Hatchet Man said:
Various ranks who consider the reserves a full time career vice the part time volunteer organization that it is. While I get that max attendance makes Ex's more fulfilling from a training stand point, since you have full platoons and companies, some people's lives don't revolve around their reserve service.
The problem starts at the top where the attitude that reserve service is voluntary is deeply (and wrongfully) embedded.
As a start point both regular and reserve service is voluntary insofar that you need to volunteer to join and once in you have the right to a release (but under both statutory and administrative limitations)
Reservist can be compulsorily placed on "active service" or placed on "service" or "ordered to train" by the federal cabinet or under regulations made by the federal cabinet. See the NDA ss 31 and 33 for the actual wording. The legislative mechanism is there it is just very poorly used and or ignored entirely. See also NDA s 275 re call out for service in aid to the civil power.
There are regulations already in place. QR&O 9.04(2) allows a reservists to be ordered to train not exceeding 15 days Class B and 60 days Class B per year. QR&O 9.04(3) allows the Minister of Natl Def to call out reservists in an emergency and QR&O in part authorizes the MND to delegate this power to military authorities.
In practice however these provisions are rarely used because of an ingrained attitude that only reservists who volunteer for such duties will ever be called upon.
The argument is frequently made that we do not have a enforcement mechanism because we can't charge people who don't show up when ordered because at the time they do not appear they are not subject to the code of service discipline. True enough but note that there is no such limitation on administrative consequences.
More importantly there is actually a section in the NDA that addresses the issue. Under ss 294(1) and (2) of the NDA it is an offence punishable on summary conviction for a reservist who "without lawful excuse neglects or refuses to attend any parade or training at the place or hour appointed". The trouble with this section is that it is not part of the CSD and is only triable before a civilian summary conviction court. The fines are $50 for an officer and $25 for a NCM for every day missed. The law was changed in 1985 to double the fine and there is no reason why it can't be increased even more to give it some teeth.
The problem isn't so much a weak enforcement system as a weak leadership system that isn't prepared to use mandatory service or enforcement systems because: 1) they either do not realize that the systems are there (and I've personally met many of these types) or 2) who are aware of them but are convinced that using anything other than volunteerism will result in many reservists taking their release (I've met many of those as well)
As a result we have reached a status quo
where a large part of the forces, reg and res, see and treat reservists, quite incorrectly, as "pure volunteers". I feel the most sympathy for the hard working NCOs who can't motivate their troops to come out when the entire system has been twisted out of whack by how the chain of command misperceives the reservists roles and responsibilities.