Author Topic: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC  (Read 6420 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline reveng

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 75,600
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,794
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #100 on: October 16, 2020, 09:25:30 »
Devil's advocate here - do applicants to a professional career, in 2020, really require a "training system" to explain to them that harassment & sexual misconduct are not acceptable in the workplace? Especially one where those around you are supposed to be your "sisters & brothers"?

Offline Haggis

  • "There ain't no hat badge on a helmet!"
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 87,815
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,167
  • "Oh, what a glorious sight, Warm-reekin, rich!"
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #101 on: October 16, 2020, 09:44:27 »
Devil's advocate here - do applicants to a professional career, in 2020, really require a "training system" to explain to them that harassment & sexual misconduct are not acceptable in the workplace? Especially one where those around you are supposed to be your "sisters & brothers"?
You would think/hope not and pray that acceptable behaviour had been instilled in them through their parents and schooling.  Most are well behaved enough to survive in the workplace but there are outliers who need this training. However, in true Canadian fashion, we will smear everyone with the same tar rather than deal with the transgressing individuals.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 330,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 16,645
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #102 on: October 16, 2020, 09:57:10 »
Devil's advocate here - do applicants to a professional career, in 2020, really require a "training system" to explain to them that harassment & sexual misconduct are not acceptable in the workplace? Especially one where those around you are supposed to be your "sisters & brothers"?

Oh h%ll yes.

Unfortunately, most big organizations tend to come down with the hammer at the start of the 'compliance campaign' and then it trail off to the point where the campaign joins other previous, and now forgotten, compliance tune up efforts. This can even make things worse, paradoxically.

There are better ways to promote compliance.... here's a good article related to that subject:

Why Diversity Programs Fail

Why You Can’t Just Outlaw Bias

Executives favor a classic command-and-control approach to diversity because it boils expected behaviors down to dos and don’ts that are easy to understand and defend. Yet this approach also flies in the face of nearly everything we know about how to motivate people to make changes. Decades of social science research point to a simple truth: You won’t get managers on board by blaming and shaming them with rules and reeducation. Let’s look at how the most common top-down efforts typically go wrong.


https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Online MJP

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 200,050
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,865
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #103 on: October 16, 2020, 10:18:16 »
Oh h%ll yes.

There are better ways to promote compliance.... here's a good article related to that subject:

Why Diversity Programs Fail

Why You Can’t Just Outlaw Bias

Executives favor a classic command-and-control approach to diversity because it boils expected behaviors down to dos and don’ts that are easy to understand and defend. Yet this approach also flies in the face of nearly everything we know about how to motivate people to make changes. Decades of social science research point to a simple truth: You won’t get managers on board by blaming and shaming them with rules and reeducation. Let’s look at how the most common top-down efforts typically go wrong.


https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail

One of my fav HBR articles on diversity
Hope is not a valid COA

Offline reveng

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 75,600
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,794
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #104 on: October 16, 2020, 10:31:44 »
Oh h%ll yes.

Thanks, I will give that a read tonight. So if people do need to be "trained" not to act on their baser instincts, how does one accomplish this? Is it actually a training issue, or begging of more thorough recruiting & selection? Better onboarding? Lengthy probationary periods? I've read that probation isn't all that effective as a tool, and would be inclined to think my first two points might be more successful in the long term.

Maybe there needs to be some kind of social assessment phase as part of joining the CAF? Rent some hotels or Airbnbs, make people sit through a bunch of dry but important briefings, and then give them early dismissal each day and turn them loose. You won't catch everyone, but it might red-flag those with serious drinking problems, penchants for snorting stimulants in bathroom stalls, and those who can't keep their limbs and organs to themselves.

Maybe a recruit shows up and needs to be shown how to shave, fine. If you ask them to go get their razor, and they come back with a rock, perhaps you've enrolled the wrong candidate? If a candidate shows up thinking it's ok to harass, assault, or rape others, how do you expect to change that?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 10:59:43 by reveng »

Offline daftandbarmy

  • Army.ca Myth
  • *****
  • 330,875
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 16,645
  • The Older I Get, The Better I Was
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #105 on: October 16, 2020, 11:14:20 »
Thanks, I will give that a read tonight. So if people do need to be "trained" not to act on their baser instincts, how does one accomplish this? Is it actually a training issue, or begging of more thorough recruiting & selection? Better onboarding? Lengthy probationary periods? I've read that probation isn't all that effective as a tool, and would be inclined to think my first two points might be more successful in the long term.

Maybe there needs to be some kind of social assessment phase as part of joining the CAF? Rent some hotels or Airbnbs, make people sit through a bunch of dry but important briefings, and then give them early dismissal each day and turn them loose. You won't catch everyone, but it might red-flag those with serious drinking problems, penchants for snorting stimulants in bathroom stalls, and those who can't keep their limbs and organs to themselves.

Maybe a recruit shows up and needs to be shown how to shave, fine. If you ask them to go get their razor, and they come back with a rock, perhaps you've enrolled the wrong candidate? If a candidate shows up thinking it's ok to harass, assault, or rape others, how do you expect to change that?

Good leadership from the front (carrot) and good discipline following up (stick). You know, the things that have always built the best armies throughout history.

That's all :)
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Blackadder1916

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 256,025
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,436
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #106 on: October 16, 2020, 11:51:08 »
Good leadership from the front (carrot) and good discipline following up (stick). You know, the things that have always built the best armies throughout history.

That's all :)

But it is getting that front end leadership started in the right direction that is often the problem.

While not specifically related to this topic, I came across this while having a general look at things suggested by another thread related to misconduct and the military justice system.

https://decisia.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/jmc-cmj/cm/en/item/485670/index.do
Quote
Introduction

[1]               Major Bourque pleaded guilty to one charge contrary to section 129 of the National Defence Act (NDA). Having accepted and recorded his plea of guilty with respect to the charge, the Court must now determine and pass sentence on the charge which reads as follows:

“Section 129 NDA
CONDUCT TO THE PREJUDICE OF GOOD ORDER AND DISCIPLINE

Particulars: In that he, on or about 11 April 2019, at Ottawa, Ontario, made comments that devalue females and female members of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

[2]               The Statement of Circumstances filed in court reads as follows:

“STATEMENT OF CIRCUMSTANCES

1.                  At all times material to this case, Major Bourque was a member of the Regular Force of the Canadian Armed Forces. In April 2019, he was employed as the Senior Staff Officer Integration for the Planning and Policy Development team at what was then called the Canadian Armed Forces Strategic Response Team - Sexual Misconduct (DG CSRT – SM), now known as the Directorate Professional Military Conduct – Operation HONOUR (DPC – OpH).

2.                  Major Bourque received this posting as the result of a competitive process. His duties and responsibilities included representing the organization to five organizations/teams: the Operation HONOUR Tracking and Analysis System, the Research Coordination and Performance Measurement team, the ICCM-led Defence Team Healthy Workspace Tiger Team, to the Training and Education Team, and to Public Affairs.

3.                  On April 11, 2019, on a walk to a Tiger Team meeting, Major Bourque and CPO1 Wilcox ran into a female colleague who is a Major. Following their encounter, he made inappropriate comments about her sexuality. He further commented that her knowledge and leadership abilities were not to the standard of a field officer.

4.                  From there, Major Bourque’s comments turned into a general critique about how the system is unfair and caters to the advancement of females in the CAF.

5.                  Later on that day, in a car ride with CPO1 Wilcox and WO Foulds, Major Bourque continued with his diatribe about women in the military stating that they are pushed ahead into command positions at a faster rate because of their sex/gender.

6.                  Major Bourque’s behaviour left WO Foulds and CPO1 Wilcox in shock and disbelief. They were offended that Major Bourque felt as if they had similar opinions to his. Furthermore, his inappropriate comments are not conducive to their work environment; both have stated that they have felt uncomfortable working with him since that day.

7.         Following a Unit Disciplinary Investigation, it was determined by Col Raymond - Director of DPC-OpH - that Major Bourque’s inappropriate behaviour and comments had degraded trust and affected team cohesion within the unit. He was subsequently re-assigned to his current position at CJOC headquarters, subjected to remedial measures, and ultimately, charged with one count under s.129 of the National Defence Act for Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline.”

And to tangentially connect it to this thread, the subject of that court-martial is a graduate of RMC (Class of '05).
Whisky for the gentlemen that like it. And for the gentlemen that don't like it - Whisky.

Offline LittleBlackDevil

  • Member
  • ****
  • 7,320
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 227
  • Hostium acie nominati
I would be curious to see what the stats are at civilian universities in the mixed gender dorms.

Given the nature of civilian "versions" of this setup, getting firm statistics would be much harder to guage, but it would seem that numbers are similar.

Just doing a quick google search, this Harvard study suggests a 12.4% incidence of sexual assault on campuses generally, not narrowed to co-ed dorms.

This suggests to me that this is not specifically a RMC thing, but a young adults without supervision living in mixed gender settings thing, and therefore a broader cultural thing.

I don't know what the answer is other than to keep hammering home the messages.  But I don't expect that we will ever completely eliminate the problem, either at the CMCs or the CAF at large.  Stupidity is infinite.

The stupidity of humans is prodigious.

That said, as a graduate of RMC, are you able to comment on whether there are "cultural" factors -- i.e. things specific to the culture at RMC that may contribute to attitudes that it's acceptable to touch others in a sexual manner without their consent?

I've never been to RMC myself. My army experience has been with my reserves unit and with army cadets. My observation is that different units will have their own culture cultivated over time. It depends on a mix of factors.

I wonder if certain "dehumanizing" aspects of basic training (being demeaned and belittled by instructors for example) have unintended consequences of allowing recruits to view others as less of a person?

Again I don't know how things are at RMC but I trained with lots of RMC guys in Gagetown. I found the training in Gagetown at least with the staff I trained under, did very very little to build up camaraderie or esprit de corps. I only got that when I returned to my unit. I'll have to think about it some more to try to put my finger on what it was about the training but I just recall being very disconnected and in subtle competition with other officer candidates, going up to outright enmity between some people. I made no connections during Phase training but made very solid connections with people at my home unit.

If my experience isn't unique, this would seem to contribute to the sexual harassment stuff as cadets don't have that camaraderie or sense of team and looking out for each other.

Maybe there is something to this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/18/no-more-drill-sergeant-shark-attack-army-moves-toward-kinder-basic-training-start.html

Offline SupersonicMax

    is back home.

  • Mentor
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 98,980
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,005
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #108 on: October 16, 2020, 13:01:56 »

Maybe a recruit shows up and needs to be shown how to shave, fine. If you ask them to go get their razor, and they come back with a rock, perhaps you've enrolled the wrong candidate? If a candidate shows up thinking it's ok to harass, assault, or rape others, how do you expect to change that?

The spectrums of sexual assault and sexual harassment is pretty broad.  Telling inappropriate jokes or even inappropriate touching (the “good game” slap on the bum for example) may be acceptable in some circles but it is not in our military yet they are part of the spectrums of sexual harassment and assault.

Hell, some of those things were tolerated in our own organization (the CAF) not too long ago.

Offline Navy_Pete

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • 60,400
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,192
  • Red shirted sea nerd reporting for the away team!
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #109 on: October 16, 2020, 13:41:12 »
Oh h%ll yes.

Unfortunately, most big organizations tend to come down with the hammer at the start of the 'compliance campaign' and then it trail off to the point where the campaign joins other previous, and now forgotten, compliance tune up efforts. This can even make things worse, paradoxically.

There are better ways to promote compliance.... here's a good article related to that subject:

Why Diversity Programs Fail

Why You Can’t Just Outlaw Bias

Executives favor a classic command-and-control approach to diversity because it boils expected behaviors down to dos and don’ts that are easy to understand and defend. Yet this approach also flies in the face of nearly everything we know about how to motivate people to make changes. Decades of social science research point to a simple truth: You won’t get managers on board by blaming and shaming them with rules and reeducation. Let’s look at how the most common top-down efforts typically go wrong.


https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail

That's an excellent article, thanks. Makes a lot of sense, and also maybe points to another reason for ROTP vs RMC.  In my own case, my core class was roughly 50/50 male and female with people from 5 different continents, and a bunch of different religions. It made pot lucks really fun, and we also did stuff like celebrate other people's cultural events (because who isn't looking for a reason to throw a party).

With RMC the recruiting input is still pretty white and mostly male. My life would have been blander if I had gone there and my worldview smaller.

I think if we could do similar with some trade school (like the old super stoker program in St. Johns) it would do the same thing, but harder to do unless we straight up mirror a civilian trade, then do a bit of delta training. Not sure that works for any trade we have in the Navy, but might be an option for specific courses.

Offline AK

  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • 10,155
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 75
Given the nature of civilian "versions" of this setup, getting firm statistics would be much harder to guage, but it would seem that numbers are similar.


...That said, as a graduate of RMC, are you able to comment on whether there are "cultural" factors -- i.e. things specific to the culture at RMC that may contribute to attitudes that it's acceptable to touch others in a sexual manner without their consent?

I've never been to RMC myself. My army experience has been with my reserves unit and with army cadets. My observation is that different units will have their own culture cultivated over time. It depends on a mix of factors.

I wonder if certain "dehumanizing" aspects of basic training (being demeaned and belittled by instructors for example) have unintended consequences of allowing recruits to view others as less of a person?

Again I don't know how things are at RMC but I trained with lots of RMC guys in Gagetown. I found the training in Gagetown at least with the staff I trained under, did very very little to build up camaraderie or esprit de corps. I only got that when I returned to my unit. I'll have to think about it some more to try to put my finger on what it was about the training but I just recall being very disconnected and in subtle competition with other officer candidates, going up to outright enmity between some people. I made no connections during Phase training but made very solid connections with people at my home unit.

If my experience isn't unique, this would seem to contribute to the sexual harassment stuff as cadets don't have that camaraderie or sense of team and looking out for each other.

Maybe there is something to this: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/09/18/no-more-drill-sergeant-shark-attack-army-moves-toward-kinder-basic-training-start.html

I can only comment on how it was in my day, which was indeed an eon ago.  My personal opinion is that sometimes the environment promoted an exaggerated sense of closeness/familiarity.  In many cases, with all the time spent together, some people thought they were better/closer friends than they were in reality and stopped seeing boundaries.  I've seen this on long courses too, but less intensely.

I also would like to reiterate the wide range of behaviors that subject study references.  There is a world of difference between the high end and the lower end.  I myself have been known to make the odd off-colour remark or crass joke (but I am very cautious about the audience these days).  I feel that counting inappropriate jokes and sexual assault in the same category confuses the issue.  It gives those who wish to discount the stats a sense that it's not as significant, and it enflames those who don't add context. 

Just my  :2c:

AK

Offline Eye In The Sky

  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *****
  • 244,810
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 9,421
    • VP INTERNATIONAL
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #111 on: October 17, 2020, 09:07:41 »
Maybe a recruit shows up and needs to be shown how to shave, fine. If you ask them to go get their razor, and they come back with a rock, perhaps you've enrolled the wrong candidate? If a candidate shows up thinking it's ok to harass, assault, or rape others, how do you expect to change that?

1.  At the start of trg (RMC, CFLRS, local Res unit...where ever).  Brief all on expected standard for conduct, and possible repercussions for not abiding.  *education, awareness, and understanding*

2.  For mbr's who don't follow the policy and orders, use the applic level of administrative and disciplinary measures available.  Minor offences should be treated as such, as should major ones.  *corrective actions, counselling, and monitoring*

3.  For mbr's who don't continue to not follow policy and orders, escalation to more serious admin/discip measures including ARs/release action. *bringing out the Big Stick/removing mbr's who are unfit service*

For a place such as, say, RMC where there seems to be a 'Training Establishment Culture' issue, this needs to be done a way to maximize the deterrent factor.  I don't like the "make an example out of someone" idea, but...I'm all for making a ST 'mandatory' or something like that as well.  I was at CFLRS on staff in the 06/07 timeframe as the "TE culture" I witnessed there was...very concerning.  It happens, and it is actually a huge issue.  Recruits, who will become the CAFs NCOs and Warrant/Petty Officers down the road, being shaped by shitty role models...and the cycle continuous. 

Why might the approach above I wrote work?  It's worked for years, the tools are already there.  People in various "superior officer" positions just need to be committed to doing their job and fulfilling their function, especially earlier on in a new CAF mbr's trg when it is likely easier to spot 'problem children'.   They also need to police themselves, and their peers and be professional enough to act when required.

:2c:
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 09:15:16 by Eye In The Sky »

Offline Colin P

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 184,070
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,703
  • Civilian
    • http://www.pacific.ccg-gcc.gc.ca
Re: Article: Unwanted sexualized behaviour at RMC
« Reply #112 on: October 17, 2020, 11:21:34 »
Devil's advocate here - do applicants to a professional career, in 2020, really require a "training system" to explain to them that harassment & sexual misconduct are not acceptable in the workplace? Especially one where those around you are supposed to be your "sisters & brothers"?

The purpose of harassment and diversity training is to reduce the liability of the owners/senior management/politicians etc. This is way they want you to sign that you have taken the course. if you muck up and someone sues the company for harassment, their lawyers can say we ran these courses with X compliance the individual in question took the course and acknowledge it and therefore all the fault is on them.
If the course reduces the unwanted behaviours that's just a beneficial side effect.