Author Topic: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]  (Read 4116 times)

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Online Baden Guy

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #50 on: June 08, 2019, 17:31:28 »
No doubt.  Just like I have not doubt some question the need for annual qual shoots with the C7. 

Where I work civilians ensure our planes still fly. And they do.   

Maybe it isn't about removing drills from the military but rather we should be removing some trades from the military.

I spent two tours in CFB Baden. Training how to deal with a Soviet attack probably wouldn't be very attractive to a civy tech. And I still took pride in my work.  ;)

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #51 on: June 08, 2019, 19:46:36 »
No doubt.  Just like I have not doubt some question the need for annual qual shoots with the C7. 

Where I work civilians ensure our planes still fly. And they do.   

Maybe it isn't about removing drills from the military but rather we should be removing some trades from the military.

There are civilian techs working on some RCAF fleets;  IMP.  We still need deployable military maintainers to deploy with us and keep things workin' at the Wing.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #52 on: June 09, 2019, 00:51:38 »
Reading this thread is interesting. I actually recall an article in the old Infantry Journal (?) by Douglas Bland questioning the use of parade square drill back in the early 1980's, so this is hardly a new argument.

Separating the idea of using drill as training vs training drills is probably an important part of the argument. There is no doubt that drills are vitally important to carrying out tasks under stress, and there is no real substitute for repetitive practice of drills until it becomes ingrained as muscle memory.

However looking at the origins of modern drill suggests that there is still some value added there. Modern drill and parades originated in the reign of Queen Anne, when Royal "Muster masters" inspected the troops that a Colonel had raised to determine if and how much the Crown was going to pay. Troops were lined up in battle formations, which allowed the Muster master to do a head count, then the troops performed various evolutions of arms to demonstrate they were, in fact, trained troops and not just a bunch of people the Colonel rounded up off the street the other day.

Being and moving in formations allows you to see the entire "team" all together, something which you often don't have the chance to do in the day to day workplace, and everyone being able to move together as a unit instills a sense that you are part of a real team which functions together as a unit, something which most civilian work places can never replicate.

Yes, we can go overboard in parade ground drill, but then again you can get caught up in excessive time spent on other aspects of the job which you, personally, don't find interesting or compelling. I would suggest that cohesion and being part of a team is still vitally important for military forces to function in dangerous and trying conditions, and there is nothing wrong with some parade ground time as part of building that cohesiveness.
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Offline gcclarke

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2019, 12:21:53 »

Drill/parades is part of being in a uniform, full stop.  If you want to 'be on parade' but not march, remuster to aircrew and be on the flypast.   ;D


Yes, we know it's part of being in a uniform. What we're debating here is whether or not it should ne part of being in a uniform. The fact that we're doing something does not mean that doing that thing is beneficial. The military as a whole is absolutely terrible about continuing to do the same things that were always done in the past, with little justification other than the fact that that's how it's been done.

Drill had a purpose. It was actually used in combat; moving people around in formation on the battlefield. But it's not the 1700s anymore, and we don't need to be doing it.

And I really don't find any of the arguments that it helps for training in weapons handling, etc easier convincing. Simply do more training on those things instead. Any benefits to actual job requirements (you know, defending the nation and her interests abroad, not dog and pony shows) are tangential at best.

I don't think it benefits the military to be spending time doing this; it's likely harmful due to the opportunity cost of taking members away from something that could contribute more directly to success in our mission.


Drill, uniforms, grooming standards, unique rules etc etc.   they all take effort, they all take time away from your job.  Except all of that is part of your job when you are in the military.

Drop all of those useless things and you are basically a public servant.

Frankly, I think this is exactly the mentality that we need to be fighting. Drill, uniforms, grooming standards, etc. That isn't what makes us military.

The fact that it's our job to bring violence to the enemy is what makes us military. All that other stuff is just a distraction from that. Pomp and circumstance and having really short hair doesn't help win wars.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 12:36:29 by gcclarke »
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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2019, 12:31:38 »
I don't think it benefits the military to be spending time doing this; it's likely harmful due to the opportunity cost of taking members away from something that could contribute more directly to success in our mission.

Exactly.



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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2019, 12:32:04 »
So what’s the solution? Not do drill at all?
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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2019, 12:37:37 »
If you don't want to do drill like change of commands or opening of legislatures or welcoming a visit from the Queen you can always join an outfit like Blackwater or Global Solutions.

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #57 on: June 11, 2019, 12:41:36 »
So what’s the solution? Not do drill at all?

I'd say much of the CAF has already reached a near ideal state. We all know how to do basic drill, and can be brought up to speed for major public events when required.

I think questioning of usefulnes of drill comes in when some people(generally ex combat arms) declare that to fix the woes (real and imagined) of the CAF we need more marching up and down the square.

Poorly disciplined troops with low morale won't magically become better because we force them to march around more, but maybe we will drive out good people that want to do work related to their trade. People forgetting they are military, and not civies in funny clothes has more to do with a lack of practical military training(shooting, gas hut, etc.), and lack of enforcement of proper deportment than it does with a lack of marching up and down the square.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 12:48:28 by Furniture »

Offline gcclarke

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #58 on: June 11, 2019, 12:44:10 »
If you don't want to do drill like change of commands or opening of legislatures or welcoming a visit from the Queen you can always join an outfit like Blackwater or Global Solutions.

"If you don't like it quit" is exactly the type of attitude which leads to absolutely no improvements ever being made in an organization. Overall, I like my job, but there's aspects of I feel are anachronistic.

I mean, you do know that "leading change" and "initiative" are on the PER, right? We're supposed to be making the organization better as time goes on. Eliminating things which were put in because they served a purpose at one point but are now more harmful than beneficial is one of the things we're supposed to be doing.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
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Offline Furniture

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #59 on: June 11, 2019, 12:49:07 »
"If you don't like it quit" is exactly the type of attitude which leads to absolutely no improvements ever being made in an organization. Overall, I like my job, but there's aspects of I feel are anachronistic.

That approach seema to be working well for the RCAF...  :nod:

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #60 on: June 11, 2019, 13:14:23 »
Quote from: gcclarke
I mean, you do know that "leading change" and "initiative" are on the PER, right? We're supposed to be making the organization better as time goes on. Eliminating things which were put in because they served a purpose at one point but are now more harmful than beneficial is one of the things we're supposed to be doing.

You'll need to use a new argument once the new PaCE comes into effect next week.
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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #61 on: June 11, 2019, 13:24:58 »
Wait till the people leave the Forces and discover that every industry has it's quirky bits like safety meetings every day, or pep talks by the manager you all despise or expected unpaid participation in social events to make your boss look good, etc, etc. A wee bit of drill won't kill anyone and lot's of ways around dispersed work places. Like I said, the Taxpayers who pay your wages have an expectation that you look somewhat like a military unit, basic drill meets that expectation. I have met few jobs that require full on attention that people can't fit in a occasional task that is scheduled in advance. Throw in some timbits and coffee bought by the boss and have some fun with it. Hell even throw in a challenge that your crew can't do X drill movement and see if they respond.   

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #62 on: June 11, 2019, 14:43:21 »
"If you don't like it quit" is exactly the type of attitude which leads to absolutely no improvements ever being made in an organization. Overall, I like my job, but there's aspects of I feel are anachronistic.

I mean, you do know that "leading change" and "initiative" are on the PER, right? We're supposed to be making the organization better as time goes on. Eliminating things which were put in because they served a purpose at one point but are now more harmful than beneficial is one of the things we're supposed to be doing.

It is my belief that the "Leading Change" button on our PERs have caused more harm to the CAF than any time spent getting an Honour Guard together and practice prior to a special event.

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #63 on: June 11, 2019, 14:51:04 »
It is my belief that the "Leading Change" button on our PERs have caused more harm to the CAF than any time spent getting an Honour Guard together and practice prior to a special event.

My eternal comment: It's "Leading Change" when it should be "Leading Effective Change".
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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #64 on: June 11, 2019, 15:46:26 »
My eternal comment: It's "Leading Change" when it should be "Leading Effective Change".

But what about when you have to implement an ineffective change that flows down from the Big Giant Head Collective (TM)?  That usually takes real leadership.

As a guy that kept getting tagged with PERMON, that one always bugged me.  It's not about creating a change, it's about managing the implementation of something in flux so that it's not a cluster.  Doesn't really take much to apply that to any of the million things in our normal day to day work as we go about doing our jobs, and pretty easy to see why looking at something, understanding the impact it will have, and working with other people to get it sorted out is an important skill set you want senior people to have.

Think people that push new ideas to get the mastered on 'leading change' should also lose points on their 'reading' score, as well as the attention to detail related scores!  ;D ;D

Really looking forward to see the new system, hopefully it's actual meaningful change instead of window dressing. Not a big fan of the lack of a writeup for current PERs that aren't immediate; that's really not helpful for the member. Even if you do regular feedback, putting something in writing is a helpful exercise for everyone, and useful to read over afterwards. With the effort that saved on the PER, would have been really easy to give someone a PDR as well.  Bit of work, but think the informal feedback is a lot more useful than what is actually put into a PER.

But seriously, did drill in basic, did a bit more on phase 2, then there is some minor practice before some kind of parade or whatever.  Aside from being able to throw a high five, don't need any more than that on the day to day, so it's a pretty front loaded training at a time when you are at your cheapest, and they need to keep you busy anyway.

Like going to the range once in a while, I see drill as a reminder that, even when I'm basically a cubicle jockey doing civil servant work, I've signed my name to be part of something much bigger than just pushing paper. I find that helpful when I'm staring down the barrel of yet another pointless working group/oversight review/bureaucratic meeting flavour of the day to keep a project rolling. I also think (like general dress an deportment) it's a pretty easy, low hanging fruit to get right and not look like a soup sandwhich. Rather than fight a losing and pointless battle, figure I may as well make the (really minimal) effort required to do it properly.

There are many hills to die on, this one's not mine. People expect the military to do drill, it's not going away, so why get frustrated about it? my  :2c:

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #65 on: June 11, 2019, 15:49:37 »
My eternal comment: It's "Leading Change" when it should be "Leading Effective Change".

Change is effective if it results in higher meriting for you regardless of the effect on others. 
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

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Re: Usefulness of Modern Drill [Split from Paying Compliments]
« Reply #66 on: June 11, 2019, 16:34:24 »
I'd say much of the CAF has already reached a near ideal state. We all know how to do basic drill, and can be brought up to speed for major public events when required.

I think questioning of usefulnes of drill comes in when some people(generally ex combat arms) declare that to fix the woes (real and imagined) of the CAF we need more marching up and down the square.

Poorly disciplined troops with low morale won't magically become better because we force them to march around more, but maybe we will drive out good people that want to do work related to their trade. People forgetting they are military, and not civies in funny clothes has more to do with a lack of practical military training(shooting, gas hut, etc.), and lack of enforcement of proper deportment than it does with a lack of marching up and down the square.

Agreed.  There is no place for drill as a 'morale improver'.  There is a place in 'must be able to perform basic drill' and not embarrass self/unit on parades.

That's about it though.  If there are units out there doing drill for the sake of 'doing drill'...I'm glad I'm not part of them.
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