Author Topic: Special forces looks at recruiting off the street amid shifting demands  (Read 5735 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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OTTAWA — The Canadian Forces are considering whether to recruit elite special-forces soldiers straight off the street rather than forcing them to follow the traditional route of first spending several years in the military.

The idea, which is still being debated, comes as Canada’s special forces — and the military as a whole — look at radical new ways to attract and retain people with the skills and experience needed to fight tomorrow’s wars.

That includes not just computer experts, for example, but also those with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and language skills, as the special forces aim to operate more effectively in different parts of the world.

“This is not about achieving set quotas or anything else,” Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe, commander of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, told The Canadian Press in an exclusive interview.

“From a hard-operational perspective, do we have the right mix of people with the right sort of background, education, language, ethnicity, gender … that will allow us to do what our government expects us to do and will expect us to do in the future?”

Canada has about 2,000 special-forces members whose units include Joint Task Force 2, the Canadian Special Forces Regiment, a special helicopter detachment and a unit that specializes in responding to biological, chemical and nuclear incidents.

The government’s defence policy calls for an additional 600 special-forces members amid a realization of the growing importance of special forces to modern militaries.

Canada currently has about 120 special forces soldiers in Iraq and smaller teams working with counterparts in several other countries, including Belize, Jamaica, Niger and Malaysia.

More diverse special forces would make it easier to make connections in different parts of world, understand the environment, interact with power brokers and figure out a way to respond to changing circumstances, Dawe said.

At the same time, he said expectations within society are changing as young people look at different opportunities available to them, which requires the Forces to make it as attractive as possible to join.

Anyone who wants to join the special forces is required to have at least two years in uniform, though they are often required to attain other qualifications that require more time.

Dawe said some “really hard-charging, high-achieving individuals like varsity athletes and super-talented folks out there on civilian street” are interested in the special forces, but they don’t want to spend several years in the regular military before applying.

“So one of the things we would like to look at is whether there is scope to accelerate that, because there is a qualitative dimension that we might not be exploiting or tapping into as well as we could.”

There is precedent for such a move, Dawe said, pointing to Australia and the U.S. as examples where “accelerated” recruiting has been successful.

At the same time, “inculcating future members of the Canadian Armed Forces, doing that properly, making sure they understand what they are joining and why are joining it, is important,” he said, noting recruits will still need to meet the same standards and go through training.

“You have to make sure you strike a good, healthy balance there in terms of making it as efficient as possible without discarding those important enculturation gateways that have served us so well historically,” Dawe said.

The move toward new ways of recruiting comes as special forces undergo a shift from its primary task of fighting terrorists to face new threats, including the nebulous new type of conflict known as hybrid warfare.

Hybrid warfare is a strategy that uses propaganda, misinformation and cyberattacks to complement conventional military forces or non-conventional forces such as insurgents and proxies. Russia’s intervention in Ukraine is widely seen as a prime example.

While Canada and its allies have struggled to address this new threat, Dawe argued his forces are part of the solution as they put more emphasis on better collecting information — particularly in “murky” environments.

“We just have to make sure we’re not bringing a hammer or even a scalpel to the party,” he said. “You have to bring a whole bunch of ability to illuminate the threat, figure out what it is and what you’re going to do about it.”

— Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.

https://theprovince.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/special-forces-looks-at-recruiting-off-the-street-amid-shifting-demands/wcm/71e967a8-e935-408f-9564-54ca0dea1857
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Offline OceanBonfire

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Edited. Same article but from different sources posted less than a minute later and moved into the same thread by a mod.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 00:32:55 by OceanBonfire »
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Offline Inspir

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They might get more applicants but will they actually get more recruits. Selection is not exactly a walk in the park. US Army does it, wonder what there success has been with it?

Offline CBH99

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In an interview with Tim Kennedy on the Joe Rogan postcast, he talked about how badly the US Army SF recruiting currently was - and they've been recruiting straight off of civi street for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OFevGcLHTU


Not able to get enough of the RIGHT CANDIDATES in the door to fill all of the billets, and that's with them recruiting from Army AND the civilian market. 

My guess is, it'll get some people in the door that might not have otherwise pulled the trigger and applied.  And a few of them will be solid.  (I know quite a few former members who wish they had applied for something "unique" and/or stuck with it.  I think being able to apply to something you believe your well suited for, and not having to do a few years of regular service first, isn't necessarily a bad thing.) 

Numbers will go up, but nothing crazy - just an extra tool for the SOF recruiters.
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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If I’m wrong correct me but I think the USN SEALs recruit off the street as well.
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Offline Ó Donnghaile

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It'll probably function something like the 1st and 2nd Commando Regiments of Australia's SOCOMD with their direct entry scheme being an accelerated infanteer pipeline with a SF selection preperation course prior to the selection and training course(s). Similarly our premier CT unit, much like their SASR will probably still require applicants to be existing members of the CAF.

Either way just as mentioned in the posts above, it's only one of many tools available for the command to force generate its members. I wonder, however, if they'll extend this to non-Operator trades/specialists?
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 13:10:02 by Ó Donnghaile »
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Offline daftandbarmy

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If you want more SF troops, maybe we just need to fix the selection and training process, like this guy did in the US Army SF, instead of looking outwards for a solution to our internal problems:


"With SFAS selecting at about a 50 percent rate at that time, the same percentage of candidates failing the SFQC was unacceptable. Decker was told, to fix it, in the SF way,… just get it done. And did he ever. He made sweeping changes to the way the SFAS course was run and while the selection rates of SFAS plummeted to 30 percent or below, the successful completion of the SFQC from candidates selected from Decker’s SFAS classes skyrocketed to 80 percent. That’s exactly what the command was looking for."

https://specialoperations.com/30998/interview-brian-decker-pt-1-got-selection-course-back-track/
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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IMHO, if someone can pass the selection and course, why not?

Being in a regular unit to start will teach you some stuff, sure. But you also run the chance of pissing off potential high performers with sweeping unit lines or dog and pony shows. When entire platoons worth of Pte decide not to renew after their BE because of BS, you are bound to lose a few guys that probably had the right stuff.

I know of one guy that tried for a certain CANSOF unit a couple times...his unit dicked him around with the paperwork first time despite PSO and recruiters pushing. The second time, he was smart enough to get around them, so guess what? They deployed him with suspicious timing. He did the tour and got picked up by another organization outside the CAF. I've also seen CANSOF come to a previous unit of mine begging for supporters/specialists. The unit had people sitting around doing SFA. CANSOF was told "we can't support this".

And yes someone that truly wants it will eventually get it...but I'm willing to bet some find greener pastures before truly catching their stride in the CAF.

Offline Cloud Cover

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I think this is a really good idea, but I would go one step further and stop filtering out perfectly good candidates because they do not meet identity quotas or are from the wrong part of the country.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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IMHO, if someone can pass the selection and course, why not?

Being in a regular unit to start will teach you some stuff, sure. But you also run the chance of pissing off potential high performers with sweeping unit lines or dog and pony shows. When entire platoons worth of Pte decide not to renew after their BE because of BS, you are bound to lose a few guys that probably had the right stuff.

I know of one guy that tried for a certain CANSOF unit a couple times...his unit dicked him around with the paperwork first time despite PSO and recruiters pushing. The second time, he was smart enough to get around them, so guess what? They deployed him with suspicious timing. He did the tour and got picked up by another organization outside the CAF. I've also seen CANSOF come to a previous unit of mine begging for supporters/specialists. The unit had people sitting around doing SFA. CANSOF was told "we can't support this".

And yes someone that truly wants it will eventually get it...but I'm willing to bet some find greener pastures before truly catching their stride in the CAF.

And another great idea I've heard from others, who know more about this stuff than me, is that we should make the SOF role 'not so special' by rotating the task amongst Infantry Battalions (or something like that). CSOR was started up kind of like that, as I understand it.

If SOF is so important, then make it a mandatory task instead of leaving it to the whims of individual unit leaders to decide whether or not we can deploy that nationally, and internationally, important capability. Field Marshall Slim famously noted that any 'conventional' infantry battalion in the 14th Army could do what any special force could do, albeit assuming the right selection and leadership, so why not leverage that.

Going direct to civvy street seems a last gasp, work around effort for a smaller sibling organization being strangled for resources by it's bigger brother.



"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 Ó Donnghaile

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And another great idea I've heard from others, who know more about this stuff than me, is that we should make the SOF role 'not so special' by rotating the task amongst Infantry Battalions (or something like that). CSOR was started up kind of like that, as I understand it.

If SOF is so important, then make it a mandatory task instead of leaving it to the whims of individual unit leaders to decide whether or not we can deploy that nationally, and internationally, important capability. Field Marshall Slim famously noted that any 'conventional' infantry battalion in the 14th Army could do what any special force could do, albeit assuming the right selection and leadership, so why not leverage that.

Going direct to civvy street seems a last gasp, work around effort for a smaller sibling organization being strangled for resources by it's bigger brother.

Kind of like the SFSG role seen across the pond then?

But, as I understand it CSOR has moved quite far away from the role it original was envisioned to fill with its establishment; I guess the question is to determine which capabilities / skills (which I believe you defined in another thread as quite common-place wartime skills) can be rolled into light forces of the Army and those which require a specifically selected group to conduct.

Be interesting to see what they'll do with individuals who do not make through the process? Do they return to civilian life? Or are thrown into a line battalion?
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Offline Old Sweat

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And another great idea I've heard from others, who know more about this stuff than me, is that we should make the SOF role 'not so special' by rotating the task amongst Infantry Battalions (or something like that). CSOR was started up kind of like that, as I understand it.

If SOF is so important, then make it a mandatory task instead of leaving it to the whims of individual unit leaders to decide whether or not we can deploy that nationally, and internationally, important capability. Field Marshall Slim famously noted that any 'conventional' infantry battalion in the 14th Army could do what any special force could do, albeit assuming the right selection and leadership, so why not leverage that.

Going direct to civvy street seems a last gasp, work around effort for a smaller sibling organization being strangled for resources by it's bigger brother.

Slim's observation, and I second guess him with a lot of trepidation, applies to units such as commandoes, rangers, and Chindits. All these operate on the same basis as regular infantry, that is in sections, platoons, and companies usually on our side or close to the FEBA in time or space. Specialized SF operate in small detachments often deep in hostile or disputed territory, and a good many excellent soldiers are unable to function in that environment. Psychological screening can often identify individuals who can serve in that environment, but there still is a lengthy training regime.

While stilll serving, and I retired in 1994, I recall a number of battalion commanders claiming any infantry battalion could perform the hostage rescue mission that was the main role of SF at the time. I fear this said more about their lack of knowledge than a latent capability lurking in our infantry battalions.

Offline mariomike

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From the OP,
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Dawe said some “really hard-charging, high-achieving individuals like varsity athletes and super-talented folks out there on civilian street” are interested in the special forces, but they don’t want to spend several years in the regular military before applying.

I bet there are. There's some "really hard-charging" prospective applicants who, I am sure, would love to go straight into Special Operations in other organizations ( eg: Emergency Services ).

But, I can't see them ever  allowing that to happen.

Good luck to the CAF with that.














Offline CBH99

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I had a buddy in my regiment years ago, and he just wanted to go SF.

He did a year at the regiment, and realized it really wasn't for him.  He even managed to get selected for being a diver, did some cool courses, but just really didn't enjoy the mandatory PT (he was super fit, and preferred to train on his own) - amongst other regimented parts of life that come with being in a combat engineer unit.


He inquired about applying for SF, and was told by his chain he needed a minimum of 3 years in.  Attended the JTF2 recruiting session when they visited CFB Edmonton, made some inquiries, and the JTF recruiters told him to apply regardless - they needed people, were busy as hell, and they actually weren't too concerned with the 'mandatory 3 years' part.

He tried to apply, but his CoC killed it.  Anything he could do to get himself more qualified as an applicant, his CoC killed it.


Eventually, after about 1.5 years in, he went around his CoC entirely and applied directly to the SF recruiters.  They handled the application & file directly, and didn't seem to care at all what his CoC wanted.

Long story short, he went off for selection.  Passed with flying colours (although he said he thought for sure he was going to be rejected, and wasn't very confident he had performed very well) - and disappeared into the SF world about a month after.  Haven't seen or spoken to him since.


^^ There really are some people who are good applicants, who just don't want to sit around battalion for a few years first.  So this idea of recruiting right out of the civilian world might just get a few people in the door that might not have otherwise bothered.  (And you bet, US Army SF & Navy SEALS both have direct entry plans from the civilian world.)
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Offline Retired AF Guy

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If the SF community started publicizing some of their real world missions (albeit sanitized) they might get more people interested in joining.

Just my thoughts.
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Offline Brihard

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From the OP,
I bet there are. There's some "really hard-charging" prospective applicants who, I am sure, would love to go straight into Special Operations in other organizations ( eg: Emergency Services ).

But, I can't see them ever  allowing that to happen.

Good luck to the CAF with that.

Given specific backgrounds, you might be surprised. I’m aware of limited cases of CAF vets with certain profiles being fast tracked into police tactical stuff. In that case it *is* a ‘hands and feet skills’ thing, albeit one where they have already proven themselves through very rigorous selections in their former organization.

As specialist organizations continue to apply scientific rigor to selection criteria, and learn what really is important to ‘bring’ versus what they will ‘learn’, there are more examples of organizations realizing that traditional ‘farm team’ approaches may not be 100% the answer.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Cloud Cover

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Brihard: like the sniper who went to EPS? That didn’t work out so well, but I’m hoping it was a “ one off” 😀
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Offline Brihard

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Brihard: like the sniper who went to EPS? That didn’t work out so well, but I’m hoping it was a “ one off” 😀

I think I know who you mean, but I don’t know the story. No, I’m thinking about another instance. It’s rare, but it happens.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline mariomike

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I’m aware of limited cases of CAF vets with certain profiles being fast tracked into police tactical stuff.

It’s rare, but it happens.

That may be. Perhaps they were using the internal Relative Ability Process? ( Selection on the basis of qualifications, experience, education or equivalency and the ability to perform the work satisfactorily. When these factors are relatively equal, seniority shall govern. )

That's how I got my position on Paramedic Spec. Ops.. It would have taken me many years otherwise, as I was still low on the seniority list. 

But, that was a long time ago, and due to arbitration, the Relative Ability Process is extremely rare now.

I'm only familiar with Metro Toronto. I've been retired for ten years, and a lot has changed since then.

But, the police, fire and paramedic departments are still unionized. The Collective Agreements have never given CAF members special consideration to be fast-tracked into Special Operations.

That would include the Police / Paramedic Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) aka Tactical.

Likewise, having served in the Navy wouldn't fast track an applicant into the Police / Paramedic Marine Unit.

I was in Special Operations in the Emergency Support Unit ( ESU ). That's the bus and truck division. Being an MSE Op didn't get me special consideration or a "fast-track" into it.

The only way was ( and still is, as far as I know ) by the "Senior Qualified Process."

ie: The City assesses applicants ( already serving on the police, fire and paramedic departments ) in order of seniority, until enough candidates have been identified to fill the posted position(s).

There would be grievances from members with more seniority if current/past member of the military received special consideration.

Quote
Q: I am a current/past member of the military. Do I get special consideration?

A: Although we appreciate your service in the military, all current and past members of any military service will proceed through the Constable Selection System like any other candidate.
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/careers/uni_faq.php#q28

Modified - mm







 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 09:21:50 by mariomike »

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: CBH99


He tried to apply, but his CoC killed it. 

Happened to me a few times.

-Hey sorry we found your application at the back of the OCs desk. Too late to do anything about it now, maybe you can try next year.
-Sorry your application was approved and you had a spot on selection but someone dropped the ball and forgot to contact you to tell you.
-we'll send you on this course out of area  but don't worry we contacted them and they're aware of your selection stuff and you'll be given time off for the pt test. (no one contacted the course staff and they shut it down when I asked after arriving)

And
-bpso had a nervous breakdown and dropped half her work load you won't be able to apply this year


Lots of guys I know have similar stories, lots of them worse.
CoC gives guys a hard time, tries to guilt them or coerse them not to apply, threaten to ostrasize them or threaten not to give them any courses. CoC looses paperwork (with no repercussions). Drags their feet on applications and people miss key timings.

Seems like many units care more about their own manning than benefitting the CAF as a whole.

The vandoos on the other hand, I've heard, take soldiers who apply for SOF and put them in their own training platoons to concentrate on preparing themselves for selection. Maybe it's to increase the amount of French soldiers in the SOF community? Seems to work.

SOF might have better recruiting levels of the regular force and reserve stopped being dick heads about selection. Attracting more members to the CAF would benefit everyone, too.
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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Happened to me a few times.

-Hey sorry we found your application at the back of the OCs desk. Too late to do anything about it now, maybe you can try next year.
-Sorry your application was approved and you had a spot on selection but someone dropped the ball and forgot to contact you to tell you.
-we'll send you on this course out of area  but don't worry we contacted them and they're aware of your selection stuff and you'll be given time off for the pt test. (no one contacted the course staff and they shut it down when I asked after arriving)

And
-bpso had a nervous breakdown and dropped half her work load you won't be able to apply this year


Lots of guys I know have similar stories, lots of them worse.
CoC gives guys a hard time, tries to guilt them or coerse them not to apply, threaten to ostrasize them or threaten not to give them any courses. CoC looses paperwork (with no repercussions). Drags their feet on applications and people miss key timings.

Seems like many units care more about their own manning than benefitting the CAF as a whole.

The vandoos on the other hand, I've heard, take soldiers who apply for SOF and put them in their own training platoons to concentrate on preparing themselves for selection. Maybe it's to increase the amount of French soldiers in the SOF community? Seems to work.

SOF might have better recruiting levels of the regular force and reserve stopped being dick heads about selection. Attracting more members to the CAF would benefit everyone, too.

All classic! And all so believable sadly. Check your PM for a morning laugh Jarn

Offline LunchMeat

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That may be. Perhaps they were using the internal Relative Ability Process? ( Selection on the basis of qualifications, experience, education or equivalency and the ability to perform the work satisfactorily. When these factors are relatively equal, seniority shall govern. )

That's how I got my position on Paramedic Spec. Ops.. It would have taken me many years otherwise, as I was still low on the seniority list. 

But, that was a long time ago, and due to arbitration, the Relative Ability Process is extremely rare now.

I'm only familiar with Metro Toronto. I've been retired for ten years, and a lot has changed since then.

But, the police, fire and paramedic departments are still unionized. The Collective Agreements have never given CAF members special consideration to be fast-tracked into Special Operations.

That would include the Police / Paramedic Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) aka Tactical.

Likewise, having served in the Navy wouldn't fast track an applicant into the Police / Paramedic Marine Unit.

I was in Special Operations in the Emergency Support Unit ( ESU ). That's the bus and truck division. Being an MSE Op didn't get me special consideration or a "fast-track" into it.

The only way was ( and still is, as far as I know ) by the "Senior Qualified Process."

ie: The City assesses applicants ( already serving on the police, fire and paramedic departments ) in order of seniority, until enough candidates have been identified to fill the posted position(s).

There would be grievances from members with more seniority if current/past member of the military received special consideration.

Modified - mm

I think I know who you mean, but I don’t know the story. No, I’m thinking about another instance. It’s rare, but it happens.

Former Comd CANSOFCOM, LGen Rouleau, was an Assaulter Team Leader. He left the CAF and went straight into the Ottawa Police Service Emergency Response Team.

Exceptions can be made.
"The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.” ~General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, USMC

Offline Brihard

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Former Comd CANSOFCOM, LGen Rouleau, was an Assaulter Team Leader. He left the CAF and went straight into the Ottawa Police Service Emergency Response Team.

Exceptions can be made.

Oh cool, I didn’t realize Rouleau had briefly gone OPS.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline LunchMeat

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Oh cool, I didn’t realize Rouleau had briefly gone OPS.

He was there from 1997 to 2001, re-enrolled after 9/11.
"The most important six inches on the battlefield is between your ears.” ~General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, USMC

Offline mariomike

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He left the CAF and went straight into the Ottawa Police Service Emergency Response Team.

Exceptions can be made.

I am sure they can.

Do you have a source for that?

Offline Old Sweat

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I know MR went into the OPS, but thought he started on patrol duties. A small number of members went into the OPS around that time. At least one is still serving as a sergeant.

Offline mariomike

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I know MR went into the OPS, but thought he started on patrol duties.

That sounds more likely.

Although as LunchMeat said, "Exceptions can be made."


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What's the washout rate at BMQ? DP1 or whatever it is? Basic para? What percentage of off the street COD commandos would actually make a competent SF operator, 50? 40? 25? By filling SF from existing troops, they've already gone through a weeding process by being found competent in their current MOC.
                                         
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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I hate to say it, but the allowances alone make SOF far more attractive than service in a regular unit. Why would someone want to earn 35k as a Pte to sit around and sweep when they could get paid well, have proper gear, and do real training/ops? Unless the CAF just wants people with no other options, they need to compete to attract and retain potential high performers.

Offline dapaterson

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It is extremely disingenuous to suggest CAF members are not well paid, based on training, education and experience (particularly since the majority of that training, education and experience is obtained while paid).
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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I guess I'm just extremely disingenuous then.  :nod:

I'm sorry. The first couple years as a Pte aren't great financially for possibly having to give your life. However, I will suggest that the other issues (equipment/trg or lack thereof, sitting around etc) are critical as well. They will make sure that less 20 year old Ptes stick around to become 25 or 30 year old operators.

Offline daftandbarmy

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What's the washout rate at BMQ? DP1 or whatever it is? Basic para? What percentage of off the street COD commandos would actually make a competent SF operator, 50? 40? 25? By filling SF from existing troops, they've already gone through a weeding process by being found competent in their current MOC.
                                       

Failure rates for SOF are in the range of 80% plus, I believe, for troops who are already trained and experienced. I have no idea what that would mean for civilians who are fed directly into the meat grinder, but I don't think I'd want to be one of them :)
"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 Good2Golf

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Oh cool, I didn’t realize Rouleau had briefly gone OPS.

I understand he also did some beat time, before ESU.  Dude rocks!

Offline JesseWZ

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I guess I'm just extremely disingenuous then.  :nod:

I'm sorry. The first couple years as a Pte aren't great financially for possibly having to give your life. However, I will suggest that the other issues (equipment/trg or lack thereof, sitting around etc) are critical as well. They will make sure that less 20 year old Ptes stick around to become 25 or 30 year old operators.

I'm not sure I agree with this statement. Perhaps in garrison, they pay is not swell - but how many 18 year olds with no education are even making 40K a year with the option of what ends up being heavily discounted living arrangements, contribution towards a decent pension and full benefits.

In situations where said private is in a position of having to give his/her life - there is foreign service pay, hardship and risk allowance, all of which turn decent 18 year old pay into great pay for an 18 year old.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 18:31:15 by JesseWZ »
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Offline dapaterson

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I'm not sure I agree with this statement. Perhaps in garrison, they pay is not swell - but how many 18 year olds with no education are even making 40K a year with the option of what ends up being heavily discounted living arrangements, contribution towards a decent pension and full benefits.

In situations where said private is in a position of having to give his/her life - there is foreign service pay, hardship and risk allowance, all of which turn decent 18 year old pay into great pay for an 18 year old.

And, in those periods of extreme risk on deployed named operations, the pay is tax free.
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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Thanks guys, I'm aware of how it works. Thank you for also ignoring my valid points about morale, training, and equipment and going for the low hanging fruit.

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: JesseWZ

In situations where said private is in a position of having to give his/her life - there is foreign service pay, hardship and risk allowance,

And the private who is in a position overseas who isn't in danger, isn't risking their life, isn't even carrying a gun, whose hardship might be the icecream machine breaking down or XBox being busy gets the same pay as said private risking his life. 

Which I suppose is neither here nor there, but curious never the less.
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Offline Haligonian

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I would suggest that one of the most challenging of factors to direct entry will be maturity.  SOF is looking for folks who are not only very fit and capable in acquiring technical skills but also mature enough to operate in small teams with little oversight.  I suspect that a recruiting campaign direct from the civi populace will bring in a lot of folks who are also 'infantry private' folks.  A large group of which will lack the requisite maturity.

Offline JesseWZ

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Thanks guys, I'm aware of how it works. Thank you for also ignoring my valid points about morale, training, and equipment and going for the low hanging fruit.

I can't speak for anyone else here, but I'm not trying to disrespect you mate. You posted something that was contentious (and possibly erroneous to some), people (including myself) replied with our own assessment of a part of what you posted. That's the end. It's not low hanging fruit - it's simply fruit.

There is no rule that says people have to reply to your entire post and address each rationale you brought up.

I agree with most of the rest of what you posted, but some of that post will be coloured by the part I disagreed with.
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Offline DetectiveMcNulty

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I would suggest that one of the most challenging of factors to direct entry will be maturity.  SOF is looking for folks who are not only very fit and capable in acquiring technical skills but also mature enough to operate in small teams with little oversight.  I suspect that a recruiting campaign direct from the civi populace will bring in a lot of folks who are also 'infantry private' folks.  A large group of which will lack the requisite maturity.

Let them try. If they wash out, let them do Infantry DP1. Maybe stream some of the keen ones to light BNs and let them get the experience and training to help down the line. Keep them engaged and maybe the maturity will follow in time. We don't exactly have Ranger BNs, you know? If they fail that, see if there is anything else we can use them for. If not, kick them out. If what my US colleague told me is true, people that wash out from BUD/S end up as another rating or ride out their enlistment "undesignated" i.e. sweeping and mopping.

We already recruit people that are in their 40s and out of shape, and then spend tons of money and admin time to watch them fail out of far less arduous trg. I mean no disrespect to anyone. We all come from different trades, ranks, and individual experiences. Anyways, I've said my bit. Have a great weekend folks.

Offline Brihard

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I understand he also did some beat time, before ESU.  Dude rocks!

This makes more sense. ESU isn’t their tactical team, and making it to Tac in two years would indeed be startling. Anyone starting with OPS generally goes to patrol. ESU is a side gig where members are called out as needed for things like search and rescue. Tactical is a full time unit.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline mariomike

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This makes more sense. ESU isn’t their tactical team, and making it to Tac in two years would indeed be startling. Anyone starting with OPS generally goes to patrol. ESU is a side gig where members are called out as needed for things like search and rescue. Tactical is a full time unit.

Did he ever get on their Tactical team?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2019, 20:00:32 by mariomike »

Offline Brihard

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Did he ever get on their Tactical team?

No idea.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline sidemount

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Happened to me a few times.

-Hey sorry we found your application at the back of the OCs desk. Too late to do anything about it now, maybe you can try next year.
-Sorry your application was approved and you had a spot on selection but someone dropped the ball and forgot to contact you to tell you.
-we'll send you on this course out of area  but don't worry we contacted them and they're aware of your selection stuff and you'll be given time off for the pt test. (no one contacted the course staff and they shut it down when I asked after arriving)

And
-bpso had a nervous breakdown and dropped half her work load you won't be able to apply this year


Lots of guys I know have similar stories, lots of them worse.
CoC gives guys a hard time, tries to guilt them or coerse them not to apply, threaten to ostrasize them or threaten not to give them any courses. CoC looses paperwork (with no repercussions). Drags their feet on applications and people miss key timings.

Seems like many units care more about their own manning than benefitting the CAF as a whole.

The vandoos on the other hand, I've heard, take soldiers who apply for SOF and put them in their own training platoons to concentrate on preparing themselves for selection. Maybe it's to increase the amount of French soldiers in the SOF community? Seems to work.

SOF might have better recruiting levels of the regular force and reserve stopped being dick heads about selection. Attracting more members to the CAF would benefit everyone, too.
Had the same thing happen to one of my subordinates who was applying. Our OIC kept sitting on the paper work, filed away in the black hole drawer of his desk.
I made a call over to a friend who was working at cansof at the time in the section my guy was applying for. They hashed it out from their end which was great. Needless to say that his file was processed quickly after that (OIC was bypassed and the OC/CO got involved) and my guy has been there for a few years now and super happy about it. Likely would have released if not given the chance with cansof.

Its someone's career that they are ******* with and it can have so drastic, long lasting effects on a member's morale and welfare to not have their CoC's support...especially when it is based on sheer laziness and incompetence.
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. - Colin Powell

Offline daftandbarmy

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Had the same thing happen to one of my subordinates who was applying. Our OIC kept sitting on the paper work, filed away in the black hole drawer of his desk.
I made a call over to a friend who was working at cansof at the time in the section my guy was applying for. They hashed it out from their end which was great. Needless to say that his file was processed quickly after that (OIC was bypassed and the OC/CO got involved) and my guy has been there for a few years now and super happy about it. Likely would have released if not given the chance with cansof.

Its someone's career that they are ******* with and it can have so drastic, long lasting effects on a member's morale and welfare to not have their CoC's support...especially when it is based on sheer laziness and incompetence.

If you could somehow make it PY neutral for the units, so unit CoCs don't suffer from the constant pressure on the dwindling number of their best people, maybe the SOF program would stop being treated like a bunch of 'body snatchers'.

Another solution might be to, instead of pretending that the reserves could ever become a 'plug and play' combat support company for the Regs, re-role all Infantry reserve units into light infantry with the a primary mission of preparing troops for SOF selection. That way, you could access alot of high quality people in universities and businesses in our major urban centres, kind of like 21 SAS, the Honourable Artillery Company, and the Artisits' Rifles in the UK.

Even better, pushups, chinups and rucking aren't at the mercy of field firing areas or supplies of 'dud producing ammunition'.
"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 Brihard

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If you could somehow make it PY neutral for the units, so unit CoCs don't suffer from the constant pressure on the dwindling number of their best people, maybe the SOF program would stop being treated like a bunch of 'body snatchers'.


Or they could start firing/charging people who obstruct SOFCOM applications until people get it and fall in line? These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline sidemount

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Or they could start firing/charging people who obstruct SOFCOM applications until people get it and fall in line? These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.
A bit of a tangent sorry.

But its just not SOF applications I've seen end up lost in a black hole of paperwork. I've experienced the same phenomenon for everything from simple memo requests, to VOT applications, commissioning program applications, requests for SLT, etc. Maybe I've just been unlucky in general, but staffing paperwork through the CoC always seems to an exercise in futility. And yet there never seems to be any penalties for a member when that memo/paperwork has been found in their desk after a month. Nor is their any real recourse for the person that submitted it besides a "sorry we will do better next time". Especially if documents are time sensitive, ie meeting selection deadline. I've chased so many memos and applications over the years and that should never happen.

End tangent.


Anyways, I do like the idea of opening SOF up to civy applicants for all the reasons stated above. Battalion life isnt always what people want and nor do I think it needs to be a pre-rec for SOF as it is a completely different skill set and mind set. 4 years at a battalion may deter someone who may be well suited for SOF yet would have been an ideal candidate otherwise. It really just gives them access to more of a talent pool if you will, and its not like they would change the standards for selection so no risk really in getting a civy potato into the SOF world. IMHO anyway.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 19:23:47 by sidemount »
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. - Colin Powell

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: Brihard
These units are an organizational priority, and while they do take a steady skim of the best people, that's fine- they're supposed to. Attrition to transfers is an organizational norm that units should be capable of dealing with.

Pretty much exactly what Lt-General Michael Rouleau said to us.
It doesn't make sense to keep soldiers that want to leave.
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Offline ballz

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This conversation keeps bringing me back towards my original thoughts when I read this, but I didn't post them because I didn't want my negative perspective to poison the thread. However, since it's already heading that way without my help...

I read this and thought to myself how rich it is that the CAF leadership is yet again talking about all these big ideas when they can't even figure out how to implement the simplest stuff within our own organization. This is just another example of CAF leadership talking a big game, trying to fake it with rhetoric until they make it, without any probability of action or result to cash the cheque they are writing.

I read this drivel about how the organization will benefit from having people with different backgrounds, and while there is no doubt we are too inbred, this is an organization that would rather have someone voluntary release than utilize their "different background" in a different trade all because both trades are red, but one is redder than the other one. This is an organization that will decide whether someone can or can't get their education program funded based on whether it can be demonstrated that the program correlates to their trade (i.e... You are in the "y" trade and therefore the CAF asserts there is no value in you studying the program required for "x" trade so it won't be paid for through an ILP...). Career planning means that if you are seen to have potential, they will ensure you only do a very narrow span of jobs all of which will make you a one-dimensional thinker with absolutely zero perspective on anything outside of your own continental staff number.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 20:37:30 by ballz »
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Offline Hamish Seggie

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Pretty much exactly what Lt-General Michael Rouleau said to us.
It doesn't make sense to keep soldiers that want to leave.

Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.

Agree fully, Mr. Seggie!  COs of members who have attempted to apply to CANSOF yet whose efforts have been stymied by the unit, should be held to account.  Disservice is one thing, failing to support CoC direction and policy is another...and entirely unacceptable.

:2c:

Regards
G2G

Offline Simian Turner

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I know MR went into the OPS, but thought he started on patrol duties. A small number of members went into the OPS around that time. At least one is still serving as a sergeant.

I used to see my long-time acquaintance, MR, doing street traffic and arena patrol at the Corel Centre while I was an usher for events in 2000-2001, hardly a SWAT assignment.
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Offline mariomike

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I used to see my long-time acquaintance, MR, doing street traffic and arena patrol at the Corel Centre while I was an usher for events in 2000-2001, hardly a SWAT assignment.

Maybe it happens, but I have never heard of Direct Entry into Special Operations in Emergency Services.

Out of curiosity, I checked LAPD SWAT. Probably the most famous Tactical team in North America.

According to their website, you need to attain the rank of PO lll ( two chevrons ) to apply for SWAT. It takes at least three years as an LAPD Officer before eligibility for promotion to PO lll.

Not to say Direct Entry into CAF Special Operations is a good, or bad, idea.







« Last Edit: March 09, 2019, 21:17:59 by mariomike »

Offline sidemount

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Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.
Absolutely!
Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. - Colin Powell

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Agree fully, Mr. Seggie!  COs of members who have attempted to apply to CANSOF yet whose efforts have been stymied by the unit, should be held to account.  Disservice is one thing, failing to support CoC direction and policy is another...and entirely unacceptable.

:2c:

Regards
G2G

And I do mean that heads should roll - figuratively- for the encouragement of the others. I know there’s a French saying that sums it up quite nearly.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Maybe it happens, but I have never heard of Direct Entry into Special Operations in Emergency Services.

Out of curiosity, I checked LAPD SWAT. Probably the most famous Tactical team in North America.

According to their website, you need to attain the rank of PO lll ( two chevrons ) to apply for SWAT. It takes at least three years as an LAPD Officer before eligibility for promotion to PO lll.

Not to say Direct Entry into CAF Special Operations is a good, or bad, idea.

The cops wouldn't want the pay cut and the concurrently precipitous decline in their standard of living.
"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 Jarnhamar

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What exactly are Emergency Services Special Operations?
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Offline Remius

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They could create some sort of special forces operator entry program.  But you would need to staff it.  Back when I was a recruiter at a CFRC every second guy coming in wanted to be SF.  They just need to sift through the riff raff.

A unit like CSOR might be able to. The CJIRU or whatever they call themselves lately likely could also recruit off the street. 

They would likely need to modify their baseline training to include people off the street unless they send them on basic first.  Do sélection, then basic then SF training.

I know a good chunk of our Special Forces operators come from the combat arms but given that application is open to anyone in the CAF (clerks, cooks, stokers etc) then why not open it to the masses.  Just make sure you have the recruiting and training in structure to support it.  Right now we likely don’t.
Optio

Offline Ostrozac

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Units that “forget” to forward applications and generally place obstacles in front of soldiers who want to progress - or at least attempt - are doing a disservice to their troops and the nation. Such narrow minded thinking has to be trashed and - if it means a few heads roll - so be it.

You'll need more than a few heads rolling, you'll need more of a Stalinist purge, given the poor attention paid to administration of personnel throughout the CAF. I've seen some strangely incompetent stuff over the years that can't be explained simply by units hoarding soldiers, from lost promotion messages, to personnel being courseloaded through CFTPO but neglecting to inform the member in question, to a Career Manager issuing a backdated posting message (so the member was AWOL the instant it was printed, then had to request a 30 day extension of report date that was really a 20 day extension). All of this not to mention the hatchet job that has been done on some trades in the name of 'modernization' of career paths. We simply do not have a great organizational culture of personnel management and administration. And that's a shame -- our equipment and infrastructure situation is something we like to blame other departments for (TB and PWGSC) but messing around with our people? That's all on us.

Not that some units aren't hoarding soldiers to keep them away from CANSOF, they certainly are, and I've seen it, it's just that it is sometimes hard to separate deliberate malice from general incompetence.

Offline mariomike

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What exactly are Emergency Services Special Operations?

Special Operations are tasked with the provision of emergency services in unusual circumstances.

I've been retired for ten years. But, some I remember,

Toronto Police
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical
Marine
Mounted
Dogs

Toronto Fire
Marine
HAZMAT
Heavy Rescue and Technical
High Rise
Air / Light

Toronto Paramedic
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical.
Marine
Heavy Urban Search and Rescue ( HUSAR ) Building collapse, confined space, trench, high-angle.
CBRNE ( Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear & Explosive )
Critical Care Unit ( CCTU )
Emergency Response Unit ( ERU )
Emergency Support / Multi-Patient ( ESU / MPU ). Where I spent most of my career.

These teams recruited via internal Job Calls.  There was no Direct Entry.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2019, 13:19:32 by mariomike »

Offline Brihard

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What exactly are Emergency Services Special Operations?
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline CTD

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Special Operations are tasked with the provision of emergency services in unusual circumstances.

I've been retired for ten years. But, some I remember,

Toronto Police
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical
Marine
Mounted
Dogs

Toronto Fire
Marine
HAZMAT
Heavy Rescue and Technical
High Rise
Air / Light

Toronto Paramedic
Emergency Task Force ( ETF ) Tactical.
Marine
Heavy Urban Search and Rescue ( HUSAR ) Building collapse, confined space, trench, high-angle.
CBRNE ( Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear & Explosive )
Critical Care Unit ( CCTU )
Emergency Response Unit ( ERU )
Emergency Support / Multi-Patient ( ESU / MPU ). Where I spent most of my career.

These teams recruited via internal Job Calls.  There was no Direct Entry.

Were these primary tasks or secondary?

Offline Brihard

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Were these primary tasks or secondary?

It’ll vary on the organization and the task. Some stuff like tactical teams / SWAT are generally full time in larger services, part time in others depending on resources and call volume. A lot of the search and rescue / public order type stuff will be side jobs- drop normal duties and go when called. CBRN also varies though in most police services it’s full time. I’m aware of a former Ammo Tech who was hired directly into a full time CBRN unit after requisite basic police training and the field training period all rookies do. I’m aware of a couple similar instances for direct entry into tactical teams immediately after recruit field training. You can probably surmise the CAF background of those individuals, and it’s a sort of special and rare case.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline mariomike

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    • The job.
Were these primary tasks or secondary?

Only task.

After 1980, I always worked a bus or truck.

Being an MSE Op did not get me special consideration for Special Operations. But, it helped prepare me.

Special Ops paid a $1000.00 ( pensionable ) annual premium. Not sure what it is now.



« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 10:01:55 by mariomike »

Offline NaturalCory

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If I’m wrong correct me but I think the USN SEALs recruit off the street as well.

This is correct and the thing is about special forces is you have guys that join for this crap.
Instead of making them wait years to get in, this will allow them try to get in right away...

Friend of mine that did 10 years w/ the seals & is just in the reserves now while he attends university said this is the correct approach because he hated his time until he joined up w/ the seals and he was able to do that right off the street

Offline Dimsum

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Friend of mine that did 10 years w/ the seals & is just in the reserves now while he attends university said this is the correct approach because he hated his time until he joined up w/ the seals and he was able to do that right off the street

Wait, I'm confused.  So your friend hated his (military?) time, but was able to join the SEALS off the street? 
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline GK .Dundas

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So just out of curiosity did your friend ever tell you the colour of the boathouse?
"Norman. You know my policy on arming morons.If you arm one you have arm them all. Otherwise it 's just not sporting!"