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What’s in a Soldier? How to Rebrand the Canadian Armed Forces

garb811

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Ostrozac said:
That's a bit of a fundamental question, though, isn't it? Is a reserve unit primarily a collection of individual augmentees, or is it primarily a tactical unit with a clearly defined role within it's Corps/Branch? And I've seen units flip-flop over that question over the years. When I was in the reserves, my city had armour and infantry units, so of course (what were the odds?) we seemed to regularly have ex-Reg Force artillerymen (MBdr, Sgt) release in the local area wanting to do reserve service, but we'd have to bust them to Corporal, even though we had a desperate shortage of NCOs. A friend of mine (ex-Reg Force, land DEU but purple MOSID) was told by his local Army Reserve unit that they weren't interested in him as a Captain unless he OT'd to Infantry Officer -- he instead joined the Naval Reserve, who had less use for his AOC/ATOC but were happy to employ him as a sea officer, general purpose, once he had a few short top-up courses. I've heard reports that some army reserve units are much more flexible, happily employing on Class A trained members from whatever occupation walks through their doors.

Personally, I lean towards the flexible approach -- if you have an RCEME MWO or an Int Major, both with 25 years experience, and they want to do Class A in their home town -- jump all over them even if they don't happen to match the infantry/armour/artillery flavour of the local reserve unit.
I know a ex-Reg Force MPO who became the OC of a Support Battery in an Artillery Regt. I know of another ex-Reg Force MPO who became an OC in a Svc Bn and who is now with a Comm Sqn.  I also know of a Inf O who is the OC of a MP Pl and an Inf O who is the Coy 2IC of a MP Coy...

With regard to the Education and Training Benefit, looks like these are automatically adjusted for inflation. Current rates are:

- at least 12 years of authorized days of CAF Service (4382 days) to receive up to $83,476.48 (2020) or
- at least 6 years of authorized days of CAF service (2191 days) to receive up to $41,738.24 (2020).

 

TCM621

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Navy_Pete said:
Uh... your link says they are 'Warrant officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers'. If you go to the main page, they are all grouped as 'Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers' (from Sgt up).

Did I miss something? Think senior NCO is generally understood to be Sgt and up (which is a bit confusing as there are no junior NCOs, but anyway).


Junior NCOs are Cpls and MCpls IAW QR&Os.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Navy_Pete said:
Uh... your link says they are 'Warrant officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers'. If you go to the main page, they are all grouped as 'Warrant Officers, Petty Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Officers' (from Sgt up).

Correct;  the page is capturing all the possible Warrant and Petty Officers, and Snr NCOs for all DEUs. 

Did I miss something? Think senior NCO is generally understood to be Sgt and up (which is a bit confusing as there are no junior NCOs, but anyway).

If most people say a Major/LCdr is a Junior Officer, does that make it accurate or correct? 

MJP said:
It is common vernacular for all but pendants :). The QR&Os makes the distinctionclearer but for 99% of the CAF we lump them all together to no ill effect.

Everyone has pet peeve, and the NCO/WO one is and has been mine.    ;D

Tcm621 said:
Junior NCOs are Cpls and MCpls IAW QR&Os.

I don't think I've ever seen that part.  I do know QR & O, Vol 1, Ch 1, Art 1.02 Definitions says:

“non-commissioned officer” means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal; (sous-officier).

QR & O, Vol 1, Ch 3, Art 3.08 MCpl Appointment:

(2) The rank of a master corporal remains that of corporal.



Last addition;  the opening paragraph from the "The history of the Chief Warrant Officer Scroll", Dr. John MacFarlane, Assistant Heritage Officer, DHH-NDHQ, Dec 2000.

At present Warrant Officers (or Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officer 1st class in the navy) occupy a unique category in the Canadian Forces as non-commissioned members between the rank of commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers. The adoption of the present structure in 1968, when the Canadian Forces were unified into a single organization, led to some debate over who should receive a Warrant.




 

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ballz

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daftandbarmy said:
Great observation. Sadly, the CAF has ensured no one will want to do that now because the VAC Education grant is not available to anyone who stays in the CAF, in any capacity, following retirement.

I've spoken to several 40/50 year old-ish serving members who considered staying on in the reserves following retirement, but the $40k/ $80k payouts were just too tempting.

'Et tu Brute?' ;)

I think they've now fixed it so that if you go on Sup Res you can still get it. However, I do agree that someone should be able to go from Reg Force to PRes and use the benefit. If you follow the intent of Op TRANSITION, that would align with it nicely. I'm releasing to Sup Res and intend on using the benefit, then enrolling in PRes. I'd go direct to PRes if not for the benefit. Or how about, not having to release at all..... if you hit the threshold (6 years or 12 years), why does it matter to make you wait? What good is it doing? How does it help you "transition"? Wouldn't it be better if I could use the benefit for part-time study while serving, so that when I do release I've already got the qualification or skill? Rather than having to take a year off, or two, or three, to try and get it?

On a similar note, and related to TRANSITION and JOURNEY and how inflexible and archaic we are, what if I just wanted to take LWOP for a year, a sabbatical so-to-speak, which every other employer seems capable of, and use the Vets Education & Training benefit to get my Masters Degree at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (which means I also get free French training)? What a great idea benefit for the CAF to be able to provide that doesn't actually cost any extra money than the benefits we currently provide. We're too busy being in our own way to be flexible like that.

On the note of recruiting, I think it'd be a pretty attractive recruiting tool too... "hey after 6 years (or 12) you can just take a sabbatical and use this sweet Education and Training benefit to improve yourself / get after something you want, which will not only help you in your career but also when you retire."

As opposed to... "well, we've got this sweet benefit but you can only use it when it's no longer any benefit to the CAF or your CAF career aspirations."
 

ballz

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mariomike said:
In my opinion, in a seniority-based system, people who stay with the same organization for long periods of time are rewarded for their loyalty.

That might be an okay argument for a seniority-based system if you can fire the people that sit around and contribute nothing, or in many cases are value-subtracted simply by existing. Not exactly applicable to the CAF or public service, which has got no shortage of people who show up (well, some don't even do that) to collect their pay and build their pension while contributing nothing. I wouldn't describe that as "loyalty" no matter how many years they get away with it.
 

dimsum

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ballz said:
On a similar note, and related to TRANSITION and JOURNEY and how inflexible and archaic we are, what if I just wanted to take LWOP for a year, a sabbatical so-to-speak, which every other employer seems capable of, and use the Vets Education & Training benefit to get my Masters Degree at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (which means I also get free French training)? What a great idea benefit for the CAF to be able to provide that doesn't actually cost any extra money than the benefits we currently provide. We're too busy being in our own way to be flexible like that.

What you're suggesting, minus the Education money, is Australian Long Service Leave.  I think it's 6 months at full pay or 12 months at half pay, after your 10-year mark (I believe - don't quote me).
 

Jarnhamar

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(wrote way too much, editing for length)

Eaglelord17 said:
So I just thought of a potential way for them to attract recruits.

I think we need to take a lot of care when we come up with different ideas about luring the public into joining the CAF; whether it's signing bonus, paying off debt, rebranding into something "progressive-worthy" and so on. If we attract the wrong type of applicant for the wrong reasons they're going to be a burden for 3 (or 30) years.

 

mariomike

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ballz said:
That might be an okay argument for a seniority-based system if you can fire the people that sit around and contribute nothing, or in many cases are value-subtracted simply by existing.

Oh, they did. At least where I worked. Saw them fire ten non-union ( ie: management ) guys in one day. Some had been there longer than me. Fired. Not laid off. No particular reason. Just had to cull the herd. Ten was a nice round number. Seniority had nothing to do with who they selected to let go.

Funny thing was, you could never figure why some got the chop, and others survived.

Happened from time to time. But, ten in one day was pretty memorable.  :)

 

FJAG

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It just struck me as to how the CAF got me as a recruit back in 1965.

At the time 7th Toronto Regt RCA paid their serving soldiers a $10.00 bounty for each recruit they brought in the door. In those days $10.00 bought you four 24's of your favorite beer.

A serving high school stage crew buddy of mine asked me to come down and I did.

A forty-four career cost DND $10.00. I like to believe that they got more than their money's worth.

;D
 

mariomike

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FJAG said:
In those days $10.00 bought you four 24's of your favorite beer.

That's incredible!  :cheers:
 

FJAG

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mariomike said:
That's incredible!  :cheers:

A draft at the pub was a dime, a gallon of gas was $0.39 ($0.29 in the States) and a Canadian dollar got you around USD 1.07. Good times.

;D

 

SeaKingTacco

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FJAG said:
A draft at the pub was a dime, a gallon of gas was $0.39 ($0.29 in the States) and a Canadian dollar got you around USD 1.07. Good times.

;D

...and we wore a turnip on our belt, because that was the fashion...
 

Edward Campbell

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Just a couple of snippets:

1. I'm not sure if it was Army or Navy but I remember, late 1950s/1960 "A Career With a Future" and that sounded pretty good to a young fellow. (I joined with no intention of making it a career, I joined for "fun" (what teenaged boys thought of as fun back then) and maybe a bit of adventure and as a "gap" phase while I figured out what I wanted to do. I was not committed to a career when my CO (Maj Henderson, 2SSM Bty for those old enough) said something like "since you don't yet know what you want to do with your life, why not try officering for a bit?" 36+ years later I still hadn't quite decided ... but they said that since I couldn't make up my mind I would have to retire.)

2. Two slogans that I recall, both US, that seemed, to me, to appeal to the right sort of young people were:

a. "The Few, The Proud, The Marines" for those who want to be "elite" and better (tougher, smarter, etc) than the others, and

b. "Be All You Can Be," which always struck me as being a good challenge for young people.

I think the last one, "Be All You Can Be," is the sort of "challenge" that we might want to make to the kinds of people we want to recruit and retain.

I also think we should be happy to get lots of "one-term" (is it 3 or 5 years now) enlistments. I don't think we should try to recruit "career soldiers." I think we should try to identify and re-engage the people we want AND who want to be with us.
 

Furniture

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daftandbarmy said:
Don't lie to people anymore. There's a good marketing plan.

The CAF is about being able to destroy our nation's enemies. We are the 'in case of a threat to national survival, break glass' people.

The more we spin the BS about 'family, career, balanced lifestyle' and all that jazz, the more people will smell a rat and disturst us.

Especially the newer generations who connect most strongly with authenticity.

Tell them it's hard, lonely and dangerous, and that you won't get much of a choice about what you have to do sometimes. It's hard on families too, and we need to be clear why.

Also tell them it's exciting, you will be in continual learning and upgrading mode, and you will be part of a huge family filled with the finest people you will ever meet and will be friends with some of them for life.

Compared to civvy life, tell them the pay, benefits and living conditions aren't great, depending on the job you do or where you work or live, or how much you p*ss away on smoke, drink or gambling.

Also tell them that you won't care much about that when the waves are breaking over the bridge, the bullets are flying, or the slipstream whacks you in the face as you exit the starboard door of a Herc doing 120knts, at night.

The more we lie, or tell them what we think they want to hear, the less they'll believe us and the more our brand suffers.

My tuppence worth... ;)

I think this is exactly the approach we should take, and exactly opposite to the approach we will take.

About a year ago I was talking to the folks putting together the new Met Tech video, and they were excitedly explaining how the video would show the "cool stuff" (it's not cool) we do, and that would get people's interest. My comment at the time was, why don't we show them exactly what we do, so we get the people who actually want to do Met. Met isn't about "exciting" or "cool" jobs, it's about providing information to enable the people who do the exciting and cool stuff.
 

daftandbarmy

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Furniture said:
I think this is exactly the approach we should take, and exactly opposite to the approach we will take.

About a year ago I was talking to the folks putting together the new Met Tech video, and they were excitedly explaining how the video would show the "cool stuff" (it's not cool) we do, and that would get people's interest. My comment at the time was, why don't we show them exactly what we do, so we get the people who actually want to do Met. Met isn't about "exciting" or "cool" jobs, it's about providing information to enable the people who do the exciting and cool stuff.

Well, actually, the right thing to do is to have the people who are doing the things tell other people about it.

It's called 'building a personal connection with your audience', or something like that.

This is pretty good IMHO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiDfiZsh7XY

Some other examples...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_Cn8eFo7u8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtdjEiGW-pQ
 

Blackadder1916

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E.R. Campbell said:
Just a couple of snippets:

1. I'm not sure if it was Army or Navy but I remember, late 1950s/1960 "A Career With a Future" and that sounded pretty good to a young fellow.  . . .

How about "Choose a Career With a Purpose"?

1960
60cdnarmy.jpg


Or 1959

1959cdnarmy.jpg
 
1959cdnarmy2.jpg
 

mariomike

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Applicants had to be between 17 - 25 in the ad.
 

mariomike

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Ad also says, "Doing a man-size job".  Times change.
 

Edward Campbell

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mariomike said:
Applicants had to be between 17 - 25 in the ad.

Yes, there was an upper age limit. We (they) didn't want many 30+ year-olds in the junior ranks. It was (still is) a fairly physical life and most human bodies do not seem to age all that well.

You could enlist at 17 IF you had a parent's written consent.

Recruit training was about 6 months ~ my memory says 24 weeks in three eight-week phases. Basic infantry training (Group 1 LI (Leading Infantryman) was about 10 weeks. You could not be posted overseas before your 18th birthday, but if you enlisted just after your 17th birthday you could be a trained soldier before you turned 18.

My memory says that there were a few female soldiers, here and there, in the still extant Canadian Women's Army Corps (CWAC) and, maybe, the RCAMC, but I cannot remember how they were recruited or trained. I'm pretty sure the RCN and the RCAF had women in several trades.
 
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