Author Topic: Cutting the CF/DND HQ bloat - Excess CF Sr Leadership, Public Servants and Contractors  (Read 329432 times)

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Offline ArmyRick

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I thought about it and figured I would start a new thread. Mods, if this belongs else where, please move it.

How many generals and Admirals can the CF function with at a minimum? Seriously food for thought. Looking at the LFC, here is my answer I have come up with.

1 x Major General command LFC (We are not that large of an army)
1 x BGen, deputy comd
4 x BGEn as comd LFWA, LFCA, SQFT and LFAA (I think this is appropriate move we made many years ago)
Combine LFDTS as a sub unit of CTC Gagetown and make the CTC Colonel also double hatted as LFDTS Comd
1 x Bgen, for overseas land operations (So like a swing eneral)

That puts my count at 7 generals. Anybody in the Air Force and navy want to counger up a similar figure for their services?

The fewer chiefs we have, the more warriors we could in theory employ.

Thoughts? Ideas? Agree or Disagree? Rotten Tomatoes pitched at my head? 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 15:12:07 by kratz »
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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Rather than just saying which few you think we need, why not explain why we don't need each of the other General/Flag officers/appointments, and what you will do with them. (Such as dispense with their function and all related staff, replace with less senior officer, etc.)

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Offline ArmyVern

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Rather than just saying which few you think we need, why not explain why we don't need each of the other General/Flag officers/appointments, and what you will do with them. (Such as dispense with their function and all related staff, replace with less senior officer, etc.)

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I just counted 122 of them on your list.

122 !! 

He'll be a few weeks typing up the answer you seek.  >:D

How many General Officers does the US have?? And, what exactly is the size of Canada's total force these days (Res & Reg)?

122. I'm shocked.
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Offline Michael O'Leary

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It's a matter of balancing functions as well as numbers.  All well and good if someone can prove that we can replace a BGen with a staff of 100 with a Major and a staff of ten.  But like closing bases, we can't replace them overnight if we discover a year later we needed them.

There are also other hazards in using a simple numerical ratio to establish an "acceptable" number of Generals.  If we used the same basis to justify the number of Infantry Warrant Officers (assuming their primary purpose is as a rifle platoon WO), a whole bunch of schools are going to collapse when we remove every one that doesn't have 30 subordinates on their unit establishment.

Could we reduce the number of General/Flag officers? Probably, but I'd like to see a more detailed estimate rather than big-hand-small-mapping a solution without understanding all the functions those 122 officers and their staffs execute.  To do otherwise, we might as well move this to Radio Chatter.


Offline Journeyman

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To do otherwise, we might as well move this to Radio Chatter.
I suspect it's a Radio Chatter topic anyway.   ;)

RMC has a BGen/Cmdre to oversee less than 900 OCdts. Why? Because the US service academies have a BGen, and it wouldn't be proper for Canada to be represented by a mere LCol at the RMC/West Point Hockey game.

Even better, CFC has a one-star to shepherd 120'ish Maj/LCols each year. Why? Because it would be rude to have senior guest speakers be greeted by a mere Col.

And then there's the NDHQ BGen overseeing the "Directorate of Dawdling with a MCpl in-theatre".......  >:D
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Offline ArmyVern

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It's a matter of balancing functions as well as numbers.  All well and good if someone can prove that we can replace a BGen with a staff of 100 with a Major and a staff of ten.  But like closing bases, we can't replace them overnight if we discover a year later we needed them.

There are also other hazards in using a simple numerical ratio to establish an "acceptable" number of Generals.  If we used the same basis to justify the number of Infantry Warrant Officers (assuming their primary purpose is as a rifle platoon WO), a whole bunch of schools are going to collapse when we remove every one that doesn't have 30 subordinates on their unit establishment.

Could we reduce the number of General/Flag officers? Probably, but I'd like to see a more detailed estimate rather than big-hand-small-mapping a solution without understanding all the functions those 122 officers and their staffs execute.  To do otherwise, we might as well move this to Radio Chatter.

While I'd agree that some are a necessity, I simply had no idea we had that many Gen/Flag Os.

Which ones do you think we need? The OP figures 7 for the Army & asked for input from other services. There's also the purple "service" in addition to the Army, Navy & Air Force. There is a very common tendancy by everyone to forget that purplefolks are career managed by the purple chain - not the Air Force, the Navy or the Army - in effect, the CF has 4 distinct and very seperate services. Then, we toss in the Res Force side of the house into the mix too. Obviously, there'll need to be General/Flag Os there too.

I 100% agree that it's not a simple matter of numbers.

So, if we want the OP to post why we don't need all those others - perhaps we should be countering with a list of each of the 122 and why we "do" need them ... if we are ones who think that we do. That makes for discussion and debate.
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Offline recceguy

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I'll start.


Do we really need a BGen as Provost Marshall? I heard awhile back, IIRC, it used to be a Col billet. We gained our first female Provost Marshall (not that there's anything wrong with that 8) ) and all of a sudden it got bumped to BGen from Col. Really, a BGen in charge of the few MPs we have and  the sundries that go with them?

I really don't know what the job entails, but maybe someone can enlighten us why a Col can't do it as they always have.

I'll stand to be corrected if I have my details wrong.
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Offline ArmyRick

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122. Your right Veronica, I will need some time but I had already seen some positions that simply (in my feeble WO mind) that do not need to be that high. Give me a bit...
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Offline ArmyRick

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I agree that a Brigadier general as Provost Marshall when it used to be Colonel is questionable (MPs got an opinion this one?)

Its interesting to note that we dropped Brigade commanders from Brigadier Generals down to Colonel little more than ten years ago but we make Provost Marshall a BGen?
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Offline Simian Turner

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This is kind of a moot point because when we last downsized the number of Generals, we increased the number of Cols with the same responsibilities, entitlements and cap badge.

I have seen the number of Generals (or equiv) in the CF was 75 in 2005 with a stated goal to reduce it to 1:1000.  But with the dotcoms we created more Gen and Col positions.
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Offline Journeyman

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Its interesting to note that we dropped Brigade commanders from Brigadier Generals down to Colonel little more than ten years ago.....
.....while increasing and up-ranking the staff from a Maj G3 and Capts as G1, 2, 4.

....but that's a separate tangent  ;)
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Offline NinerSix

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I am not quite sure where the whole BGen as CFPM comes from. Right now it is Col Grubb, previously it was Capt (N) Moore.

Or are you talking about the MP branch commandant? Which I just found out existed, to my own embarrassment. This does seem to be a BGen position.
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Offline Lex Parsimoniae

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Even better, CFC has a one-star to shepherd 120'ish Maj/LCols each year. Why? Because it would be rude to have senior guest speakers be greeted by a mere Col.
Make that 140+ Cdr/LCol and LCdr/Maj  (and RCMP/civilian equivalents) on the Joint Command and Staff Programme.  There are also 40ish Capt(N)/Col (and civilian equivalents) on the 10 month National Security Programme. 

If you consider the traditional rank pyramid to still be worth retaining - then what rank would you have supervising the 40ish Capt(N)/Col students not to mention the 2 Capt(N)/Col on staff (who supervise the 25+ Cdr/LCol staff)?

Offline ArmyRick

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Thats a big oops. It seems that the CFPM is in deed a colonel.

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If you consider the traditional rank pyramid to still be worth retaining - then what rank would you have supervising the 40ish Capt(N)/Col students not to mention the 2 Capt(N)/Col on staff (who supervise the 25+ Cdr/LCol staff)?
I have no heartache in having a Col/Capt(N) as Commandant; it would be obvious to all that he is designated as the senior officer over other Col/Capt(N)....especially in a staff college environment where it's unlikely the Commandant's directives will be challenged by students passing through, or he'll be sending them in harm's way. If you think a superior rank is required for leadership over peers, you're not familiar with the role of a battalion Adjutant.  ;D

As for the two 4-ringers on staff -- all part of the same rank inflation; their tasks can more than easily be handled by competent LCols. National Defence College is gone but the rank structure remains.

Perhaps the only reason for the inflated ranks at CFC is to deal with the Academics' egos   ;)
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Offline recceguy

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I am not quite sure where the whole BGen as CFPM comes from. Right now it is Col Grubb, previously it was Capt (N) Moore.

Or are you talking about the MP branch commandant? Which I just found out existed, to my own embarrassment. This does seem to be a BGen position.

That might be it. Is it, or was it recently, a female and a newly annointed (in the last couple of years) BGen pos'n from Col?
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Offline Simian Turner

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http://business.highbeam.com/4954/article-1G1-64731649/vicechief-defence-staff-announces-new-canadian-forces

BGen Patricia Samson was CFPM from July 1, 1997 and retired in 2001.  She was replaced by LCol Dot Cooper upon her promotion to Col.
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I'd like to know what was required to bump the promotion and increase the pension ::) It's a thousand straws like this that ruin our culpability with the Canadian people.

Let's look at Canadian, or foreign, civilian companies. From the top down, how many employ, per capita, the equivalent of any General rank compared to the military?

I don't think the argument, "this isn't a civie organisation' is valid either. At that level, it is a business and your ARE sitting on a Board of Directors, running a corporation.
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Offline Infanteer

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I looked at this while doing a little project with ranks at work - I don't have the list here, but I plotted out the GOFOs to see who was where.  The DSA list isn't entirely accurate as some have retired - I counted 114.  A few things I noticed:

1.  The Army, Navy and Airforce all have roughly the same amount of GOFOs (except for BGens, which the Army has more of due to the LFAs each having 2). 

2.  ISAF has been healthy for the GOFO crowd; despite almost all Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen being under a single BGen, there is still room for 6-7 more over in Afghanistan. 

3.  NATO/NORAD also means good gos for the GOFOs, especially the Air Force.  We have almost as many LGens OUTCAN as we do in hard CF positions.  Since we don't have many troops for our GOFOs to command, we may as well pretend we command someone elses.  Conversly, they are getting command experience that they would not have got here - we currently have Canadians as DComds of three U.S. Div/Corps.  That the Americans trust us to that level speaks to the quality of our senior leadership.

4.  The .COM created about 6-7 additonal GOFO positions - one has to wonder if the DCDS was 300% worse than now to warrant all those additional maple leafs.

Overall, I'm happy with the current stock of senior leadership in the Forces.  It could be far worse, and it will likely only get better as guys who fought as Majors and Colonels start to fill out the GOFO ranks.  I don't get too fussed about the numbers, because alot of these positions are filled regardless of the size of the military (ie: you need a General Officer in charge of all military pers admin matters, etc, etc).  You could do a line-by-line look at those positions and probably have a hard time throwing more than 10 percent of them out completely.  What I'd be more interested in turning the critical eye on is the large clag of LCol/Cols and CWO types that are essentially "civilians in uniform" doing something that a Captain or a Sergeant could do.  While staff bloat may create a Brigadier General or two, it has created loads of this latter type.
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Offline quadrapiper

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Speaking to staff rank-bloat - it's everywhere; even the RCSU down at Work Point is infested with Capt 10s doing MCpl clerk-work.

As to NDHQ itself, what's the need for a FO/GO in charge of Pers Admin, say, or any other non-line gigs (Director General Land Equipment Program Management, let's say)? If it's a matter of compensation, come up with some sort of "staff pay" for the Col you could otherwise place in that position; if it's a matter of clout, well, that's all relative, no?

Agreed (FWIW...) with the people questioning the need for FO/GOs in Commandant positions, especially at RMC. If you can get by with a single BGen as Director-General Reserves and Cadets: enormous, geographically diffuse organizations with tens of thousands of personnel involved (I know, he's in a staff role in relation to both, but still...), what need is there for the CO of RMC to be more than a Col? Perhaps a "high flying" LCol?

And... if the MPs rate a Colonel, why do the Chaplains get a BGen?

And, while we're at it, perhaps look at the civvie side of the house as well: why is there an Asst Dep Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, instead of just using the Major General he's got as Chief of Staff to fill the billet; ditto the Asst Dep Minister (Materiel) who has a MGen as his Deputy CoS?

Eh, it's late, and I'm probably exposing my ignorance here... the manning still seems a bit strange.

Offline N. McKay

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And, while we're at it, perhaps look at the civvie side of the house as well: why is there an Asst Dep Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, instead of just using the Major General he's got as Chief of Staff to fill the billet; ditto the Asst Dep Minister (Materiel) who has a MGen as his Deputy CoS?

You're touching on the answer to your question here.  The conventional wisdom is that many of the flag and general officers in NDHQ are there because there's a perceived requirement for pay parity with the civil service staff who are reckoned to be "equivalent" to them in rank.  I'm not sure of the current situation, but at one time there were CF officers in assistant deputy minister or associate deputy minister positions.  I don't think there's another country in the world whose armed forces are so closely interlaced with the civil service at the national HQ level.

Offline George Wallace

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http://business.highbeam.com/4954/article-1G1-64731649/vicechief-defence-staff-announces-new-canadian-forces

BGen Patricia Samson was CFPM from July 1, 1997 and retired in 2001.  She was replaced by LCol Dot Cooper upon her promotion to Col.

Those were the days when both the MPs and INT pers were merged into one Branch.  They have since parted ways again, which could explain the BGen to Col differences.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 08:58:15 by George Wallace »
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Offline Old Sweat

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Those were the days when both the MPs and INT pers were merged into one Branch.  They have since parted ways again, which could explain the BGen to Col differences.

Not so. There already was a BGen J2 at that time. The CFPM was a separate apointment, as the police and intelligence worlds had split several years before this time. I am reasonably sure the split had taken place sometime in the eighties.

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Offline George Wallace

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Brigadier-General Patricia Samson was originally appointed Canadian Forces Provost Marshall as a Col in 1997, promoted BGen in the same year.   The final split of the INT Branch from the Security Branch happened in 2000 under her "Watch".



In 2000, a further split with the Security Branch occurred, with intelligence training moving from CFSIS at CFB Borden to the newly-formed CFSMI at CFB Kingston. This ended the formal affiliation of the Intelligence Branch with the former CFSIS.   ( http://www.intbranch.org/cold_war.htm )
« Last Edit: October 27, 2010, 10:32:05 by George Wallace »
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