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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Loachman

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I have been doing this job for 38 years, including time in the ranks. I have never been pampered or entitled. No degree, and unilingual, worked hard to get where I am, and never thought as an Officer, the CAF owed me something.

I did it for 43 years, including time in the ranks. I was not pampered or entitled. No degree, and unilingual, worked hard to stay where I got, and never thought as an Officer, the CF owed me anything.

I put a fair amount of effort into what I did, and got far more out of it than I put in. I had a blast right up until I ran out of birthdays and was punted. The term "retired" offends me.

I'd do it all over again if I could.

But the Tac Hel community is a small one, and largely - but not perfectly - very supportive of its people.

I cannot speak for the Navy, but I am well aware of Sir Winston's appraisal of its customs.
 

Halifax Tar

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Concrete examples or just a perception?
Dude I watched a general demand that he had diet Pepsi and Oreos in his private bar fridge at all times during a parking lot field ex where the regiment couldn't go home but he did, every night.

This same guy had 2 signallers go into my SQ and build fake TVs out of triwall tops with pictures of soldiers and tank so he could pretend he had real TVs in his TOC.

One of the best I dealt with was Vance. The man slept in a sleeping bag on the ground under a bug net because that's how his boys were living. When he could have had a real bed and a warm shower. Shame, I liked him.

That's just a couple of examples. Any Snr NCO with more than 3 haircuts in rank could fill a multi page thread in support of my supposition.
 

SupersonicMax

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Dude I watched a general demand that he had diet Pepsi and Oreos in his private bar fridge at all times during a parking lot field ex where the regiment couldn't go home but he did, every night.

This same guy had 2 signallers go into my SQ and build fake TVs out of triwall tops with pictures of soldiers and tank so he could pretend he had real TVs in his TOC.

One of the best I dealt with was Vance. The man slept in a sleeping bag on the ground under a bug net because that's how his boys were living. When he could have had a real bed and a warm shower. Shame, I liked him.

Any Snr NCO with more than 3 haircuts in rank could fill a multi page thread in support of my supposition.
So, you had a bad experience with one GOFO and that paints every officer, from OCdt/NCdt to General/Admiral?

For Vance, very reliable sources painted a very different picture.
 

Loachman

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I've had mostly good COs. Some were excellent. Some were not so excellent. One was downright toxic. My flight commander at the time - another truly excellent Officer - and I used to argue about which of us despised him more. For that one, the term "ignoranus" (simultaneously an incompetent and an asshole) could have been coined
 

Loachman

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I would argue this isn't taking into consideration the very real "didn't want to ruin his career" we know happens.

I like to hope that we will see less of that as more comes out.

I doubt that we'll ever reach the point that we should, though, because of human nature and its imperfections.
 

Eye In The Sky

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The man terrorized a family. Raping the wife and assaulting the husband.

I thought he "tried to have sex with her", not raped her. Not that the tried part isn't bad enough...but the other one is far worse, and the probation that came out of that case seemed lenient, to me, with the 'tried' aspect.
 

lenaitch

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I witnessed a judge offer one of my soldiers two choices when found guilty of domestic abuse: Probation or Volunteer to go to Afghanistan. I was like "What?!?!?" Sure enough, the next training night (He was a reservist) I received a memo volunteering to go to Afghanistan. I declined to recommend him to the CO, but he took my minuted response and submitted it to the courts as proof he had volunteered.

A civilian court judge? I thought those days were long past. Then again, I've often witnessed judges make rulings that aren't in the book - the primary goal is to clear the docket.
 

TCM621

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I've been doing this job for 21 years. Taking sexual misconduct out of the conversation I've never met a more pampered and entitled group of people on my life.

Having said the above, the gates are open now and abuses will now have a light shon on them. Good. Maybe now we can separate the wheat from the chafe.

My last Freddy deployment sealed the deal for me. We were literally blocked from our families so GO/FOs could blather on and and get seen by the press.
So we get to the root of the issue it seems. This seems to be driven by your hatred of officers (or at least their behaviour) rather than the facts as presented. Is it the fact that a letter describing his character (which everyone has assumed is positive without evidence) or the fact that it was one officer doing it for another officer?

I have met officers who were amazing at their job and amazing people. I have met officers whose best use would have been holding the anchor down. They are people and just like all people they vary in character and competence. This was handled wrong regardless of you think the letter was appropriate or not. As I have said, if this is properly communicated it is likely not a problem. The victim may not like it but at least they would know what was done and why instead of guessing as to their motives. More importantly for the institution, when the media gets a hold of it you have a clear message regarding what was done, why it was done and how the rights/needs of the victim were respected.
 

PuckChaser

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I offer the latest CM schedule link below. The stats speak for themselves.

Upcoming courts martial - Canada.ca
Had a good conversation at work today, and I'll mention what I brought up there. I submit that to actually have an effect at reducing sexual misconduct incidents, we need to see lots of Courts Martials for the next 5-10 years.

A vast majority (80-95%) of sexual assaults in the greater Canadian population go unreported. An increasing number of Courts Martials shows that CAF members are comfortable coming forward knowing that it will be investigated. We absolutely need more charges laid, and for that number to stay high for years. I say years because we are not going to change the CAF overnight, that's completely unrealistic, nor will we ever remove sexual misconduct altogether until Canadian society achieves that goal. That'll take generations, and CAF Culture change won't have concrete results for at least 5 years (kinda makes you wish we had leaders with spine to start us down the road in 2016).

So don't thumb your nose at increasing numbers of charges to deal with this, we absolutely need those numbers where they are or even higher. It'll have a dual impact of encouraging victims to come forward, and show those individuals who would attempt to abuse another member of the CAF that they'll either be caught, or they're not welcome here. The agents of change are doing their BMQ or at RMC right now, not the 35 year MWO in NDHQ or the streamer Col plotting their next succession planned posting.
 

Halifax Tar

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So we get to the root of the issue it seems. This seems to be driven by your hatred of officers (or at least their behaviour) rather than the facts as presented. Is it the fact that a letter describing his character (which everyone has assumed is positive without evidence) or the fact that it was one officer doing it for another officer?

I have met officers who were amazing at their job and amazing people. I have met officers whose best use would have been holding the anchor down. They are people and just like all people they vary in character and competence. This was handled wrong regardless of you think the letter was appropriate or not. As I have said, if this is properly communicated it is likely not a problem. The victim may not like it but at least they would know what was done and why instead of guessing as to their motives. More importantly for the institution, when the media gets a hold of it you have a clear message regarding what was done, why it was done and how the rights/needs of the victim were respected.
To be clear here I was referring to GO/FOs. And I was speaking in generalities. I work with 2 really good keen young LT(N)s right now, it's a shame neither want to do more than their basic required engagement. My XO on Freddy was amazing and I have high hope's for her.

No one convicted of the crimes Hamilton was convicted of should be given a character reference, not because they legally shouldnt but because I'd like to think any serving member would see the moral pitfalls in authoring such a letter.

I embrace this. And I see it as a way to shed the bad people we shouldnt want in our ranks. We need to concentrate on victim support and investigation of all allegations.
 
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Halifax Tar

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Had a good conversation at work today, and I'll mention what I brought up there. I submit that to actually have an effect at reducing sexual misconduct incidents, we need to see lots of Courts Martials for the next 5-10 years.

A vast majority (80-95%) of sexual assaults in the greater Canadian population go unreported. An increasing number of Courts Martials shows that CAF members are comfortable coming forward knowing that it will be investigated. We absolutely need more charges laid, and for that number to stay high for years. I say years because we are not going to change the CAF overnight, that's completely unrealistic, nor will we ever remove sexual misconduct altogether until Canadian society achieves that goal. That'll take generations, and CAF Culture change won't have concrete results for at least 5 years (kinda makes you wish we had leaders with spine to start us down the road in 2016).

So don't thumb your nose at increasing numbers of charges to deal with this, we absolutely need those numbers where they are or even higher. It'll have a dual impact of encouraging victims to come forward, and show those individuals who would attempt to abuse another member of the CAF that they'll either be caught, or they're not welcome here. The agents of change are doing their BMQ or at RMC right now, not the 35 year MWO in NDHQ or the streamer Col plotting their next succession planned posting.
Excellent post.
 

Weinie

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Had a good conversation at work today, and I'll mention what I brought up there. I submit that to actually have an effect at reducing sexual misconduct incidents, we need to see lots of Courts Martials for the next 5-10 years.

A vast majority (80-95%) of sexual assaults in the greater Canadian population go unreported. An increasing number of Courts Martials shows that CAF members are comfortable coming forward knowing that it will be investigated. We absolutely need more charges laid, and for that number to stay high for years. I say years because we are not going to change the CAF overnight, that's completely unrealistic, nor will we ever remove sexual misconduct altogether until Canadian society achieves that goal. That'll take generations, and CAF Culture change won't have concrete results for at least 5 years (kinda makes you wish we had leaders with spine to start us down the road in 2016).

So don't thumb your nose at increasing numbers of charges to deal with this, we absolutely need those numbers where they are or even higher. It'll have a dual impact of encouraging victims to come forward, and show those individuals who would attempt to abuse another member of the CAF that they'll either be caught, or they're not welcome here. The agents of change are doing their BMQ or at RMC right now, not the 35 year MWO in NDHQ or the streamer Col plotting their next succession planned posting.
Wasn't thumbing my nose. It was an actual representation of where the majority of sexual assault CM's are derived from in a rebuttal of a previous post.
 

MilEME09

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Are any charges like sexual assault automatically a court martial? Or can they be summery trials? If so perhaps they need to automatically court martial offenses. Once we have an independent reporting entity l, I hope the have it's own investigation arm, and the ability to charge members.
 

Blackadder1916

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Are any charges like sexual assault automatically a court martial? Or can they be summery trials? If so perhaps they need to automatically court martial offenses. Once we have an independent reporting entity l, I hope the have it's own investigation arm, and the ability to charge members.

See QR&O 108.07

108.07 – JURISDICTION – OFFENCES​

(1) A commanding officer may try an accused person by summary trial in respect of the offences set out in paragraphs (2) and (3).

(2) The offences under the National Defence Act that a commanding officer may try by summary trial are those contrary to the following provisions:
. . .
[whole bunch of service offences - deleted here for brevity]
. . .

129 (Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline), subject to paragraph (4) of this article,

130 (Service Trial of Civil Offences), but only in respect of a civil offence referred to in paragraph (3) of this article.

(3) The civil offences punishable under section 130 of the National Defence Act that a commanding officer may try by summary trial are those contrary to the following provisions of the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

(a) in respect of the Criminal Code (Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter C-46):

129 (Offences Relating to Public or Peace Officer),

266 (Assault),

267 (Assault with a Weapon or Causing Bodily Harm),

270 (Assaulting a Peace Officer),

334 (Punishment for Theft), where the value of what is stolen does not exceed five thousand dollars,

335 (Taking Motor Vehicle or Vessel Without Consent),

430 (Mischief), except mischief that causes actual danger to life,

437 (False Alarm of Fire); and

(b) in respect of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Statutes of Canada, 1996, Chapter 19):

4(1) (Possession of Substance).
 

SeaKingTacco

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Are any charges like sexual assault automatically a court martial? Or can they be summery trials? If so perhaps they need to automatically court martial offenses. Once we have an independent reporting entity l, I hope the have it's own investigation arm, and the ability to charge members.
See Blackadder’s response.

Cole’s Notes- sexual assault cannot be tried at a Summary Trial.
 

brihard

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I had no idea a CO could try crim code offences summarily. Can a member elect court martial for those or, hypothetically, could they be forced to summary trial within a unit for criminal offences?
 

SeaKingTacco

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I had no idea a CO could try crim code offences summarily. Can a member elect court martial for those or, hypothetically, could they be forced to summary trial within a unit for criminal offences?
Only those listed in Sec 130 and it would come with a right to elect court martial for the accused. There are only five offences in the NDA that do not have a right to elect. Alternately, on the Presiding Officer side, if evidence exists that an issue of mental impairment is in play on the part of the accused or the Presiding Officer’s powers of punishment might be inadequate for the alleged offence, it is best to refer the whole thing to Court Martial.

Did I get that right, FJAG?
 

FJAG

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I had no idea a CO could try crim code offences summarily. Can a member elect court martial for those or, hypothetically, could they be forced to summary trial within a unit for criminal offences?

Yes he can but an accused can elect out of that. See QR&O 108.17 which provides for elections and limits which offences a CO can try without an election.

108.17 – ELECTION TO BE TRIED BY COURT MARTIAL
1) An accused person triable by summary trial in respect of a service offence has the right to be tried by court martial unless:

(a) the offence is contrary to one of the following provisions of the National Defence Act:

85 (Insubordinate Behaviour),

86 (Quarrels and Disturbances),

90 (Absence Without Leave),

97 (Drunkenness),

129 (Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline), but only where the offence relates to military training, maintenance of personal equipment, quarters or work space, or dress and deportment; and

(b) the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence are sufficiently minor in nature that the officer exercising summary trial jurisdiction over the accused concludes that a punishment of detention, reduction in rank or a fine in excess of 25 per cent of monthly basic pay would not be warranted if the Accused person were found guilty of the offence.
Note that while s 129 is an exception it is only an exception with respect to very minor and limited matters.

🍻
 

FJAG

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Only those listed in Sec 130 and it would come with a right to elect court martial for the accused. There are only five offences in the NDA that do not have a right to elect. Alternately, on the Presiding Officer side, if evidence exists that an issue of mental impairment is in play on the part of the accused or the Presiding Officer’s powers of punishment might be inadequate for the alleged offence, it is best to refer the whole thing to Court Martial.

Did I get that right, FJAG?
Both yes and no. S 130 doesn't list any laws but in fact incorporates all Federal laws which have a punishment provision over and above the CCC. Narcotics falls into that. Also don't forget s 132 of the NDA which allows laying a charge under any foreign law where the offence takes place. This used to be a standard for drunk driving in Germany. The intent of this section is to allow Canada to take jurisdiction over offences where the CSD wouldn't apply. In large part this is to meet SOFA requirements and facilitates keeping Canadian soldiers out of foreign courts and jails.

🍻
 
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