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What keeps or kept you in the CAF?

FortYorkRifleman

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Pronto215 said:
I feel like there is a growing lack of comraderie in the CAF currently. It might be in part to the new generation but when I first joined it seemed like everyone wanted to get together at the mess or bbq's but it seems like those days are long gone. Maybe it has to do with drinking, frat, I don't know, however there is clear disconnect.

Could you elaborate on that? I would think the bonding that people go through and the sense of family you develop with your section mates etc would make one want to remain in the CAF.
 

George Wallace

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Pronto215 said:
I feel like there is a growing lack of comraderie in the CAF currently. It might be in part to the new generation but when I first joined it seemed like everyone wanted to get together at the mess or bbq's but it seems like those days are long gone. Maybe it has to do with drinking, frat, I don't know, however there is clear disconnect.

There is that, but wait ten or twenty years and watch what they do.  That is when you often find them bonding, as it is something that they miss when they have left and now have the desire to renew/maintain those connections.

When you are young and 'invincible' you don't worry about history, but as you get older, you start to and actively look for photos/videos/memorabilia of those days in your youth.  ;D
 

Fishbone Jones

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E.R. Campbell said:
You mean like Samuel Johnson said, about 250 year ago?

                 
                   
220px-Samuel_Johnson_by_Joshua_Reynolds_2.jpg

          "Every man thinks meanly of himself for
          not having been a soldier, or not having
                              been at sea."

Or The Bard in Henry V

As King Henry says during his Crispian Day speech, before Agincourt:

WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!

KING. What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin, Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.”
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say “These wounds I had on Crispin's day.”
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.
 

my72jeep

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My sig line covers it. It was a duty. And I had fun.
 

Thompson_JM

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I'm at the point after 16 years (PRES) where it's time to finally hang up my hat.

Without going into detail, it's simply time. However, I have no regrets, and looks fondly on all the time I've spent in uniform. It's simply time to wear a different one and protect Canadians in a different way now.

What always kept me coming back was the shared experiences, the way we all came together as a team, and the laughs even at the lousiest of times... We always found a way to channel the warrior spirit and make the best of the bad times.

I know I'll miss parts of it. And I'll miss belonging to such a hallowed Canadian institution, but better to leave on a high note with good memories than to exit bitter and angry.
 

Furniture

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Like a lot of people one of my main reasons for staying is the pay, benefits and stability. The extra part that keeps me from looking elsewhere for those things is the adventure and comradery. In my 14 years I have stood on the plains of Afghanistan where Alexander the Great marched his armies east, and where the Kipling wrote of going to you "to your Gawd like a soldier". I have sailed most of the way around the world, and spent days drifting without power after a major fire in the North Pacific. I also did those things with some of the finest people I know, and would gladly go back and do them all again with those same people.

That said, when I reach my 20 it may be time to find a new adventure.
 

Pusser

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WeatherdoG said:
That said, when I reach my 20 it may be time to find a new adventure.

And when you get there, you think, "Wow, that went fast!  What's another 15?"  Then you also consider what benefits you're getting and a host of other things and you realize that starting all over again on the "outside" suddenly becomes less appealing. 

And "click" go the "Golden Handcuffs." :nod:
 

Edward Campbell

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WeatherdoG said:
Like a lot of people one of my main reasons for staying is the pay, benefits and stability. The extra part that keeps me from looking elsewhere for those things is the adventure and comradery. In my 14 years I have stood on the plains of Afghanistan where Alexander the Great marched his armies east, and where the Kipling wrote of going to you "to your Gawd like a soldier". I have sailed most of the way around the world, and spent days drifting without power after a major fire in the North Pacific. I also did those things with some of the finest people I know, and would gladly go back and do them all again with those same people.

That said, when I reach my 20 it may be time to find a new adventure.


I was in that position several years a few decades ago: I had finished 20, was, in fact nearing the end of my 21st year of service, and was approaching the end of the very best job any officer can ever have ~ and that, I suggest, includes being CDS. I had one or, maybe, two attractive civvie job offers and some other opportunities (grad school, for example). Then the CF offered me another jammy posting: one designed, in some some part, to reward my long suffering wife for all that she had endured ... off we went. Then back to a new job ~ not, at all, fun, but a real challenge, and then another that was even more challenging but did offer some "fun" (as much fun as colonels in Ottawa are allowed to have, anyway). I finally retired on my 55th birthday!

Yep, as Pusser says, "click."  ;D
 

The Bread Guy

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George Wallace said:
There is that, but wait ten or twenty years and watch what they do.  That is when you often find them bonding, as it is something that they miss when they have left and now have the desire to renew/maintain those connections.
Have to agree - last time I wore a military uniform (Reserves) was in 1989, and my best buds still continue to be those I served with.
 

mariomike

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WeatherdoG said:
That said, when I reach my 20 it may be time to find a new adventure.

If you don't mind me asking, why not stay until the day you max-out your pension?

"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and - SNAP - the job's a game!"
Mary Poppins.  :)

milnews.ca said:
Have to agree - last time I wore a military uniform (Reserves) was in 1989, and my best buds still continue to be those I served with.

I wonder how many, especially the World War veterans, remembered back something like this?

"As I look back now, a lot of years later, I realize that my time in the Army was the happiest time of my life. God knows not because I like the Army, and there sure was nothing to like about a war. I liked it for the most selfish reason of all, because I was young. We all were, me and Epstein and Wykowski, Selridge, Carney, Hennesey and even Sergeant Toomey. I didn't really like most of those guys then, but today I love every damn one of them. Life is weird, you know."
Biloxi Blues.
 

Pronto215

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FortYorkRifleman said:
Could you elaborate on that? I would think the bonding that people go through and the sense of family you develop with your section mates etc would make one want to remain in the CAF.

Well it use to be like that when I first joined but more and more people are just out for themselves and/or are detached from their job. My shop now is good at work but as soon as the whistle goes people take off their uniform and want nothing to do with the army. Its sad. My boss and I were talking about it last week and overall people just don't care about others like they use to and don't see the importance of the bonds we as soldiers make. But some of it is a cultural thing in the sense that we are not like the old army, we do not go to the mess on friday, we do not drink in the field, and we do not share the BASIC hardships we used to. A lot of the fun seems to have been stripped away due to budget cost and the fact that people are to worried about there troops getting in trouble that no one wants to push these things to happen.

 
J

jollyjacktar

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Having beers with Brothers and blowing crap up. :nod:

Well the beers part has pretty well gone the way of the Dodo...
 

FortYorkRifleman

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Pronto215 said:
Well it use to be like that when I first joined but more and more people are just out for themselves and/or are detached from their job. My shop now is good at work but as soon as the whistle goes people take off their uniform and want nothing to do with the army. Its sad. My boss and I were talking about it last week and overall people just don't care about others like they use to and don't see the importance of the bonds we as soldiers make. But some of it is a cultural thing in the sense that we are not like the old army, we do not go to the mess on friday, we do not drink in the field, and we do not share the BASIC hardships we used to. A lot of the fun seems to have been stripped away due to budget cost and the fact that people are to worried about there troops getting in trouble that no one wants to push these things to happen.

Is it like that in Infantry? That's the trade I'm going into and figured the bond in the Combat Arms are typically the strongest.
 

George Wallace

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FortYorkRifleman said:
Is it like that in Infantry? That's the trade I'm going into and figured the bond in the Combat Arms are typically the strongest.

As pointed out in previous posts; it will vary from Trade to Trade, but the "Nine to Five" mentality is lesser in the Cbt Arms than in the "Specialist" Trades.  Another affect that sometimes hurts units is the attitudes of the Chain of Command, but this can be cyclical as people are posted in and out.  Your strongest bonds that you will likely develop will be with those whom you begin your CAF career with and progress with you through Basic and Trades training. 
 

dimsum

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George Wallace said:
Your strongest bonds that you will likely develop will be with those whom you begin your CAF career with and progress with you through Basic and Trades training.

Definitely agree.  The other group I'd include would be folks you've deployed with on operations, especially if you managed to stay as one group for a significant amount of time.
 

CountDC

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Family and pension - quite simply if I did not have children to take care of I would be gone.  Because I do have others to take care of I stick around for the money and increase in pension I will have when I do release.  The huge delay in pension payments don't help either.  Out right ridiculous that people should have to wait so long to receive it.  If I could have walked out the door and recieved payments within 2 months I may have just done it when told I wasnt getting posted this year.

In another year hopefully I will be posted, maybe it will change my mind and the family will change thiers.  Sometimes it is the posting you have that kills your morale and motivation to stay.  I went from a high of "sticking around til 60, here is my CRA60 opt in form" to slightly over a year later "CM when am I posted" and then 2 more years later "I should retire and get away from this crap.  Wish I hadn't elected CRA60" when the posting forecasted doesn't happen. 
 

FortYorkRifleman

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CountDC said:
Family and pension - quite simply if I did not have children to take care of I would be gone.  Because I do have others to take care of I stick around for the money and increase in pension I will have when I do release.  The huge delay in pension payments don't help either.  Out right ridiculous that people should have to wait so long to receive it.  If I could have walked out the door and recieved payments within 2 months I may have just done it when told I wasnt getting posted this year.

In another year hopefully I will be posted, maybe it will change my mind and the family will change thiers.  Sometimes it is the posting you have that kills your morale and motivation to stay.  I went from a high of "sticking around til 60, here is my CRA60 opt in form" to slightly over a year later "CM when am I posted" and then 2 more years later "I should retire and get away from this crap.  Wish I hadn't elected CRA60" when the posting forecasted doesn't happen.

When you say postings do you mean to a base or mission? I'm curious about whether being from a big city and then being sent to a base like Shilo or Gagetown makes a soldier's time in tougher. For myself, being from Toronto, I'd like to be sent to Edmonton but I'm also prepared for places like Shilo or even Petawawa which is a small town. I don't drive so given CFB Edmonton's location it's ideal for me. Not that I have a choice in the matter but still...
 

CountDC

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Postings in general - it may be the base, mission, unit, CofC, people or the general local area and events that have occurred or even a combination.  The person that replaces me here may have a great time, partly due to what I have gone through and the changes made or in process, along with staff changes that have occurred.  For me it is a matter of too little too late that have made me and my family bitter to this posting and simply want out of here at just about any cost.  This has been our worst posting though and prior ones we did enjoy, in fact we would happily go back to the one I gave away to come here.

I still believe the military is a great career for people and have no problem recommending it.  I also tell them they can expect at least one bad posting and hopefully it will be at the beginning so they can get it done and over with.  Unfortunately mine ended up at the wrong end when retirement starts to look good.

I drive but do not have a vehicle - feet and bicycle work great for short trips, buses or taxis for long ones or loads.  If needed rental cars do the job.

Choice is not always a good thing with postings - I chose this one  :crybaby:.
 

RMJOE

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I'm in the process of joining right now and I have some friends in 17 Wing. I am 34 and have been in the private sector since grade 7. Starting in the construction field at about the age of 22 and starting HVAC at the age of 27. With my experience in the private sector  work is all go go go getting thing's done yesterday. I am great at what I do so I stay and complete the work even if the day is done. What I have noticed is the private sector has little or no mentoring, causing a large amount of untrained worker's. I have taken it upon myself to train people that I have worked with, to the extent where they have said no one has taught me this much since I have finished high school. The private sector is unreliable and insecure with only a moments notice your career can be done business owners care most about the quick money not the money that lasts.
 
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