Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1136100 times)

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Offline MCG

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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?

Offline Bobbyoreo

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If we had Job protection ...you could do 12 ntm....just like the states!!
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Offline Haggis

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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.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Bobbyoreo

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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.
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Offline Haggis

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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.....?
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Online Chris Pook

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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. 
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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dutchie

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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.

Offline Bobbyoreo

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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.
Facta Non Verba

Offline Haggis

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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.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline MCG

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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).

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline GO!!!

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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.
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Offline Haggis

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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.
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Online Chris Pook

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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.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline MikeH

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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. ;)
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Offline MCG

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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.

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline ParaMedTech

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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.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 01:09:08 by ParaMedTech »
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Offline MCG

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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.

Offline Thucydides

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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.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Online Chris Pook

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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.

"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline 3rd Horseman

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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.

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Offline pbi

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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
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-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?


Offline dapaterson

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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...
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