already been achieved with LFRR evaluations.
Knowing the results of such a survey would place the commanders in an unusual
position. Are they to bend to the desire of the majority of soldiers in
determining the structure of the reserves?
It‘s only after reading the messages of the last couple of days that I have
thought perhaps leaders have a responsibility to start reigning in parochialism
and promoting a culture of all-arms and inter-unit cooperation. This is a
positive end regardless whether any restructure takes place.
Brad Sallows
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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 16:29:55 -0800
>In my own experience, morale and MOC were closely related.
The problem you describe marginalized CSS soldiers seems to be one which
plagues any combat or combat support unit right now, and is not likely to be
affected one way or the other by reroling. Unless they are being run into the
ground by poor officers, I don‘t think CSS units have a morale problem with
being who they are - presumably their soldiers want to be there.
The restructure morale problem at its most extreme is whether an infantry unit
could be reroled to CSS without every soldier releasing in disgust. It‘s a
serious consideration, but it‘s still well behind the immediate concern of
determining whether the system is capable of ramping up the size of existing CSS
units. Until we‘ve proven we can recruit, train, and retain volumes of
maintainers, logisticians, medics, and so forth, why even consider reroling a
single unit?
Brad Sallows
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Posted by Derrick Forsythe <forsythe@tic.ab.ca> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 18:21:43 -0700
It‘s not a question of bending to the will - it‘s the question of will the
decision meet the aim. If the position is the Reserve army has to be
re-structured to a CSS-type role to be effective in the larger picture a
position I do not hold then so be it.
However if the impact of that decision is to see 50-75 hypothetical
numbers turn in their kit AND have a negative impact on future recruitment
then the decision makers should probably look at other options.
My concern is we have a narrow focus at the top that accuents the positives
and disregards elements or potential downstream consequences.
My assertion is that if the powers that be proceed and this blows up with
something like the numbers above leaving we are in a world of hurt because
most of that experience will not come back if the decision is reversed and a
lot of valuable talent, experience and, yes, dollars has gone straight down
the tubes.
It‘s a question of looking beyond the trees at the larger forest. I, for
one, will do my job as a soldier, however, I will contine to question
direction that I believe is questionable - that is my JOB and RESPONSIBILITY
to the people that, in my opinion, count the most - the soldiers under my
command.
your point on inter-unit cooperation is well taken - we always take drivers
and medics from the Svc BN and Med Coy - we supply FOOs to the infantry and
tankers - there is even the notion of bringing some of them to the hill to
practice indirect fire drills live.
Our curreny Brigade Commander is keen on this stuff - good on him
let‘s hope it continues

At 04:06 PM 29/03/00 -0800, you wrote:
>
>
>>It‘s called informed leadership - maybe you heard of it.
>
>I understand your point and agree the information has value. I don‘t see why
>simple information gathering should be seen as disloyal or mutinous. However,
>if it‘s not done carefully and with absolute clarity of intent, imagine the
>rumours that might start in response to questions about reroling and
>amalgamation. Consider what has already been achieved with LFRR evaluations.
>
>Knowing the results of such a survey would place the commanders in an unusual
>position. Are they to bend to the desire of the majority of soldiers in
>determining the structure of the reserves?
>
>It‘s only after reading the messages of the last couple of days that I have
>thought perhaps leaders have a responsibility to start reigning in parochialism
>and promoting a culture of all-arms and inter-unit cooperation. This is a
>positive end regardless whether any restructure takes place.
>
>Brad Sallows
>
>
>--------------------------------------------------------
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Posted by Gunner <randr1@home.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 19:41:42 -0700
Derrick, although I don‘t believe we‘ve ever met, I‘ve noticed we share
alot of similar views...must be the field arty school mentality that is
drilled into you during ph trg!
Two points: First for the Res F to be valid it must have a mission not
the moronic bureaucratic mantra of recruit, train, retain, it must be
resourced adequately, and it must "fit into the army org puzzle". We
are currently missing all three in the Res F. I think we all agree the
militia is too bulky, bureaucratic and stale and needs to be reorg...but
what is the answer? While I admire R2000, I don‘t think they necessary
represent the right view in terms of a role for the Res F they seem to
be too fixated on the mobilization plan. Reality is the youth/society
of today are not as interested in a part time military career. There
are lots of reasons for it, however, suffice it to say a lot of people
don‘t even know there are army folks up at Steele Barracks.
Secondly, careful how you conduct yourself in terms of questioning
direction that you are given. Yes you are responsible to your troops,
however, you are also responsible to your superiors for a certain amount
of faith that they have the best interests of the Res F in mind. I
don‘t think you meant your comment in this way, however, questioning all
direction you don‘t agree with, will make you a poor gun position
officer. Sometimes we simply have to say...you want the battery in that
group of trees...are you sure?...then lets‘ do it! If you impose your
will on your subordinates, you will make them do what you want
unquestionably.
Lastly, I really like your Bde Comd, he was the CI MCSC when I went
through and although I didn‘t agree with him all the time, he had the
best interests of the Res F in his heart...he will do some very good
things for 41 CBG whether you want to or not.
Gunner sends....
Derrick Forsythe wrote:
>
> It‘s not a question of bending to the will - it‘s the question of will the
> decision meet the aim. If the position is the Reserve army has to be
> re-structured to a CSS-type role to be effective in the larger picture a
> position I do not hold then so be it.
>
> However if the impact of that decision is to see 50-75 hypothetical
> numbers turn in their kit AND have a negative impact on future recruitment
> then the decision makers should probably look at other options.
>
> My concern is we have a narrow focus at the top that accuents the positives
> and disregards elements or potential downstream consequences.
>
> My assertion is that if the powers that be proceed and this blows up with
> something like the numbers above leaving we are in a world of hurt because
> most of that experience will not come back if the decision is reversed and a
> lot of valuable talent, experience and, yes, dollars has gone straight down
> the tubes.
>
> It‘s a question of looking beyond the trees at the larger forest. I, for
> one, will do my job as a soldier, however, I will contine to question
> direction that I believe is questionable - that is my JOB and RESPONSIBILITY
> to the people that, in my opinion, count the most - the soldiers under my
> command.
>
> your point on inter-unit cooperation is well taken - we always take drivers
> and medics from the Svc BN and Med Coy - we supply FOOs to the infantry and
> tankers - there is even the notion of bringing some of them to the hill to
> practice indirect fire drills live.
>
> Our curreny Brigade Commander is keen on this stuff - good on him
> let‘s hope it continues
>
>
> At 04:06 PM 29/03/00 -0800, you wrote:
> >
> >
> >>It‘s called informed leadership - maybe you heard of it.
> >
> >I understand your point and agree the information has value. I don‘t see why
> >simple information gathering should be seen as disloyal or mutinous. However,
> >if it‘s not done carefully and with absolute clarity of intent, imagine the
> >rumours that might start in response to questions about reroling and
> >amalgamation. Consider what has already been achieved with LFRR evaluations.
> >
> >Knowing the results of such a survey would place the commanders in an unusual
> >position. Are they to bend to the desire of the majority of soldiers in
> >determining the structure of the reserves?
> >
> >It‘s only after reading the messages of the last couple of days that I have
> >thought perhaps leaders have a responsibility to start reigning in parochialism
> >and promoting a culture of all-arms and inter-unit cooperation. This is a
> >positive end regardless whether any restructure takes place.
> >
> >Brad Sallows
> >
> >
> >--------------------------------------------------------
> >NOTE: To remove yourself from this list, send a message
> >to majordomo@cipherlogic.on.ca from the account you wish
> >to remove, with the line "unsubscribe army" in the
> >message body.
> >
>
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Posted by "dave newcombe" <davebo@seaside.net> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 18:38:50 -0800
Being a member of a reserve regiment is exactly like a social club. A
soldier can spend his entire Militia career in the same unit, going to the
same mess with the same people, for years and years. They don‘t get posted
away to other units, or posted to out of trade positions. Many join the
same unit that their fathers and grand-fathers did. They also have an
entire other life, their job or educational pursuits. Many join a combat
arms unit because of extreme physical challenges it offers. They do it as a
hobby, something that takes up their spare time. They serve their country
in the time a regular force soldier takes off as holidays. I don‘t think
you really want to doubt their motivation, just because they have esprit de
corps and pride in their units. Of course they are loyal to their
Regiments, that is who they joined.
By the way, many a former reserve soldier died serving his country, while
being a member of the Regiment he joined.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bradley Sallows"
To:
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 1:47 PM
Subject: Re: Reserve Restructure
>
>
> >Very well said, it is the essence of why anyone joins a particular unit
and
> sticks with it, it is the driving force behind the Militia. In fact I do
recall
> when the Victoria Rifles One of Canada‘s Oldest Regiments was struck
from the
> order of battle, of the members of the unit, only 10 went to another, the
others
> all retired, having lost their enthusiasm.
>
> Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Wherever this attitude exists,
I can
> only see that the soldiers involved are less interested in service to
their
> country or soldiering than they are in having their unit as a private
social
> club.
>
> If and when reroling and amalgamations occur, I hope the leaders show some
spine
> and lead the soldiers into the new task rather than going home because
they
> don‘t like the change of venue.
>
> Brad Sallows
>
>
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Posted by Ted Underhill and Heidi Schmidt <edward@IslandNet.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 19:35:09 -0800
Gunner wrote:
>for the Res F to be valid it must have a mission not
>the moronic bureaucratic mantra of recruit, train, retain, it must be
>resourced adequately, and it must "fit into the army org puzzle". We
>are currently missing all three in the Res F. I think we all agree the
>militia is too bulky, bureaucratic and stale and needs to be reorg...but
>what is the answer?
Well said. Once again, any attempt to restructure the Army Reserve must be
contemplated within a complete reorg of the Regular Army. The Regular Army
must determine what roles it is realisticaly going to be able to fulfil
given limited funding, few numbers, and many committments. Despite what
the White Paper of 94 states, I believe that the Regular Army cannot meet
all of the committments presently required of it. Perhaps this means
giving up certain capabilities in order to equip and train for more
specialized roles. Lets recognize that as an army we can no longer afford
to equip ourselves with the latest kit in a mechanized environment. As a
result, the Regular Army and by extension the Res F - but due to chronic
underfunding and equipment shortages the Res F already trains in the light
role may have to equip as light brigades across the board. As much as I
would hate to see my corps give up the M109 isn‘t about time to admit that
we can no longer maintain them to deploy in significant numbers, and it is
increasingly less likely that the Royal Regiment will receive modern
replacements.
This type of brutal realism must be applied to all corps within the Army,
and then once achievable roles have been settled on, then contemplate
concurrentrestructure of the reserve. There are certainly things that
the CF could do for the Army Reserve to make it easier to recruit, train
and retain but I don‘t think it requires a drastic measures to achieve that
end.
The Ministers Monitoring Committee on Change recommends in Chap7 that Op
Red Tape be applied to the Reserve Force. Why not? I‘m all in favour of
reducing/rationalizing the number of reports and returns required for
submission to various HQ‘s. Everyone on this list can think of processes
which with a little tweaking could become more streamlined and reduce the
aggravation and improve morale within the Res F.
Do we need reserve restructure? Not before regular force restructure.
Cheers, Ted Underhill
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Posted by Wyn van der Schee <vandersw@cadvision.com> on Wed, 29 Mar 2000 21:32:23 -0700
Thanks for all the interest shown by members of this newsgroup in the
subject of reserve restructuring during the past few days. I am not going
to try to rebut particular points with which I disagree but rather I want
to present a broad overview of what I think Reserves 2000- is trying to
accomplish.
The urgent matter at the moment is to let politicians know that there are
constituents out there who think the Reserves are important, and that if
the new Fraser Report should be given favourable consideration. I‘m
assuming for a number of reasons that the report will propose a "better
deal" for the Militia. The immediate issue is not in the details of how
much more money the Militia needs, or how to keep people in, or how to
train them, or even what kinds of units are needed. The issue is that if
something is not done immediately to start the revitalization process, the
whole organization will collapse.
The revitalization would include a whole range of actions, including an
admission that militia members can not be trained to Regular standards at
every level and an accompanying change to individual training standards, an
easing of the barriers to transfer between components, provision of
opportunities to train beyond rifleman or equivalent level, and all the
other improvements that have been suggested on this net for the past two
days.
But, the start has to come from NDHQ with a change in attitude on the part
of the senior officers. The VCDS has already demonstrated, by his proposal
for wholesale conversions to CSS, that he has absolutely no understanding
of how the Militia works. Instead of disbanding a unit when it runs into
trouble, there has to be a willingness to look at other avenues such as
working with the community to solve recruiting and strength problems,
linking community institutions with the unit, providing additional full
time training and administration help to get the unit back on its feet,
relocation, conversion, different tasking, etc. Let us by all means have
CSS units in the Militia but not at the expense of combat arms units. We do
not have enough of these as it is for Stage 3 mobilization. It is ironic,
incidentally, that while the VCDS is pushing service support roles for the
Militia, a disproportionate number of Service Battalions were listed as
unviable in the latest unit evaluations. However, that is a function of not
having meaningful training, roles and tasks for individuals and units in
this area of activity
What DND does not realize is how much it needs the Militia and that it
needs the Militia in as many communities as possible across the country.
The Militia is needed even more now that the Army Regulars have holed up in
about four large bases and a couple of smaller ones across the country away
from the centres of population. Most Canadians seldom see a soldier. The
sad fact is that the Armed Forces has become disconnected from just about
every level and segment of Canadian society . The only way the connection
can be re-established is by having as many people as possible serve as
part-time soldiers it would cost too much to accomplish the goal with
Regulars. And, the reason the connection is needed is so that Canadians
will have enough knowledge to express confident opinions on defence issue
to politicians, with the hoped-for result that we will finally get a
Canadian defence policy that looks beyond next week. Brad would call that
hyperbolic, but you understand what I mean.
Once the Militia is re-established as a viable force across the country,
then it can be used for whatever the defence planners want. They can be
used as individual up to sub-unit augmentation for follow-on task groups
overseas, for m short service units for UN or NATO standby, or be tasked
for assistance to the civil authority as individuals or complete units. The
point is that the Militia is a reserve army, but it needs to have the
resources to fulfill that role. Otherwise we may just as well disband the
whole damned works. The patient is critically ill but might recover with
proper treatment.
I would urge readers again to get mail-in cards from local units, and send
them to the PM, MND and local MP. Add what ever views you have on the
card. Politicians need to know what is going on but you have to tell them
I have to withdraw from this debate for a couple of weeks while I complete
a longish term paper, on the regimental system by the way, and prepare for
a final exam in military anthropology, but I will try to follow the
postings. I‘ll be back during the third week of April.
Wyn van der Schee
Calgary
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Posted by james.hanna@ca.pwcglobal.com on Thu, 30 Mar 2000 09:48:29 -0500
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 13:47:56 -0800
From: "Bradley Sallows"
Subject: Re: Reserve Restructure
>>Very well said, it is the essence of why anyone joins a particular unit and
>>sticks with it, it is the driving force behind the Militia. In fact I do
recall
>>when the Victoria Rifles One of Canada‘s Oldest Regiments was struck from
the
>>order of battle, of the members of the unit, only 10 went to another, the
others
>>all retired, having lost their enthusiasm.
>Am I the only one who sees a problem here? Wherever this attitude exists, I
can
>only see that the soldiers involved are less interested in service to their
>country or soldiering than they are in having their unit as a private social
>club.
>If and when reroling and amalgamations occur, I hope the leaders show some
spine
>and lead the soldiers into the new task rather than going home because they
>don‘t like the change of venue.
>Brad Sallows
Brad,
I think the point being made here is about converting the combat arms regiments
into CSS. For the
record, if the power-that-be decided to amalgamate infantry units for the
record, there are at least 5
infantry units in Montreal, more including Laval, depending on how they do it,
it may not be such a bad thing.
Personally, the fact we have a whole level of people in the Black Watch above
the A Coy level is an administrative burden,
and I know some officers who would prefer to be a proper battalion commander
than a CO of a glorified platoon calling itself a
company in a notional regiment. I know in the UK, the City of London Regiment
consists of 4 very different companies, one highland, and each
company is like its own mini-regiment. We could follow that model, and not lose
the regimental identities just an idea. Preserving regimental
identities is a strength of our system, not a weakness .
If the infantry units were united as a common regiment, there would be some
problems, and I know a number of people who would walk.
Not the entire mens mess, perhaps, but definately some senior NCO‘s, most of the
the senior officers. A large number of the "kids" would
properly stay on, though. I won‘t get into the innumberable other problems now
of retiring the Black Watch,
CGG, Maissoneuves, and FMR for some bland amalgamation unit inevitiable, I
suppose it would be 4 22‘ieme
- there would, at the very least, be a huge loss for the reserves in Montreal,
both in PR value and in history.
However, I take great exception to you‘re calling the mess a "private social
club". For the record, as VPMC of the Mens‘ Mess, we have exactly
the opposite problem - no one really drinks anymore, after an ex everyone clears
out, to their books, their wives, their lives. NO ONE is here for the
social side. Believe me, I have a much better time with my two year old. And
if we were no longer in the combat arms, well, I may work overtime at my civvy
job and sacrifice time with my kids to go out and dig a trench, go on patrol,
defend a position, etc, but I am not going to do so in order to wash someones
laundry, or to take care of showers, or to deliver mail. No one in my mess will
either, and if that makes me and them bad soldiers and bad Canadians in your
eyes, than so be it.
James Hanna
Nemo me impune lacessit.
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Posted by "Bradley Sallows" <Bradley_Sallows@ismbc.com> on Thu, 30 Mar 2000 12:55:51 -0800
>It‘s not a question of bending to the will - it‘s the question of will the
decision meet the aim.
I only half meant the question about bending to the will of the majority when
I asked it. I too think it would be folly to ignore the probable adverse
effects of reroling on retention. If I haven‘t been clear before, I reiterate
that I think simple widespread reroling is fraught with danger.
Wyn‘s basic theme of sounding out the politicians is good. I believe one of the
chief reasons Fraser‘s committee was formed was because MND wanted all the
information instead of a different spin from each lobby, and therefore I don‘t
think there is much concern that the report will be overlooked. Thus, we do
need to question what we are saying to politicians to ensure it is objective.
Unsubstantiated claims and scaremongering will destroy our credibility.
I‘m not convinced we are on the verge of collapse. There is already de facto
admission that reserves can‘t all be trained to regular standards, otherwise all
my courses would be longer and there would be more of them to attend. I can‘t
imagine the barriers to component transfer being much lower than they are right
now. Opportunities to train beyond rifleman or equivalent level already exist,
or we wouldn‘t have any trade progression. The funding my unit receives
directly and via brigade financial codes is adequate for weekly evening parades
from September through May, 4 or 5 weekend exercises, 3 or 4 weekend training
days, and a week-long concentration. Most soldiers aren‘t willing to give up
much more of their free time. The resources my unit has to train have in most
respects increased, not decreased, since the supposed golden years of the late
1980‘s. It‘s not the current state of the reserves that is a problem, but
rather some of the visions of the future. The only weakness I can identify
right now is the apparent shortfall of summer training courses.
I was intimately involved with preparing my unit‘s final viability report and
spent the year prior managing its budget we "passed". There are several
innocent reasons why healthy units could score non-viable while some marginal
ones scored viable, not to mention the state of units prior to the 3 year
evaluation period. LFRR evaluation should simply be an indicator that perhaps a
unit should undergo a detailed audit to determine where it stands and what
assistance it might need. LFRR viability listings for now would be most
appropriately used if spliced onto the end of a roll of tissue paper.
>Instead of disbanding a unit when it runs into trouble, there has to be a
willingness to look at other avenues
Absolutely. We can‘t stress enough the difficulty of overcoming even a small
reduction in personnel. Effective soldiers are easily lost and difficult to
replace.
>What DND does not realize is how much it needs the Militia and that it needs
the Militia in as many communities as possible across the country.
Also true.
>with the hoped-for result that we will finally get a Canadian defence policy
that looks beyond next week. Brad would call that hyperbolic
Hyperbole is when one makes a comment such as "DND is trying its best to
demolish units or trying to turn them into platoons of second line gas station
attendants" in the absence of any objective evidence. See my comment above
about destroying our credibility.
>Once the Militia is re-established as a viable force across the country
What exactly will constitute a viable force? Most militia units have consisted
of a single mission element one size down from the nominal unit size as long as
I can remember. Have we therefore always been a non-viable force? I don‘t
believe the militia will ever be expected to provide any augmentation other than
individual unless we are mobilized by law, and I think we have managed to meet
augmentation needs to date. For Stage 1 and 2 mobilization needs we are
probably already a viable force.
>Personally, the fact we have a whole level of people in the Black Watch above
the A Coy level is an administrative burden,
When someone complains about the "head shed", my first question is usually to
identify the numbers of "extras" by rank. A unit with more than 2 majors is
probably overborne at that rank if it has a single company, but until Op RED
TAPE bears fruit for the militia the administrative requirements imposed upon us
require significant numbers of junior officers and senior NCOs. I can‘t imagine
how many more people my unit would need if we all restricted ourselves to doing
everything on Class A time. All my real work is done on my own time. If all
those extra helpers are doing their jobs, that leaves the mission element free
to concentrate on training. In my estimation a unit must recruit between 6 and
10 OCdts to obtain one trained Capt somewhere down the line. The other thing to
remember is that if we are serious about preparing to expand during Stage 3 and
4 mobilization, majors and warrant officers are not grown overnight. I think it
better to have the extras pulling some weight in a unit HQ than sitting on the
nominal roll of a training cadre organization.
>However, I take great exception to you‘re calling the mess a "private social
club".
I didn‘t specifically mean the mess. I meant the attitude that develops in
which a person decides "I‘m or I‘m nothing", which
disappoints me. There‘s nothing wrong with being committed to infantry or any
other trade I just think it would be productive if we leaders promulgate the
attitude that soldiering in another trade might be OK. I agree that it‘s a real
stretch to expect combat arms to convert to CSS. Reality dictates that we can
succeed if we only move a little ways over to say, engineers.
My own idea: given the increasing importance of information on the battlefield,
we should consider marrying up some recce and infantry units into armoured
cavalry units - lots of trades that get to blow things up.
Brad Sallows
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Posted by james.hanna@ca.pwcglobal.com on Thu, 30 Mar 2000 18:56:05 -0500
>>Personally, the fact we have a whole level of people in the Black Watch above
>>the A Coy level is an administrative burden,
>When someone complains about the "head shed", my first question is usually to
>identify the numbers of "extras" by rank. A unit with more than 2 majors is
>probably overborne at that rank if it has a single company, but until Op RED
>TAPE bears fruit for the militia the administrative requirements imposed upon
us
>require significant numbers of junior officers and senior NCOs. I can‘t
imagine
>how many more people my unit would need if we all restricted ourselves to doing
>everything on Class A time. All my real work is done on my own time. If all
>those extra helpers are doing their jobs, that leaves the mission element free
>to concentrate on training. In my estimation a unit must recruit between 6 and
>10 OCdts to obtain one trained Capt somewhere down the line. The other thing
to
>remember is that if we are serious about preparing to expand during Stage 3 and
>4 mobilization, majors and warrant officers are not grown overnight. I think
it
>better to have the extras pulling some weight in a unit HQ than sitting on the
>nominal roll of a training cadre organization.
I wasn‘t complaining about the "head shed" per say, it was merely an observation
that in
Montreal, we happen to have 5 BOR‘s, 5 CO‘s, 5 RGMS, 5 RSM‘s etc, each dealing
with a unit
that is barely company size. An idea floated around 3-4 years ago would be to
maintain the
unit identities, but downgrade their official status to company size. For
example, in my unit,
we would have a CQ instead of an RQMS....well, I‘m sure you get the picture.
The other officers and senior NCO‘s wouldn‘t disappear - the idea then called
for a battalion HQ
to be formed, which would directly command all the companies. There would be
the resources
to do all the other jobs necessary for the mission element to do its job.
Senior officers and NCO‘s would float
around in the battalion structure.
Now, I remember a major in our unit stating he would prefer to command a working
battalion as a
real commander, than being the CO of our unit, which is a mostly
admin/ceremonial type role.
This isn‘t an idea which would be restricted to larger cities: a similar
reorganization could be made incorporating
units from several smaller towns. Perhaps towns which no longer have units
could support a platoon - which
would bring us back into the community, as another writer mentioned.
Now, its just an idea, I don‘t know if it would work, or if there are some
weaknesses with it: I‘m not advocating it or defending it,
I really don‘t have the experience or knowledge to assess it critically
especially in this forum, but I thought it was a neat way
of squaring the circle: maintaining regimental identies, while trying to find a
more viable militia structure.
>>However, I take great exception to you‘re calling the mess a "private social
>>club".
>I didn‘t specifically mean the mess. I meant the attitude that develops in
>which a person decides "I‘m or I‘m nothing", which
>disappoints me. There‘s nothing wrong with being committed to infantry or any
>other trade I just think it would be productive if we leaders promulgate
the
>attitude that soldiering in another trade might be OK. I agree that it‘s a
real
>stretch to expect combat arms to convert to CSS. Reality dictates that we can
>succeed if we only move a little ways over to say, engineers.
>My own idea: given the increasing importance of information on the battlefield,
>we should consider marrying up some recce and infantry units into armoured
>cavalry units - lots of trades that get to blow things up.
>Brad Sallows
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