Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1136099 times)

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Online Chris Pook

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Tying this back into the original proposition:

Is there any reason to believe that the "100/400" battalion proposed has to be a combat arms battalion?

Could we not stipulate that the greatest need in time of civil crisis is the very thing that the Reserve is weakest in and that is logistic support and C4I?

Suppose this battalion were a Service Battalion with most of the adm and maint types being Regs, along with much of the command structure, and most of the drivers and other log types being reservists.  Wouldn't that fit the need of both the emergency response type and more broadly the operational capability of the Reserves/Militia?

They could then become the core element around which a Task Force could be built with the combat arms elements being supplied by reservists.

With that in mind - suppose money were made available to permit more frequent parading - say to the level of commitment your average teen-ager makes to a part-time job at MacDonalds.  5-10-20? hours a week.  Could local training be provided to generally raise the quality of the Reserves?

It seems to me that part of the problem with the Reserves was not that the young troops found the obligation to onerous.  In fact it was the opposite.  Loss of youngsters was in large part due to a lack of activity.

If youngsters could be retained long enough and trained hard enough and well enough while they are still keen could they be made into an effective reserve force?
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Offline George Wallace

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Is there any reason to believe that the "100/400" battalion proposed has to be a combat arms battalion?
When I have seen Service Battalions strip Cbt Arms troops from Cbt Arms Units to fill Driver positions and such for a ROTO (because their people refused to go - it might be too dangerouse), I would say "NO!" to this proposal.  I would think that an Engineer Unit would be much more in line of what is required.  After that, I would say a Sigs Unit, to provide Comms to any 'Relief' efforts that may take place.  Service Battalion Truckers and that would not be as useful as these two. 
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Offline dapaterson

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At the national level, resources are assigned to the areas to provide for one night a week, one weekend a month of training for the period of Sept-May every year (Four nights at 1/2 day each, 1 weekend at 2 1/2 days).  (December is funded for 3 nights only, since most folks have other plans for Christmas than freezing in Meaford or Wainwright).  This makes the famous 37.5 days of training per year.  For a Pte, 37.5 days @ $77.90 per day (lowest IPC) plus 9% PILL would be $3184 for the training year, not that bad for something part-time (Ancillary benefits such as the $2000/year in tuition support are excluded from this calculation, as is any full-time training during the summer).  The 37.5 days commitment is less than McDonalds, but does provide a regular framework to promote attendance.

The estimated number of days is adjusted upwards for MCpl and up since such ranks have supervisory responsibilities.  However, the reality is that many personnel do not attend all scheduled parades, so an attendance factor is applied, assuming differing participation rates at different ranks.

Perhaps the question isn't "Should we ask for a greater commitment" but rather "How can we ensure that the funds intended for in-unit training actually get to the units"?
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Offline rifleman

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I agree that units should be training together to get a critical mass and actually train higher than individual level. I always have said that Tradition can't get in the way of getting the job done. However I don't believe you have to totally throw out the old to get that job done.

I usually find the people who propose cutting Regiments also propose how their Branch/ Unit can maintain their relevancy during the change. Lets face the facts. Service Bns have a hard enough time looking after themselves to even consider looking after other units. After doing all the basic soldier skills, maintenance of their own gear, what more time do they have? They could become a CSS Coy. We are already seeing armour take over direct fire and arty take over indirect, Throw them into a Company as well. Oops forgot the Field Engineers they can go in there too. This of course would eliminate the need for Reserve Brigade Commanders too. Back to LCol

As for unit affiliations and cap badges.   If it isn't such a big deal just look at the CSOR. Here is a unit that is going to have many elements, branches and units thrown together and everyone wants another cap badge, another colour beret. They have to be special. Why? The CSOR will be another CF Unit that has a different role. It may have different requirements for entry as it will be at a higher readiness level. If it is going to be a composite unit, leave all the different affiliations alone. Issue the unit with a shoulder title.  Cripe, We don"t even trust a Col with his old cap badge run a brigade because a logistics Col just can't care about an infantry soldier. The Regs can't get rid of the old either. If we are going to have Tanks any more, get rid of the Armoured. Does Canada have enough soldiers to sustain 9 Bns, Perhaps the PPCLI will volunteer to fold so each of the other reg force units can have 4 companies and 4 Bns per.

Then there is the "Reserves have to be trained better" well, you get what you pay for... And even the Regular Force doesn't always send qualified people to teach courses. Post a MCpl to the school and he can get qualified Sgt and start teaching his peers. They promote people before they are qualified too, so they can get paid more.

Sorry for what seems like a rant but keep some of the old and tweak it , instead of totally messing with it. 

NEXT: Don't even get me started on turning the Reserve into a sandbagging and Firefighting Brigade.

Offline GO!!!

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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"? 

I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?

No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline rifleman

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I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?

Sgt: "And Cpl you know enough to know that I didn't need to spell Battalion then, but you do now. Sucks to be you..oh and give me twenty"

Offline old medic

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At the national level, resources are assigned to the areas to provide for one night a week, one weekend a month of training for the period of Sept-May every year (Four nights at 1/2 day each, 1 weekend at 2 1/2 days).  (December is funded for 3 nights only, since most folks have other plans for Christmas than freezing in Meaford or Wainwright).  This makes the famous 37.5 days of training per year. 

For the sake of discussion,  where did these numbers stand 20 years ago, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, etc ?
re-answering vision questions since 2004.

Offline Enfield

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I don't see why not. The Reg Force spouts this at the schools every single day!

Sgt: "We don't want a mindless drone, troops! We need a thinking soldier that can read and write and study! For this reason, there will be no review, we will not spoon feed you."

Cpl: "Sgt, was that not the way you were taught? How can the system that created you, in all your glory, be bad for me? And how can you teach me when you are unable to spell "Battalion"?
Oh no...  coffee all over the desk...crap....
 ;D

(italics added)
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Offline pbi

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Kirkhill: the problem is not so much getting the young Pte/Cpls out for more training. Traditionally, this group has usually been available for more training time than the Army Res could fund. The real problem is finding time for the Res leadership, who tend to have more demanding civilian jobs and, eventually, families. You can only demand so much from these people before you reach a point at which a Reservist is not a Reservist anymore but has become a "part-time Regular". One of the strengths of the Army Res (and, by the way, of the USARNG and Army Res in the US) is supposed to be that it represents the productive, solid members of the community. Once upon a time ( a long long time ago) it also may have represented the leadership of the community. Unfortunately, the more you demand, the less these people can deliver (although God knows many of them struggle to do so, often at greater personal cost that many Regulars realize). Volunteer fire departments often struggle with the same issues, as training a firefighter becomes more and more demanding, and communities demand faster response times and better protection.

This problem of "dipping the well" too often is not uniquely Canadian. Since GWOT/OIF/OEF, the demand on the US Army's Res component has been huge. While I was in Afgh in 2004, the then-Chief of the US Army Reserve voiced a fear that the demands for active service would turn the Res into a "refuge for the chronically unemployable" (or words to that effect). And that is in a country with well-established job protection laws.

Cheers
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Online Chris Pook

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Point taken pbi.

I allowed myself to drift towards considering a Reserve Force consisting of lower rank part-timers and higher rank full-timers and that generally implies regs.  You make a valid point about how that would stretch attachments to the community.  Can that gap be bridged with "full-time" Reservists on call-out?  Can training and experience be gained at a local level?
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Online Brad Sallows

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My estimate of the maximum "tempo" of the part-time reservist from Sep through May is 45 days: one evening per week, one weekend per month (less Dec and any month in which a concentration might be held), and one full day (Sat or Sun) session per month. (The full monty would be slightly more than 45.)

To that can be added at least one conference per year for selected appointments, and several conferences for COs and RSMs.

On top of it all there are winter (weekend) courses to be staffed.

Finally, one may consider what the annual calendar of activity must be for some people in units which are short a hand or two of filling all key appointments.  I hear and read a lot about the waste of overborne reserve units, but not much thought about how underborne units fare under the weight of administrivia.
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Offline gnplummer421

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I was reading a column out of a Renfrew paper, which stated that not only Reg Force soldiers could try out for the new regiment in Pet, but also Reserves. My question is; the 3RCR will supply the initial batch of soldiers, and then the selection/training phase begins in April. With these units being shortstaffed already, will the new recruits come fast enough to fill up the ranks of the remaining Infantry Regiments? Or do you think that we will be even more severly understaffed...Am I just lulled into a false belief that our military is finally going to get some much needed money and troops?

As an ex-soldier, I find myself excited about the prospect of our miltary finally getting some attention...but..I've also been let down too many times by our politicians..Is this really going to be the start of a new era for our troops?

To all you Reserve soldiers..strive to be good enough to pass the test and join an elite group of soldiers in Petawawa, you will have to be at your absolute best. The time is now to narrow the gap between the level of skills between Reg and Res. We need a large crop of new soldiers and we want them to be top notch.... time to go Reg. Force :salute:
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Offline pbi

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  I hear and read a lot about the waste of overborne reserve units, but not much thought about how underborne units fare under the weight of administrivia.

I suppose that there may be regional differences, but my impressions (and certainly my recent experiences in 38 CBG) suggest very strongly to me that we have very, very few units today with too many officers, WOs and NCOs. I think that the opposite is more often the case: units struggle to fill key appointments with anybody at all, let alone the best person for the position. I think the image of a typical Reserve unit having overstocked Officers' and Sgts' Messes is probably ten to twenty years (or more...) out of date. What does still exist, in my view, is a "legacy" command structure whose billets can no longer be filled properly.

Cheers
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Offline skydiver

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I know that most units around here are hurtin at some rank level. It sure was better in the early 90s. I can remember over 30 WOs and Snr NCOs from our Regt sitting around the gunnery round table at the mess in Gagetown on a gun camp weekend. Back then it was nothing to see 3  or 4 guys promoted top Sgt in a batch. Now..1 every 3 years maybe?

Then we got totally forced and they even had people reduce in rank if they wanted to stay in. It was a no-no to have too many of whatever rank for the positions available.

Now we can't buy a Senior NCO or an Lt.

Wah!

Doog

Doog

Online Chris Pook

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Adding grist to the mill.  From National Defence Magazine.

Quote
January 2006

With an Overstretched Military, U.S. Should Create 'Home Guard'

By David Abshire and Jonah Czerwinski

The United States holds an enormous stake in Iraq. Although initiated to counter a perceived terrorist threat, the U.S. presence in Iraq has in many ways made near-term gains in the war on terror more difficult and thrown America's homeland security into question. But a creative solution with roots reaching far back into American history may be the answer.

 Today, the presence of coalition troops in Iraq provides terrorists with a virtually constant training ground to develop battleground experience. As when Mujahedeen battled the Soviets in Afghanistan 20 years ago, which spawned Al Qaeda's evolvement through the 1990s, Iraq today has itself become a "cause for Jihad."

In fact, Iraq has eclipsed Afghanistan as a terrorist seedbed. A recent CIA report suggests that the urban nature of the war in Iraq affords assailants opportunity to learn how to carry out assassinations, kidnappings, car bombings and other kinds of attacks that were never a staple of the fighting in Afghanistan during anti-Soviet campaigns.

Today, insurgents in Iraq average 90 attacks daily - the highest amount since Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

The length of engagement and nature of daily conflict provide rich propaganda for terrorist recruiters - especially al-Qaeda and its associates - to use in the all-important battle for hearts and minds among the youth of the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

The advent of the Internet ignited terrorist communications. The CIA's National Intelligence Council finds that terrorists are enabled to converse, train, and recruit through the Internet, and their threat will become "an eclectic array of groups, cells and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters." According to a study by Gabriel Weimann, a professor at Israel's University of Haifa, terrorist websites have increased from around a dozen to 4,500 in the last four years.

The July bombings in London further bolster the notoriety of terrorist organizations. British engagement in Iraq was among several reasons cited by those claiming responsibility. This sort of propaganda upends the notion that by fighting terrorists in Iraq, we avoid facing them in the streets of New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles.

The stresses are internal, too. While America's military in Iraq struggles in this context, it is composed largely by an overstretched National Guard and Reserve Force. Repeat call-ups, extended tours, low recruitment and re-up rates, and poor supply reflect a massive crack in the system. The Army National Guard recruitment for 2005 missed its goal by more than 12,000 and the Army Reserve recruitment was off by more than 5,000. Moreover, troops at home are not fully equipped for homeland security scenarios because the inventories from non-deployed units are being sent overseas.

The original purpose of the Guard has transformed - so should its organization, supply, and support. If the military draft was the Achilles' heel to the Johnson war effort, the overextension of Reserves and National Guard may become ours today.

A home-front strategy is perhaps the most important aspect in a layered defense, regardless of how Iraq fares. President Bush should convene a group of bipartisan best minds to increase credibility with the public and Congress about the looming crisis in our military. Recognizing that we never anticipated and prepared for the new kind of warfare that came with 9/11, this bipartisan group will review home-front capabilities, mobilization, tactics and strategy. This bipartisan group should collaborate with the Commission on National Guard and Reserves, recently established by Congress.

Without waiting for the commission, however, the president should dramatically reinforce the National Guard.

This is not just a matter of changing policy and practices. The National Guard touches every community in the nation, their small businesses and families. A strengthening of the National Guard and Reserves should include their support groups, families, small businesses, the wounded, and the children and spouses left behind. An emergency grant from Congress matched with a review of existing laws and programs should provide better support structures, such as medical services to those most affected by deployed National Guard units.

The president also needs to make a call for national service. Doing so requires creating a voluntary, well equipped, well organized, congressionally funded and locally based corps. A non-expeditionary "Home Guard" is a strategic solution rooted in American history. Today's application should be composed of citizens from the community, who wear uniforms, train on weekends, and help prevent the chaos from a natural disaster or a weapon of mass effect. In the case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster, there would be an immediately deployable group of trained citizens from each community under control of the state governors ready to share the burden with the Red Cross, police, FEMA, local fire departments and National Guard.

A Home Guard would help mobilize the nation as we did during the Second World War. In some communities, where a percentage of first responders are in Iraq, such a trained force would help manage the shock following a terrorist attack or major natural disaster. Trained in the elements of security, engineering, civil affairs, and basic medicine, the Home Guard would recruit citizens already possessing these critical skills as well as individuals retiring out of the National Guard, active military and the Reserves. For the shorter term, enlistments in the National Guard could be followed by extended duty in the Home Guard. Citizens would have the opportunity to shift experience while retaining earned rank. Even more efficient would be the use of medically discharged or disabled veterans, who can still offer knowledge, skill and low-intensity service.

The untapped talent in the Civil Air Patrol and Coast Guard Auxiliary could serve as a starting point for building the Home Guard. Along our border, it would become a constructive outlet in place of ad hoc voluntary militia attempting to provide border protection in some states. Leaders drawn from their local communities would be trained in crisis communications and crowd control.

Hurricane Katrina proved the lynchpin role played by the National Guard and Reserve. The poor federal response underlines the need for a Home Guard. The aftermath also gives America some idea of the necessary preparation to react following an attack with a weapon of mass effect. This Home Guard would connect the first responders with the very people they serve. In fact, the Home Guard would become a highly organized group of newly recruited first responders

David Abshire is president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency in Washington, D.C. Jonah J. Czerwinski is senior research associate and director of homeland security projects at the Center for the Study of the Presidency.
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Offline Echo9

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First a couple of disclaimers:
1.  there's absolutely no chance whatsoever of something like this happening, so it's for discussion purposes only
2.  I'm wading deep here, in an attempt to stir up some poop, but here goes:


There are a few things that we know right now about coming force structures:
1.  There's an additional 25k pers coming between reg and reserve.
2.  Much of that added pers is going to have to go to the pointy end, specifically, outside of Ottawa, and
3.  There are a number of "new" potential battalions:
  - 3-4 rapid reaction battalions
  - CSOR (and Para Regt?)
  - 8-12 "city" regiments, combined between reg and res
  - LFRR growth
  - unspecified other growth (though this is more likely to fill out the hollow army)
4.  The above units (less the CSOR and Paras) will want to be affiliated with one of the Infantry Regts, as I would think that they're going to be primarily based around the Infantry. 

Now, for my more controversial bits:
1.  Rather than simply make a 4th or 5th battalion of the current regiments, the regiments that were stood down in the 60s (QOR, RHC, CG?) could be revived.  Some of this might mean that existing battalions are renamed- 2 RCR becomes 1 RHC again, 2 VP becomes 1 QOR- to build up some of a base of personnel.
2.  The city units, with combinations of reg/ res, are going to be unholy messes of cap badges in many places (think of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, or Vancouver).  These should also be affiliated (and badged) under one of the regiments.
3.  With the above and LFRR also combining unit HQ's, it's finally the time to put a bunch of cap badges out to pasture.  While the collected Honourary Colonels won't let this happen lightly, one way of potentially defusing the issue- partially- would be to badge under the regular regiments- I get the impression that almost as much of the resistance to merging is the refusal to wear the hat badge of the cross town rival as it is to see theirs go down.
4.  If that's a step too far, you could even allow what the Brits have done in their re-org and allow battalions to carry distinctive titles that bear witness to their histories ie. 7 RCR (Lincoln & Welland).

The end result- you have probably 2-3 regular battalions and perhaps 3-4 reserve battalions per Regiment, with a total of 5 (or more) Regiments.  Because of the growth, you have no large change in the career management pool for each Regiment.

I think that you lower the barriers between reg and res, since you're all wearing the same hat badge.  For those who dismiss this point, I'll note that there's generally much better relations in my own trade (engineers), which I think is at least partially a result of the family aspects of showing up wearing the same accoutrements.

You still have the benefits of the regimental system, while eliminating it's shallow end of the gene pool.  For those who note that you're doing away with the pride of the regimental histories, my immediate suggestion is that a regiment that parades 50 isn't doing much to support those histories itself.  We have the units and force structure that we have now because the WW2 ORBAT has been set in aspic since the armistice (with some nibbling away).  Most other armies have done this kind of re-org, and I think that we haven't gone down this route yet because we haven't mattered enough.

In other posts, I've noted that I'm generally against changes unless there's a big operational improvement.  Well, I think that there's just such an improvement here- from the perspective of more seemlessly operating between reg and res.  Those who believe strongly in the regimental family should allow their thoughts to carry to the logical conclusion- if it's good for cohesion, then it's good for cohesion.  With the amount of reserve augmentation going on right now, that's something useful.



The down side?  Well, the RCR would need a new alphabet....
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Offline dglad

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Two thoughts--

1. While your idea has merits, I think you're underestimating the likely resistance to such sweeping change, as well as the considerable resources and tenacity of those who would mount such resistance; and

2. I think you're overestimating the "friction" that exists between the Reg F and Res F in the cbt arms (I presume you're referring to inf and armd primarily, since those two branches are the most obvious place for cap-badge wars to occur).  Back in the late 70s and into the early 90s, I agree that there was an almost institutional bias across the Reg F towards Res F members (which was, in various respects, both deserved and not deserved).  However, with the impressive and essentially seamless performance of Reservists (especially lately), a great deal of that friction has eased.  Certainly, there are individuals in both components that remain "difficult", but Reservists are suffering hardships and spilling blood beside their Reg F comrades.  From experience, cap badges very quickly "disappear" in an operational setting, leaving only soldiers.

There will be change, but it will likely be much more incremental and will probably be more organizational in the context of existing cap-badges e.g. rather than merging units, grouping them in some fashion to streamline the number of actual unit HQs (since our important force generation in the Reserves involves soldiers and junior leaders, not unit-level resources)  and reduce the hollowness of the Res F as a whole.
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Offline PPCLI Guy

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There will be change, but it will likely be much more incremental and will probably be more organizational in the context of existing cap-badges e.g. rather than merging units, grouping them in some fashion to streamline the number of actual unit HQs (since our important force generation in the Reserves involves soldiers and junior leaders, not unit-level resources)  and reduce the hollowness of the Res F as a whole.

Echo9 had some interesting points, but I believe that dglad has hit upon the answer - functional and geographic groupings.  When the SD&G Highlanders hit the beaches of Normandy, they had an SD&G HQ and a coy, the PWOR had a coy, and the Brocks had a coy - sounds like a natural grouping to me...

Dave
« Last Edit: August 21, 2006, 12:28:07 by PPCLI Guy »
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Offline MCG

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Much has been touched on geographic groupings here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0/all.html

One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Much has been touched on geographic groupings here: http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0/all.html

One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.

In the UK  Companies have kept regimental traditions alive in a post amalgamation world.  It is a common fact of life there.  Battalions are doing it in the new Super Regiments.

Offline dglad

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One interesting notion is that you do not need a battalion structure to sustain a regimental identity.  A single company can wear a capbadge if the desire is to keep a unit's lineage alive and active.

Quite true.  The trick is going to be reconciling this fact with the interests of--among others--Honouraries and Senates.

Another important point to note is that even if the Royal Highland Polar Bear Regiment ends up being a sub-unit grouped under another infantry RHQ, that doesn't mean the RHPBR's own HQ has to cease to exist.  It can simply be zero-manned, and remain available to "reinflate" in time of national requirement.  There are those that will argue that you can't easily reconstitute a unit from a sub-unit in time of emergency--at least with any degree of cohesiveness--but I would counter that the Res F is currently incapable of filling its bill of COs, RSMs and unit HQ staff anyway, so we're already playing a shell game with our Res units.  If we can only generate a portion of the LCols and CWOs we need for our current structure, then the current structure obviously needs to be changed.  It's within the detailed nature of that change where the devil resides.
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Offline MCG

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One additional recommendation (discussed in the linked thread) was to zero-man all regimental Bn HQs and create regional Bn HQs free of regimental affiliation (so neither the RHPBR nor the Kootney Highlanders can complain about being under the other's HQ).

Online Brad Sallows

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The proposal to create new 20/80 (give or take) battalions provides a way to make an end run around obstacles to change.  Support the new establishments, and let the old ones wither on the vine if they don't meet expectations (don't reinforce failure).  If in a city/district there is a 20/80 battalion with high standards of administration and training, doing useful things and with access to interesting resources and training activities, what young recruit will prefer to join a 5/95 militia regiment to do endless cycles of MLOC (or whatever it is being called now)?  The supporting "establishments" outside the chain of command will have two options: ***** about the competition (never seemly), or rise to the competition and lean on the current unit leadership cadres to make the units well worth joining, supporting, and perpetuating.  In fairness, this would mean providing resources commensurate with expectations to the measurably successful 5/95 units.
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Offline Echo9

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I do recognize that this concept would represent radical change, and that there would be substantial friction in accomplishing it (hence my original comment that there would be no chance in hell of it occurring).

Also, I'll note that the ideas of reducing hat badges to single companies with merged (or neutral) Bn HQ's is actually the currently planned approach.  So, the idea of the SD&G, PWOR and Brock is actually the most likely course of action.

I guess my stir of the pot is that this seems to be a typically Canadian dodge, and that there may be valid reasons for going a step farther.  I think that the Reg/Res integration has more to it than simply at the soldier level- something that I think we're going to see is something much more like the US terms of service, where people go to active or reserve status with relative ease- you sign a contract for continuous service for a period, and then revert to reserve terms of service at the end of contracts.  In such a scenario, the ability to maintain a constant regimental affiliation becomes much more attractive, and actually provides value to the CF in terms of maintaining soldier belonging to the organization.  If the transition means changing your uniforms, you're less likely to do it than if you can simply transfer from the 1st Battalion, RHPBR to the 4th Battalion.

I would suggest that with a single company, particularly an understrength company, isn't really doing much to perpetuate the honour of the regiment, and that without a certain critical mass, the regimental identity will not be maintained.  And hey, perhaps that ends up being the genius of the current approach- merge the units first, get rid of some of the honouraries and senates, and then go with the bigger plan. 
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Offline pbi

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Quote
get rid of some of the honouraries and senates, and then go with the bigger plan. 

Based on my experiences with our LFRR proposals in 38 CBG in 2003/2005, this is an unfair generalization. In particular, we proposed to amalgamate our three Gunner units into a single large unit, and our three Svc Bns in a similar manner. The Army got "cold feet" over the "A word" so we sucked back a bit an proposed "tactical grouping". We issued the orders and started the machinery moving.(Since I left the Bde, this has moved ahead to some degree...dglad could probably give us an update). We engaged the affected Honoraries from the get go, and we had their willing support throughout. I was sometimes surprised by their frank assessments of their units' actual conditions (particularly the horrible and widespread succession problem for COs and RSMs). They never obstructed us, once. The obstruction and fear-mongering came from Res 2000, who waged a particularly ill informed and (IMHO) unsavoury campaign to try to stop us.

Honoraries, in my opinion, are very important. This is why the Govt takes such an interest in who they are and how they are appointed. If you get the right person, you get a great supporter for the unit in the community. If the Bde Comd and HQ make the effort to keep them well informed, bring them into the fold, and consult with them as appropriate, I believe you will get much more back than the little they cost DND. We always did this with our Hons: they were regular attenders at all Bde Comd Confs.

In the past history of our Army, all too often, the only people outside the Res unit who even cared about it at all were the Honoraries. It certainly wasn't the Regular Army, and sometimes not even the Militia's own hierarchy. If the Hons became somewhat parochial and defensive, maybe that is understandable.

Cheers
« Last Edit: September 06, 2006, 22:23:21 by pbi »
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