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The Strangulation of the Army Reserves

RCA

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This is based on LFWA and WATC with an Artillery flavour, but I'm sure it is the same across the country. I am making points that have been made on other threads, but I would like to tie them together to get the feel of a bigger picture. The Militia is slowing being strangled by policies and decisions made mostly (but not all) by the Reg F. And I'm not even going to talk about equipment.

At one time not that long ago, the Militia ran its own training (ARTS, NRQS) and any soldier that required a summer job, could be guaranteed 6 weeks at a min. If a crse was short candidates, then a call went through the staff and anyone interested (and had the required rank level/prerequisites) was put on the crse to fill up the numbers. I remember being in Firing Troop in Shilo, and asking was anyone interested in taking the FOO Tech, Comms and/or Drivers crse. And off they would go, no Itmis, no CFTPO, no muss, no fuss. As to recruiting, we had guys coming in May, and we were able to enroll them and have on summer crse by Jul. The QL2 and QL3s (or their equivalents) were always full. I don't remember a shortage of Staff. And if we were, we made do, improvising. Courses were very rarely cancelled. If you were full-time, your summer employment was guaranteed. You knew where you were going. We stayed in crappy old barracks, or tent city (and you got FOA for that), and there was no such thing as leave. It was 24/7 if need be, and days off when there was no task.

Then came along the Total Force concept. Recruiting would be centralized, and since Reserve trg wasn't meeting the standard, it would be also be centralized under the Reg F Trg Centres. Now we can't get anyone in, and when we do, we can't get them trg. This year most crses in WATC are being cancelled due to lack of reserve instructors. What the Reg F doesn't understand/realize is that there are none out there because of previous shortsighted policies. During the 90's there were not enough reservists moving along the progression route, and now we are facing critical shortages of Officers and NCOs. One of our biggest draws was summer employment, and now we can't gaurentee that. Thguaranteeme a Reg F in WATC tells me they are not an employment agency, I just may have to punch him out, nothing else seems to work. There are a couple soldiers in my unit who can't and probably won't get tasks this summer. That was unheard 15 years ago. If we don't care for him he won't care for use. Another one lost. Retention my ass.

As well decisions are made in Trg Centres that don't have any reserve input, even though it affects reservists. For instance, last year, the DP2 Det 2ic was cancelled at WATC because of lack of candidates 9 instead of a min of 12), even though a viable solution was put forward. The BC wanted to make a point by cacelling the crse, and cancellinglery lost 9 potential MBdr for another yr. Instructors that could have instructed this yr. As well the MOD 6 for the PLQ was suppose to be 10 days, so a reservists could do it in a two-week block. Lo and behold when it came out it was 26 days long and more potential leader's/instructors lost. Firing Troop in WATC, an ecellent trg ground for yoexcellenters, was total tasked to 1 RCHA and a potencial of appox 50 taskpotential_
I have heard the Reg F complain about Total Force, but I really think we got the short end of the stick. What the Reg F was looking for was a pool to fill out the overseas taskings (Yugo was just starting up about this time). Train them to DLOC, deploy those that they require (cut the others loose), and when those got home, RTU them and forget them until the next deployment. There is a support network for the Reg F, but once a reservist walked out the gate, they were forgotten, and that is still happening.

Bde Op Pans always tell units to concentrate on recruiting and retention. Obviously they are are paying lip service. First, units are hamstrung by CFRC whose focus is else where, and sometimes we fell like an after thought in their game plan. Recruiting my ass. Once we get the individual in, it can take up to two yrs to get him trade qual (and that's in the combat arms, the treatment of the CSS is a disgrace). We can't take them to the field because of the non-trained policy. Bde tells units to do exciting and different trg for retention and then doesn't give enough money for the year do other then mandated trg. Or a unit submits it's Ex Instr for   trg well in advance, and Bde staff came back a week before the Ex with a shopping list of requirements that some G3 weenie needs done, and the Ex gets cancelled, Retention, my ass. And the administration that Bde expects a unit to do would boggle your mind. Each G staff has there own agendas, and forgets they are not the only kid on the block when asking for requests, reports and returns. And when a unit requests Cl B money, you would think you were asking for their first-born. Does anyone remember the promise to cut back at HQs ansd send more to the units. Obvioand they weren't thinking about Arae and Bse HQs. One of the threeArea liesBdei, I'm from Bde staff, and I'm here to help you.

Any political party or military staff that says that they are increasing the Army Reserve numbers is either outright lying or doesn't have a clue what they are talking about. Our solution has always been the same. Quantity. The Reg F is on a 3-cycle program â “ Pre-Deployment, Deployment, Reorganization. Where does training the Reserves come in. Until a conscious effort is made, we are on a downhill spiral. If anyone is serious about making us more effective, then a concentrated effort must be made to recruit reserves, and the Reg F helping trg the infux. There are not enough reserve instruinflux out there to make us self-sufficient and there won't be for some time. But as effective recruiting carries forward, the amount of Reg F instructors will ultimately decrease.

Unfortunately after you have been in a number of years, you tend to get bitter and twisted, and to become a little paranoid. I don't think the Reg F is out to get us, but is just woefully ignorant of the different set of problems and circumstances Reservists face.
 

combat_medic

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RCA: I think I heard the sound of you hitting the nail square on the head. While I can understand that they're trying to facilitate leadership training by shortning the blocks into chunks that are more reasonable, they haven't been offering all the Mods this year, and so many guys who were able and willing to pursue leadership training were $hitcanned because they didn't have their "military law" Mod. AND, since you have to take the mods in order, we could also send no one on the Infantry DP2B this summer. Currently, we have a grand total of 3 (?) MCpls in the unit, a no one is going to be getting their leaf for at least another year or two by the looks of things. This leaves us with a bunch of corporals who can't instruct, most of whom don't have driver quals and therefore can only do taskings like demo troop. There just aren't enough leaders to go around, and some guys who have been waitinga while for BMQ/SQ this summer are being told to hurry up and wait some more.

On top of that, the soldiers who are SQ qualified are coming back to the unit with enough of a skillset to be employed as a basic rifleman in an infantry section. While I understand that the CF doesn't want SQ soldiers training with QL3/DP1/BIQ/(insert new course acronym here) soldiers in other trades, it makes little sense in the infantry. Why, only a couple years ago, the same POs that were covered on an SQ were most of the POs covered on the Infantry course, and we have no problem letting them play soldier. I can only imagine the frustration of a reservist who's hanging around in depot platoon for two years before he can do his job.

In addition to everything else (again from a WATC perspective), there is supposed to be Ex Active Edge this summer in Wainwright. This is supposed to be the bit exercise where they bring out all the gucci kit and teach all the units and trades how to play nice together. Do some live fire, see some cool kit, spend a week or so in the field, then go home happy. Last year it was cancelled because of the forest fires in BC. This summer, so far, is even hotter and dryer than the last. Think there's any chance Active Edge will go forward? I doubt it.

I know guys in the infantry who have almost 5 years TI who have never done a live fire advance to contact. Ever. I know medics with the same amount of time who have never laid hands on a patient who was actually injured (casualty sims only).

So, we can't get people trained very quickly, the career progression is slower than ever, and one they're trained soldiers, the cool, realistic training is nowhere to be found. Is it any wonder that retention is a huge problem?
 

devil39

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combat_medic said:
I know guys in the infantry who have almost 5 years TI who have never done a live fire advance to contact. Ever. I know medics with the same amount of time who have never laid hands on a patient who was actually injured (casualty sims only).


On the first point.   Is their no scope for the RSS Officers (or whatever they are called today) to run section live fire adv to contact during the normal training year?  

Second point.   You're not suggesting that we start injuring some troops for you?   : )

 

combat_medic

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Devil: As far as I know, there is the scope and the training for the RSS staff to run it, but I think the problem is location, time, and (as always) money.

As for medics getting training, no of course I'm not suggesting that people be intentionally injured. However, the times, such as Op Peregrine when people were getting injured from the forest fires and there were numerous trained medics available and willing to help, they were given a shovel and told to go out into the forest because they didn't have the appropriate civilian qualifications. Kind of a kick to the teeth for the medics involved, wouldn't you say? The army spend all the time, money and effort to train them only to tell them that their training was useless. I would be pretty peeved.
 

ZipperHead

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While I won't pretend to have any answers for you, only opinions, I will say this: from a Reg Force point of view, I feel your pain. Many of the problems you address effect us as well. It will soon come to the point that if you are not trained to crew command a vehicle, you can't move it. Right now there are two courses to qualify someone to crew command a vehicle: the Army Crew Commander Course (I may have the wrong word-ology, but that sounds reasonably close) and the DP3 CC course, which is what (more or less) replaced the old 6A. The first Army CC course was run last fall, and there were Cpl's, MCpl's and officers on it. It qualified them to safely move a armored vehicle (such as Bison). They weren't trained to "fight" the vehicle, only move it safely. The DP3 CC (for MCpl's) trains pers to fight the vehicle. Long story short: if you aren't qualified either one of those, one day in the not too distant future, you will not be able to crew command it. Without a crew commander the vehicle won't roll. Do you think that the Reg Force units will have enough people qualified to move these vehicles. Not everybody at once, now!!! The answer is: no. The main reason they have gone to this is due to all the accidents with unqualified pers "commanding" the vehicles, and many people have been injured or killed. What is going to happen when they impose the "no qualification, no crew command" regulation? Who knows? but I suspect we will "bend" the regulation to accomplish the mission (much like we have in the past.... I, and many others, crew commanded vehicles overseas without being qualified, and then had to get qualified so we could "officially" crew command in Canada. Makes a lot of sense, no!?!?!?)

Anyway, the long view is that it will be better. Much the same for the Reserve world. There will be much short term pain, but eventually (and hopefully) these policies will make the Reserves more effective, and more on par with the Regular Force. If you want to be compared (and equivalent) to the Reg's, you have to do the same training, not the Reader's Digest version of training that had been done in the past. As it is, a Reserve soldier has to serve, what, 2 years to make the rank of Corporal??? Correct me if I'm wrong here, folks. A Reg Force soldier takes (on average) 4 years to make it to Cpl. Yes, some pers are "accelerated" to Cpl, but that is the exeption rather than the rule. That's one example of what makes Reg Force pers suspicious of Reserve soldier's qualifications and experience level.

Anyway, RCA and Combat_medic, you brought up some very good points, and it makes me appreciate the fact that there is a lot of frustration being felt at your level, because it isn't all wine and young virgins all around for the Reg Force either. There's a LOT of good guys packing it in at the end of their contracts (3, 6 and 20 years) due to the all-around stupidity they encounter. At least most Reservists have a second career (or more precisely a first career) to fall back on if they get choked with the Army. Try using an average Combat Arms guys "real world" qualifications to get a good job. Not much demand in the real world for a rifleman, gun bunny, or Coyote/Leopard gunner.

Remember, there's always a light at the end of the tunnel (just hope it's not an oncoming freight train.....)

Al
 

Brad Sallows

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Short observation unless I later feel a rant coming on...

I agree with RCA.  I've observed many discussions in which the shared opinion was that we lost something when we moved from decentralized schools and funding full summer employment, to centralized training and train-to-need.

Speculation: was there a subset of people among those maligned as "militia bums" who were perennial students or lived austerely, scraping by between summers on Class A and other low-wage jobs, dependent chiefly on a full summer of reserve employment?  Were they the backbone of summer training camp cadres?  If there was, train-to-need forced them to find another lifestyle.

This is the reserve instructor problem: we want people who are likely to be four or more years out of high school and who can be available for three or more weeks for one or more specific taskings, chiefly during the summer (ie. peak vacation demand, usually determined by seniority) months.  We make no other guarantees of employment.  I submit to anyone who cares that people with a suitable life pattern and desire to serve are in such short supply as to be incapable of sustaining our reserve training system.
 

Firepower

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Very good points on recruiting, while most of the things you mention don't seem to happen here(LFAA),like course cancellations(I know of one because of lack of funds) recruiting is a major problem.

I'm not sure for other units, but here(LFAA) my home unit has had no problems finding work for people and running courses, we(as in LFAA) ran an ARTS last year an there is one being run this year also. The brigade is made up of mostly reserve units so that might have something to do with it, an LFAA has no major projects on the go like Wainright, we also have one reg force unit doing deployments.

The reserves is for young people to make some cash an do something with their lives while in school, recruiting should be as short as possible, maybe even letting the unit get the recruits in an let recruiting do it's thing while the unit puts it's new soldiers to work an cut'm a check from unit funds(work out some kinda of reimbursment, I dunno). It should not take months to get them in and 2 years to get these people trained.

You are bang on with the PLQ. Why make a modular set-up when older reserves, who have the time an experience to make good leaders, who also have jobs an families, can't take MOD6 because of the length. I have personally seen several people affected by this problem. Seems the reserves can't ever recruit anyone older then 20 because of the way all these courses are run, I understand it is suppose to give you maximum training, but do we really need to have an SQ? Learning weapons the can be learned on ELOC an infantry tactics the unit can do in a few nights an excercises? We had gunners come back that did not have an SQ so we had them qualified(an fired), with all of them over a years time, an did all the same infantry they learn on SQ they still have to do the SQ. Which makes me wonder why we need it in the first place, not to many older guys(21+) can book off vacation for 40 something days to do SQ/MQ or BMQ/SQ. An between recruiting an length between/of courses we are really making it hard to retain are next leaders.

Might be some bad typing it's late.
 
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Pugnacious

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Sorry to interupt a very interesting topic, but I have to ask what effect does this have on someone like myself who is considering Joining the ARMY Reserves out here in BC?

Do I need to knit my own combats?

Is it worth it?

Will hard work and a good showing get me anywhere or will I be filed away under red tape?

Cheers!
P.
 

quebecrunner

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The worst thing its the time it take to fully train the recruit. In 1993, when i've enlisted with the 4R22R, we have done NQ2 (bmq-sq) during week-end and one week during summer. Next, to the one week field, there was the NQ3 (infantry qualification). Since we didnt had the time to do the shooting things, we went to Valcatraz some week end during spring ti do the shooting qualification.

So, if i can count correctly, WE WERE FULL QUALIFIED AS SOLDIER AND RESERVE INFANTRY IN 1 YEAR!!!!!!!.  And now, if you are lucky, it will take 2 years.  Even 3 years in most case: 1 summer BMQ, 1 summer SQ, and then the MOC qualification. How can the reserve keep the effective that way? So, KEEP IT SHORT. You wont need big exercises  that cost a lot  to retain the mens.

That is my point of view, from somebody who's been out 6 years now.
I am also waiting to do the swearing thing for 4 months now!!!
 

Phillman

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I believe I am one of the lucky ones, seeing as though I was fully qualified in one year. I did my BMQ on weekends starting in Jan., SQ and DP1 full time in the summer, and DP2 again on weekends in the fall. I figure I am pretty lucky considering there are some I know who took almost five years.
 

Lance Wiebe

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This is a serious problem that will take a while to rectify.

I believe that the root of the problem stems from a couple of short-sighted decisions made a few years ago.

First, by allowing our combat arms to be so seriously depleted of personnel that we had to take personnel away from training bases, Schools and recruiting centers to fill the holes in the units, all the while recruiting for everything but infantry and armour.  (They are the two trades most affected by deployments)  This short sighted-ness is still causing some serious problems in both the reg force and the militia today.

Second, by the formation of dozens of brigades, all fully staffed (although many of the positions are Class B), we have raped the reserve units of many of its more senior and experienced personnel.  A Brigade fully staffed, overseeing a "brigade" of 500 people?  This makes no sense, and steals a lot of money away from the reserves.  It does, however, give lots of jobs to officers, doesn't it?

The third short-sighted decision was the decision by Treasury Board to allow the reg force direct control over reserve funding.  Reg force short?  Just "borrow" some from reserve funding.

These three idiotic decisions, I believe, caused a lot of problems, and will take a huge amount of effort to solve.
 

Brad Sallows

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Do not underestimate the amount of busywork required at the unit and brigade levels.  Even if you stripped away the mission elements there would be a surprising work load just to maintain the bureaucratic status quo.

Before the development of the BMQ/SQ/MOC stream, "we" were all complaining that basic training was too short; basic training was not sufficiently army-focused; the soldiers were barely trained; soldiers were not prepared for the "test, then retrain if necessary" philosophy of ELOC; everyone should be essentially capable of being a rifleman, etc.  We can't have it both ways - all the skills wrapped up in one short course.  The problem is not that it takes 12+ weeks to develop a trained private (or trained lieutenant).  The problem is that we are not accustomed to the expectation that people wishing to join the reserves should make an immediate commitment of three to six continuous months to receive BMQ/SQ/MOC/PCF or BOTP/CAP/BCT/MOSC (or the applicable equivalents) in one shot.
 

willy

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Brad Sallows said:
The problem is that we are not accustomed to the expectation that people wishing to join the reserves should make an immediate commitment of three to six continuous months to receive BMQ/SQ/MOC/PCF or BOTP/CAP/BCT/MOSC (or the applicable equivalents) in one shot.

Sorry to say it, but I think that' s an unreasonable expectation.  People don't join the reserves for a career.  They join because they're students, and they need a part time job during the two to four months they have off each summer.  Asking them to train for six months at a time is asking them to drop out of school or quit their civilian job, only to find themselves unemployed and not in classes at the end of that period.  That would be extremely disruptive, and no one is going to want to do it.

Also, a lot of the "busywork" that goes on in any of the HQ's I've ever seen is, IMO at least, self generated and counterproductive.  Maybe I shouldn't talk about things above my pay level that way, but it's how I see it.
 

Firepower

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Yes the stream is great when you can take it, but who are we trying to impress with fully trained recruits but we are so few in numbers now we can't even send people on tasking with out having the units training come to a halt. If we want more funding we need more recruits, to the point they see that it's a good idea to support us because we have the numbers to do what we are meant to do. Right now we have less people then the Reg. F an that isn't right at all, your suppose to have more reserves then Reg. F especially with this total force concept but the CF doesn't even follow it's own concepts. In the end though it all comes down to money, the Regs are bleeding us dry because they themselves don't have enough money to do their job, so it's to easy to blame them when the real problem exist much higher. In the end the pain is felt all over the force an the goverment/DND better decide what it want's to do with the future of the CF.
 

RCA

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If you want to be compared (and equivalent) to the Reg's, you have to do the same training, not the Reader's Digest version of training that had been done in the past. As it is, a Reserve soldier has to serve, what, 2 years to make the rank of Corporal??? Correct me if I'm wrong here, folks. A Reg Force soldier takes (on average) 4 years to make it to Cpl.
.

I understand the sentiment behind the statement, but this is an example of the problems we are now facing. By deciding to tailor or training and standards to the Reg F we are spinning ourselves into the ground. A BE for a Reg F is 3 yrs, for a reservists its the next day. We are not the Reg F junior, Reg F lite or what ever. We are the Reserves, we are unique (Just as the Reg F is)  and we need a system design for us. One size does not fit all, and until someone wakes up to that fact, the downward spiral will continue. Unfortunate, I do not see the light at the end of the tunnel because I see the Reseves getting mired deep in a system that is not sympathatic to us. At least the Reg F now has a Trg system that can work for them. We haven't.

The ideal reserve soldier feel is one who starts as a young student, earns money during the summer on crse/tasking gets his/her trade qualification & leadership trg during this period. After a couple years, he finds he enjoys the camaraderie and challenges and sticks around even after getting a job and/or married and stays in 15-20 yrs contributing leadership and experience. That is not happening these days with the average stay being considerably less the 10 yrs.
 
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Limpy

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[quote author=RCA link=topic=
"Bde Op Pans always tell units to concentrate on recruiting and retention. Obviously they are are paying lip service. First, units are hamstrung by CFRC whose focus is else where, and sometimes we fell like an after thought in their game plan. Recruiting my ass. Once we get the individual in, it can take up to two yrs to get him trade qual"



       You got that right!!!
 

ZipperHead

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I sense a great deal of frustration with the current system. I think a lot of the frustration is borne from the fact that people miss the "old days" and old ways of doing things. Even though it may have seemed to "work" in the old days doesn't neccesarily mean that it did. An example (mentioned in other posts in other threads) is the frustration that Reg Force units experienced when receiving augmentees (not neccesarily just Reserves) that weren't up to the standard while conducting pre-deployment training for overseas missions (I can cite Bosnia as that is/was the big one for augmentation). Receiving pers that were enthusiastic but not ready to go created far too much work for all concerned. There shouldn't be a requirement to train people (in basic soldier skills) only refresh and train for mission specific tasks.

From what I have heard and seen, we are trying to come to the "One Army" standard, so that a reservist, cook, or infantry soldier are all at the same BASIC level (ie can perform a foot patrol, man a trench or sentry position, handle a crew weapon, etc). Unfortunately this will take time and a change in attitudes from the people who think that they don't have to be able to perform those tasks (ie "I'm only a cook.... I don't need to know how to fire a weapon or man a checkpoint"). Another unfortunate reality is that we are becoming a very technical and technology based military, and it takes more time to train people with all the new gear. Cutting corners is the last thing that we need to do (especially with weapons handling and other basic soldiering skills). I know that most Reservists and their units don't have the amount of time that Reg Force units and pers have, but c'est la vie. One step at a time.....

We also live in an "instant gratification" generation where everybody wants results and satisfaction right now. Talk to some of the old crusty Reservists. I doubt they had any more time to train than you do now, and they managed to get trained. And the great "Rust-Out" of the Trudeau era sounds a lot worse than what we are experiencing now. You also have to keep in mind that the Reg Force numbers are probably 25% (or worse) now from what they used to be, and the operational tempo is WAAAAAY more increased from the "good old days". So getting help from that end isn't gonna happen. You will have to look inwards and see what you can do with what you have. I think there are a lot of "dinosaurs" floating around the Reserve world that need to either help out, or get out (much the same as should happen in the Reg Force..........). Not showing up to help train your soldiers is piss-poor leadership, and those that are like that should be shown the exit. Infanteer had a good point in another forum about this very fact. Sometimes the best leadership comes from the Junior NCO level, and works it's way upwards.

Keep fighting the good fight, and hopefully things will get better for us all if there is a regime change, or if the current regime keeps it's promises (lot's of big promises ref the military being floating by the Big 2 parties...... but that cheque is still in the mail.....).

Al
 
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Limpy

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"From what I have heard and seen, we are trying to come to the "One Army" standard, so that a reservist, cook, or infantry soldier are all at the same BASIC level (ie can perform a foot patrol, man a trench or sentry position, handle a crew weapon, etc). Unfortunately this will take time and a change in attitudes from the people who think that they don't have to be able to perform those tasks (ie "I'm only a cook.... I don't need to know how to fire a weapon or man a checkpoint")."[/quote

Fact alot of the Canada's commitments abroad call heavily for infantry like jobs and the fact that infantry are in short supply it seems that rear echelon types need to be ready to conduct themselves as infantry to fill the shortage gap. I also think it's a definitely a good idea for all CF members to know how to fight in case insurgents happen to make to your behind the lines job. However It would be great if CFRC's could get they're acts together a little better. I hear plenty of horror stories from them, myself included.
 
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12alfa

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We are loosing our Mcpls and sgt's at a rate now that we will not recover from.

Once they have the nessary leadership skills there off to a B class or filling in on some reg force job, this will not stop soon. With them gone unit training suffers, moral goes down, and we end up with what we have now, elock and mandated training, followed by less trg'ing days per year.

There is the problem with pers taking a componet trans also, usuall cpl, mcpl, and sgts due to the low tempo of trg'ing at the unit.

We can get all kinds of people in, we can't hold them, and thats the real problem, there off to a Class b, comp trans, or get boared with the no trg lifestyle.

We must regain control of our own destany, not some reg force officer with 3 years in and given a "new project". Until we do it a slow death, as many of us are seeing now, some won't admit to it, some are pissed, some are just waiting for the pension to pull the plug. After 30+ years in , I put myself in the "pissed" group waiting on the "pension" group to axcept me heheheh.

PS: I have no answers, for every answer I sugest a person of higher rank has put roadblocks up in my way!!!!

Bitter..........
 

muskrat89

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When I joined in 83, the Unit OR processed me, and the Doctor was a contracted one, down the street. I don't think the whole process took 2 or 3 weeks, if that. Then came CF Recruiters, Physicals in Gagetown, etc. that never worked right. We ran Basic Training over weekends and evenings, and completed it over Christmas break. More courses were ran over the summer. After Milcon, but before school started, we squeezed in a Driver Wheeled course, at the Unit level. That was all great until it came time for serious courses. My 6B (at the time) was 8 weeks, if I remember correctly. That's 8 weeks off of my job, or all of my vacation for 4 years. I can here some of you saying "boo-hoo .. that's your choice - make a commitment". Well, that's true. It is easy to forget from a Regular perspective, that this isn't our fulltime job. We are already giving up a good number of weekends, holidays, evenings, etc... in addition to our regular jobs. We crawl in Sunday night from an Ex - the RSS guy gets a couple days leave for working the weekend - I'm back to work on Monday morning. I've heard resentment for 20 years from our fulltime compadres (and some praise). I may not always been "up to standard" - but I was always there because I wanted to be - not because of contractual obligation. I did it because I loved and enjoyed it. I saw Regular Force Snr NCOs and Officers find the Militia (that they probably had run down a time or two) a nice place to land when it was retirement package time. Often, they brought a wealth of info and experience, frequently they built an "old boys' network" that simply ensured positions for their buddies coming down the pike. Sometimes, they occupied key positions in the Unit that - all things being ideal - would've been occupied by people who had stuck with the Unit for 6 or 12 or 20 years.

A flaw is that we usually didn't send our finest - on course, on callout, on whatever. We never were able to give the Regular Force an objective view of what we could do with "the old system". We sent who was available. Student, laid off, unemployed, etc. (with exceptions of course) Chances are if someone was a leader in the Military, they were a leader in their civilian world also - thus harder to spare.

I think someone has to decide what they want the Militia to be capable of, or used for - then the Militia needs to figure out the best way to meet those goals.
 
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