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The Post-pandemic Canadian Armed Forces

quadrapiper

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Hamish Seggie said:
Bingo - you won the internet for the day.

I fully agree - EVERYONE on deployment needs to be trained to carry weapons with live ones in the mag attached to the weapon. Muscle memory must be developed by drills and practice until its second nature.
This all sounds like something that needs refreshing on some sort of routine basis, whether during WUPS for a specific task or on an annual basis per installation: develop a purple FP requirement, individually, and something realistic as far as collective exercises.
 

OldSolduer

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quadrapiper said:
This all sounds like something that needs refreshing on some sort of routine basis, whether during WUPS for a specific task or on an annual basis per installation: develop a purple FP requirement, individually, and something realistic as far as collective exercises.

You win as well. In a combat arms unit its not easy to achieve but can be done. Cooks gotta cook, clerks gotta clerk etc.

EVERYONE needs to be able to pick up their weapon and defend themselves or others.
 
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stellarpanther

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Hamish Seggie said:
Muscle memory must be developed by drills and practice until its second nature.

I don't disagree but for those people who are in certain location such as NCR, some air force units and even Borden.  I'm not sure that's possible when you shoot once a year if that.  I've always been told that it's once a year but then you get other higher ranks in the CoC say it's every 2 years.  Every time I go the range they quickly ask when the last time everyone went, there is usually at least one or two people there that haven't been there in 3-4 years.  If a mbr pushes it and wants to go once a year I don't think most Coc's will say no but a lot won't force the person sitting next to you to go. 
It's impossible to develop muscle memory when so many people shoot so infrequently.


 

FJAG

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stellarpanther said:
I don't disagree but for those people who are in certain location such as NCR, some air force units and even Borden.  I'm not sure that's possible when you shoot once a year if that.  I've always been told that it's once a year but then you get other higher ranks in the CoC say it's every 2 years.  Every time I go the range they quickly ask when the last time everyone went, there is usually at least one or two people there that haven't been there in 3-4 years.  If a mbr pushes it and wants to go once a year I don't think most Coc's will say no but a lot won't force the person sitting next to you to go.

Legal branch here, one of the least "combatty" branches of the Forces. Full of sailors, flyboys and ground pounder. Even (perhaps especially) in Ottawa, annual pistol and rifle classification was mandatory.

A bad day on the ranges is better than a good day in the office.

:cheers:
 

Kat Stevens

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stellarpanther said:
I don't disagree but for those people who are in certain location such as NCR, some air force units and even Borden.  I'm not sure that's possible when you shoot once a year if that.  I've always been told that it's once a year but then you get other higher ranks in the CoC say it's every 2 years.  Every time I go the range they quickly ask when the last time everyone went, there is usually at least one or two people there that haven't been there in 3-4 years.  If a mbr pushes it and wants to go once a year I don't think most Coc's will say no but a lot won't force the person sitting next to you to go.

That's sad. Members should want as much trigger time as possible. Free rifle? Free ammo? PAID range time? Hell I would spend every day on the range I could get.
 
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stellarpanther

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FJAG said:
Legal branch here, one of the least "combatty" branches of the Forces. Full of sailors, flyboys and ground pounder. Even (perhaps especially) in Ottawa, annual pistol and rifle classification was mandatory.

A bad day on the ranges is better than a good day in the office.

:cheers:

That's good to hear but not all JAG Officers were following that so I assume keeping it up to date was on the honor system.  I'm obviously not going to start naming names but I know for a fact that at least one didn't.

 
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stellarpanther

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Target Up said:
That's sad. Members should want as much trigger time as possible. Free rifle? Free ammo? PAID range time? Hell I would spend every day on the range I could get.

I personally love going to the range, maybe not in the winter but it's great to spend a late spring morning out there, get a free lunch and then go home.

 

SupersonicMax

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Target Up said:
That's sad. Members should want as much trigger time as possible. Free rifle? Free ammo? PAID range time? Hell I would spend every day on the range I could get.

I actually don’t really like the small arms range.  To me, it’s a necessary evil, akin to having to work out to stay in shape.  The least I do it to maintain the required level of proficiency, the better.
 

FJAG

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stellarpanther said:
That's good to hear but not all JAG Officers were following that so I assume keeping it up to date was on the honor system.  I'm obviously not going to start naming names but I know for a fact that at least one didn't.

It was not on the honour system. Weapons qual, attendance at First Aid Refresher and the PT testing was very much recorded and taken into consideration during personal evaluations.

I'm not going to argue that there may not have been some who skipped around it the odd year. There's always someone somewhere who thinks that the rules don't apply to them.

I never could understand why anyone would skip a range day. Sunshine, box lunches and the opportunity to lie down in the grass and punch little holes in Figure 11s. Who doesn't like that?

:cheers:
 

Halifax Tar

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Humphrey Bogart said:
I disagree that branches should train themselves.  That's incestuous and I've worked in a few organizations that self-validate and have seen the problems that can create.

PLQ is supposed to be a common course, the problem is it's basically a JInfantry course that doesn't acknowledge that there are other tasks carried out by different environments/trades that are just as difficult. 

I personally think PLQ should be environment specific and that the environments should focus on leadership specific to that trade. 

Damage Control scenarios would be a great thing to test Navy Pers on for instance.

Likewise, I think PLQ should put a greater emphasis on problem solving, logic, development of communication skills, etc.  There are tonnes of ways to do this that don't involve anything occupation specific.

Attached is an example of something I did with 1st year RMC Cadets as an instructor at RMC.

I ran a simulation using the game Diplomacy.  Cadets were broken in to teams of eight and were given the task of running a specific Nation through a campaign against their peers who also controlled specific Nations.

There was no dice involved and the focus of the simulation was to practice/develop the following skills:

Teamwork
Logic
Coordination
Interpersonal Communication
Decision Making

I built the boards and developed the activity myself.  It's fairly easy to do stuff like this and people actually learn something about themselves and others in the process.  The Simulation was executed and Administered by a number of fourth year Cadets.

I actually like your idea.  But how do you accomplish this for the RCN FSA who has been posted to Pet for their who career because their spouse/partner is a Royal ?  In the RCLS we mismatch/wild card uniforms and environments all the time.  How about the Army Sup Tech who has only ever been to non-Army postings ? 

My solution is to sort out once and for all this unnecessary necessity of posting Log pers all over god’s creation.  Army with Army, Sea with Sea and Air with Air.  SOFCOM being joint and volunteer from all services, as it is now.  Forced uniform changes as required.  This would have the knock on effect of greatly help us in succession planning as well.

I still think common standards and goals could be achieved while letting the branches determine the content.  But I like your ideas and I would compromise to that.


Furniture said:
I agree with you somewhat. I don't think branches should be doing their own thing, but I agree that we could improve the way we teach PLQ.

We need people that can function in their jobs, while deployed forward. We don't need to pretend that our support pers are going to be storming the beached on D-Day. Participate in a section attack, but not lead one.

On my PLQ my assessed run was patrol that comes under fire. I was assessed on my ability to control my people, "lead" a section attack, then reconsolidate and continue the patrol. I'm a career Met Tech that was assessed on my section attack by a career AVN Tech. So you can likely tell how useful that was as a teaching moment, and how effective my assessment was...

That said, other people had tasks like setting up a gate guard, or roadblock, and then dealing with scenarios designed to add pressure. In my opinion that was a much more useful way to go about things, as it presented a very realistic scenario.

(helmets on) Back in Kandahar all of us apart from the medic were expected to stand sentry shift at Spur, or in the field. As a Cpl I was expected to handle odd situations as they came up, so expecting support trade MCpls to be able to do it is both realistic, and practical. (helmets off)

Yup I get you.  It’s funny we have way more casualties at sea and alongside but we hardly ever practice that during DW Exercises.  Its 90% fires. 

And I get you as well.  I too have chewed some moon dust.  I also spent close 2 years of my life holding down picnic tables on Army bases for predeployment training. How about we use that time to fill those holes. Instead of resting a career on leadership course taught through a skill set that 90% of the CAF can reasonably never be expected to have practiced or employ or practice in their future.
 

Eye In The Sky

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stellarpanther said:
I don't disagree but for those people who are in certain location such as NCR, some air force units and even Borden.  I'm not sure that's possible when you shoot once a year if that.  I've always been told that it's once a year but then you get other higher ranks in the CoC say it's every 2 years.  Every time I go the range they quickly ask when the last time everyone went, there is usually at least one or two people there that haven't been there in 3-4 years.  If a mbr pushes it and wants to go once a year I don't think most Coc's will say no but a lot won't force the person sitting next to you to go. 
It's impossible to develop muscle memory when so many people shoot so infrequently.

There are (should be?) orders for each Command/Group that detail what Readiness Training is done, and how often;  I can only speak to the RCAF, but this is fairly well laid out in 1 Cdn Air Div Orders, Vol 5, 5-114 RCAF Readiness Training - Individual Training Policy.  It details the three FGBL (Force Generation Baseline Levels), and what exactly has to be done for each level.  5-114 applies to all 1 and 2 Cdn Air Div units and personnel, so 'some air force units' would fall under this. 

IBTS for Land Operations is the national standard to 'ensure standardization across the CF'.  Sounds like a good starting place for folks who aren't sure what applies to them. 

Leaders, at all levels, really just need to know where to find the applic policy, and follow it.

stellarpanther said:
...so I assume keeping it up to date was on the honor system...

Negative; it is a requirement under policy, orders, directives.  And, it is all recorded on a mbr's Monitor Mass MPRR (at the very end).
 

SeaKingTacco

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Except that certain Sqns in certain places have virtually no access to Ranges or SATs and the very same Air Div that mandated the training be done annual or bi-annually (depending on your deployment status) is suddenly unconcerned with helping out because fixing the problem comes with a fairly large expenditure of cash.
 

Eye In The Sky

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SeaKingTacco said:
Except that certain Sqns in certain places have virtually no access to Ranges or SATs and the very same Air Div that mandated the training be done annual or bi-annually (depending on your deployment status) is suddenly unconcerned with helping out because fixing the problem comes with a fairly large expenditure of cash.

There are these, and other problems, with the implementation and content of the trg, for certain.  Assuming the Sqns have addressed the issue to their Wing, and Wing to the Div, I'd think the issue would be fwd'd to DRTSET to resolve?

But...well,  DLN ETHAR course tells me that "change/improvement" doesn't happen fast for those folks...guess the applic Comd has accepted the risk?

In a word; waiver.  ;D 
 

FJAG

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Halifax Tar said:
...
My solution is to sort out once and for all this unnecessary necessity of posting Log pers all over god’s creation.  Army with Army, Sea with Sea and Air with Air.  SOFCOM being joint and volunteer from all services, as it is now.  Forced uniform changes as required.  This would have the knock on effect of greatly help us in succession planning as well.
...

That's anti unification/integration heresy. Before you know it you'll have everything back to the mid '60s.

;D
 
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stellarpanther

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FJAG said:
That's anti unification/integration heresy. Before you know it you'll have everything back to the mid '60s.

;D

Why would that be bad to have distinct branches like so many other countries do and we used to have?  Some people want to serve their country but simply don't like to play in the mud and sleep with the bugs or live on a ship packed like sardines for weeks or months on end with no privacy for an entire career and then there are those that don't mind. 


 

OldSolduer

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SeaKingTacco said:
Except that certain Sqns in certain places have virtually no access to Ranges or SATs and the very same Air Div that mandated the training be done annual or bi-annually (depending on your deployment status) is suddenly unconcerned with helping out because fixing the problem comes with a fairly large expenditure of cash.
And there lies the issues. Dollars count and if you spend it on frivolous things like ranges and weapons training  ;)  etc the numpties that have big ideas won't have the cash cow anymore.
 

ballz

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Jarnhamar said:
It's okay to make mistakes and fail. (teaching someone how to deal with failing is important too Imo)

I don't think this is just a little mistake. That should lead to a big discussion on whether someone is ready or capable of being a leader.

A little mistake is not a fail, so if you're saying you only deserve a second chance after "little" mistakes, you have fallen victim to our failure-adverse institution. Big mistakes are fails, and the biggest learning opportunities. If you bury people after they fail, you'll have outed every bit of *experience* and left yourself with a bunch of people who only do cookie-cutter solutions because they are too boring to actually stick their neck out and do something useful.

There doesn't need to be a discussion because of one hard fail. Sometimes people need that experience of freezing up just to wake them up. That's literally how you develop people, you challenge them. You have to expect them to fail sometimes if you're doing it right. They get three attempt built into the system. If they fail hard *three* times and each attempt shows zero growth, then there can be a discussion (and there will be, it's called a "progress review board" for a reason).

All of this PLQ talk about how the non-combat arms types don't learn anything from combat arms tasks, I would argue the benefit is they actually get to solve novel problems. It's the checked out combat arms person who solves problems which are not novel to them for the entire course that should be complaining about the uselessness of the course.

In fact, as I read the thread and we were talking about how the assessment is not on tactics, but on planning, battle procedure, communication, etc... I thought of my  BMOQ where we had to do the Leadership Assessment Course. These were weird small-party tasks, where the goal was to use your section to move an object from one side of a sandbox to another (without touching the sand), which was essentially a puzzle, with odd obstacles and different variety of tools at your disposal (ropes, 2x6, etc.). I can't remember how  much time we had, something like 10 or 15 minutes from the time you saw your task to the time the buzzer went and you were complete.

Thinking of that experience, perhaps PLQ would be better served using a similar tool as the "novel problem." If the goal really is to learn how to plan, how to communicate, how to lead, etc., this type of task (it could be something a lot more substantial than 15 minutes), then this type of task if perfect. You won't be able to use an orders template, you will have to learn how to make SMESC really work for you. A combat arms-type can't just mail it in on something he's done 100 times before. The non-combat arms types can stop complaining that they are being assessed at something they aren't used to, because everyone else is too.

Then we can deal with ensuring each person has the required military skill sets separately. Instead of worrying about assessing those in leadership positions on section attacks as an "assessment tool," we can just frigging train them on how to do section attacks, given that they've proven their ability to lead, plan, communicate, etc. through an actual novel problem.
 

MilEME09

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Sometimes it isn't that we lack the skills because of our trade but because our units ignore some BTS in favor of others. Example recce patrols, CSS BTS says we should do them, I never did a recce patrol until PLQ. My instructors did an excellent job with the time available to teach us the best the can but at the end of the day units need to be better preparing troops for PLQ and general warfighting skills. The person I used as my example 80% stumbled due to a lack of preparation for a course they were thrown on because the home unit didn't want to loose them come posting season. The person eventually dropped out during mod 4(mod 6 for you older folks).

This pandemic has shown even on minimum manning work is still getting done, so we need to reassess priorities and how we do our job.
 

Jarnhamar

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ballz said:
A little mistake is not a fail, so if you're saying you only deserve a second chance after "little" mistakes, you have fallen victim to our failure-adverse institution. Big mistakes are fails, and the biggest learning opportunities. If you bury people after they fail, you'll have outed every bit of *experience* and left yourself with a bunch of people who only do cookie-cutter solutions because they are too boring to actually stick their neck out and do something useful.

There's doesn't need to be a discussion because of one hard fail. Sometimes people need that experience of freezing up just to wake them up.

Exactly. In the example we're talking about I don't think it's a mistake. To me it's a critical leadership failing. Instead of staff ignoring the fact that he had a break down and abandoned his responsibilities (then banged off an easy walk) I think he should have been brought in front of the OC as a wake up call. Look him in the eye and ask him if he has what if takes to be a leader. If he says yes then likely give him another chance. If he waffles or says no send him home. I think it's called a PO99? We re-coursed members for unethical behavior. No warnings. The example wasn't an ethics fail but I think it's a critical one non the less.

The downside about teamwork on leadership courses is that sometimes people that shouldn't pass get carried through. Now we're putting other humans lives in their hands.

If I was rewriting PLQ I would make a part one common to everyone (law, teaching techniques, administration process and programs, basic security tasks, maybe convoy stuff) and make the second part more specific to elements.


Edited to add - I'm open to being 100% wrong too
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
If I was rewriting PLQ I would make a part one common to everyone (law, teaching techniques, administration process and programs, basic security tasks, maybe convoy stuff) and make the second part more specific to elements.

Leaders need to be able to keep leading through chaos and a host of unfamiliar situations.

Maybe the right mix is one part leading through 'familiar' tasks, and one part 'WTF kind of looking glass have I just stepped through?' kind of tasks...
 
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