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Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves

FJAG

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Yes very familiar, I was in a reserve unit that claimed 75 members but only ever paraded 25. NES paper work was something no one ever really wanted to get done I guess. It is of course the natural result of the show up when and if you want system, which is also why we can’t build reserve structures into our operational capabilities. Simply not reliable.
NES scutt work is what got me into the legal branch. When I was with the Camerons while in law school I went to see the local AJAG in Winnipeg and volunteered to do NES files on the side. The units, like all units were sluffing them off. I got things cleaned up over the year and got known. When the branch opened up ResF positions to majors that year, I got the call, sent off on a Basic LegO course and the rest is history.

It's not hard to do better. QR&O has a provision for "ordering" people to attend training and the NDA has a provision to charge someone downtown if they don't. Were sending sex assaults downtown now, why not failure to attend training. Maybe its because of the stupid $25.00 or $50.00 fine.

9.04 (2) Subject to any limitations prescribed by the Chief of the Defence Staff, a member of the Primary Reserve may be ordered to train each year on Class "B" Reserve Service prescribed under subparagraph (1)(b) of article 9.07 (Class "B" Reserve Service) for a period not exceeding 15 days and on Class "A" Reserve Service (see article 9.06 - Class "A" Reserve Service), for a period not exceeding 60 days.

294 (1) Every officer or non-commissioned member of the reserve force who without lawful excuse neglects or refuses to attend any parade or training at the place and hour appointed therefor is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction for each offence, if an officer, to a fine not exceeding fifty dollars and, if a non-commissioned member, to a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars.
(2) Absence from any parade or training referred to in subsection (1) is, in respect of each day on which the absence occurs, a separate offence.

Of course the fear is that is Gunner Bloggins is pushed on this he'll just up and quit.

This needs fixing and we need service contracts with obligatory periods of service and a set number of obligatory training days if we ever hope to improve the system.

"Come play when you feel like it" is a really dumb way to run a military. Personally, I'd rather have 7,000 folks I can count on that 15,000 I can't.

🍻
 

MilEME09

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This needs fixing and we need service contracts with obligatory periods of service and a set number of obligatory training days if we ever hope to improve the system.

"Come play when you feel like it" is a really dumb way to run a military. Personally, I'd rather have 7,000 folks I can count on that 15,000 I can't.

🍻
This new reserve force readiness program starting April 1 2023, setting out requirements is a step in the right direction, but IMO still pretty weak over all, infact I would call it more lax because instead of once a month, you can technically go three months before going NES. Though atleast they set in stone you have to get your IBTS done each year and a few other things, but they still haven't addressed issues like medicals, the revolving door of soldier of convenience, etc...
 

childs56

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The system needs to be fixed, Courses cancelled, vacation time taken all for nothing. Commitments to the Reserve Training structure has been extremely lacking. Lack of equipment is another area where the Army Reserves lack.
How to Recruit people into a Reserve Force it is simple offer them a great part time job with benefits flexible schedule that will work with you to a point, good opportunity's for deployment overseas and regular training.
How to retain these Reservists treat them well. give them the tools and resources to succeed and dont jerk them around. Lack of equipment, gear, clothing, ammo etc will demoralize a group of people quicker then anything else, add in a piss poor leader and they start bailing off the ship mid ocean.

Units like 5th(Bc) Field and 15 Fd Regt need to go down to Field batteries, given 9 guns each along with Equipment. They need to be authorized strength and allotments for 150person strengths each. But expected to staff 75 each at all times.
The Infantry Regiments should also be formed into Companies. The same Authorized for 150 and staff 75 each.

The premise behind my thoughts is that if the units can have the equipment to train properly, have the funding to staff properly, the courses to back it all up along with the training day allotments then they can staff and provide some solid support to recruit, train and retain their soldiers.

I know in my days we had lack of equipment, lack of courses (often cancelled after being confirmed)had budgets cut mid way through the year cutting back on training days. Anybody who may be serious about a commitment to the Reserves will think twice if it is ran so unprofessional.
 

Remius

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The world isn’t ending because we don’t use the reserves as an integral part of our operational capability. If we did this system would be crippling. But then again I never said it was and “isn’t a catastrophe” is hardly a glowing review. Also see above, those units don’t need COs or RSMs.
I never said that either. My statement supports what you are saying about tactical groupings. Some units need to others not so much. But until the system is fixed and that also means fixing the CAF force as a whole btw it likely will be a slow go and slog. So it can be done and it isn’t the end of the world (for those units and for whatever identity people would think would be under threat if they did)

It’s starting to slowly fall apart though and COVID just accelerated things. What do you think would happen if you removed every reservist currently serving on class B? That’s a self inflicted reg force drug addiction that damaged both the regs and reserves long term. And it’s starting to finally catch up to the organisation.

As far as making the reserves an integral part of our operational capability we are seeing that change in an unprecedented way this year. CBGs are being asked to be lead mounting formations, integration training with reg force units is ongoing etc etc.


Yes very familiar, I was in a reserve unit that claimed 75 members but only ever paraded 25. NES paper work was something no one ever really wanted to get done I guess. It is of course the natural result of the show up when and if you want system, which is also why we can’t build reserve structures into our operational capabilities. Simply not reliable.
perhaps I didn’t explain well enough. That unit that can get two or three platoons out the door for whatever reason or task might have others that do show up but can’t make it out for whatever reason (employers, school etc). Not to mention other elements of the unit. Again, some units will vary. Mine is significantly larger than 75 on paper. But maybe units that are larger are the exception and not the norm. Coming out of COVID I am pretty sure they are the exception.


I’ll point out that the Netherlands has their reserve Bns directly inside their 3 Bdes. Each is made up of geographically dispersed, obviously to a lesser extent than in Canada, companies who come together to provide a third Bn to their parent formation.
Im pretty sure that concept existed in some form here a long time ago. 4 RCR, 6 vandoo are holdovers of that and many units had designated Bn numbers after their names.

We sort of have that but it’s only loosely formalized and not at all integrate per se other than who we provide bodies to.
 

Remius

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This new reserve force readiness program starting April 1 2023, setting out requirements is a step in the right direction, but IMO still pretty weak over all, infact I would call it more lax because instead of once a month, you can technically go three months before going NES. Though atleast they set in stone you have to get your IBTS done each year and a few other things, but they still haven't addressed issues like medicals, the revolving door of soldier of convenience, etc...
It’s a good start and it is not more lax. It’s 10 days. Same as now really but they extended the NES period to 60days of no parading.

What gets you NES now:

Parading less than 10 days in a year
Failing to parade once in a 60 day period
Failing to meet any of the IBTS requirements (which all together dags you green for dom ops)

That last part is the key difference. And when you factor in the 10 day minimum of which you will need to be in for IBTS…
 

ueo

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At my core I argue if you can’t field a platoon, you probably don’t need a Lt Col a CSM, ect ect. If two units can field two platoons a piece, well that’s a company. Probably Winnipeg should have a company, maybe a Bn for the whole of 41 Bde. Tactical Grouping is, at present, a half measure that should be far more wide spread, amd include some more sweeping reforms in reserve structure.

To add we have 10 Reserve Brigades managing a total of 14,000 reservists (one the Rangers are taken out of the equation). At roughly 1400 per Bde I feel a Bn in their plus some divisional regiment / Bn HQs wouldn’t be much more appropriate.
But then what do we do with all the extra officers?
 

KevinB

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NES scutt work is what got me into the legal branch. When I was with the Camerons while in law school I went to see the local AJAG in Winnipeg and volunteered to do NES files on the side. The units, like all units were sluffing them off. I got things cleaned up over the year and got known. When the branch opened up ResF positions to majors that year, I got the call, sent off on a Basic LegO course and the rest is history.

It's not hard to do better. QR&O has a provision for "ordering" people to attend training and the NDA has a provision to charge someone downtown if they don't. Were sending sex assaults downtown now, why not failure to attend training. Maybe its because of the stupid $25.00 or $50.00 fine.





Of course the fear is that is Gunner Bloggins is pushed on this he'll just up and quit.

This needs fixing and we need service contracts with obligatory periods of service and a set number of obligatory training days if we ever hope to improve the system.

"Come play when you feel like it" is a really dumb way to run a military. Personally, I'd rather have 7,000 folks I can count on that 15,000 I can't.

🍻
When I was in 30th Fd, a friend of mine was charged for failing to attend a training night.
As a MBdr he then came in three Admin nights to talk to his AO, the while the BC found him guilty, he made money off it…

Yup the system sure showed him.
 

markppcli

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I never said that either. My statement supports what you are saying about tactical groupings. Some units need to others not so much. But until the system is fixed and that also means fixing the CAF force as a whole btw it likely will be a slow go and slog. So it can be done and it isn’t the end of the world (for those units and for whatever identity people would think would be under threat if they did)

Could you reword that last bit?

It’s starting to slowly fall apart though and COVID just accelerated things. What do you think would happen if you removed every reservist currently serving on class B? That’s a self inflicted reg force drug addiction that damaged both the regs and reserves long term. And it’s starting to finally catch up to the organisation.

Maybd I’m just sheltered in a brigade, but I don’t see many class Bs in my day to day. Wainwright probably has more, but not like it used to when CMTC was in full swing.

As far as making the reserves an integral part of our operational capability we are seeing that change in an unprecedented way this year. CBGs are being asked to be lead mounting formations, integration training with reg force units is ongoing etc etc.

Your talking about Atlantic Canada with the storms? I suspect that has a lot to do with where it was and what was available as a lead formation frankly.

perhaps I didn’t explain well enough. That unit that can get two or three platoons out the door for whatever reason or task might have others that do show up but can’t make it out for whatever reason (employers, school etc). Not to mention other elements of the unit. Again, some units will vary. Mine is significantly larger than 75 on paper. But maybe units that are larger are the exception and not the norm. Coming out of COVID I am pretty sure they are the exception.

My point was more that what matters, in terms of size, is how many are actually available for op/training. Not the guys that probably should be on NES. What is the actual, tangible, out put.

Im pretty sure that concept existed in some form here a long time ago. 4 RCR, 6 vandoo are holdovers of that and many units had designated Bn numbers after their names.

“In the 1950s, the Canadian Army promoted a scheme of administratively associating reserve infantry regiments with a regular one. Although this project did not make much progress in most of the army, three reserve regiments did join the Van Doos, becoming battalions of the Royal 22e Régiment:” - that’s from Wiki and it’s about the best bit of information I could find in it. It’s a similar story with 4 RCR shifting from its old regimental titles, to become a battalion of the regiment. They were never formally part of the regular force formation.



We sort of have that but it’s only loosely formalized and not at all integrate per se other than who we provide bodies to.
 

GR66

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With the Rocky Mountain Rangers we were never above 25 on parade. When I was there at least. But I’d assume on aggregate most could manage something close to a platoon.

Sadly the regular Bns are mandated be be manned below war strength. Odd comparison to make really. I suppose the better question is why call something a regiment when it’s one platoon.

If we start readjusting units, and think in terms of catchment areas vs regiments reporting to armouries, we can alter and adjust who goes where for what. I would much much rather have all the units in Vancouver work out of ASU Chilliwack a weekend a month rather than 4 half days at their sub par armouries. Similar in Edmonton, they could make great use of the on base facilities vs their two armouries… which aren’t in the base because that made sense to some one… I digress.
Agreed. More weekend and longer training at (properly equipped) training areas rather than short evening training at sub-par armouries. The armouries should basically be admin offices and recruiting locations in the local community. Train in the field.
Yes very familiar, I was in a reserve unit that claimed 75 members but only ever paraded 25. NES paper work was something no one ever really wanted to get done I guess. It is of course the natural result of the show up when and if you want system, which is also why we can’t build reserve structures into our operational capabilities. Simply not reliable.
Again agreed. FJAG's proposal that Reserve members have a fixed term contract with obligations for attendance makes sense to me.
I’ll point out that the Netherlands has their reserve Bns directly inside their 3 Bdes. Each is made up of geographically dispersed, obviously to a lesser extent than in Canada, companies who come together to provide a third Bn to their parent formation.
That would be a nice eventual goal, but I'd be happy to start with providing a Company to each Battalion as a first step based on where we are starting from.
 

FJAG

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When I was in 30th Fd, a friend of mine was charged for failing to attend a training night.
As a MBdr he then came in three Admin nights to talk to his AO, the while the BC found him guilty, he made money off it…

Yup the system sure showed him.
Interestingly, a reservist can't be charged for failing to attend training under the CSD. At the time that they are not there, they are not subject to the CSD which has very limited situation when a reservist is liable (see NDA 60(1)(c)). That's why the NDA has s 294 which makes it an offence triable by a civil court. Some DJA was sleeping on the job there.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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Interestingly, a reservist can't be charged for failing to attend training under the CSD. At the time that they are not there, they are not subject to the CSD which has very limited situation when a reservist is liable (see NDA 60(1)(c)). That's why the NDA has s 294 which makes it an offence triable by a civil court. Some DJA was sleeping on the job there.

🍻

And if a Reservist, in uniform, is driving to his parade night and gets into a car accident and is permanently disabled, he has no recourse to the CAF or VA for services.

I always told my guys to sign in before they left the house, if they could ;)
 

Remius

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Could you reword that last bit?
I mean that tactical groupings haven’t been the end of the world for those units that did it. Regimental identity still exists for those grouped but they are probably more efficient. The reserve RCA units that are grouped likely felt no real difference in that regard and same with the svc battalion grouping.
Maybd I’m just sheltered in a brigade, but I don’t see many class Bs in my day to day. Wainwright probably has more, but not like it used to when CMTC was in full swing.
NCR, Kingston, with their proximities to the various HQ and training Deathstars. Toronto with 4Div HQ nearby. Montreal close to the mega. Gagegtown. All these areas rely heavily on reserve augmentation via class Bs. We likely have a platoon plus of guys on class Bs all over the place. What does not help is Div’s policy to have them transfer to whatever PRL despite them wanting to parade with their home unit. Or the ones that when they get on a class B don’t come in anymore, We’re lucky we can get guys to still show up but their class B employers are never to keen to give them up for dom ops, week long training etc etc unless it’s career courses. Or the challenge of why we have to fight for course spots when a prl type will never be employed in any trade related role but needs the promotion for his next class b. Sorry that turned into a bit of a rant at the end lol.
Your talking about Atlantic Canada with the storms? I suspect that has a lot to do with where it was and what was available as a lead formation frankly.
No. PM to follow.
My point was more that what matters, in terms of size, is how many are actually available for op/training. Not the guys that probably should be on NES. What is the actual, tangible, out put.
Yes. Point taken. But time and opportunity plays into it. So a unit may have to have a higher administrative/garrison strength to be able to send out. And it’s not guys that should be NES per say. I don’t count those numbers nor do I add in releases pending. The same guy who can’t make it one ex might be able to make the next one or the guy that can’t commit to two weeks for dom op in the fall might able to do one in the spring. So maybe reserve units with the current make up need a 3 to 1 ratio for what’s on strength vs what they can deploy without being compelled by legislation. I’m just math theory crafting though.
“In the 1950s, the Canadian Army promoted a scheme of administratively associating reserve infantry regiments with a regular one. Although this project did not make much progress in most of the army, three reserve regiments did join the Van Doos, becoming battalions of the Royal 22e Régiment:” - that’s from Wiki and it’s about the best bit of information I could find in it. It’s a similar story with 4 RCR shifting from its old regimental titles, to become a battalion of the regiment. They were never formally part of the regular force formation.
Yeah it’s something on those lines. My unit was designated 5Bn of our « parent » reg force unit but was likely cosmetic more than anything else.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The system needs to be fixed, Courses cancelled, vacation time taken all for nothing. Commitments to the Reserve Training structure has been extremely lacking. Lack of equipment is another area where the Army Reserves lack.
How to Recruit people into a Reserve Force it is simple offer them a great part time job with benefits flexible schedule that will work with you to a point, good opportunity's for deployment overseas and regular training.
How to retain these Reservists treat them well. give them the tools and resources to succeed and dont jerk them around. Lack of equipment, gear, clothing, ammo etc will demoralize a group of people quicker then anything else, add in a piss poor leader and they start bailing off the ship mid ocean.

Units like 5th(Bc) Field and 15 Fd Regt need to go down to Field batteries, given 9 guns each along with Equipment. They need to be authorized strength and allotments for 150person strengths each. But expected to staff 75 each at all times.
The Infantry Regiments should also be formed into Companies. The same Authorized for 150 and staff 75 each.

The premise behind my thoughts is that if the units can have the equipment to train properly, have the funding to staff properly, the courses to back it all up along with the training day allotments then they can staff and provide some solid support to recruit, train and retain their soldiers.

I know in my days we had lack of equipment, lack of courses (often cancelled after being confirmed)had budgets cut mid way through the year cutting back on training days. Anybody who may be serious about a commitment to the Reserves will think twice if it is ran so unprofessional.
5th fd is already a battery only. 15th Fd is a Regt in name only. In my day both units had 6 guns each. 15th Fd was broken down to 31 bty was the gun Battery and 68 was the training battery. Over the years a separate battery was stood up and stood down in the Fraser Valley to take advantage of the population and bases there.
When we were Ops tasked, we had about 9 Deuces (6 guntractors, two ammo and spare), two CP's, two FOO parties in jeeps. A line lying vehicle, Field ambulance, REME truck and a couple of other smaller offroad capable vehicles. Along with a van and 3 ton stake truck.
 

KevinB

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When we were Ops tasked, we had about 9 Deuces (6 guntractors, two ammo and spare), two CP's, two FOO parties in jeeps. A line lying vehicle, Field ambulance, REME truck and a couple of other smaller offroad capable vehicles. Along with a van and 3 ton stake truck.
pretty similar layout to 30 RCA
8 Gun tractors (only 6 guns)
4 MLVW Cargo
2 5/4 CP, main and alt
1 5/4 Cargo (Recce)
1 CUCV (generally occupied by RSS)
1 Line Laying Iltis
2 FOO Iltis (sometime with trailer).
1 BC Party Iltis and trailer
2 TSM Iltis with trailer
5/4 Amb (taken when Medics where removed to be consolidated at the Field Amb unit)
1 Ford F-350 Super Crew (RSS O Gene Browns personal vehicle for 4 years ;) )
2 Panel Van.
 

markppcli

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Agreed. More weekend and longer training at (properly equipped) training areas rather than short evening training at sub-par armouries. The armouries should basically be admin offices and recruiting locations in the local community. Train in the field.

Again agreed. FJAG's proposal that Reserve members have a fixed term contract with obligations for attendance makes sense to me.

That would be a nice eventual goal, but I'd be happy to start with providing a Company to each Battalion as a first step based on where we are starting from.
A company to each Bn is actually harder to integrate than a Bn into a Bde.
 

FJAG

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And if a Reservist, in uniform, is driving to his parade night and gets into a car accident and is permanently disabled, he has no recourse to the CAF or VA for services.

I always told my guys to sign in before they left the house, if they could ;)
But they could be charged if they were in uniform. :giggle:

My memory is a bit vague on this but I don't think that signing the pay sheet would make a difference, because, if I remember correctly, there was a policy somewhere that expressly excluded travel to and from the armouries (place of parade etc) from being on duty. If I remember correctly it was to prevent, amongst other things, people with long drives from turning a half day parade into a full day's one.

There are sooooo many policies.

🍻
 

childs56

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5th fd is already a battery only.
Still listed as a Regiment. They were a Fd Bty then Changed back to a Regiment and been that way since the late 90s.
15th Fd is a Regt in name only. In my day both units had 6 guns each.
4 guns in the 5th(BC) when I was there 56 Bty could man all 4 with spare people. Vic could do the same. Short equipment was and still a problem.
15th Fd was broken down to 31 bty was the gun Battery and 68 was the training battery. Over the years a separate battery was stood up and stood down in the Fraser Valley to take advantage of the population and bases there.
When we were Ops tasked, we had about 9 Deuces (6 guntractors, two ammo and spare), two CP's, two FOO parties in jeeps. A line lying vehicle, Field ambulance, REME truck and a couple of other smaller offroad capable vehicles. Along with a van and 3 ton stake truck.
Interesting I am guessing the 80s into the early 90s is the time frame this was in.

They need the equipment, money and training courses to make things work.
 

dapaterson

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En route to your usual work location - not covered; en route to a different location - covered.

In the latter instance, the individual should also be reimbursed for milage.
 
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