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Who'll be the next CDS? Speculation here, please!!

brihard

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Halifax Tar said:
Is there anything barring a Log O or other support trade Officer from becoming CDS ?  It seems to be Mars / Combat Arms / Pilot solely for some reason.

I hope for Vance as well.

Just my two cents, but the role of the military is to kill people and break their stuff. I would contend that the highest leadership of the military should always be operators who have existed professionally within that context. I have nothing but respect for all of the support trades; dad and one of his wives were/are both successful LogOs. But the CAF as a whole is a fighting formation, and should be led by those who have come up commanding progressively large levels of same.
 

Edward Campbell

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Halifax Tar said:
Does that matter anymore as they should be proficient in both official languages ?


Dunno ...

One would hope not, but I had an interesting chat, yesterday evening, with a former official from the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and, although the topic of CDS didn't come up, he seemed to suggest that it did. The notion (rule?) is that Francophones should be fairly and visibly represented at all levels of government.
 

The Bread Guy

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Brihard said:
Just my two cents, but the role of the military is to kill people and break their stuff. I would contend that the highest leadership of the military should always be operators who have existed professionally within that context. I have nothing but respect for all of the support trades; dad and one of his wives were/are both successful LogOs. But the CAF as a whole is a fighting formation, and should be led by those who have come up commanding progressively large levels of same.
Good point, but is the post of CDS about "wielding and fighting" the organization, or about "managing" the organization?  There's merit in your point, but methinks there's as much (if not more) day-to-day issue-politics-and-people wrestling at that level as there is leading the troops into the fight. 
 

Halifax Tar

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milnews.ca said:
Good point, but is the post of CDS about "wielding and fighting" the organization, or about "managing" the organization?  There's merit in your point, but methinks there's as much (if not more) day-to-day issue-politics-and-people wrestling at that level as there is leading the troops into the fight.

I would actually think a strong financial, logistical and material managment background would be a great asset. 
 

Ostrozac

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Halifax Tar said:
Is there anything barring a Log O or other support trade Officer from becoming CDS ?  It seems to be Mars / Combat Arms / Pilot solely for some reason.

We have had a Sig O as CDS. And a Log O as CLS/Commander FMC/Commander LFC (whatever we were calling the Army at that time) -- so there is precedent for support arms advancing to high rank.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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milnews.ca said:
Good point, but is the post of CDS about "wielding and fighting" the organization, or about "managing" the organization?  There's merit in your point, but methinks there's as much (if not more) day-to-day issue-politics-and-people wrestling at that level as there is leading the troops into the fight.

Actually, one of the most important job of the CDS is to be the military adviser to the Prime Minister (or GG in council as you wish). So he must posses detailed knowledge of the use of force in conflicts, and I am not sure that  qualifies the purple trades, no matter how good they are.

This said, on the Navy side, my money would be on VAdm Davidson. Great leader (we commissioned on the same parade in the reserves, before he went Reg) and he is from the submarine branch - so very discrete. But my personal preference at this time would be LGen Vance.
 

Loachman

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My first choice would be LGen Vance as well, with LGen Parent as runner-up.
 

Jed

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Actually, one of the most important job of the CDS is to be the military adviser to the Prime Minister (or GG in council as you wish). So he must posses detailed knowledge of the use of force in conflicts, and I am not sure that  qualifies the purple trades, no matter how good they are.

This said, on the Navy side, my money would be on VAdm Davidson. Great leader (we commissioned on the same parade in the reserves, before he went Reg) and he is from the submarine branch - so very discrete. But my personal preference at this time would be LGen Vance.

I have to agree with that sentiment.
 

observor 69

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From todays G&M, interesting article.

Top soldier stepping down at critical time for Canadian Forces

"They include: Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army; Mark Norman, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; Guy R. Thibault, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff; Jonathan Vance, Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command; Michael Day, Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples; Bob Davidson, Canada’s Military Representative to NATO in Brussels; and Alain Parent, Deputy Commander at NORAD. Michael Hood is shortly replacing Yvan Blondin as Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Canadian politicians have overwhelmingly preferred appointing army or air force officers to serve as chief of the defence staff in recent decades. The last top military commander from the navy was appointed 18 years ago and this was an acting role only. Prior to that, the previous naval appointment was 22 years ago for one year."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-searching-for-new-top-military-commander-to-replace-gen-lawson/article23258926/

Another thought.....Gen. Lawson has decided three years is enough? Will a potential successor feel anymore inclined to take on this "challenging"  >:D position.

And ref the articles comment that he flew CF-104's, which is correct, but might I add :
"In 1991, he was posted to CFB Cold Lake and completed CF-18 Hornet training and returned to CFB Baden-Soellingen to fly operationally with 421 and 439 Squadrons" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_J._Lawson
 

upandatom

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Ostrozac said:
We have had a Sig O as CDS. And a Log O as CLS/Commander FMC/Commander LFC (whatever we were calling the Army at that time) -- so there is precedent for support arms advancing to high rank.
Im surprised with a Sig O as a CDS the wheels didn't just fall off the bus and it crashed and burned.

Isnt Soldier first? and the basis of writing those orders does not change. Any good leader is going to listen to their support.
Using that, Any leader can with the right team can fill that position. The problem will be is finding one that instills confidence back into the CAF and its members. Pushing policy and leadership in the right direction.
 

PanaEng

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upandatom said:
Im surprised with a Sig O as a CDS the wheels didn't just fall off the bus and it crashed and burned.

Isnt Soldier first? and the basis of writing those orders does not change. Any good leader is going to listen to their support.
Using that, Any leader can with the right team can fill that position. The problem will be is finding one that instills confidence back into the CAF and its members. Pushing policy and leadership in the right direction.

Indeed, as "general" officer, after attending command colleges, joint staffs colleges, etc. they should be pretty much interchangeable - of course, there will always be some biases...
 

Old Sweat

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This story from the Globe and Mail website suggests the search has narrowed to four candidates. It is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.

Search for Canada’s next top commander narrowed to four men
STEVEN CHASE
OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Mar. 03 2015, 4:10 PM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Mar. 03 2015, 4:14 PM EST

Canada’s senior military commander will be stepping down in a matter of months and a search for his replacement has been narrowed to four men, sources say.

As The Globe first reported Tuesday, General Tom Lawson is leaving after one term as chief of the defence staff and a hunt is under way for his successor.

The government has compiled a short list of general and flag officers to replace Gen. Lawson and it includes:

Lieutenant-General John Vance, commander of Joint Operations Command; Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy; Lieutenant-General Mike Day, deputy commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples; and Marquis Hainse, commander of the Canadian Army.

Gen. Lawson declined comment Tuesday on when he might depart. “The [chief of the defence staff] is travelling ... and won’t be available for interviews,” Lieutenant-Colonel Daryl Morrell said.

Defence Minister Jason Kenney’s office said it will announce Gen. Lawson’s successor when he decides to leave.

“General Tom Lawson continues to serve the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and we continue to have full confidence in him. When he chooses to move on, a successor will be announced,” Lauren Armstrong, spokeswoman for Mr. Kenney ,said.

Gen. Lawson’s term technically extends to the fall but he could be gone by this summer, sources say.

This changing of the guard comes at a critical time for the Canadian Armed Forces, which are grappling with a budget squeeze, difficulties buying new equipment and the challenge of managing a peacetime army that, aside from a detachment of special forces troops in Iraq, is largely out of the fight.

Gen. Lawson, a former CF-104 Starfighter pilot, turns 58 this year.

His tenure began in October, 2012.

He’s presided over a military struggling with cutbacks and recruiting while mounting an aerial combat mission in Iraq as well as air and sea deployments to help the NATO alliance counter Russian aggression in eastern Europe.

Whoever takes over from Gen. Lawson will have his or her hands full. The military faces pressing needs to re-equip its aging forces including fighter jets, supply ships and search and rescue planes, but has been unable to purchase what it needs in a timely fashion.

Last year, the Canadian Armed Forces faced allegations of sexual abuse in the ranks, documented by media investigations, and Gen. Lawson responded by launching an independent review. That review, led by former Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps, is expected to report this spring.

The Forces must also confront internal morale problems including lingering concern after controversies over the treatment of veterans and mentally ill Forces members that Canada is not adequately providing for those injured mentally or physically by the job. The government said it’s worked to rectify things in recent years.

Among the managerial headaches for the Forces today is money after the federal government cut into its appropriations to help balance the budget.

“They have significantly less [money] than they were supposed to, or they had even a few years ago,” David Perry, senior analyst with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, said.

He says this has reduced the army’s training and the flying hours available for air force personnel.
 

MedCorps

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Actually, one of the most important job of the CDS is to be the military adviser to the Prime Minister (or GG in council as you wish). So he must posses detailed knowledge of the use of force in conflicts, and I am not sure that  qualifies the purple trades, no matter how good they are.

It is interesting to note that the Deputy Commander (Expeditionary) at CJOC right now is a late Log O (MGen Lamarre). He is about to become the next Director of Staff at the Strategic Joint Staff.  If these two positions do not require someone with detailed knowledge of the use of force in conflict, I am not sure which ones do, seeing as DOS SJS drafts, vettes and approves for final approval submission all ROE's and CDS Planning Operational Guidance to the CDS for all CAF operations. 

MC
 

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upandatom said:
Im surprised with a Sig O as a CDS the wheels didn't just fall off the bus and it crashed and burned.

We get it, you hate the Branch. Get over yourself.

Surprised to see LGen Thibault (a Sig O) not on the shortlist. Stand up guy, must have done something right to get up to VCDS.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Brihard said:
Just my two cents, but the role of the military is to kill people and break their stuff. I would contend that the highest leadership of the military should always be operators who have existed professionally within that context. I have nothing but respect for all of the support trades; dad and one of his wives were/are both successful LogOs. But the CAF as a whole is a fighting formation, and should be led by those who have come up commanding progressively large levels of same.

To which I must say, "The tactics...no, amateurs discuss tactics,.... Professional soldiers study logistics." - Tom Clancy, Red Storm Rising
 

Bird_Gunner45

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Brihard said:
Just my two cents, but the role of the military is to kill people and break their stuff. I would contend that the highest leadership of the military should always be operators who have existed professionally within that context. I have nothing but respect for all of the support trades; dad and one of his wives were/are both successful LogOs. But the CAF as a whole is a fighting formation, and should be led by those who have come up commanding progressively large levels of same.

I disagree for the same reason I disagreed when people said we HAD to have an army CDS while we were in Afghanistan. By the time that someone rises to a position to become CDS they have already proven their knowledge of the military through staff colleges, positions, etc. Log/Sigs/EME et al officers have as much leadership as a combat arms O. Further, support trades can be exposed to RCAF, RCN, and CA environments whereas a mars will only see navy, infantry army, and pilot air environments.

Nothing in the military is hard to understand, including combat (which log pers saw in a-Stan as well). Aside from technical aspects of trades there is no reason any officer can't understand the military enough to be CDS. Let's get the best candidate, not the best one from certain trades based on whar folks signed the dotted line for.
 

Halifax Tar

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
I disagree for the same reason I disagreed when people said we HAD to have an army CDS while we were in Afghanistan. By the time that someone rises to a position to become CDS they have already proven their knowledge of the military through staff colleges, positions, etc. Log/Sigs/EME et al officers have as much leadership as a combat arms O. Further, support trades can be exposed to RCAF, RCN, and CA environments whereas a mars will only see navy, infantry army, and pilot air environments.

Nothing in the military is hard to understand, including combat (which log pers saw in a-Stan as well). Aside from technical aspects of trades there is no reason any officer can't understand the military enough to be CDS. Let's get the best candidate, not the best one from certain trades based on whar folks signed the dotted line for.

:goodpost:
 

vonGarvin

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
Nothing in the military is hard to understand, including combat (which log pers saw in a-Stan as well).
While I agree with the majority of your post, Generals and Admirals all greatly qualified to be an effective CDS for the reasons you previously stated, this above part I have quoted is a bit problematic.

Combat is indeed hard to understand.  While all trades (probably event Met Tech) saw combat in Afghanistan, it was only the select few who actively planned for it and sought after it, in order to find the enemy in order to destroy him.


 

Bird_Gunner45

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Technoviking said:
While I agree with the majority of your post, Generals and Admirals all greatly qualified to be an effective CDS for the reasons you previously stated, this above part I have quoted is a bit problematic.

Combat is indeed hard to understand.  While all trades (probably event Met Tech) saw combat in Afghanistan, it was only the select few who actively planned for it and sought after it, in order to find the enemy in order to destroy him.

Ack. The combat that I speak of is at the strategic vice the tactical level. The CDS does not need to be able to read ground and do a L,C,R analysis. What he/she needs to be able to do is understand the concepts, be able to accept the advice of their arms advisors, and make sound decisions based on governmental objectives vs tactical/operational requirements.  I would hope that a CDS who was log/eme/sigs would be able to ask for advice from his senior infantry/armour advisor on close combat, same as I would hope an infanteer CDS would ask the CAS on air matters, a pilot CDS would ask the Comd RCN on naval matters, etc. The CDS is not a tactical level officer, so the understanding of combat is, at his/her level, easy (IMHO of course).

On a purely army side, log/eme/sigs do AOC and ATOC so they would have (hopefully as they were promoted) a good grasp on IPB, OPP, and orders. Some of my points was the CSS officers aren't helpless children uncapable of understanding "big kid" issues like combat. I HATE that mentality.

Either way, good debating points for sure!
 

quadrapiper

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
Ack. The combat that I speak of is at the strategic vice the tactical level. The CDS does not need to be able to read ground and do a L,C,R analysis. What he/she needs to be able to do is understand the concepts, be able to accept the advice of their arms advisors, and make sound decisions based on governmental objectives vs tactical/operational requirements.  I would hope that a CDS who was log/eme/sigs would be able to ask for advice from his senior infantry/armour advisor on close combat, same as I would hope an infanteer CDS would ask the CAS on air matters, a pilot CDS would ask the Comd RCN on naval matters, etc. The CDS is not a tactical level officer, so the understanding of combat is, at his/her level, easy (IMHO of course).

On a purely army side, log/eme/sigs do AOC and ATOC so they would have (hopefully as they were promoted) a good grasp on IPB, OPP, and orders. Some of my points was the CSS officers aren't helpless children uncapable of understanding "big kid" issues like combat. I HATE that mentality.

Either way, good debating points for sure!
For the sake of discussion, it seems like a non-combat-arms officer might have been required to handle that sort of disparate, multi-trade input and set of demands for much longer, and perhaps much earlier, in their careers than an equivalent combat arms officer.
 
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