Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1244857 times)

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Offline mariomike

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The Swiss are a mainly conscript force, of course, with different imperatives from ours. However, a friend’s son is heading back to Switzerland to do his military service (which guarantees citizenship!) and they have a choice of how long they spend on their initial training/ employment - 6,12,18 months.

They also get paid whatever wage they were making in civvy street plus a (fairly modest) military pay on top of that. I can’t see us ever doing that, of course.

We remained on full pay ( and benefits, seniority, pension. sick bank, vacation etc. ).

But, that was only for two weeks. Each and every summer guaranteed, as long as you were in the PRes.



In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline Blackadder1916

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The Swiss are a mainly conscript force, of course, with different imperatives from ours. However, a friend’s son is heading back to Switzerland to do his military service (which guarantees citizenship!) and they have a choice of how long they spend on their initial training/ employment - 6,12,18 months.

They also get paid whatever wage they were making in civvy street plus a (fairly modest) military pay on top of that. I can’t see us ever doing that, of course.


https://www.moneyland.ch/en/swiss-military-service-financial-questions-answered
Quote
6. Do I receive a salary for my military service?

You receive a token payment from the military itself. The amount you receive depends on your rank, and ranges between just 4 francs for a recruit to 30 francs for a lieutenant general. You may be able to increase this “salary” by completing a military training course. For example, cadets who complete a kitchen chef apprenticeship, lower officer school or a Sergeant training program receive a payment of 23 francs per day.

7. Can I get compensation for income lost due to military service?

Yes, you do receive daily financial compensation for your military service. All employed workers in Switzerland pay a social security contribution of 0.45% towards military service (EO contributions), and this is passed on to service people in the way of lost income compensation. The minimum compensation which all recruits are entitled to is 62 francs per day, regardless of whether or not they had an income prior to service. This is paid out by the Old Age and Survivor’s Insurance (OASI) and Disability Insurance (DI) office (AHV/IV – AVS/AI).

If you work for an employer, compensation equal to 80% of your salary is forwarded to you via your employer. Although this will never be less than the minimum compensation of 62 francs per day, the maximum compensation you can get is capped at 196 francs per day (80% of a 245-franc daily salary). This money is channeled through your employer, which is obligated to pass it on to you. Your employer can decide to pay you more than what the OASI/DI compensates, for example if 80% of your salary is above the maximum compensation of 196 francs per day, your employer may pay you 80% of your full salary. Of course, your employer may also choose to continue to pay you 100% of your salary, if they are exceptionally generous.

If you run your own business and have business-related obligations such as rentals or leases, you can receive additional compensation of up to 67 francs per day. This compensation also applies to farm owners (and their children who are actively employed in the family business).

And Swiss military pay rates.
https://www.vtg.admin.ch/de/mein-militaerdienst/dienstleistende/sold-eo.html
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Offline mariomike

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Also worth considering, here in Canada.

Cost to employer - even if only away on military training two weeks every year.

Your 80 hours regular pay. Add to that, another 80 hours, paid at overtime rate, to cover your shifts while away.

ie: 200 hours of pay to cover an 80 hour military leave.

In addition, "Employees are paid their regular pay provided they submit any compensation received for military service to the city treasurer, unless this compensation is paid for days they are not scheduled to work."


Because we were on 12-hour shifts, we only had to come in 20 days every six weeks. ie: 6 or 7 days every two weeks.

So, in reality, you only had to turn in half your military pay.

Even a relatively short paid absence could be pretty expensive for an employer.

Even if unpaid, they still have to bring people in on overtime to cover your shifts.


In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline daftandbarmy

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Precisely.  It's a comprehensive force structure question, both full-time and part-time, and not a Res F / Reg F question.  What can be effectively and reasonably generated from a primarily part-time force - in terms of skills development and skills maintenance.  What is more reasonable to vest in a full-time component.  And what is a reasonable time commitment to demand.  The (in)famous 37.5 days in the Army Reserve was based on the one night a week, one weekend a month model - not because that's what trade X takes to maintain, but because that was seen as a reasonable time demand.

The current Army Reserve model seems hell-bent on breaking and burning out leadership - its baked-in assumptions are that a unit CO and RSM should be working nearly three times that amount - 100 days per year.  And those are working days - so nearly five months for a notionally part-time commitment.

For junior leaders it's similar - instruct on a BMQ two weekends this month; one weekend in the field with your parent unit this month, plus one training night per week, plus calls and emails all month long that you're not compensated for plus...

And perhaps 1/3 of all that time is spent on 'Army stuff', while the rest is wasted on administrivia and responding to the multitude of requests from various HQs.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline quadrapiper

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Precisely.  It's a comprehensive force structure question, both full-time and part-time, and not a Res F / Reg F question.  What can be effectively and reasonably generated from a primarily part-time force - in terms of skills development and skills maintenance.  What is more reasonable to vest in a full-time component.  And what is a reasonable time commitment to demand.  The (in)famous 37.5 days in the Army Reserve was based on the one night a week, one weekend a month model - not because that's what trade X takes to maintain, but because that was seen as a reasonable time demand.
Bet a great deal of that would be easier to sort out if the Army Reserve was revised to something much more like the Naval Reserve: give up on, or at least strongly de-emphasize, unit specialization.

Might also help if it provided a better way to bring PLAR-able civvies into uniform: suddenly there's a reasonable path to reserve service available and not dependent on having e.g. a service battalion in the area.
Most Reservists simply can't commit to a full summer after highschool/post secondary unless they have some sort of seasonal job which is off in the summer (Teachers are the only one off the top of my head).
IIRC logging comes to a halt in the summer, too, due to fire risk. Expect there's other trades in a similar situation.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Might also help if it provided a better way to bring PLAR-able civvies into uniform: suddenly there's a reasonable path to reserve service available and not dependent on having e.g. a service battalion in the area.IIRC logging comes to a halt in the summer, too, due to fire risk. Expect there's other trades in a similar situation.

The reserves used to be an Army of students commanded by teachers... not so much anymore.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline CBH99

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Might also help if it provided a better way to bring PLAR-able civvies into uniform: suddenly there's a reasonable path to reserve service available and not dependent on having e.g. a service battalion in the area.IIRC logging comes to a halt in the summer, too, due to fire risk. Expect there's other trades in a similar situation.


I remember one of the last BMQ courses I was an instructor on, I was sitting in a classroom chatting with some of the recruits.  As I got older, the appeal of strict "calling them to room" and the strict formality started to wain on me.  I felt I was able to get much better & faster results just by being a good leader & normal person most of the time, and left the formality for the parade square.

I specifically remember sitting there, silently thinking to myself what a well qualified group of people I had infront of me.  Most of them had degrees, or a 2 year college diploma.  I remember there were a few police officers & sheriffs, some of whom had a decent amount of experience on civvy side, who basically had to start from scratch as they started their career as a military police officer - amongst a few others who were well trained already, going into various trades.


I'm not familiar with the PLAR requirements & such as they are now.  Do we recognize people's civilian qualifications easily, or do we make it so much of a hassle they don't bother?  If we made it easy for people to do the military version of their civilian qualifications, that would help get people in and keep people in. (If we don't already...I've been out for a while now.)
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Offline daftandbarmy

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I remember one of the last BMQ courses I was an instructor on, I was sitting in a classroom chatting with some of the recruits.  As I got older, the appeal of strict "calling them to room" and the strict formality started to wain on me.  I felt I was able to get much better & faster results just by being a good leader & normal person most of the time, and left the formality for the parade square.

I specifically remember sitting there, silently thinking to myself what a well qualified group of people I had infront of me.  Most of them had degrees, or a 2 year college diploma.  I remember there were a few police officers & sheriffs, some of whom had a decent amount of experience on civvy side, who basically had to start from scratch as they started their career as a military police officer - amongst a few others who were well trained already, going into various trades.


I'm not familiar with the PLAR requirements & such as they are now.  Do we recognize people's civilian qualifications easily, or do we make it so much of a hassle they don't bother?  If we made it easy for people to do the military version of their civilian qualifications, that would help get people in and keep people in. (If we don't already...I've been out for a while now.)

My experience in trying to guide people through the PLAR door was universally disappointing, for both us and them. I gave up trying a couple of decades ago...
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline mariomike

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IIRC logging comes to a halt in the summer, too, due to fire risk. Expect there's other trades in a similar situation.

Some jobs have seasonal layoffs. But, in Canada, I would guess they are more common in winter than summer. I am thinking of municipal islands ferry boat workers, for example. 

At any rate, for workers in that situation, would it be ( financially ) worth working in the PRes while collecting Employment Insurance ( EI )?

In any war, there are two tremendous tasks. That of the combat troops is to fight the enemy. That of the supply troops is to furnish all the material to insure victory. The faster and farther the combat troops advance against the foe, the greater becomes the battle of supply. EISENHOWER

Offline MilEME09

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My experience in trying to guide people through the PLAR door was universally disappointing, for both us and them. I gave up trying a couple of decades ago...

I know one person who has navigated it successfully, Ticketed red seal mechanic, had certification for tracked commercial vehicles, basically everything under the sun, was granted a full write off of all his Vehicle tech trades courses, except what was then Eme common due to the mrt field portion. I have been told myself if I hit my head hard enough and OT'd to cook (my civilian trade) I'd have everything written off as well with my red seal. I think part of the issue is we aren't asking the right questions at the recruiting stage, if someone has applicable skills at intake we should be gathering those documents and doing a PLAR right away.
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

Offline Chris Pook

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I think I have said this before.

I believe it is easier to teach a tradesman how to soldier than it is to teach a soldier how to be a tradesman.

The Homeguard/Militia system is better seen as a means of organizing manpower for national emergencies, which could include invasion, than as an extension of the Force in Being.  That role is a role for the Regs and the Reserves.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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I know one person who has navigated it successfully, Ticketed red seal mechanic, had certification for tracked commercial vehicles, basically everything under the sun, was granted a full write off of all his Vehicle tech trades courses, except what was then Eme common due to the mrt field portion. I have been told myself if I hit my head hard enough and OT'd to cook (my civilian trade) I'd have everything written off as well with my red seal. I think part of the issue is we aren't asking the right questions at the recruiting stage, if someone has applicable skills at intake we should be gathering those documents and doing a PLAR right away.

Well, that's awesome. Seriously.

I've had experienced, trained, long haul truckers try to get their military driving equivalencies with no success, amongst other similar experiences.

Like, you know, the retired 45 year old PPCLI WO who gave up in frustration after trying to CT into the reserves, and failing, for over a year. But that's a different subject.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline medicineman

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Like, you know, the retired 45 year old PPCLI WO who gave up in frustration after trying to CT into the reserves, and failing, for over a year. But that's a different subject.

Nobody likes a new guy more qualified than them...:sarcasm:

MM
MM

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Nobody likes a new guy more qualified than them...:sarcasm:

MM

 :rofl:

It's OK.... he was an Anti-tank guy. We have no use for those kind of skills :)
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline MilEME09

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Nobody likes a new guy more qualified than them...:sarcasm:

MM

We used to have an Ex reg force mat tech at my unit, qualified to have his leaf decades ago. Only reason he didn't get it, his trade didn't exist in the PRes, that's it. Most ridiculous thing I have ever encountered in my career, atleast he didn't care he was a CFL. Our system is broken and the admin to move people to and from within our organization needs to get better. When it's faster to quit, wait 6 months and rejoin your desired trade then it is to do an OT, we have a problem.
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Offline FJAG

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We've known all this for decades. Why are we, as a system, this stupid and hidebound?

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Offline medicineman

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:rofl:

It's OK.... he was an Anti-tank guy. We have no use for those kind of skills :)

Y'all need recce, pioneers or mortars right?  Though anti-armour can teach the AFV recognition for recce I would think...hope...pray.

MM

MM

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Offline dapaterson

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Most of the problems are leadership (or lack thereof).  Processes exist to address CTs, occs not in the PRes - but people insert opinions into processes that delay them, or are ignorant and lazy and don't make the effort to sort it out.

The systems in place are generally halfway decent; the people responsible for implementing them... not so much.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Some comments I have made on other means that I think bear repeating to a wider audience.

Quote
Serious side of things for a minute.  One of the greatest losses in society over the past few decades has been the diminution of the "official" volunteer.

The Specials, St John's, Red Cross, Terries, Cadets, Scouts etc

People that are organized and organizable and willing to follow a plan.  People you  can base a plan on.

If I remember some ancient rules of planning it was recommended that 2/3 of the time available be allocated to subordinates and that 1/3 be the maximum allowed to self for planning.
I also seem to remember allocating 2 out of 3 units up and keeping 1 third back to react.  And 1/3 of those held back (10% of the total) being held as a flexible, untasked reserve.

That general division of 60-30-10 is what I hold to when planning projects and budgets (and fight over with accountants).

Essentially they want a contingency not to exceed 10%.  Myself I want a contingency of 40%.

I want 60% to cover the known knowns
I want 30% to cover the known unknowns
I want 10% to cover the unknown unknowns.

Given enough time (and information) then I can run through enough planning iterations to start approximating their desired levels of uncertainty.

But if time forces me to act on the basis of my first iteration then I need a contingency of unknown size and max flex capability (ie unknown and undefined skill sets) to be able to manage plan b when the first throw of the dice inevitably fails to completely resolve the crisis at hand.

I continue to argue that it is fools errand to over think your contingency planning.   It is more important to have a contingency of dollars and man-hours than it is to have a detailed plan on how to use them.  Each crisis will generate its own unique demands.

It is critical to have people used to following plans and on whom you can base plans.  How you keep them engaged and entertained until needed is entirely secondary.

The Reserves need to be available to cover Class 4 and Class 5 estimates - conceptual crises dominated by unknown unknowns.



https://assetinsights.net/Glossary/G_Classes_of_Estimates.html
« Last Edit: March 14, 2020, 13:43:04 by Chris Pook »
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline Chris Pook

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By the way, if I haven't got a clue about the situation, as is often the case, then I can be inclined to reverse the 60-30-10 ratio and argue for a 10-30-60 commitment. 

Holding back the majority of available assets until my exploratory 10%, thrown into the dark, gives me enough information to start working on.

10% Special Forces
30% Regs
60% Reserves.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline FJAG

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So about five months ago some of the discussions on this thread got me to putting down my thoughts on paper and offering it to the Canadian Military Journal as an article. They said: "Sure!" And gave me 7,000 words to express my ideas. Did that and my article will be out in the upcoming issue which I'm told is in the process of being distributed. Keep an eye out for it on their website.

Since I'm a lawyer you all know that I can't say everything that I want to in 7,000 words which got me sitting down at the keyboard again to expand that and lo and behold I've produced my first non fiction book (which comes in at 165 pages.)

The article is called: "The Canadian Army Needs a Paradigm Shift". I went a little more broadly (and into a whole lot more detail) for the book which is called "Unsustainable At Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis."

I've posted Chapter one on my web site here: https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-unsustainable-at-any-price-ch-1. I'll be posting a few more chapters from time to time.

The Kindle version of the book is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian-ebook/dp/B086HXC66Q

And the paperback is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian/dp/1926521250

I truly believe that at the pre Covid rate of expenditures, the CAF had maybe another ten years before it's personnel costs would have priced it completely out of business. With the tightening of discretionary budgets that will be necessary in the aftermath of this health and economic crisis, there won't be even that much time.

 :cheers:
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Offline BeyondTheNow

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Thanks for sharing, FJAG. I’m sure it’ll do well!
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Offline GK .Dundas

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So about five months ago some of the discussions on this thread got me to putting down my thoughts on paper and offering it to the Canadian Military Journal as an article. They said: "Sure!" And gave me 7,000 words to express my ideas. Did that and my article will be out in the upcoming issue which I'm told is in the process of being distributed. Keep an eye out for it on their website.

Since I'm a lawyer you all know that I can't say everything that I want to in 7,000 words which got me sitting down at the keyboard again to expand that and lo and behold I've produced my first non fiction book (which comes in at 165 pages.)

The article is called: "The Canadian Army Needs a Paradigm Shift". I went a little more broadly (and into a whole lot more detail) for the book which is called "Unsustainable At Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis."

I've posted Chapter one on my web site here: https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-unsustainable-at-any-price-ch-1. I'll be posting a few more chapters from time to time.

The Kindle version of the book is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian-ebook/dp/B086HXC66Q

And the paperback is here: https://www.amazon.com/Unsustainable-At-Any-Price-Canadian/dp/1926521250

I truly believe that at the pre Covid rate of expenditures, the CAF had maybe another ten years before it's personnel costs would have priced it completely out of business. With the tightening of discretionary budgets that will be necessary in the aftermath of this health and economic crisis, there won't be even that much time.

 :cheers:
I'd love to buy your book I really would but Amazon won't ship a book on the Canadian military to Canada ....yeah .
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Offline garb811

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I'd love to buy your book I really would but Amazon won't ship a book on the Canadian military to Canada ....yeah .
Maybe try the Canadian Amazon site?  :dunno:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1926521250/ref=crt_ewc_img_huc_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB
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Offline GK .Dundas

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