Author Topic: Single mom now facing medical release from military  (Read 20034 times)

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Offline Halifax Tar

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Single mom now facing medical release from military
« on: June 13, 2017, 06:58:43 »
Acting Sub-Lt. Laura Nash is on her way out of the military after being given what she says is an utterly impossible, unfair choice.

The single mother says she was called into a meeting with two superior officers, both of them women, in late 2013 and claims she was told she had too many "family issues."

She faced a training deadline to go to sea and was given six weeks to decide between her child and her career as a warship navigator.

"The decision broke me," Nash, 33, told CBC News in an interview. "I couldn't make the decision. It was a catch-22. I didn't want to live without my child, but I needed a means of supporting him and so I didn't want to lose my job."

Last week, the Liberal government released its defence policy which set goals of increasing the representation of women in uniform, more respectful treatment and greater career flexibility.

More on link.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/military-single-moms-1.4157353
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Offline Lightguns

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2017, 07:47:13 »
This is why we need to militarize the Great Lakes again, so sailors can commit to an 8 hour day can sail too!  Seriously, I was part of a service couple back in the early 80s when you served at the pleasure of the Queen and the CSM.  I was PPCLI and my wife Fd Amb, we made it work.  Unfortunately, I suspect that the HRC will take her side and you will see a benefit for full time sitting services in the same way we paid for dogs for deployed singles.  It is gonna add a billion to the defence deficit each year.......
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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2017, 08:03:09 »
Lightguns,  you were part of a couple.  I know from experience how difficult it is to be in and a single parent.  I had to hire a nanny in my case as I was a shift worker,  thankfully I had some help from family at the expense and it wasn't a long term situation.  To be fair, we're both long service members and I have seen the system frig over people too many times, I'm sure you did too.  Why shouldn't there be more compassion and flexibility?  Somethings about service life could be less draconian and brought into the 21st century.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 08:33:13 by jollyjacktar »

Offline captloadie

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2017, 08:15:28 »
I also know plenty of single parents that have made it work, and it does require sacrifice. The member in the article was a MARS officer for God's sake. Did she not realize she would need to go to sea? Why didn't she put in for an OT to something that could possibly offer a little more stability. From the sounds of the article, she had been given plenty of time before she was given the ultimatum to sort out her personal life. She didn't. Is that someone who we want serving in a Leadership position?

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2017, 08:26:34 »
Lightguns,  you were part of a couple.  I know from experience how difficult it is to be in and a single parent.  I had to hire a nanny in my case as I was a shift worker,  thankfully I had some help from family at the expense and it wasn't a long term situation.  To be fair, we're both long service members and I have seen the system frig over people too many times, I'm sure you did too.  Why shouldn't there be more compassion and flexibility?  Somethings about service life could be less draconian and 21st century.

Too often, what we are seeing is a lack of common sense from the Chain of Command. 

It's most apparent in the training system and junior rank levels of the NCM and Officer Corps where the expectation seems to be you do what your told and shut up about it.

Why was ASlt Nash's OT paperwork lost/stalled by the CoC?  Why was she expected to send her child to Belleville while she deployed to sea?  How much notice was she given that she deployed to sea?

I've seen it occur multiple times in the Army where members are tasked last minute for no other reason that nobody wanted to commit until the 11th hour and actually have to make a decision.  It's happened about 6 times in the last 4 months here where people are tasked last minute on a task that has been sitting in CFTPO for months and nobody had moved on it.

Meanwhile, the higher HQ(s) I've been at don't work like this at all, getting people to do anything at my particular L2 requires an act of parliament and any order is simply an opportunity to start a discussion. 

From my chair, the main problem seems to be leadership not applying basic battle procedure to their job(s).  You know that whole mission analysis thing where you find out what your assigned and implied tasks are?  And then actioning them using the resources at your disposal?

I also know plenty of single parents that have made it work, and it does require sacrifice. The member in the article was a MARS officer for God's sake. Did she not realize she would need to go to sea? Why didn't she put in for an OT to something that could possibly offer a little more stability. From the sounds of the article, she had been given plenty of time before she was given the ultimatum to sort out her personal life. She didn't. Is that someone who we want serving in a Leadership position?

She did put in for an OT and the paperwork went in to the training system toilet.  I work in the training system, we generally treat new people like garbage.

Offline captloadie

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2017, 08:33:48 »
I should have read the article. I only went with what was quoted.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 08:35:41 »
To the extent that the CBC story is correct (they say she was going to sea to pursue her job of warship navigator, which is incorrect: As A/Slt, she was unqual and was going to do her qualification as a BWK), I am not ready to blame her for choosing MARS. From the story, it seems she became a MARS NCDT, then met the future father, got pregnant and had a child expecting the father to be around. It didn't work out and the father left. Then, apparently, her request for transfer to logistics was approved but not processed properly, or something and fell through.

Without commenting one way or the other, there are two things to consider here: (1) whether we like it or not, in break-ups, the women still overwhelmingly are the ones that end up caring for children left behind - and Oprah's network "Date my Dad" be damned, so the dad's should perhaps be held to a higher level of participation; and, (2) In the current society, there are more and more couples that have children, then break-up, so in the military too we are seeing more and more single parents trying to balance both aspects of their lives.

This said, as it is more and more common, and since all of us in the military can be called upon to go somewhere for a while, why shouldn't the support system be able to provide, at a reasonable cost to the serving member, for those unusual situations we find ourselves in?

Offline Lightguns

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2017, 08:46:19 »
BWT would be understandable then, I heard from my navy relatives that BWT grants no quarter to candidates.  If still under training and unable to train, what do you do?  The system is haphazard at best.  I know of one single parent trainee who had achieved the rank of Cpl (from 2Lt), 2 different classifications, 4 different trades and 7 years of service without completing any trades training due to family issues before the system left the individual go.   
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Offline Remius

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2017, 08:52:56 »
I'm not sure an OT would have solved the issue as said member would have to have gone on trades training for an extended period as well away from home. 

And Logistics was always the default OT for training failures or VOTs at the cadet level making it very difficult to either get into that trade or OT to it because that's what everyone did.  At least back in the earlier part of this century (things may have changed though since then). 
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 08:56:15 »
To the extent that the CBC story is correct (they say she was going to sea to pursue her job of warship navigator, which is incorrect: As A/Slt, she was unqual and was going to do her qualification as a BWK), I am not ready to blame her for choosing MARS. From the story, it seems she became a MARS NCDT, then met the future father, got pregnant and had a child expecting the father to be around. It didn't work out and the father left. Then, apparently, her request for transfer to logistics was approved but not processed properly, or something and fell through.

I've seen this happen enough that I generally believe the CBC story.  New members generally get taken advantage of because they don't understand military policy or administration. 

Quote
Without commenting one way or the other, there are two things to consider here: (1) whether we like it or not, in break-ups, the women still overwhelmingly are the ones that end up caring for children left behind - and Oprah's network "Date my Dad" be damned, so the dad's should perhaps be held to a higher level of participation; and, (2) In the current society, there are more and more couples that have children, then break-up, so in the military too we are seeing more and more single parents trying to balance both aspects of their lives.

This said, as it is more and more common, and since all of us in the military can be called upon to go somewhere for a while, why shouldn't the support system be able to provide, at a reasonable cost to the serving member, for those unusual situations we find ourselves in?

I completely agree OGBD.

BWT would be understandable then, I heard from my navy relatives that BWT grants no quarter to candidates.  If still under training and unable to train, what do you do?  The system is haphazard at best.  I know of one single parent trainee who had achieved the rank of Cpl (from 2Lt), 2 different classifications, 4 different trades and 7 years of service without completing any trades training due to family issues before the system left the individual go.   

Military HR is stuck in 1960 and pretends the entire military demographic is a white, Anglo-Saxon, late-teens early twenties male. 

A heavy investment will need to be made in qualitative approaches in the coming years as right now the military is almost entirely quantitative in its approach to management.


Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 08:57:48 »
I also know plenty of single parents that have made it work, and it does require sacrifice. The member in the article was a MARS officer for God's sake. Did she not realize she would need to go to sea? Why didn't she put in for an OT to something that could possibly offer a little more stability. From the sounds of the article, she had been given plenty of time before she was given the ultimatum to sort out her personal life. She didn't. Is that someone who we want serving in a Leadership position?

Just to point out a few things WRT your points...not taking sides, just offering info from the article (I've nothing else to go on...).

Nash never expected to be in such a difficult position. A former champion kayaker, she joined in 2010 and was in a relationship when she became pregnant. Nash was comfortable with the notion her child's father could take care of him while she was at sea.

But her relationship dissolved in 2012 and, in order to keep up with the demands of training and military life, she was forced — frequently — to send her boy, Ronin, who is now six, to her parents in Belleville, Ont. where they cared for him.


Sounds like she had been recruited for MARS, then got pregnant, thought the boys father would look after him while she did her thing and that plan didn't work out.

Small details but they can be important to our perceptions sometimes.
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Offline kratz

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 09:43:10 »
And Logistics was always the default OT for training failures or VOTs at the cadet level making it very difficult to either get into that trade or OT to it because that's what everyone did.  At least back in the earlier part of this century (things may have changed though since then).

LogO remains a default fallback for many and viewed as an easy OT. The reality is, with specific degrees these days, the useful employability of an OT and the career progression is more limited than past years. The modern applicant with the right degrees for DEO, or accepted for ROTP tend to be more desirable to the trade, making an OT / VOT even more difficult for training failures.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 10:06:26 »
And a lot of the story is incomplete.

Playing devil's advocate:

How many times was training deferred?  How many times was she accommodated due to her circumstance over the 4 years?

The doctor refused to sign off on a transfer.  Why is that?  Maybe there is a reason we aren't being made aware of.

I agree that the CAF needs to try and adapt to society's ever changing face but how long can we keep untrained personnel for? Like I mentioned, even she OTed how would she have suddenly been able to go on training or deploy or go on something like Maple Resolve?

Anyways, I think there is more to this than just the cut and dry presentation that CBC is presenting.

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Offline Lumber

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 10:57:58 »
LogO remains a default fallback for many and viewed as an easy OT. The reality is, with specific degrees these days, the useful employability of an OT and the career progression is more limited than past years. The modern applicant with the right degrees for DEO, or accepted for ROTP tend to be more desirable to the trade, making an OT / VOT even more difficult for training failures.

Kratz,

Degree requirements for LogO changed, again, back in February. All degrees are once again acceptable:

(DWAN) http://cmpapp.mil.ca/dpgr/downloads/Entry_Standards/english/RegF/ES_REGF_E_LOG_00328.pdf
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Offline Remius

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 11:03:43 »
Kratz,

Degree requirements for LogO changed, again, back in February. All degrees are once again acceptable:

(DWAN) http://cmpapp.mil.ca/dpgr/downloads/Entry_Standards/english/RegF/ES_REGF_E_LOG_00328.pdf

Which is what it used to be but the reality is an ideal degree gets you more chances than an acceptable one.  Which is what Kratz was saying. Making the OT process to Log O difficult due to that.  Compund that with the many people trying to OT with an acceptable degree vice an ideal one and you can see how difficult that particular OT is.
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Offline Nudibranch

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2017, 11:10:26 »
As an organization CAF just needs to be more flexible in VOT and, frankly, VR before contracts are over.

Because you know what happens when we're not? These people medicalize and get out anyways, only with a med pension. There was nothing organically wrong with this woman, her life circumstances changed to where MARS really was a bad fit, she couldn't find another way out and went the med route (and once she rang that bell, she couldn't unring it at will - that's the part where the MO didn’t sign off on the transfer, because no MO would).

From my experience on the coast MARS trg is especially bad at this "they succeed or they break" mentality. Just let them go if they want to go - it ends up being more expensive to the system to hold them until they break. *That's* where we need more flex, and that's not single-parent specific.

Offline Lumber

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2017, 13:41:48 »
As an organization CAF just needs to be more flexible in VOT and, frankly, VR before contracts are over.

Because you know what happens when we're not? These people medicalize and get out anyways, only with a med pension. There was nothing organically wrong with this woman, her life circumstances changed to where MARS really was a bad fit, she couldn't find another way out and went the med route (and once she rang that bell, she couldn't unring it at will - that's the part where the MO didn’t sign off on the transfer, because no MO would).

From my experience on the coast MARS trg is especially bad at this "they succeed or they break" mentality. Just let them go if they want to go - it ends up being more expensive to the system to hold them until they break. *That's* where we need more flex, and that's not single-parent specific.

Maybe they should make MARS a sub-specialty. You join as a LogO, then go MARS (Log-M), and if you can't hack it as a MARS Officer, you just revert back to Log.

Or we could change the whole structure, and make MARS, Log and Engineering all start at the same point, and then they could all sub-specialize from there. We could call it something generic, like... Surface Warfare Officer. And then you could sub-specialize for Operations, Logistics, or Engineering................................
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Offline Lightguns

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2017, 13:53:44 »
Maybe they should make MARS a sub-specialty. You join as a LogO, then go MARS (Log-M), and if you can't hack it as a MARS Officer, you just revert back to Log.

Or we could change the whole structure, and make MARS, Log and Engineering all start at the same point, and then they could all sub-specialize from there. We could call it something generic, like... Surface Warfare Officer. And then you could sub-specialize for Operations, Logistics, or Engineering................................

It seems to me that by having to go to sea to be qualified MARS officers are limiting their employability.  Certainly this training can all be done in simulators or a phone app......  From a Timmy's...........
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Offline Remius

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2017, 13:58:31 »
It seems to me that by having to go to sea to be qualified MARS officers are limiting their employability.  Certainly this training can all be done in simulators or a phone app......  From a Timmy's...........

Or a wading pool with toy boats and someone to yell at you?
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Offline Nudibranch

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2017, 14:11:00 »
Or a wading pool with toy boats and someone to yell at you?

As long as there's yelling, you're getting 90% of the training benefit.

But seriously, this isn't MARS-specific. MARS is a good example, but certainly not the only trade training people medicalize out of when VOT/VR is blocked.

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 14:12:39 »
Maybe they should make MARS a sub-specialty. You join as a LogO, then go MARS (Log-M), and if you can't hack it as a MARS Officer, you just revert back to Log.

Or we could change the whole structure, and make MARS, Log and Engineering all start at the same point, and then they could all sub-specialize from there. We could call it something generic, like... Surface Warfare Officer. And then you could sub-specialize for Operations, Logistics, or Engineering................................

Shhh....don't give people ideas.
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Offline ballz

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2017, 16:37:08 »
As long as there's yelling, you're getting 90% of the training benefit.

But seriously, this isn't MARS-specific. MARS is a good example, but certainly not the only trade training people medicalize out of when VOT/VR is blocked.

Plenty of cases of the green welfare program at the Inf School.... I know of guys that had been on PAT Pl for literally 5 years as a 2Lt before they could get rid of them.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2017, 18:17:30 »
As an organization CAF just needs to be more flexible in VOT and, frankly, VR before contracts are over.

Because you know what happens when we're not? These people medicalize and get out anyways, only with a med pension. There was nothing organically wrong with this woman, her life circumstances changed to where MARS really was a bad fit, she couldn't find another way out and went the med route (and once she rang that bell, she couldn't unring it at will - that's the part where the MO didn’t sign off on the transfer, because no MO would).

From my experience on the coast MARS trg is especially bad at this "they succeed or they break" mentality. Just let them go if they want to go - it ends up being more expensive to the system to hold them until they break. *That's* where we need more flex, and that's not single-parent specific.

Training people to kill other people, without getting killed yourself, sounds really tricky. Maybe we should just forget it :) 
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Offline Nudibranch

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2017, 07:17:10 »
Training people to kill other people, without getting killed yourself, sounds really tricky. Maybe we should just forget it :)

We certainly ought to when the person being trained decides this just isn't for them, to the point of seeking escape to the JPSU.
If we let them go slightly before that point, we might at least end up with a functional paper pusher.

Offline Lightguns

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Re: Single mom now facing medical release from military
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2017, 07:20:11 »
We certainly ought to when the person being trained decides this just isn't for them, to the point of seeking escape to the JPSU.
If we let them go slightly before that point, we might at least end up with a functional paper pusher.

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