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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

McG

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If we need "Culture Officers" to chime in and say "this is a bad call, I don't recommend this COA" for our senior leaders to do the right thing, how in the hell are they still in command?
I recommend you read Edgar Schein‘s work on organizational culture. We can decide we are magically better than other human organizations, or we can consider how to address weaknesses that are characteristics of human organizations.

Organizations will bumble obliviously along paths that undermine their goals. It’s not necessarily just obvious egregious acts that are the problem. It can also be an aggregate of many behaviours more subtly incongruent with the CAF’s vision. Junior and senior leaders repeat the behaviours they’ve always seen; the things they think produce success. We don’t question some of the demands the institution makes of members, and we will demand people “suck it up” because we’ve been through the pain ourselves. There are all sorts of voices ready to defend “we’ve always done it that way” and many of those voices are in jobs advising commanders as staff officers or as sergeants major. What’s wrong with ensuring there is at least one voice challenging the status quo, advocating for other perspectives, and ensuring unintended consequences of an “obvious solution” are considered.
 

Brad Sallows

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We should invent some kind of small council, then. They'd be staff members, not command, and mostly commissioned and non-commissioned officers. We could call them staff officers.
 

daftandbarmy

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I recommend you read Edgar Schein‘s work on organizational culture. We can decide we are magically better than other human organizations, or we can consider how to address weaknesses that are characteristics of human organizations.

Organizations will bumble obliviously along paths that undermine their goals. It’s not necessarily just obvious egregious acts that are the problem. It can also be an aggregate of many behaviours more subtly incongruent with the CAF’s vision. Junior and senior leaders repeat the behaviours they’ve always seen; the things they think produce success. We don’t question some of the demands the institution makes of members, and we will demand people “suck it up” because we’ve been through the pain ourselves. There are all sorts of voices ready to defend “we’ve always done it that way” and many of those voices are in jobs advising commanders as staff officers or as sergeants major. What’s wrong with ensuring there is at least one voice challenging the status quo, advocating for other perspectives, and ensuring unintended consequences of an “obvious solution” are considered.

Schein is awesome....

“We must become better at asking and do less telling in a culture that overvalues telling.”

― Edgar H. Schein
 

Halifax Tar

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So we're saying a commanding officer needs an adviser with their fingers on the pulse of unit culture, to advise them on what the impacts of what they're doing will be.

Congratulations. We've just invented the RSM.
Have our RSM/Cox'n not been doing that ? Are they being ignored ?
 

captloadie

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In an organization that learns and grows, these advisors would only be required for a short period of time until the culture of the organization caught up with society. The same could be said for gender advisors. There should be a point in the future where at a minimum the senior members of an organization (both officers and NCMs) have been trained/acclimated/indoctrinated (choose your word) to a point that these consideration are automatically done, and informed decisions are made without the need for these specific specialist advisors.
 

YZT580

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once the advisors are there they will make themselves indispensable and untouchable: simply another level of bureaucracy. As dataperson stated, the position and role already exists. Perhaps the solution is to peel back, ensure that they are suited for the position as it is supposed to be and let them get back to doing their job.
 

Good2Golf

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As McG noted up thread, does the CAF (or GoC for that matter) truly understand what the culture it wants, is?
 

OldSolduer

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As McG noted up thread, does the CAF (or GoC for that matter) truly understand what the culture it wants, is?
Honestly I don’t think the CAF knows. Three different tribes with sub tribes, clans etc all wanting a piece of the pie.
Toss in a few “good idea fairies” and the distractions from the primary mission start to escalate….resulting in this mess.
 
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Furniture

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I was a bit reluctant about accepting the idea at first, but after reading the REG example I think I get it.

It is useful to have someone not at 20+ years in that has a clear line of communication with the command team. With the examples brought in REG, the FWD Section Base, and dockyard access, the default answer from most supervisors would have been "that's how it is", "sleep in more clothing", "single people have to walk down, so can you". Not necessarily because the supervisor is a bad person, but because it's the easy answer, and the supervisor has 100 other things to get done today. They likely also "know" that when they take it up another level their supervisor will give the same answers, or assign the subordinate to "write a memo", the universal "I'll make this not worth your time with andministrivia/hassel". That means the Jr. sailor's issue never makes it to Command's attention, so Command isn't able to use their power to fix it.

Even if the above scenario doesn't happen, and all leaders are as prefect as people pretend to be online, there is still multiple layers of CoC for a Jr member to get concerns through before it reaches the top. After going through a MS-PO2-PO1-CPO2-CPO1-XO-CO, or alternatively MS-PO2-PO1-CPO2-HOD-XO-CO the problem/solution may be so distorted by the telephone game, and personal interpretation/ideas that it bears little resemblance to what the Jr member brought up.

With a culture officer the Jr sailor can speak directly to the person that will speak directly to the CO, and theoretically the culture officer will be Jr enough to not be completely institutionalized to the point they give the supervisor standard answers. Maybe I'm way off, but this is what it seems like from my perspective.

Have our RSM/Cox'n not been doing that ? Are they being ignored ?
What if the RSM/SWO/Cox'n also don't see the problem? I guarantee there are things we don't see as PO1/WOs that the Jr people do, let alone a CWO/CPO1 layers above us.
 

Brad Sallows

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At least history reassures us that the idea of having special people with special access to the decision maker is something that always ends well.
 

McG

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Have our RSM/Cox'n not been doing that ? Are they being ignored ?
Some times these are the people who are the problem and are most stuck in the “this is just how we always do it” mindset. There is also the unusual dichotomy of roles where we want sr NCOs to be both the enforcers of discipline and the voice of the non-commissioned ranks. You won’t find a union shop steward who is also the company’s HR disciplinarian outside the military, but that’s kind of how we try to run things.
 

Furniture

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So the newly-minted 2Lt, then?
It was a Lt(N) on REG, so I'd assume somewhere between 2Lt and Capt. It doesn't make much sense to have them at the unit level if they are just as senior as the people they are advising, and just as unapproachable as the Command Team.

Then again, it is the CAF, so anything from LCols-BGens all around wouldn't surprise me overly much 🤷‍♂️
 
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