Author Topic: Army Reserve Restructuring  (Read 5521 times)

0 Members and 6 Guests are viewing this topic.

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Army Reserve Restructuring
« on: May 23, 2020, 18:06:38 »
I've been giving some thought to next steps since publishing "Unsustainable at Any Price" (sales are doing fairly well, by the way. Thanks to anyone who's bought a copy) and particularly to a small debate Infanteer and I had last year about whether or not restructured reserve infantry battalions and armoured and artillery regiments should have full scale headquarters companies (i.e. the service support elements).

My previous position was that they should be established the same way as a regular force battalion with a complete headquarters coy/bty/sqn. (Remember that my basic premise is that we should have far fewer reserve brigades and units but that all of our current reservists should be organized into full sized, fully equipped and deployable units and formations)

Since then, I've become more tilted towards restructuring ourselves along the line of US Brigade Support Battalions (BSB) and their Forward Support Companies (FSC). Basically, in a US Brigade Combat Team (BCT), none of the manoeuvre, artillery or engineer battalions have what we would call a headquarters company. The BSB has a transport company, a supply company, a maintenance company, a medical company and one FSC for each inf, armor, arty or engr battalion in the BCT. Each FSC is configured specifically for the type of battalion it supports and is generally always assigned to the same battalion. Within the National Guard, the specific FSCs would be located in the same armory or very close to the battalion HQ that it supports.

There are some advantages to this system that I can see:

1. Since the FSCs are a subunit of the BSB, the BSB becomes responsible for the technical training and basic career management of the FSC specialist personnel;
2. During garrison (and even in combat) the BSB can temporarily shuffle resources (especially maintenance) around to where they are most needed;
3. There is a tighter chain of communication/coordination between the battalion's 1st and BCT's 2nd line support since it is within the same battalion;
4; It allows Bn/regt comds (especially reserve ones) to concentrate on the core functions of the bn/regt;

A possible disadvantage is that the FSC Coy Comd is generally a Log/RCEME officer rather than an inf/arty/armoured/engr officer as would be for a HQ Coy/bty/sqn. Is that really a disadvantage though?

Final question: should the Fd Ambulance come under command of the Service Bn (like in a BSB) and, more importantly, should the medical platoons/sections be part of the Fd Amb and forward deployed/attached with their respective bns/regts as per the FSC (i.e. the forward deployed med platoon would be a sub/sub unit of the FSC?

Have at it.

 :stirpot:


« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 13:29:55 by FJAG »
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline MilEME09

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 46,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,082
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 18:50:03 »
Where to start with this one, alright I'll break my response down to start from a RCEME perspective, the service battalion perspective, then maybe some of my own thoughts at the end.

First, Organization wise all the elements already exist in RCEME doctrine for the organization of maintenance of RCEME in levels higher then Coy, we just have never needed a maintenance battalion or Brigade on the modern battlefield. We would however have to rework how we do business, currently the service battalion is Second line maintenance, with the F Echelon (the user unit) Admin Coy acting as 1st line support, items are moved between lines of maintenance via BLP's and ECP's. To bring first and second line together would required a restructuring of RCEME,possibly back to being an independent field unit organized much like armoured units are (we used to be formed as technical squadrons until we were amalgamated into service battalions). With a dedicated First line support/close support squadron, a vehicle repair/recovery Squadron, and a Ancillary Squadron. Reserve units already semi operate like this as Pres units do not have full admin coys will maintenance, transport, etc... so the Service battalion provides both first and second line support. First line is usually a request from a unit for us to support them on specific exercises to which we detach the assets required if approved. Second line comes in the form of the full time RSS staff at a service battalion to do the larger tasks.

From a total CSS point of view, again our entire system for how we support units we need to be rewritten from the ground up, especially our supply system.  Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 295,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,525
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 19:06:18 »
Without more full time support, like an embedded Reg F training team, we're doomed to recreate past mediocrity AFAIC.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline MilEME09

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 46,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,082
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 19:40:26 »
Without more full time support, like an embedded Reg F training team, we're doomed to recreate past mediocrity AFAIC.

Yes, and not just NCM'S, Officers too, our current system does not give reserve officers in CSS a lot of chances to be part of a large running support unit, and get practice on say running log ops, or a maintenance control office in the field.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 295,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,525
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 20:07:10 »
Yes, and not just NCM'S, Officers too, our current system does not give reserve officers in CSS a lot of chances to be part of a large running support unit, and get practice on say running log ops, or a maintenance control office in the field.

Amen.

IMHO each unit needs a Maj/Capt (Ops/Trg O), a Capt (Adjt/Admin) plus a couple of WO/Sgts, two or three MCpls and 4 or 5 Cpl/Ptes.

Right now we tend to get a Junior Captain who is broken/ a 'problem child' and/or on his way out, who is used mainly to handle the outrageous amount of administration, and does nothing to mentor/develop the Class A Officers because they just don't have time.

We also have a WO, who is usually heavily over stretched, trying to manage the myriad of Ops/ Trg requirements, sometimes in partnership with a good Class B RQ (which is rare). We might be lucky enough to snag a MCpl/Sgt/Cpl who is posted locally for some kind of compassionate issue, but that's not guaranteed

Meanwhile we continue to have Op taskings, and other fast ball type requirements piled on us from on high, which the Class A crowd just doesn't have the band width to manage effectively.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 20:10:23 by daftandbarmy »
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 20:11:43 »
Where to start with this one, alright I'll break my response down to start from a RCEME perspective, the service battalion perspective, then maybe some of my own thoughts at the end.

First, Organization wise all the elements already exist in RCEME doctrine for the organization of maintenance of RCEME in levels higher then Coy, we just have never needed a maintenance battalion or Brigade on the modern battlefield. We would however have to rework how we do business, currently the service battalion is Second line maintenance, with the F Echelon (the user unit) Admin Coy acting as 1st line support, items are moved between lines of maintenance via BLP's and ECP's. To bring first and second line together would required a restructuring of RCEME,possibly back to being an independent field unit organized much like armoured units are (we used to be formed as technical squadrons until we were amalgamated into service battalions). With a dedicated First line support/close support squadron, a vehicle repair/recovery Squadron, and a Ancillary Squadron. Reserve units already semi operate like this as Pres units do not have full admin coys will maintenance, transport, etc... so the Service battalion provides both first and second line support. First line is usually a request from a unit for us to support them on specific exercises to which we detach the assets required if approved. Second line comes in the form of the full time RSS staff at a service battalion to do the larger tasks.

From a total CSS point of view, again our entire system for how we support units we need to be rewritten from the ground up, especially our supply system.  Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.

Thanks for the comment. I'm particularly interested in what the maintainers and logisticians think.

Essentially the US Brigade Support Battalion is very much like our Brigade Service Battalion except for the fact that the various headquarters companies, admin companies etc that now reside within our inf/arty/armour/engr battalions and regiments are concentrated into the BSB as Forward Support Companies and then doled out to the line battalions (there are roughly six FSCs in each BSB depending on the BCT's makeup). The manual for how that is structured is here: https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/atp4_90.pdf

At the brigade level you are still just dealing with one maintenance, one supply and one distribution company in the BSB but in addition, there is a maintenance platoon, a supply platoon and a distribution (transportation) platoon within each FSC. So 1st line within the FSC and 2nd line within the BSB Maint Coy (in the parlance of what I learned under the old 4 lines of maintenance).

The US Army system for service support above the brigade level is quite modular and task organized. Generally (and I do mean generally) at the Divisional, corps or theatre level there is one (or possibly more) Sustainment Brigade which itself is quite modular as well. The key building blocks inside a Sustainment Brigade is one or more Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) which will have several differing companies supplying whatever support services the CSSB and the brigade is targeted to provide to the division or corps or theatre. One of those companies can be a Support Maintenance Company which is structured to provide a further maintenance support above what is available within the BSB. (Note that the US Army now divides maintenance into what they call Two-Line Maintenance, i.e. "Field Maintenance" and "Sustainment Maintenance")

In the draft Canadian Army structure that I created in my CMJ article and my book I designated that two of the Reserve Force Brigades to be a Combat Sustainment Support Brigade and a Manoeuvre Enhancement Brigade so as to be able to provide the building blocks out of which National Support Elements could be tailored for various expeditionary operations. The draft Combat Sustainment Support Brigade has assigned to it a Combat Sustainment Support Battalion which has the equivalent of a Support Maintenance Company in it (as well as an MP Regiment, an engineer support regiment, a transportation battalion and a special troops battalion (for all the odds and sods)). The Manoeuvre Enhancement Brigade contains another engineer support regiment, a military intelligence regiment, a CBRN regiment, an EW regiment and an Influence Activities Company). Both brigades are hybrid brigades of reg (mostly from existing Canadian Combat Support Brigade) and res force personnel.

Se here for maintenance operations in the US Army: https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN19571_ATP%204-33%20C1%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf

I thought that for the time being though I'd concentrate on the service support structure within the brigade and leave higher for some other day.

 :cheers:

« Last Edit: May 23, 2020, 20:19:51 by FJAG »
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 161,655
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,152
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 20:29:51 »
Having had the pleasure of being part of an Ops tasked unit in the 80's, I would say that is the level you want to bring all militia units to. We were able to conduct first line maintenance on vehicles and guns (Is rebuilding an engine for the 3 ton stake truck first line? ;) ). We had Civilian Doctor and Nurse driving our decently equipped ambulance. A proper kitchen trailer and kitchen in our armoury, making meals in the field and every saturday. A Line laying truck and enough radios (Lacking Nestor though), 2 full OP parties, 2 truck Ammunition party, dedicated QM vehicle, 6 guns and tractors and a primary and secondary CP (with vehicles for survey party.) We had 3 RSS (Captain, WO and M/Bdr) and 3 Class B.

This gave the ability to be self-sufficient in the field. One of the challenges that we didn't fully comprehend is the amount ammunition and stores required for extended operations, I saw that challenge when we did Black Bear support fire missions and working for 1 Service Battalion in Germany. We really needed to do a brigade level exercise just on logistics with real simulated cargo (weighted ammunition boxes/ fake but properly sized food/water/POL stores). There is a whole subset of skills in packing, loading, cross decking and storing of those stores that people need to experience.         

Offline MilEME09

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 46,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,082
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 20:54:16 »

This gave the ability to be self-sufficient in the field. One of the challenges that we didn't fully comprehend is the amount ammunition and stores required for extended operations, I saw that challenge when we did Black Bear support fire missions and working for 1 Service Battalion in Germany. We really needed to do a brigade level exercise just on logistics with real simulated cargo (weighted ammunition boxes/ fake but properly sized food/water/POL stores). There is a whole subset of skills in packing, loading, cross decking and storing of those stores that people need to experience.         

There's an old saying, "Children study Tactics, men study logistics"
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 22:10:08 »
Without more full time support, like an embedded Reg F training team, we're doomed to recreate past mediocrity AFAIC.

When you run the existing numbers, and you take the 10 current reserve brigades and 138 units, with their existing 18,000 reserve force personnel (plus HSvcs and MPs) and their  current regular support staff and reduce that to two manoeuvre brigades groups, an artillery brigade, a sustainment brigade and a manoeuvre enhancement brigade (five full-sized brigades in total with roughly 34 battalion sized units (3 of which are re-rolled Reg F regts)) then you end up with around 17 RSS staff per battalion plus roughly double the RSS staff at each Bde HQ even before you start considering what to do with the RegF pers from 1 Sig Regt, 4 Gen Support Regt; and 4 Engr Sup Regt.

One area I do see a need for additional RegF (or even ResF Class B) personnel involved (assuming that ResF units receive full TO&E) is more maintainers of all types working full time within the brigade service battalions.

The key here is to get rid of the somewhat useless ... (sorry I previously posted this accidentally before I finished it.) The key here is to get rid of the useless overhead that we have to sustain a career path for LCols and CWOs in 138 fractional battalions. I sympathize with the cap badge loss involved but it makes little sense if the end result is an organization of 18,000 people incapable of fielding even one battalion on their own without massive reorganization and lengthy training. No business organization would allocate even a fraction of the resources to such a thing. We're never going to do mobilization from scratch again anyway and, IF it ever actually became necessary, it would be just as possible to resurrect units from the Supplemental Order of Battle and allocate cadres to them for training and leadership as it would be to bring one of our current reserve battalions up to strength.

While there are clearly equipment acquisition costs involved (and let's face it, if you don't have the equipment you can't go to fight anyway), US Congressional budget estimates make it clear that the annual operating expense of a given National Guard BCT is 1/3 of that of it's Active Army counterpart - anywhere between $162 million (IBCT) to $210 million (ABCT) v $542 million and $601 million.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 01:01:07 by FJAG »
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Kilted

  • New Member
  • **
  • 1,585
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 49
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2020, 00:40:57 »
This may be slightly off topic, however if we are looking at the reserve a as a whole. One area where I wonder if we can downsize would be the CIC. There are 7500 CIC Officers, which makes up about 20% of the total reserve force. Now, I'm sure the current requirements call for as many as we have. But can we not start amalgamating some Corps and Squadrons?  I understand what the aims of the Cadet program are, but does it need to be as large as it is? Does the CAF get its value back out of the program?  I think that these are some questions that should be asked if we were to start restructuring things.

Offline MilEME09

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 46,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,082
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 00:49:50 »
This may be slightly off topic, however if we are looking at the reserve a as a whole. One area where I wonder if we can downsize would be the CIC. There are 7500 CIC Officers, which makes up about 20% of the total reserve force. Now, I'm sure the current requirements call for as many as we have. But can we not start amalgamating some Corps and Squadrons?  I understand what the aims of the Cadet program are, but does it need to be as large as it is? Does the CAF get its value back out of the program?  I think that these are some questions that should be asked if we were to start restructuring things.

CIC is technically a separate entity but at the HQ level reserves and cadets are run as one chunk of the pie. This needs to be separated in my opinion if we want to start to solve our issues.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline MJP

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 182,300
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,643
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2020, 01:22:32 »
From a total CSS point of view, again our entire system for how we support units we need to be rewritten from the ground up, especially our supply system.  Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.

The ability to do 1st or and 2nd line and even limited 3rd line all within one org has plenty of real world examples (eFP for example has no separation for 1st/2nd line maint work) and practice that it can be done without issue.

I think you need to separate operational/tactical concepts from domestic organization and institutional tasks and needs as the two don't work the same. It is easier to conform to tactical needs IMHO that so any change at the PRes level should focus on the organization/institutional requirement day to day in a domestic setting.

Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.

I will post a few examinations of RAS and the arguments against continuing having RAS being solely a Svc Bn resp.  It might have worked in a different era but it is a dated concept. This isn't to say the the Svc Bn shouldn't do security, it just shouldn't be added onto the mix in addition to their core focus of ensuring a Bde is sustained.  That said like the above the focus shouldn't be on the tactical but rather the institutional.

 
Hope is not a valid COA

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 161,655
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,152
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2020, 05:23:03 »
This may be slightly off topic, however if we are looking at the reserve a as a whole. One area where I wonder if we can downsize would be the CIC. There are 7500 CIC Officers, which makes up about 20% of the total reserve force. Now, I'm sure the current requirements call for as many as we have. But can we not start amalgamating some Corps and Squadrons?  I understand what the aims of the Cadet program are, but does it need to be as large as it is? Does the CAF get its value back out of the program?  I think that these are some questions that should be asked if we were to start restructuring things.

A quick google shows that for the UK about 25% of the new recruits into the army were cadets, that's not a bad return. I suspect somewhere there are numbers out there for Canadian Cadets. It would be interesting to see how a Cadets performance and record is judged by CF recruiters?

http://natoassociation.ca/cadets-vital-to-canadas-society-and-military/

Offline Gunplumber

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 6,990
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 76
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 08:40:50 »
Until the Reserve system is "fixed" its really not worth embedding RCEME guys at a unit, there just isnt enough work. I am a Weapons Tech in a Reserve infantry unit, only because I have been there so long that they had positions when I got out of the Regs and went reserve. I work as a CQMS and fix wpns when needed which isnt to often (partly due to the fact that our MGs are all NS and cant get parts.....). Not keen on Reserve Svc Bns but right now I think it is the best option considering our manpower. It is not often that the Svc Bn ever supports our exercises which I think is a shame.

As to the cadets, I also work with them in my day job. It is a great system and helps out the kids a lot. I would estimate that roughly 20% I talk to want to go military. It also shows the military in a good light to a lot of parents who know nothing about us. There are some extremely dedicated CIC officers I know and they do a good, no make that a great, job. There are also a lot who are not. In my opinion I think that Cadets should be a semi separate entity with CICs being dressed like cadets and not like CAF. They are trained to be CIC and NOT reserve officers. They dont even have to do a FORCE test, but the CDS has mandated that everyone in uniform has to. The Cadets are a good system but should not be part of the Reserve.
Soldiers usually win the battles and generals get the credit for them.
- Napoleon Bonaparte

Offline RomeoJuliet

  • Donor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • 11,730
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 523
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 09:00:19 »
Until the Reserve system is "fixed" its really not worth embedding RCEME guys at a unit, there just isnt enough work. I am a Weapons Tech in a Reserve infantry unit, only because I have been there so long that they had positions when I got out of the Regs and went reserve. I work as a CQMS and fix wpns when needed which isnt to often (partly due to the fact that our MGs are all NS and cant get parts.....). Not keen on Reserve Svc Bns but right now I think it is the best option considering our manpower. It is not often that the Svc Bn ever supports our exercises which I think is a shame.

As to the cadets, I also work with them in my day job. It is a great system and helps out the kids a lot. I would estimate that roughly 20% I talk to want to go military. It also shows the military in a good light to a lot of parents who know nothing about us. There are some extremely dedicated CIC officers I know and they do a good, no make that a great, job. There are also a lot who are not. In my opinion I think that Cadets should be a semi separate entity with CICs being dressed like cadets and not like CAF. They are trained to be CIC and NOT reserve officers. They dont even have to do a FORCE test, but the CDS has mandated that everyone in uniform has to. The Cadets are a good system but should not be part of the Reserve.
Great post.  Well said about cadets.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 10:31:57 »
Until the Reserve system is "fixed" its really not worth embedding RCEME guys at a unit, there just isnt enough work. I am a Weapons Tech in a Reserve infantry unit, only because I have been there so long that they had positions when I got out of the Regs and went reserve. I work as a CQMS and fix wpns when needed which isnt to often (partly due to the fact that our MGs are all NS and cant get parts.....). Not keen on Reserve Svc Bns but right now I think it is the best option considering our manpower. It is not often that the Svc Bn ever supports our exercises which I think is a shame.

I agree with you. Until Reserve units are "fixed" and equipped and capable of getting collective training, there is little reason to embed full-time RCEME personnel at either the unit or service battalion (and incidentally the parts supply system fixed.

As to the cadets, I also work with them in my day job. It is a great system and helps out the kids a lot. I would estimate that roughly 20% I talk to want to go military. It also shows the military in a good light to a lot of parents who know nothing about us. There are some extremely dedicated CIC officers I know and they do a good, no make that a great, job. There are also a lot who are not. In my opinion I think that Cadets should be a semi separate entity with CICs being dressed like cadets and not like CAF. They are trained to be CIC and NOT reserve officers. They dont even have to do a FORCE test, but the CDS has mandated that everyone in uniform has to. The Cadets are a good system but should not be part of the Reserve.

The Reserve Force component created under s 15(3) of the NDA is,  by virtue of a ministerial order at article 2.034 of Queen's Regulations and Orders, divided into subcomponents: a) the primary reserve; b) the supplementary reserve; c) the Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service; and d) the Canadian Rangers. It could technically be changed by simply having the Minister make a new order. That said, however, the value of having the CIC remain reservists is that they remain subject to the Code of Service Discipline and to the military chain of command in general. What they wear, how they are trained and what administrative requirements that they are subject to (like the FORCE test) are all part of low level orders, directives and instructions and could be easily changed even while they remain as reservists. Being the cynic that I am I presume that they wear the uniform that they do so that we do not have to put one more uniform into the supply chain.

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Kilted

  • New Member
  • **
  • 1,585
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 49
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 11:39:00 »

As to the cadets, I also work with them in my day job. It is a great system and helps out the kids a lot. I would estimate that roughly 20% I talk to want to go military. It also shows the military in a good light to a lot of parents who know nothing about us. There are some extremely dedicated CIC officers I know and they do a good, no make that a great, job. There are also a lot who are not. In my opinion I think that Cadets should be a semi separate entity with CICs being dressed like cadets and not like CAF. They are trained to be CIC and NOT reserve officers. They dont even have to do a FORCE test, but the CDS has mandated that everyone in uniform has to. The Cadets are a good system but should not be part of the Reserve.


It's good to hear that that many are interested, but how many actually join, and of this who join, how many of them become CIC? This number may be hard to find because many members are not too willing to admit that they were former cadets. I also know many members who were cadets for less then a year in the 12-14 age range, quit because they didn't like, but still decided to join the Forces later on.


As far as uniforms go, if the CIC were wearing the same uniform as the cadets, there would not be a need to add a new uniform, maybe a few sizes. I don't see why CIC officers need to be wearing CADPAT, or eventually the new combat uniform.

I know that the UK has created a separate commission for them. I'm not completely sure of the differences, but it isn't the same thing. They are however still saluted and have mess privileges.

Offline Dimsum

    West coast best coast.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 201,230
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,876
  • I get paid to travel. I just don't pick where.
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2020, 11:54:11 »
As far as uniforms go, if the CIC were wearing the same uniform as the cadets, there would not be a need to add a new uniform, maybe a few sizes. I don't see why CIC officers need to be wearing CADPAT, or eventually the new combat uniform.

I know that the UK has created a separate commission for them. I'm not completely sure of the differences, but it isn't the same thing. They are however still saluted and have mess privileges.

Australia has done the same thing, with their CIC instructors (they have officers and NCMs) having "Cadets" or something similar below their rank. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Defence_Force_Cadets
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline Good2Golf

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Legend
  • *
  • 246,525
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,835
  • Dammit! I lost my sand-wedge on that last jump!
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2020, 13:24:17 »
FJAG, perhaps for clarity, this thread should be renamed “Army Reserve Restructure”?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2020, 13:30:37 »
FJAG, perhaps for clarity, this thread should be renamed “Army Reserve Restructure”?

:2c:

Regards
G2G

Good idea and done!

And incidentally for anyone wanting to look at a precis of my thought process see my article "The Canadian Army needs a Paradigm Shift" in the most recent CMJ here: http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/page19-eng.asp

Just as an aside, in the article I left aside the question of how many "divisions" we actually needed. In my book I answered that question by saying three. 1 Cdn Div (to do the job it does now, i.e. a force employer by commanding deployed forces and forming a deployable headquarters if needed) and two force generating divisions. 3 Canadian Division in Edmonton would command 1, 3 and 4 Canadian Armoured Brigade Gps and the Canadian Sustainment Brigade focused on generating forces for deterrence/employment in Europe and encompassing all forces and facilities from the Ont/Que border west (excepting Petawawa). 2 Cdn Div in Montreal would command 2 Canadian Light Brigade Gp, 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Gp, the Artillery Brigade and the Canadian Manoeuvre Enhancement Brigade focused on generating forces for all operations other than Europe and encompassing all forces and facilities east of the Ont/Que border (and including Petawawa). That's four full brigades per division which is a normal scale of control. I do not see the wide geographic span as an issue considering today's communication capabilities. CANSOFCOM remains unchanged.

Okay. Let's get back to that Service Battalion, Forward Support Company question. And for anyone who wants to have a look at what  US Armored, Stryker and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams look like down to the personnel and vehicle level - look here: https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51535-fsprimerbreakoutchapter2.pdf

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 14:12:20 by FJAG »
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Blackadder1916

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 226,940
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,285
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2020, 13:54:27 »
Where to start?



My previous position was that they should be established the same way as a regular force battalion with a complete headquarters coy/bty/sqn. (Remember that my basic premise is that we should have far fewer reserve brigades and units but that all of our current reservists should be organized into full sized, fully equipped and deployable units and formations)

Since then, I've become more tilted towards restructuring ourselves along the line of US Brigade Support Battalions (BSB) and their Forward Support Companies (FSC). Basically, in a US Brigade Combat Team (BCT), none of the manoeuvre, artillery or engineer battalions have what we would call a headquarters company. The BSB has a transport company, a supply company, a maintenance company, a medical company and one FSC for each inf, armor, arty or engr battalion in the BCT. Each FSC is configured specifically for the type of battalion it supports and is generally always assigned to the same battalion. Within the National Guard, the specific FSCs would be located in the same armory or very close to the battalion HQ that it supports.

If reality didn't poke its ugly nose in, my first thought would be that a reserve formation/unit should be organized the same as a regular formation/unit.  This being Canada, however, there would be significant differences/challenges in manning and equipment but to mangle the first principle of war "selection and maintenance of the aim" shouldn't the aim be to "train as you would fight" (another prime guiding axiom).  If a reserve formation/unit would have to be reorganized if placed on active service (to mirror a reg one that it may replace or partner with in a div/bde) then how is that different than the status quo.  If we are looking at FSCs to assume the 1st line support functions of reserve arms units then why would the same not apply to reg units?

Quote
A possible disadvantage is that the FSC Coy Comd is generally a Log/RCEME officer rather than an inf/arty/armoured/engr officer as would be for a HQ Coy/bty/sqn. Is that really a disadvantage though?

If there was howling (and backstepping) about mortars to the guns and pioneers to the engineers, would there not be a similar reaction to losing control of A and B echelons?

Quote
Final question: should the Fd Ambulance come under command of the Service Bn (like in a BSB) and, more importantly, should the medical platoons/sections be part of the Fd Amb and forward deployed/attached with their respective bns/regts as per the FSC (i.e. the forward deployed med platoon would be a sub/sub unit of the FSC?

Have at it.

Not just no, but f***  no!  Obviously, this is a much closer personal issue to me.  Of course, current (and future) logisticians are undoubtedly much smarter than those I worked with in decades long past and they will a much better grasp of the principles of providing health support with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. (that's sarcasm for those who missed it)  However on the rare occasions when we tried to incorporate a 2nd line medical element (e.g. an Evac Pl when that was in the Fd Amb org - I'm drawing on experience in 4CMBG ) with a log organization, like an FLG , it didn't work well.

That's not to say I agreed with the establishment of a separate HS organization that included all medical units and pers but nobody asked my opinion back then.  I would have much preferred maintaining medical elements integral to units.  And while you seem to have assumed 1st line medical support in US Army arms units are, like supply and maintenance functions, provided by a FSC that's not the case - or at least not doctrinally.  As example, there is still a medical platoon in the HHC of an infantry bn.  See https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN6672_ATP%203-21x20%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf  go to page 28.

And so we don't continue to trip over "lines" and "echelons" and "roles" (the current correct doctrine term) when describing HSS an interesting read is this precis at http://armyapp.forces.gc.ca/SOH/SOH_Content/CACSC-PUB-HSS%20(2015).docx

Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.

While Reserve medical coys/pls may have been incorporated into Militia Svc Bns at one time for ease of administration, fd ambs (or other 2nd/3rd line medical functions) have never been doctrinally included in logistics units.
Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.

Offline MilEME09

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 46,005
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 2,082
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2020, 14:12:33 »
I agree with you. Until Reserve units are "fixed" and equipped and capable of getting collective training, there is little reason to embed full-time RCEME personnel at either the unit or service battalion (and incidentally the parts supply system fixed.

 :cheers:

Agreed, honestly it is hard to justify my own trade in the PRes because of how the system is set up. The way we handle spare parts now makes it difficult to have local stock piles of common parts because many are one for one exchange. At the service battalion I have gotten resistance to supporting other units because of all the silly reasons, it would take away from the number of people coming on our own units exercises. Few unit's actually request support from us, usually it is the armoured recce guy's and they love it when we go support them (nothing makes you feel more appreciated then a Squadron commander telling you to go warm up in a tent when it's -40 because you just fixed half his machine guns to keep his range going).

At unit lines conflicting training priorities means time on turning wrenches is limited, even more limited because of a lack of work space, tools, and spare parts, to compound this the system really works against us. Reg force tech's generally do not trust their PRes counterparts because we lack experience, however the system really doesn't give us the opportunity to get that experience often, on top of that, where in the reg force there are time cards, and means to track work of a tech to a project. No such thing is in the PRes so we have no way to say "I have X hours of experience on piece of kit Y"

If we change the Reserve system though the reg force system will need to change as well to match. Taking out the CSS portions of an admin coy and giving it to the service battalion would make those organizations larger as a whole I believe, not to mention your service battalion would balloon into 6+ companies. You would likely see a split into General and close support battalions, CS acting as the 1st line to the units, and General support working as second line.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2020, 16:03:51 »
Where to start?

If reality didn't poke its ugly nose in, my first thought would be that a reserve formation/unit should be organized the same as a regular formation/unit.  This being Canada, however, there would be significant differences/challenges in manning and equipment but to mangle the first principle of war "selection and maintenance of the aim" shouldn't the aim be to "train as you would fight" (another prime guiding axiom).  If a reserve formation/unit would have to be reorganized if placed on active service (to mirror a reg one that it may replace or partner with in a div/bde) then how is that different than the status quo.  If we are looking at FSCs to assume the 1st line support functions of reserve arms units then why would the same not apply to reg units?

That's my bad in the way that I introduced the topic. When Infanteer and I were first on opposite sides of this topic we were discussing a reorganized reserve organization. I agree with you entirely. Whatever organizational structure we take for the Reserve brigade should be the same for the regular ones and vice versa (although I see a difference between light, mechanized and armoured brigades based on function). They should be complete mirrors with eventual identical TO&Es.

If there was howling (and backstepping) about mortars to the guns and pioneers to the engineers, would there not be a similar reaction to losing control of A and B echelons?

The whole problem is that there is howling about just about everything. The Forces are a very much against radical change. The only real question for me is do the pros outweigh the cons. One con I didn't mention above is that while US battalions generally hover around the 400 to 600 pers mark, a BSB runs between 800 to 1,200 depending on the type of BCT involved (There are about 4-500 in the core of the battalion with the rest distributed forward. That's about the same number of support personnel in total for one of our brigades except that we spread them out as to who owns them. I'm just wondering if centralizing all these folks within the BSB chain of command increases sustainment communication and efficiency within the brigade.

Not just no, but f***  no!  Obviously, this is a much closer personal issue to me.  Of course, current (and future) logisticians are undoubtedly much smarter than those I worked with in decades long past and they will a much better grasp of the principles of providing health support with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. (that's sarcasm for those who missed it)  However on the rare occasions when we tried to incorporate a 2nd line medical element (e.g. an Evac Pl when that was in the Fd Amb org - I'm drawing on experience in 4CMBG ) with a log organization, like an FLG , it didn't work well.

That's not to say I agreed with the establishment of a separate HS organization that included all medical units and pers but nobody asked my opinion back then.  I would have much preferred maintaining medical elements integral to units.  And while you seem to have assumed 1st line medical support in US Army arms units are, like supply and maintenance functions, provided by a FSC that's not the case - or at least not doctrinally.  As example, there is still a medical platoon in the HHC of an infantry bn.  See https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN6672_ATP%203-21x20%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf  go to page 28.

Re the US structure you're absolutely right. If you look here https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51535-fsprimerbreakoutchapter2.pdf you'll see a medical company within the BSB; no medical capacity within the FSCs; and medical elements within most supported battalions (usually within the HQ Coy). I was suggesting moving the goal posts a little further. Again, my suggestion is based on grouping technical expertise within a specific type of unit and then decentralizing the resources to supported units within one integrated sub unit.

Re the FLG, I too would have a hard time seeing splitting off a portion of the Field Ambulance to an FLG. It's not really structured for that.

In short the Fd Amb is deployed within the BAA in any event. If we have medical platoons within an infantry battalion why not a field ambulance as part of the service battalion. We should be able to separate the functional aspects of the job from line organizations. (For example the OC Fd Amb could be the medical advisor to the bde commander and have a technical reporting line to the next senior medical headquarters). Honestly I see little difference from the other elements within the Svc Bn as logistics and maintenance are also very different technical disciplines. It merely gives a small entity a bigger umbrella to hang out under.

And so we don't continue to trip over "lines" and "echelons" and "roles" (the current correct doctrine term) when describing HSS an interesting read is this precis at http://armyapp.forces.gc.ca/SOH/SOH_Content/CACSC-PUB-HSS%20(2015).

The whole "lines" thing seems to be in a state of flux. Back in the 70s and 80s I thought we had it down so that even we gunners could understand it.

While Reserve medical coys/pls may have been incorporated into Militia Svc Bns at one time for ease of administration, fd ambs (or other 2nd/3rd line medical functions) have never been doctrinally included in logistics units.

I don't see the functional difference between a medical company or a field ambulance. In effect they provide transport for casualties and have a higher level of intermediate treatment capability then available at the battalion aid station/collection point etc. What we're really talking about is an entity that receives casualties within the brigade, treats minor ones and sends more significant ones outside of the brigade for more extensive treatment. Is there any? Ease of administration (and perhaps heightened efficiency) is all I'm thinking about.

If you think the med company in a BSB is troubling, you should look at the issue of the BCT's Millitary Intelligence company, its Signals company, it's anti-armour company (SBCT only) and it's UAV platoon all being inserted in the Brigade Engineer Battalion. Yowza!

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 146,820
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,767
Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2020, 19:29:34 »
To a large extent, FJAG has put his finger on the primary reason why Reserve restructuring is a difficult, if not impossible, problem to resolve.

The whole problem is that there is howling about just about everything. The Forces are a very much against radical change.

There is an entrenchment of historical regiments and units that resist their "disappearance and absorption" into a different organization with the last breath of the last old foggy that is a member of the regimental "Regie" (or Mafia,if Vandoo). This is even more so in the militia regimental system that has long ago lost its purpose of connecting with local populations.

I'll always remember when, in the late 90's, the equipment, simulators and other class room requirements associated with manning the MCDV's and the Harbour Defence Org clearly exceeded the capacity for upgrading the unit at HMCS DONNACONA (which was old, decrepit, maxed out on power availability and a fire trap). We started the process to get a new, modern building with BFC Montreal.

One night, at the beginning of the process, we got a visit form the Base Commander, the Base Admin O. and the BCEO. They squarely asked us if, after they would have spent five years on the project or more and they were about to put shovel to dirt, they would get interference from our Regie to "save the historical home" and blah! blah! blah!

They were quite surprised (and happy) when we responded that "We were Navy, not Army, and that s ship was a crest, a motto to live by and a ship's company. That when the hull is getting old and beaten up, we just move to a new one and send the old one to the breakers."

Apparently, we were one of  BFC Montreal's fastest project from beginning to actual delivery of a new unit (6 years) as a result.

Anyhow. Until that regimental mafia mentality is defeated, I don't believe the militia can be saved and transformed into a useful Army component - which doesn't prevent some militia personnel from being useful in augmentation.

Offline FJAG

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 260,110
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,016
  • Ex Gladio Justicia
    • Google Sites Wolf Riedel
Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2020, 20:37:54 »
This is why I've adamantly not been a fan of Reserves 2000 which was formed to halt amalgamations and has traditionally fought for a cap badge retention and significant expansion of the reserve numbers instead. I note more recently their objectives have changed to "fund, train, equip and expand."

IMHO we have enough positions (as I said above, for five full-strength brigades) which is as many as I think Canada could make use of at this time and nearly doubles the Army's combat strength. The objective should be "fund, reorganize, train and equip". Expansion could be a further downstream goal if the first four objectives are achieved and the situation merits expanding the force.

In the words of LGen Leslie in the Transformation Report of 2011:

Quote
... and it became apparent that the tendency was to argue for the preservation of the status quo within any one particular organization, which is perfectly natural. Though grimly amusing, these interactions proved that consensus has not and will probably never be achieved on any significant change as we are large and complicated, and the different organizations that make up the whole do different things, each of which is believed to be very important by those who are in them

In respect of the Report and in words of David Bercuson:

Quote
"Militaries are inherently conservative bureaucracies and they don't like change,” ... Bercuson said such cuts will need a strong minister, who isn't afraid to “stand on the necks” of officials and force staffing cuts through.
...
 “Historically speaking, this kind of significant change I think this report is calling for, if that's not driven by the civilian sector, it’s just not going to happen,” Bercuson said. “To introduce a sweeping program of reform, as opposed to one or two changes, you need a very, very, very highly placed political figure to take ownership of it.” 

 :cheers:
Illegitimi non carborundum
Semper debeatis percutis ictu primo
Access my "Allies" and "Mark Winters, CID" book series at:
https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WolfRiedelAuthor/