Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1136098 times)

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Offline ArmyRick

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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.
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Online Chris Pook

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Good advice Rick, might take it myself.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline pbi

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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.
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Offline EXNovie

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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.
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Online Chris Pook

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"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

"If change isn’t allowed to be a process, it becomes an event." - Penny Mordaunt 10/10/2019

Offline Senor Mono

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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?

Offline MCG

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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


Offline MCG

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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).

Offline pbi

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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
« Last Edit: February 11, 2005, 03:41:05 by pbi »
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

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Offline Infanteer

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...and we should try our best to exploit both those unique characteristics.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline GO!!!

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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.
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Offline combat_medic

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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.  ::)
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Offline Infanteer

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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
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Offline GO!!!

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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
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Offline KevinB

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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.


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Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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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
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Offline Infanteer

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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?
« Last Edit: April 15, 2005, 13:03:40 by Infanteer »
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Offline GO!!!

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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.
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Offline Infanteer

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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.
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Offline GO!!!

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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:
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Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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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
« Last Edit: April 15, 2005, 19:14:49 by Teddy Ruxpin »
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Offline PJ D-Dog

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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.

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Offline the 48th regulator

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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

« Last Edit: April 17, 2005, 02:08:46 by the 48th regulator »
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Offline Michael Dorosh

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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")
« Last Edit: April 20, 2005, 14:40:50 by Michael Dorosh »
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Offline pbi

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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.
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