What cuts if any do people see happening in the CAF/DND? A few of us were having a private chat on FB over the last few days and we were thinking about courses that could be cut. PLQ was one that a couple people thought about for certain trades. Like all courses, they're expensive when you think about transportation, meals, housing and everything else and for many trades, useless. Take for example and HRA or FSA and some others. They get promoted, do the job as a MCpl for up to two years and sometimes longer depending on availability or injury/illness and then go back and keep doing the same job they did prior to going on course. Learning section attacks, giving O groups etc doesn't train us to be better supervisors in the OR. The only think I can think is beneficial is learning to teach a lesson and that can probably be done at the unit level. There are probably many other courses as well.
Then you're forgetting about the 'solder first' idea, and as a HRA or FSA, you are not 100% "never" going to be involved with basic force protection/defence tasks. When I was on IMPACT, the ASF was primarily made up of JTF-SC types who never left 'that location'. Who would provide that 'section level' leadership?
Principle of Universality of Service
2.4 The principle of universality of service or "soldier first" principle holds that CAF members are liable to perform general military duties and common defence and security duties
, not just the duties of their military occupation or occupational specification
. This may include, but is not limited to, the requirement to be physically fit, employable and deployable for general operational duties.
Forget the word 'supervisors' for a minute; although it is heavily used it is a 'civilian' term. Use superior officer (IAW the QR & O definition); the CAF PLQ course is not specific to any trade, it is part of the PD system and NCM General Specifications for a reason. You learn more than just section attacks and O Gps. CAF mbrs who are holding the MCpl/MS appointment are superior officers to their subordinates. They must be able to lead and be effective in "not just the duties of their military occupation".
Re: your comments about "can you see an image tech leading a section attack"? I've taught PLQ in the past; the reason section attacks are used is to assess the candidates ability to maintain command and control of a small group of people in a simulated, pressure environment. The 'tactics' portion of said section attack is basically 'unassessed', because most student Section Commanders have no idea how to put in an attack, really. I was Cbt Arms and I didn't know that stuff, as I wasn't an infanteer. I could, however, properly assess any candidate on their ability to command, control and maintain focus and composure, their ability to assess/plan/implement plan, etc. Section attacks are simply a cost-effective tool at assessing many things in candidates, including the stuff I mentioned and more (teamwork, fitness, etc). On a leadership course, you're not only being assessed when you are the student Sect Comd.
The solution to the (IMO, unacceptable) large number of Acting/Lacking ranks out there is not to lower the standard. It is to make the successful completion of all courses a pre-requisite to promotion. When I was on SLC (now called ILP, WO leadership qual) back in 2002
, there were 2 PLQs running at the same time. All the PLQ candidates were A/L MCpl-MS. We, the CAF, have accepted a lower standard for far to long.
I disagree with your PLQ suggestion, 101%. If we do that, then I say remove the MCpl-MS appointment for any/all trades who say they do not need the training.
Why not take some time, get your hands on a copy of the Non-Commissioned Member General Specification document and review it, so you understand more about why PLQ is a required training program we need to train our Jnr NCO Corps, and as a foundation of leadership training, skills and abilities that will be added to as Jnr NCOs progress thru the Snr NCO and Warrant Officer ranks?
I do, however, think the PLQ course should always be open to discussion about content, delivery, etc.