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Army.ca => Army General => Topic started by: Yard Ape on April 10, 2001, 14:59:00

Title: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on April 10, 2001, 14:59:00
There are three common themes that arise when discussing this topic: individual augmentation to Regular Force units, mobilisation base or specialised support units.

I would question the viability of the specialised support role, as it would require a criticle mass in each of the specialty trades before a full unit of volonteers could be mobilized for an operation.   If we had a system similar to the US, with legislated job protection, this could be a viable approach for a few units in major urban centers (ei with the population to sustain them).

Overall I would suggest that prepairing for general mobilisation should be the key role of the reserves.   Meeting this standard would ensure the reserves are capable of reacting to whatever requirements are placed on them by the future activities of the army.   It would also result in individual members being qualified to augment Regular force units, and thus diminnishes the relavence of individual augmentation as a role on to itself.   

What are some of the opinions on this topic out there?


   :cool: Yard Ape
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ender on April 11, 2001, 15:32:00
I agree with Yard Ape.

The regs are the first to deploy, and the first line of defense.  They also have high casualites.  Reserve units are there to a) replace reg units and b) the cadre to train new people.  Obviously a reservist is less expericenced than a reg of the same rank, but it takes a lot less time to get a reservist up to speed than to train entirerly new people.

The secondary purpose of the reserves is to augment the reg force with personell.  I know in my unit, the people who have been on tour and they ex-reg force people are a really valuable resource.  They have a lot of experience and they know the tricks on how to do things. (especially important in an Engineer unit)

I‘m not so big on support trades in the reserves.  For instance, my friend is in the medic company and it‘s the worst of both worlds.  He doesn‘t get the skills he needs to function in the field as a field medic, yet he isn‘t trained to the standard of a BMS type and he has no practical experience in treating patients.  Compare this to the medics who are attached to my unit who have basic field skills and have some experience treating minor injuries.  (of course, my friend might disagree with me)

I think the reserves should place a lot more empasis on deployable skills.  For instance, making a contact report is not part of the radio curreculum on QL2, yet I think this is pretty important.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bossi on April 15, 2001, 01:00:00
If I may be permitted to go off on a tangent ...

One role of the Army Reserve is becoming increasingly evident:
To maintain an Army presence with city garrisons in urban centres (lest the Army vanish from the public eye, and memory, as it retreats to increasingly isolated bases, i.e. Shilo ...).

Sure, the rocket scientist bean-counters will claim it‘s oh so much more efficient to squirrel the Army away in remote locations, however this overlooks something quite matter-of-fact:  "out of sight, out of mind" - we shouldn‘t be too astonished when the defence budget gets short shrift in the future, since the child prodigy political geniuses in red suspenders will quickly manipulate the polls such that the voting public will turn their attention only to those things which affect them on a day-to-day basis (and, if the Army is banished to the boonies, ... you can see where I‘m going with this, I hope).

Thus, I reiterate - a role of the Reserve Army is to remind "the rest of Canada" (i.e. those locations without a large Regular Army presence).  

Don‘t be swayed by the suggestion that this could be achieved solely through aggressive marketing and public information campaigns - these activities are too easily silenced by the whim of somebody with a different agenda ...
In my humble opinion the taxpayers will all too quickly forget where their defence dollars are going, unless they see something green on "Main Street", Any-City, Canada.

Dileas Gu Brath,
M.A. Bossi, Esquire

P.S.  (as an aside, I‘d also like to point out that the "military-friendly" vote continues to be relatively diluted, even if the Regular Army consolidates into a smaller number of locations, since the majority of Regular soldiers vote in their "home" riding instead of where they live - thus, it should not come as a surprise if the military continues to be an ignored minority in the House of Commons since they have no elected "voice", whereas other special interest groups somehow manage to throw their muscle behind certain candidates ... sigh - I‘d better cut off my rant now, before I get myself into trouble).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RCA on April 15, 2001, 19:29:00
Just to clarify a point: (and so you understand you are hitting a little too close to home with the Shilo-wilderness remark)

The Army is constanly training and Shilo is a training base wheras where do you train  mech infantry in downtown Winnipeg. Besides they still have the Air Force and they are perfectly suited to each other.

Shilo is not in the wilderness and for once a desicion was made stricly on military matters.
 not on politics.

As to the role of the reserves, we must endevour to maintain our idently and purpose by recruiting, retaining and training to sub-unit level and meeting the required BTSs for our Corps. We must not fall into the trap in that we are only a manpower pool for Reg F for individual augmentation or Component Tranfers. (and we are slowly sliding taht way)

The reserve Company being stood up for ROTO 11 should go a long way to proving that formed sub-units are viable for us.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on April 16, 2001, 10:28:00
Should All the same vehicles and equipment be available to the reserves for trg, as is available to the Reg Force?  LAV III APC‘s for the reserve infantry to train on, etc.  Even if this equipment was only available at area training centers and shared by all units who trained there?

If this is not the case, then what purpose does it serve to train reserves for mobilsation as there will be no equipment for them to deploy with.

  :cool: Yard Ape
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on April 16, 2001, 12:51:00
There is one major flaw with any vehs being held at ATC‘s. That is with the move to the CBO‘s (Civilian Base Operators) the storage, issue and especially maintenence of pooled vehs is absolutley atrocious. Going up on a Friday and drawing a couple of jeeps is one thing. To draw a Sqn worth of coyote or cougar, etc and ancilliary equip would take you into Sat morning, unless you pay them overtime. Then you get out to the trg area, find that because they haven‘t moved in two months the seals are dried out causing leaks and breakdowns. Now you have to wait while they call the duty recovery crew in from home (on overtime, min 4 hrs call in) to find out they will only tow the veh up top and not repair it. However, before you turn it in you must figure a way to get it to the washrack and back before they accept it. Of course the mech breakdown is charged against YOUR budget as you were the one using it when it quit. Some units must travel over six hours by bus to get to the ATC. By the time they arr Sat morn at 0230 after a 1900 hr Fri departure and leave at noon Sun to arrive home the viability of useful trg is seriously questionable. The better idea would be to give say, ea recce unit two coyotes at home for trg. If not the complete veh then at least the Brigade mount survellience gear (does not req the veh). Until DND comes up with their own sugar daddy, the idea of res units being equipped like regs (a la Nat Guard, US Army Res) is a pie in the sky we can only dream about.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Nate2 on April 18, 2001, 20:30:00
The res should absolutely have compatible equipment with the regs.  If  a major mission of the res is to augment the predominantly mech regs, they should have access to compatible equipment.  That is one reason I was against the Shilo.  Winnipeg has two res inf units and an armoured recce unit (combat arms).  These light inf units (at least one)should have been mech, and had access to the regs equipment, like LAV IIIs and TUA.  The RECCE unit should have been given its own det of Coyote, or at least Cougars with a Coyote turret.  If it is cost prohibitive to equip both res and regs with the same equipment, then money should be invested in simulation equipment.  

Regards,

Nate
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on April 19, 2001, 11:26:00
If the equipment does not exist, even for training, how can the reserves ever be mobalized?  An iltis will not transform into a coyote, nor a cougar into a MBT in the event that the reserves need to be mobalised.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Nate2 on April 21, 2001, 05:06:00
By simulation equipment, I meant that if we cannot kit out the reserves with additional LAVs, etc. that are for their exclusive use, then it may be acceptable to use simulators in addition to the regs equipment.  Hmm, still not to clear I guess...  

Okay, the Regs have their kit assigned, but the local reserve unit has none. Both are infantry-the regs are mech, but the res are light.  In order for the reserve inf unit to augment the regs, the majority have to be trained in mech prior to their deployment.  But the govn‘t won‘t fund the resrvs for their own mech equipment.  Ideally then, they should share the mech equipment with the regs, developing the skills to augment the regs in a timely fashion (and as a sec to plt size unit if possible).

The problem with this is that the regs may lose training time on their vehicles, as well as additional wear and tear on the kit.  To solve this, I would advocate an investment in vehicle simulators.  In this way, both the regs and reserves could practice formation and maneuver, as well as TI recognition, Comms, Nav and targeting skills, etc.  When the regs weren‘t using the actual kit, the res could get field time, and put the simulation skills into practice, and vice-versa.  Of course, the regs would get first dibs, and a good portion of the field time, but the res would also be much better prepared to augment the regs in ops overseas.

Of course, this begs the question as to what the res would use in a general mobilization, requiring them to be sent to fight.  Well, it would be nice to have stocks of surplus equipment lying around to equipment a hastily mobilized militia.  But unfortunately Canada does not have many surplus state of the art AFVs and such left over from the Cold War (like the US or Germany) to hand down to reserves.  However, The DDGM plant in London, ON currently cranks out 1 LAV per day, and could do better on a war footing.  It takes months to train a mech inf soldier to fight in high intensity combat with today‘s advanced technology.  Simulation equipment would allow the both res and regs to maintain a higher quality of training when each other are using the equipment, or when it is down for maintenance.  It works for the US (especially for the gas guzzling M1s and BFVs heavy mech units, both reg and NG).  This is also why I think that the primary mech battalions in the regs should be located near major pop centres with larger res units (the Minto armouries are far away from Shilo).

Just a thought, yours?

Regards,

Nate
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on April 27, 2001, 11:10:00
We would not be the only country asking GM Defence to pump out more vehicles if we found ourselves on a war footing.

  :cool: Yard Ape
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Spr.Earl on November 09, 2002, 18:40:00
We are going back in time,this was done after the war in the late 40‘s and early 50‘s making the reserve‘s an emergency responce organisation in cas of attack and didn‘t work then.

Army considers new path for reserves


KAMLOOPS (CKNW/AM980) -- An Army spokesperson says the reserve program needs a little money to bring it up to speed.

Captain Dan Thomas says the Army Reserve program needs to improve capabilities in urban search and rescue, and take on some non-traditional reserve roles to keep up with the changing times. Thomas says there would be an investment of at least $100 million required for equipment and training.

Army officials are meeting this weekend in Kamloops at the headquarters of the Rocky Mountain Rangers, to talk about the changing role of the reserves.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bossi on November 10, 2002, 09:46:00
Well, I don‘t know who this guy is, what he actually said (vice what was quoted), and I don‘t know who he‘s a spokesman for ...

All I can say is that I was on a NATO Civil Emergency Planning course last week, and the key phrase is " ... wartime capabilities that can also be used during times of peace ..." (i.e. during an emergency or disaster like a flood, earthquake, whatever).

I can save lives with a clear conscience (just as I can contemplate doing the opposite with Al Q‘ueda).

CIMIC is Civil-Military Co-operation - it exists throughout the Spectrum of Conflict, in all Phases of War - it can be just as important as combat arms, depending on the situation.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 10, 2002, 13:55:00
1/ I haven‘t the dates at hand, but it sounds like this is one of the current round of LFRR "town hall" meetings.
2/ Capt Thomas is 39 CBG PAffO.
3/ "Non-traditional roles" simply means anything other than what we we considered to be business as usual in the past 30-odd years (eg CIMIC, PSYOPS, HUSAR, LRRP, etc).  It _does not_ mean we are going to swing the clock back 50 years.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: humint on December 09, 2002, 09:59:00
http://www.dnd.ca/menu/Feature_Story/2002/dec02/05dec02_f_e.htm

Any thoughts?

========

Reserve tasks evolving

By Susan Turcotte


 
ASCOT CORNER, Que. - Cpl Valérie Gignac serves Canada as a medical assistant with 55e Compagnie Médicale, Sherbrooke, while studying to be a nurse.
Photo by CPL JEAN-FRANÇOIS NÉRON
The Army Reserve‘s long history of serving at home and overseas continues into the new century. As the type of warfare and threats to our country evolve, so does the Reserve‘s role as part of Canada‘s Army.

Phase I of the Land Force Reserve Restructure (LFRR) project began Fall 2000 with a central theme of the assignment of roles, missions and tasks across all phases of mobilization.

The last major objective of Phase I began this fall and wraps up in the spring with a series of about 40 Unit Consultative Meetings (UCMs), or town hall meetings, taking place across Canada.

"We pulled out a job or task list based on existing defence policy," said Major-General Ed Fitch, who heads up the LFRR Project Management Office. "For each stage of mobilization we have figured out how many of each type of unit we need."

While some tasks have already been allocated through the chain of command at area and brigade level, consultations are ongoing for assignment of other missions and tasks.

"As we look at the future threat environment, we see we need skill sets we don‘t have right now," said MGen Fitch.

New or enhanced capabilities for the Army Reserve have been or are being developed, including Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC), Public Affairs and Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), while others are under consideration, including Human Intelligence (HUMINT), Long Range Reconnaissance and Heavy Urban Search and Rescue.

Army capabilities will also be required by the Air Force, Navy and homeland defence, although to date Canada does not have a homeland defence policy. Once the Army has fully analyzed these areas, it will go through a second round of allocating tasks to units.

Phase II of LFRR, designed to accelerate the Reserve‘s growth, begins April 2003. The Army funded the bulk of Phase I from its own budget. Funding for Phase II has not been announced yet.

"It is clear to everybody that the money for Phase II is not in the Army budget, and I believe the department‘s position is it‘s not the department‘s budget either," said MGen Fitch. "We‘re at a very critical juncture."

For more information about LFRR, call 1-866-230-LFRR or visit www.army.dnd.ca/lfrr. (http://www.army.dnd.ca/lfrr.)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: portcullisguy on December 10, 2002, 01:59:00
I think it‘s a positive step, provided the funding is there to carry on with the further phases of implementation.

It makes sense to specialize, from an economic standpoint.

But, what happens if you are in a regiment or unit that gets assigned a role you don‘t like?  I guess I know the answer to that one...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyAl on January 01, 2003, 22:50:00
Well this is my opinion.  We all know how the CF is strapped for cash, this is my idea of what they should do to the res. I'll use 31 CBG as an example.  Here are the units in the bde:

7 x inf
2 x arty
1 x recce
1 x armored
1 x eng.
3 x service

Well here goes.  Take all 7 inf units and make them into 31 RCR for example.  Think of the money they would save by having no highlander units, and you would only have 1 CO and 1 RSM for 31 RCR.

Well chew on that, I'm sure their will be a lot of interesting comments
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 01, 2003, 23:42:00
think of how hard it is to get stuff done at your own unit sometimes, now think of how hard it would be to use the chain of command with units spread out all over. Want something for your webbing? hour road trip to the QM   ;)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Doug on January 02, 2003, 00:09:00
31 RCR??  What a joke, are you for real??
I‘m sure these units would go for it as well.  
They would like to give up their brass and heritage to all belong to the same unit combined.  Being in the same Brigade should be enough.  With the sad state of our Reserves(numbers) and our military in general, the Bde should only have a Bde RSM and the units should just have a CSM and the high ranking NCO.  Size wise and all, that seems to make more sense.  Same deal with the CO!
HA I would love to see that!!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 02, 2003, 11:19:00
All Armour Res units will be Recce by the end off 2003. Reg Force units are going Recce complete, The LdSH will be taking over the tanks in Waynewright as training.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyAl on January 02, 2003, 17:50:00
Just a thought buds.
Who‘s to say it wouldn‘t work, I hate it when people hate change or cling on things, ie the past.
Ya sure my unit kicked a$$ in that "war" but it‘s 2003, maybe it‘s that I belong to a numbered unit, I‘m more loyal to the troops then the unit when I think about it, but thats just me.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: combat_medic on January 02, 2003, 18:04:00
The regimental system is the strongest thing that the Canadian military has to offer. The traditions, uniforms, colours, songs, and other things that make a regiment unique are what allow people that sense of belonging. Even most Americans I‘ve spoken to really admire the Regimental system; it allows for far more unit cohesion that just "The 862nd infantry brgade" or whatever.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Airghardt on January 03, 2003, 00:30:00
I belong to the Calgary Highlanders, i stand out from the crowd, especially on Remeberance day, when the reserve units in calgary get together and do a parade (we have Calgary Highlanders, KO Calgary Regt., 15 Med Bn. (det), HMCS Techumseh, 14th SVC Bn., that‘s a lot of units) now when we are on parade and we hit the town afterwards people notice ‘the guys in the kilts‘ before anyone else. and it‘s not only that, i really truly admire my regiment because we are one of a kind...i‘m not giving up my kilt to wear some pants like every other schmuck in calgary, and call myself "the Regiment Formerly known as Calgary Highlanders" the other guy was right: the Regimental system is the best thing our military has...  :sniper:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bossi on January 03, 2003, 01:30:00
Hmmm ... I wonder ... if the challenge is "chew on this", then is the password "Bite me"?

Why destroy esprit de corps?
Why destroy regimental pride?

Why destroy any organisation that has survived the disgraceful cuts in defence spending foisted upon Canada by an irresponsible political party that makes Quisling look like a patriot?

Okay - chew on this:
The Militia mobilised, fought, and won the Second World War.  If, as you propose, we destroy the Militia - who is left?  The Regular Force?

Oh, boy - now that‘s the way to ensure we have absolutely no depth, no strength in reserve, no farm team for the big league.

Other that 3 PPCLI‘s soujourn in Afghanistan, when was the last time ANY Reg Force organisation deployed without reservists (and, yes - that includes the Dwyer Hill Highlanders).

I‘ll dig out a history book and confirm some statistics, but I seem to remember the strength of the Militia was something like 140,000 in August 1939.  Kinda makes ya wanna think, eh?

Dileas Gu Brath,
MB
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Wilson601 on January 03, 2003, 01:43:00
Touche Bossi  :skull:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 03, 2003, 07:45:00
Bossi
 We deployed to Somalia, the first missions to Bosnia before we went through most Regts, IFOR and the and the first SFOR. There are others, the first few mission of UNFORCYP, UNEM,etc. The Res go after the Regs go first.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Jungle on January 03, 2003, 08:18:00
Tours without ResF participation: UNPROFOR roto 0 1992, Cambodia 1992, Somalia, Rwanda 1994 , roto 0 to Haiti 1997, East Timor 1999. That‘s just the last decade... Now this is not ResF bashing, I respect Reservists and whether some of us like it or not, we need them. But ResF pers are usually absent from Roto 0 on overseas ops.  :cdn:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on January 03, 2003, 16:25:00
You know, it never ceases to amaze me that we continuously have this debate/argument in the army on Regular/Reserve issues.  A debate on the Regimental system has deteriorated into whether or not there is participation by Reservists on Roto 0‘s.    

Bossi, Recce41, Jungle, etc.  For the most part, Reservists have deployed on most operations in one form or another.  Anyone want to argue Roto 0 for UNPROFOR was any less dangerous than future Harmony/Cavalier roto‘s?  I can personally assure you that Reservists participated in Op Deliverance (Somalia) to fill out the Airborne Regiment.  They also deployed to Afghanistan on Op APOLLO (yes they were in Kandahar).  IFOR (Roto 0 and 1) and SFOR (Roto 0 and beyond) all had increasing participation by the Reserves.  I can‘t comment on Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, or East Timor as I wasn‘t involved with them, but I would be very surprised if there wasn‘t at least one there in some type of capacity.  But I have to ask?  Who cares if there is or isn‘t a Reservist on a Roto 0…aren‘t we trying to accomplish a mission?

The limited Reserve numbers on Roto 0 have sweet FA on the capabilities of the Reserves.  It is simply the high readiness nature of Roto 0‘s combined with newness factor of new missions.  Large amounts of money is spent on the Regular Force to ensure its members are trained and ready to go on operations.  Why would you spend this amount of money on Reservists (or spend valuable time training them) if international operations must be mounted quickly?

Regimental affiliations mean squat if they do not reflect the overall army strategy.  I see it every day, officers and soldiers more interested in the name of the Regiment, instead of focussing on the direction of the Army.  Is the Regimental system one of our greatest strengths?  You bet, but it is also one of our greatest weaknesses.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 03, 2003, 16:49:00
Gunner
 You maybe right in a way, but I was in Somalia (RCD), and on IFOR (RCD)0 and there were no Res on those as I saw. I know first Snow Goose 1-8 (Cyprus) nil, many of the first UN tours were nil Res. Why? there many a Reg to go. As for DH the first few were REG I was there for the first in 92. There are Res that show now, but are few and far.
As for Res, I‘ve had Res crews, and they were crap! Its bad when a Gunner cannot do Driver Maintance, or a Res Sgt that could not even lead a veh Ptl. Or showed up with his damn sniper scope. But they still went. Because they were Res! Regs get fired if they don‘t cut it. I will never go on tour with a Res crew AGAIN!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on January 03, 2003, 18:16:00
Recce41,

In the past you have made your thoughts about Reservists known to the War Diary.  I can‘t comment on your experiences with Reserve crews as you are/were in LFCA/2CMBG/RCD.  I know I have worked with excellent as well as very poor Reservists (I can say the same about other Regulars).  Within LFWA (recently for roto 11 and 12) I know very well there have been Reservists fired for not being capable of doing their job (and a Regular placed in the position).  Sometimes the Reservist simply needs an experienced Sgt to guide him on full time duty...You don‘t always have to do that for Regulars, but sometimes you do.

For Somalia, the Reserve units affiliated with the Airborne Regiment sent personnel to fill out the line commando‘s.  For IFOR, the majority of the Reserve participation was within the MNBG HQ as LO‘s etc and staff at MND(SW).  Why would they be in the Recce Sqn?  OP SNOWGOOSE, Cyprus...that was another time, my friend, when the army was alot larger than we are now and there for many Regulars aval to go.  Having said that, I know there were several reserve gunners that deployed to Cyprus in the early 80s and alot in the early 90s, just prior to the reduction in the mission.  I can‘t comment on DH, but, as the jobs are open to any trade, component or element, I don‘t doubt there are Reservists working but the majority remain combat arms.

WRT your comment about Regs staying home while Reservists get to go overseas.  We really encountered this during Roto 11 and 12.  The soldiers are telling the leadership that the are over tasked but when there unit deploys overseas (roto 11 and 12) they are upset at the Reserve augmentation (also known as the "tour stealers").   This is further compounded by the fact most Reservists can‘t fill the more senior positions (Sgt and above) and wind up filling Cpl/Pte driver (GD type) positions.  This restricts the number of positions that young Reg F privates can fill.  I feel for the young Regular trying to make something of himself in a Regiment where Cpls often have a very hefty rack of medals.  When they don‘t get the opportunity to go overseas with their Regiment, who do they blame?  But isn‘t the army better off having a "high readiness" capability available in Canada?  

Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyAl on January 03, 2003, 18:47:00
Password is incorrect!
It‘s the people in the unit that make the esprit de corps, not the unit itself.
ex.  unit that just formed a year ago where the training is tough, and they are known to be the best unit for being a$$ kickers in the field,
or
a unit that has 150 years of battle honors a cool cap badge and a deadly mess, but they get there a$$‘s handed to them in the field because they are all fat and retarded.

So what unit would you join?
this is an example.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: combat_medic on January 03, 2003, 18:48:00
Also, with regards to certain trades like, oh I don‘t know, medic, reservists aren‘t allowed to go overseas and occupy a Med A position, and neither are QL3 qualified Reg Med As. This creates a HUGE strain on the Reg QL5 Cpls and up. A reserve QL3+QL4 is roughly equivalent to a reg QL3 and neither are able to do their jobs overseas unless they end up as an ambulance driver. How frustrating is that on both sides? To spend 6 months training and no ability to apply the knowledge. No wonder all the GD/driver/HQ tasks get filled so quickly.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on January 03, 2003, 20:10:00
Combat_Medic,

This has been a problem within the medical world for many years.  Reserve (and Regular) medical personnel were being trained without any civilian equivalency (ie QL 3 equals EMT course).  CFMG has recognized this and (I believe) for the first time on Op PALLADIUM Roto 12 Reserve will serve overseas if they hold a civilian qualification roughly similar to the Regular qualification. I believe there are around 4 Reserve personnel who will be deploying as part of the HS Pl.

The longer term problem is making sure Reserve training actually provides the military with some type of resource it can call upon.  I‘m not sure where this lies as there are more pressing issues that CFMG must deal with....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bossi on January 04, 2003, 01:03:00
ArmyAl - you‘re comparing apples and potatoes.

When you used the "example" of a new unit, and a unit 150 years old, you forgot to mention how many MILLION dollars the new unit received (you know what I‘m talking about, so let‘s get real).

Fat, retarded?  Hmmm ... I wonder how these personnel got by the Regular Force Recruiting Centre ... (after all, there certainly aren‘t any Regular Force personnel who fit this description, are there)?

Recce41 - as already pointed out, there were reservists in Somalia (including one from my unit)

You‘re right - the Reg Force often deploys first, especially when there is short, little or no lead time - however, as soon as the well starts to run dry, they start sending reservists ...

It‘s a necessary, symbiotic relationship.

And, as for unnecessary internal bickering - we need only to look at the Artillery, who have effectively crippled the Infantry battalions by robbing them of mortars (and, the Artillery most closely follows the example that was initially given in this thread ... hmmm ... kinda makes ya wanna thunk, eh?)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on January 04, 2003, 11:57:00
Quote
And, as for unnecessary internal bickering - we need only to
               look at the Artillery, who have effectively crippled the
               Infantry battalions by robbing them of mortars  
Bossi, you are going to have to expand on your point because I do not agree with you at all.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 04, 2003, 12:08:00
Gunner
 As for Recce postions (Armour) there is a many of Res crewman boat (Cougar) qual. In the 50-60s most Res were ex reg WW2 vets. So you cannot compare them to the Res of today. Most like my Father started out as a Res until he stayed in after WW2. Now they‘re getting a Coyote qual here or there. All I‘m saying is some of the ones that go on tour are the ones with no real job. And all the good one cannot doto this. I had a driver in my troop in Bosnia that was sent home from Cyprus in 89 with us, sent home from Bosnia in 94 with us and almost sent home from SFOR in 98, but the two of us that remembered him spoke to him. We pointed out that he was on a fine line.
 I was in D+S Troop for Somalia, and RCD BGE HQ for IFOR. This thought will only change if the Res start to be like the ones of old, the its raining I‘m not going to play today soldiers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on January 04, 2003, 20:52:00
Airaghardt seems to think the Calgary Highlanders don‘t have any schmucks on the rolls...must not parade much....   :rolleyes:  

In any event, the original poster is merely trolling - his comment about saving money on Highland regiments is especially funny, since the majority of highland kit, etc. is purchased at regimental expense.

This too has been discussed often.

However, bear in mind that my previous comments also bear fruit - the German Army in WW II did not have regimental traditions per se, and they fought very well.  All the traditions of the "Old Army" were done away with, though an effort was made at first to retain regimental traditions in the companies and battalions of the new Wehrmacht in the 1930s.  By 1940, the last outward sign of regimental tradition - the number of the unit - was deleted from the shoulder straps.  While regiments still recruited locally, and divisions were given a regional designation (ie Berlin, Württemberg, Rheinland, Westphalia, Saxony, Bavarian, etc.), there were no regimental colours, uniform distinctions, or any of the other "regimental" trappings of the Commonwealth armies.

Unit cohesion was actually drawn from the National Socialist influence - officers ate what their men ate, and were looked on usually as comrades, as class distinctions were officially being done away with.  There were exceptions, but the officers of the British Army of the time retained their caste system to a much larger degree, by way of contrast, and some Canadian officers would have preferred that as well (Crerar, Simonds...the lower ranking combat officers tended to have a more modern outlook).  The point being that the Germans placed more importance on relationships between men and units, than on ceremonial trappings.  And it paid them dividends.  

Granted, regimental distinctions are usually retained for their value in recruiting in peacetime, this is just a reminder that in action, cap badges and back flashes and coloured hosetops really count for much less than the respect between men and leaders, and confidence in each other - brought about by training and experience, not dress regulations.

The Canadian Army dispensed with regimental traditions in many units during World War One - the numbered battalions in some cases kept the traditions of their founding regiments, but many (most?) did not.   The Calgary Highlanders‘ predecessor is a great example.  They were formed from the 103rd Calgary Rifles and the 106th Winnipeg Light Infantry.

The battalion did not adopt a single rifle regiment tradition, nor a single light infantry tradition (no blackened buttons, Sam Brownes, chin strap or rank insignia, they marched at the normal pace, they had no buglehorns or bugle band) and simply called themselves "The Tenth Canadians", and later, "The Fighting Tenth".   A wartime effort by one officer to nickname the unit "White Gurkhas" did not stick.

Their fighting reputation was second to none - and done entirely without the benefit of any "regimental traditions".  They simply created their own.

So too the other CEF units formed from several regiments in Canada.

So you could probably do away with the kilts (sorry!) and regimental traditions tomorrow and number all the units, and in six months time or a year, there would be little difference in the operational capabilities of the units.

Don‘t get me wrong - you would definitely have lost a lot in the process - but the Army would not come to a crashing halt, and we would pretty much survive.  Any Army that could survive Unification could survive anything, though some would argue we are still recovering from Unification, too.  Mostly because of the people that left, not because we stopped wearing metal shoulder titles for 15 years or so.

I don‘t know if I buy into the kilt or the pipe band as a recruiting tool in any event.  If you‘re not predisposed to the infantry, I can‘t see the incentive of wearing a kilt as being all that crucial to making the final decision.  Would be interesting to see some hard data on that, but if anyone is selecting their trade based on the uniform they are going to be wearing, I have to question their ability to make decisions like that at all.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Jarnhamar on January 05, 2003, 18:43:00
One of my all time favourite past times when working with ‘old school‘ reg force personal is asking them "why don‘t they like reserves, because were like reg force mini-me‘s?"

For the most part it‘s just to get a laugh and break the ice but for the most part the reasons they‘ve given in seriousness are very intellegient and very legit such as;
-Reserves charging reg force insturctors with racisim or harassment if they fail a course (i‘ve seen this personally)
-Reserves showing up on a tasking and treating it like summer camp, walking around with walkmens or asking if they have to shine their boots
-cadet and ql3 war stories ad nasium

I also think some fault of this falls on the reg force personal. When a reservists performs very poorly for some reason (from what i‘ve seen) they are given a good or  standard report anyways, be it they feel bad OR (what i suspsect) they don‘t want the hassel of justifing/showing evidence of how a soldier performed poorly.
I can understand not wanting to get involved with that crap but if the reservests unit thinks they performed well there going to send them on a tasking again.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 05, 2003, 19:13:00
I have been one of the ones that have written a crap report, but it will get changed. For you CANNOT hurt their feelings, or if you go they will quit. I was DS on a JNCO course we had 15 out of 36 fail or quit, due to this we could not fail any more that was from LFCA. For Res units get money for the numbers. More numbers they put down more money they get, even if they have 200 names and only 10 show. They still get the money for 200. My wife was RSS, she had seen this first hand. This is why Res unit seem to have more money.
 I have been told that I was harassing one of them because I had given him too many chits on one course. Or you have Res course officers that show and say they don‘t care about the students they are just there for the money. Damn one day these people may have to fight.
 Thank goodness I‘m away from that crap. Ever other Army they Res take it seriously. I was in Bosnia and the Kiwis had a whole Res Regt. None of us even knew. But they know the differance between us. Why because some of our Res units are a joke.
 When you see the BC of the GGs driving around with a damn Medic in the bussil bin of a Cougar going cross country. He was stopped and didn‘t think it was wrong. Now tell me thats not a joke.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Wilson601 on January 05, 2003, 20:12:00
the equation, More soldiers = More money makes sense now that you‘ve all explained it. I wish I had taken count to how many times i‘ve heard an instructor say: "Alright Bloggins, fail this test one more time and you‘re off the course... And i mean it this time."  :skull:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on January 05, 2003, 21:47:00
Every few weeks, same ol‘, same ol‘. Oh well, vent if you must, everyone‘s entitled to their opinion  :boring:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: J. Shortt on January 23, 2003, 18:16:00
Bossi....  Your comment on the Artillery taking the mortar‘s from the infantry,  I am sure was NOT an Artillery decission.  It is not at all what we do,  however it is an easy task to take over.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: toms3 on January 24, 2003, 09:43:00
I am really tired of this argument.  NEVER gets solved.  Oh well.   Like someone else has already said...I have spent time with the regs and have seen reg guys that need a manual to tie their boots, so numpties (reg or res) are everywhere.  I was in the butts during a PWT 1 qualification for Kosovo (Roto 1), and I witnessed Reg troops failing their shoot...not even hitting the target...they still went over seas...gee...I want them in my trench.

Hey Recce41, I think your right...its time to punch your card and head off into the sunset...ya crusty old ba$tard.
  :blotto:          :D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on January 24, 2003, 15:26:00
Digger, most Regs just don‘t give a Ratsass anymore. Yes there are loosers in the Regs too. But most of them don‘t make it past Cpl or Mcpl.
 Most of the SNR loosers are at the Armour School, that is why I regreting going. About 70% have never been on a tour. But they think the **** they teach is right.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Paras on April 06, 2003, 21:28:00
I heard not too long ago that some Reserve regiments might become speacialist in certain areas of combat.These are the specialties that ive been told we might get(one per regiment obviously):psycological operations,civil affairs and Long range recce.With a possibility of one more ,Urban Search and Rescue.Has anyone else heard about these speacialties and when they might be tasked?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PikaChe on April 06, 2003, 22:13:00
I think that‘s all part of Land Force Reserve Restructing plan, which is still undergoing and constantly changing.

My unit was tasked to be a NBCD unit, now apparently is a LAVIII coy.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Paras on April 06, 2003, 22:20:00
NBCD eh ,dang that sucks.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Jason Jarvis on April 06, 2003, 23:37:00
It‘s been a while since I last looked through the LFRR literature, but are there any plans to assign reserve regiments to urban combat roles? I only ask this because I recently stumbled across an unofficial Swedish Army site that described the reserve battalions based in Stockholm and elsewhere that specialized in urban combat.

The concept of having soldiers fight on their own turf makes sense to me, although I suppose in our case, urban combat specialists would be more likely used to augment regular force units.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Wilson601 on April 07, 2003, 09:48:00
Ours is Recce, its being implimented right now, not much a diff. from Light infantry except ya don‘t carry around as much $h!t.  lol  :skull:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Jarnhamar on April 07, 2003, 12:22:00
Ours was suposed to be recce too. I wouldnt put much weight into that. I‘ve heard that stuff for years. "Were a machinegun regiment, were recce tasked, were tasked with fibua combat" I figure it‘s just something to throw on paper. I mean not everyone in the regiment is going to have their gunners course or recce course right? We don‘t have enough training time/dedicated troops to really stand out in a role.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: humint on January 13, 2003, 12:04:00
Finally, a discussion I can sink my teeth into!!

From my understanding, there are going to be some big changes with regards to militia units in terms of roles and responsibilities for intel, psy-ops, etc. I have heard that units will development their own specialists in the field.

Also, it seems that Intel Offs aren‘t the only ones that do intel work. For example, units may do their own picc (??) work -- psy-ops, intel gathering, and civil/miliatry co-operation. I am positive that NCMs do as much intel gathering as Offs. If I am not mistaken, much of the intel-ops work for the US is done by NCMs -- analysis is done by Offs.

I guess it really depends on the type of intel you are seeking -- that is, beyond sigint or humint. Are you looking at strategic or tactical intel and for what genre (i.e. counter-intel/espionage, counter terrorism, security).  

Now, I‘m not an expert at this, my area is in civ intel research/analysis.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on June 11, 2004, 20:45:40
I'm looking for the history of how some regiments have come to exist in both the regular and reserve force.

I know 4 RCR traces its roots back to a distinct reserve regiment (I believe it was the Oxford Fusiliers).  When & why did it become 4 RCR (was it a Total Force - 10/90 Bn thing?)?

I have the same question of 4 R22eR and 6 R22eR.  How did they come to be, and were they formerly different regiments?

Both these regiments were designated as permanent force at the end of WW II (as they had been before the war), so I don't follow how they came to exist in the reserves.

In an attempt to raise moral & increase the regimental tradition, several reserve force regiments were added to the active force order of battle.  These units continued to exist in both Reg and Reserve until the regular force regiments were later stood down (FGH, Black Watch, QOR).  Was 8 CH on of the regular force regiments created this way?

12 RBC was created in the Reg Force some years after WW II in order to establish a french armoured regiment.  Did it exist in the reserve force prior to that, or was the reserve 12 RBC created later?

Is anything gained or lost from a regiment's identity by it existing in both components at the same time?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael O'Leary on June 11, 2004, 21:25:37
One of the best sites I've found for tracing regimental lineages is Regiments.org: http://regiments.org/?229,21

As a start point for Canadian regiments (current and historical), try these pages as a start point:

Alphabetic list of names -  http://regiments.org/milhist/na-canada/lists/cargxref.htm

Numeric list of names - http://regiments.org/milhist/na-canada/lists/cargxrefn.htm

__________________________________________________

From "The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army" (1964):

4 RCR antecedents were The Oxford Rifles and the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). These two units were amalgamated on 1 October 1954 and designated at that time "The London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment). It was subsequently redesignated on 25 April 1958 as "3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment (London and Oxford Fusiliers)"  (At the time there were only two Regular battalions, hence the 3rd Battalion designation)

4 R 22e R began as the "Voltigeurs de Beauharnois" in 1869 and the 76th Regiment "Voltigeurs de Chateauguay" from 1872. These regiments eventually became "Le Regiment de Chateauguay" (1921) and on 1 Sep 1954 was amalgamated with the R 22e R to become "Le Regiment de Chateauguay (4th Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment". Subsequently, on 27 April 1958, they became the "4e Battaillon, Royal 22e Regiment (Chateauguay)"

6 R 22e R originated in 1871 as the "St. Hyacinthe Provisional Battalion of Infantry" which was amalgamated with the R 22e R on 2 Feb, 1963, being designated the 6th Battalion.

____________________________________________________________

As for what is gained or lost, that is up to the Regiments themselves. Is it better to be amalgamated than disbanded? Perhaps even amalgamated with a 'despised' local competitor? Keep in mind that many battle honours held by our regiments were gained through perpetuation of CEF units, or later amalgamations. Done with respect, and prperly explained to regimental members, units gain through ensuring a more complete sense of our history is retained and represented by our active regiments, Reserve and Regular.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on June 13, 2004, 17:18:21
My personal belief is that we loose through amalgamating reserve & regular regiments.  The history & tradition of the regular regiment will eventually overtake the reserve regiment's (which will be lost).  The LER have been able to maintain their heritage despite a PPCLI affiliation.  However, three regiments have been forever lost (The London and Oxford Fusiliers, Le Regiment de Chateauguay, St. Hyacinthe Provisional Battalion of Infantry).  I know of a long standing tradition of amalgamating reserve with reserve, and I think that the new regiment can grow from the traditions of its parents.  However, rebadging reserves into a regular force regiment will see the traditions of a regiment die.

That heritage is forever gone.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on June 14, 2004, 00:56:34
I tend to agree with one a point Michael made. it might be better to amalgamate thren watch a regiment be disbanded and die.
let's be honest how many Militia Bn's and Regiments do we have that are Coy and Sqn strength. Realistically wouldn't we be better served by say some 18-20 Militia Infantry Regiments of roughly ar at least close to Bn strength (400-600 pers) and a similar reduction in Armoured, Arty and other units.

If such as thing is to happen, and I think it's a realistic possibility, then better it happen on "our" terms rather that some whim of a politician .

Methinks I've opened the proverbial can of worms here, but then again maybe it's worthy of a debate.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Sierra Kilo on June 14, 2004, 02:20:17
I too worry about losing regimental history - my unit may not be able to trace its lineage back as far as some, (only about 1885) but we still have served in both World Wars, and adopted a postwar Scottish title, because of some cultural origins in the Thunder Bay area.  Being the only combat arms unit in the region,and not being fairly large, would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?  What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: clasper on June 14, 2004, 03:04:51
would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?   What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?

The Brockville Rifles, while maintaining their distinct cap badge and battle honours, are administratively a company of the PWOR in Kingston.   Amalgamation of this nature preserves regimental history without too much of a problem.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on June 15, 2004, 15:37:31
Clasper that's probably the sort of workable amalgamation that I was getting at. Example in the Brit TA the London Regt is and Infantry Bn and each of it's 4 Rifle Coys is/was a seperate Regiment ( London Scottish, London Irish etc)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on June 15, 2004, 21:11:25
I saw an argument once (that I jumped in to support) which questioned the need of sustaining every reserve regiment as a battalion.  Instead, a regiment would exist as a company (or 2, 3 , or 4 if big enough).  Battalion head quarters would be "regiment neutral" much like our current brigade HQs.  This approach could be applied to armoured and infantry regiments, and it would ensure no regiment became "lost."

The Brockville Rifles & PWOR sharing a Bn is a modern example.  An historic example would be 27 CIB, Canada's first brigade group in Germany.  It consisted of 1 Canadian Rifle Battalion, 1 Canadian Highland Battalion, and 1 Canadian Infantry Battalion.  Each company in each battalion was of a different regiment.

This becomes especially intelligent when multiple Coy sized regiments exist in the same city (eg: GGFG & Camerons of Ottawa, RHLI & A&SH, Winnipeg Rifles & Camerons, etc).

I would like to see something like this across Canada, and maybe we could even see companies of the London and Oxford Fusiliers, Le Regiment de Chateauguay, and St. Hyacinthe Infanty.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on June 15, 2004, 23:31:28
Some Regiments are better off dead.  Look at "The Highlanders" in the UK.  Blech.

The Winnipeg Light Infantry were absorbed in 1955 by the lLittle Black Devils - they were one of only three regiments to wear the oak leaf shoulder title.  None of their distinctions or honours were carried on.

I had an Italian Campaign veteran relate to me with disgust this sad story - he was in the Edmonton Regiment in Italy.  He said they carried the Patricia's through battle after battle (they were in the same brigade) and then he comes to a reunion dinner many years later, and what does he see?  "4 PPCLI" added to the end of his regiment's title!

I thought that 4 RCR and 4 PPCLI stuff was absolutely stupid, and that is just one reason why.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Art Johnson on June 15, 2004, 23:50:59
Some years ago there was talk of amalgamating two of Toronto's Regiments the Honarary Colonel of one of the Regiments said the before that happened he would petition to have his Regiment removed from the Roll of Battle. He would rather see his Regiment die in honour than acceed to amalgamation. I back him 100 percent.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on June 16, 2004, 20:24:16
Some years ago there was talk of amalgamating two of Toronto's Regiments the Honarary Colonel of one of the Regiments said the before that happened he would petition to have his Regiment removed from the Roll of Battle. He would rather see his Regiment die in honour than acceed to amalgamation.
Would co-existence within one battalion have been a suitable alternative in your eyes?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Coyote43D on July 06, 2004, 22:06:30
would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?   What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?

The Brockville Rifles, while maintaining their distinct cap badge and battle honours, are administratively a company of the PWOR in Kingston.   Amalgamation of this nature preserves regimental history without too much of a problem.

When did that happen clasper?. The reason I ask is I used to be a member of the Brockville Rifles, and when I left to join the Regs in '97 we were still our own entity and not a company of the PWOR.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: clasper on July 07, 2004, 08:16:04
That's what I was told by a member of the PWOR I knew in the mid 90's.  (I left Kingston in early 98).  You seem to be a little closer to the situation, so perhaps he was full of crap.  Sorry to mislead anyone.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rfn on July 12, 2004, 21:33:28
"The Winnipeg Light Infantry were absorbed in 1955 by the lLittle Black Devils - they were one of only three regiments to wear the oak leaf shoulder title.  None of their distinctions or honours were carried on."

Mike Dorosh is right: Nothing was carried on. Very hard to find any info about the WLI.

Fitzpatrick: I dont think you have anything to worry about; when disbanding or amalgamating is discussed, the Regiments "community footprint" is considered...and in TBay the LSSR is the only (infantry) game  going.

...Unless maybe you guys want to change to "B Coy, R Wpg Rif"... :)

Danjanou: not sure I agree with grouping several regiments under a single Bn HQ. I've seen pictures of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, the Winnipeg Light Infantry and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, from a time when Winnipeg was much smaller, and all of these regiments were at Bn strength. I think the current Militia strength crisis is just an unfortunate phase in it's long history.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Scott on July 13, 2004, 14:51:22
Amalgamation of Regiments is never easy to discuss, but it would solve alot of problems when it comes to effective strength. I think that sometimes we forget that a Reserve Unit is meant to complement the Regular Force, not just uphold the history and traditions of that unit. That's how I feel anyway.

Having said that, do not touch the NSH!!! That's my pride standing out, as it does for any former member when we talk of scary subjects such as this.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on July 13, 2004, 15:37:29
Rfn;
While I would love to see all present Militia units parading at something close to full strength (that would give us what 12-15 Brigades) I seriously don't think we are ever going to see those days again.

To do so would entail a major change in our society. First of all the cost would be prohibitive and the political will just ain't there. More than that though is, where are we going to get those warm bodies to fill the newly purchased CadPat?

Today's Nintendo generation of slackers and squeegee kids would have to be convinced to give up a couple of hours a week of their precious time and shift their cheesy and Dorito munching fat posteriors off of the couch in Mom and Dad's basement and away from their PS2 and out into the real world for a trip to the local armouries. That ain't gonna happen unless you shift them with C4 , which come to think of it isn't a bad idea.

It would take a full generation to of re-education to get that kind of commitment to public service and Country reinstated in the Canadian psyche, at the minimum. Bearing in mind even if we tried to do so the resentment from the educators and other social engineering leftist PC elites who were in charge of it would not agree with it and result in delays if not outright sabatoge. Remember the Teacher revolts against Harris for trying to introduce such concepts as community service into the secondary school curriculum.

What I was suggesting while not totally palatable to me (I was in the â Å“other regimentâ ? Art is talking about in his post re amalgamation and I know I was vocally opposed to it too), it is the lesser of two evils.

Our present system is unworkable and top heavy in costly bureaucrats ( Just how many Militia Lt Col's does it take to "oversee" a weekend training exercise of two rifle platoons anyway?). Either we fix it or someone else will for us and given the track record of our benevolent political masters in regards to tinkering with the military, I don't want to even think about what they would do.
   
Scott1nsh, unless the numbers are way down with the Highlanders since I worked with them in the 1980's then I doubt there would be any amalgamation there. Perhaps a combination of the 2 Bns into one.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rfn on July 13, 2004, 16:29:02
Danjanou: Enjoyed your anti-youth rant ! But I think your selling the young-uns short. The high school Co-op program is very popular here, with lots of students trying to join, but CFRC is too slow, and of course there is the funding problem and lack of political will overall like you mentioned. But Many want to be free of the Nintendo culture.

Realistically though, the Rifles and Camerons usually do go on ex's together, and sometimes it isnt even  a disaster.
And we agree this is not something we want the politicians to fix.

Scott1nsh: Isnt the NSH itself the product of an amalgamation? The Cape Breton Highlanders and some other Reg?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Scott on July 13, 2004, 18:00:13
Danjanou, you are right, the NSH is probably safe except maybe they will combine 1 and 2 Bn under one.

RFN, like alot of Regiments in Canada the NSH today IS a product of amalgamation. The North Nova Scotia Highlanders (Today 1st Battalion) was formed from: The Colchester and Hants Regiment, The Cumberland Highlanders and C Coy, 6th Machine Gun Battalion, they were then (1936) known as the North Nova Scotia Highlanders (MG) In 1941 they became known as the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, in 1954 they amalgamated with the Pictou Highlanders and and the 189 LAA  Battery, RCA to form the 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders.

As for the Capers (2nd Battalion, NSH) They were born as the Victoria Highland Provision of Infantry (Imagine the unit abbrev on the epaulets!!) in 1879, in 1880 they became the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry (Argyle Highlanders), in 1890 they became the 94th Victoria Battalion of Infantry (Argyle Highlanders), 1900, 94th Victoria Regiment "Argyll Highlanders", 1914, 94th Victoria Regiment (Argyll Highlanders), 1920, The Cape Breton Highlanders, 1954 United with The North Nova Scotia Highlanders and The Pictou Highlanders to form 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders.

Most of this info can be found at the link left by a previous post (Sorry member I do not remember who put it up)
http://www.regiments.org
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on July 14, 2004, 13:43:15
Danjanou: not sure I agree with grouping several regiments under a single Bn HQ. I've seen pictures of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, the Winnipeg Light Infantry and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, from a time when Winnipeg was much smaller, and all of these regiments were at Bn strength. I think the current Militia strength crisis is just an unfortunate phase in it's long history.
It would be more effecient to group multiple Coy sized regiments under one battalion, and it would preserve regimental identities.  Would people prefer to see regiments disband, or amalgamations (which may or may not preserve the identity of any of the Regiments involved?)

If the official army forms were still up, I would link to the thread where someone proposed this.  I think arguments for both sides were brilliant (usaually).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 14, 2004, 14:41:57
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It would be more efficient to group multiple Coy sized regiments under one battalion, and it would preserve regimental identities.  Would people prefer to see regiments disband, or amalgamations (which may or may not preserve the identity of any of the Regiments involved?)

I like this idea, and I think it would work great even for reserve units that are positioned outside of the large urban centers(IE the LSSR).  I have always wonder why reserves was organized in separate battalion organizations, when the man power was usually well below Coy strength for most exercises or parade nights.  The idea of one Bn HQ for several units is ideal, as it would save money in the long term, reduce duplication of effort and allow for more money to be spend on the troops(IMHO).   I know there would be some serious grumblings at every level for this type of model, but clearly the way reserves is organized now is cumbersome at best. 

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: CSS Type on July 14, 2004, 16:02:28
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The idea of one Bn HQ for several units is ideal, as it would save money in the long term, reduce duplication of effort and allow for more money to be spend on the troops(IMHO).
Pardon my stupidity, but how would it save money in the long run? You would sitll need the armouries (the biggest cost) but you might save some minimal dollars by dropping off 37.5 days worth of LCol and CWO; however, the cost of running a standard Reserve unit is about the same cost of five Regular Force MCpls!

How much savings do you really imagine would be gained?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: combat_medic on July 14, 2004, 16:29:58
While it may be a cost-saving alternative, I don't see it being a logistically sound idea. While our unit's BOR operates quite well, and things get processed in a reasonable amount of time, I know it's not the same for all units. Particularly in Winnipeg where you have multiple units parading out of the same armoury and sharing the same orderly room. I've heard horror stories from some of the Camerons and Winnipeg Rifles I know about the time it takes for anything to get through. They're administrating units of differnt trades, under different commands (WRT the local Med Coy), and with completely different priorities. Is it any wonder things get mixed up?

Besides, don't you think it's about time Ottawa STOPPED looking for cost cutting ventures anywhere outside of NDHQ? Don't we have more generals now than we did at the peak of WWII? Don't you think there's FAR more fat to be trimmed in that one little building than in the CF in its entirety?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 14, 2004, 17:53:21
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might save some minimal dollars by dropping off 37.5 days worth of LCol and CWO

I'm not talking about one Col/CWO, I'm talking the entire BN organization(CO,DCO etc etc) of 2-4 regiments, fall under on Bn organization.  Will it work?  Who knows, but several units have success running two or more Coys from different locations within a province, so it's an idea that has some merit.



Obviously capital costs like armouries, and equipment would remain constant and would be a major part of any budget. 

Combat Medic brings up a good point RE: Adminstration:

Having come from Winnipeg I all to well know the frustration of having to deal with a central support orderly room.  When I was there I hated their "I work a Tuesday night so I get Friday off attitude".  My wife work at an ASC for 41 brigade and the same attitude prevailed there too.  It's a sad day when the support staff forget that they are there for SUPPORT.

So I think every Reserve Coy would keep, a sort of Coy office(old BOR) and the first POC for administrative needs of the members would go through their coy clerk.  It can even be expanded to include a administrative officer(AO) that would assist the 2IC of the Coy with his end of the Paperwork.  But having a BOR/ASC/central OR that deals with the big administrative issues and assists the Coy clerks would be ideal. 

CQMS could be reworked for units that parade at the same location but because of the distance some units are apart from each other, I think most field stores should be held at unit/coy level.

Recruiting would fall under the BN HQ structure with a representative from each Coy within the cell.  Of course this probably won't effect far-flung units as they usually deal with recruiting as they do now.  This has the potential to become a thorny issue.

Training- Having a larger base of troops under one umbrella allows for leaders to actually lead full sized Pl/Coy operations.  I think most reservists can recall being on many a EX with 3 sections of 4-6 guys and a thinned out PL HQ.  It doesn't make for a fun EX, and doesn't allow leaders to exercise to themselves completely.  Having the flexibility to combine forces at certain junctures allows for more room for improvement at all levels.

There is much more here than just saving money, I think for the most part it allows for the elimination of "duplication of effort" and allows training to be more collective.  I think having 150+ soldiers working together, on exercise is allot better than having 3 or 4 groups of soldiers working independently.  It allows the leadership to truly lead full sized Pl/and Coy Operations and lessons learned by one group isn't contained within that small group but rather through the AAR process becomes corporate knowledge.

I'll admit this is a very crude working of how it would all gel together, LOTS of things would have to be ironed out before anything of this nature took place. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on July 15, 2004, 14:37:42
The salient point about battalion headquarters is that the Militia is supposed to provide a framework in time of war on which a fully operational field army can be raised.  While the need for battalion headquarters personnel is not apparent now, if we were ever to moblize more than a single division, the need for a framework of battalion and brigade staffs would be made more obvious.  I don't see why the conversation would go beyond that very basic point.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 15, 2004, 19:09:32
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The salient point about battalion headquarters is that the Militia is supposed to provide a framework in time of war on which a fully operational field army can be raised.  While the need for battalion headquarters personnel is not apparent now, if we were ever to moblize more than a single division, the need for a framework of battalion and brigade staffs would be made more obvious.  I don't see why the conversation would go beyond that very basic point.

If military planners think this is how we need to prepare for future conflicts, then we're already ****ed.  That kind of thinking is 50 years out of date.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on July 15, 2004, 19:20:19
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The salient point about battalion headquarters is that the Militia is supposed to provide a framework in time of war on which a fully operational field army can be raised.  While the need for battalion headquarters personnel is not apparent now, if we were ever to moblize more than a single division, the need for a framework of battalion and brigade staffs would be made more obvious.  I don't see why the conversation would go beyond that very basic point.

If military planners think this is how we need to prepare for future conflicts, then we're already ****ed.  That kind of thinking is 50 years out of date.

How do you think they are doing it in the United States?  We have close relations with the 161st Infantry Regiment, National Guard.  They were recently deployed as a unit to Iraq.    Even in peacetime, though, they tend to keep their reserve units up to strength and have the will and ability to mobilize when necessary.

I don't see that keeping battalion headquarters operating is 50 years out of date; it is going on in the US as we speak.  How would YOU mobilize a 2 division field force, if the need arose?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on July 15, 2004, 19:29:41
You beat me to it Infanteer.

What is that old adage that staff weinies alsways prepare to fight the last war. We are highly unlikely to see a mobilization like 1939 again, or an army of 5-8 Divisions bulit up over a six year period.

Even if we did need such a force, then amalgamating units will not prevent that. We can always split standing units into 1st and 2nd Bns (and eventually 3rd and 4th if needed reverting back to the original Regiments if need be under a total mobilization) with a small slice being pulled from the initial Bn to be the core cadre of the forming second one.

What we probably will need (do need) is 1-2 Divisions of trained and equipped Reservists able to be quickly utilised now to support our 1 Regular Division.

As pointed out we would be eliminating a whole series of redundant Bn and higher HQ's (and thinking of some Co's DCOs and RSMs I've had to deal with in the past that's an incentive right there). That would in addition to providing a more realistic indian to chiefs ratio in the units slow the promotions rates to Snr officer and NCOs positions in the Militia as a by product (1 RSm vs 3-4, 4-6 CSMs vs 12-16 etc etc). Result a better quality (as opposed to quantity) senior leadership in militia units. Something most can agree has been perceived as a shortcoming at times. Mind there would have to be some incentive for staying if promotions slowed down across the board, like say training, pay and benefits on a par with the regulars.

This is not proposed as a cost saving measure per say, although as noted there would be some. Its more an efficency exercise that would give us viable usable units, which last time I checked was the whole point of the exercise. Were I still in, that would be enough for me to put on another cap badge if I had to.


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 15, 2004, 22:14:11
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I don't see that keeping battalion headquarters operating is 50 years out of date; it is going on in the US as we speak.   How would YOU mobilize a 2 division field force, if the need arose?

"There is no going back, in other words, to the assumption on which the traditional American nation-state was founded: that a small army, augmented by large numbers of reservists, is all that is needed to hold the enemy at bay while the civilian economic facilities are converted to wartime production.

Rather than relying on the cumbersome mobilization and massed firepower arrangements of the Cold War, this work suggests reorganizing the Army into mobile combat groups positioned on the Frontiers of American security, ready to act quickly and decisively, primed to move with a minimum of preparation."

Col. Douglas MacGregor, Breaking the Phalanx


I feel this statement is very relevant to our situation as well, although in a much smaller scale.   I am a firm believer in the fact that we are best served by fielding a fully trained and equipped professional force that is rapidly deployable worldwide.   In today's fluid international environment, all contingencies along the Spectrum of Conflict require quick and decisive action; our opponents will not let us sit on the shores of Britain and build sufficient forces to re-cross the Channel (The outdated idea I was referring to).   If there are situations which require more then we can commit, then Generals and Politicians are not doing their job by ignoring the demands required of a modern and effective fighting force of a post-industrial world leader.

We shouldn't have to mobilize a two division force.   If our leaders were on top of things and figured two divisions were required of the Canadian Army to credibly serve our interests, then we should have two divisions of regular professionals standing on the wall.   Obviously, coalitions and alliances help to apportion out the responsibilities of meeting force requirements, but we can't ignore our end of the bargin and let our allies shoulder our burden of security; what I'm saying is that we probably do require two divisions.   However, I would not look to mobilizing them out of reservists when the need comes, rather we need those troops on call; forming a force that size requires considerable effort towards recruiting and retention, training, incentives and attractiveness of a military career, equipment, and a whole other myriad of issues above my pay grade.   Seems like a tall order, but isn't that what the leadership is there for?

Besides, if for some odd reason we decided to mobilize reserve units, I sure wouldn't want to be following some Reserve Colonel into battle, who at best has commanded a Platoon in dry fire training.   If Militia is to remain relevent today, we need to do what Danjanou says and tailor the reserves as a "reaction force" for supplementing the Regulars (the ROTO 11 CRIC on a more permanent level).   Face it, all the Militia does now is to act as a minor league feeder pool for the Regular Forces at best and a social club at worst.   The day of the citzen-soldier or the volunteer coming to pull Canada out of the fire is over; infact I would venture that this notion is mythical in itself as we've had to build professional forces in all our wars around the bloody lessons of unpreparedness.   A friend of mine was quite astute in pointing out that Afghanistan was the first case in which Canada sent a its Regular Forces to war.   This is a professional's game more now then it ever was.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on July 15, 2004, 22:55:03
Makes much more sense when you put it like that, thanks.  :)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 15, 2004, 23:23:41
Micheal is right in stating that the reserve is to provide a frame work for mobilization.....I just happen to think they still can do it with a reduction in some upper echelon.  The primary role of the entire(air, land, sea) reserve force in general is to augment, sustain and support deployed forces. 
The roles of the militia in priority are;
        -To provide the framework for mobilization
        -To augment and sustain the regular force
        -To serve as a link between military and civilian communities

In the Land Forces there are 132 reserve units situated throughout Canada.  You can not tell me honestly they all parade at their full strength or rather train at full strength all the time(or part of the time for that matter).  The truth is the both the reserves and the Regs have way to many upper echelon for the amount of people contain within.  We can start a new subject on where the Regs could be improved but for now we are looking at reserves. 

If we ever went to full mobilization we should/would have enough warning to significantly ramp up reserve units or form new units.  Besides the numbers contains within each unit are so low right now that if full formed units were needed right away, they would probably algamate several reserve units together to meet any emergency.

I think by allowing reserve training to become more consistent, and allowing the leadership the ability and the opportunity to actually lead they can become a much better force overall and maybe we won't see such a huge training difference between reserve and reg force soldiers at all levels. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 16, 2004, 13:44:59
Since this thread seems to be leaving the realm of Military History, I'm moving it to the general discussion section.

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-To provide the framework for mobilization
I have argued that this role is out of date.

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-To augment and sustain the regular force
This is what the militia really needs to focus on.   It is only being done half-assed.   What is the point of training a reservist up to a MCpl, only to see him lose all of his qualifications and be reduced to a private?   There needs to be one type of soldier, the amount of TI should matter only in the training, not the abilities of either.

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-To serve as a link between military and civilian communities
This seems to be something thrown up for the hell of it.   The entire military is responsible for this, not strictly the reserves.

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In the Land Forces there are 132 reserve units situated throughout Canada.   You can not tell me honestly they all parade at their full strength or rather train at full strength all the time(or part of the time for that matter).   The truth is the both the reserves and the Regs have way to many upper echelon for the amount of people contain within.   We can start a new subject on where the Regs could be improved but for now we are looking at reserves.

Quite true.   Most reserve regiments on paper have company+ strength (about 200).   For training, you often see platoon+ showing up.

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If we ever went to full mobilization we should/would have enough warning to significantly ramp up reserve units or form new units.   Besides the numbers contains within each unit are so low right now that if full formed units were needed right away, they would probably algamate several reserve units together to meet any emergency.

I think by allowing reserve training to become more consistent, and allowing the leadership the ability and the opportunity to actually lead they can become a much better force overall and maybe we won't see such a huge training difference between reserve and reg force soldiers at all levels.

I believe the reserves should be structured to meet the demands required of it in the shortest amount of time possible.   Soldiers should be qualified to do their job at the level of their reg force counterparts following an intensive work up training.   Units should be built around deployable lines rather than some community or regimental one.  

Take BC for instance.   Why not forge all units into one battalion.   The four infantry units can provide a company each, the two armour units a mounted recce/direct fire support capability.   Give mortars to the arty units and have the engineers fill in a assault pioneer role, while the service battalion and the medics can form the admin company.   The battalion will have a colonel and a RSM (as opposed to the Brigade Commander/BRSM and the 14 CO's and RSM's that the Brigade has now).   All the regional armouries will be given sub-unit status and fill that TO&E (which seems to be what they are cabable of).  The fact that this battalion would be overstrength is a bonus providing that many reservists are not able to commit to 100% if the training.   I think the British Columbia Regiment would be a suitable designation for this battalion, giving everyone in the province the same capbrass and colours to support regimental pride; however I think all the other units would balk at adopting the regimental affiliation of one of the armoured units.  This battalion would receive a single training budget and would do its utmost to train as a full unit when possible.   Although efficiency is a target here, the single most important aspect of this is unity of command and effort, that tried and true concept that ensures everyone is working towards supporting the main effort.   Right now we have Reserve units training willy-nilly around the country, pissing away dollars on individual units that could be combined for something better.

Two ideas in how to incorporate this battalion into LFWA.   Make the three reserve battalions (What were 38, 39, and 41 CBG) part of 1 CMBG.   I could see advantages by being in the Brigade training loop and can lead to increased levels of reserve/reg interoperability.   However, this one sounds less plausible for a realistic fear that the reserves will be viewed as a burden to the Brigade commander and much of the reserve portion of a Brigade budget will be appropriated for the regular force units.

The other possibility is to have 2 Brigades within LFWA, 1 CMBG and 3CBG.   A reserve Brigade staff to control the units of Western Canada will be directly responsible to the LFWA commander.   If things were done right, 3 CBG could be called upon to supplement 1 CMBG during the ATOF cycle.   Take Afghanistan; 1 CMBG will be tasked to provide a battlegroup based around an infantry battalion.   The next incoming Battlegroup can be a 50/50 mix of 1 CMBG and 3 CBG.   Finally, a full 1 CBG battle group can be inserted, perhaps with certain elements of the 50/50 group remaining on to help with C2 efforts.

This may sound a bit dreamy, but I hope you can see I'm trying to work towards making the reserves a fully functioning force to augment the regular force in short order.   If the military's idea of effective augmentation is to keep the reserve units on the backburner until the Soviets cross the Elbe river, then the Militia just may as well pack it up and join the military when that time comes.   Why should 20,000 regulars handle the majority of the load during wartime (we are at war, if you all remember) when there are about 15,000 reservists, most who are willing to contribute.   But to do so effectively, they must be properly trained (one standard in qualifications), properly led (get rid of this MITCIP crap), and properly supported by the government (funding and job protection).   It may seem like a tall order, but like I said before, that's what the leadership (civilian and uniformed) is for.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 16, 2004, 15:08:08
Quote
-To provide the framework for mobilization
I have argued that this role is out of date.

Very out of date, but there will always be a "higher HQs" for reserves.  Even under your LFWA proposal, the framework is still there, and should be, should it ever be needed.  I just happen to think, like you that the fat needs to be trimmed away.

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Why not forge all units into one battalion.  The four infantry units can provide a company each, the two armour units a mounted recce/direct fire support capability.  Give mortars to the arty units and have the engineers fill in a assault pioneer role, while the service battalion and the medics can form the admin company.

I was waiting for someone to jump in with but what do you do with the armoured/medics/service Bns.  I was thinking along the same lines too Infanteer.  Can you imagine an exercise where there is actually a recce screen, an actual advancing element, arty support, service support and even medical support?  The ability for the reserves to train as a collective whole with all cbt and supporting arms is something that is vital if augmentation is to be as seamless as possible.  I have only seen one reserve exercise, where all of these have come together and even then it was a special MILCON type exercise that took a ton of planning.  Now with that being said, I've been out of the reserves since early 01 and they may have had some success in having these sorts of exercises on a regular basis since then.  But I think its the exception not the rule. 

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viewed as a burden to the Brigade commander and much of the reserve portion of a Brigade budget will be appropriated for the regular force units.

I would hope that Reserves would be recognized for what they could potentially be, which is effective augmentees to any mission the CF undertakes.  If trained properly there really should be no reason why sub units couldn't join a Reg BG as augmentees, only needing the same sort of workup that their regular counterparts endure.  Were unit members kept together for the CRIC Coy on ROTO 11 or was everyone pretty much thrown into a spot?  I ask because I think the way the CRIC coys were heading was step in the right direction, but the value of the any Coy like that would be lost initially if members that trained together, weren't kept together. 

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  But to do so effectively, they must be properly trained (one standard in qualifications), properly led (get rid of this MITCIP crap), and properly supported by the government (funding and job protection).  It may seem like a tall order, but like I said before, that's what the leadership (civilian and uniformed) is for.

I think one of the major obstacles to any sort of reserve restructuring is the reserves itself.  Way to many people like their kingdoms they have built and view change as an attack on themselves.  I don't want to see the loss of regiments anymore than anyone else but the reality is that the number of troops doesn't justify the framework right now.  Danjanou's comment "Just how many Militia Lt Col's does it take to "oversee" a weekend training exercise of two rifle platoons anyway?", keeps rolling across my mind when I think of this subject. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on July 16, 2004, 17:34:04
Whoa, do I get the feeling I've opened a can of worms here.

Infanteer and MJP have both put more clearly some of the ideas I was trying to get at, and the inherent advantages and benefits that I saw resulting form such an amalgamation. Also thanks Infanteer for moving this.

Yes it would take a lot of work and there would be several bruised egos along the way. As noted a lot of people have built up little fiefdoms and would be most unwilling to part with them. Now I've been out of the loop for a bit, but from what I remember those same senior individuals for the most part are the ones who are part of the problem, the â Å“social club soldiers.â ?

I remember taking over as CSM of a rifle coy in Toronto (ok we hard pressed to put a platoon in the field when I took over) and having to explain to a couple of my Sergeants that no Tuesday Night Parade was not an excuse to say â Å“carry on Cplâ ? at 1930 and head for the Sgt's Mess. Some resented that and eventually found new homes, a few came around to my way of "work is work and play is play" and eventually we built a new company over a 4-5 year period that was at full or close to it strength when I left  (and I mean taking 100-140 bodies, 3xPls an HQ and an A-Ech into the field apart from the rest of the regiment), and when they got there knew what they were doing.

We can bring Reservists up to the standard that they can with minimal work up take their place on the wall beside their Regular counterparts. There are members on the board who are examples of that. We need however to make the decision to do so and part of that is realising that our present organization is unwieldy, top heavy and just bloody not working and go from there.

Amalgamation is not something new to the Militia. Just about every unit now on the Order of battle is a result of some sot of amalgamation or conversion in the past. Especially in the Infantry.   

How we go about it though as Infanteers example show will require a little thought and give and take to minimize the hurt. Do we just group the units by geographic region (the BC Regiment, The Winnipeg Regiment, The Toronto Regiment etc)? Or do we try and lump all the â Å“Highlandersâ ?, â Å“Riflesâ ? â Å“Hussarsâ ? etc into new units? Perhaps a combination of this would be best.

Then how far do we take it Will the new â Å“Toronto Highlandersâ ? three component rifle companies wear the insignia and accoutrements of the 48th Highlanders, Toronto Scottish and Lorne Scots respectively or after a while will they sport some â Å“newâ ? cap badge and tartan?

The first step just is to determine just how many Bns, Bdes etc we need. I think based on what we have now we could probably end up with 6 fairly full strength Brigades spread across the country each with 3 Inf Bns ( light and/or LAV),an armoured Regt., and attached Artillery Engineer and Svc Support units.

I think that the various CSS and support arms Arty & Engineer may be easier to do than the Infantry and the Black hats. They may find it more palatable for the present Arty units to become batteries or even troops as part of a new full strength Unit. Same for the thumpers Mind they've always been a practical lot.
         
Well that's more than my two cent's worth for today.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on July 18, 2004, 23:51:05
A few thoughts on structuring the reserves for mobilization & doing away with superflous battalion HQs:

1)  Most of the LCol that are reserve COs would disapear into staff jobs or carry on as the CO whatever elements of the regiment contiue to parade & train in the local armouries here in Canada.  In an army that has no divisions, reserve officers will be the most likely source to stand-up the headquarters of any formation above brigade.  In this regard, are we any worse off if we have only a quarter as many LCol, but twice as many MCSC qualified Maj & Capt?  The staff experience of these officers would also be greater.  Instead of filling the job of Ops O in a regiment with two rifle sections, a Pl HQ, and a Coy HQ, officers would have the experience of Ops O for 3 to 5 companies. 

2)  The linear chain of command in a reserve unit may breed a lack of appreciation for its necessity.  I have come across many reserve units where it is okay for anyone to visit the Ops O or the BOR to resove issuse that they should push through the Chain of Command.  In a full-up battalion structure, people will quickly learn that these people/offices do not have the time for them.  It will also ensure that leaders at more junior levels learn to deal with more of the personnel administration sooner. 

3)  Mobilization is not possible without the equipment.  We don't have enough for the regular force, so equiping the reserves is not likely.  But our allies will give us equipment you say?  Only after they have met thier own needs and if there is not enough, we will be the ones to do with out.  Recall the Ross Rifle?  The Brits would have replaced it before allowing us to go to France, but they did not have enough Lee Enfield to make this happen & Canada when to war with a rifle that is responsible for the deaths of many Canadians (but they died in good Brit boots that had replaced Canadian boots).  What about the Second World War?  Well, according to Desmond Morton "our utter lack of madern equipment kept us out of serious fighting until 1942."  Industry will not come to our rescue either, because it would take years to manufacture everyything for a modern brigade.

4)  Any future war most likely will be fought by standing forces, however the need for a military force does not end just becuase the politicians said fighting was over (look to Iraq).  The ability to mobilize follow-on forces for stability Ops would be an esential reserve capability. 

5)
I think by allowing reserve training to become more consistent, and allowing the leadership the ability and the opportunity to actually lead they can become a much better force overall and maybe we won't see such a huge training difference between reserve and reg force soldiers at all levels. 
I Agree

6) If the reserves only operate at the battle group level, then they will not be suitable to augment higher level formations.  This is more of an issue for Arty, Engineers, and CSS who may be called upon to fill thier roll in a brigade context.  They will not be able to if they have never done this.

So, I recomend:

A)  Keep the current brigades & restructure the Infantry & Recce regiments into multi-regimental battalions.  These battalions will have full-up Admin Coy & Bn HQ.

B)  Each brigade will have one service battalion.  Multiple battalions will be reduced to one Bn HQ & various companies spread around the brigade.  There will be one maintenance company & there can be multiple S&T Coys.

C) Each brigade will have one Arty regiment.  Multiple regiments will be reduced to one RHQ & various batteries spread around the brigade.  Independant batteries will be absorbed into the regiment.  Some batteries may be mortar tasked.

D) Each brigade will have one Engineer regiment.  Multiple regiments will be reduced to one, and independant squadrons will be absorbed into the regiment.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 19, 2004, 00:39:31
Yard Ape, you state that "Any future war most likely will be fought by standing forces, however the need for a military force does not end just because the politicians said fighting was over (look to Iraq).   The ability to mobilize follow-on forces for stability Ops would be an essential reserve capability."

I agree fully, but I still can't see justifying a brigade with 500 to 1,000 soldiers meets the above requirement.   In the battalion-level structure I proposed, a reserve "Battalion Group" can train to fight as a battalion and be prepared for the "come as you are" conflicts that the Army must structure itself to fight.   If the balloon goes up and we get involved in a conflict that requires more then the regulars can commit, a reserve battalion which has trained together can be mobilized and deployed together.   I cannot see us doing so with the number contained in a reserve Brigade.

As an addition to my proposal, the hypothetical "reserve Brigade" should also have reserve units fulfilling its brigade level tasking in order to ensure that a Brigade can deploy as a whole if the situation requires.

Lets look at LFWA to flesh this out.   As it stands, LFWA contains 1 Regular Brigade, 1 CMBG, and three Reserve brigades, 39 CBG, 41 CBG, and 38 CBG, which are composed of a hodgepodge of understrength companies representing historical regiments.

My idea would organize LFWA into two Brigades.   1 CMBG would be the Regular Brigade, while 3 CBG (or whatever, I just picked the first unused number) would be the Reserve Brigade.

Here would be the breakdown.

BC (Formerly 39 CBG):
-   Provides the British Columbia Regiment (or Rifles, or Fusiliers; whatever floats your boat) consisting of 4x Rifle Companies, 1x DFS Coy, 1x Mortar Coy, 1 x Pioneer Squadron, 1 x   HQ and Admin Coy.
-   As well, provides 3 CBG Brigade Field Engineer Squadron. (44 FES in Trail)

Alberta (Formerly 41 CBG):
-   Provides the Alberta Regiment (or Rifles, or Mounted Crossbowman, or Jedi Knights; whatever floats your boat).   Same as BC Battalion.
- As well, provides 3 CBG Headquarters and Service Battalion (Edmonton).

Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Lakes Region (Formerly 38 CBG):
-   Provides the Prairie Regiment (or the RCMP Musical Ride, or the Saskatchstanis; whatever floats your boat).   Same as other two Battalions.
-   Provides Brigade Artillery Regiment.

You could do the same with the other reserve Brigade groups throughout Canada (10) forming 3 to 4 (fully manned) Reserve Brigades.   Here is an organizational force that accommodates the manpower, equipment, and resources accorded to the Militia.   If BC saw fit to recruit and maintain 5,000 reservists, then I'd organize it as a Brigade.   But until then, we are playing with paper tigers.   Why not build an organization as you would have it fight, making it capable of deploying to the "come-as-you-are" wars that we will no doubt be required to fight in the future.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 19, 2004, 02:34:04
I like both plans proposed but I see some things that might have to be fleshed out better.   Yard Ape brought up things I hadn't thought about and I lean more towards his line with the retention of higher HQ units to retain "the ability to augment higher level formations".   However I think that there should only be one for each supporting arm and from there in the actual organization of the force I like Infanteer's ideas overall.

On the subject of Arty yard ape has;
Quote
Each brigade will have one Arty regiment.   Multiple regiments will be reduced to one RHQ & various batteries spread around the brigade.   Independent batteries will be absorbed into the regiment.   Some batteries may be mortar tasked.
while Infanteer has
Quote
1x Mortar Coy (within each Bn) and Provides Brigade Artillery Regiment.(formerly 38 CBG)

This is again taken with LFWA as the example.

What if the Arty was all one regiment with individual batteries given to each Provincial Bn?   It would retain a higher HQ for the maintenance of the ability "augment higher level formations".   I thinkit would be mixture of mortar and 105 is needed, but not necessarily in the same "Provincial Bn".   These batteries would be integral within each Provincial Bn and could integrate with other batteries and the regimental HQ if needed.   I think we would be hard pressed to get mortar Coys on top of an Artillery Regiment as it is under Infanteer's plan, unless I read it wrong and the Coys are part of the regiment?

I think the same type of model would be undertaken for the rest of the arms; Engineer, Service Support.   I think it allows for flexibility to either train as part of the BN, train as a individual sub-unit or train to support an entire brigade.   This way reserve officers would retain the staff skills that are vital for any sort of operation and wouldn't be at a disadvantage for learning higher level staff functions as their reg F counterparts.


My apologies if I misinterpreted either one of your plans, long day much reading late at night..... ;)

Quick question to end this Yard ape what is MCSC? in regards to Capt and Majors for staff positions?   I'm assuming Militia something staff college but the acronym threw me for a loop.  Never mind answered my own question Militia command and staff course or college.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 19, 2004, 18:48:27
Send our reserves "come as you are" to fight?  Maybe we should plan to just, oh, I don't know, train up a sizeable intake of recruits while we re-invent how to equip and fight formations again.  I await anyone's explanation why they believe our reserve would be prepared to warfight in formations (brigades and/or divisions) in anything less than six months to a year.  If our response to crisis is to deploy the reserve in composite battalions as-is, we will be ridden down like the proverbial grass and have nothing but registered letters and offers from the International Red Cross to deliver packages to PoWs.

Every time we have the "amalgamation" discussion I hope to see someone explain the "cheaper by the dozen" assumption.  I am still waiting.  Is there a secret time-and-motion study that was done proving that two-thirds to three-quarters of the reserve leadership and staff at the unit and brigade level is unrequired?

I have an idea.  Strip a unit completely down to a proper company establishment, with a full-time 2I/C, clerk, and CQMS for one year.  Let's see whether it collapses under the weight of administration or not.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 19, 2004, 22:50:41
Quote
Send our reserves "come as you are" to fight?   Maybe we should plan to just, oh, I don't know, train up a sizeable intake of recruits while we re-invent how to equip and fight formations again.
  I think doing those is part of the neccessary steps needed to ensure we can deploy a reserve formation into a modern conflict.   That is why I've advocated the organizational and command structures to better streamline the reserve system to train as they would fight.

My ideas come from a combination of research and due to my own personal experiences on the ROTO 11 Composite Reserve Infantry Company, which was all reservist (expect for a reg CSM and CQ) sub unit that deployed as D coy, 1 PPCLI.   The unit was organized roughly with a platoon from each of the reserve brigades from LFWA, with 41 Brigade also supplying a Command element.   It was a success for the most part, and showed that with the proper work up, squared away reservists are just as capable of holding the line.   Unfortunatly, at the end of the ROTO the company was broken up with the soldiers being sent back to their home units.   Any level of cohesivness and teamwork that was built up was lost.   What I am advocating is building reserve companies at the unit level, rather then planning them as some sort of Regiment, ready to unfold the colours and march to Vimy.   This way, we don't have to start from scratch when we want to build a reserve subunit to take the place of the regular force one on a deployment.

Quote
I await anyone's explanation why they believe our reserve would be prepared to warfight in formations (brigades and/or divisions) in anything less than six months to a year.

I don't advocate trying to train reserves at the division or brigade level.   The regular force can barely accomplish that.   Unfortunately, our system is organized so we have to do so.   I say that reserve units train as a company and the former CBG runs their training as a battalion, as that is the de facto level of organizaton.   The problem is that these units think they are independent, when they shouldn't be.   This way, reserves can effectivly deliver company and possibly battalion level forces to LFWA for deployment.

Quote
If our response to crisis is to deploy the reserve in composite battalions as-is, we will be ridden down like the proverbial grass and have nothing but registered letters and offers from the International Red Cross to deliver packages to PoWs.

Well, to quote my Platoon Warrant from my platoon overseas, who spent 25 years in the Regs, did the Airborne thing and all that; "I'd put you maggots up with any of the Regular platoons I've been with...."

I thought that was probably the best complement of the tour.   Sir, if your not willing to give credit to reservists who can and have soldiered on, how are we to get anywhere?

Quote
Every time we have the "amalgamation" discussion I hope to see someone explain the "cheaper by the dozen" assumption.   I am still waiting.   Is there a secret time-and-motion study that was done proving that two-thirds to three-quarters of the reserve leadership and staff at the unit and brigade level is unrequired?

I have an idea.   Strip a unit completely down to a proper company establishment, with a full-time 2I/C, clerk, and CQMS for one year.   Let's see whether it collapses under the weight of administration or not.

Regular force Companies seem to do OK.   I know what position you are in, so perhaps you can help better explain the additional difficulties that reserve units face so our "wild theories" can take them into account.   If you think my idea is right out to lunch, please give me a better solution, because I've taken the time and effort to put forth something for everyone to digest.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 19, 2004, 23:00:55
Send our reserves "come as you are" to fight?   Maybe we should plan to just, oh, I don't know, train up a sizeable intake of recruits while we re-invent how to equip and fight formations again.   I await anyone's explanation why they believe our reserve would be prepared to warfight in formations (brigades and/or divisions) in anything less than six months to a year.   If our response to crisis is to deploy the reserve in composite battalions as-is, we will be ridden down like the proverbial grass and have nothing but registered letters and offers from the International Red Cross to deliver packages to PoWs.

We've said before we would need full wartime establishment(Stage four National mobilization), the need for it would be apparent and the establishment of new units or the expansion of existing ones would be already ramped up or in the works.   Heaven help everyone if the balloon up so fast that it wasn't as "surprise the Regs wouldn't be ready either".


Quote
I have an idea.   Strip a unit completely down to a proper company establishment, with a full-time 2I/C, clerk, and CQMS for one year.   Let's see whether it collapses under the weight of administration or not.

I like the idea already....   ;) But all kidding aside. So I imagine every Reg Force Bn will collaspe any day now?   No I didn't think so, because the support beyond unit level is still there, as it would be under any sort of restructuring of the reserves that we are discussing.   I'm not advocating getting rid of all support wether it be administrative or staff.   In fact the same number of administrative staff would probably still be utilized if not more.   

Well the unit would be in "company establishment" they still would have all the support they had as they would still have a battalion HQ to plans Ops/ and assist in any administration(BOR/ASU/Whatever you want to call it) that the COY clerk cannot handle.   My clerk has no problems with supporting 125+ pers with BOR support. It just this Bn HQ would have a larger complement of soldiers under it, something reserve Bns aren't use too I'll admit.

As for your staffing comment I haven't seen too many people write reports or conduct studies that take them out of a job lately have you?
I bet you there are studies out there that prove the staffing system works and from my rudimentry level of understanding of it, I think it works to.   I just happen to think we are kidding ourselves if we think any reserve brigade is an actual brigade in sense of numbers.   Why have ten weak reserve bridgades when we can have 3 or 4 strong ones?   

As for needing more staff to ramp up additional brigades/division level HQs in case of emergency...I can think of a few unfunded project offices in NDHQ we can close.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 20, 2004, 03:46:58
Why would a Reg F unit collapse?  Everyone is full-time.

I have heard over the past two decades, repeatedly, two contradictory themes:

1) "It would be as easy for one full-time person to fill this appointment for three or four units, as for one unit."
2) "You part-timers don't realize how busy we full-timers are."

My point is this: there is enough _required_ work - apparently - at the unit level to keep somewhere between 5 and 8 full-time staff busy, and 5 or more part-timers in senior staff and command positions busy for more part-time than is typically budgeted.  I certainly believe there is some duplication and unnecessary busywork which can be eliminated.  I am also aware that there are certain constraints that add to administrative burdens - recruiting, and messes and institutes are two examples.  We'd better have a clear idea of what must be done and who will do it before merging three or four units into one.  I would have welcomed a very stiff broom to sweep aside much of the routine humdrum, but that promise - it has been made by more than one person - has never become reality.

I have heard no full-time staff at brigade level complain of or admit to being underworked.

There is a certain amount of situation of the estimate in each person's mind.  I realize reservists have deployed effectively.  I wonder how a battalion with, say, 40% reservists in the line slots would fare two weeks into deployment while facing down an attacking regular Pakistani armoured brigade in some sort of imaginary crisis.  Obviously that's a different expectation than having a company at whatever constitutes "reserve readiness" state to train for deployment on the next peacekeeping / peace enforcement mission.

We don't gain much from organizing and training as we intend to fight if we don't deploy as we organize and train.  It doesn't require reorganization for the existing units to train collectively, just the will and funding to do so.

All of that amounts to secondary concerns in my view.  Forget battalion...

>What I am advocating is building reserve companies at the unit level

How many company-sized reserve units have achieved this and are ready to be amalgamated into battalions for battalion collective training?  Reorganization isn't going to wash away the need for pre-deployment (or mobilization) workups if we don't even believe the reservists should be routinely using the same equipment as the regulars.

If the role of the reserve is to be dumbed down to occasional backfill of shorthanded low intensity foreign adventures and shovel monkeys for domestic operations*, then as a taxpayer I say just pack it in and fund the regulars.

*Let them be paid as civilians, or show up as volunteers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: combat_medic on July 20, 2004, 12:59:11
A Reg F Bn would probably collapse because bringing them up to wartime strength when some Battalions are down to as little as half strength would be a HUGE undertaking. If, in 6 months to a year the CF were somehow able to recruit the thousands of people necessary to fill up all the Reg F Inf Battalions to full, wartime strength, that would mean that between a quarter and half of your entire battalion will be either untrained, or brand new. It's doubtful that there would be enough leadership (Junior, Senior, Officer or otherwise) to sustain that kind of Bn. Unless you're doing field promotions hand over fist, it's a whole lot of untrained privates to be dealing with.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael O'Leary on July 20, 2004, 13:25:48
Quote
My clerk has no problems with supporting 125+ pers with BOR support.

But remember that your clerk isn't manning the potentially only "open/public access" military desk in the community, dealing with walk-in or file preparation recruiting inquiries, releases, pay, possibly day-to-day budget monitoring as the FMAS point of contact, probably backfilling the Trg WO on monitoring tasks in the CFTPO, as well all as dealing with unit-level and pers admin in support of unit activities and out of unit training, courses and tasks.

In the Reg Force, clerks at the company level are very focused in their range of duties, and it's primarily pers support for the troops, often covering a limited number of trades and ranks. A full-time clerk with a Reserve unit, even though the number of supported personnel may be the same as the Reg Force Coy Clerk, is much more of a jack-of-all-trades, performing many functions that are transparent to the average soldier when they are being done right.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 20, 2004, 18:18:45
That's why my old reserve unit (Coy size) has six clerks (1 reg RSS, two reserves).   If the reserve units can justify a requirement for extra administrative support, we can allow for that in a TO&E.

I think we are getting sidetracked.   Why are we letting issues of a clerk or two and some paperwork alter the doctrine and force structure for the Militia?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael O'Leary on July 20, 2004, 22:43:51
I think we are getting sidetracked.   Why are we letting issues of a clerk or two and some paperwork alter the doctrine and force structure for the Militia?

Because when you start to generalize remodelling collective Reserve units against a Regular Force unit model, you have to keep in mind that the workloads and responsibilities of apparently similar positions are not necessarily equal. And any new proposal still has to meet the status quo responsibilities of the existing unit(s). For example, a composite Reserve unit with sub-units in six locations has six recruiting points of contact to maintain, not one at the unit level (which is still one more than a Reg F unit).

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 20, 2004, 23:19:28
Of course my ideas are elementary, attempting to devise the best framework from which to work from.

Perhaps we should start a thread on how to approach reserve recruiting then?   I've posted multiple threads on my thoughts on recruiting, and CFRC members have been good enough to offer their first hand knowledge in turn.  Is there anything else to contribute?

My experience with reserve recruiting is that it lies in the hands of the CFRC.   Reserve units of about 100-200 members can sustain efforts to get local interest, recruits through the door, etc, etc.   They go to CFRC for all their processing, merely needing a signature from the reserve unit that says "Yes, we want this guy/gal for our unit."   Am I mistaken in this perception?

This is something reserve units do now and can continue to do as a sub-unit.   I can think of many different ways of ensuring the responsibility for recruitng gets picked up at the "Armoury" level (I've seen 'em done before).

Do you see any other problems?

(PS: Does anyone know how the British TA runs their recruiting?   I believe their "Armoury" level units are company strength.)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 20, 2004, 23:28:59
Excellent finally got some people interested in the thread, that didn't agree.   Kinda hard to debate when the three main people all agree  ;).  Look forward to reading and replying when my new son(and wife) gives me the chance...back to the hospital I go. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 20, 2004, 23:41:44
Hey, congrats MJP.  If I had a big stinky cigar, I'd give it to you.

Is he going to be able to make the summer BMQ?  :)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Scott on July 21, 2004, 00:07:49
Infanteer,
In the Recruiting section of the forum there was a post from a young fellow who said that his local PRes Unit offered Co-Op programs for High School students, I am sorry that I do not know the accuracy of this. I think that this is one way to approach Recruiting for the Reserves. The PRes fits well with a student's schedule, from what I remember there were alot of long weekends used for ex's, spring break, summer vacation and part of x-mas break. I think that if the PRes were to get together with the respective Dep'ts of Education and work on this that we could have some fantastic results.  This doesn't solve the problem of keeping good NCO's, but I do think it could be a starting point. Perhaps this has already been discussed elsewhere....

Or what about offering young offenders a second chance. I realize that some may not want a young criminal around them with a loaded C7 but it is worth mention is it not?

Just a thought
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rfn on July 21, 2004, 01:48:46
MJP: Congratulations! and give your wife our best!

scott1nsh: In Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, there is a Co-op program, worked out with the school boards. It is a good recruiting policy. The only problem is the slow pace of the recruiting process is excluding many students...

Infanteer & MJP, and others: To go back to the reorganization and rationalization argument, I cant argue with your logic, you have put much thought into reorganization of the militia cbgs into battle groups, and maybe this will result in a more realistically trained and more deployable and effective force.

But consider this: Imagine: 10 years from when this plan is implemented, say in British Columbia, to "improve training, cut costs, and increase efficiency" someone looks at improving on Infanteer's plan, which has been implemented, and says:

"My goodness, 39 Battle Group (or The British Columbia Regiment to use Infanteer's suggestion for a name) has four Infantry companies (the former "bn" size infantry regiments) plus squadron/troop size supporting arms. And none of them are quite parading up to full strength these days, so I propose:

"reducing all those understrength companies to platoons, and get rid of those useless coy HQs! Most of them are at platoon strength anyway, who needs all those overpriced Majors and Sergeants-Major, and those fat old CQMS's! What a waste of money, we only need pretty much one Coy HQ, for all of the reserves in BC.

"Which would mean of course, we could get rid of 39 Battle Group HQ. No use for a LCol to command a formation of so few troops....

...And we will call the new formation...."39 Combat Team!! (or the British Columbia Cbt Tm)"

...and when that new organization has some size problems 10 -15 yrs down the road, they will start looking at the plans for ..."39 Platoon Group!!...."

Anyway, my point is, maybe we need reform, but we should think long term. Changes and reorganizations based on the sick situation of the Militia today could result in the Militia being rationalized right out of existence.

'Cause it's always easy to reduce and downsize, but very hard to increase and expand. If you think the scenario above is a bit far-fetched dont forget, and I think Mike Dorosh can confirm, each PROVINCE in the West made up it's OWN brigade group (or Militia District, to use the old term), just over 10 years ago.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on July 21, 2004, 23:59:26
Quick question to end this Yard ape what is MCSC? in regards to Capt and Majors for staff positions?   I'm assuming Militia something staff college but the acronym threw me for a loop.   Never mind answered my own question Militia command and staff course or college.
Militia Command & Staff Course.   It is like the Toronto staff college for the army reserve.

Every time we have the "amalgamation" discussion I hope to see someone explain the "cheaper by the dozen" assumption.   I am still waiting.  
For me, this is about a greater training opportuity (Sect Comd leading sections, Pl Comds leading platoons, OCs leading Coys, Bn staff with a Bn to look after, etc).   We could take all the PYs & class B dollars saved & put them into the new regional Bn HQs (at least as far as I care).

I have an idea.   Strip a unit completely down to a proper company establishment, with a full-time 2I/C, clerk, and CQMS for one year.   Let's see whether it collapses under the weight of administration or not.
There are several reserve units that sucessfuly run off-site sub-units.   There are also several succesfull independant sub-units (though there were more before the medical branch became its own command).   Why can't this success be repeated in other Coy sized units?   Don't forget that a company can have an Ops O/BC, Admin O, Liaison O, and Trg NCO.   I would recoment the Trg NCO be added to the full time staff.

The proposal I have given my support to still keeps much more headquarters in place by retaining the existing brigades and reducing the number of battalion HQs.   In the same move Coy HQs would grow and the central battalion HQ would be larger than any of the previous regimental HQs.   One of my concernce with Infanteers proposal is that I envision independantly located platoons.   I do not think that these would have the staff resources to sustain themselves.  

Quote
I await anyone's explanation why they believe our reserve would be prepared to warfight in formations (brigades and/or divisions) in anything less than six months to a year.

I don't advocate trying to train reserves at the division or brigade level.  
The regular force should be capable of dealing with any mission that requires anything upto & including a brigade (or two).   If the reserves are required to mobilize, I would expect we need divisions or a follow-on force to relieve the already comitted regular force.   In our Op Tempo over the last decade, there should have been no need for the regulars to rely on the reserves (the fact that that need did exist is due to fualt of the regular establishment & manning).   There is nothing wrong with raising reserve companies (or even units) for PSOs, but we have time to do this throughoully & using only volunteers.   So, our mobilization plans must make room for divisions & possibly even a Corps.

What I am advocating is building reserve companies at the unit level, rather then planning them as some sort of Regiment, ready to unfold the colours and march to Vimy.   This way, we don't have to start from scratch when we want to build a reserve subunit to take the place of the regular force one on a deployment.
Most of our new reservists are highschool students.   You would need a new primary recruiting demographic before it will be come easy to deploy a company from a Bn spread over a province.

'Cause it's always easy to reduce and downsize, but very hard to increase and expand. If you think the scenario above is a bit far-fetched dont forget, and I think Mike Dorosh can confirm, each PROVINCE in the West made up it's OWN brigade group (or Militia District, to use the old term), just over 10 years ago.
I think any restructure should have a growth/decay formula.   If a Coy could sustain a given strength for a given period, it would be authorised to raise an addditional platoon.   If a Coy were to reach authorisation for (lets say) 6 platoons it would split to two Coys.   If a company fell belwo a given strength for too long, it would loose a platoon.   Battalions would split or merge based on the growth of thier companies, and brigades would split or merge based on growth the the battalions.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael O'Leary on July 22, 2004, 00:56:55
Quick question to end this Yard ape what is MCSC? in regards to Capt and Majors for staff positions?   I'm assuming Militia something staff college but the acronym threw me for a loop.   Never mind answered my own question Militia command and staff course or college.
Militia Command & Staff Course.   It is like the Toronto staff college for the army reserve.

Actually , the MCSC is the Reserve equivalent to the Army Operations Course conducted at the Canadian Land Force Command and Staff College (CLFCSC) in Kingston.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 22, 2004, 03:02:58
I continue to hold my view that reserve participation in ongoing peace operations should be limited to individual augmentation unless we choose to stand up a contingent as the Special Force.  Any crisis requiring a greater degree of mobilization of reserves should be something for which all go for the duration, and "rotation" is limited to pulling people out of the line after a tour and posting them (perhaps with a trade remuster) to a less stressful position.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MJP on July 23, 2004, 16:05:01
Quote
'Cause it's always easy to reduce and downsize, but very hard to increase and expand
So true.   The reserves strength is allowable up to 18, 500 IIRC as it stands right now (what   they are allowed not what they have).   Any reorganization would have to take that into account and ensure that the reorganized role has spots on the TO&E for all 18,500 potential soldiers.   As well plans would have to be in place to ensure that if the numbers were allowed to increase, there will be a place to put them.  

Quote
But remember that your clerk isn't manning the potentially only "open/public access" military desk in the community, dealing with walk-in or file preparation recruiting inquiries, releases, pay, possibly day-to-day budget monitoring as the FMAS point of contact, probably backfilling the Trg WO on monitoring tasks in the CFTPO, as well all as dealing with unit-level and pers admin in support of unit activities and out of unit training, courses and tasks.

Very true Michael but I think that situation is the exception not the rule as most reserve units have two or three units in an armories in most locations and therefore would have some sort of ASC(Armoury Support Center).   I could be wrong in my generalizations though as I'll be the first to admit I have no experience with reserve organizations in the East.   I base most of my thoughts on 38, 39, and 41 Brigades.     For the most part most administration is handle by ASCs which consists of several Reg force RSS clerks and quite a few Class B clerks doing most of the claims, releases as well as most other things mentioned in your quote.   My wife has worked at two units and for the most part never handled much in the way of claims, releases, recruiting except to point people in the right direction.   Now when she worked at an ASC, she handled everything that you would imagine a clerk to handle.  


Quote
Every time we have the "amalgamation" discussion I hope to see someone explain the "cheaper by the dozen" assumption.   I am still waiting.  
For me, this is about a greater training opportunity (Sect Comd leading sections, Pl Comds leading platoons, OCs leading Coys, Bn staff with a Bn to look after, etc).  
I agree!


Quote
reserve participation in ongoing peace operations should be limited to individual augmentation unless we choose to stand up a contingent as the Special Force
While the troops(Reg F) hated the CRIC organizations as they saw militia soldiers taking their spots on a tour, I like the idea and wished it was around when I was in the reserves.   It was probably one of the fews times that the reserves leadership there at all levels got to lead a full complement of sects/pls/coy with its integral ech.   I hope they plan for more of this sort of augmentation if we stay in Afghanistan for any length of time(even if it's just a reserve sect in a Reg Pl).

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on July 27, 2004, 23:30:18
I continue to hold my view that reserve participation in ongoing peace operations should be limited to individual augmentation unless we choose to stand up a contingent as the Special Force.
Generally, I agree.  There should be no need to send a full reserve sub-unit, but at the same time I don't think there is harm in sending a reserve sub-unit as part of a regular unit.

Any crisis requiring a greater degree of mobilization of reserves should be something for which all go for the duration, and "rotation" is limited to pulling people out of the line after a tour and posting them (perhaps with a trade remuster) to a less stressful position.
I think there could be a scale of mobilization lesser than this.  Not everyone went for the duration of the Korean War.  We could have a senario where 75% of the regulars launch to fight a war.  25 % of the regular field force (the guys in ATOF reconstitution)  remains in Canada.  This 25% and the mobilized Special Force will train individual replacments for the deployed force & int will stand-up the second rotation force (they will have 6 - 9 months to do this).  This second rotation force may arrive when the fighting has been declared over, but an occupation force is still required.  Occupation demands may require the the Special Force remain active for a few years after the wars ends.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 28, 2004, 16:56:51
That "lesser scale of mobilization" is what I envision as mobilization under Special Force.  Instead of overstretching our existing regular and reserve forces, I would prefer a policy wherein if the government wants to get "stuck in" to a situation for more than two rotos, it pays the price to recruit, train, and deploy additional contingents under the Special Force until the commitment ends.

Roto 0: Regular Force elements at "ready" state in ATOF cycle.
Roto 1: the next Regular Force elements at "ready", augmented by reservists (individuals, formed coy/pl groups - doesn't matter)
Roto 2+: Special Force elements - newly constituted, to be stood down at end of commitment

From Roto 2 on, Reg F elements in the "ready" state in excess of whatever we want to keep in hand for immediate reaction could certainly also be deployed.  The point is to generate temporary surges under the Special Force in order to never be in a state of having "no troops to send".
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on July 30, 2004, 04:01:35
I don't think building units from scratch is a good way to engender trust and cohesion within a unit.

This "Special Force" system seems like it would be plagued by the same problems that affected the US Army with its individual replacement system in Vietnam.

Or are you reffering to something akin to the US Army's COHORT system, which maintain a pool of officers which where given their allotment of recruits, whom they trained and then moved into an active unit ready to be deployed.  This had the benefit of ensuring a stable manpower situation (everyone was on the same cycle), a familiarity within the unit, and previously established vertical and horizontal command relationships.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on July 30, 2004, 21:17:28
Trust and cohesion: units managed somehow during WWII and Korea.  I do not suggest everyone from the private soldiers to the CO be recruited off the street, trained, and deployed in 12 months under the colours of a unit which has never before been known to the order of battle.

I am suggesting that if we can reasonably foresee, for example, that we are going to commit two battle groups and a higher HQ ongoing for at least three and possibly more years, we should after the first year be sending elements which have been constituted above the normal strength of the CF, standing them down after their respective tours finish (regulars back to the regulars or working up for another tour, reservists back to the reserves, civilians back to the street).  The promising soldiers could certainly be offered another engagement.

COHORT: without universal conscription?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on August 12, 2004, 18:17:02
That "lesser scale of mobilization" is what I envision as mobilization under Special Force.   Instead of overstretching our existing regular and reserve forces, I would prefer a policy wherein if the government wants to get "stuck in" to a situation for more than two rotos, it pays the price to recruit, train, and deploy additional contingents under the Special Force until the commitment ends.

Roto 0: Regular Force elements at "ready" state in ATOF cycle.
Roto 1: the next Regular Force elements at "ready", augmented by reservists (individuals, formed coy/pl groups - doesn't matter)
Roto 2+: Special Force elements - newly constituted, to be stood down at end of commitment

From Roto 2 on, Reg F elements in the "ready" state in excess of whatever we want to keep in hand for immediate reaction could certainly also be deployed.   The point is to generate temporary surges under the Special Force in order to never be in a state of having "no troops to send".
I think we are in agreement then.  However, depending on the size of the Roto 0, more than half of Roto 1 could be Special Force (and would have to have been drawn from the reserves).  In a situation like this full units would train and rotate into theater.  Individuals would be sent to replace casualties, but they would train with the unit before its deployment (they would have been MMO) and they would come home with the unit (even if only 1 month in theater).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on August 19, 2004, 01:45:12
Infanteer,
What are your thoughts on the old 10:90 battalions.  Reviewing your ideas conjured up thoughts of returning to a simillar structure across the reserves (althought possibly at a 60:40 ratio).  It would be the most likely way to achieve the level of reserve readiness that you write about.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on August 20, 2004, 00:23:24
Not to jump in for Infanteer here but I think I noticed on another post he's off enjoying the wilderness for a couple of days.   ::)

My limited experience with 10/90 was that is was a good idea. The major shortcoming I noticed in the Militia was time needed to keep up with the F/T admin and maintenance etc. with a P/T staff. Often one found themselves (especially at the Snr NCO/Officer level) spending too many hours on a training evening doing "necessary admin" instead of training the troops!

Having a reasonable sized F/T cadre, as opposed to the understrength/overworked RSS and Class B to deal with this meant I would have been in a position to actually do my bloody job. Not that the paperwork side of the house wasn't per say my job I know, but then again I wasn't "working" with the unit 40 hrs a week, but only 6-8.

That said a 60/40 split seems a bit excessive for reserve units. When not involved in training/ex/ops what would all these extra bodies be doing? Second point where would they come from? Stealing from already understrength regular units is not on for obvious rreasonsAlso add in admin details such as housing   in urban areas that would become another burden.

Class B reservists might be an option, but one ask to ask are they readily available? Outside of ececonomicallyepressed regions can we find enenoughqualified persons" to fill the slots. Taking reservists from economically depressed areas to fill gaps in say Calgary, Vancouver, or Toronto unit may look good as a job creation project, but that's not the aim here. Besides the same admin problems of posting inin regs would exist.

Good idea Yardape, but methinks it needs to be fine tuned.

I was right I opened the proverbial can of worms with this thread, but a good debate all around.

 


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Yard Ape on August 22, 2004, 11:36:23
I suggested a larger ratio of regular force over reservists because this number would give the regulars enough mass to conduct their own training independent of the reserve component of the unit.

I think 10:90 was a mixed bag.  It was very beneficial to the reservists (who got better support staff, more experienced instructors, more full time leadership), but it came at to high a price to regular force capabilities.  I would prefer we not go back down that road, but I brought it up as it seemed like the way to make Infanteer's ideas work (maybe).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on August 24, 2004, 04:42:05
I don't know how this rumor of me camping with some girl got around here.... :-*

Anyways, to your question on 10/90 Yard Ape.

I can't comment directly on our specific experiment with 10/90, as it was before my time.  All I heard from both Reg Force and Reservists who were part of 10/90 was "It sucked ***" or "It was really great" followed by a variety of reasons (they stole our kit, Reservists/Reg Force guys suck, etc)

However, for the concept of Reservist/Regular intergration (which we called 10/90) does have some merit.  The two proposals here are interesting to look at. 

A return to a "10/90" approach would contain a certain number of regular NCO's and Officers to help run the reserve regiment.  These experienced leaders bring the "quantitative" aspect of the delta to reserve units (ie: there full time status means more time spent in training).  I think that this system would work much better if the reserves and the reg force had a single "qualitative" training plan (ie: the requirements for Sergeant, Lietenant, etc. were the same; no half-assed "militia" courses) in order to ensure that the reserve and regular force leadership elements were coming from the same foundational structure.

A "40/60" approach would bring a cadre of regular soldiers of all ranks to each reserve regiment.  I don't think this is plausible.  Do you keep the cadre together so they can train throughout the week?  Obviously, this would render any advantage of bringing the cadre into the unit useless.  Do you break the cadre up amongst the reserve companies?  What does a regular force rifleman do when his platoon commander and section 2ic only parade on Thursday?  As well, will a four year regular force private with tons of qualifications appreciate watching a reservist with 2 years in total and no extra training making corporal and (legally and theoretically) be of higher rank and responsibility (the same applies to all other ranks)?

Both contain pros and cons, but neither would work if patched over our current system which provides for such a wide gulf between regulars and reservists.  Organizational changes to how the Reserves organize and train such as I propose are done to reduce this gulf.  If the gulf can be significantly reduced through change and support (both political and military) I don't think either should be necessary; the Militia could run its side of the house.

As an aside, I've seen that Australia incorporates both reserve and regular units at the formation (Brigade) level.  Do they intergrate at the unit level?  I remember the Australian reserve system was a key topic at a Reserve Symposium held at the University of Calgary, but I never heard or seen anything that came out of this, did anyone else?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on November 01, 2004, 22:40:08
Our force generation and force employment structures do not need to be an exact match.  What is important is that the force generation structures of the regular force and for the reserves are in harmony and able to produce the desired force employmet structure.

The new engineer force generation has three sections in each regular force troop.  However, we still plan on four sections in each troop deployed on operations.  The reserves will be expected to provide that fourth section for every mission in which suitable work-up time is available.  This same approach could be taken to send every infantry BG out the door with four rifle companies.  Having formed & rigid reserve battle groups maintained at a deployable level, only to employ them a section or a platoon at a time would seem inconsistent to me. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on November 02, 2004, 11:02:11
Quote
So, I recomend:

A)  Keep the current brigades & restructure the Infantry & Recce regiments into multi-regimental battalions.  These battalions will have full-up Admin Coy & Bn HQ.

B)  Each brigade will have one service battalion.  Multiple battalions will be reduced to one Bn HQ & various companies spread around the brigade.  There will be one maintenance company & there can be multiple S&T Coys.

C) Each brigade will have one Arty regiment.  Multiple regiments will be reduced to one RHQ & various batteries spread around the brigade.  Independant batteries will be absorbed into the regiment.  Some batteries may be mortar tasked.

D) Each brigade will have one Engineer regiment.  Multiple regiments will be reduced to one, and independant squadrons will be absorbed into the regiment

These parallel to an interesting degree the changes we have just initiated in 38 CBG now under LFRR Ph II:

-One Svc Bn from three; (approved for stage one: Grouping, order issued);

-One Arty Regt from three units; (approved for stage one: Grouping:, order issued); and

-creation of an Engineer Sqn inside the FGH Recce Regt (approved and should be underway now).

The first two represent very little saving in moneys: they were proposed after years of consideration because we simply cannot adequately sustain all the separate unit-level command appointments. The third was a compromise we reached with the Army after being told we could not raise an independent Sqn to replace 22Fd.(Flin Flon)

As to the problem of Reserve strengths being a recent one, I suggest that in fact most Reserve units are healthier now than they have been in years. I started my Reserve service in 1974 and I do not recall these supposed "golden days" of full strength units. I think that in fact these units were actually rare and their full strength a periodic thing. Understrength units were certainly the rule during my time in the Res.

Cheers.



-

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Hanna144 on November 02, 2004, 15:35:39
Hi all,

I've read the previous debate with some interest as to how the training could be more efficient, but I was surprised that the recent experience here in 34 Brigade hasn't been mentioned.   Last year the infantry units all started training together in combined companies.   Last year, the Blackwatch, CGG, and de Maisonneuve formed one company - this year, its BW, FMR, and 6 R 22 R.   There are at least two other companies training in the brigade (the BW have a platoon in the other company).   The training plan builds up to company level exercises at the end of the year.   One unit supplies the company HQ for the year - last year it was the BW, for example.   I think this addresses some of the practical points brought up in the thread; I have to admit, its nice to have an exercise where the other platoons are not "notional".   I have the suspicion (not confirmed by anyone) that the long-term plan will be to combine the companies at some point for real "battalion" level exercises, ie. with the RCH, etc.   For now, we have at least 3 companies going out on exercise as companies. There is no formal regimental level amalgamation - all the regimental traditions, etc are still functioning - but the brigade is taking the operating units and deploying them in a more functional and efficient manner.

Just thought I'd pass that on...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on November 03, 2004, 05:40:18
Hanna: In 38 CBG our Arty, Cavalry and Infantry have followed this system (more or less) for several years now. we apply it for all the reasons you give. Our Arty Change Proposal for LFRR PhII is based on making this practice the basis for Arty organization. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: REZTEEN on November 06, 2004, 18:18:39
Question for all what, what role do you all think the role of Canada's reservists be in this new century be. Cause the reg force is becoming more and more stretched. So should the reservists play a more active role at home and abroad.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: NavyGrunt on November 06, 2004, 18:30:30
Im not sure if its feesible to extend the responsibilities of reserves. If reservists were so willing and able to go trapeezing around the globe why wouldnt they just join the reg force? ???

Let me have it guys.....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: REZTEEN on November 06, 2004, 18:33:52
im just asking what the role should be
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on November 08, 2004, 00:59:53
I'd say that given all of our needs, and all of our realities, we've got the three Army Res roles just about right:

-Augment the Regular Force: This traditionally meant "individuals" but in the past few years has progressed to formed sub-units and it is not at all inconceivable that we could deploy formed units (composite, of course....) if hte operational situation permits. The USARNG does it and, as I have observed numerous times before, our average Res soldier is at least as checked out as the average ARNG soldier if not more. IMHO Our Regular Force will always need a surge growth capacity for specific missions, and our Res provides the best way to do it. We should NOT have solely a "niche" Reserve: we must protect and enhance the ability of the Army Res to augment/repl the Regular Army as much as possible given the limitations we face. If we put capabilities solely into the Res, we risk being unable to force generate them adequately (or rapidly) if there is a surge: the NDA does not allow us to draw on our Res as reliably as the US can. This might be acceptable for assets that will rarely be drawn on, such as heavy artillery or heavy engineering;

-Provide a Base for Mobilization: This is closely related to the above issue, although conceptually it envisions a more advanced state of emergency than "augmentation". IMHO there may be some confusion caused by the Army decision to use the terms Mobilization Levels "One" and "Two" to refer to activities we often tend to think of as just "augmentation". Under this role we can see tasks such as domestic ops (humanitarian ops as well as Homeland Defence if that ever gets sorted out...) and mobilization for a conflict larger or more prolonged than "augmentation" can handle; and

-Connecting With Canadians (Community Footprint): As bossi so ably pointed out, this is an important role. Millions of electrons have been expended on this website bemoaning the fact that Canadians are ignorant of their military: the widespread Army Reserve presence is an excellent way to counter this problem. Regular Army field units also do a very good job of Connecting with  Canadians, but they are only in a few locations. If this role is carried out successfully, it will make the other two easier.

As roles, I think these are fine. Under these roles we can easily fit the range of missions and tasks we ask of the Army Reserve on a constant basis. IMHO we must avoid an overly specialized Res: it needs to be as flexible and capable as we can make it. We also need to avoid undoing the very good healing process of the last few years by further separating the Res from the Regular Army in any significant way.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bossi on November 08, 2004, 14:03:51
We also need to avoid undoing the very good healing process of the last few years by further separating the Res from the Regular Army in any significant way.

Yup.  Inspired by the "Emma Gee's", a number of problems and possile solutions have been presented ...
http://www.ducimus.com/Archive/cafa.html
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 08, 2004, 15:36:46
I have been retired for so long that you must take all this with a whole bag of salt, but:

o   It seems to me that the Canadian Navy Reserve is riding a winning horse with their reserve crewed minesweepers.   There are, I am told by reliable sources, problems, including too few qualified reservists for 12 ships, each needing a crew of 30+ but I am also told that some officer positions, especially CO and XO, and some PO slots may go to regulars (and no, I don't know where they will find them in an already undermanned navy, but ...).   The top of the navy is pleased with the ships and their crews and their entire reserve establishment; more than one senior serving naval officer has told me that he is now happy with the navy's 'total force' project;

o   The British Army used to have many 'specialist' units in the Territorial Army.   A special favourite of mine (about 40 years ago) were the Mercians â “ various reserve battalions and companies of the Cheshire, Staffordshire, Sherwood Foresters, and Worcestershire regiments who, as I discovered late on dark and stormy night, were assigned to defend the 1 (BR) Corps communications system and Rear Corps HQ.   The units were specially organized, equipped and trained for these tasks â “ their organizations were 'tailored' to the organization of the (fairly vast) Signals establishment, the small, undermanned and essentially defenceless (without the Mercians) units of which occupied damned near every hilltop on the North German Plain; and

o   Another favourite was a RAOC unit â “ I can't remember its designation - which I 'met' during Crusader/Spearpoint 80 â “ it was the army level NAAFI distribution unit, full of logistical specialists from the British consumer/retail sector.   Good bunch of fellows who gave me a very good lunch while my vehicle was being repaired and convinced me that, once again, the Brits really were planning for war â “ the sports and social programmes being designed only to lull enemies and allies alike into the false sense that the Brits are all fun and games ...

I say let's have as many different kinds of reserves as the reserves themselves can muster â “ provided, only, that they make some military sense.   I remain committed to the idea that about 75% of our current policies, plans and programmes will not stand the test of a major war; I am equally certain that neither I nor any of our serving generals know which are in that doomed to fail 75%.   So: Let's try 'em all ... our reserves, it seems to me, are filled with boundless enthusiasm, incredible resilience and bags of initiative â “ we should exploit that.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bill Smy on November 09, 2004, 00:31:31
It's been a long time since I've read the Minister's statement of the roles of the Rerserve Forces, but I believe the first and primary role was to provide a base for mobilization. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the serving members of the Reserves and their supporters, the PRes has failling marks here, with no fault of itsr own.

To be an effective mobilization base, the PRes needs to be three to four times the size of the regular force it supports. History has proven that over and over again. But the numbers are just not there today. In fact, Reserves 2000 pointed out a year or so ago that with the numbers of Militia personnel on full time duty today we are past Stage 1 of mobization.

Instead of talking about a Militia of 15-18,000 strength, we really should be aiming at 45-60,000. It's not impossible, but rather a matter of political will and funding.

I believe that large civilian communities can support reserve units with strengths of 600 to 1,000 man units. They have in the past with smaller populations bases. And cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, etc, should be able to field a number of these units. Put all the naysayers aside, if the monies were there, the units could achieve these numbers.

Another of the Minister's roles for the Reserves is to be a footprint in the community. A good footprint helps both the regulars and reserves, but there are mixed marks here.


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on November 09, 2004, 00:42:05
I have been retired for so long that you must take all this with a whole bag of salt, but:

o   It seems to me that the Canadian Navy Reserve is riding a winning horse with their reserve crewed minesweepers.   There are, I am told by reliable sources, problems, including too few qualified reservists for 12 ships, each needing a crew of 30+ but I am also told that some officer positions, especially CO and XO, and some PO slots may go to regulars (and no, I don't know where they will find them in an already undermanned navy, but ...).   The top of the navy is pleased with the ships and their crews and their entire reserve establishment; more than one senior serving naval officer has told me that he is now happy with the navy's 'total force' project;

The Canadian Army Reserve is also riding a winning horse with its Reserve-crewed platoons and companies and CIMIC teams for overseas operations, as well as OP BRONZE in Bosnia which is mostly Reserve (incl the Commander), with   Reservists in all (or almost all..) of the key positions. The CLS is very pleased with the Reservists' contribution and hopes to see more of the same;

Quote
The British Army.... into the false sense that the Brits are all fun and games

We really can't afford to assign standing "specific missions" to any of our Army Reserve units, (or most of our Regular Army, either...) because we are a very small army reacting to events in a very big world(and a huge country...). Instead we are slowly building their capability to respond to as many situations as possible, which means general purpose combat training and equipment. We are too small to afford "niche" units;

Quote
I say let's have as many different kinds of reserves as the reserves themselves can muster â “ provided, only, that they make some military sense.   I remain committed to the idea that about 75% of our current policies, plans and programmes will not stand the test of a major war; I am equally certain that neither I nor any of our serving generals know which are in that doomed to fail 75%.   So: Let's try 'em all ...

I agree that most plans do not survive contact with the enemy, which is one of the main reason we need a capable, flexble Army Reserve in the first place. The problem we face is that if we don't keep our Army Reserve efforts focused and related to operational needs (as well as within our likely resources...) we will end up with a box of little bits, each of them "one-shot", and no meaningful ability to reinforce or sustain deployed forces.

Quote
our reserves, it seems to me, are filled with boundless enthusiasm, incredible resilience and bags of initiative â “ we should exploit that

Believe me...we do: every day of every week. We couldn't do it without the Army Reserve, and they are constantly getting better. The Army Reserve today is NOTHING like the Militia I joined in 1974, nor do I want to see us slip back to those days. Cheers.
Quote
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 48Highlander on December 01, 2004, 15:27:20
Our main problem seems to be retention.  Unlike in the USNG, Canadian reservists can clear out any time they want.  If I remember right, reserve units lose on average 14% of their personnel every year.  That means a regiment of 300 would have to recruit 42 new soldiers every year just to break even.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Proud Forester on December 01, 2004, 15:51:34
My unit HAD a big recruiting problem for the last few years, and the only peopel that came really wanted to be there, thats not a bad thing, but alot of people didnt know much about the military. We now have two new recruiters, and they are doing very good, I think in OS, we had just over 100 applicants at one point. Unfortuantly, we only actually have like 130 people on paper.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dutchie on December 01, 2004, 17:07:04
First of all Major, you are right - the average Cdn Res unit is understrength.
First off, to clarify.....

The CF actually doesn't want all Res units to be full Battalions (infantry). That only happened during WW1 & 2. Technically for instance, the Seaforth Highlanders are a Battalion, however, the CF has us at 1 coy, although some regiments have several Coys in several towns (the Canadian Scottish come to mind - Victoria, Nanaimo, etc). Even at this reduced strength, most units don't meet the numbers to fully staff what the CF wants. We have, off the top of my head, 200 on strength, with maybe 3 Platoons + HQ on parade for a parade night, and 2 Platoons + HQ on an ex (plus Op For) - this is pretty much best case scenario. We get less on some exs.

Interest is a problem. A lot of those interested in the Forces go to the Reg Force, and there isn't enough left over to fully staff all of the Res units.

Processing of applications is hideously long (just check out the recruiting forum on this site). I've heard of people waiting 1-2 years to get in.

Retention.The Res attracts a lot of University students (here at least) as it is a part time job that fits nicely into their schedule. Unfortunately, most University students don't aspire to a career of soldiering, so they quit after a year or two (or a week or two in some cases). I would guess that 50% of the troops cominig off BMQ over the summer don't see their 2nd year in.

There are other problems facing recruiters and senior staff, and I'll let them answer for themselves, but that's how I see it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: DOOG on December 02, 2004, 09:39:28
Greetings..
One of the most serious problems in this end of the country is the recruiting system is a mess. The recruiters ( I mean the CFRC guys, not the unit people) have convinced themselves that they are doing a great job administering the applications and no amount of proof to the contrary will shake their beliefs. They have also managed to convince the upper echelon of the army that all is well. Bull!
The system is crap and most people who ahave been around a while know it. I recently had a conversation with a young unit recruiting officer who told me that the local CFRC went three months without testing anyone because all the pers in that det were newly posted in and weren't ready to undertake testing yet. Gee, I wish I had three months to get my crap together every time I changed jobs. Then the ere is the medical thing. Something like two (2) doctors in Borden check all the file in the country. If they have a pile of Reg Force files on their desks, the res Force files wait until they get around to them. The wait time is ridiculous. I have seen potential recruits wait 6, 8 and up to 12 months fto get in.
Another problem is inappropriate tests for MOCs. For example we had a soldier who was an infanteer and wanted to re-muster to supply. Before the OT was done the unit nominated her for a Supply Tech course. The nom went through (by mistake) and she went on the course, even though she was still an infantry soldier. She topped the course. When she finally got tested, the results indicated that she wasn't of the appropriate type (score/mindset/whatever) to transfer to supply. She only came first on the course. Makes me wonder what goofy civilian over-educated doctorate of whatever designed. the testing.

But I am not bitter.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Echo9 on December 03, 2004, 19:11:36
Doog,

Obviously, you haven't read the SCONDVA report last year (by John Fraser- former speaker of the house and HCol of the Seaforths(?) ).

It was pretty scathing about the recruiting system as being the single biggest problem with regards to reserve restructure.  Unfortunately, little has come of it to this point (aside from the concept of conditional enrollments).

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on December 03, 2004, 22:10:59
Doog,

Obviously, you haven't read the SCONDVA report last year (by John Fraser- former speaker of the house and HCol of the Seaforths(?) ).

It was pretty scathing about the recruiting system as being the single biggest problem with regards to reserve restructure.   Unfortunately, little has come of it to this point (aside from the concept of conditional enrollments).



Col. Fraser is an amazing man, a great asset to our regiment and the Army as a whole. He came out on Cougar Salvo a few years back, but insisted in joining one of the rifle sections and did the whole 3 day final ex, FIBUA in Ft Lewis, including the Chinook assault, just like a trooper. He's heavily involved in the unit, and uses his connections and influence in Ottawa to draw attention the Reserves and the Army. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on December 04, 2004, 07:57:22
Excerating the retention and training problems already mentioned, there are too many units in the Res F, and the number of units expressed per capita in many cities is way out of whack.  A city of roughly 100,000 in Canada often has 4-6 Res F units.  While it is probably possible for a city of that size to provide an adequate recruiting base to support 1-2 units at a reasonable strength, 4-6 units will end up diffusing the available person-pool across too wide a target.  We talk about typical units actually being at coy strength, but I would venture that, except in specific parts of the country, it's more likely platoon+ strength.  The trouble is that we're dealing with a Res F model that was designed in a different era, intended to support large-scale mobilization of many battalion-regiment-sized elements.  While there is still some value to that model, it just doesn't fit well with the current environment.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 04, 2004, 08:56:05
I think dglad has (as usual) hit the nail on the head in identifying one of the major problems we face. 38 CBG (which dglad and I belong to) is a prime example of the poor distribution of Res units in Canada (and the strength of resistance to change). Thunder Bay, a city whose urban population is about 100,000 with a limited regional population, contains two Army Res units, one Med Res unit, one Comm Res unit and one NavRes unit. All of these units compete for that very small slice of the Canadian population in TBay that is willing (and suitable) to give its time to be citizen-soldiers.

In Regina, a city of about 200,000 including the regional population, there are three Army Res units, a Comm Res unit and a Nav Res unit. Again the same problem arises: too many units for the population base and thus only a very limited chance of ever recruiting these units even to their full Res est, never mind increasing unit size.

Yet, when we have attempted to propose significant changes this has been bitterly opposed by forces on both "sides of the fence". Reserve 2000 vigorously opposed our plans to regroup artillery and Service units, and the Army shot down our plan to formalize and expand an existing but "bukshi" troop of the SaskD. At the same time we see large Canadian centers such as Mississauga (over 750,000 people) and Burlington (somewhere in the 130,000 range) being very under-served, and very, very few units are   reaching out to tap hinterland comunities by establishing outlying elements. There have been a few changes under LFRR Ph II but it appears to me that most of   these problems remain.

As for the National Guard and Reserve, I have spoken with a few of these people currently serving over in Afgh. The job protection thing, while certainly an important factor in an operationally ready reserve, is not a panacea. I have been told that not all Reserve duty is protected, and employers in some states and in the case of the Army Res have the ability to ask the home unit why the person is being activated. Some employers (typically smaller operations) do not like to hire Res and if the Res employer presents them with enough problems, they   may seek other ways to get rid of them (since the Federal and State legislation usually prevents firing directly as a result of Res duty). Several mentioned that as the US places the highest peacetime demand ever on the ARNG and AR, some employers(and some soldiers) are beginning to feel the pinch. Res would also have to be prepared to accept the quid pro quo: we protect your job so we have the right to call you up any time we like for as long as we need.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on December 05, 2004, 05:56:07
An interesting question as to why reserve units aren't larger than what they appear on paper.  I think you have to look at this as a problem with a series of issues that must be addressed.

First there is the issue of a "paid ceiling" whereby a unit is funded for only a certain number of soldiers which often has more to do with historical numbers then it has to do with recruiting to any particular size.  So while the CF may say it wants more reserve soldiers the units are hamstrung by being offered read as authorized to recruit only 2 to 6 soldiers per year.  If a CO were to say go over this directed limit then the only way he could pay for the training of these soldiers would be to cut the training days of the rest of his unit members.  This leads to a death spiral because as he attempts to recruit more, then the existing trained soldiers leave because there is not enough training days and training value to maintain interest.

I also think for the most part the recruiting system is not functioning for the reserves.  Not for the reasons others have listed because I believe with the "expedited" enrollment system you can get people into your unit in three weeks.  The issue goes much deeper.  Reserve soldier recruiting is about number 5 or 6 priority for CF recruiting centres.  First is Reg Force trades with critical requirements, next quotas for REG F officers then Reg Force MOCs, then Military College and then comes political national initiatives like BOLD EAGLE. Finally at the low end of the totem pole comes reserve recruitment for army, navy and air reserves.  Within that group you go to command size units such as medics, comms and then the rest of your combat arms units.  Of the above groups full time career seekers would more likely wait a reasonable time to get in whereas the part-time reservists are seeking immediate opportunities.  So historically we cause the longest wait time in the recruiting centres to those potential members who are most sensitive to wait times.  Also the reserve world only offers recruit training in two serials one in Jan and one in Jul.  So where you might think that all CFRC effort should go to meeting these two envelopes that are huge to the reserve world the result is that little effort is directed outside the above listed priorities.

Second issue in terms of recruiting is that we vacillate between unit directed recruiting and Bde directed recruiting.  The two directions in my experience are seldom complimentary.  Bde directed trg insures the recruiting effort goes to Bde issues like shoring up units that are hopelessly mired in recruiting, retention or training issues that are often beyond the control of the unit or Bde.  Issues like training craftsmen that requires 6 months of course for Service Bns.  Reserve Svc Bn members see huge obstacles to getting and keeping recruits when faced with training standards that are not in line with the two week block system the rest of the army has adopted for reservists.  So Bde Comds direct increasing recruit vacancies to units that are already in difficulty for issues outside their control in order to maintain these units viability.  The remaining units are then given 2 to 6 vacancies a year to replace soldiers lost to attrition which in many cases is a misnomer.

As a western unit we sometimes "lose" up to 6 soldiers a year who remuster to the reg force world.  Instead of celebrating this number of already trained soldiers the CF penalizes reserve units by listing this contribution as a retention issue where these individuals are statistically treated no different than quitters.  Even the Moose Jaw Warriors WHL team is given some renumeration when its members are called up into the NHL but I digress. Any reserve CO worth his salt knows where his recruiting base lies be it high school, small business, college etc.
If a CO can't or won't tap these pools then discipline the CO.  The CO knows who his best recruiters are and how best to employ them.  As an example three years ago  a small unit in the west did  some research on what recruiting was working for reserve units in other areas of Canada.  They found that in Ontario there was an initiative to give high school students both school credits and pay for entering into basic training.  Based on that knowledge the little unit that could went out and worked an agreement with local school boards that won provincial education recognition.  On their very first course they had 28 recruits; 26 who graduated.  The little unit not being greedy offered to give of its expertise freely to other units.  The little unit began to get bigger while the bigger units on paper began to get smaller.  So that after a time it became very apparent the little unit was about to get huge.  Outside the little unit other units said we want what they have.  But the other units and its HQs were not prepared to do the liaison necessary with the education systems both local and provincial and so an excellent recruiting initiative was cancelled for everyone.  As a post script the little unit still maintains itself as a big unit in a very small population area.  More a tribute to excellent training which is a cornerstone of retention.

Also I have waited for the LFRR initiative.  I know it is slowly coming together.  But the emphasis on specific tasks while good for individual members engaged in CIMIC, LO provincial emergency duties and Psyops, is not conducive to pulling the trigger on issuing op tasks or augmentation to reserve units.  Units need the op tasking and equipment that go hand in hand to augment deployment.  If we get this right I don't believe recruiting and retention will be a factor.

Lastly there is a huge funding difference even among the various reserve entities.  There are wide disparities among the number of recruits and trg days offered between reserve line units and medics and comms people.  Next comes an even bigger disparity between army and air reservists. The only comment I have on the navy reserve comes from  the published reports referred to in earlier posts where the naval reserve has been given an op tasking, equipment issued in line with that tasking ie coastal patrol vessels, and augmentation by reg navy pers in critical areas to maintain the equipment and assist in achieving the op tasking.

I would like to give one civilian parallel that may apply to our issue here.  I live in a community of under a 1000 permanent residents.  We have a volunteer fire department.  We have 18 members.  In any given year we lose about two as people move away.  We have a task to respond to fires and emergency care requests in a 200km2 area.  We have two fire trucks and an emergency vehicle plus the equipment we need to control fire and respond to health care emergencies.  We train on weekends to certification standards.  We receive no renumeration.  Our trg is challenging and interesting and the men and women feel we provide service to our community.  We are a happy Little lot and have one supper per year provided by our municipality.  We go crazy over new helmets, flashlights, scba and jaws of life.  Now have I put anything in this paragraph that you could not substitute soldier in for?  The solutions for the reserve world I believe are similar.

Let me conclude by saying I don't believe any of the issues we face are insurmountable.  For what its worth I believe we need CO's to recruit to fill the units manning vacancies that are a reflection of an op tasking.  We need CFRCs to step outside the walls of their buildings and meet the needs of reserve units in their locations.  We need new ways to partner with business and industry including govt departments like education. And we need great training opportunities that encourage reservists to continue to seek their challenges in the reserves.

 
Free and Fearless
BG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 05, 2004, 10:06:43
bgreen: good presentation of the issues. While I know (that you know...) that I wouldn't agree 100% on everything you have said, I think you have pointed out an important fact: problems with the Army Reserve are not amenable to cosmetic solutions: they are not cosmetic problems. The problems are deeply systemic and in some ways mirror what I experienced myself as a Res soldier 1974-1982. While I do believe we have made progress in some key areas (the level of professionalism is MUCH higher now, the level of op experience is considerably better, the Army Res gets used more often to do real things....) we still face the systemic problems you have identified.
Having served (briefly) as a volunteer firefighter myself, I like your parallel and I often draw similar parallels myself. It is interesting to consider that VFFs face lethal danger on a regular basis at a considerably lower level of pay than what Reservists generally receive: the last time I looked IIRC most FDs and most FFs in Canada were volunteers except for a few larger centres, so it is not unique to your VFD.

Finally (since I am a loyal staff wienie...) I want to offer a different perspective on your comments on the role of Bde HQ. Bde HQ, like any HQ, cannot satisfy all of its subordinates given the resources we have. If that were the case we wouldn't need to go through the Operations Plan process every year to try to divvy out what we are given in order to achieve the tasks we are assigned. We could just open the till and say to all the Res COs: "Come on down!" We get assigned so many growth positions (and, as you pointed out...) so much money to pay people. We can't recruit people whom we know we cannot pay: that is both a recipe for attrition and a morally questionable thing IMHO bordering on fraud. As you know our Bde consistently meets (or comes very close to...) the CLS-mandated 37.5 days/soldier on Class A. If and when we don't it is explained in black and white to COs and anybody else who cares why we don't. There are no "secret slush funds" anymore. In fact as long as I have been COS the Bde Comd's Res account has operated in the red as a way of sucking up our deficiencies in $$$. Class B employment is also pretty tightly controlled for the same reason.

I agree that we have not pleased people with Bde driven recruiting plan (despite endless tweaking), but I am not sure how, given our limited resources, the very conflicted recruiting ponds we face in our major centres, the sclerotic state of Indiv Trg, the shortage of instructors and the need to see that ALL of our units are kept functional and meet the tasks assigned by the CLS (an almost impossible task in some cases, I'll readily agree...).   Your unit has done very well (thanks to a great extent to your work and leadership) and it is a beacon of how well a small centre/rural unit can do. (An example that seems to be lost on some people...). If all of our units did as well as the SaskD we would be laughing. But, they don't, and we can't just abandon them to let the good units survive: remember we represent Army Reservists in three provinces who face differing problems.   I know that all of this may not mean a lot the trooper on the armoury floor but it is the reality we face. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on December 05, 2004, 23:32:56
You know I debated about putting in the Firefighting as equivalent to our profession of arms.  I think it has little direct comparison other than if you can get 18 folks out of a thousand then we should be able to recruit as a unit from a 50 000 pers trading area about 18 x 50 or 900 pers.

Soldiering is so much more than volunteer firefighting.  Yes you get to work on real emergencies but there the comparison stops.  When doing a tour you can't come home after a difficult day and have a shower and receive the support of caring family members.  Also firefighters are revered across nearly all cultures whereas the soldier is often called upon to do some nasty business by shear feat of arms and willpower in cultures that are openly hostile.  I also know there are lots of civil servants that like to compare themselves in terms of job equivalencies to soldiers.  Simply it is all BS.  There is no equivalent to a soldier period.

My only issue with Bde HQ is that often the size they task a unit to recruit to has little to do with the organizations we are supposed to be fielding.  You want a Bde Recce Sqn then let me recruit the 160+ pers I need to do the job including support trades like gun plumbers sigs and veh techs, medics and storesmen..  Give me a 10% overage which allows for attrition.  You want me to field an Infantry Regiment than give me the manning slate to get a Bn's worth of soldiers that can combine with another units Bn so we can have the pers to do the task assigned to that unit.

BG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on December 05, 2004, 23:55:13
My only issue with Bde HQ is that often the size they task a unit to recruit to has little to do with the organizations we are supposed to be fielding. You want a Bde Recce Sqn then let me recruit the 160+ pers I need to do the job including support trades like gun plumbers sigs and veh techs, medics and storesmen ...
Are technical trades sustainable in supporting roles within a reserve combat arms unit?  Who would look after the unit level PD of the one or two Pte/Cpl Wpn Techs?  What is offered for advancement and retention?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 06, 2004, 09:42:26
Quote
You want a Bde Recce Sqn then let me recruit the 160+ pers I need to do the job including support trades like gun plumbers sigs and veh techs, medics and storesmen..  Give me a 10% overage which allows for attrition.  You want me to field an Infantry Regiment than give me the manning slate to get a Bn's worth of soldiers that can combine with another units Bn so we can have the pers to do the task assigned to that unit.

bg: you wouldn't get an argument from me, if we had the resources.

Quote
Are technical trades sustainable in supporting roles within a reserve combat arms unit?  Who would look after the unit level PD of the one or two Pte/Cpl Wpn Techs?  What is offered for advancement and retention?

McG: I agree that CSS soldiers need PD and tech supervision, but that doesn't mean we can't have CSS in Res Cbt A units. There are a couple of ways it might be done:

a) attach the CSS soldiers from the local Svc Bn to the Cbt A unit (as we now do for some Res MAs at outlying units. The employing CO is responsible for day-to-day empl and admin, the parent SvcB n CO is resopnsible for tech trg, PD and tech standards. Where this would tend to fall down would be in Cbt A units that are not  located within an easy drive of a Svc Bn: providing tech supervision could be difficult. A possible solution to that problem (which a couple of our units have applied for other reasons) is to change from weekly parade nights to parade weekends, with troops commuting in on Fri and out on Sun PM; and

b) get rid of the Res Svc bn unit level command structure (ie the CO/DCO/RSM) and reconstitute the Svc Bn as an Admin Coy of a Cbt A unit. The size, equiment, rank structures and MOC distr could remain pretty much the same as they are now  (with a probable reduction in MSE Op since Cbt A units do not normally use them...). A problem with this would be deciding which Cbt A unit would get the sub-unit, as typically most CBGs have only one or two Svc Bns for several Cbt A units. This might lead us to discussing the "A"-word, such that we have fewer, stronger Res Cbt A units with a single unit-level HQ and several sub-units instead of several units that obly appoximate a sub-unit in strength.

On top of that, the CSS world (esp the EME world) needs to keep on with its efforts to make CSS training more realistic and achievable for Res CSS soldiers by modularization and acceptance of a trg delta, the way the Army has. Of course, if the Army owned these trades we might be able to direct these changes ourselves. Cheers.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PikaChe on December 06, 2004, 11:29:10
b) get rid of the Res Svc bn unit level command structure (ie the CO/DCO/RSM) and reconstitute the Svc Bn as an Admin Coy of a Cbt A unit. The size, equiment, rank structures and MOC distr could remain pretty much the same as they are now (with a probable reduction in MSE Op since Cbt A units do not normally use them...). A problem with this would be deciding which Cbt A unit would get the sub-unit, as typically most CBGs have only one or two Svc Bns for several Cbt A units. This might lead us to discussing the "A"-word, such that we have fewer, stronger Res Cbt A units with a single unit-level HQ and several sub-units instead of several units that obly appoximate a sub-unit in strength.

On top of that, the CSS world (esp the EME world) needs to keep on with its efforts to make CSS training more realistic and achievable for Res CSS soldiers by modularization and acceptance of a trg delta, the way the Army has. Of course, if the Army owned these trades we might be able to direct these changes ourselves. Cheers.

Cheers.

Or have this 'Adm Coy' part of the brigade admin function. Every unit would have a CSS attachment, which reports to unit CO for day to day admin, but reports to brigade CSS coy for all training purposes. (Slight modification of your idea, and I like your BN idea better;))

It's not like this reserve BN idea with several 'regiments' forming a battalion. The brits do it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on December 06, 2004, 23:07:32
a) attach the CSS soldiers from the local Svc Bn to the Cbt A unit (as we now do for some Res MAs at outlying units. The employing CO is responsible for day-to-day empl and admin, the parent SvcB n CO is resopnsible for tech trg, PD and tech standards. Where this would tend to fall down would be in Cbt A units that are not located within an easy drive of a Svc Bn: providing tech supervision could be difficult. A possible solution to that problem (which a couple of our units have applied for other reasons) is to change from weekly parade nights to parade weekends, with troops commuting in on Fri and out on Sun PM;
I see consolidation in the service battalions as the route to take.  However, I would ammalgamate all the Svc Bns within any given CBG (turning each one into a Coy of the new amalgamated Bn).  I would also specialize the Coys (S&T, Maint) so that there would be greater depth of technical supervision.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on December 06, 2004, 23:25:33
 . . . at the same time, if multiple Cbt A regiments were grouped into single battalions, I agree that each Bn should have its own Admin Coy seperate from the Svc Bn.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rick Goebel on December 07, 2004, 23:57:30
For all those who advocate basing the reserve force structure on what is currently in existing units, I would suggest that you are going about it backwards.

The first thing to do is to decide what reserve forces are needed.

After you determine that, you decide how to get there from the current structure.   You may need to change recruiting procedures, compensation packages, job protection legislation, individual training, collective training, and other things in addition to structure, but at least you will have a goal to gear these changes to.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on December 09, 2004, 00:17:29
Sir...,

The thing is I don't think we will ever get the argument sorted out as to what the reserves will become in the future.  We have been having the "role of the reserve" discussion for years.  I think if we can get what we have in our units reflecting the organizations and doctrine that currently the CF is using we will at least be ready and current.  My thoughts on the Bde Recce Sqn are based on what our manning list should be to reflect upon the BTS we are trg to.

Also in small communities like those in Sk the unit I was in had the opportunity to recruit  veh techs, gun mechs, medics and storesman from our small city and neighbouring towns that would have been unavailable to the CF because these individuals weren't prepared to travel to a unit that focused on their trade or skill in a location 100 to 200 km away.  I should add I could also have recruited a DR. a chaplain and a lawyer that wanted to train with their hometown unit.  Unfortunately I had no positions to offer these individuals.  As a result they are not avail to the CF now.  And likely you will only find these individuals in cities with units like SVC Bns or HQ.

BG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 09, 2004, 09:30:21
Also in small communities like those in Sk the unit I was in had the opportunity to recruit veh techs, gun mechs, medics and storesman from our small city and neighbouring towns that would have been unavailable to the CF because these individuals weren't prepared to travel to a unit that focused on their trade or skill in a location 100 to 200 km away. I should add I could also have recruited a DR. a chaplain and a lawyer that wanted to train with their hometown unit. Unfortunately I had no positions to offer these individuals. As a result they are not avail to the CF now. And likely you will only find these individuals in cities with units like SVC Bns or HQ.

BG

Bgreen: IMHO herein lies one of the failures of our current system to spread the "footprint" beyond the cities: the failure to develop rural units or outlying sub-units of urban units, beyond a very limited scope. This was, I thought, the "hub-and-spoke" concept articulated for LFRR Ph II but in the end I think it came to almost nothing outside Southern Ontario. Compare the current presence to the pre-Unification web of outlying coys/sqns/btys and (as you are well aware...) you will see a lot of empty areas on the map. One of the obstacles to expanding a unit's presence by broadenig its catchment area (as opposed to establishing outlying subunits) is also inherent in the current nature of the Res which focuses on "parade nights". These work well for units whose soldiers have a reasonable commute to the Armoury; they do not work well, or at all, for units whose soldiers must drive two or three hours to get to the Armoury.  As you know 116 Bty went to weekend parading years ago, as I believe 26 Fd also has. There are some drawbacks (more weekend time is taken up per month) but it does allow a much broader catchment area, until such time as we are able to convince the Army that Canadians who don't live in big cities should have the opportunity to serve in the Army Res too.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: InterestedParty on December 09, 2004, 13:27:41
 I should add I could also have recruited a DR. a chaplain and a lawyer that wanted to train with their hometown unit.   Unfortunately I had no positions to offer these individuals.   As a result they are not avail to the CF now.   And likely you will only find these individuals in cities with units like SVC Bns or HQ.

This is an interesting comment which raises another point - albeit somewhat off topic - about recruiting "specialists" like professionals who want to serve with the reserve force.   We just don't have the same "specialist stream" designed to recruit and encourage such people to join.   I believe both the Territorial Army in the UK and reserve forces in the US actively recruits them and have created programs aimed a taking advantage of those skills.   In my case I am public affairs specialist in civilian llife but there appears to be a fairly limited scope to develop those skills in the Militia world (beyond being the UIO of course which is really an appointment not an MOC).  

Any thoughts or observations on this PBI or BGreen?  
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 10, 2004, 10:05:46
Quote
We just don't have the same "specialist stream" designed to recruit and encourage such people to join. 

You mighty want to talk with your local Res Bde HQ or Area HQ. In our Bde (38 CBG) and in LFWA I know that we have Medical Officers, Legal Officers, Public Affairs Branch Officers, Chaplains, Finance Branch Officers, etc. While not all of these positions exist on the establishment of an Army Res unit, both Bde and Area HQs, as well as Army, have positions to hold and to employ people with these qualifications.

Quote
I believe both the Territorial Army in the UK and reserve forces in the US actively recruits them and have created programs aimed a taking advantage of those skills.

I can't speak about the TA, but last year I had a very interesting conversation with the G1 (Recruiting) of 34 Inf Div, the USARNG Div that is the parent HQ for the ARNG units located in the states south of our Bde. I specifically asked him about "targeted recruiting" for the ARNG. The answer he gave me was that, except for medical personnel, the ARNG did not target any specific civ trade in order to recruit for any specific MOC: people serve in whatever interests them. He commented that a person who drives a truck all week at their civvy job may not want to drive a truck on weekends for the ARNG for less money. He may, however, want to jump out of a helo or fire a 155mm howitzer instead.

Quote
In my case I am public affairs specialist in civilian llife but there appears to be a fairly limited scope to develop those skills in the Militia world (beyond being the UIO of course which is really an appointment not an MOC). 
Again, check out your local Res Bde HQ. In our Bde we have a Bde PAO, a PA Sgt, and an Image Tech. We have a second Bde Image Tech and two regional PAOs out in our Garrisons. These positions are in addition to our UIOs. "Connecting With Canadians" is a major role for the Army Res, and PAOs play a vital role in this. As well, any Comd worth his pay understands the value of good PA work. Our "B" Class PAO is usually busy with something all the time, ranging from supporting Unit PIOs to coverage of communty events to helping the Cmd deal with the latest "nasty" out of a unit (yes...that happens in the Res too, more often than you might think!!). Your Area HQ may have positions available, and I know that Director Land Communications (the Army PAO staff) have Res PAOs that they employ across the country, living and working in their own comunities but employed on Army-level PA projects. We have one of these officers co-loc in our Bde HQ.  Check out what is out there. Cheers and good luck!


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on December 11, 2004, 02:48:19
I almost hate to get into this as it can really choke an individual.  Let me say that this week I met two professional men a lawyer and a medical worker who both expressed an interest in the Reserves.  Let me qualify that because really they were interested in one particular unit that resides in their hometown.

I don't want to put these men on a pedestal because they didn't ask for any special treatment even though they possess specialist skills needed by the CF.  Their straight forward request was to become a part of a local unit for all the same reasons high school students want to join... challenge, camaraderie, and being part of something that has historical and current relevance.

And doesn't it seem somewhat strange that we allow civilian equivalences for law, medical, social workers, chaplains and the like but a weapons, veh, or sigs techie we can't get any recognition of civilian equivalences?

I think if we want to get a pool of specialists for the CF we had better be prepared to get the ones that have expressed interest in joining a local unit wherever that unit may be located and sort out the manning issue later.  Let them parade with the unit and build bonds with the unit so they will be encouraged to stay in and perhaps take tours.

Why do we let our huge geography which is a great blessing get in the way of smart recruiting and soldering?

Like pbi I had great faith that LFRR was on the cusp of doing some great initiatives.  They seem to focussing on pieces of the issue without addressing the one issue that puts everything in perspective....What role and equipment to support that role do you want the CF Army Reserve to train to.  Without answers to this question we have the units doing what they have always done and appearing like they are resistant to change.  When in fact they are working very hard without much guidance.

BG

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 12, 2004, 16:09:30
bgreen: there are ways we can deal with enrolling folks like that (not the solution in every case, but...). Every Res CBG and each LFA has a limited number of "Military Manning Overhead" (MMO) positions that can be used to hold unique cases. As well, people can be enrolled against vacancies in other units, but "attach posted " in order to parade in their community. Finally, the CFMS in particular uses the Primary Reserve List (PRL) to hold qualified individuals who may not have a suitable Res Med unit in their location.

Part of the problem in LFWA until fairly recently was that Area HQ kept a very tight grip on the MMO positions and was reluctant to permit their use. I believe that in the last year or so the approach has been liberalized somewhat. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: InterestedParty on December 12, 2004, 17:24:56
Thanks PBI and bgreen for your input.

There is also a phenomenon I have noticed in the two units I have worked with which I might describe as the unofficial "specialist" second lieutenant - very often people who are highly skilled (perhaps a Fin-O or a LogO or UIOs) who cannot complete full qualifications because of their professional careers, and are content to continue on as 2LTs at that level. Unfortunately they can't get too many additional assignments or oversees deployments because they aren't fully qualified in their "official" MOCs.

At any rate for those who are interested here a link to the British TA specialist site.  http://www.ta.mod.uk/specialist/index.html
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on December 13, 2004, 02:32:51
pbi and mdh...,

Last night I watched Gen Lewis Mackenzie's presentation to the senate committee on defence.  From my perspective it was one of the most succinct and credible presentations I have ever heard free of jargon and flavour of the day NDHQ phrases.

Tired of waiting for a white paper on def he did two of his own.  One a 50 page tome back in 93 and yesterdays 700 word plan for the CF.  While acknowledging he was an infanteer first and foremost he also outlined a structure for the air and navy.  He based his plan on BGs one airborne and two in either training or reconstitution.

To summarize the navy should immediately lease Antonio class ships capable of carrying a BG worth of equipment and some men  as well as stop immediately the decommissioning of Shearwater so we have an assembly area in the east and make one on the west coast.  As well they should get 3 new major ships and coastal frigates.  The air should immediately upgrade CF 18 and smart bomb packages as well as invest in airborne troop aircraft as well as sign lease agreements with civvy airlines to move large numbers of men.

For the army he suggested raising all reg units to 110% strength.  No more plug and play send the unit and its log support folks at a BG level.  He was scathing in Canada's current posture of sending NGOs and other peace support teams before sending troops to get a grip on the militants and also provide some security for Canadian civvys overseas.  He reckons Afghanistan is ripe for some warlord having Canadian peace support workers as hostages and no plan or resources outside the US to get our people rescued.  He also stated the reserves in two provinces BC and SK should be brought up to full strength as there is no ready reg army in these provinces.  He further stated that we need a robust force capable of moving into our North on very short notice.  He gave an example of an airliner going down over the North as this area is increasingly used and the CF's only response would be to recover bodies as they currently have no way of launching any unit to provide ssoverignty or assistance to the North on an emergency basis.

He was also critical of how our current leaders are more concerned about living within ever decreasing budgets then about costing out what an operation will cost and then allowing the gov't to decide if they wish to participate or not.

I didn't get to see his whole presentation but hopefully it will be aired again.

On a side note he also stated that if all mandated bilingualism, SHARP and Human Rights training was funded by the appropriate ministries then there would be a saving of approximately 3 billion dollars which would be added to the defence budget.  Like wise with pensions that should be funded out of a different source than DND which would free up even more money as currently nearly 1/2 of the CF budget goes into non army trg and pensions.

Finally he took issue with a previous speaker a Navy Admiral who said it would take Canada nearly 3 to 5 years to get the infrastructure in place to support 5000 more soldiers.  Gen Mackenzie figured there is more than enough unfilled barrack spaces in all units to easily accommodate 5000 soldiers and 3000 reservists.  He would also cut NDHQ by 50% separate army and civvy workers with no reduction in tasking putting more soldiers in the sharp end of our forces.

Anyway like I said totally refreshing.

PS L/Col Gerry Carline was invested as Honourary Colonel of the Sask D today at a trooping of the guidon.  Didn't see any 38 Bde staff in attendance.

BG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: InterestedParty on December 14, 2004, 01:59:37
Hi bgreen,

Fascinating stuff - if only we had some real momentum to make it happen the way someone like Lew Mackenzie envisions.  I keep hoping that it does.  Who knows, with all the continued bad publicity the military seems to be getting about aging equipment, (i.e. the latest Snowbird SAR revelation in the National Post) there may be sufficient political pressure on the Liberals to make it happen.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rick Goebel on December 14, 2004, 22:52:02
bgreen wrote:

"Finally he took issue with a previous speaker a Navy Admiral who said it would take Canada nearly 3 to 5 years to get the infrastructure in place to support 5000 more soldiers.  Gen Mackenzie figured there is more than enough unfilled barrack spaces in all units to easily accommodate 5000 soldiers and 3000 reservists."

If the government is dead set on creating a new brigade for some arcane reason, the navy Admiral is probably correct.  If, however, the government simply wishes to increase the capability of the Canadian Forces to do what the government has shown it wishes the Canadian Forces to do, then MGen Mackenzie is certainly correct.

I am morally certain that the regular infantry alone could absorb at least 2,000 of the proposed new troops not only with barracks space but also the existing LAVs, rifles and other infantry kit.  The other arms could absorb more still.  After all, it hasn't been a shortage of artillery pieces or mortars that has caused the move of the RCA into the mortar field but a shortage of people.

The reserve situation is the same.  It would require no new armouries or kit to increase the number of reservists by 3,000.  All that would be needed would be to increase the paid ceilings of existing units.

Sorry, that is not entirely true.  For both the regular and reserve forces, there would be a serious problem of where to find the trainers.  If, however, the shortage of sharp-end soldiers is not addressed now there will be a greater problem in the future.  Canada needs more people coming in the Canadian Forces front door now if there are to be MCpls available to train new soldiers years from now.

This is a clear case of short-term pain for long-term gain.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Matt_Fisher on December 15, 2004, 13:24:54
What about going back and truly implementing and enforcing a 80/20 role for the infantry battalions where 3 line companies, Support and Headquarters companies were all regular and the 4th line company was reserve?

When a battalion was put into it's "deploy" status of the readiness cycle a company of reservists on Class B/C contracts would be the ones filling it.  While it's not the perfect solution, I think it's probably the most cost-effective which gives the deploying unit the extra boots it wants.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on December 15, 2004, 13:47:39
Having the entire fourth company as a CRIC might cause problems due to the different level of training and experience between "A" "B" "C" coy and the reserve "D" coy. As well, there will be specialist positions which cannot be filled in "D" coy (things like Rappel Master, Small Arms Instructor and so on). Having the three reserve rifle platoons added to the orbats of the other companies allows a closer working relationship to develop, especialy if the SNCO's and WO's are mentoring their reserve counterparts. Three full strength rifle companies will be better than four understrength companies.

It is my belief that the CRIC formed for ROTO 13 wouold have been more efficient (or become as efficient much faster) in pre training with the addition of Regular Force counterparts to do a bit of coaching and mentoring where needed. Since the company and the D&S platoon were separate entities, we were on our own a lot, and may have been learning bad habits as a result. "D" (Reserve) coy might fall into the same trap, depending on the climate and culture of the gaining unit.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on December 15, 2004, 14:18:52
I'm not to sure I'd support plunking reservists into each regular company - to what extent does integration simply become a regular unit with a different name.  It seems that you'd have a "short-service regular" as part of your company.  While I can see the value of having an extra source of manpower (the reserves) for regular units to "top up", I think the limitations are too much to make it of any value.

If it's a one year contract, what do you do if the company is deployed on operations near the end of the contract?

As well, is their any sense of career management?  As a company commander, you can't work towards developing leaders and building skill sets with your existing team, because after a year they are scattered in the wind.

I am a supporter of Reserve subunits being utilized in some form (I was a member of the trial version), however I don't think this is the way to go about it - if a soldier wants to be a regular force soldier, then let him sign his BE.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on December 15, 2004, 15:40:23
I'm not to sure I'd support plunking reservists into each regular company - to what extent does integration simply become a regular unit with a different name.
This may be the only way to generate PYs that the government does not want to permanently mandate.

If it's a one year contract, what do you do if the company is deployed on operations near the end of the contract?
Contracts would be tied to high readiness and promise a year of work with an obligation to work up to an additional half year.   This would ensure that highreadiness units sit at 110% strength and deploy at 100% (with individual replacements on rear party).

As well, is their any sense of career management? As a company commander, you can't work towards developing leaders and building skill sets with your existing team, because after a year they are scattered in the wind.
This is an argument to look at augmentation at the sub-sub unit level (or lower).  The Engr transformation plan will call on one reserve section in every field troop that deploys.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Matt_Fisher on December 15, 2004, 17:18:29
A_Majoor,

To counter, what about putting certain positions as reg, ie. Company 2ic and Ops. WO (if that position exists at Canadian Coy. level?) along with select other "cadre" staff positions necessary.

I am interested to see what other ways could minimize the financial impact of creating a 4th rifle company within the infantry battalions that are on their 'readiness' phase.

McG,

You have some very good points.

Infanteer,

As the official Armoured Corps court jester, you again raise some good points such as a loss of identity, career management, etc.

What about the possibility of having a reserve unit (brigade level) being tasked to deploy a company during its "deploy" portion of the readiness cycle?  Obviously you'd need things such as job protection for reservists in order to have this happen.  This system is more in line with what we do in the US with alot of our activations when an entire reserve unit gets activated to augment a regular counterpart, such as how my battalion's A & B Companies were attached to 1st and 3rd LAR Battalions, respectively during OIF.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: SHARP WO on December 16, 2004, 01:57:49
re: the 10/90 company,

A good example for this was Op Snowgoose (Cyprus) Roto 59 of which I was a part of.

Although the Roto was with 2 Horse, we had 3 Reg members in our platoon(Platoon Comd, Driver and Sect Comd). With a short work up of 45 days we all intergrated well. There were personality conflicts the big one was between the Platoon Comd and WO, but at the lower levels we all worked well together.

Rural Coy (Reserve Coy) was by far the best at working and when close out came(Roto 59 was the last tour) the BN had so many resources to draw on, (carpenters, welders, contractors, etc.) and all from the Cbt arms from across Ontario.

One more point is that members from the Reserves seem to adapt faster when minimal Reg members are integrated into the Coy.

SHARP WO

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 16, 2004, 12:58:24
Gee, being on Snowgoose 59 in City Bty - I had a whole different outlook on the Rural Bty...  ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 16, 2004, 13:39:24
Matt: this option is something that has been debated, tried and fiddled with for years in our Army, under various names and guises: "Op Task" back in the 1980s, then "10/90" in the 1990's, with other variations floated at other times. We also have considerable practical experience with composite Reserve sub-units deploying on operations with RegF units. The deployment of the CRC (not CRIC) with 2PP to Bosnia last year was considered to be a good example of how to do it right: the leadership of 2PP observed the issues that arose during the previous CRIC with 1PP, and adjusted their plan accordingly. The 2PP CRC was formed from across LFWA's three Res CBGs(as well as other LFAs), with only a very small RegF cadre (a handful of positions). The Res leadership of the coy was brought in to 2PP eary an underwent a training and integration program that served both to develop the skills and currency of the Res ldrs, while building a stronger relationship with the bn. The troops were brought in later, then trained largely by their own Res ldrs.

As a contributing CBG to both Rotos,(which were back to back) we compared the processes and the results from a force generator's perspective and found that from the points of view of both 2PP and the Res CRC the 2PP approach was better.

By contrast, when I had C/1PP in Croatia in 94 (whoah...that was a long time ago!..) we received our Res as indiv augmentees to each coy. We had some initial problems in the pre-deployment training work-ups (fitness and skill levels-the usual two bugbears with Res soldiers...) and we had to let a few go. But, once they were into the sections, my CSM and I assessed that they fit in well and after a while it was hard to tell the difference.

Anyway--a long winded comment on integration methods.

One problem (that I think you recognize...) in trying to draw a parallel between how the Corps uses the USMC (R) and how we use the Army Res is the huge difference in terms of service. The USMC(R) ,like the other US Res components, has fixed terms of service which include obligations and liabilities for active duty. Our Res, with a few exceptions, is composed overwhelmingly of volunteer soldiers who serve with no fixed engagement and no obligation to serve on full time duty short of an Act of the Governor in Council (ie: something that hasn't happened since 1939).

As well, we have no means of guaranteeing that the civilian job of a Res soldier will  be protected by his employer once he  goes on full time duty. The effect of these conditions, despite the excellent efforts of our Army Res to step up to the plate for Roto after Roto as indiv augmentees or as members of composite sub-units such as CRICs ad CRCs, means that the Army has to proceed cautiously with how far it integrates Res into the permanent TOE structures of Field Force units. Sadly, if we were to build an entire sub-unit out of Reservists, there is no guarantee as to how often its members would be available to train over the course of a year, and even less of a guarantee that if the subunit were needed for full time duty that it would turn out at full strength. As well, since I was a Res soldier in 1974 I have never seen a single Res unit that could generate a complete and deployable coy/sqn/bty. A platoon/troop has always been about the limit in terms of generating organizations made up of soldiers who are available, willing, fit and trained adequately for overseas duty (even with pre-depl trg which we normally mandate at 90 days of full time trg).

IIRC, the US Army experiment with "Round-Out" ARNG Bdes as integral elements to Active Army divisions was cancelled because of issues over traning levels. I believe that a "Round-Up" process was substituted, in which the ARNG Bdes were attached as increments, over and above the normal TOE. I do not know how the ARNG does it now. Any of our US friends care to comment about direct integration of ARNG into Active Army unit TOEs?

If, on the other hand, we are willing to accept the risks I mentioned, then IMHO it could be made to work. We would want to be very careful not to repeat the mistakes made during 10/90, which in LFWA at least seemed to generate boundless hatred and suspicion on both sides as to what wicked purpose the integration process was actually serving.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: NMPeters on December 17, 2004, 10:45:22
To get back on topic here, the Army is currently undergoing regeneration. Obviously, not being able to copy and paste the entire 300 some-odd page regeneration document here, I'll attempt to pull out the parts that are pertinent to this discussion and the Army Reserve. Here it goes:

The Army has identified several operational capabilities that are suitable for development as â Å“Reserve-onlyâ ? functions.  In addition to individual augmentation of trained ARes personnel to operations, and provision of formations from traditional capabilities, the ARes will be the single provider of the Army's CIMIC, Psychological Operations (PSYOPS), and dedicated CBRN force generation capability.  These new capabilities will be remain manned on a part-time basis until such time as individual soldiers or formations are generated for a specific mission requirements.  The ARes will continue to support, when required, the generation of sub-units, and sub-sub-units, from within the traditional arms in each of the Land Force Areas. Close coordination with DLFR and DCDS staffs will be necessary to determine the degree to which ARes capabilities either replace or complement Regular Force and civilian agencies as first responders in a domestic crisis situation.

3Much work in the development of new capabilities remains to be done before these specialized units are fully emplaced in the institutional ARes.  Under the guidance of the LFRR project, the Director of Land Reserve Management (DLRM), in concert with DLSP and other LS Dirs will oversee the stand-up of new ARes capabilities, and implement such establishments and funding levels as to ensure their appropriate manning and training.   The goal will be capabilities of sufficient depth to ensure their continuing ability to support the Army's continuing operational commitments whenever required.

The successful deployments of Composite Reserve Companies (CRC) to Op PALLADIUM has proven the viability of re-grouping ARes individual augmentees into formed sub-units.  These re-groupings allow for greater ARes leadership exposure to operations, and increased operational tempo relief for the Regular Force.  While no Land Force Area is currently planning deployment of a composite ARes company overseas, the ARes will remain committed to having the ability to force generate at least two composite companies per year in order to augment high Readiness forces on an individual or sub-sub unit basis.

Augmentation - Land Force Areas will continue to force generate their deployment packages as required, utilizing formed ARes sub-units when necessary and appropriate.  In the longer term, the ARes envisions a more predicable pattern of operational commitment that would permit greater lead-time for work-up training and business planning. In due course, appropriate ARes capabilities will be incorporated into the Managed Readiness Plan and will be reported on in Level 2 HQ Operational Readiness Reports.

The raison d'etre of the ARes is it's ability to force generate individuals, sub-sub-units and sub-units for operations as required, and it will remain highly committed to augmenting the Regular Force whenever possible.  As such, the ARes will continue to provide individual augmentees when required as a priority.  Second to individual augmentation, the ARes will seek to develop deployable and employable new capabilities, either exclusively or with the Regular Force, as quickly as possible.  Thirdly, the ARes supports the re-grouping of ARes augmentees into formed sub-units for operations, and the force generation of ARes operational packages, as required by the Army's High Readiness Tasks.

ARes commitment to the CMTC at this point is still very much in development. However, it is envisaged that as that facility and trg cycle and methodology matures, the ARes will play increasingly significant roles. As a start point, the ARes will force generate up to five company/squadron group size elements each year starting in 2006 that will cycle through the CMTC workup and exercise sequence. It is currently planned that Reservists will participate in a CMTC serial in summer 06 (TF 5-06) and in summer 07 (TF 5-07).This trg cycle will culminate in the ARes company groups participation in a two-three week long trg exercise at CMTC, nominally scheduled for the later part of August in each trg year. These companies will be identified through the Managed Readiness Plan and will be force generated by the LFA in the high readiness cycle. There will also be scope for increased ARes participation in the OPFOR requirement for CMTC, details of which are still being resolved.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 54/102 CEF on December 17, 2004, 11:25:04
The first question

What current resources do Army Reserves get and what future resources will they get.

You can't evaluate a plan without numbers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Spr.Earl on December 17, 2004, 11:33:33
The first question

What current resources do Army Reserves get and what future resources will they get.

You can't evaluate a plan without numbers.
Yes,that is a very good question because over many years we have never ever heard a clear answer.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: NMPeters on December 17, 2004, 12:00:38
Sorry. You'll have to be a bit more specific with your question. Do you want to know financial, equipment or personnel resources? Or all of the above? I can probably dig that information up for you but I won't be able to do so until the new year as I start my leave in just a few hours from now and I'm currently trying to get some things tidied up before I go.

Also, can anyone tell me if there's a way to post powerpoint slides on here? That would make my life a heck of a lot easier to answering this question.

(edited for spelling. Guess I should use that spell check more often)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: SHARP WO on December 17, 2004, 12:20:05
I would say that everything depends on finances. Being a WO and from the Argylls I see many financial constraints on the unit. Will LFCA download money to units to train for specific overseas tasks? As of right now they do not.

SHARP WO
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 17, 2004, 13:21:46
Mama,

 You can post individual Powerpoint slides that you save and host at an internet site - or the entire slide show hosted at a site.

For the direct attach method it may work if you resize the slide...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on December 17, 2004, 14:42:55
Quote
A_Majoor,

To counter, what about putting certain positions as reg, ie. Company 2ic and Ops. WO (if that position exists at Canadian Coy. level?) along with select other "cadre" staff positions necessary.

I am interested to see what other ways could minimize the financial impact of creating a 4th rifle company within the infantry battalions that are on their 'readiness' phase.

Sorry it took so long to find this, I didn't realize it had been moved at first!

Cadre staff is also workable, and I believe it is how many Nordic Armies are organized (i.e. the soldiers show up at the warehouse during the two week training period and are met by the professional cadre who take charge and organize them into a fighting unit.) There will have to be a lot of work in determining the "right" cadre, both in terms of what positions can/should be filled by Regular Force and which can be held by Reserves. The other danger is the Cadre might be seen as a sort of "dumping ground" for the less talented members of the Battalion. My suggestion of bulking up existing rifle companies was an attempt to get around these limitations, limit the amount of extra staff required by direct mentoring, and have something to offer the Reserve as well (trained and experienced troops). The weakness' that have been pointed out will require more work to solve, but perhaps there is no "right" answer.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 54/102 CEF on December 17, 2004, 23:04:19
George Harrison - now dead Beatle said

Its gonna take Money

Hey Nancy - we know you are on the inside - good - you can only do your slice of the pie - my point is progress can only be measured if they show the resources   ALL

Else - unfortunately our highly respected and able CLS is just a babe in the woods getting the warm fuzzy from his higher ups   in a town that runs on BS
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Le Adder Noir on December 18, 2004, 11:16:37
I agree with the increase in paid ceiling....


Many times I have hear regular force comrades scoffing at the minute size of reserve "battalions"...
What they sont realize is that even if a unit has an incredibly successful year for recruiting soliders, you cut your own throat the next years as your allowed slots is reduced.......

The reserve regiments are the strength they are because that is what Ottawa wants them to be.....

By way of example.....

In 1970 my regiment paraded 400+ soldiers on a regular basis....... and the other 3 units in my city paraded similar amounts....
And then, evils of integration were in full swing, a 'manpower cap' was placed on the reserves....Each unit was not allowed to have more than 120+/- pers (Perhaps not the exact figure but the figure that has been quoted to me by soldiers that lived through that era.)
Almost overnight my regiment had to release 300 soldiers...all due to paid ceiling,,,,,

Although the manpower cap was later lifted..(early 90's?)... the funding model served much the same purpose....
And by place the cost of training the recruits fully on the regiments, the reserves were now faced with the choice of providing trained soldiers or providing recruits....

Its a very difficult balancing act between providing excellent training (the reason troops stay in the reserve) and providing not only recruit trg but QL4's and PLQ's as well.

The units within the Hamilton Garrison could easily recruit enough soldiers to put them each at wartime strength...there is that much interest in the military and I do not think I am wrong when I say that the same sit. applies across the country....

The critical situation is the money............

Given the above, I would ask that my reg force bretheren to try and understand WHY a reserve unit calls itself a Battalion at 200+/- pers

By all means offer criticism if we (the reserves) are falling below the high standard that the regular force units set for the army, offer assistance and advice....We WANT to learn, to improve... and to be professional....

But please don't slag us because the purse strings that determine our str  are not held by us, or the even the Army for that matter.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 19, 2004, 23:26:28
Interesting to ask (yet again...) why the Brits seem to be able to amalgamate Regts with some kicking and spitting but no long term bad effects, yet when we raise the issue for Res units we get "Shock and Horror" even though in some ways it makes sense. What is the basis of the objection? After all, if the Mother Country of the Regtl system can do it, why can't we? Cheers.
I'd venture that Regimental politics has been in our blood since day 1. None of the history I read seems to look favorably on the Regimental contribution to operational efficiency in the past.

To me, it's a toss up. The change is definitely needed - it allows fragmented units to combine training assets and recruiting areas. However, amalgamation seems to balance the bad (eliminating historic units) with the good (the lineage of the units will carry on). Our path has been to put units to zero strength, which also balances the good (the units with their unique heritage still "exist") with the bad (the zero-strength units exist in stasis).

Either way, the imperative of matching the Regimental system to operational realities should be the overarching consideration - kudos to the Brits for having the institutional fortitude to do so.

Infanteer: I agree with most of what you have said, although I am not sure that amalgamation necessarily leads to the complete loss of   Regtl traditions. IIRC, some of the various TA Regts of the British Army represent several former County or Volunteer Regts that were merged, but preserved a large portion of the heritage of the former units by means of allowing the resulting sub-units to keep (bracketed) desgnations and in some cases items of dress or insignia. As well, there is no reason that other traditions and customs such as special days, events, mess practices, etc. have to be dropped completely either.

What amalgamation would do, IMHO, is help to overcome the age-old obstacle that Army Reserve struggles with when it comes to producing leaders at sub-unit and unit level: the "gene pool" of the average unit is so small that selection of CO and RSM (or even OC and SM) too often becomes a question only of "the last man standing". If, instead of having to select a CO/RSM from a limited (and sometimes regrettably "inbred") pool of 80 or 100 total all ranks (actually from a small slice of even that limited total), the selection could occur from amongst the much larger pool represented by the amalgamated strength of several units. I do not see amalgamation as a veiled way of cutting strength, since the positions to be reduced are those few at the redundant unit HQs. Instead of five or six units with establishments of 120, the idea would be to have full-strength sub-units combined into something that much more closely resembles a full-TOE unit, and more importantly provides a much deeper and broader succession pool.

Of course, we can also advance the theory that the answer is not to amalgamate but to recruit all unts up to full battalion strength. Personally, and based on what I have seen in the last 30 years, this is not a realistic COA in Canada unless we were to find ourselves once again in a general war with widespread popular support. Other than that, I think that we face the same reality of unit strengths that our Res units have for most of the last century: only a few Canadians are actually inclined to (or capable of...) making the sacrifices and effort involved in beng a citizen soldier. We need, IMHO, to tailor our structure to that reality, instead of constantly searching for a return to an imagined "Golden Age" of overflowing armouries.   Cheers.

[Modified to include quote from source thread]
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on December 20, 2004, 01:43:53
pbi

I think you're right on the amalgamation issue.   There is an awful lot of ways that antecedent units are commemorated in amalgamated units. Cap from one, hackle from another, collar dogs from the third, stable belts, lanyards, kilts, trews, bugles, pipes, tunes and banners, not to mention all the regimental silver.   Part of the fun and privilege of belonging to a unit is being able to draw on the history of all those antecedents.  

For those of us that are or were Calgary Highlanders we not only drew on the Highlanders WW2 heritage, we also celebrated the heritage of 10th Bn CEF as well as the 103rd, our forming unit. As well we associated with   the history of our sister unit, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders which itself was an amalgamated unit with antecedents that had previously existed as numbered units.

In fact, I'll indulge myself and be a bit pedantic just now to make a point.

In 1794 the 98th (Argyllshire Highlanders) Foot was raised.
In 1798 it was renumbered as the 91st (Argyllshire Highlanders) Foot, reflecting a rise in precedence because the Army shrank I believe.
In 1799 the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot was raised because some character name of Napoleon was making life miserable again so the Army had to re-expand.
In 1804 the 91st raised a second battalion with the 93rd raising a second in 1813.   Both 2nd battalions were disbanded in 1815 after Waterloo.
In 1809 the 91st (Argyllshire Highlanders) Foot was renamed 91st Regiment of Foot
In 1861 the 93rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot was renamed 93rd Sutherland Highlanders.
In 1864 the 91st Regiment of Foot was again renamed, this time to 91st Argyllshire Highlanders.
In 1872 the 91st got a new royal patron and became 91st Princess Louise's Argyllshire Highlanders
In 1881 the 91st and the 93rd amalgamated as the Princess Louise's Sutherland and Argyllshire Highlanders of 2 battalions.
In 1882 the regiment was renamed Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders)
In 1920 it became The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's) and was reduced to one regular battalion.   (In WW1 and 2 a number of temporary service battalions were formed and disbanded)
In 1970 it was reduced to 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Balaklave Company (Princess Louise's) - (The letterhead was longer than the muster roll)
In 1972 it was reformed as 1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)
and now, I believe it is The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (5th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland).

Conveniently I happen to have at my elbow a book The Scottish Regiments by DM Henderson that was loaned to me by a buddy.   Must remember to get it back to him.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards sustain the memory of 3 regiments while the Highlanders were raised as the 72nd, 75th,78th, 79th and 100th regiments of foot between 1778 and 1794.

By the way dress, accoutrements, roles, equipment and recruiting areas have all changed drastically over time.

As you say the history issues can be overcome and become a great source of pride and strength.

Setting aside the history and the emotions, operationally I might suggest a mixed system for the reserves.   In places like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, where numbers and proximity permit I think amalgamated battalions with conventional orders of battle would probably work just fine.   In places where numbers and distance conspire against the formation of units perhaps independent companies or squadrons would be a better anwer.   For example The Calgary Highlanders might become the 10th Independent Company (Calgary Highlanders) Western Canada Field Force or some such and be constituted as a combat team complete with a 5 or 6 platoon structure and incorporating service support.

That has actually been a pet construct of mine, at least for western Canada, for some time.

Anywhooo...... Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 20, 2004, 01:55:43
Some of the talk on this forum has been creating amalgamated infantry/armour regiments - cue The King's Own Calgary Highlanders, eh?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 20, 2004, 09:26:11
Kirkhill: actually, the amalgamation could work even in areas of geographic dispersal. I give our Bde as an example: it is not uncommon for us to have soldiers drive two hours to get to the Armoury, and we already have a few COs who commute a considerable distance to their HQs. On top of that, the Bde Comd Gp is selected from across three Provinces: our Comd and DComd are from Wpg but our ACOS and BRSM are from Thunder Bay, seven hours travel time to the east.

In the case of a unit amalgamated across a wide area (as we have proposed for our Artillery and our Svc Bns) it really would not result in a huge change for the majority of soldiers, who would continue to parade at their home armoury as they do know. The people erquired to move would be those in key unit-level positions. Under this system the leadership of the component sub-units would be provided by the OC and SM (as it really should be...) with the unit-level folks concentrating on unit-level issues and dealing with Bde HQ.

Our proposals further provide for the eventual redistribution of full time staff, with the sub-units having an FTS somewhat smaller than it is now, composed mainly of Class B, while the majority of the RegF positions would be concentrated in a stronger and more capable bn HQ FTS that also included Class B.

A few of the key tenets in our approach to the issue were:

-no reduction is strength (other than unt Comd Gp posns);

-no reduction in eqpt or facilities at any location;

-no closure of any location;

-no reduction of community footprint;

-re-allocation of funding such that the increased TD costs for combned units were taken into account; and

-appropriate method of designating the unit and preserving traditions, with full input of the unit, the senate and the Branch.

All to say that IMHO amalgamation need not be the frightening monster some people seem to make it out to be. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on December 20, 2004, 11:40:41
The use of "civvie" contractors to support the force either in garrison or on deployment goes back to the beginning of warfare. The growth of the professional logistics corps really dates to @ the 1700s, based on the consolidation of centralized power (royal armies vs feudal levies)and the large scale introduction of firearms. The trend really took off with the introduction of mass armies in the industrial era, when the need to outfit armies numbering in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions became paramount.

I think the objection to civvie contractors is based on a lack of experience, and the well founded fear they will become like the baggage train of ancient armies, requiring a fair proportion of resources to protect and hindering operations because of the sheer size and unwieldiness. If 1/3 or the force needs to stay in "Camp X" to protect the contractors, then there is a big problem. In theory, military "cooks and clerks" can also act to protect themselves, allowing the field force to carry out operations, but as the thread about the "Ombudsman having soldiers break into tears" shows, double hatting them with their day jobs and the D&S role might not work out to well either.

This is moving a bit off topic, but if we don't want to have large logistics trains or "baggage trains" of contractors dragging behind us on deployment, then we will have to make a big investment in organizational structures which do not require as much support, and technologies which are more "self sufficient". (For an example, a laser weapon will not need to be replenished with ammunition, although it will need a source of energy. A sufficiently powerful laser on an air born platform might be able to provide coverage equal to many batteries of mortars or artillery pieces, resulting in an overall logistics reduction). The practical result of this might be "fire and forget" type deployments, where troops debuss from the JSS, do the job, mount up and go home to a "superbase" where the second and third line support is done.

So where do the reserves fit in? Given the lack of money and equipment, perhaps they should be given defined tasks, in the way the Navy reserve is into MCM, harbour defense etc. Reserve DOMOPS Coy's might be a better use of resources, letting the reg units off the hook for IRU and making them the "second team", allowing them to concentrate on the expeditionary force model. We are clearly spinning our wheels under the current system, meeting obligations by shunting resources from other jobs to the detriment of long term planning and preparation. Much more out of the box thinking is needed.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 23, 2004, 00:32:04
I fully agree with a_majoor in the finding a niche concept.   (I can hear Infanteer cringe)

 Like it or not our system cannot keep functioning in the current manner.   We need to lift the IRU task for domestic ops off the regular force and have a solid local system in place much like the US ARNG.   It makes no sence to ship an Artillery Reg't from Manitoba to BC to fight a fire and likewise for floods and icestorms.
 Local troops shoudl be immediately (within 12hrs) be able to be deployed towards a thread of that nature.   

Some postions Artillery for one (where the Regs are weak in numbers - three batteries for a Brigade...) are an area where Reserve troops could be fitted into a regualr force system - the FOO Partied being regulars and excersise with the reg batteries but on deployment they slide into a reserve field battery.
Many of the CSS postions could be filled for deployment by reservists as well - and fruthermore I beleive that for mature (stable) theatre where the requirement for the LAV/Coyote system was low a Battlegroup could be easily filled by 90% reservists.

However I think the LFRR must focus on identifiying some units for DOMOPS only - thus they can be tailored for certain roles (WMD taskings etc.)
 Furthermore I think the regular force inf should be tailored light and the reserve inf units that are selected as deployable units should be fitted into an Armoured Cavalry system with 011 crew.


I detest the idea of civilian contracting - simply from my experiences in Op Athena...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 28, 2004, 12:19:33
Some of my points.
 The 8CH in Gagetown was a 90/10 Sqn. Most that were with them, well it sucked. Most reses don't have the training to may a full Coy/Sqn. It is my unit is better, my unit does it this way, my unit doesn't do that. We have it on tour, in a mixed Sqn, well?
 As for in the Boar War-Korea, it was a different time. Soldiers didn't get out of parades, or exercises. Now, we have I cannot showup because "My dog died", I have to take my mom to the store", or etc.
 We get soldiers on task here at the school. And most have more adm problems. Most don't get the full courses. Last yr there was one yng soldier, that showed up for a task. She was not ever qualified. Her unit told her, the school would give it to them. We have had Snr NCOs, showup that couldn't instruct. Or fired from tour.
 For some tasks, yes on the Log side. But in the F ech. Res have to be there more than 3 months. I'm not anti Res. Just I have been on tour with Reserves. And some were better than Regs, but most were not.
 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 28, 2004, 16:55:02
Just I have been on tour with Reserves. And some were better than Regs, but most were not.
 

Jeez Dave. Thanks for the bone ::)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 28, 2004, 17:23:02
Dave
 Sorry, but it's kinda the truth. My gunner I got stuck with, well. I could have put a fig 13 target, in their place.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 28, 2004, 23:19:33


Dave
 Sorry, but it's kinda the truth. My gunner I got stuck with, well. I could have put a fig 13 target, in their place.

Did you ask yourself why that might be? How can we expect our Res soldiers to have the same skill levels as Regulars on 37.5 days of unit trg and a few weeks in the summer each year? We have a hard time keeping up skills in Regular units as it is: To expect much more from Res under our system is IMHO not very realistic. I agree that most RegF are probably better than most Res, but then that is our job and the reason the country has us in the first place, as opposed to relying on a totally or largely Res system.

My attitude is that we need to look at Res soldiers for what they can do, instead of what they can't do. Considering the obstacles in their path, overall I'd say they do pretty well. They have some unmotivated wanks who are in it for the pocket money too, but then we've got our ration thieves in the Regular Army as well. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 29, 2004, 01:38:50
but then we've got our ration thieves in the Regular Army as well.

Ditto

 IMHO We should run everyone through the deployment wringer in DLOC (well more than what we currently call DLOC anyway) - Irregardless of rank - I've seen the sash covered up to often to mention.  Recce41 I know a few 031 Sgt's I'd gladly take a Fig11 in trade for - you can at least use a Fig 11 for something...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on December 29, 2004, 01:57:44
Which is why the Reserve should concentrate on jobs that can be mastered in 37.5 days.

DOMOPS Coy's is a good place to start, since a lot of the skill sets would actually be the ones the soldiers have from their "day jobs", with military organization added to get the most use out of these skills.

Line Infantry, basic Engineering, Artillery, Armoured Recce (Light) or Armoured D&M are other possible tasks as well for backfilling Regular units, so long as there are limited resources for training and equipping reserve soldiers.

We should also consider just what is going on with how we train, since during the World Wars Canadians were going "0 to 60" in about a month (from raw civilian to "trained soldier" able to take his place in a line unit). Granted these weren't at the level of "Sturmtruppen" or Waffen SS, but they did get the job done. Todays reservist is advertised as the "most educated" ever, so they should be able to handle complicated concepts like "Following direction" and so on.....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: R031button on December 29, 2004, 03:18:37
Speaking as a newbie reservist; I would like something akin to the American system for the reserves adopted. We loose our Thursday night training, and we gain a two week full field ex over the summer; or at some time during the year. Now the advantages of this are fairly obvious: 1) There is very very little one can do in three hours out side of cleaning weapons and the occasional lectures; 2) Weekends provide enough time to refresh both the practical and theoretical aspects of concepts such as bayonet fighting, and FIBUA (IE: one day spent learning theory, the other spent applying it); 3) A two week long excessive each year could provide soldier with much more then a single week long excesses, and if implemented properly could allow reserves to work at the battalion and brigade level, which is something not often accomplished.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 29, 2004, 03:28:41
Unfotunately you'd lose half you reservists who can't take the time...

  IMHO there is a need to creat different tiers of reserve units/service - with those who can get more time (ideally low ranking students) getting offered more employment and operational interweaving with a regular unit.

 That way IF we need a unit in a hurry you could mobilize the reserve agmentation to it - and send it off at 100% strength.  These troops could be easily shifted to a lower level of readiness unit when they progress to full tiem employment (if ever...)

Thoughts?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on December 29, 2004, 03:39:25
  IMHO there is a need to creat different tiers of reserve units/service - with those who can get more time (ideally low ranking students) getting offered more employment and operational interweaving with a regular unit.

 That way IF we need a unit in a hurry you could mobilize the reserve agmentation to it - and send it off at 100% strength.   These troops could be easily shifted to a lower level of readiness unit when they progress to full tiem employment (if ever...)

Thoughts?

Me and another guy discussed that.  There could be two "classes" of reservists - one who sticks to the class "A" sign in sheet and comes when he can and another who signs a contract to do the Army thing part time.

When I was a reservist/student I would have loved the opportunity to give more time - I would have signed a contract that would have held me to more.  But the Reserve system has to hold up its end of the bargin as well.  If we are going to make a "part-time professional", they need to be guaranteed access to better training opportunities (perhaps in the Reg pipeline) and assured that they won't stand just stand around the parade square.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 29, 2004, 03:42:19
I think IF the CF guaranteed it (and stuck to it) it woudl work - but you are 100% right in that they woudl have to hold to it and provide training/employment better than euchre or other cardgames...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on December 29, 2004, 03:52:03
When I was a reservist/student I would have loved the opportunity to give more time - I would have signed a contract that would have held me to more.
How much more exactly?  Would the more have been all four months of the summer, and then the remaining 8 months been the regular class A stuff?  The problem with such a program is that only college & university studnets would be able to take advantage of it.  So, at best you have your junior leadership and the regular force would have to shut-down to fill-out the rest (Kevin, I remember you posting about your joy at the prospect of supporting the reserve concentration that never was in 03, so I know you would not be a fan of this).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 29, 2004, 04:01:27
MCG - I am a big fan of training - but I think that reg/res trg should be a two way street - the idea of being a demo (again) for patrolling or other tasks - Imagine three stands of Patrol order and all the prep again and again and again. >:(

 No offence but for most taskings we want the reserve junior personnel not the senior pers.  Any moron can drop the back ramp of a LAV (or admittedly do anything in a LAV crew as well...) - so such personnel could be identified and shuttled to a unit - or effectively create LAV dismounts when combined with a 011 crew.

 Or if we have them for four months guaranteed and say 1 weekday a week (plus 2 weekends/month) we could place them in the Para Coy's and train them for NEO tasks...

The added advantage is that the "normal" reserve structure will then receive a much more skilled and experienced NCO at the end of this phase (4-5years)
 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 29, 2004, 04:12:24
Quote
Me and another guy discussed that.   There could be two "classes" of reservists - one who sticks to the class "A" sign in sheet and comes when he can and another who signs a contract to do the Army thing part time.

Isn't that really what we have now? Class A parade at the unit as they can, Class B serve where full time service is needed on a limited contract, and Class C engage for all-up ops with the RegF. You really need this mixture because I sincerely doubt you will raise an entire unit of "full-timers". If you just "cherry pick" the available full-timers out of a pool, what you are missing is that the "goose" that produces the "golden egg" of trained Res soldiers to go on ops is a healthy, properly manned Res unit with good leadership and training that offers something to everybody in the community, not just that tiny number who can't/won't join the RegF but are available for extended periods of full-time Res service.

Quote
I would like something akin to the American system for the reserves adopted

There are some important differences between the ARNG system and our Army Reserve. One is that when an ARNG soldier starts out, he gets his DP1 equivalent by attending full-time at the RegF school of his arm/branch, training to the same CTS as a Reg soldier. Unless we are going to   a) bring in job protection; or   b) severely narrow our recruiting base, this is a non-starter for us.

After he gets to his unit, the "traditional" ARNG soldier has his uniform on one weekend a month, and a couple of weeks in the summer.
( Or, at least, that was how it worked before GWOT broke out with its very heavy demand on the ARNG and USAR.) The result of this traditional system was an ARNG soldier who, as compared to the average Cdn Army Res soldier, was often not as well trained particularly in basic soldier skills, and inevitably suffered from skill fade. I think that this opinion has been well borne out by the observations of a number of people on this board based on experiences doing trg with the ARNG or USAR. If we go to a single weekend a month, without the full time DP1 trg, we risk a severe decline in the current standards of Res trg.

In order to maintain the same amount of training time a unit would need to parade at least two weekends/month. This has been implemented by at least one unit in our Bde and while it has some great advantages, it also resulted in attrition of individuals who were regular parade night attenders but could not make the extra weekends. The trade offs would have to be weighed, but my personal opinion is that weekend training, at the Armoury or in the field is much more productive and less "hit-and-miss" than the frantic efforts during the two or three productive hours that are actually available on a drill night. Cheers.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 29, 2004, 04:25:26
PBI,

I (as you and others started out as a reservist) and this is no huge slap (just a small one) but I consider it the fair weather army.  IF we can cherry pick from it and get a viable force I am all for it.

 I was terrible unimpressed by the reserve attendance at the Fires in BC, ditto for the Flood and Ice Storms.  The current system just does not work - even for the 2 week Ex's the attendance is low (especially in the senior leadership positions)  Units have to be amalgamated just to have forces to field.

 If we can create a better motivation to employ personnel than Class C we need to jump at it. Getting a Class C can be a ***** and then unless you are sitting at the NDHQ Puzzle Palace it is only for operations.(I did a Class C tour 92/93) but we need bodies not just for set rotations - we need to be able to 100% man our units.
  The ATOF cycle mentality has to be abandond and our Army must be fit to fight at all times not just 1/3 of the time...
 


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 29, 2004, 05:04:09
Quote
but I consider it the fair weather army.  IF we can cherry pick from it and get a viable force I am all for it.

The danger of just employing and encouraging the "bayonets" (ie: using the Res as a source of cheap privates) is that it will inevitably run down the real force generators: the Reserve units themselves. Why bother becoming a leader in a Res unit if the Army sends you a clear message that they don't want you and certainly have no interest in you? What's the anwer-post in all RegF to fill the unit posns? What RegF?

Quote
I was terrible unimpressed by the reserve attendance at the Fires in BC, ditto for the Flood and Ice Storms

But why were you unimpressed? And who is really to blame? I would say that certainly in the Red River Flood, the RegF(LFWA) did its level best to ignore the possibility of serious force generation from 38 CBG, which was in situ, despite constant offers from the Bde. During the BC Fires(OP PEREGRINE) my impression was that the Reserve turnout was very strong: in our Bde alone we raised and dispatched two full strength coys and were working on a third when we were told no more Res troops were required. Keep in mind that these soldiers had to volunteer their time with the good graces of schools or employers-there is no "magic wand" as there is in the US.

Quote
The current system just does not work - even for the 2 week Ex's the attendance is low

If you are talking about ACTIVE EDGE, LFWA was warned over and over again that it was at the wrong time of year, and was not really a good use of Res trg resources. Some LFWA staff insisted on inflating the anticipated Res attendance in order to make the concept of the ex "look good". I think we sent about  150 folks from across our Bde. By contrast, we held our own Bde Lvl III/IV ex in Kenora in the spring and turned out around 400. The idea of these Area Cons really needs to be measured against the actual return on the dollar, especialy when so few leaders can attend. If the actual required trg can be achieved within hte Bde AO without all the logistic nightmare, so much the better.

Quote
Units have to be amalgamated just to have forces to field.

I'm with you here. Some units should be amalgamated, period. You might be quite surprised how much support you will find for that idea in the Res world.  It is "other players" who tend to fight it.


Quote
Getting a Class C can be a ***** and then unless you are sitting at the NDHQ Puzzle Palace it is only for operations.(I did a Class C tour 92/93) but we need bodies not just for set rotations - we need to be able to 100% man our units.

Ack, but isn't this really about manning the RegF properly, not using Res as stop-gaps?

Quote
The ATOF cycle mentality has to be abandond and our Army must be fit to fight at all times not just 1/3 of the time...

ATOF "per se" never really worked and is morphing into another readiness system that will see two BGs, a Bde HQ and some sp elements ready to deploy (with some TMST...), with the rest preparing or recovering. To keep the entire Army at full readiness would, I agree, be excellent and I would love to serve in a bn or Bde like that, but it is not on our $$$ horizon. Not even the US can afford that. Cheers.





Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 29, 2004, 08:47:34
 Why are they below standard, THE F***ing MESS thats why. I was in the reserves and most went there to drink. Ask any RSS, training? Whats that? I have been down to Armouries and see more people in the mess or just sign in. When a unit has a SGT for a SSM. You know there is something wrong!
 There are soldiers out there that would showup and train. On one course I had to teach a driver to drive. I don't have time to teach a course on a course. Basic things can be taught. You don't have to go anywhere to teach weapons, drills, NBC, orders, etc. All you need is a class room and students.
 You cannot organize training when you don't even know how many people will show.
 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: c4th on December 29, 2004, 11:16:48
Why are they below standard, THE F***ing

I'm not sure what Recce41 is on about here.  PBI et al are spot on here, and have been gracious enough not to mention standards.  Yes, there is something wrong with a unit when a Sgt is doing an MWO's job, but it is not wrong with the soldiers or the Sgt.  If we're talking reserve armoured recce here the problem is with the availability of courses.  It is easy to get to MCpl in Armoured Recce units as all that is needed is PLQ (JLC).  6A's are 12 weeks in Gagetown on Leopards.  A Res Unit would be lucky to send one Sgt a year, and I'm sure most don't send that many.  All atrit at least one if not more Senior NCO per year.

but I consider it the fair weather army.  IF we can cherry pick from it and get a viable force I am all for it.

KevinB, I hate to break it to you, but the REG Force DOES cherry pick from the reserves.  The PRes is the best recruiting pool of NCM's the CF has.  The reservists who are young, fit and want to soldier inevitably CT to the RegF.  Conversely, those leaving the RegF after 6/7, 20, 25 years rarely find themselves in Reserve units.  What reserve units would give for even 1 6yr cpl a year, or 1 20 year Sgt/WO a decade.

Class B contracts are not for those who want to soldier more as those jobs are RQ, HQ, CFRC taskings.  If anything they erode the quality of the soldier.

The quality of reserve soldier up to MCpl level as I have seen on operations is easily on par with their reg force counter parts.  As it has been eluded to, where the ResF is weak is at the Snr NCO / WO level.  It really takes more than 37.5 days a year to be proficient at the senior ranks.  They also lack trg in the way of advanced courses and in the infantry, Mech Ops.

Solutions:

1.  Speed up the CT and Recruiting Process.  If the PRes is the best recruiting pool the RegF has, then lets get more soldiers in, and train them.  If they choose to CT, get them over as soon as possible.  The 365 days/year the RegF needs them is more important than the 37.5 Class A days the reserves need them.

2.  For the soldier, sort out the Trg.  It takes two summers of trg to qualify a soldier to Basic Infantry.  It should take no more than one summer complete to train a soldier from Civvy to Trade Qual plus a specialized qual. 

3.  National courses should be funded nationally.  Currently all crse costs are footed by the home unit.  For 8 - 12 week advanced courses at the Sgt/WO levels, unit DCO's are not to keen to cough up the cash if it hasn't been budgeted for the year prior.  The doors have to be opened so that we have the ability to train Snr NCO's to be what they are supposed to be.  Masters in their trades. 

Soldier on,



Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: boothrat on December 29, 2004, 11:33:59
If you where unimpressed by the reserve attendance at the BC Fires you would of been downright depressed at the projected attendance for Active Edge (the exercise that was to have run in the same time period). I believe the reserves where able to provide 3? full companies to fight the fires and there was barely a weak company that was signed up to atend the exercise.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 29, 2004, 12:54:19
C4th
 What I'm on about is most just go to drink on Tues/Thursday. Res Crewman don't do a LEO 6A,6B or 7s course. They do a iltis 6A which is 4 weeks, 6B which is 4-5 weeks and only do Mod 1 of the 7s unless they want to stay! Most 6A, 6B now called DP3 Recce Ptl Commander/DP3 Ptl C/ DP3 TpWO can each have upto 36 students. Before it was 36 for a Recce course and 36 for a Cougar course. That is 108 students. That would average about 7-8 students from each unit. A MCpl cannot CC unless he is CC qual! As directed by the ARMY.
 A National course is just that a National course. Units don't pay unless they, run only for their unit. If they run a National course and invite others, and with the School's OK. They don't pay. This helps us at the school.
 We DS start in the field ( ie this yr. 12 Jan-March Brake (if your lucky)-24 May) then out (ie 1June -26 Aug). This is 90% of the DS. This does not course time if they are on DP3 CC,DP3Tp WO, DP4 SSM, ILQ,etc. We are hoping to get Res DS in for the summer. We now have to run every course here at the school. We now run DP1AO CC,Tp Ldr, DP3 CC-TP WO. This yr the number maybe 12-24 students a reserve course.
 This is from first hand knowledge, being in RHQ Ops and as a  DS.  :evil: :tank:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on December 29, 2004, 21:56:06
[sarcasm]Oh, yes, of course: whenever I needed to find someone who wasn't in the usual office or classroom, the first place I would look was the mess.[/sarcasm]  OK: it's no secret that some units go through alternating periods of mastery and uselessness.  Do we need to keep beating that particular mass of unidentifiable tissue on the road?

As our modern armed forces become progressively more technically oriented, with a wider range of skills to master, I observe that the reserve threshold ("essential") falls further and further below "supplemental" and "residual".  37.5 days in 1955 could impart and maintain more of the total expected skill set than 37.5 days in 2005.  Instead of casting about for a set of skills easily maintainable (ie. minimal equipment and facilities) within some arbitrary funded-day envelope, we should first establish what a reasonable expectation of commitment is per year (37.5? 45? 60? full day equivalents), use that to set the per-soldier funding envelope, and then fit the skill sets to it with a sliding balance of "train" and "maintain".  (Presumably the more one learns, the larger the share of time one must devote to proving essential competency.)  As long as finances drive the requirements, we will suffer moving targets in everything ranging from BTS to budgets, with a commensurate waste of Class A days among the administrative and training echelon.

A senior reservist - for the sake of discussion, let's at least say the COs, OCs, RSMs, and CSMs - should be measured against the applicable job requirements of running a reserve unit, not the equivalent regular element.  This is nearly independent of unit size (eg. a battalion which is really only of company strength) because most of the administrivia does not scale linearly with nominal roll numbers.  It is on that basis of responsibility that reserve promotion is (or should be) granted.  The increasing (with rank) capability gap between a Res F and Reg F member is an obvious and continuing point of heated debate.  Has it ever been proposed that the Res F should have a rank structure in which each person has a "substantive" (all component) rank and a "while-so-employed" (reserve component) rank, such that a member might hold an elevated "WSE" rank while filling senior reserve appointments, but revert to the "substantive" rank on attachment to the Reg F or Special F for any purpose?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: a23trucker on December 30, 2004, 00:52:47
Just some thoughts (from an over tired old guy):
I think we need to look at the way we look at reserves.
Also how we schedule crses, ex's & employ reserves
We don't all fit into one pattern; so you can't use generalizations.
-There are students that are avail during the summer but they aren't all available during march break because there is more there isn't a single march break period depending on whether your in high school, college or university.
-There are students who are not avail during the summer because of the change in schooling with the intro of non traditional semester systems and the intro of more work terms during the summer.
-There are workers that spend their vacation time every year away with the army.
-There are workers (like myself) have their vacation scheduled for them by their employers without the option of taking any other time or other LOA .
-There are those who have a willing employer who will allow them to have time off, even some that will top off their pay so that they won't be earning less money.
-There are those who are unemployed and are looking for any way to keep money coming in, and unfortunately
-you have the unemployable that if they weren't on class B or C would be at the welfare office.

The CF should also look at how they put out for taskings:
They assign certain tasks to certain bdes who don't have a hope in hell of filling them while other bdes have more than enough pers to fill the pos'n but aren't allowed to fill (or if they are it will come in only at the last minute). Then when they can't fill the instructors they cancel the course. As an example the MSE-OP TQ 5 or 6 in Borden last summer, staff was tasked from the west without any one to fill the positions (The bde tasked had identified that they didn't have anyone) while my unit had 3 Sgt waiting for some employment....They cancelled the crse.

Another thing, they should look at giving more credit for civilian quals.
The reserve world has a great span of civilian skills that are transferable to the CF but there is no structure for the CF to take advantage of these skills.
(I think of skills such as cartography (Engr/Arty), chemistry (POL/H2O Purification/NBCD etc).
I'm a mechanical designer that had my own company designing equipment for vehicles the CF and other militarys but there is no accreditation for my skills in the in the EME world.

P.S. Drinking in the reserves is changing the same way has in the civy world and in the Regs.... We have trouble keeping enough revenue flowing thru the messes to even keep them open. Those who come just to drink are a waste of rations and should be dealt with....of course we don't have the scope of options to address the problem.
If a person who comes to the mess and gets "Sh** faced" doesn't get noticed as not performing the next morning because there not there.
Getting a reservist on a abuse program takes an act of Parliament (last time I checked)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on December 30, 2004, 02:16:56
Brad,

 Honestly I think that if the unit is only a compnay then it should have an OC not a CO, and be pruned of its entirely useless senior ranks.
I refuse to believe that a reserve company sized element can generate more admin that a regular force company - I mean we have 4-6 more days a week to get in crap...

 I think the scalpel needs to cut deep into the fat underbelly of the reserves and create operational effective units - not the current cardboard cutouts.  The idea a Reserve Bde did a good job scraping 2 amalgamted companies is ridiculous - that is a Bn(-) not a Bde sourcing.

 I really think the sacred cows have to get slaughtered here - and while it is nice to recall past glories and dream about a mobilization army - thats tripe.  We need Effective (Combat Effective) soliders to prop up the reg force (and yes I used prop intentionally, for there are need changes in that arena too). The orginization has to be ground/grass roots operational, and everybody in the ORBAT shoudl be fit to fight (but heck it does not happen in the regs...)  I happen to think company is the highest we should organize the reserves at and have the Admin of higher headquaters done by a regular "sponsor" unit.



Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Poppa on December 30, 2004, 02:47:30
The way I like to explain PRes trg vice Reg Role and trg is to use a cahir anology. Let me explain.
Think of all the things that a MOC has to do.... this is the lumber
when all of these things are put together they form a chair..capable of suppporting something.
Now the PRes has less lumber.
If we ask them to build the same sort of chair it won't work. A leg will be missing, no back...you get the picture.
Why would anyone want half a chair?
Don't expect a full size chair from us...However, we can build a smaller chair that can be load bearing.

Does this make sense? I just got back from a night out.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 30, 2004, 04:05:14
quote]Why are they below standard, THE F***ing MESS thats why. I was in the reserves and most went there to drink
Quote

I was in the Res too, and I have done unit RSS, and now I work with the Res again at Bde level. Your statement might have reflected the circumstances in your unit at that time, but as a general statement IMHO it is false today, not to mention pretty insulting. Most Res soldiers go to the armoury to train-the fact that they might end up in the Mess when they should be training is a leadership failure. Either not enough leaders (a much more common problem in many Res units than alot of people in the RegF seem to want to realize...) or bad leaders, which certainly exist in the Res, just as they do in the RegF. There are mess hounds in Res units, just as there are MIR commandos and oxygen thieves in Regular units. Get off the high horse.

Quote
We have trouble keeping enough revenue flowing thru the messes to even keep them open

Glad you mentioned this: I was going to. Most messes are in our Bde are barely staying above the red line.


Quote
When a unit has a SGT for a SSM. You know there is something wrong!

Yes, you're right, you do. We had one unit in our Bde like that until recently. This kind of thing happens for many reasons: in particular an Indiv Trg system that has until very recently IMHO failed to realize the unique demands of training Res soldiers and has insisted on a Gagetown-centric "one standard means one school" approach to life instead of figuring out how to devolve trg to LFAs or Bdes. I will not even mention CFSTG at Borden and the hash that has been made of Res CSS training over the years, effectively guaranteeing that most Res CSS units are almost completely lacking technical supervision capability, or much leadership either. A recruiting system that makes it painfully frustrating and slow to get into a Reserve unit, and is not designed to support the type of local recruit flow the Res requires, guarantees that attrition will be replaced only slowly, thus cutting into the gene pool from which a unit must grow its own NCOs. Except for a tiny RegF element, the Army will not "post in" an NCO to a Res unit -they grow their own or they don't have any. As well, as a Res soldier reaches the age at which they are typically becoming MWOs and Majs, the responsibilities of their civ lives often start to catch up with them. So what should they do? Just quit? Back to square one.

Quote
You cannot organize training when you don't even know how many people will show.

I disagree: you can, and in the better units they do just that, with training plans that have flex built in. But, I agree that you've identified one of the biggest weaknesses of our Res system: its completely voluntary nature. But, just for a second, ask yourself what would happen in some RegF units if the CO got out on the square and said: "OK, troops, who really feels like going to Wainwright for the 100th time? Don't wanna go? Oh, come on, please..." Because that's what a Res CO is up against. If the unit has solid leaders and good training, they may do OK. If not, it's back to "who gets off the bus". I was a volunteer firefighter and they often face the same problems. It's in the nature of voluntary organizations: they're all about leadership and motivation.

Quote
6A's are 12 weeks in Gagetown on Leopards.

Really? For Res Recce NCOs? Why would that be if the Res has lost the "tank" (Cougar) role?

Quote
Class B contracts are not for those who want to soldier more as those jobs are RQ, HQ, CFRC taskings.   If anything they erode the quality of the soldier.

Whoah! Pretty broad statement there! Don't you think it depends on how they're led and managed? The Class B in the unit are under the control of the CO-no reason they can't go to the field. The Class B's at CBG HQ should be available to the units by arrangement: all the regulations say is that you can't FORCE them to parade with their home units. We encourage our Class B's in Bde HQ to take courses and to parade and train with their units.After all, they're still soldiers.

Quote
The quality of reserve soldier up to MCpl level as I have seen on operations is easily on par with their reg force counter parts

I am   sympathetic with this but sadly it is still not completely true. We still have problems with fitness and some skill weaknesses with Res soldiers, although the fitness issue seems to be improving as more Res soldiers make fitness part of their normal daily life. If we can give them the 90 days training the Army says they are supposed to get before deployment, they are usually OK. Unfortunately, the Army has started to shave off days under pressure of op requirements: we recently mounted a platoon with about 30 days of pre-depl training.

Quote
Honestly I think that if the unit is only a compnay then it should have an OC not a CO, and be pruned of its entirely useless senior ranks
.

A fair number of Res soldiers are not all that opposed to amalgamation, which is basically what you are referring to here. It is not so much that the senior leaders are useless (granted some are...) but that many units simply cannot generate adequate candidates in the first place, so we are back to Sgts as SSMs/RSMs, recycled COs, and RSMs extended until they are CRA.

Quote
refuse to believe that a reserve company sized element can generate more admin that a regular force company - I mean we have 4-6 more days a week to get in crap

It is not so much that a Res unit of this size generates more admin, per se. It does generate quite a bit: PERs, PDRs, summary investigations, boards of inquiry, grievances, promotions, releases, B and C contracts, screenings for overseas missions, operating biudget management, etc. are all done in Res units, using the same or very similar formats as RegF. The difference is the horsepower available to do it.A Regular sub-unit typically has a full-time 2IC or AO, CSM, a full time clerk, and usually a "company jet" or two who help out in the Coy OR. Then, over in the BOR, you have a full time Chief Clerk, a full time NCO IC, full time clerks in all the positions. There are full time officers in every company who can be tasked to do summary investigations and BofIs. Platoons have full time Pl Comds and 2ICs. It goes on...

A Reserve unit is treated as a unit by the Army and must do all of its admin with, typically, one RegF clerk and one Class B Clerk. The unit (may) have some Class A clerks but like any Class A soldiers their attendance is periodic (a few hours a week) and not totally predictable. But, the Army demands that the admin be done, on time. Of course, alot of it isn't done on time, but that doesn't lighten the load much. In our Bde, we have tried to ease the burden by creating admin pools in our multi-unit garrisons, but this has had mixed success. If you don't do the work at Res unit, you will just have to shift it somewhere else, but now you will create other problems. The burden is just too much for the horsepower, believe me. I get to see the results. The answer is either reduce the admin load (not too likely....) or make sure that we start giving Res unts an adequate full time cadre of either Regulars, Reserves or both.

Quote
I think the scalpel needs to cut deep into the fat underbelly of the reserves and create operational effective units - not the current cardboard cutouts.   The idea a Reserve Bde did a good job scraping 2 amalgamted companies is ridiculous - that is a Bn(-) not a Bde sourcing.

Actually 200 plus out of a total strength all ranks of 1200 almost all of whom are Class A Reservists and thus not obligated for full time duty, is not too bad on very short notice, considering many soldiers had been away for the summer on course and were getting ready to go   back to school or work when the call came for troops. You are right that we don't put out the full strength of a "real" Bde, but there are a whole bunch of reasons why that is. I would be careful not to blame the Res entirely for it. And, you and I have both seen a few RegF units that were a bit on the "hollow" side, haven't we.....? In the long term I am a believer in some amalgamation too: it is inevitable and useful, but it has to be done intelligently: ie: not with a sledgehammer. Cheers.







Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 30, 2004, 09:28:35
PBI
 
Quote
Your statement might have reflected the circumstances in your unit at that time, but as a general statement IMHO it is false today, not to mention pretty insulting. Most Res soldiers go to the armoury to train-the fact that they might end up in the Mess when they should be training is a leadership failure. Either not enough leaders (a much more common problem in many Res units than alot of people in the RegF seem to want to realize...) or bad leaders, which certainly exist in the Res, just as they do in the RegF. There are mess hounds in Res units, just as there are MIR commandos and oxygen thieves in Regular units. Get off the high horse.
This is from my visits to some units in Ontario and in NB. And as for MIR Commandos, they are getting theirs now. No field, your gone. As of now. Any soldier that cannot do his job can be gone.
 Reserves never did leadership  courses on Leos. It was Cougar or Ilitis. The only a few a Sqn, 8CH did get a drivers or gunners, the 90/10 Regt. Good ones get bored and leave or stay and get left behind and bad ones stay and get ahead.
 Bottom line. There should be a standard, for all units. If your unit does not meet standard, you loose money, If you pass standard you get more. When a unit has good goes ie to Knox, Florida, Cal or Bragg. people come out of the would work. But if it's to go out in a cold wet field. you get 25-50 %.
 I remember my father/uncles in the Regs and Res. There would be a full Armouries. They would parade out of the Armouries and down the street then back. It was pride in the Regts. Now. I know they don't do that anymore. Dave?

 Thats my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 30, 2004, 12:57:31
Quote
This is from my visits to some units in Ontario and in NB.

OK-that's more like it. "Some units".

Quote
Any soldier that cannot do his job can be gone.

What happened to the "accomodation"policy in the RegF? Anyway, MIR commandos usually never had any real long term problems: they just knew when to be sick.

Quote
Reserves never did leadership  courses on Leos

I thought not. We have two Armd Recce units in our Bde and I had not heard of their NCOs doing Leo trg.

Quote
There should be a standard, for all units

There is: its called the Bde Operating Plan, which is based on the Area Operating Plan, which in turn comes from the CLS annual directing (the SORD) The Bde Op Plan tells the Res unit exactly what it must achieve in the year, amd what resources it will get to do it, including what strength it is to maintain. The Unit Operating Plan that the CO signs off and briefs to his Bde Comd is his commitment to meet that direction. What happens after that is a question of the personalities involved. Some Bde Comds hold their COs feet to the fire, some don't.

Quote
But if it's to go out in a cold wet field. you get 25-50 %.

Yes-this is still a problem in some units, and the "fair-weather" soldier thing still hurts the image of those Res soldiers who try toi be professional. It was a problem when I was a Res soldier in 1974. The answer now is the same as it was then: the kind of leadership and motivation in the unit. They're volunteers, remember: there is no obligation to serve.

Quote
There would be a full Armouries. They would parade out of the Armouries and down the street then back

When was this, though? And where? I was in the Res in Toronto 1974-1982 and I never, never, saw one unit that could fill an Armoury by itself. The only times we ever "filled the square" was when we had garrison parades. Most units were at about the manning level they are now, or less.

Quote
It was pride in the Regts

So Reserve soldiers aren't proud of their units anymore? Are you sure?

Cheers.









Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 30, 2004, 13:14:45
Why are they below standard, THE F***ing MESS thats why. I was in the reserves and most went there to drink. Ask any RSS, training? Whats that? I have been down to Armouries and see more people in the mess or just sign in. When a unit has a SGT for a SSM. You know there is something wrong!
 There are soldiers out there that would showup and train. On one course I had to teach a driver to drive. I don't have time to teach a course on a course. Basic things can be taught. You don't have to go anywhere to teach weapons, drills, NBC, orders, etc. All you need is a class room and students.
 You cannot organize training when you don't even know how many people will show.
 

I'll add my voice to the chorus; this certainly isn't the case here in Calgary, at least not in our unit.

I'll mention again the problem of "national" courses; if they decentralized the instruction on some of these courses for Reserves, and relied more on OJT - to the point of allowing POs to be signed off - I have to believe there would be more retention and more qualified soldiers.  The "qualification" would only be as good as the instructors, unfortunately.  This is how the band system worked, and still does - the qualifications are checked by yearly inspections by a central authority.  I'd expand that system - pbi is right about senior NCO/WO/Offrs having real life burdens that increase exponentially concurrent to their rise in the military ranks.  But the problem doesn't begin at the sergeant or captain level, even private soldiers with good jobs will be reluctant to abandon families and employment for 12 weeks, or more.

I attended 4 weeks of QL3 training as RMS in Borden at CFSAL after a mandatory remuster; the course was, frankly, a joke.  The first half was done by distance learning, and was useful.  What was taught at the school was usually prefaced by "this is Reg Force admin, don't worry about remembering it, you'll never use it."   And I certainly haven't in the last 3 years.  I don't remember much about what was taught, though I do remember being put on extra duties for a wrinkled bed.  I realize it was a QL3 course and geared towards 19 year olds, but the majority of us reservists were remusters from other trades and the average age of the course was late 20s; at 31 I was not the oldest on the course by any stretch of the imagination.  Aside from age, many of the senior people on course had been employed for months if not years in orderly rooms.  Surely to God their POs could have been checked off - if the work is being done in the unit to an acceptable standard, why waste 4 weeks of taxpayer money, not to mention civvie vacation time, to "learn" stuff that you have already been doing, or else will never use anyway?

For a young troop just new to the Army, the QL3 course would have been most useful, but to us experienced remusters (most of whom were corporals with at least QL4 in another trade, some with JNCO training on top of it) it was embarrassing.

Perhaps some sort of two-tier training system needs to be in effect?

We currently train BMQ and SQ soldiers as a subunit without any kind of "centralized" course - I realize the perils of decentralization but I wonder if they aren't a necessary evil for the Reserves?  Can we not take the money that would be spent on housing and feeding reservists for 4, 8 or 12 week courses and instead appoint inspectors-general to oversee OJT within the units themselves?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 30, 2004, 13:33:31
Quote
We currently train BMQ and SQ soldiers as a subunit without any kind of "centralized" course - I realize the perils of decentralization but I wonder if they aren't a necessary evil for the Reserves?  Can we not take the money that would be spent on housing and feeding reservists for 4, 8 or 12 week courses and instead appoint inspectors-general to oversee OJT within the units themselves?

This is exactly the argument we have been waging in our Bde for the last couple of years: "One Standard" does not have to mean "One School" especially now that we have established a system of Bde Standards Cells that answer to LFDTS via the Area Standards O and have access to all training in the Bde. One of the examples that we used to support the argument is that of training medical doctors. All across Canada, doctors must meet exacting standards. If they do not, people get sick, or die, and the malpractice suits fly. So, obviously, "one standard" is important. But nobody in his right mind suggests that Canada, or even a single Province, must have only one medical school.

Considering that we have the Standards Cells, we have course documents on line, and that many of the instructors come from the Bdes and units anyway, we feel that there is a case to be made for decentralizing as much training as possible, while strengthening our mobile Standards Team capability. The Schools should probably focus more on producing these standards people and instructor cadres, and get hte production moved out to the LFAs and Bdes. Otherwise I do not see exactly how we will get out from the Indiv Trg backlog mess we are facing now.  Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on December 30, 2004, 14:44:33
>Honestly I think that if the unit is only a compnay then it should have an OC not a CO, and be pruned of its entirely useless senior ranks.

It is entirely possible that some units have pools of senior ranks who stand around doing nothing; but, I reiterate one of my favourite points: before people are pruned, make certain they are redundant by proving that the remaining staff should be sufficient to run the unit or shortening some of the required work load.  As I once wrote, I would not like to be the sub-unit OC, 2I/C, CSM, or coy clk (all class A) being handed stacks of open files and terms of employment by the downsized CO, DCO, RSM, and BOR staff.  Barring a revolution in administrative practices in the reserve, a "company" is still going to require all the same job functions.  One could instead merely reduce the CO and RSM appointments each by one rank and save $3000.00 per year (plus whatever results from trickle-down of rank-capping).

>I refuse to believe that a reserve company sized element can generate more admin that a regular force company

As pbi noted, it's not the raw volume, it's the available time to deal with it.

If you want a Deployable Right Now reserve, I think it will be necessary to revolutionize the terms of service, training, and administration.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chop on December 30, 2004, 14:57:51
We currently train BMQ and SQ soldiers as a subunit without any kind of "centralized" course - I realize the perils of decentralization but I wonder if they aren't a necessary evil for the Reserves?   Can we not take the money that would be spent on housing and feeding reservists for 4, 8 or 12 week courses and instead appoint inspectors-general to oversee OJT within the units themselves?

On a other note, if you leave the forces for more than 5 years you might have to start from 0 if you come back in. For sure if you are out more than 7 years. I am a reservist now that was in the forces as a sargent and had to take BMQ, SQ1 and SQ2 and I have a couple of friends that want to join the reserves but out more than 7 years and are not interested in starting from scratch, one was in the Airborne Regiment. For me it was a waste of my time and money for the Government. The hard part was trying to stay awake through the BMQ being taight by Corporals who had to look up in referece books to answer simple questions like what was a full metal jacket. I considered my BMQ a total waste of time and more of a anger management course. I did enjoy the field portions of the SQ1 and SQ2.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 30, 2004, 15:08:53
Absolutely, Chop - we have an ex Infantry Master Corporal from the PPCLI who has been out for over 5 years.   He wants to come back as a piper now that we have increased paid positions once again.   They say he would have to do basic all over.   Well, the guy has wife and family and a great paying job with Calgary Transit.   He's supposed to take a massive pay cut in order to attend a course that will enable him to...recognize ranks and salute properly?   Do drill?   He's been playing with the band as a volunteer for years, I think he knows how to march, really, I do.   Another ridiculous situation which common sense should be able to sort out.

What possible benefit would there be to taking basic over again?  TOETs with the "new" weapons?  Granted, but that can be done OJT as part of Warrior Training each year.  The supporting trades do it every year also; many relearn the drills from scratch (they also seem to change every year, also) in any event, so add one more to the pile.

Changes in military law?  Again, a one day refresher might be in order.  Two weeks of drill periods doing about turn on the march by squads really doesn't seem to be a good use of time and resources, from either his perspective or the Army's.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chop on December 30, 2004, 15:17:18
You could imagine having to learn drill all over again, it was fun. If they are not sure what to do then make ex foces members take the SQ2 or trade course. Then you learn the weapons spend 4 weeks on course rather than 12.

But who am I to say, I am not in Ottawa with my super officer intelligence....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: brin11 on December 30, 2004, 15:22:39
I would check those timings again for equivalency.  I recently obtained an equivalency for QL4 in my old trade after 8 years absence.  No basic training or SQ at all.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael O'Leary on December 30, 2004, 15:23:20
What possible benefit would there be to taking basic over again?  TOETs with the "new" weapons?  Granted, but that can be done OJT as part of Warrior Training each year.  The supporting trades do it every year also; many relearn the drills from scratch (they also seem to change every year, also) in any event, so add one more to the pile.

Changes in military law?  Again, a one day refresher might be in order.  Two weeks of drill periods doing about turn on the march by squads really doesn't seem to be a good use of time and resources, from either his perspective or the Army's.

I wonder if any unit has built the proposal and staffed it upwards to conduct an abbreviated refresher course for returning members. It should be a relatively simple matter of tearing apart the CTP and identifying what will be a refresher (drill, etc.), what will be comprehensively reviewed and retested (weapon handling, etc.) and what will be taught in full (any new material - Mil Law, etc).  Such a proposal is unlikely to be developed by the training system, because they don't have the issue in their laps, but it might find support through the Chain of Command if sold effectively.


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chop on December 30, 2004, 15:28:37
I would check those timings again for equivalency.   I recently obtained an equivalency for QL4 in my old trade after 8 years absence.   No basic training or SQ at all.

you are not the only one that I heard of, I think it has a lot to do with the recruiting officer, it pisses me off at no end when I hear it. Its true military bull&*^%^. But what do you do, take your lumps and move on.

It is 5 years you risk loosing and 7 you loose it all. If you are a trade like a dentist then you may be able to join and just get a refresher even though you where never in the forces.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Recce41 on December 30, 2004, 15:31:45
PBI
 I know between the Wind R and the E&K. They did have about 200+ pers back in the 60s/70s. And the accomodation policy is only if the soldier can recover. Or to take them to 20 if less than a yr. Why should they take a postion at the unit.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: brin11 on December 30, 2004, 15:44:28
Actually it took me about a year and a half after joining again to get the equivalency and recruiting was not involved.  The equivalency came straight from LFAA.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 30, 2004, 15:55:08
I wonder if any unit has built the proposal and staffed it upwards to conduct an abbreviated refresher course for returning members. It should be a relatively simple matter of tearing apart the CTP and identifying what will be a refresher (drill, etc.), what will be comprehensively reviewed and retested (weapon handling, etc.) and what will be taught in full (any new material - Mil Law, etc).   Such a proposal is unlikely to be developed by the training system, because they don't have the issue in their laps, but it might find support through the Chain of Command if sold effectively.



I guess the question is, how many returning ex-soldiers does the Militia have, and would it be worthwhile for brigades to run "refresher" courses.  Perhaps if you integrated these refreshers with Warrior or other standard unit training, and made them of benefit not to just the half dozen or so returning members, but for entire unit/brigade, it might be more worthwhile?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chop on December 30, 2004, 16:14:59
Actually it took me about a year and a half after joining again to get the equivalency and recruiting was not involved.   The equivalency came straight from LFAA.

Took me a year and a half as well to get nothing, is this not just great :)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on December 30, 2004, 17:17:04
Couple of notes:

Most of the Admin in the Regular Force is or soon will be on central database programs like "Peoplesoft" , CFTPO and so on, and a lot of Reserve admin is migrating there too. The idea of orderly rooms and clerical functions could go to the boards if this is taken to its conclusion. (Soldiers can and will do their own queries, while course reports etc. get fed in by the course staff, QM records by the QM staff, the CSM swipes every soldier's "smart card" at first parade to input pay etc).

LFRR Phase II could logically lead to the end of "units", by amalgamating the current company/squadron/battery sized "units" into actual companies/squadrons/batteries of extended units with rank and positions adjusted accordingly. Where I work, there would be a six company "31 Light Infantry Bn", 31 Armoured Recce, 31 CER (we have that already), 31 Artillery and 31 SVC BN. Historic ties and continuity would be maintained by the subunits (A Coy [Essex and Kent Scottish] 31 LIB, or C (Windsor) Sqn 31 Armd). While I am sure a lot of the "old guard" would be disgruntled by changes of this magnitude, life goes on and within five years the vast majority of soldiers would be new and "31 Battlegroup" would be the only organization they will have any knowledge and experience of (or emotional ties to).

Removing the administrative overhead of clerical work and "regimental" staffs for these units could result in more resources being freed up to raise and train soldiers. Obviously, there are certain details to work out, especially how to select and put together the higher level staff (CO 31 LIB etc.), but in the military past sub units have operated independently for long periods of time, and todays communication technologies allows for rapid passage of information to keep the subunits tied together for a common purpose.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 30, 2004, 17:20:42
Well and good that clerks are being eliminated from the system - so when my pay is inevitably ****ed up, do I complain to the CSM, or to the Smart Card?

;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 48Highlander on December 30, 2004, 17:24:25
    Just locate your friendly neighbourhood Hacker NCO and get him to input a few extra payments.  I'm just wondering who'd keep watch over the system in this little scenario when there's so many possible avenues for abuse.

nice double-post by the way  ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 30, 2004, 17:24:33
At my civvie job, we actually have three seperate levels of administration...Human Resources, who tracks positions, pay incentives, etc., Staff Scheduling, who do the data input of when you worked and how long (and also replacing staff with relief, something irrelevant to the Reserve Army), and finally Payroll, who track deductions, generate the cheques, etc.

Hard to imagine the Reserve world eliminating this completely.   WE just implement Peoplesoft, by the way - wasn't a great implementation, but even once it is up and running smoothly, I've heard no rumours of jobs being lost as a result.

Not hard to imagine, mind - many officers now do their own correspondence, for example, since PCs and laptops are universal (at least at home).   But do we really think there will be no tasks remaining for orderly room clerks and company/battery/squadron clerks - like simple PA?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on December 30, 2004, 17:38:41
You think the Guardians of Information are going to let just anyone access it?  Good luck.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: a23trucker on December 31, 2004, 00:31:18
Oh and has anyone heard that Oracle has bought out Peoplesoft and has anounced that it won't be supporting the program in the future.....I hope the system won't need a fix...... :crybaby:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 31, 2004, 01:11:09
Quote
Most of the Admin in the Regular Force is or soon will be on central database programs like "Peoplesoft" , CFTPO and so on, and a lot of Reserve admin is migrating there too. The idea of orderly rooms and clerical functions could go to the boards if this is taken to its conclusion. (Soldiers can and will do their own queries, while course reports etc. get fed in by the course staff, QM records by the QM staff, the CSM swipes every soldier's "smart card" at first parade to input pay etc).


A majoor: in an unusual move, I will disagree with you on this part of your post.

This comment has been re-surfacing for years. It first emerged when the computer made its appearance in units. It basically ignores the fact that most admin work in a unit requires human input, human assessment, and human analysis and explanation of results. It also ignors the fact that pers admin is way, way more than shuffling digits around. We have had PeopleSoft for a while now and all it really does IMHO is give a better tool to manipulate information. It does very, very little to address the broad scope of the human workload, and almost nothing at all for most of the pers admin issues I mentioned in my earlier post. What is its role in a grievance, or an SI, or an HI, all three of which suck hours and hours of valuable Class A time? What is its role in screening an individual for an op? 

I rank this idea along with the idea that the computer was going to produce the "paperless office" and greatly reduce our workloads.   Ummmmmm......right. Next pipedream, please?

IMHO the clerk is not a typist: he is a pers admin tech, like a vehicle tech. He solves problems the "user" cannot, just like the guys in the MRT solve problems that the users cannot. Just giving him a smarter typewriter doesn't remove the need for him, or his expertise. We are so burdened by mandated administration in the CF, all of which requires dedicated human involvement, that the idea of reducing admin staff will IMHO merely result in  a) admin not getting done, which translates rapidly into QOL and then morale issues; or b) some bayonet will have to do it, but without the training or background.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 31, 2004, 01:28:35
Well stated, pbi.  To address your "paperless office" comment.  When we implemented the new payroll system at my civvie job 3 years ago, we found the number of paper reports, forms, and other paperwork necessary to pay everyone properly more than doubled.  Despite the fact that submission is electronic now.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 31, 2004, 02:48:52
The computer is the only labour saving device that never saved any labour. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 48Highlander on December 31, 2004, 04:27:45
That's mainly because people don't use it properly.  If you're attempting to implement a computer database in order to reduce the ammount of paperwork, and the end result is that your paperwork doubles, it's certainly not the computers fault.  You may as well blame your wrench when your attempt at car repair causes more damage.  A computer is a tool like any other.  If used properly, it can increase efficieny greatly.  The problem is that even a large number of the university educated "experts" really have no clue how to use the damn things properly.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 31, 2004, 11:31:42
That's mainly because people don't use it properly.  If you're attempting to implement a computer database in order to reduce the ammount of paperwork, and the end result is that your paperwork doubles, it's certainly not the computers fault.  You may as well blame your wrench when your attempt at car repair causes more damage.  A computer is a tool like any other.  If used properly, it can increase efficieny greatly.  The problem is that even a large number of the university educated "experts" really have no clue how to use the damn things properly.

Yup.  I do duty rosters by hand despite the computer having all the data to generate them.  I have suggested a template for a useful duty roster for three years running, but no one seems interested in getting the IT guys to implement it....so I get a report from our software, export it to Excel, then move the cells around to get the info I need presented in the format I need.  Would take 2 seconds for a computer to do that, that's what they are supposed to be for.  Instead, for a week's worth of duty, it usually takes me about an hour and half of screwing around in Excel.  Then I print it out on hard copy, then I blow it up on the photocopier because we have to write changes in by hand during the week, then I photocopy the photocopies so that the subunit has a copy; then at the end of the payperiod I photocopy the large copies and shrink them back down so I can manually check the payroll (about 4 hours to do a week).   So I've wasted a ton of paper and about 5 or 6 hours each week doing what the computer could do in seconds.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 31, 2004, 12:17:01
Quote
A computer is a tool like any other.

Exactly. Thank you. It is not a panacea, nor a replacement for humans. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on December 31, 2004, 15:18:10
The problem with electronic media is that they discourage staff rigour.  Before electronic media became widely available, one either had to distill critical information before passing it around or endure the task of copying in bulk.  Now people simply attach every document under the sun in case each might have some relevance.  As a CYA exercise, it's great: "We provided all necessary information; it's not our fault if it was not read and heeded".  "Brevity" has ceased to be a principle of military writing, with "Clarity" and "Relevance" under substantial attack as well.  Another side effect is the proliferation of ad hoc reports and returns.  When a higher HQ staff officer has the choice of combing through available reports and returns and plans and directives for particular information, or designing a nifty template and firing it off to all subordinate HQs demanding that it be filled out with just the right information in just the right format, which course of action do you think is chosen?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bill Smy on December 31, 2004, 17:52:44
I believe that hierarchy of roles for the Militia (and the Primary Reserve in general) is extremely important. I do not believe that any attempt to produce a vision for the future of the Army Reserve will stand the test if it does not conform to the direction of the Minister: 1) mobilization, 2) linkage to the community, and 3) augmentation.

In the past, various attempts to define the missions and tasks to be assigned to the Militia have become exercises of â Å“cherry pickingâ ?, choosing those that were popular at the time, or which were thought to be financially viable, ignoring government policy. The VCDS paper of 26 Nov 99 (para 23d), is an example; it reverses completely the roles as stated by the Minister, in all likelihood because augmentation was the current necessity of the Regular Force, and at the time the most popular amongst the staff which was under pressure to respond to the events and crisis of the day. The result of this approach has been years of confusion, and the resultant dissatisfaction in both the Regular and Reserve community with the current status of the Reserve Army.

Some have even put forward that one role of the Reserves is to provide part-time employment (Land Force Reserve Restructure Strategic Plan of 6 Oct 00).

Perhaps the most important result of ANY restructuring plan will relate to the development of leadership in the Army Reserve. One measure of healthy units is succession. Healthy units have at least two officers trained and qualified to take command, and two senior NCOs ready to be RSM. In addition, the numbers in the follow-on ranks must be large enough to sustain that capability. That does not happen overnight. It is a fact of life that some Reservists leave their parent unit due to employment, education and personal reasons. They often transfer to other units, and in some case leave the Reserves altogether but return later when circumstances permit. Career planning is difficult, but not impossible. Any restructure plan must dictate methods which foster the development of these leaders.

I also believe (with over 32 years experience) that too often the aim of our military training appears to be designed to result in failure, rather than success. In many cases, thousands of dollars have already been invested in the individual, and when resources are scarce this is a wasteful practice which should not be tolerated. Additionally, it most likely discards many who, with proper help and encouragement, would be assets to the Reserve. How would our civilian educational system respond if we told teachers we expected them to fail students, rather than teach, develop and pass?

If the Army Reserve is truly to be a basis for mobilization, I believe that a priority in the listing of Mission statements should be one which addresses the size of the Army Reserve. It is an acknowledged fact that a Regular Force unit is incapable of deploying its total strength to meet an operational task. â Å“Wastageâ ? is inevitable, either through age, medical fitness, personal situations, or levels of training. We need not look further than the current â Å“weeding outâ ? of Regular Force battalions as they prepare to deploy on peacekeeping. The Army Reserve has the same problems and in a new structure one not four or five times the size of the Regular Force will not have the capability of achieving its Mission on mobilization. This is a simple fact, but one which some planners refuse to address, for a variety of reasons.

Any structuring plan must reflect the necessity of creating a training system for the Army Reserve which will reflect the reality of a true Reservist who has about 40 days a year to devote to the military, whether it be on a rifle range, in a gas hut, or in a lecture room receiving sensitivity training. Units overburdened with unnecessary individual training and administrative tasks will never be able to adequately exercise their operational tasks.

 :salute:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on December 31, 2004, 19:48:17
That's nice from a macro view, Bill, but what about the university student who, already devoting his time to study and exams, just wants a stable and steady source of income?  "Unncessary training and administration" as you call it translates to the individual junior soldier as another day's pay.  Getting jacked around and not knowing how many days you are likely to train from month to month does little for retention, and highlights one of the many forms of wastage - rather than "wasting" money on unnecessary training, you are wasting money on training a soldier and having him quit after the first summer because McDonald's is more flexible with hours and more generous with work opportunities...

Some people are of the opinion that the Reserves are "just" a hobby, others that whatever it is, it shouldn't be a "part time job".  But to thousands of students, that's exactly what it is.  Few can juggle school, the reserves, and another source of income on top of that.  He doesn't care about deploying as a complete company/battery/squadron, he just wants some money to buy beer with at the end of the school week.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 54/102 CEF on December 31, 2004, 21:30:53
Hi!

I promise to behave myself for the rest of the year!     
A few points from the last few posts --

Part time Jobs? Definitely. Need at least 50% more part timers. Hire the regulars to help make it happen. And it should go to the USA or UK full pay rate model. Anything less is miserly and does not separate the deployable folks from those who will never do more than the monthly parades and summertime trips to the Bde Ex.

Full time jobs? I believe there is not enough turnover to have a real recruiting base
See ***   http://198.231.69.12/papers/csc30/mds/lander.htm      **** which states in part
The ....Canadian Forces, organized and tasked as they are, with the expected level of funding available, are unsupportable.   The inevitable result is the rust out of equipment, the burn out of personnel and the continual loss of capabilities in an unplanned and incoherent manner.   It would be much better to determine the capabilities considered the highest priority to the Canadian government, concentrate the limited resources available on them and create a military that may not be capable of doing a little bit of everything, but could be world class at what it is capable of doing.   Such a military would be a powerful foreign policy tool as well as a useful force for domestic purposes, if and when the need arises.        

The other side of which is that - if we can't get into a sustained fight - then too much pension money is pouring out the door..... When the regulars are gone - as in the BE F of 1914 - we won't have the base to contribute as per Afghanistan or Iraq as the kit isn't which inevitably leads to re-rolling to kit based military activities with civvy pattern eqpt like CSS. See comparative sizes of reserves and regulars here - numbers may be down for Cdn but the relative number seems about right. See http://198.231.69.12/papers/csc29/exnh/alarie.htm

PMQ's? Go on the economy or get out http://198.231.69.12/papers/csc30/mds/fortier.htm   but the author suggests that DND will help you live on the economy sooner or later. ----As long as Canada does not have a robust deployment capability I am sure there is a real bell curve visible segment of the regular component that says - we probably won't get into a fist fight on a sustained basis so this is a good - low risk - steady job and pretty interesting as long as you can take a joke.

But does it even matter - the public says prepare for peace keeping --- but the government says - go back to the top of this post - we won't be peacekeeping too much too often.... certainly to produce regular - reserve interaction as per IRAQ or Afghanistan. see http://198.231.69.12/papers/csc30/mds/coates.htm

Note - I don't subscribe to either regulars or a reserve being stronger or weaker - my real point - as we consider these problems is WHAT ARE THE GOVERNMENT AIMS FOR DND? Saying we reflect and reflecting sound like here you mhave all these jobs and no resources.............. BS baffles brains everytime at the Ballot box.

As a line I read today goes - What do you do? I'm in the lead delivery business.   Lets just all work in 2005 to make sure we are not in the Lead Swinging Business.

Here's a good video for you for the next time ytou have to see the RSM - CO or your troops http://www.armyrotc.vt.edu/multimedia/airborne.mpg

So - see me in the butts at the rifle range if you want to go over these points - http://www.3bn12sfga.com/_riflerange/Weapon_Range.htm

Happy New Year!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on December 31, 2004, 22:54:04
Bill Smy: that was an excellent post and could have been lifted directly from the "Commander's Intent" of our present or immediately previous Bde Op Plan. Trying to build leaders has been our main effort for the last three years, because without them nothing else matters. I get frustrated when I hear the endless rambling about "too many officers" or "too many Sgt Majs" in the Army Reserve. I don't know where it is that this situation exists, but we would love to have that situation in our Bde. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 01, 2005, 02:58:58
Happy new year everyone!

I was (properly) slagged for the remark about clerks (esp by my own "Niner Domestic", who is of that trade!), but as usual, I wasn't fully spelling things out. Programs like CFTPO, Peoplesoft etc. are tools to store and manipulate data, but many of the very basic "data entry" type jobs do not need to be done by a dedicated clerical staff. Example: If I have finished instructing a course, written the candidates course report on my laptop, had it vetted by the course officer and standards (via email), then debriefed the candidate; why should I not then email or input the final copy to the candidates personnel record as part of my staff duties? Should the candidate need to reffer to this course report years later, wouldn't it be faster and more efficient to log onto a secure system and download it? If a gaining unit wanted to check this guy out for operations, then the same would apply.

Even the idea of the CSM swiping your smart card on opening parade is an idea to remove the complex procedures in the Reserve which go from paper to electronic to paper to....well, you get the idea.

Personell administration is a very complex system with so many variables that as a non-HR person looking in, I would say it is in need of a massive overhaul and streamlining. One virtue of systems like "Peoplesoft" is implementation should be a time to take a hard look at your existing procedures. I spoke to an IT person at UWO about this once, and apparently their implementation of Peoplesoft would have been a first order nightmare, until the implementation committee saw the light and threw away decades of archaic "quiffs" and stopped attempting to hand craft the software. (This is not to say the basic version of Peoplesoft is the only way to track and administer staff).

Software is a tool, and can be a great help if it is selected properly, and the user is properly trained in how to use it. Very clever people can also use software in ways the designer never imagined (like sculptors using chainsaws to create a work of art...), although I don't claim to be one of those.

Quote
Yup.  I do duty rosters by hand despite the computer having all the data to generate them.  I have suggested a template for a useful duty roster for three years running, but no one seems interested in getting the IT guys to implement it....so I get a report from our software, export it to Excel, then move the cells around to get the info I need presented in the format I need.  Would take 2 seconds for a computer to do that, that's what they are supposed to be for.  Instead, for a week's worth of duty, it usually takes me about an hour and half of screwing around in Excel.  Then I print it out on hard copy, then I blow it up on the photocopier because we have to write changes in by hand during the week, then I photocopy the photocopies so that the subunit has a copy; then at the end of the payperiod I photocopy the large copies and shrink them back down so I can manually check the payroll (about 4 hours to do a week).   So I've wasted a ton of paper and about 5 or 6 hours each week doing what the computer could do in seconds.

Look up "iCAL" by Brown Bear software. It is a very inexpensive web based calendaring program which might do the job for you. PM me if you need more details.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: R031button on January 02, 2005, 02:58:46
Bill Smy: that was an excellent post and could have been lifted directly from the "Commander's Intent" of our present or immediately previous Bde Op Plan. Trying to build leaders has been our main effort for the last three years, because without them nothing else matters. I get frustrated when I hear the endless rambling about "too many officers" or "too many Sgt Majs" in the Army Reserve. I don't know where it is that this situation exists, but we would love to have that situation in our Bde. Cheers.

 I do think there is a point at which the amount of leadership in reserve units does seem to be a bit much. Many reserve units are small and barely require the admin for a company, let alone that of a battalion. For example, my Regiment has about 25-30 regular parading soldiers. To  command this we have an Lt. Col, a Major, 3 Captains, 2 Lieutenants, a Chief Warrent Officer, a Master Warrent Officer, and a Warrent. How is this an efficient formation? If nothing else it means that any training must go through unnecessary paper work; and it's fairly obvious that such a huge command structure is a financial burden. I do, however, recognize that you cannot have a Lieutenant in charge of the armouries; but at the same time; why not down grade units like this to company level; commanded by a Major.

 Infact; I think we should adopt the British system; in which reserves(TA) are grouped into Companies of a parent regiment. This means that they can be supported by that Regiments administration at higher levels, and get trained by members of the Regiment. It also stream lines command, as you don't have "Brigades" of 1500, or 1000 reservists using up funds on administration for the brigade.

 Furthermore; would it not be a good idea to be able to train reservist in mounted warfare? If, as some members of this forumhave suggested, Canadian units switch to the British system of rotating from mech to light roles; why not allow the "reserve battalion" of a regiment to take the opposite rotation; and have the regular force SMEs train them in certain aspects? This would also mean that reserve units could have some armour to show would be recruits at dog and pony shows; or they could legitimately claim to be trained light infanteers.
 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 02, 2005, 03:14:42
The British are abandoning the practice of rotating unit roles, which doesn't suggest that it is a model that still works.

If resrves were to do mounted ops, I think the best approach would be to establish APC units like the 1 CACR or WWII.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 02, 2005, 04:31:26
Quote
I do think there is a point at which the amount of leadership in reserve units does seem to be a bit much

Yes, that is true, but I do not see it in our Bde, and we cover three provinces. It may exist elsewhere, but I am not so sure that it is not just a "rant". Maybe the real problem is not that there are "too many" leaders, but that the assigned rank for them is too high for the actual strength of the organizations they lead.

Quote
Many reserve units are small and barely require the admin for a company, let alone that of a battalion

I disagree. The amount of admin required from a Res unit is not directly related to its size. The Army and the CF demand the same range and proportion of mandated admin from a unit of 50 as they do from a unit of 200. Do not confuse "admin" with just doing the pay and promotions of the people who parade. Look at my post on this at http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,24381.msg141927.html#msg141927

Quote
If nothing else it means that any training must go through unnecessary paper work;

No-not if the unit is being run properly. The conduct of most training should be between the OC and the Trg Office. If the CO is sticking his fingers in that, that is a personality problem, although it is probably true to say that he may feel "underemployed" and thus perhaps "idle hands are the devil's tools"

Quote
why not down grade units like this to company level; commanded by a Major.

This has been discussed elsewhere, along with TA-style amalgamation. My personal take is that more and more serving Res soldiers have little or no opposition to this concept, as long as it is done intelligently and respectfully, not stupidly and blindly.We have two projects like this under way in our Bde now, but I have to admit that the support from the greater Army has been marked as much by institutional "cold feet" as by enthusiasm and support. Numerous hoops and obstacles were put in our path by various levels of command and staff.

Quote
Infact; I think we should adopt the British system; in which reserves(TA) are grouped into Companies of a parent regiment. This means that they can be supported by that Regiments administration at higher levels, and get trained by members of the Regiment.

To the best of my knowledge, this is not exactly how the TA works. TA companies (some of them being the legacy remnants of former battalions) are not grouped into Regular battalions. They are grouped into "Volunteer" battalions of Regular Regts (but I believe some, such as the Yeomanry Regt, are "stand alone"). There is a small cadre of Regulars and full time TA at the battalion HQ (not too different from what we have, ctually...) The admin and training is done via the TA unit HQ, just as we do it. It is not, to the best of my knowledge, done by Regular battalions of the parent Regt.

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It also stream lines command, as you don't have "Brigades" of 1500, or 1000 reservists using up funds on administration for the brigade.

This is a bit of a moot point. There is a need for a properly manned HQ to coordinate the dozens of activities involved in running the Army Reserve today. Whether we call the HQ a "Brigade" or a "Battle Group"   or WTF is really immaterial: the plannning, coordination and staff work must be done somewhere. At present the horsepower simply does not exist at Res unit level to do it. You can shunt the workload around, but that is a shell game. Somebody, somewhere, has to do it. Normally, the closer to the "coal face" that planning and admin are done, the better in terms of responsiveness.

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Furthermore; would it not be a good idea to be able to train reservist in mounted warfare? If

Interestingly, during the Reserve Roles and Missions Town Hall series (RRMT) conducted under LFRR PH II, our five Inf units resoundingly rejected being assigned mech or "dismounted mech" roles in favour of being good quality generic "infantry".(NOT "Light Infantry"-that is another breed of cat in our Army today). This vote was based on previous experience with the AVGP role, and a pretty astute assessment of the amount of time available to train. I look at the USARNG Bradley unit located to the south of our Bde: its AIFV skills are good, but IMHO its Inf skills are weak. It's true that our Res do get more trg time pe year than the avg ARNG, but it is still a stretch that our units (rightly, IMHO) rejected.
Cheers.




Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bill Smy on January 02, 2005, 07:05:53
It's almost 21 years since I turned over command of an infantry militia unit, and if parading strength is an indicator of success, I guess I have something to be proud of, but I don't know whether I can claim all the credit. During my command I had a group of officers and NCOs which was second to none in the District (the Bde in those days).

Times change. I readily recongize that, so many of the things I did then would not work now. In fact, they would not be tolerated.

First, I directed that we would no longer be in the individual training business. All IT would be done at someone else's time, labour and expense. We had just completed a fall/winter recruit course which started about 30 strong, and graduated about 5 individuals. What a waste. My solution was to do all recruit training in the summer, and concentrate on collective training.

Trade progression training days in those days was the responsibility of the District.

Over the fall/winter/spring I ran an exercise every six weeks or so. I issued the aim and scope of the exercise to the training officer, and all training in that six week period was directed at preparing individuals to perform their role in the exercise. I allowed raw recruits to attend, but limited their participation.

I tried to make these exercises as exciting as possible -- escape and evasion, rapelling, airmobile assaults on the locks on the local canal, exercises with our allied regiment in Jamaica and North Carolina, an exercise in Florida (turned down until I rewrote it as a District exercise). If we went to Meaford, I would not allow any instruction to take place in buildings (that was what the local armoury was for).

I tried to vary the activities of training. For example, the basic reason for winter exercises in those days was to master the skills necessary to live in tents in winter conditions. I had the training officer design an exercise where tent commanders were given a few grid squares in which to conduct their training. They then had a list of items to accomplish   -- erection of tents, cross-country snowshoeing, map and compass, etc. But they planned and conducted the training. The officers were given monitoring and assessment tasks. One year, the main activity was cross-country skiing. But in the background were all those skills needed in living in tents in winter.

I extended that concept with a helicopter company from a New York Army National Guard company. We   flew tent groups to isolated grid references in Allegeny State Park. On dismounting, the tent group commander was given sealed orders which told him the grid reference in which to set up his tent, a RV and time the next afternoon when the platoon would come together, and then a company RV for Sunday morning where the company would be airlifted out.

The point of all this ramble is that although it might seem the CO is training his unit at the Private soldier level, he should be using that activity to train leaders. The ability to conduct a range practice should be developed long before reaching the rank of Major. I tasked my Majors to conduct live-fire manoevre exercises.

Another short war story. The local Parks Canada tourist site wanted to celebrate an event by demonstrating how the military presence had evolved over the year. The superintendant had arranged for re-enactors for the most part, and approached me for a demonstration of an activity appropriate to the Militia at that time. He basically wanted a "troop the colour" ceremony. I gave him a platoon air assault. I decided that the summer course would provide the soldiers, but suddenly the platoon commander was unavailable. I had the course sergeant conduct all the training (monitored by me, of course) and command the assault. Twenty years later he still speaks of the spark he had in that I trusted him where others would not.

When I took over the unit, we were hard pressed to put 60 people on the floor. When I left we were bumping 300 on a regular basis.

As I noted, I don't think a CO could do the types of things today that I was able to do in 1980, but certainly he can make training exciting and at the same time train the next generation of leaders.

 :salute:

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Spr.Earl on January 02, 2005, 07:26:58
We can discuss this till we are all nauseas,nothing will happen unless we bring in Job Protection and a I hate too say it a contract sysytem,you sign up you are in,if you break it you pay or you are in the Regs.for the rest of your contract.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 02, 2005, 09:53:15
Quote
We can discuss this till we are all nauseas,nothing will happen unless we bring in Job Protection and a I hate too say it a contract sysytem,you sign up you are in,if you break it you pay or you are in the Regs.for the rest of your contract.

How come the TA functions without these things? Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on January 02, 2005, 13:33:59
The British are abandoning the practice of rotating unit roles, which doesn't suggest that it is a model that still works.

Really, when did they do this?

What sort of system are they going to adopt now, permanent rolling of "light" or "heavy" status?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 02, 2005, 15:39:23
What sort of system are they going to adopt now, permanent rolling of "light" or "heavy" status?
Just now (part of the reorganization & amalgamation of regiments). 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,24461.msg135815.html#msg135815
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Spr.Earl on January 02, 2005, 16:08:53
As I said we can talk till the Cows come home. ::)
But what is needed is our system to give equal course's (Reg) and Legislation for time off.
Until then our Reserves will be ineffective.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: vr on January 02, 2005, 16:31:58
The TA & ARNG have something that the Reserves in Canada desperately need.  That is a defined role for their units.  During the Cold War every member of these orgs knew exactly where they would be going and what they would be doing when the balloon went up.  And they rehearsed it.  As an infantry reservist during this time we had know idea what was expected of us or even if we would be involved at all.

Todays Reserve units need defined roles & missions that the leadership can train towards.  Providing individual augmentation or providing blank for step # mobilization (something only my ex-DCO ever understood) is quite vague and not tremendously inspirational for soldiers.  We just end up checking off the same ELOC/BTS boxes every year with no real goal in sight.

Give each Reserve unit a mission and a defined role in the Army.  Give them a set of standards to achieve, sufficient resources, and let them get on with it!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 02, 2005, 16:35:37
What about financial incentives for reservists that pass annual proficiency tests or attend a minimum number of training events?

I like what pbi has suggested about replacing one evening a week with one additional weekend a month.   There is a concern that some people accustom to the old way of things would not be able to adjust schedules/lifestyles to the new.   However, in a city a battalion of multiple companies could designate one company as the weekend company and the other company as the week night company.   Both companies could come together once a month for battalion training on a weekend.   And if a member's life situation changes, it would be easy to transfer between the companies.   

This set-up could work if we amalgamate regiments or if we form multi-regiment battalions.
http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,24463.0.html
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on January 02, 2005, 18:03:55
I like what pbi has suggested about replacing one evening a week with one additional weekend a month.  There is a concern that some people accustom to the old way of things would not be able to adjust schedules/lifestyles to the new.  However, in a city a battalion of multiple companies could designate one company as the weekend company and the other company as the week night company.  Both companies could come together once a month for battalion training on a weekend.  And if a member's life situation changes, it would be easy to transfer between the companies. 


That's still irrelevant for people who work swing shifts, split shifts and other irregular schedules.  If you work evenings, then days, with 4 on and 3 off, your schedule is going to be all over the place, so it is not a matter of either evenings or weekends.  No way around it in some cases; so do you encourage a guy who is rock solid in job knowledge to quit in such a case, or just accept that he might only parade twice a month?

This is why I think Bill's comments about collective training may be not clearly focussed.  It seemed like he was talking about not having OJT for individuals, and instead focus on "unit training."  That's great, if your entire unit shows up all the time.  We did that the last couple of years, with a live fire exercise having all the exercises before it as a prerequisite - PWT on the range, then pairs, then section, then platoon, finally the company live fire.  I believe "gateway training" is the term.   So in Bill's case, if I understand him correctly, for an individual who shows up for the PWT, but misses the pairs and section exercises, he is pretty much hooped for the rest of the year.  If there are no other training tasks to do, he is out of a job until the summer courses, or next September.

How important is it to have Militia infantry companies capable of conducting a live fire company attack?  Is this really the role they need to fulfill?  It is a great incentive, no doubt, for keeping troops interested in training, but it can't be the only thing on the plate.

I always thought the Militia were the guys who kept the lights on in between periods of conflict.   What good is it to teach an individual about his part in a company live fire attack during the year, if he never learns how to drive a truck, splice a signal wire, send a contact report, identify a land mine....

And what good does it do to have him miss that pairs fire and movement weekend, then quit because he needs money and there is no other training going on?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 02, 2005, 23:56:08
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The TA & ARNG have something that the Reserves in Canada desperately need.   That is a defined role for their units.   During the Cold War every member of these orgs knew exactly where they would be going and what they would be doing when the balloon went up.   And they rehearsed it.   As an infantry reservist during this time we had know idea what was expected of us or even if we would be involved at all

I certainly stand to be corrected here, but I think that this is an exaggeration (no doubt with good intent...). I think that for a number of years the US Army did not know exactly what to do with the ARNG as a whole, and had no "specific missions" for most of them.   IIRC most of the ARNG Divisions except those with a REFORGER role, were general reinforcement, and it is questionable how many ARNG Divs could actually have deployed efficiently as such. The greatest single focus for most ARNG personnel was, (based on comments I hear from some US Active Army types here in Afgh), to be called out for State emergencies and go to summer camp. GWOT has changed much of that, and has reportedly caused a number of people in the ARNG to re-evaluate their reasons for joining in the first place. It is worth recalling the performance of some ARNG Bdes when they were called up for the first Gulf War and sent through NTC: not too good. So, even if they supposedly had these "assigned missions" what good did it do them? And anyway, they didn't end up going where they were assigned, did they?

Again subject to correction, I think you will find that only a percentage of the TA was ever designated for BAOR tasks, which IIRC contributed to something of a "have" and "have not" situation in the TA. The lack of specific missions for specific units contributed, IMHO, to some of the reductions and re-roling that TA units have experienced over the last couple of decades.

As far as assigning "specific missions", I think we are in the same boat as the USMC: our "specific mission" is to be ready to go anywhere, to do anything. Realistically, what alternative is there? Other than our overseas missions (which change with increasing frequency), where exactly would these "specific missions" be? Trying to be "scenario based" or "specific mission based" is not really very practical given our small size, limited resources and a   national foreign policy of committing at fairly short notice to NATO, Coalition or UN ops all over the planet. Far better IMHO to be a solidly capability-based army, thus being as flexible as a small army can be. Being too specific risks "niche-ism" which IMHO is an express route to irrelevance if your chosen "niche" becomes redundant. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: SHARP WO on January 03, 2005, 12:29:37
Quote
I do think there is a point at which the amount of leadership in reserve units does seem to be a bit much. Many reserve units are small and barely require the admin for a company, let alone that of a battalion. For example, my Regiment has about 25-30 regular parading soldiers. To  command this we have an Lt. Col, a Major, 3 Captains, 2 Lieutenants, a Chief Warrent Officer, a Master Warrent Officer, and a Warrent. How is this an efficient formation? If nothing else it means that any training must go through unnecessary paper work; and it's fairly obvious that such a huge command structure is a financial burden. I do, however, recognize that you cannot have a Lieutenant in charge of the armouries; but at the same time; why not down grade units like this to company level; commanded by a Major.

Well, I come from a unit that has 150 soldiers attend regular training activities, from 3 sub units, and we need the command structure.

If you down grade a unit, will you not lose the units identity also. What happens if you get a great influx of new recruits and you go up to Coy plus then you are left lots of soldiers and not enough comd's. There are some reserve units that have 200 plus members, if a smaller unit is reduced to Coy size it would be easier to role it over and put it under a different unit, I see many problems that would arise from the mere mention of this of this point.

For example, if the RCR regs were reduced to Coys instead of Bn's and made a part the PPCLI, it might make sense in the short term, but then you lose the unit identity, the history and you make a few people upset.

Sharp WO

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 03, 2005, 12:48:03
I think others have raised this before but isn't there more opportunity in this day and age for more individual "on-line" training with individuals getting the "class-room" work on their own time with computer instruction, even testing, and use weekday parade nights for testing/evaluation/tutoring of individuals as well as planning for exercises on Weekends.  This could fit into the type of programme that Bill Smy was using successfully in the 80's.  (As an aside ,LCol Paul Hughes (Calg Highrs) used similar strategies to Mr. Smy's as wel,l as did his successor John Fletcher and the CH recruited and paraded well in those years).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 03, 2005, 12:58:36
Kirkhill: You would be pleased to know that some progress is actually being made in delivering "Distributed Learning (DL)" to Reserve units, following the same concept that was used to introduce it into the RegF: to reduce the amount of time spent away from home unit. Over the last two years I have seen a module of the PLQ delivered this way, and I believe other courses are becoming available too. In each of our multi-unit garrisons (TBay, Winnipeg and Regina) we have had a computer classroom for some time now. There is more that could be achieved, but we are getting there. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 03, 2005, 16:00:08
Good news pbi, thanks.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on January 03, 2005, 22:51:09
Honestly I think we are fooling ourselves by believing in computer assisted learning progrman in the military.  Very few skills can be taught or properly learned that way - the PLQ being a prime example.


SHARP WO - there is nothing stating that the overborne reserve coy's could not spin off another coy. 

 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 03, 2005, 23:06:50
Quote
Honestly I think we are fooling ourselves by believing in computer assisted learning progrman in the military.  Very few skills can be taught or properly learned that way - the PLQ being a prime example.

This really depends on what you use it to teach. If you use it to teach the wrong thing, such as drill, or how to dig a trench or do a section attack, then of course you are misusing it and wasting everybody's time. But, that is not generally how it is used. DL is normaly used to replace "book learning" theory that does not strictly require you to be together in a group with an instructor. However, the "chat room" function does give a limited capability to interact with an instructor (or other DL candidates) at certain times.

Quote
SHARP WO - there is nothing stating that the overborne reserve coy's could not spin off another coy. 

Yes, unfortunately there are several things that stop this. First of all, unless you are lucky enough to be in the Army Reserve units in Southern Ontario or Vancouver, you are apparently not permitted to raise new sub-units. We were tasked to raise an Engr Sqn under LFRR in Wpg but we ended up having to group it inside the Fort Garry Horse because we could not create any "new units" or "new HQs" even though this was blatantly being permitted in the locations I mentioned. You would also run into the fact that the Army makes it difficult (perhaps for good reasons, perhaps not...) for Res units to change their establishments, due largely to the issue of how many funded positions are actually available. I agree completely that this system needs to be streamlined so that units that have the ability to grow can do so. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on January 04, 2005, 01:29:33
PBI - I see your point - but from what I saw of PLQ candidates "doing" CAL - it was a total dogf*ck.

 I know during my WAL (Warrant Assisted Learning) at the RCR BSL (while nodding off during the Course Officers lectures on the role and char of the different cbt arms etc.) I picked up many points that I dont feel a computer study system can impart  ;D
Now in 11 years the methodology of teaching junior leaders (or any course) has changed but some basic problems are imparted IMHO by CAL.


The process for reserve units must be streamlined - but I guess like the entire CF the shrugged shoulders, combined with tearing ones hair out at planning for the future with no real guidance from ABOVE...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on January 04, 2005, 01:32:06
3 years ago, the first half of my QL3 was done by computer; of course, that was RMS and consisted mainly of looking up stuff on the DIN....

It was still more useful than my month in Borden for the second half...

What would have been most useful was simply working in an office and having someone show me how to do stuff.  Having a 40 year old MCpl ranting and raving at us because we missed a question on an exam, or having an air force WO talk down to me because I had a wrinkle in my bedsheets really didn't prepare me to do anything useful back at my home unit...

The most useful trades training I got was three Saturday mornings where our retiring Chief Clerk sat us down, and off the top of his head rattled off 20 years of experience in "how to do stuff".  It was interesting, well presented, and highlighted that experienced NCOs are the answer, not unemployable junior NCOs who can't find work anywhere else but on a Militia callout for the summer at a trades school.

Those who can, do, those who can't....teach. ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 04, 2005, 06:07:08
Quote
I know during my WAL (Warrant Assisted Learning) at the RCR BSL (while nodding off during the Course Officers lectures on the role and char of the different cbt arms etc.) I picked up many points that I dont feel a computer study system can impart 
Now in 11 years the methodology of teaching junior leaders (or any course) has changed but some basic problems are imparted IMHO by CAL.

There is a compromise that I have seen used: the class is conducted at the local armoury, by DL, but there are local instructors present to assist and (hopefully) stop the sexual relations with canines.  This still keeps the soldiers (relatively) close to home, but it is beginning to eat into some of the advantages. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bill Smy on January 04, 2005, 10:38:25
This really depends on what you use it to teach. If you use it to teach the wrong thing, such as drill, or how to dig a trench or do a section attack, then of course you are misusing it and wasting everybody's time. But, that is not generally how it is used. DL is normaly used to replace "book learning" theory that does not strictly require you to be together in a group with an instructor.

I recall that back in the early 1970s a new revolutionary thought permeated the CF -- programmed learning. Units received booklets which were intended to be loaned to members. The books were designed so that information was displayed on one page, the next had questions, the third answers. The student was to take them home, and when he/she believed that he/she had mastered the topic, he/she would appear before the RSS officer and take a test which would credit success or failure.

In typical CF logic, it was then decided, notwithstanding this method of qualification, that the soldier still had to attend a formal course in order that the qualification be recognized.   :threat:

Pbi is correct. It depends on what you teach. Map Using, vehicle recognition, regimental history, and dozen more POs need not consume scarce armoury time.

 :salute:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on January 04, 2005, 11:33:25
I'd go a step further and say it's utter nonsense to drag Res F personnel to a Trg Centre somewhere, to have them sit in a class-room and learn something like map-symbols or the format for a SITREP.  We should be pulling Res F pers to the Trg Centers ONLY to have them conduct trg they can't conduct at unit or Bde level (mostly trg in the field, trg at levels they otherwise wouldn't be able to obtain at home units e.g. level 3 or higher, trg with specific wpn systems or vehicles, etc.).  As has been pointed out before, there is a decentralized system of standards pers that can ensure standards are maintained for unit/Bde level trg, and that can include distribution and assessment of distributed learning materials.  But we MUST get smarter about the way we conduct our trg, because the "traditional" model of shipping someone to Wainwright or Shilo or Meaford for 6 or 8 weeks, to learn everything from rank structure to military law to foot-drill to marksmanship principles, is letting us down.  We need to front-end load as much trg as possible at local level under the overwatch of LFDTS standards cells, and save the trg centres for short but intense bouts of the "high value-added" trg.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Meridian on January 04, 2005, 12:32:53
Wow. extremely interesting post all around!

A few tidbits of info I think I can offer:

Peoplesoft sucks. :) (My Civvy Payroll dept just switched too it too, sigh)
I support SAP at my civvy dayjob...(federal govnt agency) and Im told that DND actually has two SAP Systems currently. I inquired exactly what they are supporting, noone is really all that certian, although a colleague did head over there and noted they are using several modules and have a HUGE (and I mean HUGE!) support/dev team.

All this to say that while SAP here certianly provides added benefits, noone wants to use it, so it ends up being much more work. Scientists who play with plants all day and have little to no contact with regular networked PCs (or even computers in some cases) find it a hassle to log in and record time, or order stuff online, etc.  Most managers are "too busy" to attend half-day training courses, and then get frustrated when they call in for support.

Basically, if everyone actually took the time to learn the system, it would cut down a lot of grief... alas.. :)



Now speaking to the reserves specifically: As an outsider (with extremely limited reg force experience) looking to join, I guess my perspective may help to aid from the recruiting perspective.

1) I think that the Reserves have to evolve to recognize that the workplace today is not the same as it was 20-30 years ago. The majority of people no longer work 9-5. Students even have ever increasingly diverse schedules, with many night courses being offered now, and summer terms increasing in popularity.

2) I get 3 weeks of vacation a year, some of which is rather mandatorily used up at Christmas. 3 weeks is a lot for someone in their early to mid twenties, at least when considering that many entry level positions at least around here offer 2 weeks of unpaid holidays (vacation pay is always there but still)...  I think part of the problem may be that an officer sitting with 4-6 weeks of paid leave a year in Ottawa may not have considered this fully.  Add on the fact that my family may want to see me for a week, and I suddenly have a lot less vacation.

LWOP is always an option from any civvy job, but many companies are leaving the traditional "indeterminate" style positions and are moving to more project/contract/work-driven requirements. I am a permanent employee, but of a large consulting firm. If there is no work, I get laid off. Permanency means I get notice.

A huge concern for me is that if I do ask for that 2 months off in the summer to pursue training, and Im granted it... how secure am I coming back, having my employer suddenly realize they could make due without me for 2 months? I consider myself a valuable employee, and while summers are quieter...  its still a concern in a rather unstable labour market.....

Then you also have to consider just how Im supposed to convince my employer to give me the time off...  I mean many employers are accomodating, but Im sure many others would rather just not deal with it....

I understand students are great in this regard, as they often have summers free, and are looking for work/something to do.... but even students as someone else has mentioned now have work terms, placements, etc... perhaps the forces should look at integrating some sort of co-op options for university students...  working in recruiting or PAO may help the marketing degree I am completing, or with a CER to fulfill coop items on my engineering degree...

3) Recruiting is confusing. Period.

Because I know better, I know to go to the unit to get real answers. But then those answers are just one-sided ones really, focussed on the Unit only, and thus, as someone who doesnt know jack, if I do end up at the unit, I may not be getting the best picture, or getting the best options.

Its all well and good to say "well, do your research", but for someone looking to join, if you get a good sales pitch, and the answers are all being provided, why would you immediately question them? Some may be worried about giving a bad impression to a new employer from the getgo....

Why can't I get real information as to when I can expect courses to start? Real time frames for my application? If I have so many deadlines, why dont the forces? Hurry up and wait doesn't make sense to someone not indoctrinated, and even someone who is, still things its  a dumb thing.  When I went on the Brit Army recruiting site, I was given hard deadlines for answers. Of course there are exceptions, but geez... sure makes me feel wanted, or at least appreciated and interested if I have an idea....

Recruiting is full of way to many rumours... On this here board Ive read countless times different recruiters from different areas giving conflicting board dates for the same MOC and component.

4) there is not enough information available about the day to day job... especially for officers (IMO.)

Now, I understand much of this is up to the applicant...  But why is it that I can go to the american military websites and get much more of a feel for what I would do day-in-day-out than when I go to recruiting.forces.gc.ca?

If I have no idea what Im getting myself into, but I think I do, how good of a trainee am I going to make? (No wonder there was a 5 out of 30 graduation).

5) Training....

I have no idea how to fix this one.. Ive tried to think out of the box, listening to all your guys ideas....  and honestly.. the decentralization option sounds the best to me. 

Here's a question: What is the value of the indoctrination....? (My experience here is primarily RegF, but my question relates to Res and Ill explain later what I mean)

I sat on IAP.. and wondered why we spent so much time sitting around doing nothing. Many of the courses could have been self-study, (we are officers to be afterall, cant we just study, test, fail, or pass)? And all the weekends off... necessary? Perhaps long-run yes, but if you asked me if Id rather be done a month earlier, or have weekends off, Id take the month earlier.

A week of administrivia is ridiculous. Seriously. Taking 3 days to get kit, hours upon hours waiting at MIR for shots and other stuff, filling out paperwork. Granted it all needs to be done. But why on course? And then the last week before the parade.. tons of wasted time?  Plenty of us mentioned wed rather see courses done sooner, get the necessary indoc on the skills required, and then get booted on out to the real world...  (I realize this is how everyone feels, and that a nice transition is necessary).

My question here is this.. I was told in the Reg For.. that BMQ/IAPBOTP. SQ/Phases/DP/etc are all built to transition everyone into miltiary mode. They make you as a soldier, they get rid of the civy mindset. buiilds discipline (this I can agree with, but still) ... they dont just teach you specific skills, but the total package.

Is this necessary in the Reserve side of things? And if not.. why not? I mean, if we want our REs soldiers to be as close to Reg soldiers in training and abilities, would it not require the same amount of indoc?

I guess this is what it comes down to... Can OJT really train properly? And at what point should OJT be used?

Im thinking from the perspective of a new recruit or OCdt here...  they want to learn, theyve just joined up...  maybe they have cadets or other mil experience.. they know how to salute, basic drill, etc...  do you sideline them? they finish BMQ...  can they learn more things OJT, or MUST they have a formal course completion?

What are the benefits to courses, I guess, is the question?


Sorry for the rambling, but so many thoughts.







Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 04, 2005, 12:47:02
Quote
I guess this is what it comes down to... Can OJT really train properly? And at what point should OJT be used?

dglad and I are not really talking about "OJT": that is more suited to teaching specific skills to already trained soldiers, although it can also be useful. What we are referring to is running formal courses, authorized by, but decentralized from the Area TC (or even the School-we have done one of those already, for Recce Crew Comd) down to the Bdes or in some cases the garrisons, or maybe even in a particularly capable unit. This permits staff and student to remain within their local area, to use local facilities that might otherwise not be fully utilized, and can potentially draw on instructors who cannot go away for six to eight weeks. The courses would be run just as they are at the central establishments, surveyed by the Area Stds Dets located around the Bde(we have three in ours), as well as visiting LFDTs teams or School SMEs. The decentralized can be improved by use of DL or self study as Bill Smy described. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on January 04, 2005, 13:07:19
Excellent points all around.   One further note on LWOP - that's great if the Reserves pays you more than your civvie job. If not....some civvie firms will pay the difference, but most won't.

There is no LEGISLATION to protect us....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Meridian on January 04, 2005, 13:19:57
MD - Exactly.. I admittedly do not make that much (at least compared to other professionals) but on comparing with a "training rank" pay for a month or so, Im losing money.

Now, sacrifices are sacrifices, and I dont think I can demand that the forces pay the equivalent of my civvy paycheque.... but it is something to budget and consider for some people..

Again, one more reason why uni students seem to be the answer.. but thats only a 3-4 year setup!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PikaChe on January 04, 2005, 14:50:36
I think this issue has been brought up before, but is it me, or is location of reserve units... irrational at times?

I just think it's ridiculous that small cities have 3 units and Montreal to have what, 6 Inf units, in same area.

Do we need to reexamine how our units are spread out all over Canada and see where are units being killed by saturation of local manpower and which areas are not being tapped?

How is Reserves doing, in terms of tapping into rural area? As much as populated Southern Ontario is, there are areas that there is no viable local reserve unit to go to.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on January 04, 2005, 15:21:53
To put it bluntly--and as I've said on here before--the current distribution of Res F units is nonsensical.  For example:

-Thunder Bay, ON (where I'm from), with a population of 120K, has 5 Res F units (2 x Army, 1 x Health Svcs Sp, 1 x Comm Res, 1 x Naval Res)
-Toronto, ON, with a population of about 4 million, has 15 Res F units (can't remember the exact breakdown)

So, for a population more than 30 times the size, Toronto only has 3 times the number of Res units.  This is repeated across the country.  We have enormous difficulty building units in Thunder Bay to any sort of decent size, while other areas that are growing explosively--such as Mississauga or suburban parts of Vancouver--have no Res F units at all.  The distribution of Res F units in Canada is a remnant of a by-gone era, when the demographic patterns and trends were completely different, and the global security environment made very different demands on Canada's military.

Yes, there are many proud unit histories to uphold, but we're doing so at the expense of a viable Res F for today.  Realistically, we should completely overhaul the Res F, so that units are located in some manner coordinated with the reality of contemporary demographics.  There should be units in suburban Toronto and Vancouver; there should also be units, or elements of units, in places like Swift Current, Sask and maybe even Fort McMurray, Alta, where untapped and growing pools of person-power exist.  The status quo is unsustainable, and that's unfortunate--but the truth often is unfortunate.  What we need to do is find ways to move past politics, embody our proud heritage of military accomplishment and, at the same time, move forward in the context of a restructured Res F that can fit Canada's modern security needs.  It can be done...one only has to look at the recent UK Army restructuring to see how so.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: jmackenzie_15 on January 04, 2005, 15:40:38
The same trend occurring in the United States for decades doesnt act any different here....

huge urban sprawls like Toronto, which costs a crapload to live in, is decently filled with alot of 'rich people' or 'upper class' and for the MOST PART, the military is mainly comprised of lower-middle class working types ( excluding the officers ).So far, ive yet to meet anybody in the infantry thats been out of the ordinary wealthy. I have a 2 story mansion from the early 1900s where I live, and for as much as it costs and to heat in the winter, my family might be able to afford a small two bedroom house in toronto.

I should also point out that the majority of the military comes from the atlantic provinces.I don't remember the exact number but i think its like 60% or something.... and alot of the remainder coming out of the western provinces.Thats just what ive been told/heard anyway, and so far that sounds about right.

Maybe its just lack of interest, or lack of information, who knows....

regardless, I hope this new base that Martin wants goes right smack dab in the middle of Ontario or BC =p
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: mo-litia on January 04, 2005, 15:49:03
To put it bluntly--and as I've said on here before--the current distribution of Res F units is nonsensical.   For example:

The distribution of Res F units in Canada is a remnant of a by-gone era, when the demographic patterns and trends were completely different, and the global security environment made very different demands on Canada's military.

 Realistically, we should completely overhaul the Res F, so that units are located in some manner coordinated with the reality of contemporary demographics.   There should be units in suburban Toronto and Vancouver; there should also be units, or elements of units, in places like Swift Current, Sask and maybe even Fort McMurray, Alta, where untapped and growing pools of person-power exist.   The status quo is unsustainable,

Excellent thoughts on this topic. As a former rural Albertan, I know of many people from my hometown who have expressed a strong interest in the PRes but are not able to commute to a major centre to train.

I was amazed when I found out that my regiment used to maintain one or two companies in small towns but that they were disbanded decades ago, not due to lack of manpower or interest; but rather in the interests of saving money at budget time.

End result; angry former rural revreservists along with rural citizens who are now unable to join the militia, the alialienation rural people who have lost their most visible link to the military other than the Legion, and the sad site of former armouries lapsing into disuse.

 :cdn:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Blunt Object on January 05, 2005, 15:20:48
"The regs are the first to deploy, and the first line of defense.  They also have high casualites.  Reserve units are there to a) replace reg units and b) the cadre to train new people.  Obviously a reservist is less expericenced than a reg of the same rank, but it takes a lot less time to get a reservist up to speed than to train entirerly new people."

In response to "ender" what if you have a reservist and a reg forces soldier fresh out of boot are either really prepared to be called upon to go into combat?

What about a Mcpl or a Sgt in a Reserve unit whos never seen cobat? Whould the Higher rank prehaps know more about the profession of arms that a Pvt or Cpl in a  reg force unit?

Any soldier who has seen combat will obviously know a few"combat tricks" or more about survival in the battlefield than a soldier who hasn't. But if someones been practacing in the reserves for 6 or 7 years and another person has only been in the regs 6 months the guy thats been practicing longer will probally be more prepared to go into combat which is what really matters
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Meridian on January 05, 2005, 15:23:47
You remind me of the situation in blackhawk down (I know, I know, its the movies) where the Sgt tells his troops he's never fired at anyone before, but he's leading them anyway.... 

Is it necessary that you out-experience someone to lead? And if so, does that not pretty much fly in the face of the Jr. Officer ranks?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Murdock on January 05, 2005, 22:49:56
As I have served with both reg force and reserveists I must say that the reserve unit that I served with (the RHLI) are as ready to go into combat as some of the people that I've seen in the reg's.The men and women take there training seriously and worked just as hard if not harder then most.I am very proud of them and some of them are still serving over sea's as peace keepers and in other role's as well.I defenately think that they should be trained as there reg force counter parts and used the same way.They are a vital and important part of our military stucture and should get the respect they deserve and earn everyday.And I know that if they are ever called upon to do there job that they would do so with houner and unit pride and do us and all Canadian's proud.That's all I have to say about that(and that's probebly enough...lol).

 :cdn:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 06, 2005, 00:31:19
huge urban sprawls like Toronto, which costs a crapload to live in, is decently filled with alot of 'rich people' or 'upper class' and for the MOST PART, the military is mainly comprised of lower-middle class working types ( excluding the officers ).So far, ive yet to meet anybody in the infantry thats been out of the ordinary wealthy. I have a 2 story mansion from the early 1900s where I live, and for as much as it costs and to heat in the winter, my family might be able to afford a small two bedroom house in toronto.

I should also point out that the majority of the military comes from the atlantic provinces.I don't remember the exact number but i think its like 60% or something.... and alot of the remainder coming out of the western provinces.Thats just what ive been told/heard anyway, and so far that sounds about right.

I disagree with you on these assertions.I think you are making them from a very limited perspective.

First off, I think that your estimate is actually referring to the RegF, but even then IMHO it is wrong. Canada's military, Reg and Res, is overwhelmingly a middle class operation. IMHO the "upper class" (to the extent that we even have one...) abandoned military service as a vocation back in the early days of the last century. The old stereotype that the Army (esp the Inf...) is full of a bunch of  po' boys  (or "bys") from "down 'ome" is IMHO wrong. In my experience, while the Atlantic Provinces do contribute a large proportion of the recruits, our soldiers come from all over. Since over 80% of Canadians live in cities, it probably follows that that is where our RegF recruits mostly come from. As for social differences between officers and soldiers, I think you are also exaggerating that too. This is not the British Army: most officers and soldiers IMHO come from very clos together in the social spectrum.

Second, even if we accept that your statement might apply somewhat to the RegF, IMHO it has nothing to do with the Res, which is what this thread is talking about. How could it be true that "the majority of the military comes from the atlantic provinces", if eight of the ten Res CBGs are not in Atlantic Canada? You will find that what I said above about the RegF is even more true about the Res: in my experience there is no clear social or economic difference (or even educational difference) between Officers and ORs in the Res.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on January 07, 2005, 05:11:38
You remind me of the situation in blackhawk down (I know, I know, its the movies) where the Sgt tells his troops he's never fired at anyone before, but he's leading them anyway....  

Is it necessary that you out-experience someone to lead? And if so, does that not pretty much fly in the face of the Jr. Officer ranks?


This would also fly in the face of practical experience.  I would suggest that more experience IN GENERAL equals better performance, but like all things human, there are as many variations on this particular theme as there are people.  History is rife with examples of Ptes (or their historical equivalents--call them legionnaires, hoplites, whatever) rising to the occasion when more experienced leaders have fallen or failed.  And I've met a well-decorated WW2 vet who was a complete a**hole who probably couldn't be trusted to lead Boy Scouts on a nature hike.  This also brings in the fact that personal experience and accomplishment, and the ability to lead, are also very different things.  Again, some individuals who live, breathe and eat things military, read Soldier of Fortune cover to cover, and absolutely excel in all the soldierly skills, make absolutely horrible leaders.  And while it's important for a leader to be a good soldier, true leadership is about a whole range of "softer" skills, focused around things like empathy, communications, commitment to a duty of care, honesty, moral courage...the list goes on.

Anyone can lead, but by no means can everyone can lead well.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: bgreen on January 09, 2005, 01:36:24
One thing that strikes me about many of the threads we discuss is not only the availability of soldiers to attend training and the distribution of units but how we can bring the two together and also build support on a Canada wide basis for our CF.

As pbi mentioned in another thread, when you study the distribution of units across Canada both Reg and Reserve there are huge gaps geographically.  I believe we are doing a better job of reaching our northern regions with the Rangers and involving local people in these units that improve the CF profile in this remote region.  I believe we are somewhat short on a reg force presence in these areas and would offer that basing some senior NCOs to support these units would also provide a basis for a sovereignty and emergency response force if a unit could not be stationed across this area.
 
Likewise I think there are areas across the southern part of our country where 80% of the population lives that could do with a reserve presence whether it be militia, naval, air, comms or medical reserve units.  I also think that population size of a community should be coupled with a look at the geographical space in determining where some new units might go.

Both dglad and pbi have mentioned Swift Current, SK as a case in point.  It is nearly 200 km from a reserve unit yet at one time was the home of the 14th Hussars (Free and Fearless) and 8th Recce.  It is a small city of about 15 000 with an equally large trading area.  The city administration has offered to rent the armoury to the CF for about 150.00$/month.  The educational administrators, MPs and MLAs as well as the local Chamber of Commerce all made presentations to the LFRR town hall meetings in the hopes of attracting a permanent reserve presence to the city. 

I tend to agree with pbi that the CF is not made of any economic class of individuals but I can tell you in smaller communities the reserve presence would be one of the few part-time activities available and IMHO you could draw a number of individuals of many skilled backgrounds from these small communities like mechanics, doctors, lawyers and padres in addition to whatever soldiers you needed to form the specific role within the unit.

I always enjoy travelling through northern Montana and seeing the armoury in nearly every small town greater than 500.  I think you win the support of local people when they know their own hometown men and women are involved in defending their country.  And if we did this right in Canada perhaps we could attract more of the different cultural groups that are located in small and large centres if they had a community reserve unit.

At the risk of someone thinking of the millions of $ this would cost in facilities I would offer that most schools are now looking at what is called Community Plus initiatives where schools are used by the community.  Why not a reserve presence here for minimal dollars?

All said I was very disappointed that LFRR has not mentioned nor addressed these issues as I was led to believe in their initial iteration that this would be done.  Regardless if we ever hope to martial the support of Canadians and their leaders we had better be in their location where they live and work. 

BG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 09, 2005, 06:31:00
Well said bgreen. In my opinion, LFRR didn't measure up to its publicity. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on January 09, 2005, 14:41:07
Well said Mr Green.

http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,19720.0.html

Here is a good thread on a failed effort to bring a reserve unit to Prince George, a community of about 100,000 people with zero CF representation....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on January 09, 2005, 15:42:12
bgreen, I think the success of rural reserve units may have been very much tied to the social component of those units.  I wonder if today's training realities would allow such small units to flourish?  I suspect they would - my dad was a member of the 64th (Yorkton) Field Battery, RCA - the unit still exists.  His subunit in 1957 was Echo Troop, who paraded in Canora - a tiny little town 45 minutes or so from Yorkton.  They met in the basement of the Legion IIRC and drilled once a week.  in the summer, they went to gun camp in Shilo, he also took the Tech Able course.    The subunit is long gone.

In the "old days", I think the attraction was the uniform, and the social events.  The Calgary Highlanders Ball was one of the big events on the city's social calendar.  It must have been the same way in smaller communities, perhaps even moreso.  Society, unfortuantely, seems to have outgrown the military and love of pomp and circumstance.  After Vietnam, and now Iraq, I think there is a new fear of things military; our soldiers are actually in Afghanistan not wearing (gasp) blue berets.  Just when we reach the point where we need to sell the idea of a large military even more, I think the public at large may be the least receptive.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Le Gars on January 09, 2005, 17:50:44
I think the idea of more rural units is a good one. I think this because I come from rural SK and lived 1 1/2 hours from my closest reserve unit (Saskatoon or Prince Albert, A and B Coy NSaskR, respectively), and the next closest units were the "Yorkton Battery" and the all the untis in Regina, both 2 hours away. Now this left quite a way for me or anyone who lived where I did to go if I were to parade with a unit, yet there is a town, now a city, of 5000 people (Humboldt) 25 minutes away. To the best of my knowledge Humboldt has never hosted any reserve unit, but being how large it is and being nearly smack in the middle of the majority of of reserve units in SK, all over an hour away, should it not be quite feasible to have at least a platoon/troop based there?
Another thing that is interesting to me is that between Seaforth, Bessborough, and BCR armoury and Abbotsford, there really isn't much of a reserve option except New Westminster. Could not a place the size of Richmond or Surrey support another Coy/Sqn/Bty, even with Richmond having the Svc Btn? What about something in the Burquitlam area? I am new to the Lower Mainland so please excuse me if I've missed something/unit.

P.S. for the rumor mill, this is totally without support, but I've heard something about an engineer troop being set up in Cranbrook?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on January 09, 2005, 17:55:56
Surrey is covered by The Royal Westminster Regiment, which parades in New Westminster and Langley/Aldergrove (so, Surrey is basically between the two).  The North Shore is covered by the Engineers.  I think it is the Burnaby/PoCo area that is in need of a reserve presence in the city.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 09, 2005, 18:15:44
New start-up rural units would be excellent candidates for weekend parading.

That's still irrelevant for people who work swing shifts, split shifts and other irregular schedules. If you work evenings, then days, with 4 on and 3 off, your schedule is going to be all over the place, so it is not a matter of either evenings or weekends. No way around it in some cases; so do you encourage a guy who is rock solid in job knowledge to quit in such a case, or just accept that he might only parade twice a month?
Maybe the solution here is to find a means of greater integration of the supplementary reserve with the primary reserve (or a new intermediate tier).  Members in this category would still belong to a unit, but they would not have the same parading requirements (they may even have an annual ceiling of training/administrative day similar to the CIC).  These pseudo-supplementary reservists would be permitted to participate in DOMOPS or as staff for course taught over the summer without these days counting against their total allowed.  This might accommodate members that are only able to make summer concentration exercises, or who can only attend a handful of evenings & weekends a year.

The members would get to remain in the reserve, with no loss of seniority, and train according to their schedule.  The trade-off would be that TIR would not count toward promotion for pseudo-supplementary reservists and priority for student positions on courses would always go to the regular paraders.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyRick on January 10, 2005, 21:33:02
As far as the reserves go, I happen to agree with pbi on some issues. We have far too many company sized regiments in the infantry reserves. I think amalgamating regiments together to form larger regiments is a better idea.
I would also reccomen any time an amalgamation takes place that the new regiment takes on the identity of all the old regiments that formed it. We have been through this before. My regiment was formed as it is today by combining three battle proven regiments in 1936.
Change, don't fear it, embrace it and make the best of it...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 10, 2005, 21:54:56
Good advice Rick, might take it myself.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 12, 2005, 04:32:57
As far as the reserves go, I happen to agree with pbi on some issues. We have far too many company sized regiments in the infantry reserves. I think amalgamating regiments together to form larger regiments is a better idea.
I would also reccomen any time an amalgamation takes place that the new regiment takes on the identity of all the old regiments that formed it. We have been through this before. My regiment was formed as it is today by combining three battle proven regiments in 1936.
Change, don't fear it, embrace it and make the best of it...

Actually, quite a number of Res regts are the products of  various amalgamations, most of which took place prior to WWII: that is sometmes conveniently forgotten.  IMHO, the current stigma attached to amalgamation in the last few decades is a result of the belief by some in the Res community that it is an evil plot by the RegF to destroy the Militia, and that if only we can make everything just like it was 50 years ago everything would be fine. This has not been helped by some of the ham-fisted, poorly thought ideas (and barely concealed hostility...) that has from time to time emanated toward the Res from the Reg side. Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: EXNovie on January 21, 2005, 02:24:53
Hi there, I am a reg force officer in training, I previously served as a reserve infantry platoon commander in Nova Scotia and here are some thoughts I never passed on before I departed. I believe that in order to operate more efficiently, make the best use of finances and actually train as fieldable, cohesive, STANDARDIZED Battaltion sized units, reserve infantry regiments in Nova Scotia should amalgamate to form one command.   I understand that the higher ups governing the LFRR programme entertained this idea much to the revulsion of reserve members. The disgust was justifiable on certain levels; unbreakable ties to the past, and pride in being distinct: all very important. However, I believe you can still honour the past even if it is under new colors. Would the veterans of a regiment want to see their past unit become so poorly financed and undermanned as to fold altogether? Of course not. On the less critical level units would have to put aside their longstanding rivalries, and egos,and yes, self-pride and see to what was best for Nova Scotia's and Canada's defense. The benefits would undoubtedly outweigh the growing pains. Imagine having a fully manned Battalion for a CO to lead complete with a full HQ ;   a company commander with 3 full platoons and weapons det to manoeuvre...right down to section level. The quality of leadership at all levels would improve because now many fewer positions would be available. So....if you want to keep your bars Captain so and so...you better prove that we need you, or you're back to 2Lt, or into the ranks. As for finances, administrative operating budgets would be cut dramatically to allow for spending on training and equipment (Hell, maybe even become fully mechanized) Right now, we may think that we exist as independents within 36 Brigade, but were just fooling ourselves...Lieutenant Colonels leading what? 200 troops...on paper no doubt. I can only name one who would actually be combat ready to lead a Battalion size force(LCol TBS). The rest...sorry, paper pushers, nothing more. Want to argue the present arrangement? Among other reasons, the system is in place so as to provide the framework for mass mobilization should the need arise. Well I don't think Canada will be playing a major part in any wars very soon and even if they did, in our society today, sadly, citizens would not exactly be lining up at the main gate to sign up. Better to consolidate what we have now and make it strong as steel, and then continue to grow on its foundation. Operational plan...who knows...I'm sure they would form a committee... but details are details, it the concept that has to be embraced first: The Royal Nova Scotian Regiment. PS I'll mention that this idea was originally presented to me by a Cpl in my past platoon, a Cpl who by the standards of men better than I, should be a MWO.
 :cdn:
[size=15]
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 21, 2005, 12:30:17
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.4308111.1089903978.QPadasOa9dUAAESlMZk&modele=jdc_34

More info on Aussie reserve taskings
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Senor Mono on January 21, 2005, 14:37:48
If the British Army can successfully amalgamate historic units then surely we can do the same. It doesn't even have to involve the complete elimination of our reserve regiments as we know them now. Unit identities can still be maintained if we want to do that, with, say, a regiment like the Princess Louise Fusiliers becoming B (Princess Louise Fusiliers) Coy, 1 RNSR or whatever. You could perhaps change the capbadge and little else, and remove the LCol role from the unit, and hence keep the PLF alive much as they are now. The difference would be that the unit would now be geared towards a larger, better organized, more capable formation. Perhaps wiping out current units and starting fresh would be best for efficiency and organization, but it doesn't necessarily have to happen that way. It seems to me that a logical compromise is very much achievable. I believe 33 CBG was experimenting with a similar organization (33 LIB if I'm not mistaken), can anyone elaborate on that experience?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 21, 2005, 18:35:18
In essence, this thread has already described grouping multiple regimental companies into single regiment neutral battalions that would be the permanent equivalent to a 33 LIB (but leaving room for 33 Rifle Bn too) : http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.msg83671.html#msg83671

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on February 10, 2005, 15:57:31
Are you forgeting that the whole purpose of the reserves is to be a base upon which to build a multi-battalion force? You guys are continuing to look at our forces as something that will always just be a small entity that sends a few troops here, and a few troops there with reserves to fill in the gaps. If you think that way, then we will be caught with not only our pants down, but off and downstairs in the wash when something BIG comes along. Why are so many people unable to think that something like that can never happen again?
This argument does not prove that reserve and regular regimental systems must be the same.  Our standing requirement is for a regular force regimental system that is able to sustain an on going high tempo of deployed operations and a reserve force regimental system that can sustain itself, develop trained individuals & sub-units, and mobilize in time of war.  Should mobilization ever occur, both regimental systems would undergo significant change to meet the needs of total war.  Separate systems make more sense when better suited to the needs of their respective components in â Å“peaceâ ? and they are able to transition to the needs of mobilization (without necessarily meeting those needs prior to mobilization).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on February 11, 2005, 04:34:54
As far as Infantry is concerned, I would argue that the two components already have some significant differences in the way they apply the Regimental system, such that you could almost say that they are different systems. Granted these differences are by force of circumstance, but they exist.

The Regular Infantry Regiments have three battalions each, recruited nationally. Although there were once strong links to certain garrison communities, IMHO these have been weakened in the last few years by relocations to new bases (RCR and PPCLI). Normally we do not move between Regiments except in very unusual circumstances. The key appointments in Regular battalions are almost always filled from within the Regiment: a PPCLI LCol taking command of an R22eR bn is almost unheard of. It is not common to be CO or RSM of the battalion you were serving in when promoted.

Reserve Infantry Regts, with very few exceptions, consist of a single battalion such that IMHO in the minds of many Res soldiers "Regt" and "bn" are interchangeable terms. Res units are normally recruited locally and usually enjoy a strong historical connection with a certain community. It is not at all uncommon for Res Inf soldiers to move between units, either because they move to a different community or they are seeking something their own unit does not offer. It is also not unheard of for the CO or RSM of a Res unit to have transferred in from another Regt.(or to go on and hold the same appointment twice, or in another unit later on). Normally, an individual will work themselves up from DP1 to CO/RSM in the same unit, which is almost unheard of in the RegF.

I believe that many of the underlying concepts are the same, but the systems have already begun to develop on different tracks.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on February 11, 2005, 19:18:09
...and we should try our best to exploit both those unique characteristics.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on April 13, 2005, 15:20:15
Constructive Criticisms, and possible fixes;

1. If you are a member of a militia unit, you WILL parade xx number of days each month. If you dont show up, you are AWL = CHARGE!
    * this will take the weekend out of the weekend warrior, and enable enforceable trg and fitness standards.

2. Make all ranks above MCpl reg force RSS positions, postings so everyone is on the same page. We have surplus officers, use them to train the reserves.

3. Task each unit militia unit specifically (ie mortars, tpt, Anti armour, sigs) so that you can qualify a guy in his job, and let him practice it all the time, instead of just putting him on various courses, which he never uses again and usually forgets because he has no opportunity to practice all of his skills on a weekly basis.

4. Use the reservists all of the time for training support and administrative functions in order to free up more reg force pers for deployments. Class ABC, whatever, keep them working, so that they get better and we actually get some mileage out of them

5. Draw a big black line between the res and the regs. If you want to go reg force, you start with QL3. No more 1/2 trained quick picks that turn into disasters.

6. Offer reservists legislated job protection, and boost their pay to what the regs get when they work. Work a day, paid a day.

7.Make it clear that reservists are not deployed outside of canada unless the war measures act is invoked. Want to get deployed? Join the regs.

8. Make militia units available to local government (provincial) so that they can be used for emergencies and take advantage of provincial funding.

Its just common sense, but I sense it will not go far in this militia dominated forum.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: combat_medic on April 13, 2005, 15:53:10
So you don't allow reservists to move past the rank of MCpl, force them to work days they are not able or threaten charges, do not allow them to go overseas, and have them do all the s*it tasks that the Regs don't want or can't be bothered to fill.

Boy, I can see the recruits flying in.  ::)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 15, 2005, 00:57:09
Ok, cleaned this one up and added my comments - let's play nice people; this is one of the better threads on this forum:

1. If you are a member of a militia unit, you WILL parade xx number of days each month. If you dont show up, you are AWL = CHARGE!
    * this will take the weekend out of the weekend warrior, and enable enforceable trg and fitness standards.

I agree with looking at some sort of contract for reservists that include some of these basic obligations (fitness standards, the Regs need it as much as the Reserves) - even if it is voluntary to start (you pledge the time, the Army guarantees the training) so as to lock down a certain number of dedicated reservists for guaranteed short-term service.

However, you can't have a zero-tolerance policy with Reservists; remember the situation many reservists are in - you are a full time soldier; what happens if you also fill in as a part-time CGA and they zap you everytime you can't make it to do someone's books?  Not going to keep the CGA business, are you?

I agree with you that we need to get rid of the fair-weather soldiers in the Reserves; we need to make it clear that lame excuses (exams, studying, yadayadayada) will not be acceptable while at the same time working around genuine issues.

I'm interested to hear from Matt Fisher - he's a USMC reservist who signed a contract; how does this contract allow him to balance military service with civilian obligations.

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2. Make all ranks above MCpl reg force RSS positions, postings so everyone is on the same page. We have surplus officers, use them to train the reserves.

10/90 failed because nobody liked it - are you telling me that you are going to find 10 Battalions (all-arms, roughly the strength of the Reserves) worth of NCO's and Officers in the Reg Force to send to the Reserves?!?  Fat chance.

As well, you are closing off a pool of good leadership material and limiting the potential that a part-time soldier can aspire to - this will only drive away soldiers who see no real ability advance in responsibilities and to develop and use leadership abilities within the Reserves.  I'm sure you can find a glorified labour pool somewhere else.

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3. Task each unit militia unit specifically (ie mortars, tpt, Anti armour, sigs) so that you can qualify a guy in his job, and let him practice it all the time, instead of just putting him on various courses, which he never uses again and usually forgets because he has no opportunity to practice all of his skills on a weekly basis.

Yes, I like this (it is what the reserves used to do); gives guys a focus and, if done right, can help build ties between Reserve units and the specific Reg Force unit they need to support.

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4. Use the reservists all of the time for training support and administrative functions in order to free up more reg force pers for deployments. Class ABC, whatever, keep them working, so that they get better and we actually get some mileage out of them

What are you trying to say here?  Open up more static positions on bases and training areas to Reservists for long-term contracts?  Aren't you the one who said "if you want to play Real Army, sign up" - you tell Reservists to sign on the dotted line if they want to be the "Real Deal" and then you say if you are a Reservist, you should work full time in a supporting role?  What do you want out them?

Again, if you're looking for a glorified labour pool, look somewhere else - Reservists have far more to contribute than that.

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5. Draw a big black line between the res and the regs. If you want to go reg force, you start with QL3. No more 1/2 trained quick picks that turn into disasters.

How about teaching Reservists who you put on contract the same thing you teach Regulars - then you know that the issue isn't what the Reservist knows, but rather how much time practicing these skills; then you only have to make up for the Training Delta (with workup) instead of reinventing the wheel.

As for "quick picks", each case is taken individually - why make a guy who goes Res-to-Reg who has two tours (one as a Section Commander), jump qualified, and wins the Mountain Man Race go do his QL3 again?  Waste of money if you ask me.  If the guy has little to no experience, sure - fire him through battle school; but if they are on a similar level with their Reg Force peers, then may as well take the chance to fill another 031 position.

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6. Offer reservists legislated job protection, and boost their pay to what the regs get when they work. Work a day, paid a day.

Seems fair in my books - my only caution is that the job legislation must contain equal portions of coercion and incentive.  We are just going to scare civilian employment away from hiring reservists if we put legal demands on them; we must create legal incentives for them to hire and work around the odd schedules of Reserve soldiers.

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7.Make it clear that reservists are not deployed outside of canada unless the war measures act is invoked. Want to get deployed? Join the regs.

Again, preposterous - even the United States, the single largest military power on the face of the Earth, can't do this - look at OIF III, they've given an entire AOR to a Reserve Division (42ID of the NY National Guard).  If you think Canada would have been able to meet its commitments in the last 15 years with no help from Reserve soldiers who deploy overseas, then you're talking out of your hat.

If Canada has a pool of dedicated part-time soldiers who are willing to learn and do their part, why would you ignore this asset?

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8. Make militia units available to local government (provincial) so that they can be used for emergencies and take advantage of provincial funding.

I'm not sure of the specifics, but I think this is already done - or are you implying something different like the U.S. National Guard?  I think they have to many headaches with that setup to want to consider it for up here.

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Its just common sense, but I sense it will not go far in this militia dominated forum.

I'm not sure where you're getting the "Militia-dominated forum" idea forum.  There are soldiers from all sorts of backgrounds here - perhaps other Regulars on these forums simply don't hold such a poor opinion of Reservists as you?

As well, don't be so quick to shoot down Reservists and what they can offer Canada at both home and abroad if properly trained.  You talk the big game about signing on the fulltime line, but look to the South - while you're sitting up in Canada bitching about "Weekend Warriors", US Army and Marine Corps Reservists are deploying to Iraq or Afghanistan (some for the second time) and actually going into combat.  Certain units of 4th MarDiv (USMCR) were stood up for the initial invasion of Iraq - our very own Matt Fisher was one of them.  So before you try to impress us with the mystical powers that have been granted those who sign up for the Regs (did that before), look at Reservists close by who, professionally, are doing alot more then you right now.

If done right, a modern military can get more out of its Reserve forces then the entirely antiquated task of National Mobilization.  In order to fix the flaws to serve this end, you want to avoid throwing the baby out with the bathwater (which some of your ideas are tantamount to).

Cheers,
Infanteer
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on April 15, 2005, 01:11:59
The major stumbling block with most of your criticisms of my plan is to "train reservists like the regs" this is impossible due to the limited time that most reservists have, and the limited funds available in order to train them. By signing them to a long contract in order to get the required hours out of them, we will have created another reg force soldier!

Also, the CF was required to staff with augmentees, and leave reg force guys at home, there was never any NEED for militia. It was a way to include the res and justify their existance and funding (not necessarily a bad thing)

The idea of having militia leadership is a good one, until you try to put your mo sect comd in charge of a section in which the youngest man has more experience. Instant underminig. Perhaps only restrict mo leaders to leading other reservists.

And as for using the reserves as a labor pool, well, yeah, thats my opinion and I believe it to be the best choice to free up the regs to do our job.

Have a good one
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: KevinB on April 15, 2005, 01:32:15
There are already sections of the NDA that allow the reserve chain to charge those members who fail to report for parades.  Unless they have been stricken out in the last 12 years (which you never know...)

Currently we dont have enough Reg Force M/Cpls and above to run training for the units and the BSL's.   Secondly due to deployments etc. I've seen reserve NCO's with as much if not more experince (and competancy) as their reg force brethern.

 I think at the WO (CQ) and above NCO level and Lt Col and above for commissioned officers is where the lack of expeirnce hurt the reserves and these positions shoud be permanent cadre regulars.

I think there are many roles for reservists - however deployment into high threat enviroment tours is not one.


Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on April 15, 2005, 01:41:00
Constructive Criticisms, and possible fixes;

I see Infanteer has addressed most of your points, so I won't take them down one by one.  Frankly, most of your "criticisms" aren't constructive - they're thinly veiled attacks that really don't have much of a valid foundation.
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2. Make all ranks above MCpl reg force RSS positions, postings so everyone is on the same page. We have surplus officers, use them to train the reserves.

Where do you get the idea that there are surplus Regular Force officers available to do this task?  Or, worse, Sr NCOs?  The Army is so fully engaged now that there aren't surplusses of any trade.  As Infanteer pointed out, that's why more and more Reservists are deploying.

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4. Use the reservists all of the time for training support and administrative functions in order to free up more reg force pers for deployments. Class ABC, whatever, keep them working, so that they get better and we actually get some mileage out of them.

This is patently ridiculous.  After basically saying the Reserve is incompetent, you'd trust them with managing your pay, your administration and your deployment.  Riiiight... ::)  Perhaps we could get them to clean the hanger floors too?

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5. Draw a big black line between the res and the regs. If you want to go reg force, you start with QL3. No more 1/2 trained quick picks that turn into disasters.

As was pointed out, there are probably Reservists with more experience than you have (judging by your profile).  You can't tar everyone with the same brush.

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7.Make it clear that reservists are not deployed outside of canada unless the war measures act is invoked. Want to get deployed? Join the regs.

For the love of God, why? Or are you one of those who buy the MYTH that having Reservists deploy somehow "sc**w" a Reg F soldier out of a deployment? (I can discuss the Reserve Companies in Bosnia and soldiers elsewhere at length should you wish) You haven't articulated any operational reason to restrict Reservists to Canada - aside from a basic prejudice.  I agree with KevinB that there are operations where it may not be wise to deploy large number of Reservists, but you have to take these on a case by case basis.

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8. Make militia units available to local government (provincial) so that they can be used for emergencies and take advantage of provincial funding.

Legally, this cannot be done and flies in the face of the principle that the Army is the force of last resort.  All Army units are federal and there is a specific request procedure that provinces must follow before receiving Army units in support of provinicial requirements.  They are in place (in part) to prevent constant calls on military forces for what should be civilian tasks.

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Its just common sense, but I sense it will not go far in this militia dominated forum.

Again, you seem to have an axe to grind and it comes through loud and clear in your points.  Using the term "Mo" proves my point.  You might want to rein it in a tad...

Cheers,

TR
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 15, 2005, 13:43:12
The major stumbling block with most of your criticisms of my plan is to "train reservists like the regs" this is impossible due to the limited time that most reservists have, and the limited funds available in order to train them. By signing them to a long contract in order to get the required hours out of them, we will have created another reg force soldier!

The way I see it, there is a difference between time spent training and skills taught.   You can teach a reservist the C6, section attacks, battle procedure, etc, etc and they will have learned the skill - sure, they will be rusty on the C6 and their drills might be poor, but with refresher training and workup, we can bridge the training delta to a good degree.

No one has ever stated that in terms of time spent training that the Regs and the Reserves are on par - arguing about this is moot point.   However, I am concerned (and have witnessed) that many essential skills are not being taught to Reservists.   I understand that this has changed with the SQ/BIQ program, which is good.   There should be one level of knowledge and standards applied to the Army - the Reservists, until they ramp up with workup training, can be expected to weaker on proficiency, but all the same skill sets should be there.

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Also, the CF was required to staff with augmentees, and leave reg force guys at home, there was never any NEED for militia. It was a way to include the res and justify their existence and funding (not necessarily a bad thing)

Well, if that's what you choose to believe, then go ahead - but others who have been involved in the staff and planning process have told you that your out to lunch.   I reported to a Battalion with 2 rifle companies - the mission changed midstream and 1 company was not required, but it soon found itself deployed elsewhere.

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The idea of having militia leadership is a good one, until you try to put your mo sect comd in charge of a section in which the youngest man has more experience. Instant underminig. Perhaps only restrict mo leaders to leading other reservists.

Then again, over half the leadership in my old unit had at least one operational tour under their belt.   You're painting with a broad brush when you assume that leadership in the Militia in deficient.

I agree with Kevin that experience hurts at the senior levels of Reserve leadership because the numbers aren't there (ie: there is little actual experience leading a full company or battalion).   Reg Force Cadres may be part of the answer, especially if the structure was changed to a battalion structure (as opposed to Brigade) and the Cadre was in charge of an actual battalions worth of soldiers.

However, you also need to consider that the reserves rely alot on retired senior members who "can't get away from the game" - for example, both the CSM and RSM in my old unit were Reg Force CD2s, Airborne, etc, etc.   Two of the three Warrants in the first Reserve Company were ex Reg, while the other one was on his 2nd or 3rd deployment.   Again, I beseech people not to paint with a broad brush, as there is solid senior leadership within the ranks of the Reserves.

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And as for using the reserves as a labor pool, well, yeah, thats my opinion and I believe it to be the best choice to free up the regs to do our job.

As others have pointed out, your logic is flawed on three points:

-   You want to reservist to take on full time admin positions to free up regs for tour?   Are you expecting Reg Force Clerks, Cooks, and Techs to be needed to fill out "boots on the ground" - they have their own jobs to do.

-   The US Army found out the hard way in Iraq on what happens when you try to fight a "cabinet war" (no national mobilization) with a large percentage of your CS/CSS in the Army Reserve.   Perhaps we should consider that.

-   You constantly deride the quality of reservists, but you want them to backstop and train the Regs; these are pretty vital positions, you know that, right?

If you want to be taken seriously by your peers, you need to start making your proposals more realistic and less indicative of a bad experience with/in the Reserves.   You seem to believe that Reservists do not have the potential to be on the sharp end of things, but as I alluded to earlier, there are Reservists to the South that have Been There and Done That in Iraq.   Could you take yourself seriously and tell them what you've been telling us?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on April 15, 2005, 14:15:24
The comparison of Army National Guard units to Canadian Militia units is ridiculous.

I am short of time today - but the facts remains -

The national guard is formed for periods of emergency and used often.

The largest component of NG units is usually recently retired (and young) reg unit individuals.

NG unit trg is MANDATORY

The Guard is regularly deployed as formed units - not augmentees

Guard units are (for the most part) kitted and trained on said kit in a similar method to the regs.

If any of these applied to the Canadian Militia it would be a more credible force.

Having said all of that, the downside is that NG units take the highest casualties, have the lowest morale and the most discipline problems. They are typically used in security roles (static and convoy) and  stay in country the longest.

Not a good comparison.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 15, 2005, 14:25:00
The comparison of Army National Guard units to Canadian Militia units is ridiculous.

I wasn't looking solely at NG units - I factored USMCR into my comparison as well.   I am making the comparison because you have consistently stated that one needs to "sign on the full time line" to be an effective soldier overseas.

I agree, in part, with some of the measures that we would most likely benefit from in Canada (training to provide more then just individual augmentees, mandatory training and attendance, stricter regulations), but lacking these does not automatically render our Reserve forces as completely deficient in what they have to offer.

As well, with regards to performance, the issues you raised may indeed be tied to the reservist issue or they may be something more structural in nature.   I know Matt Fisher is going to give us a bit of insight into his reserve experience and his time with TF Tarawa, so we'll see what that says about your ideas.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on April 15, 2005, 17:14:04
It's too bad my supporters are not willing to wade into this, I look forward to Fisher's input.

I am unaware of the USMC's reserves quality/capability.

SOTG training scenarios were excellent though! If this is the type of trg the USMC gets on a regular basis - no wonder they always seem to do so well :salute:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on April 15, 2005, 19:59:44
As I pointed out on another thread, we're dealing with apples and oranges trying to compare US ANG and Reserve (yes, they're different) with the Canadian Reserve Force.   Calling down our Reserve system (which has many self-inflicted problems) because of decisions the government and/or the CF have made is rather pointless.

So, bearing that in mind, here's my two cents:

1.   The US Army has a system - recently introduced (don't ask me when) called Total Army (sound familiar?) designed to bring the three component (Active, ANG and Reserve) closer together.   It would take an American to explain further.

2.   The ANG is deployed in both Afghanistan and Iraq in all types of operations and (if memory serves) provided a QRF company out of Bagram at one time.   The list of deployed units is enormous and is available on the ANG website.   The US regards itself as being at war and subjects its units to a mobilization regime - including readiness evaluations - that would be untenable in Canada.

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The largest component of NG units is usually recently retired (and young) reg unit individuals.

3.  Really?  Source please, as I am not sure you're correct.  Then again, as others have said, there are LOTS of former Regs in the Reserve Force - more all the time.

4.  ANG training may be mandatory, but so (in theory) is ours (KevinB is correct).  Ask any ANG coy commander how an average drill weekend is attended...you'll be surprised.  Their system has as much flex as ours.

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Having said all of that, the downside is that NG units take the highest casualties, have the lowest morale and the most discipline problems. They are typically used in security roles (static and convoy) and  stay in country the longest.

5.  You don't think that all of these might be linked?  A unit that has a crappy role and stays in country the longest wouldn't possibly have morale and discipline problems...  :o   Again, though, where are you getting this from?

6.  I have only a small amount of experience working with the USMC Reserves - very dated - so will obviously defer to the guys actually serving with them.  However, I should add that speaking with B Coy 4th Tk Bn in the early 90s, I was struck by how similar their problems were to the Canadian Reserves.  Although they had M1A1s, they couldn't crew more than three because of a lack of qualified personnel and could only manage that number by using the Regular "Inspection/Instruction" cadre.

Again, we're trying to compare two very different systems.  I've met some great ANG guys (both at home and on ops) and guys that wouldn't make it to Pte(B) in the Canadian Reserve Force... 'Nuff said from me.

Cheers,

TR
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PJ D-Dog on April 15, 2005, 23:45:12
This thread is very interesting and many have made some very valid points.  Infanteer has covered pretty much everything.

We are all fully aware that there are problems plaguing the reserves.  This is a just a reality of life but it doesn't mean that a work around is not possible.  Go has brought up some points which I agree with, other points which are rediculous.  It is obvious that he has never been a reservist who has to juggle all the responsibilities of a civilian career and family life and still find time to train.  I would suggest that he walk a mile in a reservists shoes before he makes outrageous claims as limiting career progression and overseas deployments for reservists.

As a reservist, I have worked with Reg F soldiers with many of the same opinions and attitudes that he has expressed.  It was not an easy task.  Some of these Reg F soldiers were not stellar by any stretch of the imagination and were dumped into an RSS posting because the Reg F just didn't want them anymore.  Others were outstanding.  As to getting input from a 10/90 unit, turretmonster would be the one to shed light on what happens when a permanent Reg F cadre is present in a unit.  He is part of one of those infamous units who suffered through the 10/90 experiment.

My own experience with Reg F soldiers posted at a 10/90 unit was dismal.  Most of them hated it and they all had an inane hatred for reservists because we didnt' go to Cornwallis or didn't go to Germany.  While teaching on a QL2 in the mid 90s, I ran into these soldiers and their only goal in life was to torture reservists for being reservists.  There was no justifiable logic for this.  One Cpl had to be asked to leave the room during a Sr NCO meeting with the CSM because he felt that he "rated" being there due to his Reg F status.  At my own unit, the RSS Sgt refused to follow my direction as the TSM (troop Sgt-Maj) because, you guessed it....his statement was "I will never work for a frigging reservist".  This made for a very positive work environment.

All of this to illustrate that despite the problems in the reserves, attitude toward the reserves by our Reg F counterparts only helps to fuel the fire and make things worse.  The militia wars have been faught for many years, and not surprisingly, they continue to be faught in this forum.

As I mentioned earlier, a work around for some of the inherent limitations in the reserve system is not impossible.  At my old unit, if a soldier was unable to make it to a Thursday night training and needed to have a weapons handling test done (during the warrior training days), he would simply come in during the week and I would give him the lectures and tests and be done with it.  He'd get a half a day's pay (just like the training night that he couldn't attend) and there was no problems with the budget, he got tested/trained/remediated and we met our mission for the number of soldiers who completed warrior training.  To conduct effective training in a reserve unit, one needs to be open minded, somewhat flexible and you need to think outside the box to make it work.  Unfortunately, many RSS staff do not have the ability to be open minded about training nor do some of them have the ability to think outside the box.  This only adds to the limitations within the reserve system.  Many of them like having a quiet week without the interruption of Class A guys coming in during the day because they couldn't show up on Thursday etc..other RSS work their rear ends off and do a great job and contribute positively to the unit.  It's hit or miss.

Even here in the US, I noticed at the Reserve center where we were using a class room this week, there were some Reserve Marines who came in to get their martial arts training/testing done during the day.  They missed a drill weekend and needed to make up the time and get their training done.

As for training standards for reservists and the whole issue of how the Regs F is infinitely better than the Militia, up until the late 90s, we used to have a yearly operational evaluation called Shellburst Valley.  This is when each arty unit was evaluated by Reg F pers (usually instructors at the arty school for units near Gagetown) and they followed a check list based on the battle task standard for an arty unit.  Everything was evaluated.  There was an evaluator with each detachment, in the CP, OP and RECCE all the way up to three niner (the BC).  Comms procedures, local security etc. was evaluated.  The entire exercise was scripted and the unit underwent a collective training test.  The results would be sent to the unit at a later date with a detailed explanation of the performance of each of the areas of evaluation.  A final grade was also given to the unit.  This was a fantastic training tool which helped the CO determine where the weakneses in training were.  It also helped determine the unit's operational readiness in their primary role as a gun battery.  As a positive side effect, it helped to boost morale in the regiment as we anticipated the results of what we called "the competition".  It was a competition because the best unit in Canada would be given a trophy later that year.  We always had maximum turn out for the competition because it was something that everyone wanted to be a part of.  It was a tough exercise, we got not sleep and we felt great about doing it.

Since the regular force was the measuring stick for all things militia, I took upon myself to research the battle task standard used at the arty school for regular force training.  To my surprise, there was no difference between the battle task standard for a 105 gun battery in the Reg F and reserves.  The eval sheets used in Shellburst Valley were the same for the reg force.

This is some of what is needed more in the reserves, a collective training evaluation administered by an outside, objective entity who can really give the unit some insight as to the strength and weaknesses of the training.  Tie that in with unit pride and cohesion and it could be a winning combination.

PJ D-Dog
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 16, 2005, 21:23:04
GO,

dude,

What's yer hard on with the reserves??   We have to listen to your militia hate rants on a regular basis;

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25613.30.html

It is getting tired man.  

dileas

tess

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on April 20, 2005, 09:40:55
I wasn't looking solely at NG units - I factored USMCR into my comparison as well.  I am making the comparison because you have consistently stated that one needs to "sign on the full time line" to be an effective soldier overseas.

I agree, in part, with some of the measures that we would most likely benefit from in Canada (training to provide more then just individual augmentees, mandatory training and attendance, stricter regulations), but lacking these does not automatically render our Reserve forces as completely deficient in what they have to offer.

As well, with regards to performance, the issues you raised may indeed be tied to the reservist issue or they may be something more structural in nature.  I know Matt Fisher is going to give us a bit of insight into his reserve experience and his time with TF Tarawa, so we'll see what that says about your ideas.

A new broom sweeps clean...our new CO has stated that his goal is to get our militia unit up to two full strength companies, capable of deploying by the time his tour as CO is up.  Perhaps all the Militia units in Canada need to step up to the plate and put up or shut up, as it were.  Step one is proving that they are capable of the job - if one really feels, as you do Infanteer, that training for individual augmentation is not enough.  I'm not personally convinced that it is, but will certainly support my CO's vision.  It is unfortunate, though, that sometimes when people of vision step up to the plate, those below and above sometimes drown in their own ennui - they figure it is easier to fight than switch.

EDITED - thanks M. O'Leary (changed "full time" to "full strength")
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on April 21, 2005, 09:29:41
Quote
This is some of what is needed more in the reserves, a collective training evaluation administered by an outside, objective entity who can really give the unit some insight as to the strength and weaknesses of the training.   Tie that in with unit pride and cohesion and it could be a winning combination.
I'm not sure about other LFAAs, but in LFWA this is the role of the teams from the Militia Training Support Centre at WATC. Each unit must hold at least one MTSC-assisted FTX each year (normally at level 3, or level 3 in a 4 setting if they can swing it). The MTSC team comes out, observes, runs (or helps run...) the AAR, and provides the unit and Bde with a feedback report. As well, we operate a Bde standards section with several regional dets who can perform this function (although they focus more on IT). Finally, for any collective exercise run by us here in Bde (ie: the annual BTE each spring), we set up an Observer Controller Organization that runs the AAR process throughout the ex. The last one we set up included folks from units, Bde HQ, MTSC and the MNARNG. Finally, access to MILES via Big Rush, Inc. has brought a whole new capability in evaluating training (when we can get our hands on the damn stuff...). We still have a way to go but we have made great progress over the last few years. The exercises may not be on the ridiculously grandiose (and unrealistic...) scale that they were in the 80's, but our ability to evaluate training, and to use the training area as a tactical classroom instead of a free for all, is IMHO much improved.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: swanita on April 21, 2005, 15:02:15
My thing is how i keep hearing rumours of the highland regiments being amalgamated into one or two big regiments....Now THAT would totally suck the big c*#k because then one regt's traditions/history would be gone in a flash & that would be un-Canadian. I personally love being in a highland regiment for the distiction & you can't beat marching with a pipe band & i'm sure many of you out there agree!!!

Carry On!  :cdn:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on April 21, 2005, 15:09:24
My thing is how i keep hearing rumours of the highland regiments being amalgamated into one or two big regiments....Now THAT would totally suck the big c*#k because then one regt's traditions/history would be gone in a flash & that would be un-Canadian. !!

Carry On!   :cdn:

LOL!  I can't think of anything more Canadian, to be honest, then trashing our own traditions.  Trashing traditions is a Canadian tradition.

Flush out your head gear, troop, the British just amalgamated their highland regiments.   Chicken Little we don't need on this board.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on April 21, 2005, 17:11:04
My thing is how i keep hearing rumours of the highland regiments being amalgamated into one or two big regiments....Now THAT would totally suck the big c*#k because then one regt's traditions/history would be gone in a flash & that would be un-Canadian. I personally love being in a highland regiment for the distiction & you can't beat marching with a pipe band & i'm sure many of you out there agree!!!

Carry On!   :cdn:

What's a matter Swanita you don't want to be a member of the GREATER METROPOLITAN (INCLUDING 905 BELT) TORONTO HIGHLANDERS (48TH, TORONTO & LORNE SCOTTISH)  ;D

Don't laugh when I was in, it was a common topic in the Sgt's Mess re amalgamating with the cross town competition. Not saying anyone at FYA was for it but the topic did come up.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: swanita on April 21, 2005, 18:20:04
What's a matter Swanita you don't want to be a member of the GREATER METROPOLITAN (INCLUDING 905 BELT) TORONTO HIGHLANDERS (48TH, TORONTO & LORNE SCOTTISH) 

Don't laugh when I was in, it was a common topic in the Sgt's Mess re amalgamating with the cross town competition. Not saying anyone at FYA was for it but the topic did come up.

Funny, i nearly fell off my chair when i read that!! As long as we can each wear our respective kilts, might not be that bad  ::)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyRick on April 23, 2005, 09:51:47
If they do that, they had better amalgamate ALL reserve units not just the ones with kilts and balmorals...

Another note, units like the Argyls, Lornes and the 48th are larger units than the QOR, RR of C and RHLI.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Trinity on April 23, 2005, 10:05:42
Yeah.. i'm not looking for a fight
NOR to defend Royal regt of Canada...

But they are one of the biggest in Toronto...  The Svc Bn being the biggest  ::)

I believe the royals have over 300 troops... 

48th is like 250
TSR was 200 in sept.. i think 230 now...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on April 23, 2005, 10:51:29
I've never understood the Reserves staunch refusal for amalgamation of units.  We have this huge, bloated, 5 Division structure spread across Canada centred on Battalions and Regiments that are at worst, platoon sized, and at best, perhaps two companies.  Most of the units have a fairly limited history centred on WWI and WWII and most draw their lineage from other units that they merged with or amalgamated with years ago.  Until this issue is addressed, I can't see the Reserves moving forward.  If the UK can do it with units with 100s of years of real history fighting for the Empire, can't we bring our Reserve Force into the 21st century?

Stepping off my soapbox.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Dorosh on April 23, 2005, 11:15:35
Most of the units have a fairly limited history centred on WWI and WWII and most draw their lineage from other units that they merged with or amalgamated with years ago.  Until this issue is addressed, I can't see the Reserves moving forward.

Two world wars represents "limited history"?  Most  units have reached or passed their centennial years, we still have 5 to go in Calgary.

Most units draw their lineage from - well, their own unit.  There was a major reorg in the early 1920s and some renaming, but as far as amalgamations go, you can see the timeline at my site at www.canadiansoldiers.com - the Regiments have been rather stable for the last 50 years.  Go into ORDERS OF BATTLE and scroll down the left til you come to the scarlet links area for infantry regiments.  The last amalgamations were in 1955 or so.  "Most" units retain the names they had in the 1920s reorg.

What benefit would there be to amalgamation?  Do you think that the individual subunits would get any bigger just because they were renamed?  Or that the units would operate any more closely?  You can accomplish that without a name change.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: the 48th regulator on April 23, 2005, 11:25:54
The UK did, with some very famous regiments of Scotland,   Sad event but a reflection of a modern army.

It would be nice to amalgamate them all under the one unit, call them the 48th Highlanders and take it from there

makes sense.

Falcon in the capbadge....

Davidson tartan.....

Already a whack of battle honors....

really neat motto...in Gaelic even...

dileas

tess

(as for the tattoo and ring, you will have to foot the bill for that yourselves)

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Trinity on April 23, 2005, 12:34:32
Thank God I already have the ring   ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 23, 2005, 14:10:12
What then is the solution to understrength reserve battalions ? I would think the alternative would be to deactivate understrength units.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Redeye on April 23, 2005, 15:03:32
What then is the solution to understrength reserve battalions ? I would think the alternative would be to deactivate understrength units.

That wouldn't make any sense: EVERY reserve unit is understrength, that would simply eliminate the reserve altogether, and since the Militia is the main connection for the Canadian Forces to a lot of communities, that would not work in anyone's interest.  The solution that has been working has been to put a lot of emphasis on pooling resources of smaller units wherever possible to make the training more effective.  That seems to be the best way to go at this time.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyRick on April 23, 2005, 15:06:36
Solution? i am saying merge ALL reserve units (not just highland ones). You could easily make a battalion by merging every 3-4 regiments. You would also keep the unit's histories. There are very few units today that are exactly as they were when they stood up in the 1800s. We have seen amalgamations before and guess what? The army reserve is still here.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 23, 2005, 15:39:23
I'm sorry I didnt make myself clear. A battalion with only 40 people is a waste of resources. If a battalion cant stay at 50% it doesnt need to be kept on the rolls.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on April 23, 2005, 15:50:12
What benefit would there be to amalgamation?   Do you think that the individual subunits would get any bigger just because they were renamed?   Or that the units would operate any more closely?   You can accomplish that without a name change.

The names and traditions aren't the problem, its the regimental structure - which forces us into absurd formations - that is starving the reserves.

We use the terms "brigade", "regiment", and "battalion" to describe rather miniscule non-capable formations. The administrative and command structures that go with these formations is a serious detriment to the efficiency and capability of the units. Also, keeping us as independent regiments and battalions, under our own brigades, isolates us from the Regular Army in a number of key issues - updated training, collaboration and learning, working within the bigger picture, kit issue, etc.

Concepts like Regimental Tradition are holding us to a bloated, ineffective, unrealistic structure. 250 soldiers may be a "regiment" but it sure isn't an effective battalion, and in reality most units probably can't even field a real company. Since we probably can't get much bigger, we might as well run ourselves realistically.

I suggest (as many others have) turning the reserve regiments into Companies within a territorial - probably provincial - Battalion. So, for BC,   it would be   "A Company (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada)", "B Company (Royal Westminster Regiment)", "C Company (Cdn Scottish Regiment)", and "D Company (Rocky Mountain Rangers) of the "British Columbia Battalion". The associated artillery, engineer, intelligence, and service units would all be combined into this BC formation to form "The British Columbia Battle Group" or Combat Team, or Task Force.

This is very similar to what we do on the major ex's and concentrations anyway (except its rare for BC to field 4 Inf Companies, we had 2 on the last concentration). So why not run ourselves like we actually are? There's no need to change the armouries or the regimental traditions, but the names and structures of the units should fit reality, and not a WW3 Mobilization pipedream. Ditch the Lieutenant Colonels, the Adj's, the RSM's, the BOR, the Brigade apparatus, and make ourselves lean.

Thus, we train and run ourselves as what we are. Training would be organized by Battalion - since a company wouldn't have the resources to plan a major ex - and would be able to field realistic combined arms training formations, since one HQ would directly plan and arrange all provincial training.

Above this, the reserve Battle Groups would be run from Area HQ. Possibly as an Area Reserve Brigade, alongside the Regular Brigades. However, I'd be eager to see the reserve units tied as closely into the Regular Force structure as possible, since I think this would lead to all sorts of benefits for the reserves in training, administration, exercises, doctrine, etc. I know that being in Vancouver, we feel very isolated from the rest of the Army.

The Brits run their reserves this way - each reserve inf battalion is a direct part of the a regular regiment. I don't think the PPCLI, RCR, or R22R wants the reserves tied to them like that, but its something worth considering.

One model that has interested me, but I don't know enough about it, is the Reserve MP Companies, who are run as a subunit of their Reg F formation. Reserve MP's can go on all of the ex's that the Reg's do and can get many of the same taskings. Now, the other branches are too large for this direct model, but its something to think of. Imagine if every infantry soldier in LFWA had the chance to go on every ex held by the PPCLI?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on April 23, 2005, 18:02:40
Enfield's post hit on one of the themes of LFRR Phase II, which from the briefing notes I saw seemed to imply the folding of units into subunits of larger Brigade wide formations. For 31 CBG, there would be a 31 Infantry Bn, 31 Armoured Regt, 31 Artillery Regt, 31 SVC BN to join the existing 31 CER and a small set of "new capabilities" (31 NBCD Coy, etc.). LFCA would be able to have one Regular Brigade and 3 light Reserve Brigades which could produce one Mechanized battle group and 3 Light battle groups.

The upside to all this would be the elimination of most of the 15 LCols, RSMs etc. that the current slate of 15 reserve units carry. The downside is the accumulated histories and traditions would be heavily diluted (the various companies, squadrons and batteries might keep historic names, but not too much else.) Running large units by "remote control" would also be challenging, given it can take 4 hr to drive from Windsor to St Catherines, but modern communications make it easier than ever, and historically, units have been separated from parent formations for days, weeks and even months communicating by pen and ink means....

Although there would be horrible outrage if this ever happened, in about 5 years, the bulk of the rank and file would consist of soldiers who have never known anything else but being in, for example, "A" Coy 31 Bn (Essex and Kent Coy) and life would go on.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on April 23, 2005, 21:03:18
Michael, Enfield and a_majoor have both hit on points that, for the most part I agree with.

Quote
Two world wars represents "limited history"?   Most   units have reached or passed their centennial years, we still have 5 to go in Calgary.

Yes, it is "limited history".   Most units have been bumbling around for decades with inefficient and outdated organizations waiting to fight WWII again.  

Quote
Most units draw their lineage from - well, their own unit.  There was a major reorg in the early 1920s and some renaming, but as far as amalgamations go, you can see the timeline at my site at www.canadiansoldiers.com - the Regiments have been rather stable for the last 50 years.  Go into ORDERS OF BATTLE and scroll down the left til you come to the scarlet links area for infantry regiments.  The last amalgamations were in 1955 or so.  "Most" units retain the names they had in the 1920s reorg.

See my comments above.   The pot of money and resources is limited and the army needs to streamline and rationalize the Reserve structure.   The idea that we need 50 odd infantry battalions, etc, to meet Canadian defence aims is questionable.   I'm not adverse to a_Majoor's suggest of keeping battalion or regimental history alive at the company level.   41 CBG isn't that bad as it only has two understrength battalions (one in Calgary and one in Edmonton).   38 CBG has 5 scattered across Sk, Mb and northwest Ontario and all of them are extremely understrength.   The two Bns in Sk could easily be amalgamated into 1 Regiment of Saskatchewan Rifles.   The two battalions in Winnipeg could easily amalgamate into the Royal Winnipeg Rifles. 1 remaining bn in Thunder Bay could be a sub-unit of the RWpgR.  

Quote
What benefit would there be to amalgamation?  Do you think that the individual subunits would get any bigger just because they were renamed?  Or that the units would operate any more closely?  You can accomplish that without a name change.

Units could work closer now but for some reason, personality or vanity gets in their way. Never understood was it so difficult to understand that an exercise is much better when you have full coys or a couple of coys exercising againsts one another.   A_Majoor makes all the good points about doing away with the redundant bureaucracy (COs, RSMs, Adjts, Ops O, etc, etc).   Get the money and resources where it is supposed to be, on the armoury floor, not in the offices.

I should point out (before all the Reserve bashers climb aboard), this isn't a slight towards the Reserves.   In a perfect world, the Reserves would be funded and resourced adequately, proper support from the Regular force, increased opportunities to work with the Regs, etc.   Obviously they can't be the same because its a part time organization but they should be able to provide a collective capability towards Canada's foreign policy.   Its not there right now and its not economically achievable under the current structure.  
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 23, 2005, 21:24:26
I've never understood the Reserves staunch refusal for amalgamation of units.   We have this huge, bloated, 5 Division structure spread across Canada centred on Battalions and Regiments that are at worst, platoon sized, and at best, perhaps two companies.   Most of the units have a fairly limited history centred on WWI and WWII and most draw their lineage from other units that they merged with or amalgamated with years ago.   Until this issue is addressed, I can't see the Reserves moving forward.   If the UK can do it with units with 100s of years of real history fighting for the Empire, can't we bring our Reserve Force into the 21st century?

Stepping off my soapbox.

I agree.

I'm a proponent of the "clean sweep" approach.   Our Reserve Regiments are "limited" - they mainly look back to WWI (not really as "theirs", just as numbered CEF battalions) and WWII.   Sure, reservists have individually augmented tours for the last 20 years, but these are exactly that, individual, and not regimental.

The current Reserve setup of Brigade HQ's with understrength units is built around the idea of mobilization - we are 50 years behind on this one.   I remember reading an article by LtCol (then Major) Dan Drew about readiness issues - he went over the time to build enough M1 Abrams tanks to kit out Reserve units in the case of mobilization as an example of how asinine the assumption for mobilization is and I imagine the same could be said about training times, equipping, expansion, etc for all other units and formation HQs.   I feel that we must move away from the notion of mobilization built around "Total War" mobilizing of the populace and national industry.   If this does occur, we can raise/create new units since this is what will happen anyways - having the Regiment "exist" before-hand makes no difference.

Instead, we should focus our reserves on a real structure to support the regulars in the "come as you are" wars and conflicts that we've been constantly engaged in for the last few decades.   I see "mobilization" and the units of the Army structured into 5 operational echelons, and the Reserves having a real role and place in some of these groupings:

Echelon I) Special Operations Units and Rapid Reaction Forces (either Air Mobile or afloat in a Amphibious Role) - Required to be able to project globally within days and to remain in place to establish conditions for heavier follow-on-forces.

Echelon II) Regular Force Units and Formations - These are the full-time professional soldiers who must be capable being sustained on operations overseas - usually heavier then Echelon I forces (in our case, I see the "Cavalry" format as ideal for now).   Current doctrine mandates two Battlegroups with surge capability for a Brigade.   Echelon II forces are ROTO O and next few rotations.

Echelon III) Voluntary Augmention - This is where we sit now.   This is limited use of Reservists in a strictly voluntary arrangement to help cover off on missions in mature theaters.   This can involve individual augmentees to Regular Force Units or the formation of Reserve sub-sub units or sub-units within Regular Units (as with the Composite Reserve units and D&S Platoons).   Reserve Battalions are required to be able to form a Platoon at all times as an Echelon III force (even if it is only a staff check).

Echelon IV) Reserve Activation - This is where the Americans sit now.   Entire Reserve Units and Formations are called up, given workup training, and deployed.   Obviously, quite disruptive, but it is something the Reserves should be able to do in a wartime scenario that does not call for complete national mobilization.

Echelon V) These are forces created from scratch in a National Mobilization scheme.   They can exist on paper at zero strength until the balloon goes up and the floodgates are opened for recruits.   These scratch units are filled out by soldiers from the other 4 echelons who have returned from operational duty.

The reserve units have strengths in that they are locally based and the members are usually quite familiar with eachother - if the CF could find a way to deal with attrition, job security, and service requirements (important and completely seperate issues that we've discussed lately), you would have a real pool of good, professional soldiers to rely on for Echelon III and IV tasks.

As I've said, I advocate the clean sweep approach:

-   With regards to formations, all 10 Reserve Brigades are downgraded to Reserve Battalions.   This cuts a top-heavy command structure out and streamlines C2 - we currently have more Reserve Brigade and Battalion HQs then Regular, but fewer reserve soldiers.   This means that planning is done at the unit level - for example, every month or two , units in BC will train as a unit, rather then as 6 or 7 "Regiments" that send a platoon or two out to do some willy nilly training on their own.

-   The Reserve Battalions are to be given a TO&E and are to organize as Echelon IV forces.   They should be able to train as a unit in peacetime and, if the call goes out, deploy as a unit if Echelon IV forces are required.   They will have their own DFS (Armour, organized like a USMC CAAT), Pioneers (Engineers), Mortar (Arty) and Admin and Support (CS/CSS) sub units as well as having 2 or 3 rifle companies.

-   How these Battalions are organized within the larger structure is up for debate.   We could have a hybrid Reg/Res Brigade Headquarters with some Reserve units formed as Brigade-level units (Engineers, Arty, CS/CSS).   One per area would give the Reserves roughly 3 Reg Force Brigades and 3 Reserve Brigades.   Essentially a 2 Division force.

-   Now this is where I'm going to be tagged as the Heretic.   I feel that each Reserve Battalion (former CBG) should be under 1 Regiment.   It should share a set of colours, be under the same capbadge, and be reflective of a Regional Identity (this is a common strength of some Regimental Systems like Britain and Germany - we cannot fit it into our Reg Force, but our Reserves can do it).   For example within LFWA, there would be The British Columbia Rifles (BCR is already taken), the Alberta Regiment, and the Western Regiment (or Prairie Regiment).   All the old reserve units, in an effort to prevent bickering about who stays and who goes, should be relegated to Echelon V units - the Reserve Battalions will be new units that represent Echelon IV and V units and make their own history as Canada's "Ready Reserve" of actively serving reservists.

Anyways, just some thoughts (some old, some new).

Enjoy and flame away.

Infanteer

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 23, 2005, 22:24:56
 "remaining bn in Thunder Bay could be a sub-unit of the RWpgR."

Every time we let people play with the system, they only make it worse.  Who, in Thunder Bay, is going to join a regiment with the name of a city 750 km away?  They might as well join the Toronto Scottish.

We need more units - not less.  More local traditions - not less.

Small units they can be, to keep alive the military culture in a town or small city.

This costs nothing - peanuts.  The extra accoutrements and so on?  Peanuts.  The Colonels pay?  Also peanuts, but bust him to Major if you wan't.

While we are at it, lets bring back those reserve units that we closed out of the small towns, and put some other units in the large cities that have sprung up in various places.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on April 23, 2005, 22:53:59
Quote
Every time we let people play with the system, they only make it worse.  Who, in Thunder Bay, is going to join a regiment with the name of a city 750 km away?  They might as well join the Toronto Scottish.

And every year we don't do something with an archaic system, its money and resources that aren't be used effectively.  People join to be a member of the infantry and usually know very little about the units heritage and history.  As I mentioned, the sub-unit would retain the name.  You can call the battalion whatever you want, its just a name.

 
Quote
We need more units - not less.  More local traditions - not less.

Law of diminishing returns....

Quote
Small units they can be, to keep alive the military culture in a town or small city.

Whether a platoon, company or battalion is located in a town, I would hazard to guess that most people have no idea what the unit is - its all army.

Quote
This costs nothing - peanuts.  The extra accoutrements and so on?  Peanuts.  The Colonels pay?  Also peanuts, but bust him to Major if you wan't.

Actually, it isn't peanuts, its a lot of money being wasted.  It is also alot of officers and NCMs being pushed by the system to be the CO or RSM when they don't have the experience to be a platoon commander much less a company commander.

Quote
While we are at it, lets bring back those reserve units that we closed out of the small towns, and put some other units in the large cities that have sprung up in various places.

Most of those units were closed down for a reason.  You do bring up a good point about units not springing up in places that have grown since WWII.  Penticton and Prince George are two good examples out in British Columbia without military presence.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 23, 2005, 23:09:32
I would say it would cost more to reform the so-called outdated reserve structure than we would save by doing it.

Want to save money on Colonels?   Best place to do that is NDHQ, not Upper Armpit, Nova Scotia.

If you want to "increase the efficiency" of the reserves:   Limit man-days by rank.   If the LCol has only 1/10th of the soldiers he would have in a regular unit, cut his man days to one tenth.   But that would only be grossly parsimonious.   If the Res LCol loves his unit - and they do - he will show up anyway, paid or not.

No, if money is "wasted" in the reserves, it is done under Regular Force supervision: The RSSO and the Chief Clerk.   Clerks, in particular, invariably know where the bodies are buried.

No easy answers.   The units could be as big as we wanted them to be, if we increased their man-days.

So, lets ask the Militia what they think?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: old medic on April 23, 2005, 23:18:21
I'm going to be really cynical here and suggest that combining
five reserve batallions into one unit on paper would only result in a bean
counter somewhere deciding that this new one unit only needs the resources of one
reserve unit and that four units worth of equipment and budget could
be axed from defence spending.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Trinity on April 24, 2005, 14:41:16
Its my understanding that we have only so many line serials in peace time

And this grows ... three or four times the size in war.  So its not that we
aren't a real brigade as much as our war time serials aren't filled.  On paper
we are if the situation arises, but this assumes that people would step up
and join the army to help fight a war...  which i don't think would happen.

I do think a revamp is totally needed.

please correct the above line serial comment if i'm wrong
(note the word correct... not flame)  ::) ::)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: aesop081 on April 24, 2005, 14:55:50
Trinity,

My take on it is that you are correct. Units hava peace time establishement and a war time establishemnt.  The trouble is that mobilization plans are grossly outmoded IMHO.  modern day crisses develop too quickly to build up an army and then go fight.  it takes too long to train soldiers to fill those "wartime' positions in the establishemnt, takes too long to build the weapons to fight the conflict, for a WW2 style mobilization scheme.  It is my opinion, that it does the CF no good to have a reserve force structured like ours if it cannot be mobilized fully and rapidly. I dont think we are likely to ever require the generation of a reserve brigade for operations. So why the need to have the militia organized in a brigade structure ? Why not concentrate on creating a full-strenght ( or as close as possible) reserve force capable of being deployed on short notice to augment/replace regular force units or on an individual basis ?  To me, less units at full strenght are less of a burden that many units understrenght.  Further more, i dont think that a reserve presence in every community is all that of an important requirement.  I think this creates a spliting of limited resources we can ill aford

Modern day war is " come as you are"...if you don't have it now......you won't have it by the time the fighting stops
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: swanita on April 24, 2005, 20:36:47

Every time we let people play with the system, they only make it worse.   Who, in Thunder Bay, is going to join a regiment with the name of a city 750 km away?   They might as well join the Toronto Scottish.

Not necessarily a bad thing!!   ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 25, 2005, 15:50:33
I'm going to be really cynical here and suggest that combining five reserve batallions into one unit on paper would only result in a bean counter somewhere deciding that this new one unit only needs the resources of one reserve unit and that four units worth of equipment and budget could be axed from defence spending.
Except that reserve units are currently established to raise only one or two sub-units (and often those are sub-units of only 1 or two sub-sub units).  If the amalgamated units were established (and equipped) for five sub units, those bean counters that have you scared would see the need for five sub-units' worth of equipment.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 25, 2005, 16:05:38
I'm sorry I didnt make myself clear. A battalion with only 40 people is a waste of resources. If a battalion cant stay at 50% it doesnt need to be kept on the rolls.
The problem is, the Army will not allow the regiments to grow.  Each has only been established for one or two small companies and an undersized RHQ.  Rather than shutting these battalions, it would be better to re-group their sub units into one battalion.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 25, 2005, 16:44:14
No.  To easy to cut if they did that.  Convert the LSSR to 3 TSR, then five years later they close it out saying "We don't need a bn of the Tor Scots in Thunder Bay".

All of this talk - when in doubt, re-org - is just cows jostling for a nice slot on the ramp into the abattoir.  The more the Militia and Regs says it wants to change, the more those changes will be mandated by a bunch of long haired civie back door power brokers in Ottawa who will dust off Phase VII of the plan to de-militarize Canada, and out the door you all will go.

The present bloated inefficient system is flawed not because of the concept - a cadre that can expand to fifty times it's size in a PROLONGED emergency - but because the process has not been effectively led.

But we don't blame people any more, do we?  We blame organizations.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 25, 2005, 22:42:16
This amalgamation thing is very attractive.  Imagine reducing 4 infantry battalions to 1. All of the work done by the following:

- 4 x CO
- 4 x RSM
- 4 x DCO
- 4 x part-time Ops/Trg O or Adjt

...would instead be done by the local rifle company OC and CSM (in addition to whatever they currently do, if anything), or shared by the new Bn HQ.  Very efficient productivity gain there.  Would the company 2I/C be the former Reg F officer, or would there be a huge economy realized by consoliding 4 down to 2 (Ops/Trg and Adjt, trimming another couple of part-timers anyways) only at the Bn HQ?  What other full-time positions could be (should be) eliminated?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 26, 2005, 00:03:50
This amalgamation thing is very attractive.   Imagine reducing 4 infantry battalions to 1. All of the work done by the following:

- 4 x CO
- 4 x RSM
- 4 x DCO
- 4 x part-time Ops/Trg O or Adjt

...would instead be done by the local rifle company OC and CSM (in addition to whatever they currently do, if anything), or shared by the new Bn HQ.   Very efficient productivity gain there.   Would the company 2I/C be the former Reg F officer, or would there be a huge economy realized by consoliding 4 down to 2 (Ops/Trg and Adjt, trimming another couple of part-timers anyways) only at the Bn HQ?   What other full-time positions could be (should be) eliminated?

You are being sarcastic, right?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: old medic on April 26, 2005, 01:12:19
Except that reserve units are currently established to raise only one or two sub-units (and often those are sub-units of only 1 or two sub-sub units).  If the amalgamated units were established (and equipped) for five sub units, those bean counters that have you scared would see the need for five sub-units' worth of equipment.


It's not a scare, I watched this actually happen several times in LFWA in the 1990's with sub units.
They were put together on paper, a lot of equipment was lost, then remaining gear was divided up between cities.
That wiped out effective training except on major exercise. In the case of the Field Kitchens, it even wiped out
effective use of the equipment.  (They put the kitchen trucks in Thunder Bay and the kitchen trailers in Winnipeg).

I must agree with TCBF. Don't mess with unit names or histories. That's the biggest link the CF has with most
communities in this country.  The local Officers (usually leading citizens), senates, honourary Colonels, Veterans,
past unit members all have a connection back to their unit. If you take that away, your going to wipe out your local
support.  That's exactly what happened in 1954 when they renamed all the reserve Field Ambulances. 

The biggest problem with the reserve infantry units is probably the massive unit budget cuts that took place in 1994.
That, coupled with restrictions on parade numbers, closed establishment positions, limits and numbers on recruiting,
and only allowing each unit a tiny number of positions on BMT serials are what's brought the reserve to it's current
state.

Restore the unit budgets and allow them to enroll new members. Then come back and decide which ones are
viable.





Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on April 26, 2005, 03:30:40

Restore the unit budgets and allow them to enroll new members. Then come back and decide which ones are
viable.


No reserve unit will ever be a real battalion - let alone a multi-battalion regiment - in peacetime. And, as was mentioned by Infanteer, mobilization is no longer possible and is thus irrelevant. So why maintain the bloated structures where companies pretend to be battalions and battalions pretend to be brigades? I'll bet no other army in the world so closely resembles its 1945 version.

I'm not arguing for the histories and distinctness of the regiments to be erased. They can be maintained, just as effectively, by a Company - since that is essentially what reserve infantry units are anyways. Our job is to be relevant and effective, and administering ourselves as are is harming our ability to fulfil our duties and needs.

Merge the operational and administrative functions of the regiments, so that they become companies and are administered and trained as such by regional battalions. Easy. Knock away the entire command apparatus above company level from each unit, and give those duties to what is now "brigade", and treat a brigade like what it really is, a battalion or battle group. Everything still gets done, but the units will have easier admin, more cohesive and meaningful training, and more bodies available on the parade square. And keep the kilts, marching paces, battle honours, museums, etc.

At present we are maintain a rank structure that is wasteful and possibly dangerous, for political reasons. No one in a reserve unit above the company level can possibly be qualified to do their job because we never operate that high in the field or garrison (in reality its even lower than that, probably platoon level). So why pretend?

A question: if we did change things so that the units become companies within regional battalions, is there any reason the units (which would be administered as companies) could they not be called 'regiments' as well? A regiment is a family and a tradition, not a field formation, so why not keep the term?

On a separate rant....
I'm so sure this 'local connections' argument is quite so strong. Most people have no idea what the Army Reserves are or what they do, and have zero concept of their local regiments. I'm not sure what this local support is that we keep talking about - recruiting doesn't seem to indicate the presence of local support. I've served in two units, one with an exceptionally strong Association and probably the most influential Honourary Colonel in the Reserves, and the other with neither an association nor a high profile Honourary. I haven't seen any difference in recruiting, training, or effectiveness in the field.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 26, 2005, 04:36:51
>You are being sarcastic, right?

Yes.  While I'm sure there would be some economy of effort (fewer people attending conferences aimed at people at unit HQ level) I figure there would be between 150 and 200 person-days worth of Class "A" work to absorb into each sub-unit HQ.  If the full-time officers were left as sub-unit 2I/Cs in respective locations, then there would remain the interesting experiential jump from platoon to company command for a selected few officers without the benefit of any staff or administrative appointments.  "Congratulations, Lt.  You are promoted to Maj and hereby appointed OC B Coy."  The thing to do would be to downrank reserve sub-units to Capt and have a Lt as 2I/C and Lt or 2Lt as platoon commanders.  Nice and lean: 6 to 8 years in for officers, and then up to battle group HQ or out.  Lots of time for other hobbies.

Maybe this would work.  All I ever read about, though, are the pay savings (miniscule unless positions are eliminated entirely) and the improved sub-unit/unit collective training opportunities.  Nobody has explained, at least to me, how amalgamating several smaller units into one larger one suddenly compresses the time required to learn and demonstrate all the lower level collective BTS.  Nobody has explained where, if positions are eliminated, all the administrivia goes.  Are all the reserve unit staff really just a bunch of time wasters who have learned to fit three weeks' worth of administration into 45 Class "A" days?

My guess is that after "mission creep" the end-state would look something like this: each former unit, now sub-unit, would have as full-timers a 2I/C, two clerks, a CQMS, and a QMSI.  Tacked onto the normal sub-unit establishment after repeated complaints and position papers would be a few supernumary officers and NCOs with appointments to deal with all the odds and sods of work that currently must be done.  Plus, somewhere in each brigade, there would be 2 or 3 or 4 new battle group HQs ("BG North".  "BG South".  "BG Island".  "BG Mainland."  "BG Interior".  Etc).  In short, the entirety of every original unit would still be there, just reduced by one rank across the board for the part-timers, with a net increase in the number of officers and senior NCOs to staff the new HQs.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 26, 2005, 04:49:32
This amalgamation thing is very attractive.   Imagine reducing 4 infantry battalions to 1. All of the work done by the following:

- 4 x CO
- 4 x RSM
- 4 x DCO
- 4 x part-time Ops/Trg O or Adjt

...would instead be done by the local rifle company OC and CSM (in addition to whatever they currently do, if anything), or shared by the new Bn HQ.   Very efficient productivity gain there.   Would the company 2I/C be the former Reg F officer, or would there be a huge economy realized by consoliding 4 down to 2 (Ops/Trg and Adjt, trimming another couple of part-timers anyways) only at the Bn HQ?   What other full-time positions could be (should be) eliminated?

So, how is it that a regular Force battalion can train 600 soldiers within a Battalion Command Structure while the Reserves need Bde RSMs, Bde Commanders, Brigade Chiefs of Staff, a whack of CO's and RSM's, Company Commanders, and RSS staff to boot in order to get a couple hundred reservists out for four days?

Why every reserve unit has to play to its own tune is a mystery - for example, in Vancouver's case, why do the Seaforth Highlanders and the Royal Westminster Regiment always do their own things?   Why isn't their resources pooled in order to husband resources and staffing manpower (I have a feeling the Regimental bone has a part in this)?   Heck, you could even get the local BCR armoured guys out to further increase efficency.

Others could fill me in, but I believe that Winnipeg (Rifles and the Camerons) parade in the same location - we need the Command and Staffing of 2 units for 80 guys kicking around on the same parade square?   I believe this is the case in some Ontario units as well.

I remain unconvinced that the nature of the Reserves somehow necessitates the requirement for 4 times the overhead to get things done.

I still argue that it is neccessary for the Reserves to reorganize into a realistic TO&E so as to be deployable as an Echelon IV unit (as I described above) - we should expect our Reserves to be called up for deployment at sub-unit and unit levels (as our American neighbours are doing at this moment) before we expect and plan for   National Mobilization and Total War.

PS: Interesting example of a Reserve Force structured with an actual TO&E (instead of our hodgepodge structure of independent units) is 4th MarDiv.   Not saying we could achieve the scope of the USMCR, but it does show that Reserve units can be organized, manned, and run as proper units and formations.

http://www.mfr.usmc.mil/4thmardiv/units/
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on April 26, 2005, 05:37:19
Nobody has explained, at least to me, how amalgamating several smaller units into one larger one suddenly compresses the time required to learn and demonstrate all the lower level collective BTS.   Nobody has explained where, if positions are eliminated, all the administrivia goes.   Are all the reserve unit staff really just a bunch of time wasters who have learned to fit three weeks' worth of administration into 45 Class "A" days?

Right now a Reserve unit administers itself as a battalion, and carries the load of paperwork and command structure expected to run a battalion. However, a reserve unit does not have nearly the same resources as a real battalion to run that administrative load - not as many clerks, not the various cells, not the full-time staff to do all the work that needs to be done, etc.

Reserve units generally claim to be able to field a company. So what exactly is everyone above the company level doing? An operational Reg F company manages to run itself on one clerk, an OC, 2ic, a CSM, and a CQ. A Reserve company is run by: a CQ/RQ, Coy CoComdrCoy 2ic, CSM, RSM, CO, DCO, Adjt, Ops & Trg O, and a BOR - and all that to get guys out one day a week, one weekend a month, and in reality it probably fields a platoon.
My unit fielded the equivalent of a overstrength platoon on the last 7-day concentration. But, on any given weekday we usually have 3 people working full-time in the BOR, plus the Adjt, the RSS WO, CQ, a Recruiting Officer, and various others doing pay administration or odd jobs. The tail is definitely overwhelming the teeth.

Plus the reality that most reserve SNCO's and Officers are not really qualified or experienced enough to do their jobs operationally - no slight on them, and they could learn the job if need be, but they just don't have the training and experience. Why maintain people in ranks and positions they aren't really qualified for?

The administravia in this model goes up - up to Battalion, to a real battalion.   The administrative structure of a battalion isn't justified for a company. So, move it up to a level where the administrative structure actually runs a battalion, which in the case of BC would mean commanding all of the army reserves in the province. Everything done in units right now by the CO, the RSM, the Adj, the RQ, Ops and Training cells, and the BOR would be done centrally for all the units in the region, and would be staffed by trained full-time personnel. It seems to work well enough for the Reg's, we might as well give it a shot.
 
The reserves don't justify a 50-odd Battalion structure - not to many armies in the western world do. We do, however, justify and require a 50-odd Company structure.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 26, 2005, 13:54:51
>Right now a Reserve unit administers itself as a battalion, and carries the load of paperwork and command structure expected to run a battalion.

It has never been my impression that reserve units run themselves like battalions.  I would describe them as depots because of all the extra baggage.  Regardless, my point is that no one has identified exactly what it is all those people do in their offices and identified how much of it can and how much can not be eliminated from each parading location.

If the full-time staff can be consolidated and reduced and still get all the work done, there is an obvious lesson there.  But perhaps they can not; we need to ask why before we do it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on April 26, 2005, 16:40:10
It has never been my impression that reserve units run themselves like battalions.   I would describe them as depots because of all the extra baggage.  

Perhaps not operational battalions, but they do have Lieutenant Colonels, RSMs, Adjts, Ops & Trng Cells, Transport Section, Battalion Orderly Rooms, and one or more (notional) Companies within them. That seems to fit many characteristics of a battalion structure.

Regardless, my point is that no one has identified exactly what it is all those people do in their offices and identified how much of it can and how much can not be eliminated from each parading location.

I believe that we can - and should - eliminate senior positions, such as CO and RSM. The table of organization for a reserve unit looks rather silly, since its is a straight line rather than a pyramid.

If the full-time staff can be consolidated and reduced and still get all the work done, there is an obvious lesson there.   But perhaps they can not; we need to ask why before we do it.

Each 'unit'/parade location requires the admin to keep its people happy, tasked, and placed on courses. It has to have training, both on parade nights and on weekend ex's to fulfill requirements and increase the skills of personnel. It has to have the admin and organization to provide support to the Reg F, and the possibility of call up/active service.

Why can't most of this be done by a separate central location that would take the work from each unit and do it at once? I believe that multi-subunit reserve regiments, like the C Scot R, have multiple companies run by a single battalion organization. Anyone aware of how this works out?

There is a basic level of admin/logistics/organization that needs to be done by each unit no matter how many troops it parades, and there's an increased level of basic work that has to be done as long as we pretend to be Battalions. After this point, the extra work per troop is minimal. So, pushing all the battalion-level apparatus up to a central point does not mean the same number of staff at the higher headquarters that currently sit in scattered units.
- There is a savings in personnel, which is not important in terms of money savings, but in terms of streamlining admin and ensuring that experienced RMS clerks and knowledgable Adjt's handle the work.
- Less dupduplication effort on admin, logistics, planning, and training. Why does one Armoury have two BOR's/CQ's/Lieutenant-Colonels to administer a tiny number of soldiers?
- Better training as all ex's would be bigger and combined. Why do two units in the same city train sepseparately?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 26, 2005, 17:52:19
Let me rephrase: over the years, in various staff positions in a unit which numbered anywhere from 50 to 100 all ranks, I had enough administrative work to keep me busy every weekly parade evening and most local HQ training days.  For each eliminated appointment, the work must go into one of the following:

1) Absorbed into the centralized appointment with no additional effort because there was an exact duplication of effort (ie. what is done for one sub-unit can be done for many with no additional time).

2) Absorbed into the centralized appointment with some additional effort, which comes out in the wash because the appointment holder was in fact always underemployed and occasionally just marking time.

3) Dropped onto the shoulders of the remaining appointments in the local (sub-unit) HQ with some additional effort, which is taken on board regardless whether the person was already fully occupied with pre-existing duties and assignments.  If the incumbent was already fully occupied, expect a new position to be created or for the wheel to eventually break.

4) Dropped into the aether because it was only pointless busywork, or is low on the scale of administrative priorities.  This works until higher HQ demands a response.

The alternative is that effectively some appointments must remain.  If it turns out that a company still needs some semblance of, say, an ops/trg cell and a log cell to function, less or nothing is saved.

My point: don't assume administrative streamlining will happen; show where it must happen.  Otherwise you are basically embarking on a gamble.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on April 26, 2005, 18:06:34
There is one problem you have overlooked and that is the lack of personal contact which in some cases will cause problems.  If a clerk is in Armoury X, processing paperwork on personnel in Armoury X, Armoury Y and Armoury Z, there is sometimes a tendency to concentrate on Armoury X's pers first, and overlook those in Armouries Y and Z.  This has already been a sore point a the Area Level, where taskings for Tours or Call Outs have made their way to 'select' Units; a case of favouritism by pers disseminating the Msgs, leaving some Units with no idea of what Taskings, Tours and even Crses are being loaded.

When you go to a store or bank, do you prefer to talk to a person, or deal with a machine or voice-mail?  Take away the Unit Clerks and Medics and the Administration becomes more ineffective than any 'money cruncher' can predict.  The personal touch is required, and most efficient (in the end), as well as part of Unit cohesion.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 26, 2005, 19:38:04
This amalgamation thing is very attractive.   Imagine reducing 4 infantry battalions to 1. All of the work done by the following:

- 4 x CO
- 4 x RSM
- 4 x DCO
- 4 x part-time Ops/Trg O or Adjt

...would instead be done by the local rifle company OC and CSM (in addition to whatever they currently do, if anything), or shared by the new Bn HQ.   Very efficient productivity gain there.   Would the company 2I/C be the former Reg F officer, or would there be a huge economy realized by consoliding 4 down to 2 (Ops/Trg and Adjt, trimming another couple of part-timers anyways) only at the Bn HQ?   What other full-time positions could be (should be) eliminated?
Very few positions would be eliminated.   Instead, many would be moved to where they are more efficient.   The biggest efficiencies would be gained by reducing secondary duties (UEnvO, RadSO, UGSO, OIC Armoury, SHARP Instr, IO, etc).
My guess is that after "mission creep" the end-state would look something like this: each former unit, now sub-unit, would have as full-timers a 2I/C, two clerks, a CQMS, and a QMSI.   Tacked onto the normal sub-unit establishment after repeated complaints and position papers would be a few supernumerary officers and NCOs with appointments to deal with all the odds and sods of work that currently must be done.
I'd predict a unit structure more like an engr sqn with an Ops O in each Coy.   The regular officer could be either Ops O or 2ic (depending on the experience level of the local reserve officers).   The QMSI/DSM is a bn level position and would not be established in each sub unit.   However, there would be a CQMS, one clerk and possibly an Ops NCO.
somewhere in each brigade, there would be 2 or 3 or 4 new battle group HQs ("BG North".   "BG South".   "BG Island".   "BG Mainland."   "BG Interior".   Etc).   In short, the entirety of every original unit would still be there, just reduced by one rank across the board for the part-timers, with a net increase in the number of officers and senior NCOs to staff the new HQs.
The greatest benefit would show through increased trg and sp output from the bn HQs.   This structure would produce a greatly increased capacity for collective trg.   The sub units would continue to train their sub-sub units, however the bn HQs would train and validate sub units to operate in a bn context (as opposed the sub-unit trg and validating itself).   It takes a lot of manpower and resources to train a sub unit, and these do not currently exist in reserve units.   The sub unit should have the capacity to train its platoons/troops.   However, during my time in a reserve unit, the SHQ was always too involved in the exercise control to gain anything as part of the trg audience.   This is fixed by splitting off the bn HQ, making it more robust, and giving it responsibility for several sub units. This larger bn also needs a functioning admin element (pl/tp as the minimum, but potentially a coy/sqn) in order to support the higher level of trg that will be conducted.

There would be some efficiencies gained as well.   The battalion would share the secondary duties.   BMQ, SQ, driver, and other courses would become battalion activities (instead of the sub-units burdening themselves with each of these).   
No reserve unit will ever be a real battalion - let alone a multi-battalion regiment - in peacetime. ...

I'm not arguing for the histories and distinctness of the regiments to be erased. They can be maintained, just as effectively, by a Company
Yes. A multi-regimental battalion that may or may not include both infantry and recce.
Merge the operational and administrative functions of the regiments, so that they become companies and are administered and trained as such by regional battalions. Easy. Knock away the entire command apparatus above company level from each unit, and give those duties to what is now "brigade", and treat a brigade like what it really is, a battalion or battle group. Everything still gets done, but the units will have easier admin, more cohesive and meaningful training, and more bodies available on the parade square. And keep the kilts, marching paces, battle honours, museums, etc.
I would leave the Bde HQs in place in order to train the Bn HQ (or a Bn HQ each year).   The Bde should be able to put together a trg NCE and NSE in order to train a BG in a TF context.   Additionally, I don't think a bn HQ would have the staff resources to deal with the various other formations, higher HQs, and other demands that arise in a bde geographic area.

If done properly, the larger Bn HQs and the continuation of the Bde HQs should allow the reservists to train themselves without drawing on units/sub units of the regular force brigades to act as EXCON (as is typical with the Ex ACTIVE EDGE series).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 26, 2005, 19:44:43
Re-organization is always attractive to those not being re-organized.  Invariably, more harm than good is done, and any economies made are fleeting.

Want to conserve resources?  Start at NDHQ.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 26, 2005, 19:45:57
>The biggest efficiencies would be gained by reducing secondary duties (UEnvO, RadSO, UGSO, OIC Armoury, SHARP Instr, IO, etc).

I would frankly be surprised if it were not required that each physical location continued to have a representative for the administrative and safety appointments.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 27, 2005, 15:25:11
Re-organization is always attractive to those not being re-organized.   Invariably, more harm than good is done, and any economies made are fleeting.

Want to conserve resources?   Start at NDHQ.
"Re-organization is always bad.  We need to re-organize NDHQ to make things better"

A little contradictory, don't you think?  What is the invariable harm that would come from re-organizing the reserves?  . . . or are you just fear-mongering?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on April 27, 2005, 16:45:14
Reorging and streamlining the headquarters levels would have the potential of saving lots of money and manpower, but is probably best left as a topic for a different thread.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 27, 2005, 18:07:23
"Re-orging and streamlining the headquarters levels would have the potential of saving lots of money and manpower, but is probably best left as a topic for a different thread."

Noted.

"A little contradictory, don't you think?  What is the invariable harm that would come from re-organizing the reserves?  . . . or are you just fear-mongering?"

Contradictory?  Probably, in that if I think a re-org would hurt the Reserves, I probably shouldn't be wishing it on another org, should I ?

If we re-org to better accomplish our missions - including the traditional ones few people really understand - then yes, a properly fed and funded re-org can work.  But any re-org done to field units simply to save resources invariably costs more than it saves in the long run, and cuts the meat, not the fat.

My earlier posts reflected a stance I once took in a conversation:  "We have a big defence budget, but a tiny military budget" and "Whenever they send civilians from Ottawa out to determine which units get downsized and streamlined, the military should send officers to Ottawa to determine which programs and offices at NDHQ should be downsized and streamlined."

Defence spending is not necessarily military spending.  I don't think I am fear mongering.  The best predictor of future performance is past performance.







Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 28, 2005, 15:50:40
If we re-org to better accomplish our missions - including the traditional ones few people really understand - then yes, a properly fed and funded re-org can work. 
Well, good news.  I think this is what we would achieve by going with sub-regional Bn HQs under the existing regional Bde HQs.

More important than any gains in efficiency across the existing units (and there would be some gains) would be the increased capacity of the of the now full bn organizations to conduct and support up to level 4 training.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 28, 2005, 17:27:01
The money saved in gutting local units to fund a "mega-regional battalion" would;
1. Not save any money.
2. Not put money where you and I want it if it did.

The advantages - if any - would be fleeting, the damage permanent.   T

There is nothing stopping units from banding together and conducting that training now.   Except that someone, somewhere does not want you to do it, and no matter how much money you save them, that will not change it.   Lack of money is an excuse given to not do things someone higher does not want done.   Trust me, if the CF wanted it done, they would do it.   How much does SHARP Trg cost?   How much do all of those MFRCs cost?   How much does the ombudsman cost?   How much did it cost to put me up in Guam for four days?   If they wanted you to to do level four - you would, they don't - so you won't.     Don't flush 100 years of tradition into the outhouse just to see the gleam in the eye of a sycophantic bean counter.   You and your unit will suffer in the end, and you will make nothing beter.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 28, 2005, 18:18:30
the money saved in gutting local units to fund a "mega-regional battalion" would;
1. Not save any money.
2. Not put money where you and I want it if it did.
You are clearly not trying to argue against my proposal (which is not about saving money or shifting money).   The local establishments would not be gutted as most of the full-time capacity would shift to the sub unit level.   Any savings would be small (no RQMS doing the SQMS's job and the sub unit learning the false lesson that regiment will always deliver).

If they wanted you to to do level four - you would, they don't - so you won't.  
The reserves should be able to do level 4 trg, and that is why the reserves should restructure.

. . . and you still have not defined the damages that you have promised.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 28, 2005, 18:50:48
You can re-structure until the cows come home, but you won't do level four until they want you to, and it ain't money.

Leave Bn HQs where they are. If you regionalize them, but give the CO's the same responsibilities, and you won't spend time training, you'll spend it commuting, or tele-conferencing, or administeriung, or whatever.

Leave it the way it is.  If they want you to do level for, they will tell you.  If you find money to do level four, they will take it away from you.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 28, 2005, 20:47:05
You can re-structure until the cows come home, but you won't do level four until they want you to, and it ain't money.
So, reserves should not restructure because "they" don't want the reserves to train above sub-sub unit (pl & tp) level?

My experiences with the linear reserve chain of command was that the RQ often became the the SQ and that the squadron often had everything delivered/handed to it.  Reserve sub units do not know their own CSS needs when in a BG/Bn context, and they will never know what goes into those requirements unless they start to interact within real Bn structures.  (Granted, the RQ likely knows what is required to support a Coy, but why not just make the RQ the CQ & stop pretending?)

Wouldn't the reserves provide a better training ground for staff officers if their battalion HQ staff actually learned to support multiple sub units?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on April 28, 2005, 22:18:08
TCBF has a point, there is no point to rearranging the deck chairs in the effort to increase efficiency or save a few bucks - the cost of rearranging is usually more in terms of cohesion and physical costs.

However, I am not advocating a rearrangement of the deck chairs, I am proposing that we tear up the deck and rebuild it, because it isn't suited to the realities on the ground - I am in effect arguing for transformation as opposed to reorganization.

A gamble?  Yes - but nobody ever one by preparing for the last war.

I address the issue here:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,30150.new.html#new
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 29, 2005, 01:55:32
"Wouldn't the reserves provide a better training ground for staff officers if their battalion HQ staff actually learned to support multiple sub units?"

Sure, but you don't need to re-org to do that, do you?  Just Ex with other units, and take turns.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on April 29, 2005, 12:06:22
"Wouldn't the reserves provide a better training ground for staff officers if their battalion HQ staff actually learned to support multiple sub units?"

Sure, but you don't need to re-org to do that, do you?  Just Ex with other units, and take turns.


The LFRR Phase II idea was to gain efficiency by doing this ALL the time, but without having the other staffs ("take turns") hanging around on the side-lines.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on April 29, 2005, 14:11:52
Sure, but you don't need to re-org to do that, do you?  Just Ex with other units, and take turns.
I think you would need to re-org.  For all the superfluous COs, DCOs, RSMs, etc, there are several missing bn pers from all units.  These missing pers are typically the Cpl & MCpl that fill out the RQMS staff, run the regt tpt/pol sect (and are of the same occupation as the msn element), etc.

Unlike the local battalions (which train with multiple sub units maybe 25% of the time and always lack the structure to provide the bn context in which to train any sub unit), the sub-regional battalions would train with all the elements of a unit 100% of the time and it would have the full structure to train sub units in a bn context.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on April 29, 2005, 15:03:42
"would train with all the elements of a unit 100% of the time and it would have the full structure to train sub units in a bn context."

For which they would then pull the funds to save money, because they don't want you to do it as much as they want you to do something else.

And you are stuck with a regional Bn no one wants to join or stay in, because it has lost touch with it's roots. You think all of those keen Militia Capt s and Lt s will stay in a unit they can never LOCALLY be CO of?  Or the OR s to RSM?  Why?

It ain't the Org that's broke - it's the people.  You can't fix broken people just by re-orging.  We have very flex and traditional orgs now, best of both worlds.   Fire the losers, and promote people with immagination.

We don't have to re-org every time the cart goes off the track - we just have to provide direction and leadership.  Our present Regt System has stood the test of time - the problem is the current generation of weak leaders.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 09, 2005, 11:52:18
We are well into two projects in this area, under LFRR Ph II. We are tactically grouping our three arty units into a 38 CBG Arty Tac Gp, with one CO and a Gp RSM. The Gp HQ function is centred on one unit, but the staff tasks can be shared around the various HQs. Within a   month, this tactical gp will be complete.   There is one CO for all three units, with FULCOM. He is the boss.

We are also in the process of completing the tac gp of our three Svc Bns. The structure will function in a similar manner.

In both tac gps, the commanders of the subordinated   units (rank of Maj or Capt) will perform as DCOs/OCs/BCs. They will focus on the lvl 1-3 trg and local issues that really represent their major capabilities and concerns. The Gp CO will focus on Gp level issues, such as directing lvl 4 (or higher)   trg, developing and issuing a single Operating Plan for all three units, and acting as the Bde Comd's advisor and "advocate" on Arty or CSS issues. Our Bde Comd will go from trying to deal with 16 COs (incl three OPCON) to 12. There is a travel requirement for the CO and RSM but that is SOP in a Bde that stretches from Thunder Bay to Prince Albert.

The plans were developed starting about seven or eight years ago. In the case of the Arty, there was already a solid basis of joint training to build on. We were able to finally get the plans accepted under LFRR Ph II (after a lot of flak from various "Friends of the Militia" and institutional fear from the Army itself). Our own Res and our Hons bought into it-that was not the problem. It was more the "we must never change the Militia I served in" crowd who caused the problems, all from outside our Bde. We have also had an internal info battle to fight with getting the facts down to the Armoury floor, as opposed to the BS and mess rumours that tend to dominate.

We set some very strict criteria for implementing the plans:

-no reduction in overall unit strength (in fact the aim is to grow the elements to a healthy level);

-no closure of locations (we have, and intend to maintain four CSS locs and five Arty locs);

-no reduction of community footprint;

-no reduction of equipment (except as imposed by WFM, etc) budgets or trg ammo; and

-no reduction or redistribution of FTS (Reg or Res) until we have analyzed what we need (as it is, it has been years since the RCA has been able to fill all of the RegF FTS posns in our Bde).

Of course, this is not amalgamation, although if we can make tac gp work we will achieve some of the same efficiencies. The plan leaves the road open for eventual amalgamation, but only as a possible option and only based on a review of how well tac gp works. This is not likely to happen in the near future for two reasons: the Army wants to see how our projects work out, and the Army is still terrified of the "A-word" where the Res is concerned.
The plan equally leaves the road open to preserve the tac gp or to dismantle it if it no longer serves a purpose. Personally, I hope it works, and I hope that eventually we see our way to a new and stronger Res structure, which does not have dozens of little units squabbling for limited resources and recruits (ie: five units in a city of 100,000 people: suicide), or leadership positions being filled by the "Last Man Standing" promotion system, thus further aggravating attrition by miserable leadership. It would be great if our Bde and Area Comds actually had a range of good candidates to pick from for unit-levewl command and RSM, instead of scraping the bottom of the barrel or doing a retread. (No offense to some of the retreads who step up and do a good job).

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 09, 2005, 15:07:12
Exactly what we need - programs that make our present structure work.  Amalgamation would take a good idea past it's logical conclusion.  Lots of little units give us the ability to flush out or re-role in an emergency. It gives us flexibility at little or no price.  I think we should be opening new units in our new urban areas, and resurecting units we have shut down, with old traditions and new roles.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 10, 2005, 08:49:08
Quote
Lots of little units give us the ability to flush out or re-role in an emergency

Well--based on our experiences, I would not say "lots of little units". Maintaining all these miniature unit structures, in which COs, RSMs and Bn HQ staffs receive very little useful training and experience  at anything above level four because they are enmeshed in sub-unit level activities, doesn't do much for us in the long run. What I would say is a healthy, rational  Res structure with "lots of Reserve presence" is the way to go. The presence can be provided equally well by batteries, coys and squadrons-we do not need a full unit HQ in each location. That presence is IMHO better provided by a functional 90 or 100 mbr sub-unit than a dysfunctional "battalion" of the same size.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 10, 2005, 18:18:27
I would like the "cadre" concept we presently have to be accepted for what it is.  We have 'little' units because we do not fund the units that could be much larger, and we have put other financial and institutional barriers in the way of military efficiency.

we have non-trained RHQs because we demand an ever increasing administrative product from them for no noticeable gain.  Military effectiveness is not measured in the volume of e-mails sent, yet that is the sort of activity rewarded and funded by our system. If we got rid of some RHQs to give each unit 8 sub-units each, someone at those sub-units would invariably have to take off wear the disbanded RHQ left off, and start filling the recycle bins to keep the green machine happy.

I see no benefit to tearing the guts out of a system we have merely because we fail to use it properly.  I don't scrap my car every time it runs out of gas, or needs an oil change.  Simplistic solutions, poorly thought out, executed without a true knowledge of the social institutions of the  Army, merely hide the problem, not solve it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 11, 2005, 02:04:10
Quote
If we got rid of some RHQs to give each unit 8 sub-units each, someone at those sub-units would invariably have to take off wear the disbanded RHQ left off, and start filling the recycle bins to keep the green machine happy.

No-not necessarily. What you would want to do is restrict the sub-units to looking after sub-unit level things only, plus local community footprint. The majority of the more complex pers admin, budget mgt, etc would be done at the unit HQ where you could concentrate a greater percentage of your full time staff. OC/BCs and their people would be focused on leading the soldiers in their armoury and training to level three. The unit HQ would look after the level four and almost everything else. The Operating Plan, etc would be written and managed from the unit HQ. This is essentially the way the USARNG works, with normally only one or two full time ARNG in outlying sub-units, and the majority of the full time ARNG in the unit HQ. Admittedly they do not train as often as our Res does, but I believe that it can be made to work quite well. I just don't see the benefit of all these little unit-level command structures.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 11, 2005, 13:26:39
"I just don't see the benefit of all these little unit-level command structures."

They maintain traditional and historical ties to the towns they are based in, and provide a framework for anything up to and including general mobilization during an emergency.  Odds of that happening soon?  Remote.  But, we don't disband fire departments because we havent't had a fire in a while.

The structure we have now works, if we let it.  Lets sort out the people who don't, first.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Matt_Fisher on May 11, 2005, 13:38:41
...we don't disband fire departments because we havent't had a fire in a while.

Yes, but these rural volunteer fire departments are geared and structured to deal with the threat they are most likely to see.   You don't have hypothetical training on using ladder trucks to fight fires in high-rise buildings (ie. how until recently Canadian reserve armoured units were training to fight the Soviet hordes) and within a rural fire department you don't have a command structure that is more suited to that of a fire department that has multiple units/stations, etc. (ie. how a regiment that can only field a sub-unit of company minus size has a full battalion headquarters and headquarters company command element).

As pbi noted, the issue of disbanding units wasn't a concern.   Quite the opposite, the growth of sub-units and specialty units is something that is a goal.   However, streamlining an antiquated, redundant and inefficient regimental hierarchy is something that needs to be addressed.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 11, 2005, 22:48:57
"I just don't see the benefit of all these little unit-level command structures."

They maintain traditional and historical ties to the towns they are based in, and provide a framework for anything up to and including general mobilization during an emergency.   Odds of that happening soon?   Remote.   But, we don't disband fire departments because we havhaven'td a fire in a while.

The structure we have now works, if we let it.   Lets sort out the people who don't, first.

TCBF: One of the specific points in our tactical grouping process (and one which would be largely respected should amalgamation eventually occur) is that there is to be no reduction in community footprint. We also specified that there was to be no impact on unit heritage or identity. However, if we were to go to amalgamation, we could still probably respect heritage and identity. I would use the Volunteer battalions of the British Army (TA) as a very good example. Some time ago the Brits found that they could not sustain a large number of little "battalions" each parading only about a coy or two of soldiers, and having great difficulty generating suitable COs and RSMs. So, they engaged in a series of amalgamations. Instead of four understrength little battalions, with four miniature command structures, a single battalion exists, but with each company carrying the parenthetic traditional title after the coy designator.   So, instead of the decrepit and non-effective "Duke of Numptyshire's Light Infantry" you might have " B Coy/Fourth (Volunteer) Battalion The Light Infantry (The Duke of Numptyshire's Light Infantry)". The sub-unit (IIRC) preserves as much of its heritage as is compatible with the new structure, and keeps its ties to its former communities. But, instead of a hopelessly undermanned and ineffective "battalion", they have a properly manned and much more effective company, and a much broader and more competitive base from which to select COs and RSMs. This, IMHO, is the way we should go. We could strengthen our actual (as opposed to our imaginary...) capabilities, reduce unneeded and largely unsustainable command structure, introduce healthy competition and selectivity into succession for CO and RSM, but preserve much of what is good about our Reserve system. If we compare the Army Reserve to a tree, sometimes it is necessary to prune the branches in order to keep the trunk and the roots strong. A simplistic analogy, I know, but it gets my point across. And, I think, you might find an increasing number of Res soldiers who believe this too.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 12, 2005, 01:46:16
I agree with the logic both you and Matt have presented.  I think it just may end up going a notch to far.  We have understrength units because they have been given an artificially low strength and man-day ceiling, no funds for unit collective trg, and no command or tactical framework in which to function as a unit, even if they were at full strength.  We have mini-regts because we want them that way, not because of a failure in the regimental system. If we wanted them to be full strength functioning units they would be, but we (Canada) do not.

Simply restrict each present regt to company size, and add a few extra to do 'Local' and away you go.  The kit/accoutrements/tradition aspect of it is a minor administrative price to pay, and cheap dollar wise.  The sub units can function as 'primary role is to provide a lt inf coy trained to level(?), as B Coy, Manitoba Inf Rdy Bn' or some such.  Then, if we decide we need an NBCD Coy, that Regt could raise a second Coy.  Need a CIMIC Coy?  Another Regt gets to raise it.  A building block approach.

Ammalgamation saves no money and reduces flexibility.

In the early 1980s, before we started building up for Lahr, the 8CH(PL) in Petawawa was established at 327 all ranks, and manned at 229.

A few years later, in Lahr, we were at 528, all ranks.  We did it by lifting the restrictions imposed on our structure when we needed to.  That's how the system works.

I think of this as an aquarium.  We have had the water mostly taken out, and the remaining fish are doing poorly.  Do we just add water?  Or buy a dog instead, because the aquarium is obviosly failing due to it's antiquated structure?

Tom
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on May 12, 2005, 03:28:04
I doubt, with the limited obligation required of our reservists, that a unit that was a "full strength" battalion would actually be one - I remember my Mo unit, at just over 200 boots, could put a platoon or two on the parade square or the field.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 12, 2005, 09:14:42
TCBF: your mistrust of "good ideas" about Reserve restructure is fully understandable and well-founded. The history of inflicting "good ideas" on the Army Reserve has, unfortunately, often demonstrated that they were not good ideas at all but were actually poorly thought out and harmful. To a great extent, this was (IMHO) due to the imposition of these "good ideas" on the Res with very little understanding of, or input from, the Class A Reserve world. Too often they were dreamed up either solely by Regulars or by a few "token" Reservists who typically had spent years on Class B and C away from the armoury floor and knew not whereof they spoke. These measures were regarded with suspicion and fear by the Res and to a great exent I think were the fuel for groups such as Reserve 2000, etc.

I can see plainly that although we are not fully out of the woods yet, that environment has changed. The role, involvement and voice of Res leadership within the Army (as opposed to standing out on the institutional sidewalk carping) is far, far beyond where it was when I joined the Militia in 1974, or even when I left it in 1982. I believe that this provides certain checks and balances to help guard against excesses such as "Snakes and Ladders", "Op Tasking", "10/90", etc, etc.

Further, it is important that these initiatives be guided by the CLS Intent, but developed by Reservists. This is definitely the case for our two Tac Gp initiatives in 38 CBG. The only RegF person intimately involved in the process was me, in a staff  capacity as "scribe" for the proposals. The development and implementation, and the conduct of the info operations to support the implementation, are wholly Reserve, supported by Honoraries. In fact, in a number of our locations there has been talk for some years of going beyonf tac gp to amalgamation: these Res do see the point of it, and certain advantages.

You are probably correct that in absolute terms, amalgamation would not save much money: only six or eight senior posns per Branch per CBG, which overall is not huge $$ in Class A terms. There is a very important advantage to tac gp and amalgamation: they reduce the pressure to source an inordinate number of COs and RSMs, which is a perennial problem, at least in our Bde. Only a small percentage of the soldiers in the unit have the drive, time and qualities to be good COs and RSMs (the same is largely true in the Reg Army...), but as things stand now we must constantly dip well below the quality line just to fill these slots. I have seen clearly what the results of this can be on a Res unit: disastrous. Reservists come to the unit after a day at work or in school because they are motivated to do so. One of the greatest single motivators is the quality of leadership that they receive that keeps them coming back. If you have filled your senior positions (assuming that you can even fill them...) with the "last men standing", you will probably not get this leadership.

Quote
Simply restrict each present regt to company size, and add a few extra to do 'Local' and away you go.  The kit/accoutrements/tradition aspect of it is a minor administrative price to pay, and cheap dollar wise.  The sub units can function as 'primary role is to provide a lt inf coy trained to level(?), as B Coy, Manitoba Inf Rdy Bn' or some such.  Then, if we decide we need an NBCD Coy, that Regt could raise a second Coy.  Need a CIMIC Coy?  Another Regt gets to raise it.  A building block approach.

This is almost exactly what exists now, across the Army, if we speak in absolute numbers (ie: a subunit should be 100-200 pers) vice apparent structural size: a "battalion" with one or more "mission elements". There is no institutional desire to make the Res smaller: quite the opposite. At the moment, and for the last few months, our recruiting limits have been lifted and we are doing very well in some locations, not so well in others, but overall we are showing progress.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Tango2Bravo on May 12, 2005, 10:00:15
I enter this thread at my peril but here I go anyway.  I served in an Armoured unit in the Reserves from 1989 to 1996.  When I joined we had A Sqn, C Sqn, HQ Sqn and RHQ.  My first Tp had twelve people on the nominal roll, but five were NES and had been so for a year prior to being in my Tp.  They were, in effect, paper soldiers.  On exercise my Tp would be lucky to muster three Iltis and six soldiers, including me.  We were spread so thin that my Tp WO had to drive his own Iltis (with a GMT soldier in the jeep with him).  This extended across the Regiment. 

Several years later the Warrior program and Combat Readiness Evalutions came along like a hurricane.  As we recovered from the Warrior run we were given the warning that we would be evaluated as a Cougar Sqn in a tactical setting in a couple of months.  I sat down with the Ops WO (I was now a Lt on Class B) and started to fill the TO&E for a Sqn to include three Troops, SHQ and an A1 echelon.  By collapsing all three Sqns into one we could field a proper Sqn without any NES troopers filling slots.  The CO took a look at our proposal and we went with it.  We re-organinzed into B Sqn which was split between two locations. There was some grumbling at first but the Sqn worked well and it showed during the evaluation.  In my fourth and last year as Tp Ldr in the reserves I had a full Troop (four crews) who were there for every training event.  I had one factory worker for whom we were flexible about parade nights but he made every exercise and gun camp.  I might end up out on a limb here, but I do think that MGen Vernon transformed the militia in LFCA for the better. 

I think that there is definately merit in having Reserve units focus on fielding one good sub-unit rather than trying to maintain the pretense of a unit.  Perhaps we turn the CBG HQs into Unit HQs and draw the command staff from the units.  It will take some jiggery for the different combat arms units but it could certainly be done.  I worked with a USMC Reserve Battalion and I was impressed with their structure.  It was an honest to goodness Battalion that we would call a Brigade.  It had a large footprint but good cohesion.

I think that some form of tactical grouping is the the way to go.

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on May 12, 2005, 12:40:31
I think that some form of tactical grouping is the the way to go.

...hence my proposal a few pages ago that advocated just this organization.

The more you post, the more I like you 2B.... ;)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 17, 2005, 00:41:16
PBI, Infanteer, and 2B:

 You have converted me from radically opposed to cautiosly optomistic.  I would, however, guard against a 'good' plan being adopted, approved, and contorted so that the un-doing gets undone, but the doing never gets done, if you gets my meanin'.

The Tac Gping is a good idea, but I am unsure on amalgamation.  Perhaps we could Tac Gp similar to the 6 (eventually 4) CMRs in the First War.  I believe many reserve regts contributed to them.  Reform the CMRs - or whatever - as tactical groupings, and retain the current regts.  Did they not form the CIBG in Germany in the fifties like this?  A company each from many units?  I realize that we are looking at a platoon each from many units, but...

If we HAD to amalgamate, I think it might be best to reduce to nil strength the other affected units, rather than amalgamate them.  That would allow an expansion later. 

Is Sam Hughes laughing in his grave?

Tom
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on May 17, 2005, 02:39:26
The Tac Gping is a good idea, but I am unsure on amalgamation.   Perhaps we could Tac Gp similar to the 6 (eventually 4) CMRs in the First War.   I believe many reserve regts contributed to them.   Reform the CMRs - or whatever - as tactical groupings, and retain the current regts.   Did they not form the CIBG in Germany in the fifties like this?   A company each from many units?   I realize that we are looking at a platoon each from many units, but...
This is what is suggested.  A battalion with multiple regiments grouped within it as companies (or possibly even as platoons). 

However, I am still not convinced that we could down-grade all the CBGs to battalions.  Within the Ontario CBGs, I think new groupings would see two to three battalions within each of the existing CBGs.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Tango2Bravo on May 17, 2005, 11:21:39
My experience with the Reserves in LFCA is getting somewhat dated, but 3 to 4 Infantry Battalions, a Recce Regt, an Arty Regt and a Svc Bn seems about right based on what comes out to the annual exercises.  For the non-infantry units this would admittedly mean a wide geographic dispersion. 

This has been stated before, but have one CO/RSM for each tactical grouping and the other "units" have Majs/MWOs in addition to their sub-unit leadership to run the garrison aspects of each armoury.  We'd keep the RSS and daystaff at the armoury locations.  Have one Reserve Bde HQ per Area.  Perhaps the whole LFA concept needs to be looked at as well. 

My next thought is perhaps a little controversial.  I was never very impressed with what we got out of "training" nights.  I might have been warped by my exposure to a USMC reserve battalion but they just had weekends.  This meant that people could travel long distances to keep active.  Some even flew.  If applied to our system, the CO and RSM would not have to live in the same city as the HQ.  Units would have one training weekend a month (which would hopefully be in the field or on the ranges).  The unit day staffs would need to be intimately involved in planning these exercises, but my own experience was just that.  This would also mean that specialists would not need a local unit to join (they could belong to some holding unit in Toronto, Halifax etc).  It would certainly hamper mess life. 

The USMC Reserve battalion that I trained with did not have a mess per se.  They did have an annual mess dinner.  They had an annual training calendar published in advance and they stuck to it.  They also went for annual two week exercises in places like the USMC Mountain Warfare Training Centre in Bridgeport, Bn combined arms live fire training at 29 Palms, amphib training at San Diego and even winter warfare in Norway.  They also deployed as a Battalion for six months during GW I (and probably places since).  The last part would need some legislation to enact in Canada, but the rest is within our power for our Reserves if we ruthlessly prioritize. 

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 17, 2005, 16:41:19
2B:  Because of the very dispersed geography in our Bde (Thunder Bay ON  to Prince Albert SK) we deal with long commutes to units on a pretty regular basis.We have two units that went to parading on weekends for the very reason you mentioned, with only key staff in during weeknights. It is a great way to let a unit (especially in a smaller centre) recruit from a "wide" recruiting area when a "deep" one (like the GTA or Lower Mainland) is not available. It also allows key appointments to come from a wider area.  I think the main reason that it hasn't caught on more in our Bde is just a culture shift issue.

In both our Arty Tac Gp and our CSS Tac Gps, the Gp CO and RSM will be selected from across all three units. They will be "mobile", focusing on "unit"(ie: Group)-level issues and dealing with Bde, while the "DCOs/OCs" in each location will provide local leadership and focus on issues at Lvl 4 and below.

We are not imposing a new level of command-there is still only one level between the btys/coys and the Bde-it is just that now people can focus where they should, instead of having COs and RSMs mired in minutiae.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RCA on May 17, 2005, 17:18:10
   The Arty tactical grouping is simply formally putting in place what was informal before. Instead of 3 CO's informally agreeing to certain aspects of training, it will have 1 CO calling the shots. Moving to weekend trg also made better use of trg time. Being Artillery, we have to trg at Bty level or greater, just by our nature, so grouping the guns was a logical step. As well lineage is with Battery so indiv Regt identity isn't as great an issue.

 The biggest impediments are resistance to change and Regimenatal turf. Before moving ahead these must be overcome, sometimes by strong direction. Some people fight change for the sake of fighting change as opposed to seeing the logic of the matter. Group together or wither on the vine. I see the armoured already moving in this direction (within 38 CBG), but the infantry barley talk to one another.

  As for the way ahead,the Tac Group will be moving into uncharted terroitry because it is the first, but I can say regarless of the nay-sayers, it will never go back to the staus quo.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on May 18, 2005, 02:41:47
What is the general opinion on the scale of these "tactical groupings"?  I tend to think that the existing CBGs should be left in place with the component regiments grouped into fewer battalions.  Others seem to believe that the CBGs themselves should be down graded to Bn size.  A potential middle ground might see the number of CBGs reduced and new Bn groupings being formed inside of these (as an example, Ontario and Quebec could each be reduced to two CBGs of multi-regimental battalions).  I'm particularly intrested in thoughts from some of the others that have spent any time in a CBGHQ.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on May 18, 2005, 09:25:27
I will give you my perspective as COS of a Res CBG after three years on the job. We are somewhat different from other CBGs in some ways, so my perspective may be unique.

It really varies from Bde to Bde, as well as on the circumstances in each Bde. Some CBGs do not need to make this move, and not evey unit necessarily needs to be tac gp. However, in our case, as RCA posted, we had a long history with the Gunners in our Bde so it has been a "natural" move for them. The CSS have not trained together as much, but they have been discussing tac gp/amalgamation for several years now, and they have similar concerns to the Arty. Their tac gp will require a bit more work, but we will have the Arty model  to build on. Tac gp for the Armoured Recce and the Inf hasn't really been looked at yet. We have an interesting form of "tac gp" with our new "38 CBG Fd Engr Sqn": it is being raised inside the FGH in what we call the "incubator option".

At present in 38 CBG we see no need to go beyond Branch-level groupings to a single Tac Gp instead of a CBG: that would be a bit premature IMHO.

As far as the continued existence of the CBGs vice going to a "mega-Tac Gp" or "BG" HQ, I think that while that is certainly possible, CBGs have continued usefulness for three reasons:

-they provide the first level in the Army Res at which there is truly adequate full time trained staff horsepower to plan, develop and coordinate to the degree now required in our Army Res. This horsepower simply does not exist at Res units at present;

-the increasing involvement of the Army Res in Dom Ops (a fully appropriate and necessary move that I support 110%) requires a strong regional command and control capability, as well as the ability to generate forces locally at short notice while maintaining a comprehensive liaison footprint. The Res CBGs are naturals for this, as LFCA recognized some time ago and LFWA is now recognizing under CONPLAN PORTAL; and

-the Res CBG offers a transition point for Res leaders (both offrs and CWOs) from the somewhat narrow "four walls of the Armoury" view of life that tends to prevail at unit level, to the much broader concerns, needs and priorities at CBG, Area and Army levels. I have watched with interest as the eyes of some Class A folks widen as they enter "the Dark Side" and see how big a waterfront the Bde Comd, BRSM and staff cover, how many issues are on the burner, and that the particular private concerns of their own home units are actually NOT the be-all and end-all of the Bde's existence. By encouraging our Class Bs and our Class A's to stay active with their parent units as much as possible, we provide an interchange between the two levels. The issue to me is not just "more braid for the boys": but one of educating and developing our Res ldrs.

Could we get rid of CBG HQs? Yes, probably we could, But, I suggest that we think carefully before doing so, and ensure that whatever we replace them with provides the same positive effects.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on May 18, 2005, 13:22:24
Another way of forcing the move to Tac Groups is the evolution of "task force" structures to deal with the confused securety environment of a "three block war" AKA "full spectrum ops". In LFCA we should start seeing some movement in 06 when the summer concentration changes to reflect "Full Spectrum Ops".

Although I have not seen any official direction, my guess is the composite LIB, AAR, FLG and Artillery formations we have been creating for training purposes will morph into one or two Task Force HQs, which may be Infantry heavy, but have elements of all the arms and services integral to its operation. Since we already stand up and train with the composite formations during the training year, raising a Task Force HQ and training with a composite Task Force during the training year is not a big change.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Tango2Bravo on May 20, 2005, 10:55:15
While I am getting a couple of echelons above my comfort level, I think that a good structure would have four or five Reseve Brigade Groups HQs across the country, each with four or five composite units in them.  The unit and bde HQs would be commanded by reservists but have a heavy infusion of Reg F staff to manage day to day operations.

We may find that the reserve voice in the army actually strengthens.  There would be twenty or so COs and four or five Comds.  They would actually have units and bdes under them.

One lower level question is whether to have combined arms "unit groups" or keep pure units.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on May 20, 2005, 13:28:45
So, we keep a 'social' structure - with all of it's advantages - as we have it now, but train and exercise in a quasi 'mobilization' structure: tac groupings - with all of it's advantages.  Yes?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Horse_Soldier on May 20, 2005, 13:32:09
Another way of forcing the move to Tac Groups is the evolution of "task force" structures to deal with the confused securety environment of a "three block war" AKA "full spectrum ops". In LFCA we should start seeing some movement in 06 when the summer concentration changes to reflect "Full Spectrum Ops".

Although I have not seen any official direction, my guess is the composite LIB, AAR, FLG and Artillery formations we have been creating for training purposes will morph into one or two Task Force HQs, which may be Infantry heavy, but have elements of all the arms and services integral to its operation. Since we already stand up and train with the composite formations during the training year, raising a Task Force HQ and training with a composite Task Force during the training year is not a big change.
LFQA milcon this summer is going to run on a TF basis, with each of 34 and 35 Bde forming an all arms TF (heavy on inf).  Should be interesting.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: old medic on May 24, 2005, 01:05:20

The Tac Gping is a good idea, but I am unsure on amalgamation.  Perhaps we could Tac Gp similar to the 6 (eventually 4) CMRs in the First War.  I believe many reserve regts contributed to them.  Reform the CMRs - or whatever - as tactical groupings, and retain the current regts.  Did they not form the CIBG in Germany in the fifties like this?  A company each from many units?  I realize that we are looking at a platoon each from many units, but...

Is Sam Hughes laughing in his grave?

Tom

Tom, It was very short lived, but your thinking about 27 CIBG, the PANDA brigade for NATO.

I don't know if he's laughing, but it is amusing that M.D.10 (now 38 CBG) did have a Field Artillery HQ to direct it's then 7 artillery
units. Everything old is new again.

OM


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rifleman62 on June 25, 2005, 00:54:58
It was only a matter of time, and the time is now. The Army Reserve needs transformation. We have far too many Reserve units that cannot be sustained. Too many Reserve units that cannot sustain leadership at all levels, especially at the MWO/CWO and Maj/LCol ranks. Unit sucession is difficult. Too many units with less than 75 effective personnel that have a CO, DCO, Adjt, RSM, Trg O, Orderly Room, Unit QM, etc. How many bayonets does that leave? Do we need all this unit infrastructure that we cannot sustain? Our Reserve units have not fought as a unit for over 60 years, and never will ( mobilization is dead, therefore the theory of why we need so many units is dead).In our CBG we have the following in a city of less than 115,000: a Nav Res stone frigrate; an Army Res Inf Bn and Svc Bn; a Coms Res Sqn; and a CFMG Fd Amb.The local area cannot sustain this many units, nor produce the senior leadership. We need to tacticaly group units, and in some cases all the P Res units in location. Why not a LCol or Cdr commanding all five of these units, with one OR, and a  Navy and Army Trg O's.  Sure cuts down on the infransture.  Sure sounds familiar.



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SITUATION
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1.     The current Army Reserve Establishment (ARE) dates back to its implementation date of 1 Apr 00 and provides for 25,585 positions in the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). They were developed through a two-year consultative process and are based on the recommendations of the LFRR task forces, which were reviewed by the LFRR Structure Working Group and Command Consultative Working Group. It has received annual incremental changes through the Army Reserve Working Group (AResWG) and Army Reserve Advisory Group (AResAG) but has not been subject to a fundamental review since its inception.
   1.      Le TÉRAT actuel remonte à sa mise en Å“uvre du premier avril 2000 et fournissent 25,585 positions dans le Système de gestion des ressources humaines (SGRH).  Ces tableaux ont été développés suite à une consultation étendue sur deux ans, ainsi que sur les recommandations du comité d'étude de la RRFT, et ont été révisés par le groupe de travail sur la structure RRFT et le groupe de travail de consultation du Commandement.  Certains changements annuels ont été implantés à travers le groupe de travail de la Réserve de l'Armée (GT RésA) et le groupe consultatif de la Réserve de l'Armée (GC RésA), mais n'ont jamais subi une révision fondamentale depuis leur création.

2.     With the announcement of the Federal Budget 05 and the Defence Policy Statement we know that the intended strength of the Army Reserve for the foreseeable future is 18,500 soldiers. Of this number, 1,100 are allocated to the Medical Reserve (MedRes) and a further 100 are planned to be filled by the Communications Reserve (CommRes) to provide balanced support to a larger Army Reserve.
   2.     Avec l'annonce du budget fédéral 2005 et la déclaration sur la politique de la Défense nous savons que l'effectif envisagé dans le futur immédiat pour la Réserve de l'Armée est de 18,500 soldats.  De ce nombre, 1000 positions sont octroyées à la Réserve Médicale (RésMéd), et nous planifions d'octroyer 100 positions à la Réserve des communications (Rés Comms) afin qu'il nous fournisse un soutien proportionnel à la grandeur de la  Réserve de l'Armée.

3.     The Army Regeneration Plan, the Managed Readiness Plan, and CF Transformation are placing demands on the Army Reserve, the full extent of which is not yet known in sufficient detail.
   3.     Le plan de regénération de l'Armée, le plan de gestion des niveaux de préparation, et le plan de transformation des FC exercent des demandes sur la Réserve de l'Armée dont les détails restent à être précisés.

AIM
   BUT
4.     The aim of the ARE Review is to ensure that the Army Reserve establishment reflects the best mix of units and mission element types, and locations to force generate Reservists to fulfill the Army Reserve role.
   4.     Le but cette révision des TÉRATs est de s'assurer que les établissements de la Réserve de l'Armée reflètent le meilleur mélange d'unités, de type d'éléments de mission et d'emplacement afin de générer suffisamment de réservistes pour remplir le rôle de la Réserve de l'Armée.

METHODOLOGY
   MÉTHODOLOGIE
5.     The review will be conducted on two parallel tracks, the results of each being brought together to produce the revised ARE:
   5.     La révision prendra deux avenues parallèles.  Le résultat de chacune sera combiné à l'autre afin de produire des TÉRATs révisés.
a.   Track 1. An analysis of defence policy documents will provide a precise measure of the CF expectations of the ARE. All Army Reserve roles and tasks must be considered including:
   a.   Première avenue.  Une analyse des documents contenant la politique de la Défense fournira une mesure précise des attentes des FC envers les TÉRATs.  Toutes les tâches de la Réserve de l'Armée doivent être considérées, comprenant :

i.   framework for mobilization;   i.   cadre de la mobilisation;
ii.   connect with Canadians;   ii.   créer un lien avec les canadiens
iii.   expeditionary operations;   iii.   opérations expéditionnaires;
iv.   domestic operations;   iv.   opérations domestiques;
v.   institutional Army Reserve (to include HQs, training, administration, etc); and
   v.   la Réserve de l'Armée institutionnelle (comprenant les QG, l'instruction, l'administration, etc); et

b.   Track 2. An analysis of existing units and mission elements, along with an understanding of where Canadians are best prepared to support Army Reserve units, will help to determine where Army Reserve units and mission elements should best be located.
   b.   Deuxième avenue.  Une analyse des unités et éléments de mission existantes, avec la compréhension des emplacements ou les canadiens sont prêts à soutenir une unité de la Réserve de l'Armée, afin d'aider à déterminer les meilleurs endroits ou les éléments de mission et unités de la Réserve de l'Armée devraient être situées.

6.     With respect to Track 1, stakeholders will assist in ensuring that the task list is complete. With respect to Track 2, stakeholders will contribute to determining the criteria from which we can best understand the suitability of a location to sustain an Army Reserve unit/mission element. Criteria to be applied must be objective and verifiable by all concerned.
   6.     Dans le cadre de la première avenue, les parties intéressées sont sollicitées afin de s'assurer que les listes des tâches sont complètes.  Quant à la deuxième avenue, nous sollicitons la participation des parties intéressées afin de déterminer les critères par lesquels l'efficacité des sites à soutenir un élément de mission/unité de la Réserve de l'Armée sera jugé.  Les critères sélectionnés devront être objectifs et vérifiables par tous.

CONCLUSION
   CONCLUSION
7.     There is no need to reply to this message. This message will be followed, in Jul 05, with a draft directive detailing how the Review will be conducted. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on the methodology and criteria of the Review. It is my intent to table a draft report of the completed ARE review at the 26 Nov 05 CCAG along with deduced recommendations for how to apply the remaining 1500 positions of unallocated LFRR growth (Ph 2c & 2d). The final report recommending the new ARE to CLS should be tabled at the Mar 06 CCAG. Once reviewed, we can expect that the revised ARE will be subjected to further periodic reviews at an interval (3-5 years?) as determined by CLS.
   7.     Aucun besoin de répondre à ce message, car ce message sera suivi, en juil 05, par une ébauche d'une directive déterminant comment la révision sera effectuée.  Toutes les parties intéressées auront l'occasion de commenter sur la méthodologie et les critères utilisés pour la révision.  C'est mon intention d'avoir une ébauche de la révision des TÉRATs complétée pour le GCC du 26 nov 05, ainsi que les recommandations déduites pour la détermination des 1500 positions de croissance RRFT (Ph 2c & 2d) non attribuées.  Le rapport final recommandant les nouveaux TÉRATs au CÉMAT devra être complété pour le GCC de mars 06.  Une fois examiné, nous pouvons anticiper que les TÉRATs révisés seront réviser périodiquement à un intervalle (3 à 5 ans) déterminé par le CÉMAT.

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Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Shannon on June 25, 2005, 12:40:29
The vast majority of good training militia soldiers get comes on Class B & C opportunities when the resources, personnel and time are available. Class A is usually a waste of time and drives away successful people who don't have time or the patience to be at the armoury two or three days a week. Since the CF has no intention of creating effective reserve units such as the US Army National Guard has we might as well face up to it and make it as good an individual force generator as possible.

The Plan

   There are no units as such. There is no Class A service. Individuals join the reserve and are assigned to a trade with available training slots. They undergo intensive training centrally. For example all officer training is "RESO", in this system you don't need a mess sec or CLO. Training "for the armoury floor" is dead.

   Everyone is assigned to a Reserve Centre. This HQ administers the member, conducts bounty training (see below) and sources training and employment opportunities. A centre has no part time rank structure. The staff report to area HQs. Area Battle Schools for junior officers and NCMs are held regularly for each trade. i.e The infantry would get together for three battle schools annually: Winter, Spring and Fall. The emphasis in all would be battle fitness, patrolling and weapons training for 2 weeks. Everyone must attend one battle school annually. Senior officers could attend two week long TEWT/CPXs annually. The centre maintains a web site to keep everyone updated.  Reserve soldiers apart from bounties are only paid Class C.

Promotions are based on qualification (on the same courses as regulars), time in rank, successful attendance at the last two bounty weekends, employment in current rank at four battle schools and recommendation by the OIC Reserve Centre. Operational tours in trade could be substituted for the battles schools. The rank structure would be very flat. Senior Officers would be rare.

  What happens during a domestic disaster and the reserve is called out? The same as happens now. Everyone gets together to see who has showed up and the senior man takes control and we try to get to the disaster in rented buses and pickups. The new name for this ad hoc system is called forming a "task force".

   The reserve is going nowhere if something drastic isn't done to raise the quality of training of it's members. Leadership training and physical standards must be the same as the regulars (which are already low).

     Worrying about footprint in the community, battle honours, the band and mess functions and who's going to command the "Regiment" that's actually 20 good troops, 10 befuddled recruits and 60 hangers on will only lead to more decay. Combine the ludicrous notion of maintaining the structure of 10 brigades with virtually no access to modern AFVs and the failure of being able to hold part timers to any fitness standard and it adds up to a joke.




   * Bounty training: each trained member of the reserve must report to a training area for 1 weekend in May and October annually. They go through a DAG, fire the PWT for rifle, LMG and pistol, TOETs on the other weapons, run the "new army fitness test" (see below) and have a first aid refresher. They are paid a bounty of $ 300 for the weekend and a bounty of $ 1000 for shooting marksman on the rifle and another $1000 for passing the fitness test and scoring in the top 25 percentile on the fitness test march. Tuition assistance is based on attendance at both bounty weekends and a battle school.

    * The New Army Fitness Test: 13 km carrying 35 Kgs of weapon and rucksack in 2 hours and 28 minutes. 100m firemans carry, 40 m sprint in fighting order with rifle in 12 seconds. Unassisted climb over a 2 m wall. This fitness test is designed to discourage the physically inactive from being in the army.


     
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: old medic on June 25, 2005, 12:51:20
There is already 20 pages worth of debate on this issue here:


The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0.html

Reserve Restructure Information on the Web
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,14202.0.html

Reserve Restructure
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,21338.0.html

<This, and the above 2 posts merged in from another thread.>
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on June 28, 2005, 15:03:25
Old Medic: thanks for pointing that out.Alot of electrons have been spilled on this already.

Michael Shannon: I'm just wondering how current and intimate your knowledge of the Army Res is-you seem to have an unrelentingly negative impression. Your profile doesn't give us much indication as to what knowledge base you speak from. There are certainly a number of weaknesses in our Res, but I can hardly imagine that the "slash and burn" approach you advocate, such as was applied to the Militia in the 1960s, would achieve much. Change is required, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater has been too often the Canadian way.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on June 28, 2005, 15:21:24
Michael,
Your proposal seems (as I understand it) to eliminate the PRes (by rolling it into a Sup Res) and then establishing mandatory annual trg for the Sup Res.  Sup Res mbrs would belong to a regional HQ, attend an MLOC weekend twice a year, and attend summer courses.  Does that about sum-up your vision?

* Bounty training: each trained member of the reserve must report to a training area for 1 weekend in May and October annually. They go through a DAG, fire the PWT for rifle, LMG and pistol, TOETs on the other weapons, run the "new army fitness test" (see below) and have a first aid refresher. They are paid a bounty of $ 300 for the weekend and a bounty of $ 1000 for shooting marksman on the rifle and another $1000 for passing the fitness test and scoring in the top 25 percentile on the fitness test march. Tuition assistance is based on attendance at both bounty weekends and a battle school.
Where do you see reservists maintaining all the other essential soldier skills?  Would there still be weekend exercises?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Michael Shannon on June 29, 2005, 04:04:08
     It's a bit beyond a Sup Res because it requires quite a bit from the individual. My proposal is that if the "unit" is simply an individual force generator then the reserve should be optimized for individual augmentation. We should reinforce success: operational tours, battle schools and courses and minimize the drag: non deployable personnel, unnecessary HQs and elements.

    I actually know quite a bit about the reserves and over many years have seen no real movement to reform. There is simply no will to organize the militia into cohesive units capable of carrying out independent missions. That requires the ability to involuntarily mobilize units. It requires access to first line vehicles and equipment. It requires a massive training outlay to catch up on years of neglect.

   After nearly 10 years of LFFR the unit I'm most familiar with has 50% fewer troops and trains less often and less intensively than it did before LFFR started. Things are getter worse not better despite the extra money spent.

   I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on June 29, 2005, 05:19:19
    I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force.

Didn't they try that in the '50's with the end result being a huge flop, driving all the WWII/Korean War vets away?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 29, 2005, 06:53:27
Didn't they try that in the '50's with the end result being a huge flop, driving all the WWII/Korean War vets away?

Ooooohmigawd!  National survival!  <makes signs to ward off evil eye, etc>
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on June 29, 2005, 09:22:59
Michael Shannon: The last part of your post tends more towards what I see as the best course of action: preservation of the unit construct, for all of the benefits that it provides(and there are many), while reducing unsustainable command structure as Rifleman has suggested. Rifleman is very familiar with this concept because in 38 CBG we have already tactically grouped our Arty units under one CO, and are in the process of doing the same for our Service battalions. While our plans specifically state that amalgamation is only a possible option and not a guaranteed outcome, I see it as the best COA in some cases. I have believed this (as did many of my Res peers) since I was a Militia soldier in Toronto back in the '70s and '80s. Amalgamation, if intelligently done, allows us to keep the same presence in our communities, to keep (or even increase) our level of capabiity and strength, and to provide more unity of leadership. Unit traditions and heritage need not be destroyed (see the UK TA approach to this-they amalgamate as often as they change their socks) It also allows us to be more selective as to who will occupy the positions of CO or RSM, as opposed to searching desperately for names to put in the unit succession list, or resorting to other measures that unfortunately tend to result in attrition as a result of poor leadership. Done in a stupid, callous or ill-informed way (as many Res people fear it would be) it would be destructive and disruptive.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 04, 2005, 13:12:13
THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

EVIDENCE

OTTAWA, Monday, June 6, 2005

This was posted today on the Committee's website. The Chief of Reserves and Cadets was giving evidence.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/defe-e/42484-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 04, 2005, 14:28:44
This evidence also has considerable info on housing and PLD.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: linus on October 06, 2005, 21:27:42
home defence
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 14, 2005, 15:14:16
This is from today's National Post.

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=923b66b1-8549-4af7-ba69-a28b6246e336
Quote
What if it happened here?

Thomas S. Axworthy

National Post

Friday, October 14, 2005

Saturday's terrible earthquake in Pakistan once again demonstrated the massive destructive power of natural disasters. The same was true of Hurricane Katrina. In that case, the breakdown of law and order equally demonstrated the perniciousness of human nature.

Order -- the maintenance of rules to prevent anarchy -- is the starting point of civilization. Freedom is not free. It depends on human tolerance and responsibility, and when these collapse, as they did in New Orleans -- with lawless gangs looting and shooting at police -- the state must restore order before it can do anything else. Indeed, the city began to recover only once the National Guard and the regular U.S. military finally arrived.

George W. Bush belatedly recognized the role of the military in emergency preparedness by appointing an admiral to replace the disgraced head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as federal co-ordinator in New Orleans. He also recently mused about the potential need for thousands of troops to quarantine regions of the United States that might be hit by Avian Flu.

What can Canada learn from Katrina and South Asia's earthquake? The lesson has to be that, although Bush and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf were slow to send in their armies, at least they had troops to deploy. Canada's reserves have almost no capacity to respond effectively to a national or continent-wide emergency like Avian flu. We need to invest in our reserves now before such a crisis is upon us.

The militia, consisting of part-time soldiers, were once the backbone of the Canadian military. In the 19th century, the militia fought against American regulars from 1812 to 1814, repelled Fenian invaders in mid-century, fought Louis Riel in 1885 and served as the organizational spine for the great manpower buildups of the First and Second World Wars.

But in the nuclear age, when a war might have been over in hours, the focus changed to well-trained regular forces able to deter aggression, not a potential mass mobilization base.

From being the centre of defence policy, our reserves became a sideshow. In 2000, the army established the Land Force Reserve Project, with a goal of 18,500 reservists by 2005. But, the recent Senate Report, Wounded: Canada's Military and the Legacy of Neglect, reported that by Sept. 1, 2005, the army reserve was only 13,053 strong. More people are leaving the army reserve than are being recruited.

Why is this happening? Approximately 40% of the total reserve force consists of students and another 40% have civilian jobs. The retention rate for students after graduation is poor, and employers do not give civilian reservists adequate time off to train, nor guarantee employment if a reservist is sent on a long mission overseas.

The Senate report also identifies a lack of equipment and training for the reserves. For large weekend exercises, two or three units sometimes fight to use the same equipment.

General Rick Hillier, the most dynamic Chief of the Defence Staff in years, is promising a transformation of the Canadian military. He should start with emergency preparedness and the role of the reserves.

In these regards, we might look to the U.K. The British Territorial army has made emergency preparedness and aid to civil authorities its core functions. We should do the same with the Canadian reserves. The reserves should be manned, trained and funded for homeland emergencies. There should be at least 50,000 in the reserves (and 90,000 in the regular forces), enough to provide boots on the ground in case of emergency.

In the ice storm crisis of 1998, for example, 4,000 reserves were called out in eastern Ontario and Quebec. But the Department of Defence had to rely on American C-17 transports to move them. In a continental Avian Flu crisis, the U.S. may not have transports to lend. We desperately need air and sea lift, and we need it now.

It is especially important that the reserves be trained in nuclear, biological and chemical defence. Containment of contaminants and rapid assistance to help first responders are vital roles.

Moreover, legislation should be passed, as in the United States, ensuring that reservists do not lose their jobs. Indeed, employers should encourage reserve activity, and give them extra benefits, not penalties.

As in the 19th century, we need a large part-time army of volunteers to be available to aid our civilians should disaster strike. Katrina shows that the danger is real. Avian flu may be just around the corner.

In Canada's international policy review, much was made of "the responsibility to protect." The first responsibility of the Martin government is to protect Canadians at home.

Thomas S. Axworthy is chairman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University. ( http://www.queensu.ca/csd/axbio.htm )

© National Post 2005

Yet another key Liberal policy wonk heard from.

I'm not sure that our reserves - as currently structured - could be made ready for emergency response tasks and it all smacks, faintly of national survival, remember that?  Back in the early '60s?  National survival might, I think, have been a worn dagger used to emasculate an effective reserve force; if so it was but one of many.

It seems to me, from afar, I hasten to point out, that our reserves are not organized, equipped or prepared à la the US National Guard.

Is Axworthy on to something or is this just a diversion from the main aim which ought to be to prepare a total force which can conduct a whole range of global missions, including emergency response at home?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on October 14, 2005, 15:50:00
Well Edward, speaking for myself there would be no reason for me to go into the reserve unit here in Guelph the way things are now. This isn't a dig, but  I have to ask myself what exactly would, or could, I get out of being a gun number/ CP wog at 45 years old?...and really, what would they get out of me....deployment factor, zero....sleep in a bag in Meaford factor, zero, etc...
However if there were more "emergency" training as opposed to "war" training I would be more than happy to do it.The problem I forsee is it would take over the aim of the militia and we could become something useless to both sides.....

Am I close?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Craig B on October 14, 2005, 23:33:19
The problem I forsee is it would take over the aim of the militia and we could become something useless to both sides.....

Am I close?

On the button .

I was in on the icestorm and the Militia did pretty well for not having much equipment or " Emergency Training " . We mostly did cleanup work , removing downed trees and helping out civilian's where we could . We left the specialised work to the specialists ( Hydro crews dealt with the powerlines , etc ) .

As for the " potential need for thousands of troops to quarantine regions of the United States that might be hit by Avian Flu. " . Enforcing a quarantine zone ( with the emphasis on _force_ I'm sure ) will not be a  nice photo op, touchie feelie type of operation . ( " Gunner Bloggins , if anyone tries to leave the quarantine zone you will stop them by any means including the use of ....... "  I'll leave the last two words to your imagination's .)

Craig


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ParaMedTech on October 19, 2005, 01:41:57
I think that I'll just point out this article comes from Thomas Axeworthy, not his more infamous brother, Lloyd.

Thomas Axeworthy has had some insightful, and productive, critiques of the CF and our foreign policy over the years.

DF
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on October 23, 2005, 17:50:08
My response to this is that you can only slice the Reserve cake so many ways. The reason for this is the key limitation of time. Under our system (or the UK Territorial System, or the USARNG system...) we only ask for a fraction of a citizen's time. If we start pushing that limit too much, we encounter attrition amongst those (usually older and more settled, with more responsibilities at home and at work) who simply cannot make the time. The USARNG has experienced this to a significant degree as a result of OIF/OEF: enough to cause some considerable worry in the US Army.

So, we only we have so much time to train a Reservist, right? OK; so, the next thing is that we have to decide just what it is we are going to train them to do. In our case (and in the TA and the ARNG, for the most part) this focus has historically been on warfighting. The only exception was a brief period in the late 50s and early 60's during which we tried to focus the Militia onto National Survival (post-strike recovery ops after the Big One). The Militia hated this re-roling and still recalls it in its cultural memory as the "Snakes and Ladders" period because of the training with ladders, rescue tools and block and tackle, etc. Combat training suffered, but that was considered to be OK, since at that time we had largely abandoned the idea that large land forces had much value on the nuclear battlefield.

Is it OK now? Haven't we seen in the last few years, in OEF/OIF, that modern combat operations are VERY people-intensive, and especially in lots of good quality infantry, combat engineers, and combat-capable CSS? If we want a Reserve that can contribute to those typoe of ops, we better train them to be ready.

If, on the other hand, we just want them as an adjunct to the civil emergency services (since Canada no longer has the Civil Defence volunteer organization of the old Cold War), well--maybe that's OK. Let's train them for that, if anyone would care to define just what it is we should teach them.   The only thing is, once you've used up most of their limited time teaching them to fill sandbags and set up food distribution centres, or handle a firehose or rig block and tackle, don't expect much military value out of them without A LOT of re-training, much more, I would submit, than the currently mandated 90-120 days of pre-deployment training.

If we want to raise a Civil Defence force, let's do that, and populate it with willing citizens who don't want to join the Reserve. Or, failing that, they can join their local Red Cross, St John's Amb, police auxiliary or volunteer fire dept (I have done the latter myself).

Using a combat trained force to help out in civil emergencies, as we do with the Army Reserve now, is one thing. In a way, we get to have our cake and eat it, too. Converting the Res to a CD  force might be a turn down a road that we cannot get back from in a hurrry.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mark Antony on October 23, 2005, 18:37:47
pbi,  you are absolutely right.  If there were a formed civil defence force that was either volunteer or paid a small amount for training, I would bet that it might find many people willing to join.  A possibility is to amalgamate all other groups (St Johns Ambulance etc.) into one single national group that works together to common aims.  For those not willing to pick up a rifle, it would be a good opportunity to serve the public.

Reserves should be left in the warfighting role so if something does go bad at least there is a a backup (small as it is) that might make some sort of difference.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: shanks on October 23, 2005, 19:33:03
I cann not speak for the rest of the reserve world but my unit, the West Nova Scotia Regiment (Infantry by trade) are doing a lot of training under the umbralla of the 'three block war' concept. In case there are any that are not very familiar with this, it consists of three very different types of ops taking place in a small area (possibly even all three within one city block)
The three types of operations are: humanitarian aid, peacekeeping and warfighting.

The idea is that all three of these ops will take place in a very small area and likely performed by the same people as you advance.

With this in mind, I think that if we focus on more 'three block war' that we would be able to perform as a short term civil defense force without comprimising our war fighting cabability.

However, as was previously mentioned, we only have so much time available to train and the more things we train to do the less effective we will be. I don't know what the right answer but this is a point to keep in mind

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on October 23, 2005, 19:35:25
"Three-Block War"?  What kinda concept is that?  Who comes up with this stuff?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MasterPrivate on October 24, 2005, 20:45:43
"Three-Block War"?   What kinda concept is that?   Who comes up with this stuff?

Frankly, it sounds made up.  ;)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: FormerHorseGuard on October 24, 2005, 22:59:53
"three block concept" sort of makes sense  but called the wrong thing.

not sure what  it should be called

if you look at current Ops in the middle east  you can see how it can be done or considered

all thoughts are just for thought not policy  or war planning

take a routine patrol 

walking from base camp

first block or so it is very friendly  and very  normal setting, people getting on with being a normal town,  people work, wandering the streets, kids playing in the streets
soldiers stop and chat  exchange information, candy bars, water, smokes, and just meet and greet people , maybe spend a few bucks on stupid stuff they really do not need but it makes the people happy. People up close and personal with the soldiers, low level of danger

second block or middle of patrol zone

people require a little more help and a lot more watching
first aide is offered, food and water supplies are dealt with, people more on the guard for some thing wrong or waiting for it to happen.
less people getting close to the soldiers on patrol. medium level of danger

3rd block or end of range of foot patrol

ememy troops close by, streets are less populated , no one getting close to the troops,  fire exchanged often enough that  troops are more alert, weapons are carried with finger on the trigger guard. more combat damage to the area then in other patrol areas.  more searches conducted for non friendly  persons, weapons, traps etc.


never been in hostile country ( just what  CNN shows)
but i can see how the 3 block training concept could be looked at for training.

not agreeing 100 percent with the idea but with some training is better then no training
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: kincanucks on October 24, 2005, 23:17:00
http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/lf/English/5_4_1_1.asp?FlashEnabled=1&

Three block war.   Perhaps it is time to do a little reading as Transformation is coming.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: FormerHorseGuard on October 25, 2005, 00:49:29
i read it, very  interesting ideas.  i was guessing what  it was like or the concept. guess i got some of it right. just used the wrong terms and  ideas
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 18, 2006, 04:45:16
I believe that hierarchy of roles for the Militia (and the Primary Reserve in general) is extremely important. I do not believe that any attempt to produce a vision for the future of the Army Reserve will stand the test if it does not conform to the direction of the Minister: 1) mobilization, 2) linkage to the community, and 3) augmentation.

In the past, various attempts to define the missions and tasks to be assigned to the Militia have become exercises of "cherry picking", choosing those that were popular at the time, or which were thought to be financially viable, ignoring government policy.
Is mobilization even a realistic roll today?  Maybe domestic mobilization, but the equipment does not exist for Reserve mobilization to fight beside the Regular Force on foreign ops.  I think the augmentation roll is still viable at the individual and up to sub-unit level for both domestic and international operations.  So perhaps the first roll should be "mobilization for domestic operations".  I know that the National Survival roll did not work in the past, but maybe its time has come?

I fully agree with a_majoor in the finding a niche concept.   (I can hear Infanteer cringe)

 Like it or not our system cannot keep functioning in the current manner.   We need to lift the IRU task for domestic ops off the regular force and have a solid local system in place much like the US ARNG.   It makes no sence to ship an Artillery Reg't from Manitoba to BC to fight a fire and likewise for floods and icestorms.

 Local troops shoudl be immediately (within 12hrs) be able to be deployed towards a thread of that nature.   

...

However I think the LFRR must focus on identifiying some units for DOMOPS only - thus they can be tailored for certain roles (WMD taskings etc.)
 
...
I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force. 

If we want local troops to continuously be available at a high notice to move, it is conceivable that we could achieve this with a return to another failed experiment: the 10/90 battalion.  This time, the regular force component would have the additional roll of being the vanguard sub-unit to any local DOMOP.
The 8CH in Gagetown was a 90/10 Sqn. Most that were with them, well it sucked.
We would want to be very careful not to repeat the mistakes made during 10/90, which in LFWA at least seemed to generate boundless hatred and suspicion on both sides as to what wicked purpose the integration process was actually serving. 
So, how could the Forces go about making new 10/90 battalions work? Are there any other ideas that could be included into any such radical transformation?

I saw an argument once (that I jumped in to support) which questioned the need of sustaining every reserve regiment as a battalion.  Instead, a regiment would exist as a company (or 2, 3 , or 4 if big enough).  Battalion head quarters would be "regiment neutral" much like our current brigade HQs.  This approach could be applied to armoured and infantry regiments, and it would ensure no regiment became "lost."
These ideas are compatible with 10/90 battalions (especially if the bn were entirely based in one city).  Consider the Winnipeg Battalion which would consist of Wpg Bn HQ, A Coy (Reg F),  B Coy (Royal Winnipeg Rifles), C Coy (The Queens own Cameron Highlanders of Canada), and D Coy (Winnipeg Grenadiers) [yes, I know the Grenadiers are not currently active].  The FGH could even be an element if the Bn does not have to be branch pure.   The Bn HQ would be a mix of regular and reserve pers.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Journeyman on January 18, 2006, 09:28:55
Once upon a time, I was posted into a Toronto Reserve unit as the "RegF guy."
I looked around and asked why they didn't amalgamate units. I suggested creating a "Toronto Regiment," which still allowed perpetuation of unit histories: a "Rifles Coy" with a "Queen's Own Pl" and a "Royal Regiment Pl," a second company - - a "Scottish Coy" of a "48th Highlander Pl," a "Toronto Scottish Pl," and a "Lorne Scots Pl," etc.....

Man, having those nails driven into your palms and feet really stings! 

Any change that will make a unit more effective (ie - more realistic training) will be supported by the majority of the troops. Most changes, however, face resistance from those that see the Reserves as a social club, the regimental mafias, and to a lesser degree, the Honouraries. They will have to be brought on side, or otherwise de-fanged. Otherwise the Reserves will just go through the motions, figuring whoever is trying to implement the change will be posted on soon, and can be out-waited.

As mentioned earlier though.....this has been posted upon frequently - - with little progress to show for it. Let's see what the March 2006 report has to offer.


(Edited for apparently typing with mittens on)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: rifleman on January 18, 2006, 11:40:37
How do we make anything work? We just do. Set aside the predudice, self-interest and follow the commander's intent and carry out the mission. Unification was fought at all levels by all elements, however now it is embraced as fact. (transformation- unified force with an integrated approach).

10/90s did not work, cause noone wanted it to work.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 18, 2006, 17:46:22
I looked around and asked why they didn't amalgamate units.  I suggested creating a "Toronto Regiment,"
I've heard many arguments on why reserve regiments should maintain thier Bn structures & not be grouped within other regiments in one battalion.  So far, I have not been convinced that it would be bad to have several company sized regiments within one battalion.  I'm even more convinced that this approach would work in big cities, and especially where multiple regiments already reside in the same building. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyRick on January 18, 2006, 18:31:49
I find it interesting that the British army has no problems amalgamating several regiments to form larger multi-battalion units. Some of these regiments are older and have far more history to them than any CDN REGT. However talk about doing that here then all the REGT asociations start whining and things like LFRR don't get taken seriously. Too bad, our loss. Lets continue having 140 man regiments with LT COL as COs and CWO as RSMs...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 18, 2006, 20:44:26
Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on January 18, 2006, 21:41:30
" Lets continue having 140 man regiments with LT COL as COs and CWO as RSMs..."

- Well, if the govt would stop wasting money on (fill in your own choice here) and increase the budget for 'man days' and auth strength for the units, perhaps we could see units of 500 or so.  In the meantime, if we insist on limiting our Mo units to 75 or 150, then by all means form semi-perm Tac groupings to train, but maint the historic Regt structure with it's potential to expand to a much greater size if needed.

Best of both worlds.

Tom
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: rifleman on January 18, 2006, 22:24:26
Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?

yes
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on January 19, 2006, 09:15:41
Are you saying that the 10/90 Bn concept could have been an effective force structure that would have given greater flexibility, efficiency, and/or capability to the Army (or at least to the Army Reserves)?  Or, are you saying  that the 10/90 Bns maybe were not the right force structure, but they could have been forced to work imperfectly if everyone made the effort?

Now rifleman responds with:
yes
So......As MCG asked........Which is it?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: rifleman on January 19, 2006, 10:32:06
I was commenting on how we make things work. It was not to comment on the effectiveness of any commander's decision.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 19, 2006, 11:52:16
I was commenting on how we make things work.
When you suggested that 10/90 did not work because lower levels worked against it, you seem to imply that 10/90 was a good plan that should have been a success.

Consider the emphasis on "effect" that has recently found its way into our manoeuvre command based vernacular.  If the lower levels can see that a plan will not achieve the desired effects, then there should be some constructive criticism pushed back up.

So, I'll re-state my original question: how could the CF go about making new 10/90 battalions improve the overall capabilities of the Regular and Reserve Forces (or at the very least improve the capabilities of the Reserve Forces with out eroding from the capabilities of the Regular Forces)?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 19, 2006, 13:04:46
Quote
So, I'll re-state my original question: how could the CF go about making new 10/90 battalions improve the overall capabilities of the Regular and Reserve Forces (or at the very least improve the capabilities of the Reserve Forces with out eroding from the capabilities of the Regular Forces)?

By adding the bodies necessary for the 10% to existing resources.  By definition your question of eroding capabilities suggests that there are current, existing capabilities to erode.  If they are maintained they are not eroded.

If new resources were ONLY directed to 10/90 (or in the CPC proposal 20/80) battalions/units/task forces then current capabilities could be maintained.  Therefore any capabilities supplied by the 10/90s would be in addition to those supplied by the existing force structure.  In addition, relieving existing force structure of responsibilities would allow them to concentrate efforts on other areas.

However the proposal is not to maintain existing resources for existing capabilities but to increase the resources for existing capabilities while adding resources for the 10/90s.

As to making the 10/90s effective - add resources.  Improved facilities to permit effective local training with qualified instructors.  Improve the equipment base (one of the problems with the 10/90s was the shared equipment sets with only 4 training centres scattered across the country).   The Windsor Armouries seem to be a better model than MTSC Meaford in terms of improving the quality of the Militia.  It allows for useful individual and small unit training.  Meaford is useful for concentrations but then again so are existing Reg Force exercise areas. 

Also improve the quality of the leadership cadre - the Militia doesn't lack for spirit.  It does lack experience.

Rant off. ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 19, 2006, 13:51:32
Although I was never personally in a 10/90 Bn, I recall at the time that 3 RCR was all over the map in terms of preceived utility and effectiveness, even from people serving in the unit itself! Even today, talking to former 3 RCR members from the 10/90 period, there is a wide range of assessments.

My take on this was the powers that be were trying to create an actual mechanized battalion with a "Swedish" style structure. Most Swedish units are similar to a 10/90 battalion, a small full time cadre lives and works in a warehouse like base going through the equipment maintainence cycle, and for two weeks a year the actual riflemen fall in on the kit and roar off into the woods. Since the Swedes make this work with fairly advanced equipment (Leopard II tanks, CV-90 IFVs, FH-70 artillery etc.) there does not seem to be any conceptual reason we could not do this either. In fact, since our Reserves have more continuation training during the year than either the Sweds or the US ANG, they should be able to do amazing things given the right support.

Back in the real world, the lack of equipment "sets" to support training and the administrative headaches (administrivia like who wears what cap badge to intigrating multiple pay systems to imagining how you would mobilize a battalion made up of 90% reservists who have no job protection....) probably did more to kill the concept than any inherent problems with the concept. Today I could se a 10/90 or 20/80 Bn of light Infantry, with most of the 10 or 20 going to support coy where training and experience counts the most, but until the resource and administration "friction" is addressed, no fractional unit will ever be able to work.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 19, 2006, 15:04:06
If new resources were ONLY directed to 10/90 (or in the CPC proposal 20/80) battalions/units/task forces then current capabilities could be maintained.
I tend to think that if new resources are ONLY directed to creating 10/90 battalions, then we would be neglecting existing deficiencies of the regular force in order to create these battalions.  If you intended to say that ONLY new resources are directed to 10/90 battalions, then I would agree that such a move would not erode from the regular force structure (not the same as regular force capabilities).

While it was not my intent to dissect the Conservative proposal, I think you have identified one element that would be required for 10/90 that did not exist in the previous experiment: political support to grow the structure (not just re-allocate from existing structure).

Today I could se a 10/90 or 20/80 Bn of light Infantry, with most of the 10 or 20 going to support coy where training and experience counts the most,
If the intent of the 10/90s is to be firefighter battalions, this would likely be the be one of the best options.  Far better than a regular force rifle company sitting outside the managed readiness cycle.  Sure, it does not provide for the high readiness vanguard sub-unit.  However, this would ensure that capable CSS support for a unit would be available in the location of the 10/90 Bn (able to support regular IRU troops or local reservists) & that the local CO would know how to use it (this was an occasional frustration on PEREGRINE where CSS did not seem to be understood at the unit level).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Tango2Bravo on January 19, 2006, 15:47:32
Like AMajoor I was not in a 10/90 Battalion but I was in the Reserves at the time (early/mid 90s).  I worked at District (then CBG) for a year after the 10/90s had been stood down and at least one former 10/90 unit was in our District.  This unit seemed to be "stronger" at the time than those that had not, but perhaps there were other reasons. 

The 10/90 concept took advantage of the removal of regular force units from 4 CMBG and their subsequent draw-down.  This was during the big cuts of the time and it allowed for these units to be kept on the books without having alot of soldiers.  The infantry 10/90 Battalions were then reconstituted in 1995/96 (in my recollection) as part of the modest increase in "bayonets" at the time (the RCD also got a C Sqn for a brief time again).  This took away the pool of people that had been assigned to the 10/90s in the first place.

I think that the 10/90 concept could certainly work.  A modified concept could be the one that I witnessed with a USMC reserve battalion.  It was a honest to goodness battalion with full companies to include unit level CS and CSS.  It had many active duty Marines on staff, including a LCol.  Each company had a Captain, the equivalent of a CSM, several NCOs and also several CSS personnel.  This meant that planning and coordination for unit training was carried out the full-timers, although the senior reserve leaders were certainly involved.

We could adopt a similar model, but it would take an investment of regular force NCOs.  Sgts and WOs are in pretty short supply and are needed in lots of places!  In addition, to really work it would probably require a re-examination of having units with one sub-unit.  Looking at Ontario, LFCA could probably generate three or four such units.  This would give an improved Dom Ops response capability while also, perhaps, offering the possibility of a "surge" capability.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bobbyoreo on January 19, 2006, 17:08:41
I know this has been said, but you need to have job protection. People always say well no one is going to higher you if you have to go away. I've done it twice and held a job.

Next get some standards, ONE standard and keep it ...at least for a year!!! Then train the unit for what it well be doing on tours. Not for what it may do. Train them to the same standard as the Regs. It can be done, just need the proper leadership to do this. Then send them away as a plt or company and let them work together or with other groups. Make units more useful...IE  constrution engineers, grunts, MSEOPS, V TECHs and other civy jobs that the forces need. I know being a grunt is not a civy job, but it is low cost training. Dont need millions of bucks to train people to shoot.

We all know the equipment is not there, so train around this problem. I know my unit was told to ship away the Iltis, two months later after not getting the G wagons they asked for the old jeeps back to do some driver training.

These are just a few ideas. I know with a few of you, your rolling your eyes, but I've served in the reserves for 9 yrs and have watched good people leave cause the training is going down the drain. Now all I see is kids coming in for some money to use towards school. Not really caring if they show up next weekend or not. We really have to sit down and find out what you want these units to do and then train them for that.

My two cents!!! :cdn: :salute:

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on January 19, 2006, 20:26:59
From anecdotes, I came to believe that the junior soldiers and officers responded well to 10/90 because they responded well to being led and trained by experienced full-time officers and NCOs.  If there was lukewarm to negative response, it seemed to reside in the middle and senior rank levels.  Is there anyone who was directly involved at the time who can reinforce my perception one way or the other?

If that perception were borne out, then 10/90 or some other fractional arrangement might be the most successful reserve restructure we never really tried, provided we could afford the full-time staff and the equipment pools.  In the end, while some of the part-time middle and senior leadership at the time of initiation might be shunted aside, it would be reasonable to expect the next crop of reserve leaders to be at least a little bit better for having been trained by, and worked alongside, a sizeable critical mass of regulars.

The train wreck I observed from a distance was that at least one reserve unit dumped a portion of its middle and senior rank levels which were felt (rightly or wrongly, I don't know) at the time to be unnecessary and underperforming, and then was in turn dumped from 10/90 when the battalion withdrew - taking with it not a few component transfers, and supposedly leaving with a slightly more complete CFFET than it brought to the party - leaving the unit shorter of soldiers, leaders, and kit.  Note that the only decision I criticize was the one to prematurely eject the former senior leadership; component transfers are a valuable source of already-committed soldiers and it is axiomatic that the deployable forces have first call on deployable kit.  The lesson is that if we try it again, we must stand behind it for a decade or more rather than changing fashions with the next change of government or senior NDHQ appointments.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 20, 2006, 01:27:17
Then train the unit for what it well be doing on tours. Not for what it may do.
Would we start deploying reserve battalions if they were 10/90?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bobbyoreo on January 20, 2006, 09:55:49
We should be. Why would we train anyone in the forces if we never planed to deploy them? LIke buying a car and never driving it!!!!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 20, 2006, 11:26:47
We don't deploy reserve battalions now, but individual reservists still get deployed.

This gets to another question.  What is the roll/function of a 10/90 battalion (in relation to domestic operations, international operations, and force generation)?  Is to to provide better trained soldiers & sub-units to augment regular force deployments, or is it to proved a battalion sized surge capability?  Should a 10/90 battalion be providing the vanguard sub-units to IRU calls within its AO, or should we continue to generate that vanguard from the regular force while expecting the 10/90 Bn to provide the comd & CSS to the vanguard and then add follow-on sub-units from itself?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 20, 2006, 14:42:00
We don't deploy reserve battalions now, but individual reservists still get deployed.

This gets to another question.  What is the roll/function of a 10/90 battalion (in relation to domestic operations, international operations, and force generation)?  Is to to provide better trained soldiers & sub-units to augment regular force deployments, or is it to proved a battalion sized surge capability?  Should a 10/90 battalion be providing the vanguard sub-units to IRU calls within its AO, or should we continue to generate that vanguard from the regular force while expecting the 10/90 Bn to provide the comd & CSS to the vanguard and then add follow-on sub-units from itself?

In the context of the Conservative idea, a 10/90 battalion (actually a 20/80) would exist as a DOMOPS force, but would also provide a cascade effect for the other tasks that the Army is expected to do. I would expect that (given the size) the 20/80would be the vanguard and be able to provide command and CSS to follow on forces arriving from other places. The soldiers in the 20/80 would do both MLOC training to maintain their soldiering skills, as well as contingency training for the various tasks they may undertake in the AOR (some of which would be quite military in nature, in case you are thinking of "rescue columns" again).

The Regular troops would have a breather from operations while posted in the 20/80, and be better off in other ways (spouses in cities will have a better chance of getting employment, for example), while once the Reserve soldiers ended their Class "B" contracts, they will be at a higher level of training if they want to augment a TF, or provide a better level of skill and leadership back in their parent units. For that reason, it might be wise to limit contracts to one year and encourage a flow of reserve troops through the 20/80 (although not a mass turnover of 50% or more).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 20, 2006, 14:55:45
So, you are assuming the Total Force Battalion would consist of all full-time reservists?  Could this unit still do both the vanguard (12 hr NTM) and CSS to a full unit if the reserve companies were part time?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bobbyoreo on January 20, 2006, 15:03:30
If we had Job protection ...you could do 12 ntm....just like the states!!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on January 20, 2006, 15:50:45
The Regular troops would have a breather from operations while posted in the 20/80...
Some posters on these forums would argue that the Reg F neither need nor want a breather from operations, DOMOPS included.

it might be wise to limit contracts to one year and encourage a flow of reserve troops through the 20/80 (although not a mass turnover of 50% or more).

Staggered 2 year contracts would ensure there isn't a mass turnover every year.  Properly using the CFPAS would allow units to cut low performers after one year or grant high performers a year extension (to a max of three years).

So, you are assuming the Total Force Battalion would consist of all full-time reservists? 

Then it may as well be Reg F.

If we had Job protection ...you could do 12 ntm....just like the states!!

Hasn't happened.  Ain't gonna happen.  Canadian business and industry has not and will never support the idea.  Get over it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bobbyoreo on January 20, 2006, 16:51:01
Hasn't happened.  Ain't gonna happen.  Canadian business and industry has not and will never support the idea.  Get over it.


Never been asked. One or two companies. Every company I've ever worked for in Winnipeg supported me when on tour. I've never seen one paper passed to see if it was what people wanted. Most companies dont even know what reserves are.

If anyone has any proof on this matter....it would be nice to see. I've looked everywhere and never seen any work or papers on Job protection for the reserves.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on January 20, 2006, 17:09:52
Never been asked. One or two companies. Every company I've ever worked for in Winnipeg supported me when on tour. I've never seen one paper passed to see if it was what people wanted. Most companies dont even know what reserves are.

Since your profile is somewhat lacking in detail, I cannot speculate as to your unit, expereince or your employer.  Maybe you're senior enought to be able to do it or have union protection through a strong collective agreement.

In any case, consider yourself lucky.  I know many Reservists who have had to choose between the Reserves and their civvy job.  Some lost their jobs because their employers didn't want divided loyalty in the business.   At least two I know personally were fired when they approached thier employers for time off.  Another was told he was disqualified from seeking employment with ************** as he "already had an employer".

If anyone has any proof on this matter....it would be nice to see. I've looked everywhere and never seen any work or papers on Job protection for the reserves.

For starters use the "search" function.  Then chat with someone from CFLC and ask about thier collective experiences with legislation as well as their successes/failures with voluntary employer support.

There is recently enacted job protection for Reservists who are called out during an emergency. (If you volunteer, however, you are NOT protected.)  This requires that the government pass an Order in Council.  The chances of that happening are historically slim to none.  Maybe under a Conservative government.....?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 20, 2006, 17:17:27
Perhaps the entire battalion doesn't have to be at 12 NTM.   Perhaps a dedicated sub-unit, on rotation.  Or something like the Royal Marines where their old Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre were double-hatted as instructors and also the Brigade Recce element.  Perhaps some of the reservists could be equipped with pagers like Volunteer Firemen for callout. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dutchie on January 20, 2006, 17:29:02
I'm enjoying this discussion, but thought I'd add a side note re:job protection for reservists.

Job protection for reservists would be a double-edged sword. Sure, you'd have a job to come back to, but you also may be denied employemt in the first place if the employer knows your a reservist. I understand that this happens regularly in the US. If you are employed by the Canadian Fed Gov, you will not only likely be able to go and keep your job, but you will get all of your raises upon return.

Employers are funny people, and entreprenuers are even funnier - they don't like to be told that they HAVE to hold a job for someone who goes on tour of their own volition.

I myself had no problem holding my job when I went on tour, but some of my buddies did. I kept my employer informed right from the point that I put my name in. I had a job to come back to, and they even gave me a raise/promotion upon return. BTW, I wasn't working for the Gov either.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Bobbyoreo on January 20, 2006, 17:47:40
I know about the USA's problem with it as I have a buddy who was working with Target...went away ,..came back and was given a lower job.
I do know of problems. ie Might not get a job, might not get the same job when I get back. I know of the problems, but we are not the USA are deployments are not the same as theirs. The US still gets their men and women to join and even with the fact that job protection is not 100%.

I've USED the SEARCH button....I'm not that slow big guy. I'm looking for a piece of paper...proof that the government even asked people if this was a good idea....or was it just a person saying ...naaa..won't work. As that is what I think it is.

Didn't know I had to add all my jobs on this site....by bad. Ill try and fix that one up.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on January 20, 2006, 19:13:25
The US still gets their men and women to join and even with the fact that job protection is not 100%.
American society is more historically supportive of their military and, IMO, far more patriotic.

I'm looking for a piece of paper...proof that the government even asked people if this was a good idea....or was it just a person saying ...naaa..won't work. As that is what I think it is.

Then talk to your CFLC rep.

Didn't know I had to add all my jobs on this site....by bad. Ill try and fix that one up.

You don't have to but it helps other participants appreciate the level of training, experience and life skills that you bring to the forums.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 20, 2006, 20:57:27
Perhaps the entire battalion doesn't have to be at 12 NTM.   Perhaps a dedicated sub-unit, on rotation. 
Yes.  That lead sub-unit is referred to as the vanguard.

Then it may as well be Reg F.
Your right.  However, I think it is a waste of resources to have a full time battalion (regular or reserve) that has as its sole roll the DOMOPS.  Generally, all that is required of an IRU sub-unit is manual labour (not a skill set which would warrent a full bn trg full time to prepare for).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 21, 2006, 02:28:56
Yes.  That lead sub-unit is referred to as the vanguard.
Your right.  However, I think it is a waste of resources to have a full time battalion (regular or reserve) that has as its sole roll the DOMOPS.  Generally, all that is required of an IRU sub-unit is manual labour (not a skill set which would warrent a full bn trg full time to prepare for).

Although I am not 100% for the Conservative DOMOPS battalion idea, there are some elements worth examining. DOMOPS encompasses a wide range of potential tasks, and I am fairly sure the proposal was this unit was there to assist in all contingencies, from an Ice Storm to an FLQ type crisis. (Nukes and WMD mean all bets are off). After MLOC, soldiers in these batalions would be training up for various contingency plans, and I am presuming this is a full time formation so they do have the time to do lots of contingency training. Like I said, this can flow through into the P Res units which feed the DOMOPS Bn, so provides a source of junior leaders and instructors. Perhaps a 500 man 20/80 is a bit much, if they are to be the Vanguard, Command node and CSS backbone for the local units and arriving Regular Force units to rally around, then a 50/50 of about 200 men might do.

WRT job protection, most people are either in the collectivist mind set (you WILL do this for the greater good), or the military mind set (you WILL do this), without looking at this from the employer's perspective. There must be some sort of immediate compensation for the loss of a valuable(?) employee, particularly for prolonged periods. We can speak of long term benefits about training and experience, but the employer needs to meet his quarterly targets, and might not see how letting Bloggins go on course or deployment helps HIM in either the short long term. Probably the simplest idea I ever came across was to offer employers a tax credit for every servicemember they employed. If the credit was matched to the soldier/employee's salary, there would be less incentive to keep the guy in the mail room or drop him in seniority after deploying.

Of course we shoot ourselves in the foot on a regular basis; courses cancelled or amended at the last minute and other administrative nightmares leave the poor soldier stranded (after negotiating time off months in advance) and the employer looks at the CF as a totally cluster f****d organization, not worth supporting or thinking about.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on January 21, 2006, 03:42:56
I'm enjoying this discussion, but thought I'd add a side note re:job protection for reservists.

Job protection for reservists would be a double-edged sword. Sure, you'd have a job to come back to, but you also may be denied employemt in the first place if the employer knows your a reservist. I understand that this happens regularly in the US. If you are employed by the Canadian Fed Gov, you will not only likely be able to go and keep your job, but you will get all of your raises upon return.

Employers are funny people, and entreprenuers are even funnier - they don't like to be told that they HAVE to hold a job for someone who goes on tour of their own volition.

I myself had no problem holding my job when I went on tour, but some of my buddies did. I kept my employer informed right from the point that I put my name in. I had a job to come back to, and they even gave me a raise/promotion upon return. BTW, I wasn't working for the Gov either.

This is a good point.

I am aware of an entrepreneur here in Edmonton who had a reservist as a clerk in his company. She went to Bosnia, and he held onto her job, staffing it with temps and lower quality transient employees in order to keep her job for her when she came back. He said he thought it was his duty - the same as paying taxes or voting. She came back, worked for 3 months, went on maternity leave and quit the day her benefits ran out. He is now understandably leery of hiring reservists. He loves the idea, but this is the third or fourth one that has left hime swinging in the breeze after he went to alot of time, money and effort to accomodate them. This is a pretty big deal in a company of less than 20 employees. If reservists had legislated job protection, I doubt he would ever hire another one.

Different members of my extended family run their own companies too, and they all have a "golden staffing rule" No women under 40, men under 20, or anyone who thinks they can just work a few weeks when they need the money. Not very enlightened, but as a small business owner, you cannot run a business when your employees are rotating in and out on someone elses time table.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on January 21, 2006, 08:38:22
If reservists had legislated job protection, I doubt he would ever hire another one.

Around the time of Gulf War 1, a friend of mine ran a small company in Ottawa (he's retired now).  Even though he has no military experience, he hired just about every Reservist/ex Reg that has applied (some didn't have the requisite job skills).  He adored the discipline, work ethic and team attitude they bring to his shop. That being said, the prospect of job protection legislation scared the heck out of him.  Although he supported his guys, he was afraid that 1/3 of his workforce could be ordered to pack up and go.

you cannot run a business when your employees are rotating in and out on someone elses time table.

Which is what happens in the US. Granted, they are at war (so are we, but that's a topic for another thread) but in many cases an employee is now on his second or third tour in four years.  That's a lot to ask of even the most fervently patriotic employer.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 21, 2006, 13:53:56
This is the reason that I have difficulty accepting that "Foreign Service" should be anything other than a Reg Force commitment, with supplementation from individuals in the Militia that are willing and able to make a similar commitment, even if it is for a limited duration. 

Volunteers, Regular and Militia, paid for out of the public purse are a budgeted expenditure. It doesn't come as a shock to the treasury, or to the economy at large.  It is planned.

On the other hand taking a bunch of Militiamen that are contributing to the economy out of that economy can have dire consequences.  It doesn't make sense to me to plan to routinely pull 400 to 500 bodies out of a local economy and despatch them to places unknown.

BUT.  It does make sense, when the local economy is disrupted and needs to be put back on firm footing as quickly as possible, to take those same 4 or 500 bodies ( who can't go to work in any case) and put them to work in getting their community back to normal as quickly as possible.

A solid core of planners, trainers and enablers (don't just love the jargon ie Regs) available full time, coupled with a central core of B and C callouts working 10 to 40 hours a week on training and maintenance (as well as being at x NTM for Vanguard duties along with the local Regs), coupled with a large body of Class As that are able and willing to perform when ably led seems to me to be a reasonable use of public funds and available PYs.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MikeH on January 22, 2006, 03:07:24
Well if your worried about a job when you come back. Get a good education a degree or trade.Something that will not limit you too one employer.Working at a place that doesn't give you a qualification of some sort is a waste of time I think.It does help if you have a good union,I'm in the boilermakers union yes its a trade. But it pays good and when I want to go on tour. I'll have a job when I get back.I think reservists have to pick civvy jobs carefully.The civvy world doesn't care about military..CONSERVATIVE.. will hopefully help us.Right now its 1 man 1 kit. ;)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 24, 2006, 03:39:15
DOMOPS encompasses a wide range of potential tasks, and I am fairly sure the proposal was this unit was there to assist in all contingencies, from an Ice Storm to an FLQ type crisis.
a_majoor,
About the only DOMOPs roll that could justify a Bn in full-time trg is aid-to-civil power.  Do we need full time battalions in every major city for the event that they need to be employed against the citizens?  I think that is a waste.  The likely needs can be met by part-time pers, and there are enough regular force if we ever need to call on this.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 25, 2006, 00:43:29
a_majoor,
About the only DOMOPs roll that could justify a Bn in full-time trg is aid-to-civil power.  Do we need full time battalions in every major city for the event that they need to be employed against the citizens?  I think that is a waste.  The likely needs can be met by part-time pers, and there are enough regular force if we ever need to call on this.

Which is why I am not 100% for the full blown 20/80 Bn idea. A 200 some odd 50/50 would be a fine compromise, able to serve as a command node and support element for the arriving IRU and follow on forces. The remainder of the time can be split between MLOC, contingency planning/training and perhaps providing continuation training or support for the local P Res units (many P Res units have support issues, so there is a good training fit there).

We need to get out of the box and look around some more, maybe there is something which can be made of the Conservative's notion (besides unintentionally funny interviews of Paul Martin trying to explain election ads), or maybe not.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ParaMedTech on January 26, 2006, 00:41:00
Several pages ago Mr Sallows asked if there was anyone here with first-hand experience of the 10/90 experiment, and I’ve got to say that I was there.  I’d kind of tuned this thread out, and hadn't noticed the topic come up. The experience was mixed, I suspect, for all parties, but I’ll tell what I can recall; It’s a worms-eye view, for sure. 

I was the only Pte in the 10, on Cl C from the tour to nowhere.  I went there from 1RCHA, after the tour was scrubbed in September/October.  We’d spent the time from May to August working up with 3VP in Dundurn before splitting up for Winnipeg and 2VP and Shilo with 1RCHA.

In addition to the workups, I participated in several exercises with the 39CBG units that comprised the 90, including Cougar Salvo.  Fundamentally, I think Mr Sallows is correct, the reserve NCMs and jr leadership greatly benefited from, and enjoyed, the chance to work under professional, full-time, been there done that leadership.  All of the training was to a higher standard.  NBC?  Taught by a man who’d been slimed in the post-gulf war cleanup.  Range Ex?  Bring the Snipers.  Comms course?  We had full time Jimmies, techs and operators.  Maintenance was better, scales of issue were excellent.  We had a Res Tow pl, Recce, Mortar, and Pioneer capabilities.

We had 2 full time medics in the Btn, and 6 ambulances, 2 ML with trailers, 2 Ilti, and an LS for the UMS, to be staffed by 11 and 12 Med Coys. I can’t really speak to what the rifle coys had, except during the workups when I was lumped in with R West Regt and the Engineers and additional odds and sods, but it was the first, and last, time anyone asked me accomplish anything in NVGs, or do a crack-thump range, or get in really top-notch shape, or run with a ruck (gasp!)

Several other reservists were on Cl B or C at the Btn, many ended up Reg F, but lots of others went over after the tours were cancelled, or the seeds were sown for it then.  Most Res units involved had a high number of CT’s afterward, and most were solid, long-serving reservists.

Now, I understand that the Reg F 10% viewed this as a slow, lingering career death, but I can’t really speak to that.

DF

Edit:  I just want to add, for fairness sake, that several members of 3VP stayed in the lower mainland, and I still see one or two on occasion in uniform.  Since this experiment ended 10 years ago, that's not too bad.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on January 26, 2006, 12:48:18
Which is why I am not 100% for the full blown 20/80 Bn idea.
I would propose that the 10/90 or 20/80 (or something in between) makes more sense when its purpose is to raise the training standard within the reserves.  DOMOPS would certainly be a task of a 10/90, but it would not be the end-all/be-all of it. 

As mentioned above, such a 10/90 organization would be complimentary to proposals (seen in the Reserve Regimental restructure thread) to combine multiple coy sized regiments within one battalion structure.  The HQ & HQ Pl could be a 50/50 structure, the Admin Coy could be a 80/20 structure, and the rifle coys could just see a reinforced RSS manning.  This would allow the reserves to start better developing battalion level staff (with field experience at that level) outside of the summer concentrations.

Every DOMOPS capability, that might be gained from a DOMOPS focused 50/50 company, could also be gained from a 10/90 battalion that was primarily part-time.  However, that same 50/50 company would not provide a comparable trg benefit as a 10/90.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Thucydides on January 26, 2006, 13:16:30
Which is why I am not 100% for the full blown 20/80 Bn idea. A 200 some odd 50/50 would be a fine compromise, able to serve as a command node and support element for the arriving IRU and follow on forces. The remainder of the time can be split between MLOC, contingency planning/training and perhaps providing continuation training or support for the local P Res units (many P Res units have support issues, so there is a good training fit there).

I would propose that the 10/90 or 20/80 (or something in between) makes more sense when its purpose is to raise the training standard within the reserves.  DOMOPS would certainly be a task of a 10/90, but it would not be the end-all/be-all of it. 

As mentioned above, such a 10/90 organization would be complimentary to proposals (seen in the Reserve Regimental restructure thread) to combine multiple coy sized regiments within one battalion structure.  The HQ & HQ Pl could be a 50/50 structure, the Admin Coy could be a 80/20 structure, and the rifle coys could just see a reinforced RSS manning.  This would allow the reserves to start better developing battalion level staff (with field experience at that level) outside of the summer concentrations.

Every DOMOPS capability, that might be gained from a DOMOPS focused 50/50 company, could also be gained from a 10/90 battalion that was primarily part-time.  However, that same 50/50 company would not provide a comparable trg benefit as a 10/90.

If the 50/50 is considered as part of the overall Reserve Brigade structure, then it could represent a concentration of effort brigade wide to improve training, support DOMOPS etc. Indeed if we looked at a Brigade as a 10/90 or whatever structure, then it would make more sense to roll the Regular Force staff together to provide the horsepower in a few key areas, and use these as "pivot points" around which we improve training, streamline administration, conduct higher level planning and so on. There is a whole world of possibilities opening before us, but we have to get out of the "perpetuating the units of the CEF" box to take full advantage of them.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 26, 2006, 13:50:27
a-majoor and MCG:

Agree with both of you 

Especially this:

Quote
There is a whole world of possibilities opening before us, but we have to get out of the "perpetuating the units of the CEF" box to take full advantage of them.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: 3rd Horseman on January 26, 2006, 20:03:39
I have found that having the Reserves as part of reg formations was the best end result.

  My example would be the Guns for that example when 3RCHA would train it would expect that the 4th Bty would be the reserve unit that would flush out the regt to 4 full Btys. We all gain benefit from this relationship. It would be reasonable to expect that if the Unit was rotated to War or Ops then the 4th Bty would go or flush out the shortages in the other three. The only place that this would break down would be with Reserve units that are too far away from Reg formations to make it log reasonable. To try and build the Reseves on there own as stand alone units and formations is a flawed strategy.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 27, 2006, 11:32:06
As a general comment, I believe that the climate for thinking about real change is here. My impression is that most of the people in the Army Reserve today are far more operationally oriented,  and enjoy a much better relationship with the Regular Army, than was ever the case in previous decades. They are also far more used to being part of the big picture than was the historic case. I have personally experienced that Res leadership is ready to consider, develop and implement real change, even in the teeth of rabid defenders of the status quo who depict themselves as the "Friends and Protectors of The Militia". So, the mental climate exists, now.

I think  a  discussion of first principles and fundamentals needs to precede any discussion of what technical structure or detailed roles the Army Res will eventually take on. In other words, the "Why" before the "What". A few caveats for such a discussion:

-Stay the hell away from a "Dom Ops" focus. There is IMHO a huge risk that this will bite us in the *** someday, big time. Our own experience with Snakes and Ladders, and the sorry state that the USARNG descended into pre-Gulf War I, should be strong reminders to stay focused on soldiering. We respond to domestic emergencies as a secondary function of who and what we are. Get too "stuck in" to Dom Ops and we will find it is a tar baby that prevents us from doing what we need to do to be soldiers. If Canada needs a reserve of volunteer emergency workers for domestic response, maybe it should bring back the Civil Defense, or raise an Auxiliary Fire Service as the UK did in WWII, or something along those lines;

-Trim Res command structure, but maintain numbers of troops and community presence. Call 100 troops a squadron battery or company, but keep it healthy, and let it establish outlying sub-units. IMHO there are very few Res CBGs in Canada where the current command structure can actually be sustained without far too many examples of retreading, rebadging, under-ranking or employing the utterly unsuited and undeserving to lead our citizen soldiers. There are just too many positions for the available stock of leaders, so "last man standing" is far too often the deciding criteria. One CO and one RSM for every 500 soldiers (let's say...) would not only introduce some possibility for selectivity, but would also provide a sufficiently large "breeding stock" to produce the leaders we need;

-Stop tip-toeing around the idea of amalgamation. A number of the Res units on the order of battle today are themselves products of amalgamation. The UK TA has done it frequently for decades. For the great majority of Res soldiers (IMHO) the pain would be brief if the issue were managed properly;

-Examine why we have so many units in communities that cannot support them now, have not supported them for decades, and whose ability to support them in the future is declining. Thunder Bay and Regina are two examples that come to mind. Each has at least five Res units of various types, (all of them struggling), against a declining demographic;

-Consider whether or not full time duties in units really have to be done by Regulars. The USARNG does not do this. Why should we? Is the shortage of Regulars to fill full time positions a limitation we should accept as ironclad? Some Regulars are of great value, no doubt, but shackling the improvement of the Army Res to the manning capability of the Regular Army may not be the best way to go. I have had the pleasure to work with some full time Res officers, WOs and NCOs who were easily as capable (if not better...) than anybody I ever met in the Regular Army.

In the end, it can no longer be about cap badges and preservation of the past at all costs: that is the job of a museum, not a living military force that has to deal with the real world. We have to salvage the strengths in the Army Res, but consider what is the best way to generate a healthy, sustainable Res that is not just a bunch of cut-rate emergency responders or a "puppy mill" for the Regular Army.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dutchie on January 27, 2006, 14:33:46
-Stop tip-toeing around the idea of amalgamation. A number of the Res units on the order of battle today are themselves products of amalgamation. The UK TA has done it frequently for decades. For the great majority of Res soldiers (IMHO) the pain would be brief if the issue were managed properly;
This has to be done very carefully if we hope to maintain regimental pride, esprit de corps, etc., but it CAN be done, IMHO. A number of regiments today were created as an offshoot of another regiment. The Candian Scottish and the Seaforths are an excellent example. The CScotts were created from the men and officers of the Seaforths. Only later did they become the Canadian Scottish. You could amalgamate those 2, retaining each name but one CO/RSM/HQ. A CSM/OC for each Coy, etc. The uniforms would not have to change, which admitidly doesn't fit with 'amalgamation', but there is no financial or organizational reason to do so. Why mess with something unnecesarily?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dapaterson on January 27, 2006, 15:49:31
The current reserve system produced the current reserve leadership.  How many of them will stand up and say "The system that produced me is broken"?  Couple that with outside organisations determined to perpetuate readiness for Sept 1939 as the sole raison d'etre for the Army Reserve, and you've got the current situation.

The overwhelming majority of Reserve units field less than a trained company.  Quickly looking over November's attendance stats, only six units surpassed 200 pers parading, with the largest (in numbers) being 55 Svc Bn in Quebec City.  Even among those six units, what proportion of their soldiers are occupationally qualified and employable?  With a unit of 90 including privates who have not completed their MOC training, how can anyone justify a LCol in command (or, for that matter, even a Maj - but now I'm getting REALLY heretical)

As PBI wrote, we need to maintain community presences.  That does not translate into "we need to maintain LCols and CWOs".  One pillar of the developmental process is experience - a LCol who commands a rump platoon of trained soldiers lacks the requisite experience at that rank level (and likely at the Maj level as well).

But why not have several companies (differently badged) feeding into a Bn HQ - with all those elements manned with trained soldiers?  What a concept!  So instead of claiming "An Army Reserve with 51 infantry battalions etc etc and a strength of 17 300" to a chorus of guffaws, the Army Reserve could be defined as presenting a real set of military abilities today - with the widespread community base providing an ability to expand in the future if required.  And with a structure filled with trained and qualified soldiers, the ability to expand is enhanced as you're building on a solid foundation.

Just a few thoughts for a Friday afternoon...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 27, 2006, 16:36:50
Tying this back into the original proposition:

Is there any reason to believe that the "100/400" battalion proposed has to be a combat arms battalion?

Could we not stipulate that the greatest need in time of civil crisis is the very thing that the Reserve is weakest in and that is logistic support and C4I?

Suppose this battalion were a Service Battalion with most of the adm and maint types being Regs, along with much of the command structure, and most of the drivers and other log types being reservists.  Wouldn't that fit the need of both the emergency response type and more broadly the operational capability of the Reserves/Militia?

They could then become the core element around which a Task Force could be built with the combat arms elements being supplied by reservists.

With that in mind - suppose money were made available to permit more frequent parading - say to the level of commitment your average teen-ager makes to a part-time job at MacDonalds.  5-10-20? hours a week.  Could local training be provided to generally raise the quality of the Reserves?

It seems to me that part of the problem with the Reserves was not that the young troops found the obligation to onerous.  In fact it was the opposite.  Loss of youngsters was in large part due to a lack of activity.

If youngsters could be retained long enough and trained hard enough and well enough while they are still keen could they be made into an effective reserve force?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on January 27, 2006, 17:05:53
Is there any reason to believe that the "100/400" battalion proposed has to be a combat arms battalion?
When I have seen Service Battalions strip Cbt Arms troops from Cbt Arms Units to fill Driver positions and such for a ROTO (because their people refused to go - it might be too dangerouse), I would say "NO!" to this proposal.  I would think that an Engineer Unit would be much more in line of what is required.  After that, I would say a Sigs Unit, to provide Comms to any 'Relief' efforts that may take place.  Service Battalion Truckers and that would not be as useful as these two. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dapaterson on January 27, 2006, 17:14:07
At the national level, resources are assigned to the areas to provide for one night a week, one weekend a month of training for the period of Sept-May every year (Four nights at 1/2 day each, 1 weekend at 2 1/2 days).  (December is funded for 3 nights only, since most folks have other plans for Christmas than freezing in Meaford or Wainwright).  This makes the famous 37.5 days of training per year.  For a Pte, 37.5 days @ $77.90 per day (lowest IPC) plus 9% PILL would be $3184 for the training year, not that bad for something part-time (Ancillary benefits such as the $2000/year in tuition support are excluded from this calculation, as is any full-time training during the summer).  The 37.5 days commitment is less than McDonalds, but does provide a regular framework to promote attendance.

The estimated number of days is adjusted upwards for MCpl and up since such ranks have supervisory responsibilities.  However, the reality is that many personnel do not attend all scheduled parades, so an attendance factor is applied, assuming differing participation rates at different ranks.

Perhaps the question isn't "Should we ask for a greater commitment" but rather "How can we ensure that the funds intended for in-unit training actually get to the units"?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: rifleman on January 27, 2006, 18:02:22
I agree that units should be training together to get a critical mass and actually train higher than individual level. I always have said that Tradition can't get in the way of getting the job done. However I don't believe you have to totally throw out the old to get that job done.

I usually find the people who propose cutting Regiments also propose how their Branch/ Unit can maintain their relevancy during the change. Lets face the facts. Service Bns have a hard enough time looking after themselves to even consider looking after other units. After doing all the basic soldier skills, maintenance of their own gear, what more time do they have? They could become a CSS Coy. We are already seeing armour take over direct fire and arty take over indirect, Throw them into a Company as well. Oops forgot the Field Engineers they can go in there too. This of course would eliminate the need for Reserve Brigade Commanders too. Back to LCol

As for unit affiliations and cap badges.   If it isn't such a big deal just look at the CSOR. Here is a unit that is going to have many elements, branches and units thrown together and everyone wants another cap badge, another colour beret. They have to be special. Why? The CSOR will be another CF Unit that has a different role. It may have different requirements for entry as it will be at a higher readiness level. If it is going to be a composite unit, leave all the different affiliations alone. Issue the unit with a shoulder title.  Cripe, We don"t even trust a Col with his old cap badge run a brigade because a logistics Col just can't care about an infantry soldier. The Regs can't get rid of the old either. If we are going to have Tanks any more, get rid of the Armoured. Does Canada have enough soldiers to sustain 9 Bns, Perhaps the PPCLI will volunteer to fold so each of the other reg force units can have 4 companies and 4 Bns per.

Then there is the "Reserves have to be trained better" well, you get what you pay for... And even the Regular Force doesn't always send qualified people to teach courses. Post a MCpl to the school and he can get qualified Sgt and start teaching his peers. They promote people before they are qualified too, so they can get paid more.

Sorry for what seems like a rant but keep some of the old and tweak it , instead of totally messing with it. 

NEXT: Don't even get me started on turning the Reserve into a sandbagging and Firefighting Brigade.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GO!!! on January 27, 2006, 21:05:19
The current reserve system produced the current reserve leadership.  How many of them will stand up and say "The system that produced me is broken"? 

I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: rifleman on January 27, 2006, 21:08:32
I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?

Sgt: "And Cpl you know enough to know that I didn't need to spell Battalion then, but you do now. Sucks to be you..oh and give me twenty"
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: old medic on January 27, 2006, 21:27:22
At the national level, resources are assigned to the areas to provide for one night a week, one weekend a month of training for the period of Sept-May every year (Four nights at 1/2 day each, 1 weekend at 2 1/2 days).  (December is funded for 3 nights only, since most folks have other plans for Christmas than freezing in Meaford or Wainwright).  This makes the famous 37.5 days of training per year. 

For the sake of discussion,  where did these numbers stand 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, etc ?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on January 27, 2006, 23:58:25
I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?
Oh no...  coffee all over the desk...crap....
 ;D

(italics added)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on January 28, 2006, 11:03:46
Kirkhill: the problem is not so much getting the young Pte/Cpls out for more training. Traditionally, this group has usually been available for more training time than the Army Res could fund. The real problem is finding time for the Res leadership, who tend to have more demanding civilian jobs and, eventually, families. You can only demand so much from these people before you reach a point at which a Reservist is not a Reservist anymore but has become a "part-time Regular". One of the strengths of the Army Res (and, by the way, of the USARNG and Army Res in the US) is supposed to be that it represents the productive, solid members of the community. Once upon a time ( a long long time ago) it also may have represented the leadership of the community. Unfortunately, the more you demand, the less these people can deliver (although God knows many of them struggle to do so, often at greater personal cost that many Regulars realize). Volunteer fire departments often struggle with the same issues, as training a firefighter becomes more and more demanding, and communities demand faster response times and better protection.

This problem of "dipping the well" too often is not uniquely Canadian. Since GWOT/OIF/OEF, the demand on the US Army's Res component has been huge. While I was in Afgh in 2004, the then-Chief of the US Army Reserve voiced a fear that the demands for active service would turn the Res into a "refuge for the chronically unemployable" (or words to that effect). And that is in a country with well-established job protection laws.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on January 28, 2006, 14:45:11
Point taken pbi.

I allowed myself to drift towards considering a Reserve Force consisting of lower rank part-timers and higher rank full-timers and that generally implies regs.  You make a valid point about how that would stretch attachments to the community.  Can that gap be bridged with "full-time" Reservists on call-out?  Can training and experience be gained at a local level?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on January 28, 2006, 15:05:19
My estimate of the maximum "tempo" of the part-time reservist from Sep through May is 45 days: one evening per week, one weekend per month (less Dec and any month in which a concentration might be held), and one full day (Sat or Sun) session per month. (The full monty would be slightly more than 45.)

To that can be added at least one conference per year for selected appointments, and several conferences for COs and RSMs.

On top of it all there are winter (weekend) courses to be staffed.

Finally, one may consider what the annual calendar of activity must be for some people in units which are short a hand or two of filling all key appointments.  I hear and read a lot about the waste of overborne reserve units, but not much thought about how underborne units fare under the weight of administrivia.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: gnplummer421 on February 01, 2006, 23:23:56
I was reading a column out of a Renfrew paper, which stated that not only Reg Force soldiers could try out for the new regiment in Pet, but also Reserves. My question is; the 3RCR will supply the initial batch of soldiers, and then the selection/training phase begins in April. With these units being shortstaffed already, will the new recruits come fast enough to fill up the ranks of the remaining Infantry Regiments? Or do you think that we will be even more severly understaffed...Am I just lulled into a false belief that our military is finally going to get some much needed money and troops?

As an ex-soldier, I find myself excited about the prospect of our miltary finally getting some attention...but..I've also been let down too many times by our politicians..Is this really going to be the start of a new era for our troops?

To all you Reserve soldiers..strive to be good enough to pass the test and join an elite group of soldiers in Petawawa, you will have to be at your absolute best. The time is now to narrow the gap between the level of skills between Reg and Res. We need a large crop of new soldiers and we want them to be top notch.... time to go Reg. Force :salute:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on February 02, 2006, 14:20:35
  I hear and read a lot about the waste of overborne reserve units, but not much thought about how underborne units fare under the weight of administrivia.

I suppose that there may be regional differences, but my impressions (and certainly my recent experiences in 38 CBG) suggest very strongly to me that we have very, very few units today with too many officers, WOs and NCOs. I think that the opposite is more often the case: units struggle to fill key appointments with anybody at all, let alone the best person for the position. I think the image of a typical Reserve unit having overstocked Officers' and Sgts' Messes is probably ten to twenty years (or more...) out of date. What does still exist, in my view, is a "legacy" command structure whose billets can no longer be filled properly.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: skydiver on February 02, 2006, 20:22:59
I know that most units around here are hurtin at some rank level. It sure was better in the early 90s. I can remember over 30 WOs and Snr NCOs from our Regt sitting around the gunnery round table at the mess in Gagetown on a gun camp weekend. Back then it was nothing to see 3  or 4 guys promoted top Sgt in a batch. Now..1 every 3 years maybe?

Then we got totally forced and they even had people reduce in rank if they wanted to stay in. It was a no-no to have too many of whatever rank for the positions available.

Now we can't buy a Senior NCO or an Lt.

Wah!

Doog

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Chris Pook on February 03, 2006, 16:20:23
Adding grist to the mill.  From National Defence Magazine.

Quote
January 2006

With an Overstretched Military, U.S. Should Create 'Home Guard'

By David Abshire and Jonah Czerwinski

The United States holds an enormous stake in Iraq. Although initiated to counter a perceived terrorist threat, the U.S. presence in Iraq has in many ways made near-term gains in the war on terror more difficult and thrown America's homeland security into question. But a creative solution with roots reaching far back into American history may be the answer.

 Today, the presence of coalition troops in Iraq provides terrorists with a virtually constant training ground to develop battleground experience. As when Mujahedeen battled the Soviets in Afghanistan 20 years ago, which spawned Al Qaeda's evolvement through the 1990s, Iraq today has itself become a "cause for Jihad."

In fact, Iraq has eclipsed Afghanistan as a terrorist seedbed. A recent CIA report suggests that the urban nature of the war in Iraq affords assailants opportunity to learn how to carry out assassinations, kidnappings, car bombings and other kinds of attacks that were never a staple of the fighting in Afghanistan during anti-Soviet campaigns.

Today, insurgents in Iraq average 90 attacks daily - the highest amount since Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

The length of engagement and nature of daily conflict provide rich propaganda for terrorist recruiters - especially al-Qaeda and its associates - to use in the all-important battle for hearts and minds among the youth of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The advent of the Internet ignited terrorist communications. The CIA's National Intelligence Council finds that terrorists are enabled to converse, train, and recruit through the Internet, and their threat will become "an eclectic array of groups, cells and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters." According to a study by Gabriel Weimann, a professor at Israel's University of Haifa, terrorist websites have increased from around a dozen to 4,500 in the last four years.

The July bombings in London further bolster the notoriety of terrorist organizations. British engagement in Iraq was among several reasons cited by those claiming responsibility. This sort of propaganda upends the notion that by fighting terrorists in Iraq, we avoid facing them in the streets of New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles.

The stresses are internal, too. While America's military in Iraq struggles in this context, it is composed largely by an overstretched National Guard and Reserve Force. Repeat call-ups, extended tours, low recruitment and re-up rates, and poor supply reflect a massive crack in the system. The Army National Guard recruitment for 2005 missed its goal by more than 12,000 and the Army Reserve recruitment was off by more than 5,000. Moreover, troops at home are not fully equipped for homeland security scenarios because the inventories from non-deployed units are being sent overseas.

The original purpose of the Guard has transformed - so should its organization, supply, and support. If the military draft was the Achilles' heel to the Johnson war effort, the overextension of Reserves and National Guard may become ours today.

A home-front strategy is perhaps the most important aspect in a layered defense, regardless of how Iraq fares. President Bush should convene a group of bipartisan best minds to increase credibility with the public and Congress about the looming crisis in our military. Recognizing that we never anticipated and prepared for the new kind of warfare that came with 9/11, this bipartisan group will review home-front capabilities, mobilization, tactics and strategy. This bipartisan group should collaborate with the Commission on National Guard and Reserves, recently established by Congress.

Without waiting for the commission, however, the president should dramatically reinforce the National Guard.

This is not just a matter of changing policy and practices. The National Guard touches every community in the nation, their small businesses and families. A strengthening of the National Guard and Reserves should include their support groups, families, small businesses, the wounded, and the children and spouses left behind. An emergency grant from Congress matched with a review of existing laws and programs should provide better support structures, such as medical services to those most affected by deployed National Guard units.

The president also needs to make a call for national service. Doing so requires creating a voluntary, well equipped, well organized, congressionally funded and locally based corps. A non-expeditionary "Home Guard" is a strategic solution rooted in American history. Today's application should be composed of citizens from the community, who wear uniforms, train on weekends, and help prevent the chaos from a natural disaster or a weapon of mass effect. In the case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, there would be an immediately deployable group of trained citizens from each community under control of the state governors ready to share the burden with the Red Cross, police, FEMA, local fire departments and National Guard.

A Home Guard would help mobilize the nation as we did during the Second World War. In some communities, where a percentage of first responders are in Iraq, such a trained force would help manage the shock following a terrorist attack or major natural disaster. Trained in the elements of security, engineering, civil affairs, and basic medicine, the Home Guard would recruit citizens already possessing these critical skills as well as individuals retiring out of the National Guard, active military and the Reserves. For the shorter term, enlistments in the National Guard could be followed by extended duty in the Home Guard. Citizens would have the opportunity to shift experience while retaining earned rank. Even more efficient would be the use of medically discharged or disabled veterans, who can still offer knowledge, skill and low-intensity service.

The untapped talent in the Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary could serve as a starting point for building the Home Guard. Along our border, it would become a constructive outlet in place of ad hoc voluntary militia attempting to provide border protection in some states. Leaders drawn from their local communities would be trained in crisis communications and crowd control.

Hurricane Katrina proved the lynchpin role played by the National Guard and Reserve. The poor federal response underlines the need for a Home Guard. The aftermath also gives America some idea of the necessary preparation to react following an attack with a weapon of mass effect. This Home Guard would connect the first responders with the very people they serve. In fact, the Home Guard would become a highly organized group of newly recruited first responders

David Abshire is president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C. Jonah J. Czerwinski is senior research associate and director of homeland security projects at the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Echo9 on August 08, 2006, 18:47:22
First a couple of disclaimers:
1.  there's absolutely no chance whatsoever of something like this happening, so it's for discussion purposes only
2.  I'm wading deep here, in an attempt to stir up some poop, but here goes:


There are a few things that we know right now about coming force structures:
1.  There's an additional 25k pers coming between reg and reserve.
2.  Much of that added pers is going to have to go to the pointy end, specifically, outside of Ottawa, and
3.  There are a number of "new" potential battalions:
  - 3-4 rapid reaction battalions
  - CSOR (and Para Regt?)
  - 8-12 "city" regiments, combined between reg and res
  - LFRR growth
  - unspecified other growth (though this is more likely to fill out the hollow army)
4.  The above units (less the CSOR and Paras) will want to be affiliated with one of the Infantry Regts, as I would think that they're going to be primarily based around the Infantry. 

Now, for my more controversial bits:
1.  Rather than simply make a 4th or 5th battalion of the current regiments, the regiments that were stood down in the 60s (QOR, RHC, CG?) could be revived.  Some of this might mean that existing battalions are renamed- 2 RCR becomes 1 RHC again, 2 VP becomes 1 QOR- to build up some of a base of personnel.
2.  The city units, with combinations of reg/ res, are going to be unholy messes of cap badges in many places (think of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, or Vancouver).  These should also be affiliated (and badged) under one of the regiments.
3.  With the above and LFRR also combining unit HQ's, it's finally the time to put a bunch of cap badges out to pasture.  While the collected Honourary Colonels won't let this happen lightly, one way of potentially defusing the issue- partially- would be to badge under the regular regiments- I get the impression that almost as much of the resistance to merging is the refusal to wear the hat badge of the cross town rival as it is to see theirs go down.
4.  If that's a step too far, you could even allow what the Brits have done in their re-org and allow battalions to carry distinctive titles that bear witness to their histories ie. 7 RCR (Lincoln & Welland).

The end result- you have probably 2-3 regular battalions and perhaps 3-4 reserve battalions per Regiment, with a total of 5 (or more) Regiments.  Because of the growth, you have no large change in the career management pool for each Regiment.

I think that you lower the barriers between reg and res, since you're all wearing the same hat badge.  For those who dismiss this point, I'll note that there's generally much better relations in my own trade (engineers), which I think is at least partially a result of the family aspects of showing up wearing the same accoutrements.

You still have the benefits of the regimental system, while eliminating it's shallow end of the gene pool.  For those who note that you're doing away with the pride of the regimental histories, my immediate suggestion is that a regiment that parades 50 isn't doing much to support those histories itself.  We have the units and force structure that we have now because the WW2 ORBAT has been set in aspic since the armistice (with some nibbling away).  Most other armies have done this kind of re-org, and I think that we haven't gone down this route yet because we haven't mattered enough.

In other posts, I've noted that I'm generally against changes unless there's a big operational improvement.  Well, I think that there's just such an improvement here- from the perspective of more seemlessly operating between reg and res.  Those who believe strongly in the regimental family should allow their thoughts to carry to the logical conclusion- if it's good for cohesion, then it's good for cohesion.  With the amount of reserve augmentation going on right now, that's something useful.



The down side?  Well, the RCR would need a new alphabet....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on August 21, 2006, 12:47:38
Two thoughts--

1. While your idea has merits, I think you're underestimating the likely resistance to such sweeping change, as well as the considerable resources and tenacity of those who would mount such resistance; and

2. I think you're overestimating the "friction" that exists between the Reg F and Res F in the cbt arms (I presume you're referring to inf and armd primarily, since those two branches are the most obvious place for cap-badge wars to occur).  Back in the late 70s and into the early 90s, I agree that there was an almost institutional bias across the Reg F towards Res F members (which was, in various respects, both deserved and not deserved).  However, with the impressive and essentially seamless performance of Reservists (especially lately), a great deal of that friction has eased.  Certainly, there are individuals in both components that remain "difficult", but Reservists are suffering hardships and spilling blood beside their Reg F comrades.  From experience, cap badges very quickly "disappear" in an operational setting, leaving only soldiers.

There will be change, but it will likely be much more incremental and will probably be more organizational in the context of existing cap-badges e.g. rather than merging units, grouping them in some fashion to streamline the number of actual unit HQs (since our important force generation in the Reserves involves soldiers and junior leaders, not unit-level resources)  and reduce the hollowness of the Res F as a whole.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PPCLI Guy on August 21, 2006, 12:56:29

There will be change, but it will likely be much more incremental and will probably be more organizational in the context of existing cap-badges e.g. rather than merging units, grouping them in some fashion to streamline the number of actual unit HQs (since our important force generation in the Reserves involves soldiers and junior leaders, not unit-level resources)  and reduce the hollowness of the Res F as a whole.

Echo9 had some interesting points, but I believe that dglad has hit upon the answer - functional and geographic groupings.  When the SD&G Highlanders hit the beaches of Normandy, they had an SD&G HQ and a coy, the PWOR had a coy, and the Brocks had a coy - sounds like a natural grouping to me...

Dave
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on August 21, 2006, 13:07:27
Much has been touched on geographic groupings here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0/all.html

One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on August 21, 2006, 13:11:38
Much has been touched on geographic groupings here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0/all.html

One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.

In the UK  Companies have kept regimental traditions alive in a post amalgamation world.  It is a common fact of life there.  Battalions are doing it in the new Super Regiments.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on August 21, 2006, 16:22:47
One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.

Quite true.  The trick is going to be reconciling this fact with the interests of--among others--Honouraries and Senates.

Another important point to note is that even if the Royal Highland Polar Bear Regiment ends up being a sub-unit grouped under another infantry RHQ, that doesn't mean the RHPBR's own HQ has to cease to exist.  It can simply be zero-manned, and remain available to "reinflate" in time of national requirement.  There are those that will argue that you can't easily reconstitute a unit from a sub-unit in time of emergency--at least with any degree of cohesiveness--but I would counter that the Res F is currently incapable of filling its bill of COs, RSMs and unit HQ staff anyway, so we're already playing a shell game with our Res units.  If we can only generate a portion of the LCols and CWOs we need for our current structure, then the current structure obviously needs to be changed.  It's within the detailed nature of that change where the devil resides.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on August 21, 2006, 16:53:45
One additional recommendation (discussed in the linked thread) was to zero-man all regimental Bn HQs and create regional Bn HQs free of regimental affiliation (so neither the RHPBR nor the Kootney Highlanders can complain about being under the other's HQ).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on August 21, 2006, 17:25:46
The proposal to create new 20/80 (give or take) battalions provides a way to make an end run around obstacles to change.  Support the new establishments, and let the old ones wither on the vine if they don't meet expectations (don't reinforce failure).  If in a city/district there is a 20/80 battalion with high standards of administration and training, doing useful things and with access to interesting resources and training activities, what young recruit will prefer to join a 5/95 militia regiment to do endless cycles of MLOC (or whatever it is being called now)?  The supporting "establishments" outside the chain of command will have two options: ***** about the competition (never seemly), or rise to the competition and lean on the current unit leadership cadres to make the units well worth joining, supporting, and perpetuating.  In fairness, this would mean providing resources commensurate with expectations to the measurably successful 5/95 units.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Echo9 on August 28, 2006, 18:10:32
I do recognize that this concept would represent radical change, and that there would be substantial friction in accomplishing it (hence my original comment that there would be no chance in hell of it occurring).

Also, I'll note that the ideas of reducing hat badges to single companies with merged (or neutral) Bn HQ's is actually the currently planned approach.  So, the idea of the SD&G, PWOR and Brock is actually the most likely course of action.

I guess my stir of the pot is that this seems to be a typically Canadian dodge, and that there may be valid reasons for going a step farther.  I think that the Reg/Res integration has more to it than simply at the soldier level- something that I think we're going to see is something much more like the US terms of service, where people go to active or reserve status with relative ease- you sign a contract for continuous service for a period, and then revert to reserve terms of service at the end of contracts.  In such a scenario, the ability to maintain a constant regimental affiliation becomes much more attractive, and actually provides value to the CF in terms of maintaining soldier belonging to the organization.  If the transition means changing your uniforms, you're less likely to do it than if you can simply transfer from the 1st Battalion, RHPBR to the 4th Battalion.

I would suggest that with a single company, particularly an understrength company, isn't really doing much to perpetuate the honour of the regiment, and that without a certain critical mass, the regimental identity will not be maintained.  And hey, perhaps that ends up being the genius of the current approach- merge the units first, get rid of some of the honouraries and senates, and then go with the bigger plan. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on September 06, 2006, 23:20:10
Quote
get rid of some of the honouraries and senates, and then go with the bigger plan. 

Based on my experiences with our LFRR proposals in 38 CBG in 2003/2005, this is an unfair generalization. In particular, we proposed to amalgamate our three Gunner units into a single large unit, and our three Svc Bns in a similar manner. The Army got "cold feet" over the "A word" so we sucked back a bit an proposed "tactical grouping". We issued the orders and started the machinery moving.(Since I left the Bde, this has moved ahead to some degree...dglad could probably give us an update). We engaged the affected Honoraries from the get go, and we had their willing support throughout. I was sometimes surprised by their frank assessments of their units' actual conditions (particularly the horrible and widespread succession problem for COs and RSMs). They never obstructed us, once. The obstruction and fear-mongering came from Res 2000, who waged a particularly ill informed and (IMHO) unsavoury campaign to try to stop us.

Honoraries, in my opinion, are very important. This is why the Govt takes such an interest in who they are and how they are appointed. If you get the right person, you get a great supporter for the unit in the community. If the Bde Comd and HQ make the effort to keep them well informed, bring them into the fold, and consult with them as appropriate, I believe you will get much more back than the little they cost DND. We always did this with our Hons: they were regular attenders at all Bde Comd Confs.

In the past history of our Army, all too often, the only people outside the Res unit who even cared about it at all were the Honoraries. It certainly wasn't the Regular Army, and sometimes not even the Militia's own hierarchy. If the Hons became somewhat parochial and defensive, maybe that is understandable.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: FusMR on September 09, 2006, 21:05:01
  In the 60's and 70's almost half of the reserve units in Québec were almalgamated.  Today, we are still facing the same problem plus one more.  In the Montréal island, their is 5 inf units, 1 armd, arty and eng each.  In the immediate subburb, 2 more unit.  Each of these units parade around 130 pers/month.  We have, in SQFT 2 Brigades group (34 and 35) of around 9 units.

  Their is however a big succession problem mostly with the RSM.  I do not think that an another set of amalgamation will not help very much but a neutral bn HQ might do.  You have to consider that each of those regimental coy would have to keep their recruting cell and probably their Colors.  As for building, you have to keep some were they are to keep the link with the population.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: paracowboy on September 09, 2006, 21:15:13
I think you are over-estimating the actual numbers that will be available, anyway. The numbers that are being touted will not reflect reality when you consider the number of personnel leaving the Forces and the numbers that will be recruited and not trained, spending their entire BE in PAT Platoons across the nation or simply get tired of the wait and leave before their BE is complete. This talk of multiple new battalions is just that: talk.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on September 10, 2006, 18:04:49
I guess my stir of the pot is that this seems to be a typically Canadian dodge, and that there may be valid reasons for going a step farther.  I think that the Reg/Res integration has more to it than simply at the soldier level- something that I think we're going to see is something much more like the US terms of service, where people go to active or reserve status with relative ease- ...  If the transition means changing your uniforms, you're less likely to do it than if you can simply transfer from the 1st Battalion, RHPBR to the 4th Battalion. 
This is the concept that differentiates this thread from the other Reserve regimental restructure thread (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0.html) (and in a way bridges the gap to the Regular Force Regimental formation (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,28042.0.html) thread).

Effectively, each Reg battalion would be a different regiment but each of these regiments would include several reserve battalions (some possibly being 20/80 battalions).  In this vision, would the regiment replace the CBGs as that reserve formation?  31 CBG would become the Royal Canadian Regiment (three sticks on the map symbol) with 1 RCR being regular force, 2 RCR being Hamilton, 3 RCR being Windsor, and 4 RCR being London.  Outlying regions likely would contain a company or platoon of one of  these battalions. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Echo9 on September 19, 2006, 12:44:40
fair comment on the honouraries- they are often the one point outside of the regiment itself that cares.  They can also do a lot to get things for the army as a whole that the generals are unable to.  The Downsview (Denison) armouries are a prime example of this- they were largely built off the efforts of the honouraries in setting the stage with the government of the time.

I would, however, take issue with using the example of the amalgamation of 3 arty units, and largely for the reasons that I put forward in my original posting.  The key difference between the success of that endeavour and the task that's upcoming for the infantry is exactly the issue that I was suggesting needed to be addressed head on- that of hat badge.  Those of us wearing a corps cap badge already take advantage of the benefits.  I myself have been in 3 different units, without much impact through the change- again, the hat badge remained the same. 

There just doesn't seem to be the same propensity to carry over in the infantry.  I could be wrong- my sample size is relatively small- but that's the hunch that I get.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on September 21, 2006, 00:55:02
I would, however, take issue with using the example of the amalgamation of 3 arty units, and largely for the reasons that I put forward in my original posting.  The key difference between the success of that endeavour and the task that's upcoming for the infantry is exactly the issue that I was suggesting needed to be addressed head on- that of hat badge.  Those of us wearing a corps cap badge already take advantage of the benefits.  I myself have been in 3 different units, without much impact through the change- again, the hat badge remained the same. 

There just doesn't seem to be the same propensity to carry over in the infantry.  I could be wrong- my sample size is relatively small- but that's the hunch that I get.

There's a world of difference, however, between the relative mobility that a common corps badge may allow for its members as they move among units, and actually amalgamating those units.  In my experience, the guns are just as unit-proud as the infantry.  The concept of tactically-grouping some units, so that several share a unit HQ--has been implemented in 38 CBG and has been reasonably successful.  The artillery in 38 CBG, represented by two regiments (each with an outlying battery) and an independent field battery already had a culture of working together, simply because a troop- or battery-level exercise is of very limited use to the guns; the best training is at regiment level or higher.  It was recognized by the artillery leadership early on that exercising together (even though it means travelling literally hundreds of km in 38 CBG) was the only feasible way to train collectively.  As a result, when the tactical grouping occurred, it was essentially seamless, as it just formalized a practice that had been occuring anyway.  BUT--and this is a significan but--those units still remain distinct, with their own UICs and budgets.  So, even in the artillery, there is a profound desire to maintain unit integrity.

The infantry presents the greatest challenge, because the concept of those units training collectively has only been introduced fairly recently (at least in 38 CBG).  Inf training in 38 CBG (and, I suspect, in most other units) is typically conducted locally at platoon or, on occasion, company level.  Once upon a time, there were MILCONS that allowed training at company or even battalion level, but these were annual affairs that were not well-integrated with unit training and really did little more than stoke the fires of unit rivalry once a year (again, this was my experience in the old Prairie Militia Area.  Other Areas' mileage may vary).  It has now been generally recognized that it really is beneficial for the Royal Regina Rifles, the North Saskatchewan Regiment, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada and the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment to train together, under a single command structure, and as often as possible.  However, I said concept at the outset of this paragraph, not culture, because it's not a culture yet for the 38 CBG inf to train together.  But there probably are definite advantages to group some or all of these five units in some fashion; the collective training and cohesion-building among their soldiers and leaders has to continue to smooth the way, as it did for the artillery.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mountie on October 07, 2006, 15:32:24
I've discussed this in other threads so I won't go into too much detail.  But why not re-organize the under strength Militia brigades into full strength battle groups.  Each brigade group would become a battle group with each battalion/regiment reduced to sub-unit size and maintained as a sub-unit. (I would split 38 & 39 CBGs into two battle groups each for ease of organization.  I don't know if the increased personnel numbers that are promised would support this or not.)  This is just for conversation sake:

38 Canadian Battle Group
- 38 CBG Headquarters (non-unit specific)
- Royal Winnipeg Rifles (rifle company)
- Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (rifle company)
- Lake Supior Scottish (rifle company)
- Fort Garry Horse (recce squadron)
- 26th Field Regiment (artillery battery)
- 116th Independent Field Battery (air defence troop)
- 38 Field Engineer Troop
- 17 Service Battalion (service company)
- 17 Field Ambulance (medical platoon)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on October 07, 2006, 15:39:15
That's pretty much the idea/structure of the proposed Territorial Defence Battalions.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on October 08, 2006, 12:46:47
the proposed Territorial Defence Battalions.
Is that the name being applied to the Conservative's big city emergency-responce battalions?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on October 08, 2006, 12:51:36
Is that the name being applied to the Conservative's big city emergency-responce battalions?

i've heard the term "Territotial Defence Battle Groups", inferring a combined arms team.  Not quite sure if the Army Reserve is ready to be referred to as "Tee-Dee-Bee-Gee".  Sounds pretty '70's to me....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on October 08, 2006, 12:58:01
......referred to as "Tee-Dee-Bee-Gee".  Sounds pretty '70's to me....

So that is why BG's went out of fashion.   ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on October 08, 2006, 13:11:40
i've heard the term "Territotial Defence Battle Groups", inferring a combined arms team.  Not quite sure if the Army Reserve is ready to be referred to as "Tee-Dee-Bee-Gee".  Sounds pretty '70's to me....

I believe the correct name is Territorial Defence Battalions (TDBNs).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on October 08, 2006, 13:36:31
Sounds like an unrealistic role.  I like the idea of regional 10/90 BGs for the addition it will provide to our overall force capability, but I don't think that "territorial defence" is a likely requirement a traditional BG in a regional capacity.  "Regional Battle Group" would be more accurate (me thinks).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on October 08, 2006, 13:49:49
I wouldn't use the "battle group" moniker as it is as unrealistic as calling reserve formations "Brigade Groups".  Territorial Defence is perhaps also a misnomer as you state.  "Regional Domestic Response Battalion (RDRB)" would probably be a better title.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on October 08, 2006, 14:47:42
TDBG
TDBn
RBn
RDRB
CBG

It's all just more ABL used to obscure the fact that nothing is happening in LFRR.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on October 08, 2006, 22:55:07
I wouldn't use the "battle group" moniker as it is as unrealistic as calling reserve formations "Brigade Groups". 
Well, there is a CANLANDGEN that says we (the army) must use “battle group” for combined arms manoeuvre units.  I’d rather go with “battalion group” but that was also ban from use.

As a work around, let’s go with “Standing Regional Contingency Force (city name here).”
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 08, 2006, 23:13:41
The term being used is "Territorial Defence Battalion".   They're still a work-in-progress.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on October 08, 2006, 23:23:04
The term being used is "Territorial Defence Battalion".  
Yeah, we've already got that.  The name needs some fixing.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 08, 2006, 23:33:13
Yeah, we've already got that.  The name needs some fixing.

Ah...my bad.  I thought there was some uncertainty around what the name was, not that we're looking for a better one.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on October 09, 2006, 00:33:48
This is Army.ca.  We fix the important & trivial as though they were both important (and as though we were army council).  ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 09, 2006, 00:41:16
Rather like the way we prioritize things i.e. this item is priority 1, and this item is...well, it's priority 1 as well, and so's this one...and this one, well it's not quite priority 1, but it's pretty close, so let's call it priority 1a....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on October 13, 2006, 14:55:49
Once upon a time, I was posted into a Toronto Reserve unit as the "RegF guy."
I looked around and asked why they didn't amalgamate units...

Man, having those nails driven into your palms and feet really stings!


Funny that you got that reaction. I served in the RRegtC 1974-1982, leaving as a WO. Many were the times my fellow Sgts and I stood around the bar in the WOs &Sgts holding forth on how there should just be one decent sized Res Inf Bn in Toronto instead of five understrength "company equivalents". It made sense to us then, and I bet that it makes sense to a lot of Res today, who are not as bound by old thinking, and do not see a RegF devil behind every tree.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Danjanou on October 13, 2006, 15:06:43
Funny that you got that reaction. I served in the RRegtC 1974-1982, leaving as a WO. Many were the times my fellow Sgts and I stood around the bar in the WOs &Sgts holding forth on how there should just be one decent sized Res Inf Bn in Toronto instead of five understrength "company equivalents". It made sense to us then, and I bet that it makes sense to a lot of Res today, who are not as bound by old thinking, and do not see a RegF devil behind every tree.

Cheers

Ah what a difference a decade makes. Less than 10 years later when I arrived across the floor at FYA as a transfer in to the Tor Scots, I had that same conversation in that same Mess with those same WOs (now MWOs and CWO for the most part I'd bet). they went looking for the nails and lumber that they'd used on JM.  ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ParaMedTech on October 13, 2006, 15:13:31
39 CBG is adopting a "Tactical Grouping" plan that will see (I believe) all of our Cbt Arms units under "Shared HQ's" until they achieve a 200 pers parade state, i.e. the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Seaforth will share a HQ until one or the other parades 200 pers, at which point they will regain their independant HQ.  Same for the Arty, Armd (are they just Recce now?), and Eng.

As for us in the HS, we've got a LCol, Maj, CWO, MWO, among others, for a unit that has 83 names on the nominal roll (not regular paraders).  Our sister Fd Amb in Victoria has about the same.  Efficient, no?

DF
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on October 13, 2006, 15:26:29
Funny that you got that reaction. I served in the RRegtC 1974-1982, leaving as a WO. Many were the times my fellow Sgts and I stood around the bar in the WOs &Sgts holding forth on how there should just be one decent sized Res Inf Bn in Toronto instead of five understrength "company equivalents". It made sense to us then, and I bet that it makes sense to a lot of Res today, who are not as bound by old thinking, and do not see a RegF devil behind every tree.

Cheers

For this to be even rationally discussed, certain ground rules must be in place:

1. No cap badges wil disappear;
2. Command will be based on merit and qualifications ONLY;  If you're not good, you're not next.  We can, and will, look outside.
3. If you want to progress as leaders you must keep up with the times.  WW2 and the Cold War are over.  Get with that.
4. Tactical and technical proficiency will be rewarded more readily than efficiency, although both will be realisitically weighted in determining the future of any one unit/sub-unit.

I put no. 1 there on purpose.  But, ,in reality, it matters little because in helmets we all look the same anyways.  That is what we should look for.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Infanteer on October 13, 2006, 22:21:27
1. No cap badges wil disappear;

Pourquoi?  As Rick said earlier, the British seemed to do be able to do so with Regiments that just got a battle honour last year, let alone 60 years ago.

But as you say, the "tactical" organization (helmets) is more important than the "tribal" organization (funny hats) - but are these two mutually exclusive?  I can't help think that they are, and "tribal" organization would interfere with things like accession, share of tasks, etc, etc.  But I also suspect that even if we went to a common capbadge people would simply find other ways to differentiate themselves (those Island guys, or those Interior clowns, etc, etc)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Remius on October 14, 2006, 00:18:43
I think it's because that kind of compromise would be more acceptable to regimental assoc., honouraries vets etc.  They would be able to accept the changes without feeling that their regimental existance is gone.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on October 14, 2006, 01:20:12
I think it's because that kind of compromise would be more acceptable to regimental assoc., honoraries vets etc.  They would be able to accept the changes without feeling that their regimental eexistenceis gone.

In the UK we have found that the key is that the Regimental existenceas you put it continues.  For example, look at the new Royal Regiment of Scotland.  The Battalions have continued the traditions of the founding regiments: 

(From the Regimental website  http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/scots/the_battalions/index.htm)

"The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Royal Scots Borderers (1 SCOTS) are the product of a merger between two famous antecedent Regiments, The Royal Scots and The King's Own Scottish Borderers, carrying on celebrated traditions and maintaining a reputation for excellence. The Battalion has inherited a broad range of infantry skills for all types of operations but particularly specialising in jungle warfare and fighting in built up areas. As well as that, its rugby players are currently the Army's Premier Rugby League and Rugby Sevens champions.  1 SCOTS is the local Battalion for the Lothians, Borders and Lanarkshire, and is based in Dreghorn Barracks, Edinburgh.

 

The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Royal Highland Fusiliers (2 SCOTS) have a proud heritage dating back to 1678 that included fighting in every major campaign the British Army has ever been involved in. Since the Second World War, the Battalion has deployed on operations all over the world, most recently in Iraq. 2 SCOTS are the local Battalion for Glasgow and Ayrshire and are based in Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik, where they are training to become the Army's quick reaction Spearhead Battalion, on standby to be sent at short notice to any troublespot in the world.

 

The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Black Watch (3 SCOTS) is one of the most famous army units in the world and traces its origins to six independent companies formed in 1725 to police the Highlands. Their first battle was at Fontenoy in 1745 and they have served with prominence and distinction all around the world since then, including America, Waterloo, both World Wars, Korea and Kosovo. They were the last British Battalion in Hong Kong and served in Iraq for the invasion and for their high profile deployment to Camp Dogwood supporting the US Marines. The Black Watch are the local Battalion for Perth, Dundee, Angus and Fife and are based near Belfast in Northern Ireland.

 

The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The Highlanders (4 SCOTS) came into being in 1994 as an amalgamation of The Queen's Own Highlanders and The Gordon Highlanders and have since served with distinction in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Bosnia and trained in places such as Gibralter and Belize. In 2004, they became an Armoured Infantry Battalion as part of 7th Armoured Brigade, the world renowned 'Desert Rats'. 4 SCOTS are the local Battalion for the Highlands and are based in Fallingbostel, Germany and are at the forefront of the army as soldiers, skiers and sportsmen.

 

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

The 'Argylls' (5 SCOTS) are over two hundred years old and have a record second to none as a fierce fighting unit, most famously nicknamed 'The Thin Red Line' for their defeat of the Russian Cavalry at the battle of Balaklava in 1854. They continue to demonstrate this ferocity as Scotland's Air Assault Battalion, working alongside elements of the Parachute Regiment and Army Air Corps, being ready and trained to deploy to any trouble spot in the world, at very short notice. The Argylls are the local Battalion for the west of Scotland and are based in Canterbury.

 

52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

52nd Lowland (6 SCOTS) has a long and illustrious heritage as the descendant of Territorial units that fought in both World Wars. Nowadays it is a Light Role Infantry Battalion, which means it can specialise in anti-tank missile systems, mortars and machine guns as well as the normal infantry role of defeating the enemy. The Battalion recruits from all over the lowlands with TA Centres in Ayr, Bathgate, Dumfries, Edinburgh, Galashiels, Glasgow and Motherwell. 6 SCOTS frequently deploys soldiers on operations with Regular Battalions to places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans and has trained in recent years on exercises in the Ukraine, America, Belgium and Slovakia.

 

51st Highland, 7th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland

51st Highland (7 SCOTS) is the descentant of the famous 'Fighting 51st' Highland Division which fought on France's Western Front in the First World War and in El Alamein and Normandy in the Second World War. It is a Light Role Infantry Battalion, which means that it is highly skilled with the same weapons as its Regular counterparts and trained in the tactics of a modern infantry unit. 7 SCOTS has deployed soldiers on operations to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans and has trained in recent years on exercises in Romania, Canada, Kenya and Cyprus. The Battalion recruits from all over the highlands and has TA Centres in Aberdeen, Dumbarton, Dunoon, Dundee, Inverness, Keith, Kirkaldy, Lerwick, Peterhead, Perth, Stirling, Stornoway and Wick. "

This is an example of preserving your regimental traditions in an amalgamation and by no means is this the only way.  In the UK alone we have done it numerous other ways ourselves.

I hope that this helps.




Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Journeyman on October 14, 2006, 01:39:52
Funny that you got that reaction.

But you cut out my next line....
Any change that will make a unit more effective (ie - more realistic training) will be supported by the majority of the troops. Most changes, however, face resistance from those that see the Reserves as a social club, the regimental mafias, and to a lesser degree, the Honouraries. They will have to be brought on side, or otherwise de-fanged.
The troops tend to be onside, and see the logic of having a unit large enough to do realistic AND.....dare I say.....fun, training. But you cannot deny there are impediments to militia evolution.  ::)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on October 14, 2006, 02:33:11
Two Questions:

One:  Why now, when we have the money, are we planning on getting rid of hat badges?  We have lost too many over the last eighty years, and I don't believe amalgamation solves any problems at all.  Perhaps in U.K. but here our population is too spread out to have local interest in a Regiment from a city hundreds of miles away.  Rationalize where you can, but do NOT strike Regiments from the Order of Battle.  Even 'Reduction To Nil Strength' is better than that - you can always bring them back.

Two:  Why does Toronto - the center of the known universe - not have the largest militia Regiments in Canada?  There are 4,558,800 people in Toronto,  and 4,168,123 people in British Columbia.  Who parades the most Reservists?


 

 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: R031button on October 14, 2006, 03:03:27
Two:  Why does Toronto - the center of the known universe - not have the largest militia Regiments in Canada?  There are 4,558,800 people in Toronto,  and 4,168,123 people in British Columbia.  Who parades the most Reservists?

Maybe because there's more regiments in Toronto then in BC...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on October 14, 2006, 03:05:22
Count'em.

http://www.cflc.forces.gc.ca/provinces/on/on-who_e.asp
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Spr.Earl on October 14, 2006, 07:12:42
Maybe because there's more regiments in Toronto then in BC...
Er let me think there is C.4th's ,Can Scot's,B.Cr's,15th Field RCA,5 Tribe RCA,Rocky Mountain ram buggers and not last but the best,6Fd and 44Fd Sqn CME.,oh and not lets forget 12Svc,12Med and that same on the Island,the only reason we are good is because we on the left coast make do with what we get from Upper Canada!

 You lot down east are so pampered when it comes to funding ,we get jack crap and make do with what we get and we work hard with what we are given and over the years in my own ipinion we produced bloody good soldiers who have gone on into the Reg.'s

Don't come the old quantity crap with us.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on October 14, 2006, 07:36:49
Quote
1. No cap badges wil disappear;

Why, though? If I'm not mistaken, a goodly number of the Inf Regts that exist today are the results of rebadgings and amalgamations that occurred mostly in the first half of the 20th century. So what? As long as the battle honours are preserved, and there is some reasonable way of respectfully perpetuating key traditions of the former units, and a strong connection is maintained with the local community (probably the most important factor), IMHO no real harm is done. The regiment (under whatever name) long outlasts those who served in it at a particular time under a particular badge.


My point would be: don't get rid of cap badges willy-nilly, or "just because"; but don't let capbadges become an unnecessary obstacle for change that is needed.  If we accept that badges and traditions have any real value at all in building identity and cohesion (i.e.: they serve some purpose other than passing historical interest), then if we create new structures we have to create an identity that supports that structure and makes it strong, by whatever the smartest and most effective means is.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Rifleman62 on October 14, 2006, 08:43:28
Well, I have been around for a long time ( as pbi can attest to ), and I strongly advocate the tactical grouping of units. There are tons of reasons to do so, and few sound reasons not to do it. May unit succession go to the most worthy, not the last person standing. Our PRes units have not won a battle honour since 1945! The CLS will wisely, cut through the chaff and do it. It is long past time that we in the Reserve got on with transformation. Do I want my capbadge to disappear. No, but it won't with tactical grouping as we have done in 38 CBG with the Arty and Svc Bns.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Gunner on October 14, 2006, 11:41:18
Well, I have been around for a long time ( as pbi can attest to ), and I strongly advocate the tactical grouping of units. There are tons of reasons to do so, and few sound reasons not to do it. May unit succession go to the most worthy, not the last person standing. Our PRes units have not won a battle honour since 1945! The CLS will wisely, cut through the chaff and do it. It is long past time that we in the Reserve got on with transformation. Do I want my capbadge to disappear. No, but it won't with tactical grouping as we have done in 38 CBG with the Arty and Svc Bns.

+1

(to the points you raised and for being around for a long time!)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MikeH on October 14, 2006, 18:51:43
We had a briefing on Wednesday night on what is going to happen to some of the reserve units across LFWA.Also a brief touch on the Territorial battalions that are active now which all reserve units belong to now.Most units are being merged together like for example two Artillery units in one province will only have one CO, same for service batt .For the armoured units in 41 BG(Alberta) its not clear whats going to happen because reserve armour never goes over seas a tankers and so forth.The army wants more INFANTRY so you never know.As for the Calgary Highlanders and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment these two units are being left alone for now because they are augmenting the reg force.It seems that the units that have poor numbers are being merged together which makes sense, my CO showed this on the power point.Its going to be interesting on whats going to happen in the next few years. Watch and shoot!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: TCBF on October 15, 2006, 01:43:09
"...and a strong connection is maintained with the local community (probably the most important factor),"

- It is the most important factor - but the one that was not considered.  Look at the towns who lost their units and armouries in the last fifty years.  There are now only cadets in those towns, and the Armoury is a restaurant or similar.  You can't expect people outside of the mega cities to drive two hours to parade.  We have lost the concept of community armouries.  No wonder those of us in uniform appear an alien race to our universities.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MikeH on October 15, 2006, 02:18:32
I agree about the towns losing the armouries, that came up on Wednesdays briefing.Hopefully they have a plan to bring sub units out to rural areas.There was someone on this site that was trying to get a infantry coy to Prince George can't remember who that was.Anyways places like PG should have reserve coys even for domestic stuff like forest fires and such.Maybe this might be an idea in the Territorial battalions.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on October 15, 2006, 22:27:26
Quote
You can't expect people outside of the mega cities to drive two hours to parade.

Really? That was quite common in 38 CBG: we had lots of soldiers making long hauls to get to their units in SK, MB and NWON. Some units even changed to parading on weekends so soldiers could drive in on Fri night and home on Sun afternoon. Still, I agree with re-establishing outlying sub-units in areas that are not currently served by a local Reserve unit.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ArmyRick on October 15, 2006, 22:55:46
Does anybody have a link for LFRR web sites (public or DIN)?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brad Sallows on October 18, 2006, 19:48:42
>As for us in the HS, we've got a LCol, Maj, CWO, MWO, among others, for a unit that has 83 names on the nominal roll (not regular paraders).  Our sister Fd Amb in Victoria has about the same.  Efficient, no?

And how many Res F Capt, Lt, WO, and Sgt in the same unit?

(My point: the HS reserve has a manning/rank problem right now as it makes the transition from a 'we recruit and train' to a 'we recruit the trained' force.  Right now I suppose most HS reserve units either have a couple or few old hands who have achieved high rank and a gap in the middle leadership, or just a few leaders at middle rank levels if the old hands have already left.  Imagine what the reserve infantry units would look like if they were trying to recruit primarily ex-regs and members of police SWAT teams.  What would the aforementioned unit look like in 3 years if it had change of command and RSM right now and the new appointees subsequently turned over and left 3 years hence?)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: ParaMedTech on October 20, 2006, 15:08:20
As usual, Mr Sallows, you're bang on.

It's not like anyone else is trying to hire health care providers, and this 95% employment in general isn't going to hurt us at all!   :-X
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: retiredgrunt45 on October 23, 2006, 18:22:53
While these ideas all have merit, no one had addressed the most important equation.

 "Were will we get the manpower to fill these new battalions, companies"?

 We can barely fill positions in the existing regiments, let alone 4 or five new battalions. We can ask reservists to transfer to these new  reg force inits, which maybe a few will but i'm sure many won't because of prior commitments, civilian jobs etc. Can't say i would blame them. Or we can authroize huge signup bonus's to new recruits, but i'm sure the treasury department would balk at that idea.

 The Americans are having the same problems with manpower shortages, only on a much larger scale. National Guard units tours in Iraq are being extended 2 or 3 times just to keep enough boots on the ground. Many of their soldiers have done 2 or 3, 1 year tours in Iraq since 2003. Even though their civilian jobs are protected back at home, it doesn't diminish the fact that these troops are tired and wore out.

 I feel the government has bit of abit more than what they can chew by extending the operation until 2009. Most of our troops are going to see 4 or 5 tours, maybe more, before its over and it's headed right in the same direction the American's are at right now. "Tired and worn out troops".

 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PhilB on October 24, 2006, 01:40:18
Another quick thought/question. I have been hearing a lot lotely about the reserve battalion possibly being set up in calgary/victoria etc. I know a lot of guys in my unit are seriously considering this as an option, incl trained guys that have been deployed on roto 1. As its in their area it means less of a change or for whatever reasons they have. This could be a large pool of troops to deploy. They would have more current training and could be thrown into the mix. After my experience on my last tour I would in know way advocate sending them under reserve leadership, however if they trained together as a formed body for long enough it might be one more cohesive force to deploy. Just a thought
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 24, 2006, 15:02:08
Another quick thought/question. I have been hearing a lot lotely about the reserve battalion possibly being set up in calgary/victoria etc. I know a lot of guys in my unit are seriously considering this as an option, incl trained guys that have been deployed on roto 1. As its in their area it means less of a change or for whatever reasons they have. This could be a large pool of troops to deploy. They would have more current training and could be thrown into the mix. After my experience on my last tour I would in know way advocate sending them under reserve leadership, however if they trained together as a formed body for long enough it might be one more cohesive force to deploy. Just a thought

I think you may be referring to the Territorial Defence Battalion Groups that are being considered for formation in various major urban centres across the country.  These are not "new" units; they are intended to be groupings of existing Reserve units tagged for force employment in domestic ops.  As such, it's likely they'll see additional training in things related to domestic ops, and could deploy in whole or in part on domestic ops under CanadaCom.  But I doubt that they would constitute organizations that are deployable on expeditionary ops.  If that's the understanding that you and your buddies have, it's probably unrealistic.  You may want to discuss the matter with your chain of command for further details.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PhilB on October 24, 2006, 23:25:56
In reference to the territorial batt. I understand the current plan of employment for the planned unit. My point is that here is a group of obviously keen reservists that are volunteering for a full time contract. Now many reg force members here are saying, and I agree, thats reservists need a higher level of trg in order to be deployed. The new unit would be a perfect opportunity to provide said trg. Further more Im sure that many troops would be willing to deploy from this porposed unit, and aside with the new canforgen re active/inactive service tecnically couldnt they be made to?

Just and idea, if im off base in my understand of the propsed unit please let me know
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Dixon on October 25, 2006, 04:03:58
Oh dang... this isnt cool in the least...

So Im going to have to share a command Structure with the KOCR's....

 :-X
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Remius on October 25, 2006, 09:36:32
I think you may be referring to the Territorial Defence Battalion Groups that are being considered for formation in various major urban centres across the country.  These are not "new" units; they are intended to be groupings of existing Reserve units tagged for force employment in domestic ops.  As such, it's likely they'll see additional training in things related to domestic ops, and could deploy in whole or in part on domestic ops under CanadaCom.  But I doubt that they would constitute organizations that are deployable on expeditionary ops.  If that's the understanding that you and your buddies have, it's probably unrealistic.  You may want to discuss the matter with your chain of command for further details.

Well nothing is concrete about how these units are going to work. There will be a significant number of troops on Class B though.  most of them will be dagged green.  The army has hinted that these units could be used to fill any shortfalls for operational tours overseas.  Yes the main focus is domestic ops but don't kid yourself about the need for more troops on the ground and what the CF will need to do to get more of them there.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 25, 2006, 15:49:12
Well nothing is concrete about how these units are going to work. There will be a significant number of troops on Class B though.  most of them will be dagged green.  The army has hinted that these units could be used to fill any shortfalls for operational tours overseas.  Yes the main focus is domestic ops but don't kid yourself about the need for more troops on the ground and what the CF will need to do to get more of them there.

As you said, nothing is concrete about this, including there being a "significant number of troops on Class B"--certainly outside of unit-level HQ elements.  We should probably wait until some more water goes under the bridge before trying to make any definitive statements about these things.  That's why I used a lot of weasel words in my original post i.e. "being considered", "intended to be", "likely they'll see", etc.  I've been briefed on these things quite recently, and they're still very much works-in-progress.

The one thing I would say, directed to PhilB and Crantor both, is that expectations about large-scale, full-time employment for Reservists should probably be reigned in, at least for the time-being.  These TDBGs could very well end up being simply groupings of existing Reserve units that, under some circumstances, could be placed under the command of TDBG HQs for domestic ops.   In this case, the TDBG HQs would be new, and could end up employing something like a couple of dozen class B Reservists as staff officers, clerks, info tech people, etc.  But the only difference the grouped units may see would be be some more emphasis on dom ops trg in their trg plans and a few more days of class A per soldier each year.   As I said, your chain of command should be able to update you on this as it develops.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on October 25, 2006, 15:59:18
While these ideas all have merit, no one had addressed the most important equation.

 "Were will we get the manpower to fill these new battalions, companies"?
 

If you're talking about the Territorial Defence Battalion Groups, then we're probably not talking about new units or sub-units.  These are still works in progress, but they're probably just going to be groupings of existing Res F units that would be employed, as needed, for domestic ops under TDBG HQs.  These HQs might be new organizations, but we're talking maybe a few dozen full-time staff for all of them, across the country.  The units, however, would just be the same units we have now, with some dom ops training added to their trg plans, and maybe a few more days of class A pay per soldier.

Obviously, the messaging about these TDBGs is getting very muddied.  There seem to be lots of folks who are thinking these are going to be new, standing/full-time/Reg F organizations.  But based on a briefing I had recently, that's not really what's being considered (unless there have been some VERY recent and quite dramatic changes!)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on October 25, 2006, 18:05:44
Obviously, the messaging about these TDBGs is getting very muddied.  There seem to be lots of folks who are thinking these are going to be new, standing/full-time/Reg F organizations.  But based on a briefing I had recently, that's not really what's being considered (unless there have been some VERY recent and quite dramatic changes!)

+1, until the Government makes an announcement it's all speculation. I expect a number of new full-time positions, but not the addition of several-hundred PY's initially.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PhilB on October 25, 2006, 19:19:22
Roger that sir, in my unit we still havent heard basically anything about this aside from the fact the they are in the works, it was just a thought. Thanks for the clarification
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RangerRay on November 05, 2006, 20:44:00
39 CBG is adopting a "Tactical Grouping" plan that will see (I believe) all of our Cbt Arms units under "Shared HQ's" until they achieve a 200 pers parade state, i.e. the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Seaforth will share a HQ until one or the other parades 200 pers, at which point they will regain their independant HQ.  Same for the Arty, Armd (are they just Recce now?), and Eng.

Very interesting.  When I was in, I always pondered about the RMRang and BCDs amalgamating to become either the Rocky Mountain Dragoons, or the British Columbia Rangers, depending on which trade won out.  Mind you, switching trades for most of the troops probably wouldn't have been very popular!

Is there any talk of full amalgamation into the "Seaforth Rangers" or the "Rocky Mountain Highlanders"?

(oh, as if the sheep jokes weren't bad enough now!  ;D)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dglad on November 05, 2006, 21:01:10
Very interesting.  When I was in, I always pondered about the RMRang and BCDs amalgamating to become either the Rocky Mountain Dragoons, or the British Columbia Rangers, depending on which trade won out.  Mind you, switching trades for most of the troops probably wouldn't have been very popular!

Is there any talk of full amalgamation into the "Seaforth Rangers" or the "Rocky Mountain Highlanders"?

(oh, as if the sheep jokes weren't bad enough now!  ;D)

There are some very good reasons not to do this.  There will be enormous push-back from some potentially very influential stakeholders (Honouraries, Senates, Old Boys/Veterans Associations, etc.)  Also, if you actually eliminate a unit HQ, it's gone.  It's generally considered easier and better for all concerned to zero-man the HQ of the Royal Polar Bear Highlanders, and then group them as a sub-unit under the HQ of the Queen's Own Caribou Rifles across the pde square.   The RPBH still has its traditions, history, insignia, Senate, Regimental Days, etc.; however, for training and admin purposes, it is subordinate to the QOCR HQ.  Succession to unit HQ can be drawn from either Regiment.   And, if it ever becomes necessary, the zero-manned HQ is still there on the OoB, ready to be reconstituted.  It means fewer billets for LCols and CWOs, but I think most will agree that's a minor problem compared with trying get unity of thought and effort instilled in our Res F training.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on November 30, 2006, 03:05:08
I tend to agree with one a point Michael made. it might be better to amalgamate thren watch a regiment be disbanded and die.
let's be honest how many Militia Bn's and Regiments do we have that are Coy and Sqn strength. Realistically wouldn't we be better served by say some 18-20 Militia Infantry Regiments of roughly ar at least close to Bn strength (400-600 pers) and a similar reduction in Armoured, Arty and other units.

If such as thing is to happen, and I think it's a realistic possibility, then better it happen on "our" terms rather that some whim of a politician .

Methinks I've opened the proverbial can of worms here, but then again maybe it's worthy of a debate.

I agree with you fully on the pratical application of it... However how do you decide who gets chopped? In some areas it might be easier then in others. In 32 CBG we have 6 infantry "regiments" which = 6 CO's, 6 RSM's, probably 20 CSM's, and maybe 500 trigger pulling soldiers....   

Its a top heavy system, but the reserves it has to be, due to the nature of our service and fact that not every Sr. Mbr will be there every week/weekend you need to have an over supply of them to keep the big picture running - ie have some one step up, without having too much of a negative impact on platoon level leadership.

Ie. It's almost like a 2 tiered system where u have the training audience which is typically up to the Pl Cmd (or Coy Cmd) those who take part in the training.... and then theres the whole other side of organizing/ running / administering trg.... typically consisiting of Ex- RSM who have CFR, or CSM with 30 years in who have a wealth of knowledge and administrative use, but serve little use in the actual leading / flight..... we all know the type.....

I'd love to see the system get streamlined, and the excess fat trimmed off, literally... but good luck doing it, and good luck keeping up moral of those pers who served in the units that get absorbed by say a larger/ more effective one....   Im sure you know as well as i do what happens when 2 units work together, u get 5 diffrent "by the book" ways of doing somthing..... Prehaps it could get done by geographic lines, or almost at random where people get assigned.... once again, moral killer, but in the end could make us more effective? Like u said... Can of Worms....

Just my $0.02
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: The Rifleman on December 21, 2006, 05:28:05
It seems that you are getting shafted the same way the TA (Territorial Army) infantry has been in the UK. Originally, we had volunteer regiments, that became battalions of a parent regular regiment. But those battalions got messed around with endlessly. Inf changed to Engineer, then Arty, then Signals, then back to Inf. Some went to Engineer, then Arty, then Signals, back to Inf - and then Logistics. Some went Inf, Tanks, Signals, disbandment. The lucky ones were reduced down to company or platoon strength.

We did have 7 years of hybrid regiments - that is a regiment made up by multiple cap badged units based on geographical boundaries- and it was a complete mess. For example, the London Regiment was made up by companies with the following cap badges - Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Royal Green Jackets (x2), London Irish Rifles, Princess of Wales Royal Regiment and the London Scottish. Now, with the regular army going through a massive re-badging exercise, the TA battalions are now back to being part of a larger regular regiment, with a single identity. The Londons however, remain an oddity and have been brigaded with the Guards (less the 2 RGJ companies who will join the Rifles)

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2006, 14:08:23
Wow, Riflemen, that souds more messed up then what we have...

However, due to the geographic vastness of Canada, vary few Res. units are located in the same area as a Reg unit. There is a big disconnect of the Res and Reg in those terms. This is not to say we don't/can't work in cooperation. But we only come together for deployments and thats about it. The only standing presence of Reg pers within a Res. unit is the attachment of a few pers. typically 1-3 from my expereince with my Regiment. They tend to fill vital roles such as OP's WO.

We've been lucky in terms of Regiments not rebadging in recent times. However we do have a history of some unit doing the change as you desribed.

Now, when you say "Company" do you actaully mean a 120 troops?  Because in our case, every Res. unit is called a regiment, however, for the most part they are at about company strengh. My "Regiment" has three "Coy"  which average just over platoon strenght.  It is my understanding that in the UK a TA Company is actually a fully manned company... can you please clear this up for me? 

Cheers!





Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 21, 2006, 14:25:45
For all the people willing, and advocating, the termination of the top (LCol, RSM, etc) of Reserve Regiments, a question (or a few, if you will). What do you envision the status of these people, that put in 20-30 years with the Reserves? Do you tell them they'll never progress past Maj/ MWO? They'll never have the opportunity to take their Command courses, and be allowed to put these lessons into practice? That after serving faithfully for all those years the best they can ever hope for is Pltn Commander/ WO? With the growth that's being bandied about, (doubling the strength of the Res Regiments), is it so far fetched to expect these positions to remain?

Before everyone jumps in with "It's like that in the Regs", we know we're comparing apples and oranges.

Just a thought, but before you decide these persons careers, you have to look at all aspects of your decisions.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dapaterson on December 21, 2006, 16:08:53
Recceguy:  most Reserve LCols never will command a battalion. They never put those lessons into practice because they command, at most, a rump company.  You can count on one hand the number of Reserve units that parade over 200 soldiers - and have fingers to spare.  (well, if you round up the one unit with 197 parading for the month, you'll have a finger to spare).

That experiential delta is a key problem in the Army Reserve - LCols have no bn command experience because they do not command bns; RSMs are actually CSMs (or, for some particularly weak units, Pl WOs on steroids).  We do people no favour by fostering this situation and mindset.  Commanders need comand experience.

Why not have a system that lets Majors command full-strength companies, where they can gain experience and possibly (gasp) go outside ther regiment for 2-3 years to work at the CBG, or work with CIMIC or some other endeavour, broadening their military experience.  The current unseemly haste to breed the next CO leads to a diluted gene pool, where far too often the last man standing is promoted.  And god forbid someone from outside the unit be appointed CO or RSM.

Truth in Advertising - an Artillery regiment that parades 49 people is not a regiment (side note: since 1998 that unit's maximum parade strength was 53).  Sticking around for 30 years should not guarantee someone a promotion to CWO or LCol in a unit that can field at best one gun det.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2006, 16:36:51
Simpley put, we have to many chief and not enough indians. My unit, a Res. Infantry Regiment has the following (roughly)

1 LCOL, 3 Maj, 6 Capt, 6 Lt/2Lt and 1 CWO, 4 MWO, 2 WO, and countless Sgt...

However, we have the junior ranks to field a company. We like every other Res unit are top heavy. Yes Recceguy you are very correct in pointing out the fact that these people have knowledge and expereince and are exteremly valuable in an admin. function. But a significant degree of high ups in the Reserve world are living in the days of the Cold War still, they have no knowledge or expereince of of the current RMA. Until just a few years ago the focus of our training was advance to contact across the flats of meaford.

At the same time, there is a number of people within higher who do seek info on the contemporary nature of what we do, there are those who are in tune. This is not intended to be a bashing session of Sr NCO/Officers.   

But from a business stand point, do you forsee a civilian company with 100 workers having 20 executives and senior management types?
The structure of the Res units in terms of higher has the staffing to support full size battalions. So in terms of economics we need to boost the ranks, or trim the top. The two are out of proportion, as dapaterson put it, there are "CSM" out there filling the role of PL WO's on steroids.....

There are greater systemic issues that prevent the realization of this trimming. Such as the voluntary nature of the job, we need to be top heavy because we need people to plug holes at the top, as frankly you would be left with MCpl commanding Pl if we did not have the surplus at the top. Its a catch 22. Like i said before, its a can of worms.





Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 21, 2006, 16:42:48
Personally, I would only accept that if every, in our case, Res Armoured Regt in Ont, became an outlying Sqn of the RCD. With their badge, etc, and everything that goes with it. Equal opportunity amongst all for training, equipment, deployment, et al. The government would have to be ready and willing, financially and morally, to fund and equip us all. The Regs would have to be ready to accept it with no caveats or animosity. If this can't be met, we're just blowing smoke up each others asses.

Simpley put, we have to many chief and not enough indians. My unit, a Res. Infantry Regiment has the following (roughly)

1 LCOL, 3 Maj, 6 Capt, 6 Lt/2Lt and 1 CWO, 4 MWO, 2 WO, and countless Sgt...

However, we have the junior ranks to field a company. We like every other Res unit are top heavy. Yes Recceguy you are very correct in pointing out the fact that these people have knowledge and expereince and are exteremly valuable in an admin. function. But a significant degree of high ups in the Reserve world are living in the days of the Cold War still, they have no knowledge or expereince of of the current RMA. Until just a few years ago the focus of our training was advance to contact across the flats of meaford.

At the same time, there is a number of people within higher who do seek info on the contemporary nature of what we do, there are those who are in tune. This is not intended to be a bashing session of Sr NCO/Officers.  

But from a business stand point, do you forsee a civilian company with 100 workers having 20 executives and senior management types?
The structure of the Res units in terms of higher has the staffing to support full size battalions. So in terms of economics we need to boost the ranks, or trim the top. The two are out of proportion, as dapaterson put it, there are "CSM" out there filling the role of PL WO's on steroids.....

There are greater systemic issues that prevent the realization of this trimming. Such as the voluntary nature of the job, we need to be top heavy because we need people to plug holes at the top, as frankly you would be left with MCpl commanding Pl if we did not have the surplus at the top. Its a catch 22. Like i said before, its a can of worms.


The Reserve units have been given the mandate to grow. In some cases, IIRC, by 100 %. You're going to require these people to oversee that mandate and administer the influx.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2006, 16:58:55
You are correct, the mandate has been given to grow, and until my "Coy" sized Regiment doubles we're still looking at a very very top heavy system. We're one of the larger ones, and we still IMHO do not justify the amout of "higher ups". This manade has been in effect for a while. I have not seen much growth. Rention is a big issue. I would love to have hit the size where we parade a fully manned company at each of our locations. As it stands now, I'm a section commander with a section that resembles a 4 man recce det rather then a proper infantry section... Its hard to maintain the intrest of new Pte. and teach them section level tactics when 1-2 of my fire teams are notional. Bring us back down in terms of organization to reflect our numbers will allow us to train properly at the section level.

Interms of augmenting the reg force, its done mainly through section sized or smaller contributions from a single reserve unit. Res CSM, PL WO, COY CMD do not deploy in those roles.


My CSM has two 60% manned platoon to worry about. Granted he has the NES dead beats to deal with as well. So i guess that bring him up to having almost 2 full platoon.

My RSM over looks a total of 4 undermaned platoons....     

I would love for us to get the resouces and funds required. However they simply are not there. All the extra cash is getting funneled towards a place in South West Asia, that rightfully so must be the focus.


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on December 21, 2006, 17:03:19
A question about that mandate "To grow"; is there the money to back this up?  Reservists parading now are budgeted very tightly as to the amount of time they can parade, and that allows for very few training nights or weekends.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 21, 2006, 17:48:52
George, im not sure as to the specifics regarding growth, but the current government has stated a few times they that wish to increase the reserves so to increase the presence of the military in communites across the Canada, as i'm sure you already know.

Do you think that means the realization of Liberals fears of "troops with guns, in our street, in Canada" oh lordy, silly campaign ads... btw, wasnt it Trudeau that enact the War Measures Act...   [SARCASM]

Back to the point at hand, they wish to have the reserves play an increasing role in augmenting the regular forces, which also is old news. So im sure they have somthing set aside... or at least hope so... But in terms of actual #'s or figures I am not aware of the details.

Although speaking with my Units recruiting NCO he has been mandated to recruit above what is needed for sustainment, in other words he has been authorized to expand us, not sure by how much....But I still doubt that my CSM will have a full company anytime soon...

Interms of restricted training, I think that problem has been soloved to a degree????  I've heard the stories of the times when my unit paraded one a month, and did one ex a year and so on... But as far as i know, the units in southern ontario are doing alright on this point. I do believe a few of the northern units had this problem in recent years (heard somthing from someone to the effect) Anyone outside of southern ontario with info regarding reduced training by res units in there area?  ( its a bit off topic, but still relevent, links back to top heavy structure, fund allocation etc etc)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 21, 2006, 21:16:52
In terms of augmenting the reg force, its done mainly through section sized or smaller contributions from a single reserve unit. Res CSM, PL WO, COY CMD do not deploy in those roles.

Careful about generalizations. Reserve OCs, CSM's, Pl Comds and Pl WOs do deploy.  It's been done before.  It's being done now (KAF D&S Pls) and it will be done again, quite possibly on a much larger scale than we're accustomed to seeing.

My CSM has two 60% manned platoon to worry about. Granted he has the NES dead beats to deal with as well. So I guess that bring him up to having almost 2 full platoon.

A lot of Reg F rifle coys aren't much better off these days.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2006, 00:00:55
Careful about generalizations. Reserve OCs, CSM's, Pl Comds and Pl WOs do deploy.  It's been done before.  It's being done now (KAF D&S Pls) and it will be done again, quite possibly on a much larger scale than we're accustomed to seeing.

A lot of Reg F rifle coys aren't much better off these days.


Ok, you are right. of the 2000 Canadian in Afghanistan apx 200 or so are reserve, and you've sited that the D+S PL WO is Res. (I have buddies in that platoon right now)

Thus far my generalization is pretty accurate. 1 for 2000.... heck even if there was 3, the point is pretty clear.... they tend not to deploy in such a capacity.

Roto 13 in Bosnia is an exception as well, when a Res Coy went over... and on the point you make refering to it likley more common in the future... we're looking at a Coy of Res at a given time... so again.... 1 Maj, a few Capt/Lts 1 CSM and 3 WO.....   or about 1/3 of my Res Units higher ups.... multiplied by the countless res units out there... drops in the bucket....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on December 22, 2006, 00:05:32
Thus far my generalization is pretty accurate. 1 for 2000.... heck even if there was 3, the point is pretty clear.... they tend not to deploy in such a capacity.


Actually, not to nit pick, you are way off in your generalization of 1 for 2000.  There are not 2000 WO's in theatre.  Perhaps there are between 25 and 50, and that is being very generous.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 22, 2006, 02:55:31
There's also a lot of agumentees, (CIMIC, PHSYOPS, HUMINT, etc) that are WOs' and above filling those spots.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2006, 03:08:00
George, you have greatly mis-quoted me...

I said THERE ARE "2000 CANADIANS" IN AFGHANISTAN  which is actually very close to the true figure, as there is about 250 deployed to Camp Mirage in support of TFA, give you the total of 2200-2300

So we have 2000 Canadians in A-stan, and going along with the point raised by Haggis, regarding the D+S PL having a Res Force PL WO...

What I said was that, even with 2000 Canadian in Afghanistan right now, there is probably 1 (heck lets push it, maybe 2, even 3) WO from the Res Force who are currently filling the position of Pl 2IC.

As i stated before, there is many Res Force members there now, and probaby a handful of WO, however they are not in PL 2IC positions, as this relates back to earlier discussion regarding top heavy reserve units and higher ups not serving the "typical" function of there rank overseas..

Ie. Res Lt. who would normaly be a Pl Cmd in the Res world go as CIMIC ops, or staff officers, etc etc... and  not as Pl Cmd.....  




I know damn well the army is top heavy... but not that damn heavy....


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Fishbone Jones on December 22, 2006, 03:13:11
If you got rid of all the people at the top, you lower guys would have to take the responsibility for all the frig ups. Instead of blaming it on the highers, for a change. ;) ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2006, 03:26:43
I'm not advocating a Stalin inspired purge of the army's leadership.... im not that bitter.... LOL....
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: The Rifleman on December 22, 2006, 05:20:57
Desert Fox

A TA battalion is made up the same way as a regular battalion - Fire Support Company (anti tank, mortar, recce & machine gun platoons), HQ Company (signal & MT platoons, sections of assault pioneers, cooks, provosts, int cell, admin. etc) and three (sometimes four) Rifle Companies.

However, the Rifle Companies are only allowed to recruit two of three platoons as the third is intended for regular reserves if called up in a time of emergency. The Company does have a full HQ and is also allowed to recruit "spare" SNCOs (reserves do not always turn up for exercises due to other commitments (family & work) and it ensures proper command & control - you can never have enough sergeants!)

The London Regiment is now the only oddity in that the companies are named after Regiments - City of London Fusiliers, London Irish Rifles, London Scottish and Queens Regiment.

As for unit locations, sometimes a Drill Hall (I think you call them Armouries?) will only have a Platoon. This is so that TA centres keep local (Territorial) and reduces travel costs. It also ensures that the buildings are kept on strength as they are valuable real estate assetts.


At present in Iraq & the Stan TA Force Protection Companies are deployed to carry out some of the more mundane tasks such as guarding HQs, escorting civvies & aid agencies, and carrying out vehicle check points. These companies are usually made up from volunteers from whole battalions. Some TA soldiers do volunteer to make up the numbers in regular battalions and are normally well recieved. TA Signals & Engineers also provide company strength units, but Yeomanry (the old Gentleman Cavalry Volunteers) provide IRs (individual Replacements) as they are trained as crewmen for tanks or recce vehicles.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: GAP on December 22, 2006, 07:51:29
Canada's reservists to be eligible for pension
Updated Thu. Dec. 21 2006 11:06 PM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061221/reserves_pension_061221/20061221?hub=Canada)

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor announced today that Canada's reservists will be able to contribute to and receive pension plan benefits starting in the new year.

As many as 8,500 reservists may now qualify to be included in the Canada Pension Plan and establishing reservist pensions has been an issue many of them have been fighting for.

"This is the CPP (Canada Pension Plan) that every worker in Canada pays into and, as a result, is able to collect upon retirement," CTV's David Akin, who was first to report the news, told Newsnet from Ottawa.

In a news release, O'Connor is quoted as saying that the government made this change "because we believe that all Reservists should be able to collect a pension that will allow them to build for retirement and provide their families with basic financial protection."

"Canada's New Government is proud of the brave men and women who serve our country daily and this amendment is another example of our commitment to support them."

Gen. Rick Hillier, the Chief of Defence Staff, called the announcement "excellent news" for reservists. "Whether Canadians choose to serve full-time or part-time in the CF, they will be able to start building upon their CPP pension and create a more secure future," he added.
More on link
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on December 22, 2006, 09:19:21
George, you have greatly mis-quoted me...

Sorry.  I quoted you directly from this:

Ok, you are right. of the 2000 Canadian in Afghanistan apx 200 or so are reserve, and you've sited that the D+S PL WO is Res. (I have buddies in that platoon right now)

Thus far my generalization is pretty accurate. 1 for 2000.... heck even if there was 3, the point is pretty clear.... they tend not to deploy in such a capacity.

Roto 13 in Bosnia is an exception as well, when a Res Coy went over... and on the point you make refering to it likley more common in the future... we're looking at a Coy of Res at a given time... so again.... 1 Maj, a few Capt/Lts 1 CSM and 3 WO.....   or about 1/3 of my Res Units higher ups.... multiplied by the countless res units out there... drops in the bucket....

It is plain as the nose on your face that you said, refering to WO's; "1 for 2000.... heck even if there was 3, the point is pretty clear.... they tend not to deploy in such a capacity."  I pointed out that there were more likely 25 to 50 WO's, tops (again not the 2000 that you claimed above).   So the percentage of Reserve WO's is much greater than what you are complaining about.  It indeed looks like there is a very high percentage of Reservists filling higher ranks, if you look at percentages by rank, not as you have done, by total Force.

You are crying and bending stats to make your point.  I am saying your point is false due to your faulty use of statistics.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 22, 2006, 10:43:53
Roto 13 in Bosnia is an exception as well, when a Res Coy went over... and on the point you make refering to it likley more common in the future... we're looking at a Coy of Res at a given time... so again.... 1 Maj, a few Capt/Lts 1 CSM and 3 WO.....   or about 1/3 of my Res Units higher ups.... multiplied by the countless res units out there... drops in the bucket....

The Reserve Coy started out at 120 all ranks with another 30 in the HQ Sqn D&S Platoon and 13 detached to CIMIC etc..  If you look beyond the Cbt A, almost 30% of Roto 13 was Reservists with one LCol, several Majors, Capts, Lts and at least three MWOs that I know of personally in quite senior and important positions.  Roto 14 approached 50%.

Presently there are Reserve Majors, Capt, Lts, a CWO, WOs and Sgts (note I used pluralisms) serving in Afghanistan.  In order to be objective you must look beyond just the Battle Group to see the whole pictuire of Reserve augmentation on any mission.

There is more than one mission going on.  If your unit's "higher ups" want to deploy, they can probably get a spot on a mission.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: The Rifleman on December 22, 2006, 11:06:09
Well the UK Reserves (all services) don't get a pension - or medical care & dental care (unless they are mobilised). If they are wounded on ops they are repatriated - discharged - and they have to make an appointment with the local hospital for after care (or in some cases for further operations)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 22, 2006, 11:09:45
Well the UK Reserves (all services) don't get a pension - or medical care & dental care (unless they are mobilised). If they are wounded on ops they are repatriated - discharged - and they have to make an appointment with the local hospital for after care (or in some cases for further operations)

 :o

Well that certainly sucks!!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2006, 13:22:18
Yes Georege it is clear, you quoted directly, however you missed my point....

1  Reserve WO in the role of PL2IC
Even thou there are 2000 troops on the ground.....
Even thou there are several Res higher ups there, few are in command position...

When i was in Kabul in 2005... there was a plethora of Res Force WO/Officers filling vital tasks, CIMIC, FST, Staff Officer Positions....

However they did not deploy as Infantry platoon cmd/2IC, or Company Cmd.... There was a LCol who was the CO of a Toronto Area Regt who was part of CIMIC, who dropped in rank to Maj and commanded the 12 person CIMIC team....      Majors normally command more then 12 people....   



[Inserted after initial post]

RIFLEMAN

- Thanks for the info, Cheers!


Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on December 22, 2006, 14:44:26
When i was in Kabul in 2005... there was a plethora of Res Force WO/Officers filling vital tasks, CIMIC, FST, Staff Officer Positions....

However they did not deploy as Infantry platoon cmd/2IC, or Company Cmd.... There was a LCol who was the CO of a Toronto Area Regt who was part of CIMIC, who dropped in rank to Maj and commanded the 12 person CIMIC team....      Majors normally command more then 12 people....   

I am still not that impressed with your arguments.  To me they really are insignificant and irrelevant.  The examples you are quoting are for one Tour, but do not cover the wider timeframe.

As for a LCol taking a drop down to Maj to do a Tour; is that anything new for Reservists?  No.  It happens at all rank levels.  As for a Major commanding 12 people; that is also an irrelevant issue.  He commanded a CIMIC Team.  What was that team made up of?  Could most of them have been Capt's, Lt's, and MWO's, most of, if not all, them being Reservists. 

I really see nothing substantial in your arguments.  There are Trades that are filling 50% or more of taskings on Tour.  Your example of the Convoy Comd and his Escort was 100% Reservists.  Get over it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Desert Fox on December 22, 2006, 18:15:32
We're looking at the issue from two diffrent angles, and i see no point on continuing with it.

My point related back to previous comments regarding CWO/RSM and Maj/Coy Cmd from Res force never/very seldomly deploying in such a capacity.

CIMIC is a Reserve task, meaning that the norm is that all CIMIC pers are Res Force. (I'm sure there could be the odd exception to this)






Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 22, 2006, 18:30:38
My point related back to previous comments regarding CWO/RSM and Maj/Coy Cmd from Res force never/very seldomly deploying in such a capacity.

The point others are trying to make (me included) is that there are presently limited opportunities for for senior Reservists to deploy in their rank and trade in the Combat Arms.   For those that want to go, there are out-of-trade oppourtunities in CIMIC, PsyOps, HUMINT, J Staffs, OMLTs etc. etc. as well as in over a dozen other missions than Afghanistan.

CIMIC is a Reserve task, meaning that the norm is that all CIMIC pers are Res Force. (I'm sure there could be the odd exception to this)

As George mentioned, some capabilities (such as CIMIC) are wholly or overwhelmingly Reserve.

Lastly it's unfair and misleading for you to state that that Reserve LCols/Majs/CWOs/MWOs never deploy.  They do and they will continue to do so.  It's been shown to you already and you're just not getting it.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 23, 2006, 02:12:45
Great thread. Let us also not forget those LCol/Majors/CWO's/MWO's "who will never deploy" are indeed contributing to the mission as gatekeepers. They are the leadership/administrators of the Reserves who do indeed deploy and do so often when called upon without any question. Indeed most area HQ's are manned with 30%-50% (depending on the Area) reservists getting the TF out the door and yes repatriatiing the casualty's. As pointed out many who deploy take a drop in rank, indeed many take a drop in pay not only leaving a civilian job but also some loose a pay grade or two just to deploy thanks a bunch.

You know it is funny as we sit here hammering good old Desert Fox. I am an AO to a really badly wounded Reservist and with him is a really badly wounded Reg. These two chaps come as a pair kind of like kittens. They support each other and have a bond that is amazing. I do not see any difference all I see is two troops fighting hard to stand up. I think we should keep our eye on the ball.

Desert Fox face it the Regs need the Reserves as much as the Reserves need the Regs. Things have changed we are all in it together this sort of us and them serves no one. While I agree perhaps the Reserves need some tuning be careful for what you wish for it may come true. I wonder what would happen if every Reservist on contract both deployed and holding positions especially at HQ's were to give their notice. How much mayham would that cause. Don't worry it will never happen because those guys that work side by side with their Reg counterpart (not getting PLD and 15% less) have way too much character. By the way I was one of those guys who with PBI way back when had similar ideas re folding units. Age gives you wisdom
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 23, 2006, 03:47:30
I know you didn't really mean hammer him poor choice of words on my part. I fully agree with you re command selection. Clearly a case of avocation vs vocation. I guess what I am really saying is when these kids are knocked down they are all the same Reg or Reserve and the bonding is at its very best. I only wish some of the Reserve Reg bashers and indeed the Reg Reserve bashers could see these fellows at their most venerable. It puts it all in perspective that we are a small Army that need each other especially now.

In point of fact when I was a MWO it was hard, real hard to get a tour. Now that I am a Capt there are tours a plenty. Everyone points to ROTO 13 as the example. I would suggest we would have been pooched even more so on ROTO 14 if it wasn't for those Reservists. I know I was asked would you go, within 12 days I was in theatre (didn't even get embarkation leave oh well). Sometimes it is all about time and space. Often you see Reg force LCol/Col/MWO's/CWO's with little or no gongs except for the SSM and CD. This isn't because they didn't want to deploy again a issue of time and space. Gee I wonder how many Reservists are doing the Biz back home teaching Reg BMQ's,  Battle Schools and doing the trenchwork in Borden looking after those poor devils we call Pat's. My point is the Army is like a orchestra we all have our instrument to play and we cannot afford to be fighting each other these days.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 23, 2006, 17:36:19
Everyone points to ROTO 13 as the example. I would suggest we would have been pooched even more so on ROTO 14 if it wasn't for those Reservists.

Rotos 11 through 14 also proved that we, as an Army, don't adequately prepare our soldiers medically, dentally or administratively.  DAGging those rotos took a disproparionate amount of time, effort and money which could have bneen spent on training.  This isn 't the fault of the Reservist or the Reserve units as thay have little say in what, if any, support is granted to them by the support bases.  In most cases, the support base will not give you kit, a permanent I card, shots, a medical or dental until you have a tasking message to show.  You don't get a tasking message until you DAG green.  You can't DAG Green until you have your shots, I card, dental, etc. etc.  Catch 22.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 23, 2006, 17:50:19
Couldn't agree more it was like pulling teeth just to get kit and I DAGGED Green. It is really difficult as a individual augmentee from outside the area basically you are on your own at times.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 23, 2006, 17:54:49
Couldn't agree more it was like pulling teeth just to get kit and I DAGGED Green. It is really difficult as a individual augmentee from outside the area basically you are on your own at times.

(Rhetorical question)
The Air and Naval Reserves seem to be able to do it.  Why can't the Army? 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 23, 2006, 18:01:56
Good Point

Perhaps they are sailors and airman/women first. The Regimental system has some great vertues but...........................................

I wonder how many Reserve augmentees from the L Eddys, Seaforths 48th etc were offered a Ortona cocktail a few days ago.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 23, 2006, 23:23:26
Perhaps they are sailors and airman/women first.

And that has what to do with how their supported by their Reg F support base?

I wonder how many Reserve augmentees from the L Eddys, Seaforths 48th etc were offered a Ortona cocktail a few days ago.

The answer may surprise you. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 23, 2006, 23:46:48
To the first I would suggest it has more to do with training by that I mean the Navy/Airforce crses are more in line with their Reg Force counterparts.

To the second I assume the non RCR types had in a little drink as well. If this is the case I say great we have come a long way. I have been to Pachino Day celebrations where 48th and Hast PER were excluded. This is not a exclusive RCR battle in point of fact the brunt of the fighting was taken by the other two unit of the 1 Bde 1 Cdn Div. I guess I am being a little argumentative for fun now.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Haggis on December 24, 2006, 00:10:06
To the first I would suggest it has more to do with training by that I mean the Navy/Airforce crses are more in line with their Reg Force counterparts.

They are indeed.  However they are subject to the same DAG machinations as the army, yet they deploy more often and in proportionally greater ratio than we do.  So, how do they do it?

I guess I am being a little argumentative for fun now.

Not a good idea with a guy watching "Patton" between posts.  ;D

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: captainj on December 24, 2006, 00:26:17
Patton I am waiting until my wife goes to sleep so I can watch Sex in The City ha ha ha...............................

Then I will watch my number one movie "The Hill" or "Tune of Glory" but Patton I don't know a little too American for me and a little too anti Brit in general.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Nug on February 01, 2007, 08:18:45
Winnipeg, the government just spent a load of money on Shilo so that 2VP could move there! So are they really thinking of spending more money to move them back or is this going to be a mystery battalion. Or maybe some form of Pres formation.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: garb811 on February 01, 2007, 08:20:57
My guess is if you think along the lines of the 10/90 Bns you'd be in the ballpark.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PMedMoe on February 01, 2007, 08:44:19
I just love how they close all these bases and then want to open more.  Do you think they'll just rent a big office/warehouse in most cases?  Also, Victoria and Vancouver?  Aren't they close enough to share?  ???
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 01, 2007, 10:06:47
Also from the story:

Quote
...the Conservative strategy calls for the regular force "footprint" to be increased across the country. A Northern Sovereignty Support Centre will be established in Goose Bay, N.L., and the 439 Combat Support Squadron at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, Que., will be expanded and redesignated as an "expeditionary" unit to better support domestic and international operations [with only Griffon helicopters? Maybe they will get some of the new Chinooks - MC]. In particular, the squadron would support deployments of the military's rapid-reaction Disaster Assistance Response Team...

This is clearly an effort to fulfill the Conservatives' campaign pledges to base regular Army "rapid reaction" battalions in Goose Bay and Bagotville (as well as Trenton and Comox). These units would hardly be the same thing and I have no idea how effectual this basing would be in military terms.

Given the headline for the story, perhaps the Liberals should start re-running that attack ad from the last federal election campaign:

Quote
Military wants more troops in cities

And it's not the military who want this, it's the Conservatives.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: JackD on February 01, 2007, 10:53:21
You mean - Chilliwack will open again?? Wahoo.. once a month I visit google earth and cry..... (whimper, gnash teeth, curse you Chretien...)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Target Up on February 01, 2007, 12:14:28
You and me both, Jack.  At least you were spared pain of the farewell parade and move of the regiment.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Junius on February 01, 2007, 12:34:25
Uplands or Connaught? Hmm..
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: dapaterson on February 01, 2007, 12:43:55
Redleafjumper's efforts were for Prince George, not Prince Rupert. 

And a minor correction:  TDBG full-time Res F personnel would be on class B, not class C service.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mortar guy on February 01, 2007, 12:45:14
On these new units in the cities: I recommend everybody watch and shoot and don't get your hopes up too much. Don't start thinking that you're going to see new units stood up with new bases opening and all that. The "city" battle groups will look very much like the reserve units we have now, along with their RSS reg force personne. For example, the Ottawa BG may look a little something like this:

BG HQ - GGFG or CHofO CO plus HQ staff from several units (including RSS)
A Coy - GGFG
B Coy - CHofO
C Coy - GGFG
Arty Bty - 30 Fd Regt
Engr Sqn - 3 FES
Recce Sqn - R de Hull (maybe OPCOM from 34 Bde)
CSS Coy - 28 Svc Bn/28 Med Coy

Nothing really new here in terms of organization. However, command relationships will be formalized and this BG will be given specific tasks to train and prepare for in sp of domestic ops.

Hope this helps.

MG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Staff Weenie on February 01, 2007, 12:54:56
Again, one of the questions is.....are these 'new troops', or are we going to rob them from existing units. What I've seen in Ottawa, is that the Bn will have a full time cadre, and pull it's troops from existing local units for approx 3 FTX per year or so. So.........do we have a new capability here, or just another HQ? It's almost like being in the Berlin Bunker at the end of the war - lots and lots of little pins on the map, but none of them mean anything anymore.

The implementation of this plan begs a whole pile of CSS questions (usually the ones that are most often forgotten until the last instant) - where do they get their 'offices/base', where do they get their 1st & 2nd line maint, their Health Services, what about PMQ's or kitchen? Since, I'm assuming, these folks would live off the local economy, we'll pay a fortune in PLD etc.

What about equipment? Do dilute the already almost non-existent resources even further? Will trucks magically appear?

I have no problem with the concept in broad terms, but I think that in the current status of the CF, implementing it will not be easy to say the least.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Another Recce Guy on February 01, 2007, 13:00:14
The Director of Armour spoke at our mess dinner in December.  He mentioned the TDBG and said something to the effect that existing reserve units would supply the bulk of the troops when the emergency happens.  It would be a metter of Canada Command taking over and tasking the troops.  Of course he said this at a mess dinner so I may be a little foggy on details  ;D.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Staff Weenie on February 01, 2007, 13:13:39
Yep, I vaguely remember a mess dinner where I got told at the last minute that I had to introduce the Guest Speaker, while I was already tanked....forgot his name and said he was "Somebody who had done some interesting things in lots of interesting places"....CO, HCol and his wife didn't seem too impressed - go figure  :blotto:

I know the plan is to pull the troops in for training and as needed - but then all these things are, is another HQ - why bother having all the different Regiments with their HQ's....perhaps this is the first innocent looking step towards amalgamation......
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: garb811 on February 01, 2007, 13:16:48
Redleafjumper's efforts were for Prince George, not Prince Rupert. 

Thanks for the correction.  I should have done a search prior to posting in order to refresh my recollections.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: beach_bum on February 01, 2007, 13:28:55
I just love how they close all these bases and then want to open more.  Do you think they'll just rent a big office/warehouse in most cases?  Also, Victoria and Vancouver?  Aren't they close enough to share?  ???

Although Victoria and Vancouver look close on a map, there is a lot of water and an hour and a half ferry ride between the two.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: JackD on February 01, 2007, 13:36:06
By the way kat, have you ever gone back there? Lots of places in which I used to wander about  seem to be built over... It sure would have been a good place to put these new dream units they speak of. Oh well, time passes, time changes.... stupidity marches on. i can remember the hops fields that used to be in the area - and you can get the Chilliwack Gazette or what everit is called - on line. Oh, does the regiment ever exercise its right to the fredom of the city?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Baden Guy on February 01, 2007, 13:36:53
The way it looks like we're doing things in Halifax is basing the TDBG on the existing reserve units with a small full time (part reg force part class c) HQ structure. IMHO the way to look at this is like we're giving the reserves a more national guard like capability.

Ya that's what I keep thinking.  A la National Guard in the states, each unit has enough gear to be mobile, means buying more gear, means money....Hmmmm  we got enough bucks for all this ?? :)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Samsquanch on February 01, 2007, 13:38:10
According to my map it's only a few millimeters away. ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Staff Weenie on February 01, 2007, 13:40:21
In addition, a lot of estimates show that should 'The Big One' hit BC, the ferry terminals, harbours, rail lines into BC and Vancouver International Airport will be heavily damaged, if not destroyed. If it ain't on the Island in advance, it ain't getting there for several critical days..... (based on 8 to 8.5 sustained over 30 to 60 sec).

Plus, it just seems like one spot folks would like to be posted too - I'm sorry Soldier - but you're going to Victoria...

Other than the high cost of living, I think it might be the dream posting (ever since CFS Bermuda closed).
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: IT_Dude_Joeschmo on February 01, 2007, 13:43:38
Also keep in mind folks, this plan is suppose to be effective as of 2016, so I imagine, by that time, we'll have boosted the numbers of troops in PRes and Reg Force, as well as probably more equipment...

Again... I imagine that's how it'll be... Because it won't even work any other way without more equipment!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: PMedMoe on February 01, 2007, 13:48:50
Although Victoria and Vancouver look close on a map, there is a lot of water and an hour and a half ferry ride between the two.

Well I guess they should have one in Charlottetown or Summerside, PEI and maybe Stephenville, NF as well.  ;) Might as well cover all bases.....no pun intended....well, maybe a bit.   ;D
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: beach_bum on February 01, 2007, 13:52:59
In addition, a lot of estimates show that should 'The Big One' hit BC, the ferry terminals, harbours, rail lines into BC and Vancouver International Airport will be heavily damaged, if not destroyed. If it ain't on the Island in advance, it ain't getting there for several critical days..... (based on 8 to 8.5 sustained over 30 to 60 sec).

Well I guess they should have one in Charlottetown or Summerside, PEI and maybe Stephenville, NF as well.  ;) Might as well cover all bases.....no pun intended....well, maybe a bit.   ;D

I believe the first post there is the reason.  I don't know if the east coast is expecting an earthquake as well?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brihard on February 01, 2007, 14:11:37
The 33CBG commander visited us on our last weekend of PLQ earlier in the month, and one of the things he talked about were these new territorial defence battalions. When describing it, he said that the one here in Ottawa would likely comprise 30ish class B reservists from the GGFG and CHofO, and would be supplemented by about a hundred people on class A to train for contingencies. It seems almost exclusively civil disaster type stuff. He was describing it to us, and told us it would pretty much exclusively be unarmed work- say, helping Ottawa police do roadblocks or traffic control, etc etc.

Those of us on the course were talking about it later, and the consensus is that there is little to no interest at our level to sign up for this if it's going to take us from our regiments on some of the Thursday nights. If they need us that bad, they'll call up the regiments proper on aid to the civil power, but as is very few of us are willing to sacrifice any potential infantry specific training to train for aid to the civil power. I've got no problem working if the unit itself is called up, but if it's as been described, few of us are interested in taking time out of regimental duties and training for this when they go looking for class A volunteers... I'm sure a number of people will be interested in the class B work, though.

Now, it's possible I was mistaken in how I interpreted the talk we got... If we do train for armed domestic response to security threats and such, that's entirely different- but a lot of that could be incorporated into our normal infantry training anyway.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on February 01, 2007, 14:21:33
Now, it's possible I was mistaken in how I interpreted the talk we got... If we do train for armed domestic response to security threats and such, that's entirely different- but a lot of that could be incorporated into our normal infantry training anyway.

I would tend to think that this is the case.  You would be conducting 'military' training, not what you might have thought.  You would also still be available to attend your regular Parade nights.  This is where your dedication is really shown, when you also attend regular Parade nights.  (As you would be on a Class B, you would not be entitled to sign a Class A Pay Sheet as you are already being paid for that time.)  There is a lot more to the plan than what you have envisioned.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brihard on February 01, 2007, 14:26:00
I would tend to think that this is the case.  You would be conducting 'military' training, not what you might have thought.  You would also still be available to attend your regular Parade nights.  This is where your dedication is really shown, when you also attend regular Parade nights.  (As you would be on a Class B, you would not be entitled to sign a Class A Pay Sheet as you are already being paid for that time.)  There is a lot more to the plan than what you have envisioned.

Seen.

In that case, what sort of class A opportunities would be available that would still preserve my ability to parade on Thursdays?

I envision that there would be some scheduling difficulties here, given that we have the GGFG and CHofO parading on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. I may be mistaken, but I think at least one of the Ottawa units parades on Wednesdays, and added to that each unit generally has an admin night on a totally separate day, often with leadership o groups and such...

Or is this envisioned as a class B committment where class A pers will only be called up when needed, given kit, and told what to do?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on February 01, 2007, 14:26:20
I would suggest everyone take a step back and breathe for a minute. The TDBG working group had its first meeting only last week. Any "details" at this point are moving targets at best...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brihard on February 01, 2007, 14:28:23
I would suggest everyone take a step back and breathe for a minute. The TDBG working group had its first meeting only last week. Any "details" at this point are moving targets at best...

Ah, OK. The info we got gave the impression that plans were advanced far beyond that...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on February 01, 2007, 14:35:18
Brihard

Obviously you should have a sit down with someone from the OR and have them explain how you are paid.  Classes A, B, and C are all paid differently.  You should also realize that each covers different time frames in how your wages are calculated.  Class A for instance pays you one of two ways; for a full day, anything over six hours, or for a half day for anything under six hours.  Class B and C pay you at monthly rates.  A RMS Clerk can sort out all your questions, and hopefully not confuse you any more.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on February 01, 2007, 14:57:08
Ah, OK. The info we got gave the impression that plans were advanced far beyond that...

There has been a fair amount of "big hand small map" concept development done, but the devil is in the details of implementation. Mortar Guy's explanation of the general concept was very good.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mortar guy on February 01, 2007, 15:42:08
Damn straight!

I'm correct so infrequently that I'm going to have to ask the moderators to lock this thread so that I may bask in that comment for evermore.

 8)
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: George Wallace on February 01, 2007, 15:43:30
OK

Done/Undone. 

Was that long enough?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mortar guy on February 01, 2007, 17:06:43
Yeah, that should do. My CO just said to me "Y'know Ops O, you're not as big an idiot as you appear to be." So I'm well above my quota for compliments this month.

With all this praise coming my way, I might not fit my head in my car (certainly not with my beret on...).

 8)

MG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Pikepusher on February 01, 2007, 22:34:04
Mortar Guy,

your suggestion of how a TDBG might be organized in Ottawa, for instance, reminds me of a chat the COS and the SO2 Ops&Trg of Central Militia Area HQ had around 1975 on how to organize the units of Toronto Militia District, for instance, in a useful way.  Perhaps the good Colonel was only a few decades ahead of the times.

By the way, I got a copy of CAMT 2-92, Basic Training (1961), off e-bay a few months ago as a reminder of a National Survival Course I took in 1963.  Happy to lend that to anybody involved in reinventing the wheel who might be interested in how similar problems were considered once upon a time.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Otto Fest on February 01, 2007, 23:45:59
This sounds a lot like 'civil defence' of the 60's, not in my mind a bad way to go.  However, it is lot like rearranging deck chairs - TMD/OMD are relabelled to CBGs.  Same people, same resources, different name.

The 10/90 concept will take a lot of CPR to revive after the fiascos of the third bns (Inf) in the 90s.  A lot of troops got boned out of that, and the miracle is that the branch was able to reconstitute itself.  Not that having more RSS in res units is a bad thing, but reserve participation is always indeterminate as many of the most dedicated members are already police, fire, medics.

DART has always been a chimera when not a griffon (gryphon?).  Composed of units all across Canada with no dedicated Tn and only an HQ as a permanent fixture it's always been hit and miss.  I do believe this should be beefed up with a solid core of subunits tasked for a year long period. 
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: NSmedicman on February 02, 2007, 00:46:50
The word from our CofC is that we will be tailoring much of our training resources towards Domestic Operations; preparing for the next natural or man-made disaster. Not sure if that is a coincidence, or as part of a larger plan.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: JackD on February 02, 2007, 03:25:35
So does that mean for the sappers out there a return to learning how to build bridges -  both prefabricated - ahh yes - the beloved Bailey -  and improvised? Does that mean re-equipment with the necessary tools for disaster relief - 'light' heavy equipment and such - does that also mean that many units will be re-rolled into the Engineer branch or logistics branches, oh and more coordination with local authorities?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on February 02, 2007, 08:08:30
This has been talked about a little at my unit, and was addressed by the CO at the Christmas dinner. He's already fighting to have our unit (local Inf) assigned as the lead for the TDBG. Everything circulating from 'informed' sources says it will be a core of Class B guys, maybe some Reg F, who will train full-time on disaster relief and SAR - learning how to use chain saws, power tools, etc. They could then pass on the simpler skills (like using a chainsaw) in an emergency, be experts/supervisors in other areas.

The greatest weakness I see in this plan is the lack of vehicles in Reserve units. Most barely have enough trucks to support their own training, let alone provide relief to a city. These TDBG's will need not only personnel, but a lot of equipment and gear that simply does not exist now. The techs and mechanics to maintain all the standby gear could account for many of these Class B positions on their own.

On that same theme - are there any plans to make Reserve Medical units employable/deployable? As I understand it, they are very limited on what they can do due to their training (ie, they aren't parademic-qualified). However in a disaster scenario they would be one of the most useful Reserve units.

All in all, it seems like an excellent opportunity for people who want to be Mo-bums for a year or two, although I question if the Class B system is the best way to maintain such a unit.



PS: edited for spelling and grammar
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Otto Fest on February 02, 2007, 10:25:06
Ah yes, vehicles...  When the reserve COs were at one time clamouring for the same scale of issue as RegF units I would ask them one question -

Where is your maint platoon to keep up this new kit?

The math is simple.  1 mech can maint 5 vehs. 

No mech, no veh.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Enfield on February 02, 2007, 11:24:49
On the topic of vehicles, I was thinking of the US military convoy that rolled into New Orleans - a huge column of (American versions of) HLVWs, some Deuce and a halfs, a lot of Humvees. News reports put one of the first convoys at 50 vehicles - that's a lot of trucks, just to carry supplies and troops. If we factor in the needs of an earthquake zone or a blizzard - snow removal, earth moving, recovery vehicles, tracked/armoured vehicles, etc - that's a lot of specialized, high-maintenance gear. Not every TDBG would need all of it, of course, but where such things (and the personnel) were located would be key. Trucks would be essential to each unit, however. Maybe introduce the G-Wagen or BV206's into the Militia?

A TDBG seems to be right up the alley of specialists like Engineers, Medics, and Service Battalions - and Combat Arms aren't much use for anything but labour and drivers. Does this mean re-focusing resources towards more applicable units? Sound's like it's time to circle the Regimental wagons!  ;D

I'm still not convinced that emergency/disaster response should be a key role for the Military or the Reserves, and I don't believe it should be an area to focus resources on. A well equipped and trained military (say, a Reserve force that had well fully stocked, well trained Medical and Engineer units in every city) should be capable of a wide range of disaster response in assistance to civilian authorities. For instance, if we do get new vehicles to provide a disaster response force, should we paint them green or orange? Do they need to be mil-spec? Can we forgo pretending we'd ever mount weapons on them?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RecceDG on February 02, 2007, 13:59:28
The rumours I have heard - and keep in mind that we're talking rumours here - is that the TDB task would be a secondary duty for the local units to fill.

The idea being that if you have 3 units in a city with a TDB in it, each unit would detach people to fill their share of the class B positions, and these people would (could) rotate back and forth between the F echelons and the TDB positions every couple of years.

The class B slots would be leadership/HQ and a fully manned subunit, and then the remaining TDB slots would be filled by the class A parts of the unit, activated and slotted into the TDB ORBAT if required.

For example, if a given unit is responsible for manning A Sqn of the TDB, they'd detach a Sqn HQ and a troop as class B, and then the other troops of the TDB squadron would be notional. But if the balloon went up, the activated class A troops would slot in under the existing TDB class B leadership structure.   

So using the Kootanay Highlanders, who today parade A Coy with 1, 2, and 3 Platoons, plus an RHQ, they might be tasked to provide C Coy of the Castlegar Territorial Defense Battalion. They would fill C Coy HQ and 7 Platoon as Class B, and would be responsible for manning 8 and 9 Platoons of C Coy from the manpower pool of A Coy.

A Coy KyH would still parade normally just as they do today, and there would be movement between A Coy and the active Class B positions they fill in C Coy.

It's not a bad concept - you spread the load out, you've got an immediate rapid reaction force (provided by the respective Class B subunits) for handling the small stuff, and you've got a plan for filling the larger units plus their leadership, ready to go if you need that much manpower to tackle the problem at hand. And most importantly, you're not locking entire units into "snakes and ladders" mode, which history has shown utterly demoralizes units and kills recruiting.

Where I have questions is where are all these new people going to come from, and where are we going to put them?

DG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Brihard on February 02, 2007, 14:17:35
Brihard

Obviously you should have a sit down with someone from the OR and have them explain how you are paid.  Classes A, B, and C are all paid differently.  You should also realize that each covers different time frames in how your wages are calculated.  Class A for instance pays you one of two ways; for a full day, anything over six hours, or for a half day for anything under six hours.  Class B and C pay you at monthly rates.  A RMS Clerk can sort out all your questions, and hopefully not confuse you any more.

I know you're not generally condescending, so I'm going to assume I misspoke in such a way that I made myself look like an idiot. I'm aware of how the pay system works, as well as the nature and vagaries of the various classes of employment.

What I meant was, if I as Cpl. Bloggins, CHofO want to step up for this new unit as a class A soldier, would there be training scheduled on the same night as normal unit parade nights, or would I just be a name on a list that might be called up once or twice a year to practice an activation? If I were class B, would I still have my Thursday evenings available to go to my regiment?

I must have phrased it awkwardly, but in either case RecceDG seems to have answered most of my pertinent questions.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 02, 2007, 14:25:24
So if I read RecceDG's interpretation of the rumours, and yes they are only rumours...

This whole thing is really just nothing more than a DRU (with a different name of course)... and a Class B headshed ... and more RSS.

Too bad it started out sounding like a solid idea.. now it's a re-package of an existing idea with a bunch of Class B's thrown in and Regular units rifled for even more RSS... Gawd knows, we need more of that sort of thing... ::)

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RecceDG on February 06, 2007, 23:33:56
Quote
So if I read RecceDG's interpretation of the rumours, and yes they are only rumours...

This whole thing is really just nothing more than a DRU (with a different name of course)... and a Class B headshed ... and more RSS.

Well.... no, I don't think so.

Assuming these rumours play out exactly like this, what you've got is a series of fully-manned Class B subunits (platoon/troop sized) per city, plus the skeleton organization to immediately expand these units to full Coy/Sqn size (by calling out the associated Class A troops) should the situation dictate. And because your Class B subunit is Class B, they can do all the training to keep themselves current on all their usual soldiering skills, plus whatever skills are deemed useful for Aid to Civil Power missions in that area. Probably a lot of first aid and rescue skills, but perhaps crowd control and border security and vehicle searches and the like.

I actually think it is a solid, workable plan - much better for these sorts of missions than our current structure. Your formed Class B subunits are there for QRF, and you've got a trained organization (with pre-existing, pre-rolled plans ready to go) to manage the process of a more general mobilization.

But at the same time, you also don't trim back or re-role units out of their primary combat functions - 'cause let's face it, we need all the augmentees  we can to backfill Reg Force positions on international ops. It's a way to have your cake an eat it too. Which, assuming there are corresponding increases in manning and funding, is Sweet Crunchy Goodness.

BTW, don't look for much, if any, RSS. There's none to be had.

If *I* were CDS (put your helmets on folks) here's how I would organize the Army:

1) Three brigade group sized Expeditionary Brigades, one formed on the PPCLI/Strats, one formed on the RCR/RCD, and one formed on the 22eme/12RBC

2) The three Schools are fully manned at all times - maybe with a large proportion of Reservists - but in any case, the schools cannot afford to be cutting courses for lack of manning.

3) When we go into an operation, the first two rotos come out of the formed EBs

4) The third roto - and maybe more - is 90% filled by Reserve units. You've got two roto's worth of time to stand them up and get them trained, and you've got fully staffed schools to bring them up to speed. I'd *love* to see entire Reserve units stood up, but that's probably not doable... but in any case, every effort should be made to stand up formed subunits. Roto 3's Recce Sn might be a WR troop, a 1H troop, a QYR troop, and a GGHG troop, with a Ont R SHQ... but whatever. The bottom line is the roto is manned almost entirely with Reservists.

5) The "extra" EB is just that - an extra; a rapid reserve should you need to go someplace else in a hurry - so if Sudan, or Haiti, or wherever suddenly goes up in smoke you have the ability to respond.

6) Depending on how many Reservists you can sustain, your rotos now look like Reg A, Reg B, Reserve, Reg C - and something like Reg A, Reg B, Reserve, Reg C, Reg A, Reserve, Reg B, Reg C, Reserve should be completely doable - more time for the Regs to recover between rotos, less burnout, less sensitivity to recruiting, and you actually USE Reservists as A RESERVE.

DG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on February 07, 2007, 13:10:49
Ah yes, vehicles...  When the reserve COs were at one time clamouring for the same scale of issue as RegF units I would ask them one question -

Where is your maint platoon to keep up this new kit?

The math is simple.  1 mech can maint 5 vehs. 

No mech, no veh.

Valid point. However I don't envision units being issued LAVs or APCs. With the continued trend towards MILCOTS (MIlitary Commercial Off The Shelf) eqpt and vehs, such as the Silverado and the future MLVW replacement, a good deal of routine maint could be contracted out to local dealers/garages. You would still need "green" maint and recovery for contingency operations of course, but it would minimize the requirement for a large, full-time org. Ideally some of the civilian mechanics working at these garages would be your class A veh techs in the Svc Bn's.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RN PRN on February 07, 2007, 13:22:17
I've discussed this in other threads so I won't go into too much detail.  But why not re-organize the under strength Militia brigades into full strength battle groups.  Each brigade group would become a battle group with each battalion/regiment reduced to sub-unit size and maintained as a sub-unit. (I would split 38 & 39 CBGs into two battle groups each for ease of organization.  I don't know if the increased personnel numbers that are promised would support this or not.)  This is just for conversation sake:

38 Canadian Battle Group
- 38 CBG Headquarters (non-unit specific)
- Royal Winnipeg Rifles (rifle company)
- Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (rifle company)
- Lake Supior Scottish (rifle company)
- Fort Garry Horse (recce squadron)
- 26th Field Regiment (artillery battery)
- 116th Independent Field Battery (air defence troop)
- 38 Field Engineer Troop
- 17 Service Battalion (service company)
- 17 Field Ambulance (medical platoon)

For arguments sake,

you are forgetting all of the Saskatchewan units and some of the Ontario units as well in your org.

16 Fd Amb (Med Coy)
17 Fd Amb (Med coy)
18 Fd Amb (Med Coy)
16 Svc Bn (Svc Coy)
18 Svc Bn (Svc Coy)
RRR ( Inf Coy)
N Sask R (Inf Coy)
and the list goes on...

GF
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: reverse_eng on February 07, 2007, 14:40:59

Where I have questions is where are all these new people going to come from, and where are we going to put them?


Well for younger reservists just graduating high school/university, it would be a great option for many who haven't secured good civilian jobs, or are arent ready to make the jump to the regular force...

I certainly hope something like this happens in the near future.  :salute:
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mortar guy on February 07, 2007, 14:41:30
I believe that's why he said he would split the Bde. The Sask units would form another BG. (Am I close?)

MG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 07, 2007, 15:25:47
RecceDG: Thanks for your clarification at Reply #83 on: Yesterday at 22:33:56.

What you are outlining does make a lot more sense than what my read of the situation was...

I appreciate your sorting that out...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RN PRN on February 07, 2007, 21:53:53
The problem with the re org of the units based on Province is that you will be setting up more HQs. It will not effect Alberta or BC but Sask, Manitoba, and the Atlantic provinces. those provinces do not have the populations to support such an organization IMHO.

PEI, NS, NB, Sask, and Manitoba will be the most hit by this change.

We already have the reserve Bde orgs. Use them, don't make more HQs!
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pablo on February 08, 2007, 16:45:55
A big hairy roger to that.  How do you know that your CO was not kidding?  Perhaps he is just playing with you mortar dude.

Pablo"the mexican sensation"

PS What colour are your eyes?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: RecceDG on February 08, 2007, 19:08:41
Quote
RecceDG: Thanks for your clarification

Just remember: R - U - M - O - U - R - S. 

I take no credit - or blame - for how things actually pan out.

DG
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Mountie on February 11, 2007, 20:31:23
Thanks MG.  The example I used did split 38 CBG into a Manitoba battle group and a Saskatchewan battle group.  And again it was just an example for discussion sake.  I don't know if each province could sustain a battle group of its own.  However, if the Reserves were expanded surely the province of Manitoba with 1.1 million (or whatever the population is now) could sustain a battle group of 600-800 troops.

With regards to more headquarters, you would have additional battle group (former brigade group) headquarters but you wouldn't have any regimental headquarters.  So significantly less Lieutenant Colonels and senior officers and NCMs and more junior ranks.  There would only be one LCol and one RSM in the whole province.  That was the whole concept.  Each unit would be maintained only as a sub-unit, rather than a unit heaquarters with only one sub-unit.

Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: COBRA-6 on February 12, 2007, 11:55:38
Lots of good points being raised.

With regards to more headquarters, you would have additional battle group (former brigade group) headquarters but you wouldn't have any regimental headquarters.  So significantly less Lieutenant Colonels and senior officers and NCMs and more junior ranks.  There would only be one LCol and one RSM in the whole province.  That was the whole concept.  Each unit would be maintained only as a sub-unit, rather than a unit heaquarters with only one sub-unit.

I'd be very surprised if that ever happened. No one wants to walk through the Regimental minefield, the recent press over the SD&G's/ Brocks tactical grouping illustrates why...

The CBG's could be reworked if needed, but there are advantages to keeping the Regimental unit structures. Let the Company OC concentrate on collective training and operations. The "unit" can take care of recruiting, running individual training courses, pay, admin, unit budget, armoury matters, RQMS, etc etc...
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on February 12, 2007, 14:17:08


I'd be very surprised if that ever happened. No one wants to walk through the Regimental minefield, the recent press over the SD&G's/ Brocks tactical grouping illustrates why...
Why should some retired CO's be driving decisions on what is best for the CF now?  We've addressed the idea of regional battalions several times here.  We could, IMO, improve the reserves with regional battalions (though I would not go so far as to replace the CBGs).

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.msg76789.html#msg76789
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: redleafjumper on March 17, 2007, 19:53:21
I enjoyed reading this thread, there are many thoughtful comments on it.

As far as Territorial Defence Battalions go, I think that change for the sake of change without a real effect is not worth it.  The problem seems to be quite simple:

1.  There aren't enough troops to do all the work, now or planned
2.  There isn't enough gear for the troops that are already in place
3.  The troops that are in don't stay when they figure out that there is too much or not enough work for their particular trade and that most of what they have to do is not challenging
4.  Potential troops don't join or stay when there is either no unit to join, or the unit that they join doesn't challenge them enough

Problem identification is easy.  What's the solution?  More money would help, but money targeted to solving retention problems.  Retention is solved by having more people to do the work so that someone doesn't get sent on a tour, come back to see their family for a month or less and end up heading out for another 6 months a short time later.  Unhappy families mean poor retention of soldiers.

More trucks to move troops for more local training, better gear and more of it, and a more involvement of the military in the community.  There are so many things that would make a real difference and it boggles the mind that none or few of them seem to be a priority.

More people to do the work helps to fix part of the retention problem.  Forming new units where there are supportive populations helps to meet that need (and yes, that is a bugbear of mine...).

Solving the disaster of the century cannot be the main role of the military, but as we well know, as soon as the flying excrement hits the rotating propeller, the local military is what gets called.  That role is one which the reserve and regular units should have as something in the background.  It would be a tertiary role rather a primary or even a secondary one, but a serious role nonetheless.  Others on this thread have also made some good points, it just seems a shame that the thinking tends to be short-sighted rather than long-term.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: van Gemeren on May 21, 2007, 23:39:24
I know this thread's last reply is a little old, but how do units that are service arms merge with combat arms. I have indirectly heard that the Algonquin Regiment in North Bay and 26 Service (North Bay) Battalion were combining some of their operations. I asked this question in a low visibility area.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,60782.msg565168.html#msg565168
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on June 01, 2007, 08:59:21
I know this thread's last reply is a little old, but how do units that are service arms merge with combat arms. I have indirectly heard that the Algonquin Regiment in North Bay and 26 Service (North Bay) Battalion were combining some of their operations. I asked this question in a low visibility area.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,60782.msg565168.html#msg565168

I don't think it's really a question of "merging" so much as it is a question of a command and control grouping. The way I understand the process of "tactical grouping", the weaker of the two units (ie the one that can't produce enough leadership to run itself and train its troops properly) is placed under command of the stronger unit. This grouping is usually foreseen as temporary, but depending on the causes of the weakness, it could be for years. The "under command" unit does not give up its capbadges, MOC training, nor anything important like that. What it gains is the support of a functioning command and control structure than can provide all the "life support" functions that keep a Res unit healthy and functioning. And, let's face it, 80% of those functions have little or nothing to do with MOC or capbadge.

In 38 CBG we launched two of these (one for our Arty units, one for our three Svc Bns) and I was recently informed of at least one more that is now under way in that CBG. These tactical groupings are more likely to happen in a command like 38 CBG where regional and local demographics can make it very, very difficult to recruit, retain and develop officers and NCOs past Lt/Sgt, but there are adequate numbers of young Canadians willing to join and serve a few years as junior ranks.

Personally, I have come to believe that this is the way ahead for the Army Res: it is just getting far too difficult to grow unit-level leadership. You need a deep and healthy gene pool, not a little puddle of 50 people, from which to truly be able to select the best, and keep on selecting them over years and decades. Where this not possible because of demographics and local economics, units have been struggling and in some cases gradually shrivelling and dying, as troops without effective leaders simply stop coming down to train, thus further attriting the unit and further reducing the pool from which to draw potential leaders. It can be a death spiral.

Making things worse, we are now demanding so much of our senior Res leaders that fewer and fewer suitable people can actually find the time to do it. After all, a Res officer/NCO has a family, a job, possibly ongoing post graduate or professional education, and perhaps other commitments as well.  While I was COS 38 CBG, I attended a USARNG event in Minnesota with my Comd. His ARNG peers were shocked to realize how many days a year he was giving to commanding his CBG and all the myriad of activities that entails. Our Res unit COs face very similar demands, as guys like dglad can readily tell us.

The old model has gradually been running down for years (it was not much better off when I joined the Militia in 1974: I read exactly the same complaints on these pages today as we had 33 years ago...) and now in some places it is failing altogether. We have to preserve what is good and useful about our Army Res system, but get on with developing something that will survive and regenerate itself, with the best people leading our troops. The "last man standing" approach to promotion is a guarantee for continuing decline.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: MCG on June 01, 2007, 15:01:47
The way I understand the process of "tactical grouping", the weaker of the two units (ie the one that can't produce enough leadership to run itself and train its troops properly) is placed under command of the stronger unit.
That is how I always saw it done (but I'm going back half a decade now).  At the time, there were often complaints from those in the "under command" unit that they were often given second class treatment in that there was a perception that good courses & tasks went to those in the "commanding" unit.

I don't know it the preferential treatment were real or if it were just perception, but it is a problem either way.

I suspect the problem could be mitigated if the HQ were shared.  If units are close, one location could be selected for HQ pers to commute to.  If units are far apart then the HQ learns to work with MSN messenger, VOIP, mIRC, and other electronic conversation/conferencing tools.
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: van Gemeren on June 01, 2007, 22:46:23
So what happens to 26 Service battalion? They have their HQ in North Bay, but one of its coys is located in Sault Ste Marie.

...In 38 CBG we launched two of these (one for our Arty units, one for our three Svc Bns) and I was recently informed of at least one more that is now under way in that CBG. These tactical groupings are more likely to happen in a command like 38 CBG where regional and local demographics can make it very, very difficult to recruit, retain and develop officers and NCOs past Lt/Sgt, but there are adequate numbers of young Canadians willing to join and serve a few years as junior ranks.  ...

Do you think think that all the units in North Eastern Ontario (26 Service, 2nd Irish, 49th, and the Algonquins) will be "tactically grouped" together?
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on June 03, 2007, 09:30:39
I have no real idea of what will happen in 33 CBG: it depends on the local conditions, the will of the Bde Comd, the cooperation of the COs and units and the support of the Honoraries. Fortunately in 38 CBG we had all of these things when we set up the Arty Tac Gp and the Svc Bn Tac Gp.  The way we handled the detached company of 16 Svc Bn (located in Saskatoon, with Bn HQ in Regina) was not to change anything much at all. We just treated it like a sub-sub-sub unit (it was barely parading a platoon anyway, so there was no loss of resources, etc). Same for the detached field batteries in Prince Albert and Portage La Prairie: they were treated as sub-sub-units of their parent units (which were really functioning as sub-units within the 38 CBG Arty Tac Gp). 116 Ind Bty in Kenora  was treated as a sub-unit, because it had been an independent unit in its own right before the tactical group happened: it had no parent RHQ. Maybe 33 CBG wil do something similar: I can't speak for them.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: pbi on June 05, 2007, 15:11:35
I recently attended the Canadian Infantry Association Conference in Edmonton. Amongst various topics for study/presentation by working groups, was the TDBG concept and where the Infantry might fit into it. I was a member of the TDBG working group-the other members were all Res. Although we had some interesting discussions, I came away with the following impressions:

-The concept is not well understood. While most people seem to understand that the TDBG represents very little (or no...) real change to the strength and organization of Res units, and little diversion from the warfighting focus of training, others believe very strongly that there will be re-groupings, extensive new kit (with a "dom ops" flavour) and training focused on dom ops. I don't think that we are all on the same sheet here, at all;

-I don't know if the Army actually knows what it wants to achieve with creating TDBGs, as opposed to just improving the existing CBG-based system for Res force generation in civil emergencies. Nor is it clear that the staff who drafted the TDBG concept were familiar with the extent to which various LFA's have already written the Res into their domops CONPLANS. In some ways, I think the TDBG concept has already been overtaken by reality;

-I'm not clear on the expectations about TDBGs being a source of force generation for deployed ops. The "party line" seems to be that this isn't the intent, but some discussion pointed out that this might actually be a consideration. Again, I don't see where TDBG would really be any significant improvement over the current CBG-based system, unless we are going to give units fully manned BORs, QMs full of deployment kit, and Med/Dent/Chap folks to do DAGs; and

-I think that the "D" in TDBG is causing problems of interpretation: some folks clearly have confused "dom ops" (the apparent focus of TDBG) with "continental defence ops"  which  doesn't really seem to form part of the TDBG concept, but which some are taking to be the actual mission.

Cheers
Title: Re: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves
Post by: Harris on June 05, 2007, 16:36:31
As I'm scheduled to be one of the Coy Comd for my local TDBG (at least that's what we're still calling it), I've gotten a bit of the brief.  Basically my Unit will see an increase of one full time person.  In our case that will be the Coy 2IC.  This will be a B or B/A (I forget which) from within the Brigade.  Otherwise all of my Units troops involved will be the same troops doing Unit trg.  Currently the following trg is scheduled above and beyond Unit trg:  2X Recce wknds for Commanders, 2X PD Trg wknds for Sect Comd and up and 2X FTX wknds for the entire Org.  I fully expect that to change between now and