AND- it can be done - after all - we seem to have very rigid time frames for the employment of OC's and CO's. Apply that same system to the working ranks and watch the Infantry get better and better.
Excellent point. I clued into a sad fact of military life a few years back: the shelf life of pretty much any policy, promise, initiative seems to be two years. Hmmmm, is there a correlation here??? I remember the days when you seemed to be in a troop for 2 or 3 years, for better or for worse. I knew guys that OT'ed because they couldn't stand someone in their chain of command, and knew they were there for at least 2 years (pretty drastic move, but people like that would have OT'ed anyway). I loved knowing that you would be able to get SOP's, drills, etc down cold within a troop in that time, and only have to go over it briefly at the beginning of an ex for any newbies (officer, young drivers, etc). Now, with all the doctrinal, SOP, whatever changes, I refer to them as NSOP (NON-standard operating procedures) because there are so many changes that one couldn't possibly keep up to them, so everything becomes a power struggle (or worse yet, a fug juck).
I filled out a pers info form when I first got to the Armour School, with my employment for the last 10 years, and only had space for about 4.5 years worth of employment at the Regt. By the same token, I saw some guys whose roots are so deep into the soil here in Gagtown, that they didn't fill up half the spaces for over 10 years of employment (ie. same job for 4 or 5 years). It's feast or famine, I guess..... and I shouldnt't complain too much, as I have had the opportunity to do a bunch of different jobs, but how proficient can you get if you only do something for 4 or 5 months (Jack of all trades, master of none).
We get given days off for working courses (usually 2 days for a 4 or 5 week course), and I tell my young guys to use 'em as soon as they can, because people tend to forget about the good things you've done, and focus on the time 13 years ago when you forgot to screw the top of a gerry can on all the way.... I never did get my 2 days for a course I taught on last summer (the cheques in the mail....). I have the luxury of taking time off if I need it, but the young guys are sometimes too afraid to bring it up, for fear of looking like a whiner (though there always seems to be the guy that says "I worked 2 minutes late one day last week, can I get an afternoon off???")
One thing that was brought up that I agree with is the fact that we shouldn't compare ourselves to the civilian sector, for better or worse. For everything we ***** about that we don't get that civvies do, there are many things we do get that they don't (which people always manage to think about before they *****...). One of the things I despise is the 0800 - 1600 hrs mentality that has come to be in vogue for opposite reasons: try going into a place that never sends troops to the field (clothing stores, base orderly room, etc) and seeing that they've booked off early, so you're screwed, yet we are expected to work 0800 - 1600 pretty much every day, even if you just spent a ridiculous amount of time in the field, or overseas, or on course. If you work in an office job, fine 0800-1600hrs every day, but for field soldiers, there should be some slack cut (and at the lower, or middle "management" levels it is possible), but the corporate culture has reached to the upper levels, and you are made to feel guilty if you leave work at 1500hrs, even though you were in at 0600hrs for PT with your course. Or worked 18 hour days in the field..... you get the idea. I think the whole yin-yang aspect of the time off should be able to balance it self out naturally, without meddling from carpet commando's, and leaders are able to manage their soldiers down time without justification (reasonable being the key factor here).
Anyway, I got wound up pretty good there, so know it's time to come down....