Author Topic: Special forces looks at recruiting off the street amid shifting demands  (Read 7437 times)

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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."


Offline Target Up

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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.
                                         
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Offline reverse_eng

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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 reverse_eng

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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 reverse_eng

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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 reverse_eng

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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.
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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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