Author Topic: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?  (Read 16747 times)

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Offline Blake C.

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How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« on: April 27, 2015, 00:25:03 »
The most recent statistic I can find online for the size of the army is 21,600 (active), but when I counted up the size of all the infantry, armoured, artillery, engineer, and service support battalions/regiments using usual size definitions (ie: 600 in a battalion) the number I came up with was around 11,000. So does that mean that around half the army is combat focused and the rest are cooks, intelligence, mechanics, etc?

Apologies in advance if I've answered my own question, or is this has been answered before.

Offline Pickle Rick

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 08:10:42 »
I think you'd have a hard time finding a full strength battalion anywhere in Canada unless it's about to deploy.


Also, in a Combat Arms unit, every single member isn't Combat Arms. In a Infantry battalion for example, you would have Signallers, Vehicle Techs, Clerks, etc in addition to all the Infantry pers.

Offline Blake C.

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 10:35:56 »
Oh, I didn't know that was the case haha, thank you!

Offline George Wallace

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 10:48:25 »
I think you'd have a hard time finding a full strength battalion anywhere in Canada unless it's about to deploy.


Also, in a Combat Arms unit, every single member isn't Combat Arms. In a Infantry battalion for example, you would have Signallers, Vehicle Techs, Clerks, etc in addition to all the Infantry pers.

Not to mention the numbers of Combat Arms personnel posted to HQs, support to the Reserves, the various Schools, Base and Range postings, etc.
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Offline crseo

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 11:14:09 »
There are actually only two trades that are combat arms - Armour and Infantry. Engineers and Artillery are called Combat Support (CS) not to be confused with Combat Service Support (CSS).

Offline dapaterson

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 11:29:15 »
There are actually only two trades that are combat arms - Armour and Infantry. Engineers and Artillery are called Combat Support (CS) not to be confused with Combat Service Support (CSS).

Can of worms.  Artillery and Engineers are considered as combat arms.
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Offline crseo

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2015, 11:33:19 »
Can of worms.  Artillery and Engineers are considered as combat arms.

I realize its a can of worms and not trying to start a debate on it, but by definition (Ref: Land Operations), there are only two trades that are combat arms.

The point is just to clarify if the OP wanted combat arms or combat arms and combat support.

Offline Lumber

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2015, 11:38:31 »
Can of worms.  Artillery and Engineers are considered as combat arms.

And Pilot and MARS :cdnsalute:...
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2015, 11:46:36 »
There are actually only two trades that are combat arms - Armour and Infantry. Engineers and Artillery are called Combat Support (CS) not to be confused with Combat Service Support (CSS).

Now the great debate begins again.  It all depends on whose 'yardstick' you want to follow.

In some books relating to the Land Forces, Combat Arms consist of Armour, Infantry, Engineers, and Artillery; Combat Support includes the Sigs and Int; and CSS covers all the Maintainers and Supply in the Service Bns and other Branches and Corps of the Army who support from as far back as 'national' locations. 
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Offline crseo

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2015, 16:11:09 »
If we consider B-GL-300-001/FP-001 Land Operations to be the de facto "bible" for conducting land operations then:

2. Force Elements. Combat, combat support, combat service support, and command
support are the possible elements of a land force. The proportion of each element within a
specific land force will be task-tailored and therefore will vary for different operations:

a. Combat Elements. Combat (cbt) elements consist of those elements that
engage the enemy directly. They fight and typically employ direct fire weapons
and manoeuvre, and include armour, infantry, and direct fire units
. They are
considered ground manoeuvre forces.

b. Combat Support Elements. Combat support (cbt sp) elements consist of
those elements that provide fire support, operational assistance, and enablers to
combat elements through designated command and control and fire support
relationships. Cbt sp elements include fire support, air defence,
reconnaissance, combat engineer, some electronic warfare elements, and some
aviation assets. They may be referred to as simply support elements
.

c. Combat Service Support Elements. Combat service support (CSS) elements
primarily provide administration and logistics support to Cbt or Cbt Sp elements.
CSS elements include log, HSS, LEM, and PSS. Force support engineers that
normally provide water, electrical power, infrastructure, and main supply route
(MSR) maintenance are classified as CSS elements.

d. Command Support Elements. Command support (Comd Sp) elements assist
commanders in the exercise of command. It includes staff of all types,
communications, intelligence, information systems, and other elements
assigned to protect, sustain, and move the commander or the headquarters.
They include signals and headquarters organizations.

Regardless, like I said, just clarifying OP intent.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2015, 16:22:53 »

Regardless, like I said, just clarifying OP intent.


Actually, I think you built a mountain out of a molehill........but it is now out there; a broad explanation to a simple question.
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Offline MCG

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2015, 00:57:22 »
If we consider B-GL-300-001/FP-001 Land Operations to be the de facto "bible" for conducting land operations then:
If that is what you want to quote, then you will note it claims that "combat arms" do not exist except as a colloquialism.

... you left off sub-para e in your snippet. 
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 01:05:32 by MCG »

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2015, 01:33:23 »
If that is what you want to quote, then you will note it claims that "combat arms" do not exist except as a colloquialism.

... you left off sub-para e in your snippet.
and to include it (though if my pdf version dated 2008-01-01 is superceded, apologies)

e. Combat Arms. The term “combat arms” is a colloquial term that refers to a
slightly wider description of “combat elements.” It includes armour, infantry, field
engineers, and artillery.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2015, 14:04:23 »
and to include it (though if my pdf version dated 2008-01-01 is superceded, apologies)

e. Combat Arms. The term “combat arms” is a colloquial term that refers to a
slightly wider description of “combat elements.” It includes armour, infantry, field
engineers, and artillery.

a.k.a. those who inflict, and sustain, the majority of casualties in any armed conflict
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2015, 14:51:07 »
And Pilot and MARS :cdnsalute:...

While they are classed as OPS GEN positions, CBT ARMS positions are limited to land environment occupations as detailed earlier in this thread.
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Offline Loachman

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2015, 17:21:03 »
Which would include Tac Hel, were the CF properly organized.

Offline Shamrock

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2015, 17:25:45 »
I realize its a can of worms and not trying to start a debate on it, but by definition (Ref: Land Operations), there are only two trades that are combat arms.

The point is just to clarify if the OP wanted combat arms or combat arms and combat support.

Don't forget those pathetic sadsacks armour and infantry employ as reconnaissance.

Offline Kat Stevens

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2015, 18:03:30 »
a.k.a. those who inflict, and sustain, the majority of casualties in any armed conflict

So in The First Great Global Misunderstanding rats and dysentery were combat arms?
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2015, 18:32:34 »
So in The First Great Global Misunderstanding rats and dysentery were combat arms?

If they paid their mess dues, absolutely!  ;D
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Online Hamish Seggie

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2015, 18:36:18 »
If they paid their mess dues, absolutely!  ;D

If not we need to go after the estates of rats and dysentry to collect overdue mess dues. >:D
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Offline Rhodesian

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2015, 18:52:15 »
My answer to the original question, NOT ENOUGH
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 19:11:31 by Rhodesian »

Offline cavalryman

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #21 on: April 28, 2015, 18:54:22 »
So in The First Great Global Misunderstanding rats and dysentery were combat arms?
That's no way to speak of headquarters staff  :P

Online Hamish Seggie

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #22 on: April 28, 2015, 19:08:53 »
That's no way to speak of headquarters staff  :P

Well played sir!!  ;D
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Offline Blake C.

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #23 on: April 28, 2015, 19:29:20 »
I had no idea I'd be starting such a big debate :o but it makes for good reading. Thanks for all the replies!

My answer to the original question, NOT ENOUGH

Hahahaha ;D I thought that might be the situation ^

Offline Loachman

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Re: How many soldiers in the army are combat arms?
« Reply #24 on: April 28, 2015, 19:32:13 »
That's no way to speak of headquarters staff  :P

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