Author Topic: Paid Physical Fitness Time?  (Read 35068 times)

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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2015, 17:42:24 »
These blanket policies fron the top are just stupid.  Three different environments, three totally different requirements.  If you're combat arms, you need to be fit, full stop anf significant portion of your day should be spent training your body to be a well oiled war machine. 

Everyone else, well it's not as important.  Stop applying stupid blanket policies across the board because you have a desire to see everyone turn out looking like Clark Kent in uniform.

My difficulty lies with attempting to ascertain wether or not you're being sarcastic... you make a few funny statements here, but some valid ones as well? I did preface my post with "I completely understand that with the three elements there are three different roles..."

My desire is to have my troops pass the FORCE test and dismantle one more hurdle to promotion... not look like Clark Kent in uniform. Also, I am not the one "applying blanket policies" - the PT policy is CDS driven. I just wanted to weigh in on what "PT during working hours" was to me... in an ARMY environment...

If you think that the CDS and his policies re:physical training at not at your standards and you disagree, you have avenues to go down...
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2015, 17:43:32 »
These blanket policies fron the top are just stupid.  Three different environments, three totally different requirements.  If you're combat arms, you need to be fit, full stop anf significant portion of your day should be spent training your body to be a well oiled war machine. 

Everyone else, well it's not as important.  Stop applying stupid blanket policies across the board because you have a desire to see everyone turn out looking like Clark Kent in uniform.

There are other benefits to having a healthy bunch of folks even if they aren't pop-up targets.  Better ability to handle stress, fight off infections, the list goes on.  In my work environment, fitter people (according to the Aeromedical SMEs) perform better at altitude, will use up their smoke bottle slower in the event of a fire, etc.

The top policies (CDS Guidance to COs, DAODs) are general enough to get the point across without using language that ties the hands of anyone or making it so everyone 'runs with a ruck on'.  While not perfect, they get the point across.  All that needs to happen now, is for people to start FOLLOWING them.
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Offline Pusser

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2015, 17:43:53 »
The whole idea of CDS message was that we as an organization needed to support fitness activities better than we were at that point (remember that this CANFORGEN came out quite awhile ago).  I don't think there was ever any intent to increase the length of the work day.  Instead though, I think it was meant to encourage supervisors to not limit personal PT time to the lunch hour.  I also don't think it was fully aimed at operational front line units wrapped up in operational front line things.  In many ways I've always thought the Army had this one right as PT is an integral part of their daily routine in garrison.  As OGBD said though, it has never been part of the Navy routine in home port.  However, I firmly believe it should be.  I've always argued that there is a lot of the day wasted on board ships in home port.  I think if we were a bit more clever about it, we could find a little extra time for folks to get out for some exercise.  My personal favourite way to do it though is to "commutercise." One of the things I loved about living in Ottawa was that I lived 13-17km from my office (depending on what building I was working in), which is a good distance to bicycle to and from work everyday.  I would simply report for work a little later than normal when I bicycled. 
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Offline BinRat55

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2015, 17:50:51 »
But again, there is no requirement to make the work day longer to fit in PT.  My PT time is during the work day. 

Each unit is supposed to publish what it's 'normal working/duty day' hours are.  Ours are found in our Sqn Orders.

This is the order/regulation that you do NOT want to be published or known or exist if you show up for work at 0805hrs and are told you are "AWOL".   ;D

units who do the thing you are talking about to make PT 'within' working hours will probably experience people who are pissed or and have low GAFF.  Whats the point in that?  Why punish people because of a CF-wide directive?

Agreed - our "battle rhythm" or "daily schedule" is also published in the SOs. It does include PT from 0710 - 0830. BUT...

I still feel the need to explain that the OP wanted to know what "regular working hours" were and was time permitted within to do physical maintenance on one's body. I submit that we have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no real way to answer this question. Every unit is different based on element, mandate, mission and even traditions.  The commonality is that wether we like it or not, we all do it. When we are told.

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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2015, 18:02:11 »
The DAODs and even the CDS Guidance to COs uses enough language that is somewhat general or vague, so that subordinate commanders at all levels have some leeway to 'make it happen'.  My experience at army units, HQs and TEs is that PT is easiest done 'in a group setting'.

In the airforce, my experience at least is PT is more of an 'individual' responsibility;  time is given/afforded to everyone, whether you take advantage of it or not is left for you to decide BUT you'd better pass your medical and your FORCE test when the time comes.  We just have way too many parts and people moving in different directions at different times to get every there at the same time BUT...having said that, last year my Sqn had organized Sqn PT last thing on Tues and Thurs afternoons.  If you weren't flying, in the box or at a medical or some other appointment you were expected to be there.  If there is a plane to launch or recover, well that still happens with the folks not involved going to Sqn PT.

That (IMO) is a CO of a rather busy flying Sqn making his best effort to follow the directives he has been given and how the CDS and the RCAF, etc want him to command his sqn.  "It won't be perfect but do the best you can."
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Offline Lumber

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2015, 18:05:54 »
I do NOT need to work out every working day in order to pass the FORCE test. If I go for a nice hike on weekends (which is about all I've done in the past few months) I'm ready for the FORCE test. PT  should be about achieving  a level higher than the FORCE test,  because the FORCE test is not an obstacle.  :2c:
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2015, 18:15:27 »
It is for some people though.  That is the LCD for 'us' to use against those who waddle to the gym once a year for their (dreaded) PT test.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2015, 18:32:59 »
There are other benefits to having a healthy bunch of folks even if they aren't pop-up targets.  Better ability to handle stress, fight off infections, the list goes on.  In my work environment, fitter people (according to the Aeromedical SMEs) perform better at altitude, will use up their smoke bottle slower in the event of a fire, etc.

The top policies (CDS Guidance to COs, DAODs) are general enough to get the point across without using language that ties the hands of anyone or making it so everyone 'runs with a ruck on'.  While not perfect, they get the point across.  All that needs to happen now, is for people to start FOLLOWING them.

I agree wholeheartedly with you.  The problem is that these blanket/general orders are vague to the point that they can essentially be ignored.  We've let the civilian work culture in Ottawa permeate down to the tactical level as far as PT is concerned in the military.

When my former CO showed up to the unit his first order was "PT will be from 8 to 10, everyone will do PT and nobody will be in their offices, the workday will still end at 1630 and we will not work longer, make it so!"

Some people grumbled but we got on with it and over the two years he was in command, the unit got a lot more fit and also a lot better overall. 

An organization that I think embodies the fitness culture we should emulate is the USMC.  Go to a Marine post and everyone from the Commanding General to the RMS Clerk is out doing PT, it's part of the battle rythm and you never see a fat marine in any trade.

We lose credibility instantly every time a soldier from another country sees a fat Canadian soldier.

« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 18:38:36 by RoyalDrew »

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2015, 19:42:06 »
:goodpost:

What he ^ said.

As a 1-in-2 director, I worked 7 hours on, 7 hours off, 5 hours on, 5 hours off. The 5 hours off I used to carry out my staff and divisional duties. The 7 hours off was often cut short by mandatory briefings, supper at one end, breakfast at the other, and a shower (sometimes). So when the question came up, "Do I work out and get 4.5hrs sleep tonight, or not workout and get 5.5 hours of sleep today", I 90% of the time chose the latter.

Also depends on the trade; for the technical side of the house, 730-4 is dedicated to supporting the fleet maintenance facility guys and ongoing work.  If they are doing double shifts or OT, that stretches out longer.

Really hard to do group PT because you can never get more then a few people off at once, but fully encourage people to go in drips and drabs as their schedule allows, and for a lot of us, that means lunchtime, and before/after work.  Occasionally we do group PT, but it's planned weeks out.

At sea, it's the same; people go when they are off watch as the schedule allows.  Sometimes if enough things are broken, you end up working off watch.  And depending on the ships' schedule, your 'off watch' time can consist of mandatory attendance at all kinds of lectures, drills, group training, etc, so it really all depends on the Ops tempo on what you can do.

Kind of a double edged sword though, as it's easier to work these long grinding schedules while your fit, but working the long grinding schedules doesn't really allow time for PT...

Navy culture is slowly shifting to people generally being fitter, the food being healthier etc, but still pretty difficult to make PT mandatory every day, do it in a group, and keep the ship actually able to go to sea while doing it all during normal working hours.  Really the most practical way for everyone to be able to exercise is to let people exercise when they can fit it in, provide lots of little nooks and crannies with some kind of exercise equipment, and encourage everyone to go whenever they can, with the odd group activity to build the team up.



Offline BinRat55

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2015, 12:37:39 »
Once again, I apologize in advance if anyone takes offence to this, however we are having a REALLY good discussion here... (note: Emphases mine...)

CDS Guidance to Commanding Officers : CANADIAN FORCES PHYSICAL FITNESS PROGRAM

2201.2 Key to attaining the high levels of physical fitness necessary for today’s deployed operations is a reaffirmation of a “culture of fitness” across our Canadian Forces. Although we currently benefit from outstanding fitness facilities, professional physical educators, health promotion staff, and well-researched programs, recent fitness and health practices of many of our units and members leaves much to be desired.

2201.4 Transforming the physical activity patterns of CF members and achieving the health benefits that are inherent in such changes will take some time. There are no short-term solutions that will produce a lasting impact. However, to produce the desired effect, the active engagement of all CF leaders must begin immediately. I expect my commanding officers to do what is required to enhance levels of fitness by contributing to fitness issue discussions and by actively supporting fitness policy decisions.

2202.2 Adding to that concern is the fact that the number of obese CF members increased between the 2000 and 2004 HLIS surveys. The 2004 version reported 22% of CF males and 13% of CF females who responded to the survey were obese. 81% of CF personnel reported their job requires little or no physical activity and so these people cannot depend on performing their regular duties to keep them fit. 2202.3 The 2000 HLIS also indicated that junior personnel in the CF lacked the motivation to maintain their fitness and senior personnel lacked the time. This is a dangerous combination because the very folks who are supposed to be leading the troops by example aren’t playing this important role because they see themselves as too busy. The 2004 HLIS showed that 75% of CF members recognize that starting to exercise or increasing the amount they exercise will improve their overall health. Therefore, individual motivation levels may be on the rise and we now have the organizational responsibility to convert that motivation into action. Those of us in senior leadership positions need to demonstrate an unshakable will to correct identified fitness shortcomings within our units.

2203.5 These fundamental concepts are supported by the following selection of fitness guidelines to establishing a culture of fitness:
a. It is imperative that the requirement for fitness training at least five times a week is respected and applied. As Commanding Officers you will be in a
position to facilitate this requirement for all your personnel.
b. Seek out every opportunity for CF members to include exercise in their work routines. The mantras of “fitness on your own time” or “we don’t have time for fitness” are to be eliminated. Given what we know of the power of daily fitness to increase morale, reduce stress, and improve work performance, it is incumbent upon us to be innovative in our approach when a formal fitness routine is impractical.
c. Seek out every opportunity to promote and reward healthy physical activities and fitness practices.
d. Commanding officers’ active involvement in fitness programs and their visible success on fitness evaluations is critical to convincing the CF member that physical fitness is a shared value in the organization.
e. A group fitness programs approach is preferred. Although the merits of individual programs are well known, where possible consider training as a group to derive the benefits of esprit de corps, control, and monitoring.
f. A group/unit fitness evaluations approach is required. Doing your evaluations as a group/unit has the potential to motivate higher levels of fitness achievement and reduce administration.
g. Don’t focus the entire fitness programs on making the fitness standard but rather emphasize the additional health benefits of living a positive lifestyle.
Simple adherence to a minimum physical fitness standard is only a building block in a systematic approach to effecting cultural change.
h. Seek variety and progression in fitness training programs employing cross training where possible.
i. Continuous education of staff, leadership and personnel on a healthy lifestyle and fitness practices as well as how to exercise safely is imperative. Consult
with   local PSP fitness staff for assistance.
j. Do not turn a blind eye to obesity. Obesity is a valid indicator of current or developing health problems. We have solid evidence-based weight loss programs in the CF, the utilization of which will benefit both our operational
readiness and the health of the CF member.

OMG and there is SOOOO much more. I honestly have a hard time arguing with directives... especially ones that come from my CDS...
k. Partner with the available professional organizations and capitalize on their programs. The Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency’s (CFPSA) Personnel Support Program (PSP) and the Directorate of Force Health Protection’s (DFHP) Strengthening the Forces program have specifically been put in to place to help service your fitness, health and wellness need
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Offline cld617

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2015, 19:35:52 »
I would get looked at like I had horns if I tried to convince my CoC of the 5x a week program, and their exact response would be “fitness on your own time”. The only people in my CoC I see who actually do get the time to do this are mon-fri officers, who are generally healthier and more fitness oriented than the Sgt/WO's in the RCAF. The issue in my eyes is that PT is regarded as a privilege once all tasks have been completed, while the reality is that PT itself is very much one of these tasks that needs to fall into the schedule.

Suggestions from the senior NCO's and Officers on how to address this issue in my Sqn apart from printing out ten copies of the CDS's Guidance and plastering it throughout the unit?

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2015, 19:49:54 »
Based on my experience, the Class B people I've seen (technically paid to do PT daily because they are allowed to turn up to work an hour later than normal people so they can do PT in their own time) are far less fit than the Class A troops we have.  Some are grossly obese, in fact, and would be kicked out of they were Class A troops.

Of course, our Class A troops must pass all the tests (Force and BFT) annually but are not paid to do PT to get ready for them. I haven't seen anyone fail yet, except for some retired Reg F folks who joined the reserves  ;D

Solution? Put everyone on Class A for 3 months until they get fit enough to pass the Force and BFT tests  ;D
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2015, 22:37:08 »
I would get looked at like I had horns if I tried to convince my CoC of the 5x a week program, and their exact response would be “fitness on your own time”.

Great.  Now you have the CDS direction that makes their opinion irrelevant.

Quote
The only people in my CoC I see who actually do get the time to do this are mon-fri officers, who are generally healthier and more fitness oriented than the Sgt/WO's in the RCAF my unit. The issue in my eyes is that PT is regarded as a privilege once all tasks have been completed, while the reality is that PT itself is very much one of these tasks that needs to fall into the schedule.

Not sure what RCAF unit you are in but I can assure you your experience is not the norm I've experienced in the RCAF before making the jump to the blue from the Cbt Arms world.

Quote
Suggestions from the senior NCO's and Officers on how to address this issue in my Sqn apart from printing out ten copies of the CDS's Guidance and plastering it throughout the unit?

Why exclude the opinions of Warrant Officers?  They have valid experience and points, just like Snr NCOs and Officers do.

Have you considered asking for 5 minutes of your immediate superiors time, and discussing the CDS Guidance to COs excerpt along with the relevant DAOD?  If you get the "pt on your own time"  you can point out that, unless they somehow outrank the CDS, the direction is pretty clear and it doesn't appear they have the authority to disregard orders.  Assuming your 'next up' is a Jnr or Snr NCO (Warrant Officers are not Snr NCOs BTW)...

From QR & O, Vol 1, Chap 5

5.01- GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF NON-COMMISSIONED MEMBERS

A non-commissioned member shall:
a.become acquainted with, observe and enforce i.the National Defence Act,
ii.the Security of Information Act, (5 June 2008)
iii.QR&O, and
iv.all other regulations, rules, orders and instructions that pertain to the performance of the member's duties;

(See articles 1.22 – Accessibility of Regulations, Orders and Instructions and 4.26 – Publicity of Regulations, Orders, Instructions, Correspondence and Publications.)
b.afford to all persons employed in the public service such assistance in the performance of their duties as is practical;
c.promote the welfare, efficiency and good discipline of all who are subordinate to the member;
d.ensure the proper care and maintenance and prevent the waste of all public and non-public property within the member's control; and
e.report to the proper authority any infringement of the pertinent statutes, regulations, rules, orders and instructions governing the conduct of any person subject to the Code of Service Discipline.

Depending how important the issue is to you, you could staff a memo to the unit CO with the proper references asking for the directed PT times IAW the CDS Guidance and the DAOD.

If that gets denied, you could submit a grievance.  Again, depends on what level you want to go. 


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Offline MJP

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2015, 22:49:45 »
 :off topic:




Why exclude the opinions of Warrant Officers?  They have valid experience and points, just like Snr NCOs and Officers do.

I know it is your cross to bear in life cause you keep talking about it but in common vernacular most people in the CAF mean all ranks above Sgt when they say SNCO.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2015, 23:18:05 »
It's not 'off topic', its PD.  If "most" people mean it, then "most" people are wrong. 

Fact.  WOs are not NCOs.  Therefore they cannot be Senior NCOs.  Unless, of course, you are willing to argue that the QR & Os are incorrect.

"non-commissioned officer" (sous-officier)means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal;

I guess NCOs can start referring to Capt's as subordinate officers then, as long as "most" of us do it, then it's cool.   8)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 23:24:20 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline MJP

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2015, 23:35:26 »
It's not 'off topic', its PD.  If "most" people mean it, then "most" people are wrong. 

Fact.  WOs are not NCOs.  Therefore they cannot be Senior NCOs.  Unless, of course, you are willing to argue that the QR & Os are incorrect.

"non-commissioned officer" (sous-officier)means a member holding the rank of sergeant or corporal;

I guess NCOs can start referring to Capt's as subordinate officers then, as long as "most" of us do it, then it's cool.   8)

Le sigh......whatever floats your boat dude.  Something something....not a hill to die on.
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2015, 03:09:38 »
Have you considered asking for 5 minutes of your immediate superiors time, and discussing the CDS Guidance to COs excerpt along with the relevant DAOD?  If you get the "pt on your own time"  you can point out that, unless they somehow outrank the CDS, the direction is pretty clear and it doesn't appear they have the authority to disregard orders.
I think you would find that if you submitted a grievance on the basis of the CDS Guidance to Commanding Officers, you'd find that COs continue to have wide latitude in implementing the many and conflicting directions and priorities set for their units. The specific implementation of that guidance is something that's very much between the CDS and a CO (through the CO's CoC, natch); what it isn't is a policy that exists for the purposes of unit members wishing to assert what they regard as personal entitlements.

But, hey - you know what's not defined in DAODs or anywhere else? A definition of what "your own time" constitutes. Maybe if we push our luck we can all look forward to some 0630am PT ahead of of nice, full work day that doesn't end until 1630. Satisfies DAODs and the CDS Guidance - everyone's a winner! Right?

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2015, 10:08:15 »
2203.5 These fundamental concepts are supported by the following selection of fitness guidelines to establishing a culture of fitness:
a. It is imperative that the requirement for fitness training at least five times a week is respected and applied. As Commanding Officers you will be in a
position to facilitate this requirement for all your personnel.
b. Seek out every opportunity for CF members to include exercise in their work routines. The mantras of “fitness on your own time” or “we don’t have time for fitness” are to be eliminated. Given what we know of the power of daily fitness to increase morale, reduce stress, and improve work performance, it is incumbent upon us to be innovative in our approach when a formal fitness routine is impractical.
c. Seek out every opportunity to promote and reward healthy physical activities and fitness practices.

Is that not clear enough?  Where is it people think all this 'leeway' actually exists?

I have had personal experience with both the DGCFGA folks and the MGERC and based on my experience with both, I believe (if properly written) a grievance submitted by a CF mbr for PT time that is included in the normal unit publish 'duty/work hours' that was rejected would have a very reasonable chance of success.  If it is such a big deal across the entire CF, then it could possible go to the Systemic Issues side of the house which would likely result in 'eyes on' by the CDS; perhaps then he'd remove this 'leeway' people are injecting into the current policy.   :) 
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2015, 10:16:45 »
But, hey - you know what's not defined in DAODs or anywhere else? A definition of what "your own time" constitutes. Maybe if we push our luck we can all look forward to some 0630am PT ahead of of nice, full work day that doesn't end until 1630. Satisfies DAODs and the CDS Guidance - everyone's a winner! Right?

Not at my unit;  we already have CO directed, PSP-lead PT twice a week from 1430-1530.  On the other days, we have a 'community' PSP-lead PT class that all are free to attend, but it is not mandatory like the CO directed ones are. 

One of the benefits of having a CO who follows the letter and spirit of the multiple 'conflicting' policies you mention above. 

I think any reasonable adult would come to the conclusion that 'on your own time' means outside  your work routine/normal duty(working) hours.  There is no definition of what "air" is in any CF policy but I think most people know what it is.  Does the CDS have to spell things out to CAF mbrs like they are Day 1 Kindergarten students?  Are we that far gone?
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2015, 11:07:32 »
"Seek out every opportunity". Yeah, sounds like the COs' hands are really tied there.  ::)

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #45 on: September 27, 2015, 11:33:42 »
I think any reasonable adult would come to the conclusion that 'on your own time' means outside  your work routine/normal duty(working) hours.

And that's the rub for the Navy.

Don't get us wrong, I think everyone in the RCN is onboard with the CDS concept that we must make good health and fitness part of our culture. It is the "letter and intent" that it should be done during "normal" working hours and prefreably in group that doesn't work for us. And I think that the CDS who issued that policy had his brain addled by thinking in Army terms of garrison life only.

Lets start with being at sea: The normal work routine/duty hours are 24/7, with the crew usually standing one in two watches (half crew on half off at any moment). Am I to, say, take some of my ops room console operators in the middle of their "shift" to send them off to exercise on the treadmills, or half of my engineers manning the MCR at that time? Of course not. What about when they are "off-watch"? Well, first, in the short off watch (5 hours), they will have a meal, carry out essential equipment maintenance, carry out essential evolutions (replenish ship at sea for food, parts or fuel, etc.) and some other duties like cleaning stations*. That leaves the long "off-watch" (7 hours) but by your definition, that would be "on their own time".

What about in harbour? Well, first of all, we have short spells in harbour. During those spells, a ton of maintenance and repairs have to be done. They are done by civilian dockyard workers and contractors, together with Navy technician from the various Fleet maintenance units. Now, if my shipboard technicians (which is about 80% of the ship's company BTW) are not present, the contractors and dockyard mates cannot do their work. And since all the work has to be done for the ship to next sail on time, I cannot spare the techs for fitness during what you would consider "normal hours". If I did, the technician, the dockyard mates and civilian contractors would have to work outside their normal working hours to complete the work, and that would entail (for the dockyard mates and civilian contractors) a lot of expensive overtime to pay from the Navy budget.

If the ships cannot sail on time or as required, I can tell you that there would be no consequences for the CDS issuing the policy, but there would certainly be consequences for the poor CO who's ship didn't sail as ordered, or the Task group commander of that ship, or even possibly for the Admiral.

So which question do you think the Admiral would rather answer as follows to the CDS?

scenario one: CDS: Why are your ships unable to sail on time? Admiral: Because I have very fit personnel, Sir.

or

scenario two: CDS: Why are your sailors not fit, contrary to my policy? Admiral: Because my ships can sail whenever ordered, Sir.


*: I know that many people resent cleaning stations and that many think it would be a good time to do something else. But in my book, they are essential. Anyone who has seen illness spread through the confines of  a ship knows that keeping the ship clean has as much if not more to do with the health of the crew than PT.

P.s.: The order of priority for work in harbour is, first, to make sure the main systems are fully functional, then that for each main system, that the primary back-up system works, then that the secondary back-up systems are functional, and then, for those system that have a tertiary back-up, that those also work. Currently, the Navy is NOT meeting this workload even by dedicating all normal working hours to it in harbour. Few ships, if any, sail with all their back-up systems functional. Most of the time there is only one back-up system available should something happen at sea. For some main systems, we are often sailing without any back-up and rely on the engineers inventiveness and resourcefulness if something happens.
 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 11:44:24 by Oldgateboatdriver »

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #46 on: September 27, 2015, 12:18:57 »
"Seek out every opportunity". Yeah, sounds like the COs' hands are really tied there.  ::)

But you're being selective and looking at the steak not the peas.  My interpretation of that part is 'make it happen where/when you can'.  As I've mentioned, my CO is managing to make it happen with a very busy flying squadron that has members constantly out the door for short/long term trips and a busy flying program including a long-term deployed op.  It can and is being done.  Why?  I'll suggest because that CO is looking for opportunities, not excuses.

Here's some steak to counter your peas though  ;D

- It is imperative that the requirement for fitness training at least five times a week is respected and applied. As Commanding Officers you will be in a position to facilitate this requirement for all your personnel.

- Seek out every opportunity for CF members to include exercise in their work routines. The mantras of “fitness on your own time” or “we don’t have time for fitness” are to be eliminated


But by all means, go on.  I for one enjoy seeing Jr and Snr Officers trying to explain on a public forum why they think "guidance" from the Chief of Defence Staff is inconsequential.  By the way, if you are not too busy, can you take the time to jot down and share with the entire forum the policies, regulations, orders etc that are issued that we can ignore at our own whim and will, and which ones are actually there for a reason?  It gets confusing some times to know...oh wait.  I think I read something about that before...

4.02 - GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF OFFICERS

(1) An officer shall:
a.become acquainted with, observe and enforce
:i.the National Defence Act,
ii.the Security of Information Act,
iii.QR&O, and
iv.all other regulations, rules, orders and instructions that pertain to the performance of the officer's duties;

What shall we debate next; the meaning of the word 'shall'?   ;D

* Editted to add, I am not trying to start a flame-war, this is actually a great discussion IMO and I am learning from it.  I am also challenging what is being said though, from the level I operate in day to day.  There are some great points and realities being brought up, example:

Quote
I think that the CDS who issued that policy had his brain addled by thinking in Army terms of garrison life only

 I hope this one keep going forward and not down the drain.   :nod:



« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 12:42:33 by Eye In The Sky »
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #47 on: September 27, 2015, 12:35:24 »
And that's the rub for the Navy.

Don't get us wrong, I think everyone in the RCN is onboard with the CDS concept that we must make good health and fitness part of our culture. It is the "letter and intent" that it should be done during "normal" working hours and prefreably in group that doesn't work for us. And I think that the CDS who issued that policy had his brain addled by thinking in Army terms of garrison life only.

Lets start with being at sea: The normal work routine/duty hours are 24/7, with the crew usually standing one in two watches (half crew on half off at any moment). Am I to, say, take some of my ops room console operators in the middle of their "shift" to send them off to exercise on the treadmills, or half of my engineers manning the MCR at that time? Of course not. What about when they are "off-watch"? Well, first, in the short off watch (5 hours), they will have a meal, carry out essential equipment maintenance, carry out essential evolutions (replenish ship at sea for food, parts or fuel, etc.) and some other duties like cleaning stations*. That leaves the long "off-watch" (7 hours) but by your definition, that would be "on their own time".

What about in harbour? Well, first of all, we have short spells in harbour. During those spells, a ton of maintenance and repairs have to be done. They are done by civilian dockyard workers and contractors, together with Navy technician from the various Fleet maintenance units. Now, if my shipboard technicians (which is about 80% of the ship's company BTW) are not present, the contractors and dockyard mates cannot do their work. And since all the work has to be done for the ship to next sail on time, I cannot spare the techs for fitness during what you would consider "normal hours". If I did, the technician, the dockyard mates and civilian contractors would have to work outside their normal working hours to complete the work, and that would entail (for the dockyard mates and civilian contractors) a lot of expensive overtime to pay from the Navy budget.

If the ships cannot sail on time or as required, I can tell you that there would be no consequences for the CDS issuing the policy, but there would certainly be consequences for the poor CO who's ship didn't sail as ordered, or the Task group commander of that ship, or even possibly for the Admiral.

So which question do you think the Admiral would rather answer as follows to the CDS?

scenario one: CDS: Why are your ships unable to sail on time? Admiral: Because I have very fit personnel, Sir.

or

scenario two: CDS: Why are your sailors not fit, contrary to my policy? Admiral: Because my ships can sail whenever ordered, Sir.


*: I know that many people resent cleaning stations and that many think it would be a good time to do something else. But in my book, they are essential. Anyone who has seen illness spread through the confines of  a ship knows that keeping the ship clean has as much if not more to do with the health of the crew than PT.

P.s.: The order of priority for work in harbour is, first, to make sure the main systems are fully functional, then that for each main system, that the primary back-up system works, then that the secondary back-up systems are functional, and then, for those system that have a tertiary back-up, that those also work. Currently, the Navy is NOT meeting this workload even by dedicating all normal working hours to it in harbour. Few ships, if any, sail with all their back-up systems functional. Most of the time there is only one back-up system available should something happen at sea. For some main systems, we are often sailing without any back-up and rely on the engineers inventiveness and resourcefulness if something happens.
 

Thanks for a very detailed reply, it certainly helps put the perspective on the reality of the Navy (not so much the situation with the folks posted ashore I will assume).

I get the operational 'musts' and agree with you on that, no argument ops take precedence, always.  I do know of one instance, though, when a PSP staff member went on a deployment with a HMCS. 

Ref the part of the techs needing to be there with the Fleet Maint units, do they all need to be there the entire day?  Can they go at 4 or 5 different time slots for say, 2 hours 3 days a week?  That way not all of them would be gone, 3/4 of them would be there at any given time and then not even 'each and every day'.  It would be something and something isn't perfect, but it is better than nothing.

That is what I mean by the 'do what you can, when you can' aspect that (IMO) both the DAOD and CDS Guidance seem to incorporate into the 'spirit and intent' of those documents.

There is no cookie-cutter solution, which is why I believe the DAOD and CDS Guidance are somewhat vague and generalized.  The real 'management' should be down lower on the chain; more amplification at the ECSs or OCC levels, etc.  COs take it all, see 'what can I do and where can I do it, even if its not perfect', and implement something.

And it can be flexible.  Because of op tempo, leave etc our Sqn PT afternoons were stood down for Jul and Aug and there just wasn't enough people around, with APS, leave, deployments etc.  Personally, of all the COs I've had over my years, my current one really seems to have the PT issue handled very well.  Its' not perfect, and it works. 
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #48 on: September 27, 2015, 14:06:01 »

Ref the part of the techs needing to be there with the Fleet Maint units, do they all need to be there the entire day?  Can they go at 4 or 5 different time slots for say, 2 hours 3 days a week?  That way not all of them would be gone, 3/4 of them would be there at any given time and then not even 'each and every day'.  It would be something and something isn't perfect, but it is better than nothing.

This is what we are actually doing right now on the ship I'm on, and the time slots are basically whenever you can fit in time during normal working hours.  Some days you can spare people, some days you can't.  We have regular dedicated ship PT periods at the gym as well and it's spare who you can to those as well.

I think it meets the intent of the direction if possibly not the letter, and we are also fully supporting the critical maintenance (and refresher training, and career coursing, annual leave, short fuse taskings, etc).  Something needs to slip though, but you manage the best you can to prioritize things, and make sure whatever you need for the next mission is done.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Paid Physical Fitness Time?
« Reply #49 on: September 27, 2015, 16:16:34 »
Which to me is far more acceptable and responsible than "screw it, we don't have time for PT, do it after your kids are in bed". 

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