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The Post-pandemic Canadian Armed Forces

BDTyre

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MilEME09 said:
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. T.

My unit has, for the past several years, been running a "mandatory" pre-PLQ package. Sure, go ahead and do your Mod 1 DL, but before you actually leave for the in-person portion they run you through several weekends and evenings worth of how to teach, leading PT, recce patrols, etc., etc. For the most part, it seems to have been successful but we get the odd person who gets put on a PLQ without it (usually due to time constraints) or doesn't do that well on it but still gets put on the course because we need MCpls.
 
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stellarpanther

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CanadianTire said:
My unit has, for the past several years, been running a "mandatory" pre-PLQ package. Sure, go ahead and do your Mod 1 DL, but before you actually leave for the in-person portion they run you through several weekends and evenings worth of how to teach, leading PT, recce patrols, etc., etc. For the most part, it seems to have been successful but we get the odd person who gets put on a PLQ without it (usually due to time constraints) or doesn't do that well on it but still gets put on the course because we need MCpls.

Are you in a Reg or Res unit?  What you suggest is a great idea, IMO but Reg force HRA/FSA units don't seem to do anything with the exception of maybe getting the person to do a small presentation such as a brief on something if they're lucky.


 

sidemount

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See and I really think thats the point of PLQ. Its not teaching you how to do a section attack or recce, its teaching you the steps of battle procedure, things to take into consideration while developing CoAs, and executing those orders under a stressful situation.
When the shit hits the fan people don't rise to the occasion, they fall back onto the training that was drilled into their head. So I agree that a "wtf" scenario is needed to induce that stress.
Every leader in every trade will at some point be required to make decisions under serious stressful circumstances and need to be prepared to do so. 
 

MilEME09

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sidemount said:
See and I really think thats the point of PLQ. Its not teaching you how to do a section attack or recce, its teaching you the steps of battle procedure, things to take into consideration while developing CoAs, and executing those orders under a stressful situation.
When the crap hits the fan people don't rise to the occasion, they fall back onto the training that was drilled into their head. So I agree that a "wtf" scenario is needed to induce that stress.
Every leader in every trade will at some point be required to make decisions under serious stressful circumstances and need to be prepared to do so.

However we need to give troops the mental tools so to speak that when crap hits the fan we have the ability to analyze and respond.
 

sidemount

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MilEME09 said:
However we need to give troops the mental tools so to speak that when crap hits the fan we have the ability to analyze and respond.
Exactly, and I think that's what is being lost in how PLQ is being taught. The focus shouldn't be executing the perfect doctrine recce, it should be focused on the planning process, maintaining C2 throughout and making sensible decisions (they don't need to be perfect, they just need to make sense and in a timely fashion) under a stressful senario. I believe DS scoring guide also supports this.
 

MilEME09

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sidemount said:
Exactly, and I think that's what is being lost in how PLQ is being taught. The focus shouldn't be executing the perfect doctrine recce, it should be focused on the planning process, maintaining C2 throughout and making sensible decisions (they don't need to be perfect, they just need to make sense and in a timely fashion) under a stressful senario. I believe DS scoring guide also supports this.

Right now executing the mission accounts for very few points on assessment, you can get 100% for battle procedure, C2, fail the mission and still pass.
 

sidemount

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Thats what I thought.
Back when I did PLQ 7 years ago, some of the instructors had such hard on for the proper execution of whatever task we were given. That could be an issue with always having incremental staff teaching (not sure if staff still are CFTPO'd in or not). No real standard of teaching developed.
 

MilEME09

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sidemount said:
Thats what I thought.
Back when I did PLQ 7 years ago, some of the instructors had such hard on for the proper execution of whatever task we were given. That could be an issue with always having incremental staff teaching (not sure if staff still are CFTPO'd in or not). No real standard of teaching developed.

Some staff are, my course was about 50/50 of those posted to A coy, and supplementary staff, problem was some of the CFTPO staff didn't even want to be there. Our course officer was hated by the end because she refused to give a shit once we got in the field. Questions of why or requesting deeper detail would result in a sigh  and eye roll and a half assed answer. We had a officer who joined us in the field to work the alternate shift from our Course O who did the opposite, made every task fit in the scenario,imaginative answers and cared about the troops.

I learned more about what not to do from my staff , and more about good leadership from my course mates. Not to say all my staff were terrible but some were.
 

ballz

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MilEME09 said:
Right now executing the mission accounts for very few points on assessment, you can get 100% for battle procedure, C2, fail the mission and still pass.

But if we're giving them a templated solution, it defeats the whole point of battle procedure.. so if they're doing great on the 16 steps of battle procedure it can be because we've given them the answer instead of them actually being able to use the steps of battle procedure and doing a proper combat estimate. And the assessment can't fix that.

The whole doctrinal recce patrol is based off of someone having done a combat estimate, and come up with those items (release point, security force, recce force, cloverleafing, etc.). So we're actually defeating the whole point, and turning it into an army test where we give them the answers the night before they write the test and then they just memorize them.

We need to present novel problems for people to apply these tools to.

On Infantry Phase 3/4 I struggled with combat estimates because I already knew what the answer was before I started. I couldn't articulate my thoughts in this weird template as a result. Looking back I wish they would change the way they taught it to us. They should have had us do a combat estimate for the task and come up with a plan, let us struggle with it all, present our answers and why we chose to do certain things (based on our deductions), and then at the end of it all, after we've had a true crack at it and had the opportunity to fail, show us the combat estimate that leads to a "doctrinal" raid....
 

sidemount

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MilEME09 said:
Some staff are, my course was about 50/50 of those posted to A coy, and supplementary staff, problem was some of the CFTPO staff didn't even want to be there. Our course officer was hated by the end because she refused to give a shit once we got in the field. Questions of why or requesting deeper detail would result in a sigh  and eye roll and a half assed answer. We had a officer who joined us in the field to work the alternate shift from our Course O who did the opposite, made every task fit in the scenario,imaginative answers and cared about the troops.

I learned more about what not to do from my staff , and more about good leadership from my course mates. Not to say all my staff were terrible but some were.
I think thats where the major issue is with PLQ, are the instructors like that. This is the first course where pers get the opportunity to plan and make decisions. This is the foundation that is needed to be a successful leader as they continue to advance through the ranks. Its really doing everyone a disservice by having instructors that dont give a shit.

Especially the course officer you mentioned....that nonsense drives me.

So is there really a problem with the course....or how it is presented? (Fyi I was a support trade going through it as well)
 

blacktriangle

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MilEME09 said:
Questions of why or requesting deeper detail would result in a sigh and eye roll and a half assed answer.

Sometimes I think this comes down to the superior not having any actual knowledge or insight to pass down. Rather than admit that they don't know something, they dance around the issue or fluff it off completely. I've seen the same thing happen a number of times when operational/technical questions have been posed, so it's not just a PLQ problem.
 
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stellarpanther

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So reading all these posts, I can see how some of the stuff taught could be useful in certain situations such as leading a WASF section or if deployed overseas needing to lead those under you.  The problem is, many MCpl's/MS in a lot of trades get promoted first and take their PLQ a year or 2 or even longer into the future but are still put into leadership rolls during that time.  If they are expected to lead other mbr's despite not yet having PLQ what's the point in the course?  It's kind of like closing the door after the horse has already left the barn.
 

dangerboy

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I blame their trades for allowing that to happen. It is almost unheard of in the Infantry and most combat arms trades for a person to be promoted without the qualification. The problem now is that this has been so prevalent within some trades/branches that it is hard to reverse. As said in some trades to get merited onto a PLQ you almost have to be a MCpl about to hit the deadline. 
 

garb811

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CanadianTire said:
My unit has, for the past several years, been running a "mandatory" pre-PLQ package. Sure, go ahead and do your Mod 1 DL, but before you actually leave for the in-person portion they run you through several weekends and evenings worth of how to teach, leading PT, recce patrols, etc., etc. For the most part, it seems to have been successful but we get the odd person who gets put on a PLQ without it (usually due to time constraints) or doesn't do that well on it but still gets put on the course because we need MCpls.
If there is a requirement to run a "pre-PLQ" in order to make it passable, we've failed as an institution at making it what we collectively want it to be.  Stating we need to run a pre-PLQ for people is as valid as saying we need to run a pre-QL3 or a pre-ILP or even a pre-BMQ/BMOQ (although we do that in a sense with whatever they are calling where those who fail the FORCE test end up being held).

Does your unit also run a pre-ILP, a pre-ALP and a pre-SLP to run aspiring WOs, MWOs and CWOs through how to do things such as writing briefing notes, writing service papers, how to mount a military funeral etc etc etc?

Like it or not, there are always going to be courses where people are being introduced for something for the first time, that's the whole point of a qualification or leadership course. Teach the material to a common standard, test the knowledge/skill to a common standard and produce a person with the skills and knowledge at a common standard at the end.  It's no wonder some trades show up on a PLQ and look like a bag of hammers in comparison to their peers. Some trades and units just don't have the luxury of time to give Cpl or A/L MCpl Bloggins three weeks of pre-training whereas apparently there are still some units with time to kill...
 

MilEME09

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dangerboy said:
I blame their trades for allowing that to happen. It is almost unheard of in the Infantry and most combat arms trades for a person to be promoted without the qualification. The problem now is that this has been so prevalent within some trades/branches that it is hard to reverse. As said in some trades to get merited onto a PLQ you almost have to be a MCpl about to hit the deadline.

This BS I am seeing of sending Pte's with waivers or fresh Corporals that haven't reached far enough in their trade to normally be allowed to go on PLQ needs to stop too. Normally in my trade you can't go on plq until after DP2.3, DP2 is 7 mods so they allow if half way in the Pres due to the time it takes to get qualified. For me this was at the 7 years of being in Mark. Now troops with only DP1 are being pushed to do PLQ in the winter and their QL5/DP2 the following summer. Atleast RCEME School put their foot down on this 5 year sgt BS and mandated 3 years time in rank as a MCpl before you can be considered for your 6A.
 

Kat Stevens

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I did pre CLC twice. All it did was add three weeks of belt fed rooster to my life that I didn't need. If you need to know it they'll teach it to you.
 

PuckChaser

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dangerboy said:
I blame their trades for allowing that to happen. It is almost unheard of in the Infantry and most combat arms trades for a person to be promoted without the qualification. The problem now is that this has been so prevalent within some trades/branches that it is hard to reverse. As said in some trades to get merited onto a PLQ you almost have to be a MCpl about to hit the deadline.

If all of the trades except Combat Arms are having that problem, is it the Trades or CTC/Div TCs who are at fault? There clearly is a capacity issue, and I've had my troops told they will not be entertained for PLQ until they're already promoted. Heck, we have the same problem with ILQ where we have 2nd or 3rd year WOs at St. Jean taking the course. Maybe the Army underestimated the numbers when PLQ-A was opened up to a lot more "non-traditional" trades, or they're underfunded and cannot provide the Just In Time training that the troops need.

When we talk retention, waiting years for a career course is definitely a sticking point for some.
 

dangerboy

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PuckChaser said:
If all of the trades except Combat Arms are having that problem, is it the Trades or CTC/Div TCs who are at fault? There clearly is a capacity issue, and I've had my troops told they will not be entertained for PLQ until they're already promoted. Heck, we have the same problem with ILQ where we have 2nd or 3rd year WOs at St. Jean taking the course. Maybe the Army underestimated the numbers when PLQ-A was opened up to a lot more "non-traditional" trades, or they're underfunded and cannot provide the Just In Time training that the troops need.

When we talk retention, waiting years for a career course is definitely a sticking point for some.

Good question. I know when I was in Wainwright running courses we ran as many as possible from Sept till June, once June hit our focus was geared towards reserve course (still running PLQs). As soon as one finished the next one started, there was such a demand. I don't think there is an easy answer.
 

garb811

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PuckChaser said:
If all of the trades except Combat Arms are having that problem, is it the Trades or CTC/Div TCs who are at fault? There clearly is a capacity issue, and I've had my troops told they will not be entertained for PLQ until they're already promoted. Heck, we have the same problem with ILQ where we have 2nd or 3rd year WOs at St. Jean taking the course. Maybe the Army underestimated the numbers when PLQ-A was opened up to a lot more "non-traditional" trades, or they're underfunded and cannot provide the Just In Time training that the troops need.

When we talk retention, waiting years for a career course is definitely a sticking point for some.
dangerboy said:
Good question. I know when I was in Wainwright running courses we ran as many as possible from Sept till June, once June hit our focus was geared towards reserve course (still running PLQs). As soon as one finished the next one started, there was such a demand. I don't think there is an easy answer.
It's not just a PLQ issue, it's also a BMQ-L issue for some trades.

I have no doubt that when you were in Wainwright, you had MP showing up for BMQ-L who had already been through their QL3. At some points there simply hasn't been an ability to get a BMQ-L for pers before they were scheduled for their QL3. It's easy to say that shouldn't happen but when the Army cancels or reschedules a BMQ-L that has MP scheduled to go on it, the choice can become getting a waiver to let them do their QL3 out of sequence, or holding a full QL3 course of people in the training system for a year after BMQ because of that. When the trade is yellow/red, the choice becomes pretty simple as to what is going to happen.

We've also been in the situation, at times, where we've had people who needed to get onto BMQ-L in order to be promoted A/L MCpl/MS on graduation because of this issue and we've also had people not start getting spec pay because they couldn't be substantive Cpls after their QL5 due to lacking BMQ-L.

Note that I'm not pointing a finger here, crap happens and sometimes courses get cancelled or rescheduled outside of anyone's control, but there are significant consequences when that happens and it can take a long time to fix the damage that falls out of that.
 
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stellarpanther

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I curious if anyone has stats on how many people get promoted to MCpl/MS each year.  Would it even be possible to get everyone loaded on to a PLQ between the time the board rankings come out and the summer when they get promoted?  Also what would happen if they failed their PLQ, since they normally get at least 1 more try and then don't forget the injuries that could extend that time even longer.  Typing this, a hundred different scenarios are going through my head.  For the Cbt arms people, when your mbr ranks, what happens if he fails the PLQ, do they still get promoted even if it's a year or 2 later?
 
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