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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Remius

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Wait are they secretly CAF members?
No, oh I missed the utter derail of the last several pages.
I think the issue is that whatever elements of each side supported whatever side of that mess might seem to think that it somehow translates to what the CAF is currently going through. And any other similar situation.

Me too types call this a setback

Supporters of the accused to get a fair trial see this as a vindication.

At the end of the day this case and any case for that matter should be looked at individually and not be some broad stroke that somehow sets back one side or another or vindicates one side or another.
 

TCM621

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Crawl, Walk, Run.

Being in charge of muster parades, attendance, Dress, Drill, Deportment.... 100 percent crawl tasks thar should be put onto Senior Cadets.

Having to initiate responses for SA, Harrassment, Mental Health issues, suicide, and any number of "oh shit" instances as a Senior Cadet? Fucking nope. Those are full on sprint scenarios that require experienced leadership and mentoring to step in.

There is policing your own, and then there's this Lord of the Flies shit that has been going on at RMC for too long. It needs to stop.

I agree there has to be a line where it goes straight to staff. Staffing a leave pass? 100% with in the capabilities of a Cadet. Initiating a sexual harassment investigation? That needs to go to staff immediately.

And yet, ROTP and DEO recruits get none of that and manage. From what I could tell working alongside RMC grads, they had as much relevant and practical experience as we did (which is to say, very little to none). Everyone starts with the same small party tasking etc on basic up to the running the sections and recruit platoon, so that's more directly relevant and useful.

We give everyone annual performance reviews, so someone should be able to do a clear comparison of the performance over time to see if it actually makes a difference, but as far as I can tell working with people the performance has nothing to do with the stream they joined under and more to do with the individual.

You have folks joining up later that were entrepreneurs, managers etc that have a lot more life skills that directly transfer into the same kind of skills needed to lead troops much better than getting a team to build some crappy stand or set up some mod tents.

I think it's a lot of theoretical benefits and a bit of mythos around the tradition vice any real tangible benefits personally. High performers are going to be high performers regardless of where they went to school. 🤷‍♂️

I can't argue that RMC doesn't add anything but in theory it should.
 

Jarnhamar

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At the end of the day this case and any case for that matter should be looked at individually and not be some broad stroke that somehow sets back one side or another or vindicates one side or another.

This story has lots of good and relevant examples IMO.

-what can happen to someone who is falsely accused
-power of an accusation, including non-direct
-you're always at risk of being recorded
-your private messages and media aren't private
-doctors and experts can be boneheads
-the power of the court of public opinion
-the crowd wants to be entertained

IMO anyone calling this a setback is just dumb and being willfully blind.

But as you say, stories should be looked at individually.
 

KevinB

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This story has lots of good and relevant examples IMO.

-what can happen to someone who is falsely accused
-power of an accusation, including non-direct
-you're always at risk of being recorded
-your private messages and media aren't private
-doctors and experts can be boneheads
-the power of the court of public opinion
-the crowd wants to be entertained

IMO anyone calling this a setback is just dumb and being willfully blind.

But as you say, stories should be looked at individually.
Also like OJ, if you have enough money to get good lawyers you can re-resituate the narrative.

Something most folks in the CAF don’t have is multimillion dollar bank accounts to hire a shark legal team.
 

daftandbarmy

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Also like OJ, if you have enough money to get good lawyers you can re-resituate the narrative.

Something most folks in the CAF don’t have is multimillion dollar bank accounts to hire a shark legal team.

I know a guy who did that, but should have stayed with a JAG lawyer.

He got a 5F release.
 

Navy_Pete

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Also like OJ, if you have enough money to get good lawyers you can re-resituate the narrative.

Something most folks in the CAF don’t have is multimillion dollar bank accounts to hire a shark legal team.
Not that the Admiral Norman case has any parallels in that he genuinely didn't do anything wrong, but a good example of how a good legal team can change things around. He probably had the best lawyers in Canada, and went from newslines where the PM said he is guilty, to the GOC paying his legal fees, and now having an Admiral Norman leadership award in the RCN as well as regular mentoring sessions.

Really a best case outcome, but not sure how the same scenario would have worked out for a less senior officer who couldn't afford someone like that.

At the end of the day legal defences are really cost prohibitive, and costs to get through law school and get through the bar is a fairly significant bit of gatekeeping. You shouldn't need to have a lot of money to get justice, but that's the reality.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I know a guy who did that, but should have stayed with a JAG lawyer.

He got a 5F release.
Administrative versus Disciplinary consequence. Would have been a 1A/B or 2A/B if he was convicted.
Admin process is a lot more about the "law of averages" vice the "beyond reasonable doubt" that the disciplinary side takes.
 

daftandbarmy

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Administrative versus Disciplinary consequence. Would have been a 1A/B or 2A/B if he was convicted.
Admin process is a lot more about the "law of averages" vice the "beyond reasonable doubt" that the disciplinary side takes.

His CO actually gave him really good advice to go with the JAG but he chose to 'lawyer up' - with a guy he knew from the business world - and bam: 5F ;)
 

Blackadder1916

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I agree there has to be a line where it goes straight to staff. Staffing a leave pass? 100% with in the capabilities of a Cadet. Initiating a sexual harassment investigation? That needs to go to staff immediately.



I can't argue that RMC doesn't add anything but in theory it should.

I assume that this comment flows from a previous discussion concerning "RECOMMENDATION #28 The Cadet Wing responsibility and authority command structure should be eliminated". I draw your attention to the section of Mme Arbour's report in which she discusses the issues leading to that recommendation. (pages 221 - 226 of the report, PDF pages 235-240)

Specifically

Concerns about systemic issues
I believe there remain significant reasons for concern both with the operation of the military colleges as currently conceived, as well as with the environment in which young female cadets are expected to grow and excel. The unifying principle pulling together the four pillars (academic, military, fitness, bilingualism) is the development of leadership. This is done, in part, through the old model of “head boys” prevalent in English private schools for boys, where upper-year students are invested with responsibilities towards their junior peers. This has been described by some stakeholders as “children leading children”, the “untrained leading the untrained” and by others, particularly N/OCdts chosen to lead in that fashion as “responsibility without power”. This model of early leadership development needs to be critically re-examined.

Co-ed boarding in colleges and universities raises its own set of challenges, particularly for students who are leaving home for the first time. This is particularly serious at the RMC Saint-Jean where some Immaturity in the exercise of authority and power over others, real or perceived, is unlikely to contribute to the eradication of sexual misconduct that has taken root in the culture of these colleges.

Immaturity in the exercise of authority and power over others, real or perceived, is unlikely to contribute to the eradication of sexual misconduct that has taken root in the culture of these colleges. Even trained officers struggle to know what is right when it comes to recognizing and addressing sexual misconduct. How can we expect young, novice cadets to know better?

N/OCdts are as young as 17 years old. In a military environment, these challenges are even more intense as cadets surrender a large part of their independence, have very little personal free time, and develop a high level of deference to authority; this, mixed with a culture of “don’t get caught”, is clearly at odds with the colleges’ motto of “Truth, Duty, Valour”. My interviews have revealed a system where cadets spend four years learning how to circumvent rules as a result of the immense pressure to succeed in all four pillars, together with the stringent expectations and rules imposed on them.

This is starkly demonstrated in the area of sexual misconduct. Needless to say, the tension between the duty to report and the need to fit in with peers is not easily resolved by young people who learn early what is in their best interest. Described by a stakeholder as a culture of “don’t blame your bud”, this fundamentally conflicts with the requirement to follow certain ethical guidelines and to step in when “your bud” is behaving inappropriately.

This also raises questions about whether the leadership skills instilled at this early stage are fully aligned with the lofty ideals expressed, for instance, in Leadership in the Canadian Forces: Leading People, a foundation document applicable throughout the CAF. In my view, this
antiquated structure of the Cadet Wing command structure has outlived its usefulness and is now causing more harm than good. The time has come to put an end to it, and to instill modern leadership values in officer cadets through other means.

 

OldSolduer

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So if a military person is investigated for SA by civilian police what court does that person go before? Civilian? Could the military charge that individual as well with 129 or something else?
 

AKa

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Blackadder,

Cadets at CMR can be as young as 16. This is because the school aligns with Quebec's CEGEP system. I arrived at CMR a month after my 17th birthday. There were several cadets in just my flight alone younger than I.

Seems really crazy in retrospect... Can't believe my parents signed the waiver.
 

SeaKingTacco

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Blackadder,

Cadets at CMR can be as young as 16. This is because the school aligns with Quebec's CEGEP system. I arrived at CMR a month after my 17th birthday. There were several cadets in just my flight alone younger than I.

Seems really crazy in retrospect... Can't believe my parents signed the waiver.
I was 17 at MilCol for at least a few months. One of my colleagues was 16.
 

Brad Sallows

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This has been described by some stakeholders as “children leading children”, the “untrained leading the untrained” and by others, particularly N/OCdts chosen to lead in that fashion as “responsibility without power”.

How old are the upper division students, again? Adults or children?
 

Kat Stevens

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Also like OJ, if you have enough money to get good lawyers you can re-resituate the narrative.

Something most folks in the CAF don’t have is multimillion dollar bank accounts to hire a shark legal team.
A funny now (not then) story. When I got done for a DWI many years ago, didn't feel slightly drunk but kismet is a kow, I looked around for a lawyer and was handed the name of a guy who had beat a lot of similar charges.
Me on phone; Do you think you can get me out of this?
Lawyer dude; Why sure I can can!
Me on phone; That's awesome!
Lawyer dude; it's going to cost you $15K
Me on phone; !!!
Fast forward three weeks:
Judge; "How do you plead Mr Stevens?"
Me; " guilty due to insufficient bank balance, sir"
Judge; "that's not funny Mr Stevens"
Me; "(under my breath) you're telling me it's not"
 

SeaKingTacco

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How old are the upper division students, again? Adults or children?
4th years can be anywhere from 21-24 years old. Maybe even older, given a lot of the old age restrictions have disappeared.

I think some perspective might be required, here. In the first place, these are not children. Whatever the faults of RMC, to say that we are dealing “children“ does everyone a disservice. They are young adults who have volunteered to serve their country in an Armed Force. Let us frame the issue correctly. It is a false equivalency to compare it to the English School system where 17 year olds are responsible for 12 year olds.

Casting our minds back to World War 2, it was not unusual to see, especially later in the war, 24-27 year old Commanding Officers of Battalions, ships, and Squadrons, with even younger Company grade officers and younger still 2Lts. Were these children leading children?

I get that times change and that we coddle young people later in life, but history shows that there is no intrinsic reason that humans cannot generally be given quite weighty leadership responsibilities at a young age.
 

Navy_Pete

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4th years can be anywhere from 21-24 years old. Maybe even older, given a lot of the old age restrictions have disappeared.

I think some perspective might be required, here. In the first place, these are not children. Whatever the faults of RMC, to say that we are dealing “children“ does everyone a disservice. They are young adults who have volunteered to serve their country in an Armed Force. Let us frame the issue correctly. It is a false equivalency to compare it to the English School system where 17 year olds are responsible for 12 year olds.

Casting our minds back to World War 2, it was not unusual to see, especially later in the war, 24-27 year old Commanding Officers of Battalions, ships, and Squadrons, with even younger Company grade officers and younger still 2Lts. Were these children leading children?

I get that times change and that we coddle young people later in life, but history shows that there is no intrinsic reason that humans cannot generally be given quite weighty leadership responsibilities at a young age.
Sure, but if their job is to be completing their university degree, does that not also conflict with the requirement? May work for some degrees with lower course loads, but is pretty unrealistic for some degrees to expect to properly take on that level of effort without impacting their schooling. On the engineering degrees, you probably spend most of the first 2-3 years learning the background, and 4th year is when it all comes together and you actually do things like design projects.

Maybe if we had more people we could justify this for 'tradition', but we don't, and if the other streams are all demonstrating they can develop competent leaders than what is the point of RMC? Personally think it makes much more sense to just go ROTP route, and then embed them in units during the summer to get hands on, real experience, with proper oversight and mentoring from people in their trade.

It would also be good to review the staff college requirement for JCSP; they seem to have cut a lot of value added items out of it (like visits to NATO and similar) and just left with theoretical academics. When a lot of people already have directly related PGs through the sponsored programs, really not clear what the value is of the education. If you compare that to the US equivalent, where the performance check is actually planning and running a battalion exercise as part of the command staff, ours is a waste of time.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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4th years can be anywhere from 21-24 years old. Maybe even older, given a lot of the old age restrictions have disappeared.

I think some perspective might be required, here. In the first place, these are not children. Whatever the faults of RMC, to say that we are dealing “children“ does everyone a disservice. They are young adults who have volunteered to serve their country in an Armed Force. Let us frame the issue correctly. It is a false equivalency to compare it to the English School system where 17 year olds are responsible for 12 year olds.

Casting our minds back to World War 2, it was not unusual to see, especially later in the war, 24-27 year old Commanding Officers of Battalions, ships, and Squadrons, with even younger Company grade officers and younger still 2Lts. Were these children leading children?

I get that times change and that we coddle young people later in life, but history shows that there is no intrinsic reason that humans cannot generally be given quite weighty leadership responsibilities at a young age.
There is no standard age at RMC. One of my classmates was a Veteran of Bosnia (Vandoo Corporal) and an 8 year Vet of the RCMP. He wanted to be a CAF Officer and chose to attend RMC because:

A. It had prestige. (warranted or not)
B. It was considered hard.

The man was nearly 40. He is out now.
 
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