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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Haggis

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Have we been promoting the right people, or have we been promoting people with the right ticks in the box ?
There has always been problems with score inflation, ensuring that each person was scored on the bell curve correctly. That's simple enough in theory but when personalities become involved the wheels fall off the wagon. Members have been scored higher than warranted and the narratives adjusted (wordsmithed) to fit the score in order to:

1. get the member posted out because they are a problem;
2. get the member career loaded then promoted to fit the needs of the regimental godfathers;
3. to avoid the uncomfortable discussions that should accompany an adverse PER;
4. to avoid the effort of dealing with a redress;
5. etc.

We have very often sent lesser quality members on course/tasking or missions because:

1. we don't want to leave a vacancy unfilled because we won't get one offered to us next year;
2. our No. 1 candidate is unavailable and it would look bad on the unit if we didn't fill the vacancy we asked for.
2. this is a "no fail tasking" (aren't they all?);
3. we need that qualification in the unit lines.

and that fills the "tick" the member needs for the next step up the ladder.
 

Halifax Tar

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There has always been problems with score inflation, ensuring that each person was scored on the bell curve correctly. That's simple enough in theory but when personalities become involved the wheels fall off the wagon. Members have been scored higher than warranted and the narratives adjusted (wordsmithed) to fit the score in order to:

1. get the member posted out because they are a problem;
2. get the member career loaded then promoted to fit the needs of the regimental godfathers;
3. to avoid the uncomfortable discussions that should accompany an adverse PER;
4. to avoid the effort of dealing with a redress;
5. etc.

We have very often sent lesser quality members on course/tasking or missions because:

1. we don't want to leave a vacancy unfilled because we won't get one offered to us next year;
2. our No. 1 candidate is unavailable and it would look bad on the unit if we didn't fill the vacancy we asked for.
2. this is a "no fail tasking" (aren't they all?);
3. we need that qualification in the unit lines.

and that fills the "tick" the member needs for the next step up the ladder.

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#ilovethegoldengirls
 

rmc_wannabe

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We promote on merit and qualification, less so on character and good judgement.

I have seen the former happen far more than the latter. Ethics and leadership are one point each on a PER. That doesn't even factor in when it comes to SCRITS or "other" promotion criteria that exist in the trade mafias.

I honestly think that a 360 evaluation of pers Sgt and up / Maj and up would be a step in the right direction. Some examples off the top of my head:

-Capt Bloggins might be EEE his SOL profile, and have AOC/ATOC, but is hesitant and indecisive (as documented by his Comd Team WO's assessment) and should be developed further in rank before advancing.

- Sgt Bloggins, while lacking his DP3 course, has acted as Tp WO for 6 months; during which time he was able to improve cohesion and solve crucial admin issues that have been unresolved (as documented by the MCpl's assessment)

- Col Shitbird has all the checks in the box, however, the assessments of his COS are that he is hard to work with, is demeaning to certain staff officers, and has exercised questionable judgement when it comes to authorizing FAA Sect 32 procurements.

I can see people arguing that its will quickly become weaponized by people with an axe to grind; however, I am at a loss for how to improve the calibre of leader we see in the CAF. Checks in the box are great and all, but like Facebook and Instagram, people are eager to show when things are going great... and are dead silent when they fuck something up. Hard to hide that you're a bad leader when those in your charge have their chance to call you out on it.
 

Halifax Tar

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We promote on merit and qualification, less so on character and good judgement.

I have seen the former happen far more than the latter. Ethics and leadership are one point each on a PER. That doesn't even factor in when it comes to SCRITS or "other" promotion criteria that exist in the trade mafias.

I honestly think that a 360 evaluation of pers Sgt and up / Maj and up would be a step in the right direction. Some examples off the top of my head:

-Capt Bloggins might be EEE his SOL profile, and have AOC/ATOC, but is hesitant and indecisive (as documented by his Comd Team WO's assessment) and should be developed further in rank before advancing.

- Sgt Bloggins, while lacking his DP3 course, has acted as Tp WO for 6 months; during which time he was able to improve cohesion and solve crucial admin issues that have been unresolved (as documented by the MCpl's assessment)

- Col Shitbird has all the checks in the box, however, the assessments of his COS are that he is hard to work with, is demeaning to certain staff officers, and has exercised questionable judgement when it comes to authorizing FAA Sect 32 procurements.

I can see people arguing that its will quickly become weaponized by people with an axe to grind; however, I am at a loss for how to improve the calibre of leader we see in the CAF. Checks in the box are great and all, but like Facebook and Instagram, people are eager to show when things are going great... and are dead silent when they fuck something up. Hard to hide that you're a bad leader when those in your charge have their chance to call you out on it.

Negative feedback on PERs would be move in the right direction.

In my heart I love the idea of 360. But my brain tells me it would/could be weaponized. 1 barrack room lawyer could ruin a good Sgt. On the other hand if I speak out that my Coxswain is a dick what's to protect me from his rath after the fact, oh look a posting to Dundrun! Whoopidedoo
 

reveng

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In my heart I love the idea of 360. But my brain tells me it would/could be weaponized. 1 barrack room lawyer could ruin a good Sgt. On the other hand if I speak out that my Coxswain is a dick what's to protect me from his rath after the fact, oh look a posting to Dundrun! Whoopidedoo
Anonymous evaluations? I know nothing is truly anonymous, and some people will talk, but like voting...no one should really know what another wrote down. Less likely for someone to cave from outside influence. Also, one negative response would be an outlier. A ton of negative feedback would be indicative that someone isn't pulling their weight, or doesn't play well with others. It should be possible to distinguish between the two.

Also - bad habits start long before Sgt or Maj. Do it from the ground up. The sooner you notice an issue, the sooner corrective action can be taken. It doesn't have to end someones career if they take the proper steps to address deficiencies, with help from peers, superiors, and the organization as a whole. CAF already does this sort of stuff (albeit to what level of success, I don't know)
 

TCM621

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TCM, I feel like we are discussing two very different subjects. In the first post that I commented on you referred to men abusing their power to get sex and stated this was normal. You then stated that it wasn't sexual assault. I obviously disagree.

Now you are discussing two members of different ranks being in a sexual relationship. This is obviously a very different situation and not necessarily one that would involve assault, although the possibility is certainly present. I don't believe the two situations can be compared apples to apples.

I also don't believe that something becomes "normal" simply because it has occurred since time immemorial. Murder, rape, child molestation, etc have been happening forever but that doesn't mean it is normal and should be tolerated.
Fair enough. I probably should have said "using their position of authority" like a medal or a fancy job title to get laid not invoking their authority to coerce sex. I just realized that when I think about how I said it, I put mental air quotes around "abuse" and that totally changes the interpretation of the sentence. Poor writing on my part.
 

Loachman

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Okay, let's not go off on a tangent (again). I shouldn't have bothered with the rest of the quote but just wanted to show the context that Prager was using in his Op-Ed.

If some men have such a virulent sex drive that it causes them to assault and/or force themselves on women or "revert to their animallike sexual nature", then perhaps they should be chemically castrated.
I did not consider the rest of it particularly important.

The drive to reproduce is a powerful survival-of-the-species one, and common to all sexually-reproducing species - it sometimes causes battles to death, even. We are not so far removed from our ancient predecessors, and that is something that should not be denied.

But, while that urge is powerful, the vast majority of us can control it, as we do many of our other ancient instincts (we still compete with each other, but more in sporting events rather than beating each other to death for the last scrap of woolly mammoth flesh). Some, however, cannot - completely, at least - and may resort to a variety of coercive means, or even outright rape.

At least the resultant problems are more out-in-the-open now, compared to past times, and, while that may look bad, it is a sign of improvement that should be recognized and celebrated and which will, thus, continue to occur - one hopes.

But still, some give in, and lose everything.
 

Loachman

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I am torn, like you. My spouse has never experienced incidents like we have seen lately, yet people I know, and trust, have recounted horrific encounters and incidents. I have often said that if I were to magically wake up tomorrow at 18 years old, I would run to the recruiting centre to sign up again. But I have also never seen the level of harassment and misogynism that has been reported on.
But is it really worse, or just more out in the open where it can be corrected?

I have no idea. While there was much hanky-panky in my early days, I never saw or heard of any signs of forced sexual activity - but that was my relatively-small militia world. Some minor jealousies, as partners changed, but the girls were quickly accepted as equals and fitted right in. There are more women now, as well, so more potential victims, and possibly even more sensitivity to things that were considered to be quite innocent back then.

Exposure is good, though, and an early sign of improvement.

None of the women in my more-recent circle, including one with almost as much time in as me, could think of any incidents in their pasts when Op Honour began. Not every part of the CF is the same, though.

And I did discuss, somewhere here, a very troubling incidence of non-sexual harassment in the early nineties in which I played the role of assisting officer to the victim, so I am well aware that truly crappy things do happen, and were frequently covered up when they did. And the only alternative route to the chain-of-command was the media...
 

daftandbarmy

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But is it really worse, or just more out in the open where it can be corrected?
Based on my experiences with both the military over 40 years, and many civilian organizations both large and small with my civvy job, unscientifically and anecdotally, I feel that things are much worse in the CAF with regrad to sexual harrassment, pedophiles and a number of other types of abuse.

But hey, I'm a paratrooper, so to me 'abuse' feels like people just care more about me :)
 

Loachman

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Based on my experiences with both the military over 40 years, and many civilian organizations both large and small with my civvy job, unscientifically and anecdotally, I feel that things are much worse in the CAF with regrad to sexual harrassment, pedophiles and a number of other types of abuse.

But hey, I'm a paratrooper, so to me 'abuse' feels like people just care more about me :)
The day-shift operator of Punch Press No 5 is much likely to generate headlines as anybody in uniform would be, even if he did something worse.

Aside from a few cases of spousal abuse I don't think that I've known anybody, military or civilian, accused of sexual misconduct.

And those spousal abuse cases, too, were several decades ago. I was shocked to find out, as I had no reason to suspect anything amiss, and knew their wives fairly well also. Those marriages did eventually end, and without legal intervention.

Again, there were fewer routes of escape back then than there are now, and a more open awareness.
 

Navy_Pete

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Negative feedback on PERs would be move in the right direction.

In my heart I love the idea of 360. But my brain tells me it would/could be weaponized. 1 barrack room lawyer could ruin a good Sgt. On the other hand if I speak out that my Coxswain is a dick what's to protect me from his rath after the fact, oh look a posting to Dundrun! Whoopidedoo
There was a pilot program a while ago for a 360 evaluation on some contracted leadership development course; I got to fill one in for a former supervisor. Apparently they bundled it up, took the high/low points and provided him some feedback.

Some of the most useful feedback I ever got was early in my career as a SLt from some of the PO1s and the Chief, as well as one of the LCdrs that wasn't my boss. Allowed me to course correct some things and build on others, and IMHO a good example of how the general development system should work. Same idea as a 360 system except it had real and concrete results.

Personally a big fan of the concept though; there are more then a few people that got a CO tour that were disasters when their shitty behaviour was obvious as a two ringer to their peers/subordinates. Even outside of the PERs it would be useful for some of the development phases; when they had the ORO sea phase it was usually pretty obvious who you would never want to actually work for, and the same probably applies for ph 6 / AHOD tours.
 

daftandbarmy

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There was a pilot program a while ago for a 360 evaluation on some contracted leadership development course; I got to fill one in for a former supervisor. Apparently they bundled it up, took the high/low points and provided him some feedback.

Some of the most useful feedback I ever got was early in my career as a SLt from some of the PO1s and the Chief, as well as one of the LCdrs that wasn't my boss. Allowed me to course correct some things and build on others, and IMHO a good example of how the general development system should work. Same idea as a 360 system except it had real and concrete results.

Personally a big fan of the concept though; there are more then a few people that got a CO tour that were disasters when their shitty behaviour was obvious as a two ringer to their peers/subordinates. Even outside of the PERs it would be useful for some of the development phases; when they had the ORO sea phase it was usually pretty obvious who you would never want to actually work for, and the same probably applies for ph 6 / AHOD tours.


Yeah, about that Performance Appraisal thing:

A Qualitative Study to Evaluate the Purpose and Comprehensiveness of the British Army’s Annual Individual Performance Appraisal System

The PAS can be a useful tool to help motivate the appraisee, however, this largely depends on the subject and how it is delivered. When interviewing individuals who were solely the appraisee they were, on the whole, dissatisfied with the PAS and felt that it did not have a great effect on their performance. Iqbal’s (2012, p.42) paper argued that discontent from subjects is primarily because of differences in “leniency/strictness bias, accuracy of judgment, structure and administrative practices.” As a result of these disparities, Nickols (2007, p.13) argued that the PAS “devours staggering amounts of time and energy, depresses and de-motivates people, destroys trust and teamwork and [...] delivers little demonstrable value at great cost. [The PAS] when weighed, [is] found wanting in the balance."

 

FJAG

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There was a pilot program a while ago for a 360 evaluation on some contracted leadership development course; I got to fill one in for a former supervisor. Apparently they bundled it up, took the high/low points and provided him some feedback.

Some of the most useful feedback I ever got was early in my career as a SLt from some of the PO1s and the Chief, as well as one of the LCdrs that wasn't my boss. Allowed me to course correct some things and build on others, and IMHO a good example of how the general development system should work. Same idea as a 360 system except it had real and concrete results.

Personally a big fan of the concept though; there are more then a few people that got a CO tour that were disasters when their shitty behaviour was obvious as a two ringer to their peers/subordinates. Even outside of the PERs it would be useful for some of the development phases; when they had the ORO sea phase it was usually pretty obvious who you would never want to actually work for, and the same probably applies for ph 6 / AHOD tours.

I wasn't at first but saw it used very successfully amongst medical staff of a local hospital we represented.

My only concern about it is how much extra admin work it puts on the whole organization in both preparing evaluations and in collecting, vetting and collating the data. It would need some very good design to make it easy to complete and staff. We're not particulalry known for having a knack for that.


🍻
 

Navy_Pete

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I agree it's a lot of extra work; I think the program was a pilot course for streamers, so maybe it was an attempt at 360 vetting? That makes a bit more sense than the current old boys network that does the backroom annointing, but that might just be off target speculation on my part.

So maybe something like that makes more sense before the CAF invests a lot of time and money developing these people? Probably still wouldn't pick up a lot of shenanigans, but at least it filters out the great big idiots. If nothing else, might serve to modulate the behaviour of the type of people that want to be GOFOs and really cut the knees out of the ones that try and get ahead by chucking their subordinates and peers under the bus while doing their best imitations of vacuums up the chain.
 

SupersonicMax

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A 360 evaluation is a requirement for graduating from the residential Joint Command and Staff Programme. The intent is to provide feedback on areas to improve.
 

daftandbarmy

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I wasn't at first but saw it used very successfully amongst medical staff of a local hospital we represented.

My only concern about it is how much extra admin work it puts on the whole organization in both preparing evaluations and in collecting, vetting and collating the data. It would need some very good design to make it easy to complete and staff. We're not particulalry known for having a knack for that.


🍻

360 reviews are one of the services we've provided to our clients, as a consulting company, for the past 20+ years.

As you note it's a big effort and, if not done confidentially using in person interviews and accompanied by follow up coaching to help the coachee integrate the feedback and change their behaviour, can be completely ineffective.

Some organizations try to cut corners using surveys, and it's always a sub-par product.
 
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