Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 904837 times)

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Yard Ape

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The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2004, 19:45:40 »
I'm looking for the history of how some regiments have come to exist in both the regular and reserve force.

I know 4 RCR traces its roots back to a distinct reserve regiment (I believe it was the Oxford Fusiliers).  When & why did it become 4 RCR (was it a Total Force - 10/90 Bn thing?)?

I have the same question of 4 R22eR and 6 R22eR.  How did they come to be, and were they formerly different regiments?

Both these regiments were designated as permanent force at the end of WW II (as they had been before the war), so I don't follow how they came to exist in the reserves.

In an attempt to raise moral & increase the regimental tradition, several reserve force regiments were added to the active force order of battle.  These units continued to exist in both Reg and Reserve until the regular force regiments were later stood down (FGH, Black Watch, QOR).  Was 8 CH on of the regular force regiments created this way?

12 RBC was created in the Reg Force some years after WW II in order to establish a french armoured regiment.  Did it exist in the reserve force prior to that, or was the reserve 12 RBC created later?

Is anything gained or lost from a regiment's identity by it existing in both components at the same time?

Offline Michael O'Leary

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2004, 20:25:37 »
One of the best sites I've found for tracing regimental lineages is Regiments.org: http://regiments.org/?229,21

As a start point for Canadian regiments (current and historical), try these pages as a start point:

Alphabetic list of names -  http://regiments.org/milhist/na-canada/lists/cargxref.htm

Numeric list of names - http://regiments.org/milhist/na-canada/lists/cargxrefn.htm

__________________________________________________

From "The Regiments and Corps of the Canadian Army" (1964):

4 RCR antecedents were The Oxford Rifles and the Canadian Fusiliers (City of London Regiment). These two units were amalgamated on 1 October 1954 and designated at that time "The London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment). It was subsequently redesignated on 25 April 1958 as "3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment (London and Oxford Fusiliers)"  (At the time there were only two Regular battalions, hence the 3rd Battalion designation)

4 R 22e R began as the "Voltigeurs de Beauharnois" in 1869 and the 76th Regiment "Voltigeurs de Chateauguay" from 1872. These regiments eventually became "Le Regiment de Chateauguay" (1921) and on 1 Sep 1954 was amalgamated with the R 22e R to become "Le Regiment de Chateauguay (4th Battalion, Royal 22e Regiment". Subsequently, on 27 April 1958, they became the "4e Battaillon, Royal 22e Regiment (Chateauguay)"

6 R 22e R originated in 1871 as the "St. Hyacinthe Provisional Battalion of Infantry" which was amalgamated with the R 22e R on 2 Feb, 1963, being designated the 6th Battalion.

____________________________________________________________

As for what is gained or lost, that is up to the Regiments themselves. Is it better to be amalgamated than disbanded? Perhaps even amalgamated with a 'despised' local competitor? Keep in mind that many battle honours held by our regiments were gained through perpetuation of CEF units, or later amalgamations. Done with respect, and prperly explained to regimental members, units gain through ensuring a more complete sense of our history is retained and represented by our active regiments, Reserve and Regular.

Yard Ape

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #52 on: June 13, 2004, 16:18:21 »
My personal belief is that we loose through amalgamating reserve & regular regiments.  The history & tradition of the regular regiment will eventually overtake the reserve regiment's (which will be lost).  The LER have been able to maintain their heritage despite a PPCLI affiliation.  However, three regiments have been forever lost (The London and Oxford Fusiliers, Le Regiment de Chateauguay, St. Hyacinthe Provisional Battalion of Infantry).  I know of a long standing tradition of amalgamating reserve with reserve, and I think that the new regiment can grow from the traditions of its parents.  However, rebadging reserves into a regular force regiment will see the traditions of a regiment die.

That heritage is forever gone.

Offline Danjanou

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #53 on: June 13, 2004, 23:56:34 »
I tend to agree with one a point Michael made. it might be better to amalgamate thren watch a regiment be disbanded and die.
let's be honest how many Militia Bn's and Regiments do we have that are Coy and Sqn strength. Realistically wouldn't we be better served by say some 18-20 Militia Infantry Regiments of roughly ar at least close to Bn strength (400-600 pers) and a similar reduction in Armoured, Arty and other units.

If such as thing is to happen, and I think it's a realistic possibility, then better it happen on "our" terms rather that some whim of a politician .

Methinks I've opened the proverbial can of worms here, but then again maybe it's worthy of a debate.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2004, 12:09:32 by Danjanou »
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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #54 on: June 14, 2004, 01:20:17 »
I too worry about losing regimental history - my unit may not be able to trace its lineage back as far as some, (only about 1885) but we still have served in both World Wars, and adopted a postwar Scottish title, because of some cultural origins in the Thunder Bay area.  Being the only combat arms unit in the region,and not being fairly large, would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?  What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?

Offline clasper

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #55 on: June 14, 2004, 02:04:51 »
would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?   What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?

The Brockville Rifles, while maintaining their distinct cap badge and battle honours, are administratively a company of the PWOR in Kingston.   Amalgamation of this nature preserves regimental history without too much of a problem.
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Offline Danjanou

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2004, 14:37:31 »
Clasper that's probably the sort of workable amalgamation that I was getting at. Example in the Brit TA the London Regt is and Infantry Bn and each of it's 4 Rifle Coys is/was a seperate Regiment ( London Scottish, London Irish etc)
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Yard Ape

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2004, 20:11:25 »
I saw an argument once (that I jumped in to support) which questioned the need of sustaining every reserve regiment as a battalion.  Instead, a regiment would exist as a company (or 2, 3 , or 4 if big enough).  Battalion head quarters would be "regiment neutral" much like our current brigade HQs.  This approach could be applied to armoured and infantry regiments, and it would ensure no regiment became "lost."

The Brockville Rifles & PWOR sharing a Bn is a modern example.  An historic example would be 27 CIB, Canada's first brigade group in Germany.  It consisted of 1 Canadian Rifle Battalion, 1 Canadian Highland Battalion, and 1 Canadian Infantry Battalion.  Each company in each battalion was of a different regiment.

This becomes especially intelligent when multiple Coy sized regiments exist in the same city (eg: GGFG & Camerons of Ottawa, RHLI & A&SH, Winnipeg Rifles & Camerons, etc).

I would like to see something like this across Canada, and maybe we could even see companies of the London and Oxford Fusiliers, Le Regiment de Chateauguay, and St. Hyacinthe Infanty.

Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2004, 22:31:28 »
Some Regiments are better off dead.  Look at "The Highlanders" in the UK.  Blech.

The Winnipeg Light Infantry were absorbed in 1955 by the lLittle Black Devils - they were one of only three regiments to wear the oak leaf shoulder title.  None of their distinctions or honours were carried on.

I had an Italian Campaign veteran relate to me with disgust this sad story - he was in the Edmonton Regiment in Italy.  He said they carried the Patricia's through battle after battle (they were in the same brigade) and then he comes to a reunion dinner many years later, and what does he see?  "4 PPCLI" added to the end of his regiment's title!

I thought that 4 RCR and 4 PPCLI stuff was absolutely stupid, and that is just one reason why.
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Offline Art Johnson

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2004, 22:50:59 »
Some years ago there was talk of amalgamating two of Toronto's Regiments the Honarary Colonel of one of the Regiments said the before that happened he would petition to have his Regiment removed from the Roll of Battle. He would rather see his Regiment die in honour than acceed to amalgamation. I back him 100 percent.

Yard Ape

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #60 on: June 16, 2004, 19:24:16 »
Some years ago there was talk of amalgamating two of Toronto's Regiments the Honarary Colonel of one of the Regiments said the before that happened he would petition to have his Regiment removed from the Roll of Battle. He would rather see his Regiment die in honour than acceed to amalgamation.
Would co-existence within one battalion have been a suitable alternative in your eyes?

Offline Coyote43D

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #61 on: July 06, 2004, 21:06:30 »
would we be forced to amalgamate with a larger regiment from say, Winnipeg, becoming another coy in the Cam Highlanders or Winnipeg Rifles?   What would happen to the traditions of our unit then, would they be overridden?

Or would we remain distinct, because we are the only such regiment in Thunder Bay?

The Brockville Rifles, while maintaining their distinct cap badge and battle honours, are administratively a company of the PWOR in Kingston.   Amalgamation of this nature preserves regimental history without too much of a problem.

When did that happen clasper?. The reason I ask is I used to be a member of the Brockville Rifles, and when I left to join the Regs in '97 we were still our own entity and not a company of the PWOR.

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2004, 07:16:04 »
That's what I was told by a member of the PWOR I knew in the mid 90's.  (I left Kingston in early 98).  You seem to be a little closer to the situation, so perhaps he was full of crap.  Sorry to mislead anyone.

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Offline Rfn

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #63 on: July 12, 2004, 20:33:28 »
"The Winnipeg Light Infantry were absorbed in 1955 by the lLittle Black Devils - they were one of only three regiments to wear the oak leaf shoulder title.  None of their distinctions or honours were carried on."

Mike Dorosh is right: Nothing was carried on. Very hard to find any info about the WLI.

Fitzpatrick: I dont think you have anything to worry about; when disbanding or amalgamating is discussed, the Regiments "community footprint" is considered...and in TBay the LSSR is the only (infantry) game  going.

...Unless maybe you guys want to change to "B Coy, R Wpg Rif"... :)

Danjanou: not sure I agree with grouping several regiments under a single Bn HQ. I've seen pictures of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, the Winnipeg Light Infantry and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, from a time when Winnipeg was much smaller, and all of these regiments were at Bn strength. I think the current Militia strength crisis is just an unfortunate phase in it's long history.


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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #64 on: July 13, 2004, 13:51:22 »
Amalgamation of Regiments is never easy to discuss, but it would solve alot of problems when it comes to effective strength. I think that sometimes we forget that a Reserve Unit is meant to complement the Regular Force, not just uphold the history and traditions of that unit. That's how I feel anyway.

Having said that, do not touch the NSH!!! That's my pride standing out, as it does for any former member when we talk of scary subjects such as this.

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Offline Danjanou

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #65 on: July 13, 2004, 14:37:29 »
Rfn;
While I would love to see all present Militia units parading at something close to full strength (that would give us what 12-15 Brigades) I seriously don't think we are ever going to see those days again.

To do so would entail a major change in our society. First of all the cost would be prohibitive and the political will just ain't there. More than that though is, where are we going to get those warm bodies to fill the newly purchased CadPat?

Today's Nintendo generation of slackers and squeegee kids would have to be convinced to give up a couple of hours a week of their precious time and shift their cheesy and Dorito munching fat posteriors off of the couch in Mom and Dad's basement and away from their PS2 and out into the real world for a trip to the local armouries. That ain't gonna happen unless you shift them with C4 , which come to think of it isn't a bad idea.

It would take a full generation to of re-education to get that kind of commitment to public service and Country reinstated in the Canadian psyche, at the minimum. Bearing in mind even if we tried to do so the resentment from the educators and other social engineering leftist PC elites who were in charge of it would not agree with it and result in delays if not outright sabatoge. Remember the Teacher revolts against Harris for trying to introduce such concepts as community service into the secondary school curriculum.

What I was suggesting while not totally palatable to me (I was in the â Å“other regimentâ ? Art is talking about in his post re amalgamation and I know I was vocally opposed to it too), it is the lesser of two evils.

Our present system is unworkable and top heavy in costly bureaucrats ( Just how many Militia Lt Col's does it take to "oversee" a weekend training exercise of two rifle platoons anyway?). Either we fix it or someone else will for us and given the track record of our benevolent political masters in regards to tinkering with the military, I don't want to even think about what they would do.
   
Scott1nsh, unless the numbers are way down with the Highlanders since I worked with them in the 1980's then I doubt there would be any amalgamation there. Perhaps a combination of the 2 Bns into one.
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Offline Rfn

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #66 on: July 13, 2004, 15:29:02 »
Danjanou: Enjoyed your anti-youth rant ! But I think your selling the young-uns short. The high school Co-op program is very popular here, with lots of students trying to join, but CFRC is too slow, and of course there is the funding problem and lack of political will overall like you mentioned. But Many want to be free of the Nintendo culture.

Realistically though, the Rifles and Camerons usually do go on ex's together, and sometimes it isnt even  a disaster.
And we agree this is not something we want the politicians to fix.

Scott1nsh: Isnt the NSH itself the product of an amalgamation? The Cape Breton Highlanders and some other Reg?

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #67 on: July 13, 2004, 17:00:13 »
Danjanou, you are right, the NSH is probably safe except maybe they will combine 1 and 2 Bn under one.

RFN, like alot of Regiments in Canada the NSH today IS a product of amalgamation. The North Nova Scotia Highlanders (Today 1st Battalion) was formed from: The Colchester and Hants Regiment, The Cumberland Highlanders and C Coy, 6th Machine Gun Battalion, they were then (1936) known as the North Nova Scotia Highlanders (MG) In 1941 they became known as the North Nova Scotia Highlanders, in 1954 they amalgamated with the Pictou Highlanders and and the 189 LAA  Battery, RCA to form the 1st Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders.

As for the Capers (2nd Battalion, NSH) They were born as the Victoria Highland Provision of Infantry (Imagine the unit abbrev on the epaulets!!) in 1879, in 1880 they became the Victoria Provisional Battalion of Infantry (Argyle Highlanders), in 1890 they became the 94th Victoria Battalion of Infantry (Argyle Highlanders), 1900, 94th Victoria Regiment "Argyll Highlanders", 1914, 94th Victoria Regiment (Argyll Highlanders), 1920, The Cape Breton Highlanders, 1954 United with The North Nova Scotia Highlanders and The Pictou Highlanders to form 2nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders.

Most of this info can be found at the link left by a previous post (Sorry member I do not remember who put it up)
http://www.regiments.org
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Yard Ape

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2004, 12:43:15 »
Danjanou: not sure I agree with grouping several regiments under a single Bn HQ. I've seen pictures of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, the Winnipeg Light Infantry and the Winnipeg Grenadiers, from a time when Winnipeg was much smaller, and all of these regiments were at Bn strength. I think the current Militia strength crisis is just an unfortunate phase in it's long history.
It would be more effecient to group multiple Coy sized regiments under one battalion, and it would preserve regimental identities.  Would people prefer to see regiments disband, or amalgamations (which may or may not preserve the identity of any of the Regiments involved?)

If the official army forms were still up, I would link to the thread where someone proposed this.  I think arguments for both sides were brilliant (usaually).

Offline MJP

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #69 on: July 14, 2004, 13:41:57 »
Quote
It would be more efficient to group multiple Coy sized regiments under one battalion, and it would preserve regimental identities.  Would people prefer to see regiments disband, or amalgamations (which may or may not preserve the identity of any of the Regiments involved?)

I like this idea, and I think it would work great even for reserve units that are positioned outside of the large urban centers(IE the LSSR).  I have always wonder why reserves was organized in separate battalion organizations, when the man power was usually well below Coy strength for most exercises or parade nights.  The idea of one Bn HQ for several units is ideal, as it would save money in the long term, reduce duplication of effort and allow for more money to be spend on the troops(IMHO).   I know there would be some serious grumblings at every level for this type of model, but clearly the way reserves is organized now is cumbersome at best. 

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2004, 15:02:28 »
Quote
The idea of one Bn HQ for several units is ideal, as it would save money in the long term, reduce duplication of effort and allow for more money to be spend on the troops(IMHO).
Pardon my stupidity, but how would it save money in the long run? You would sitll need the armouries (the biggest cost) but you might save some minimal dollars by dropping off 37.5 days worth of LCol and CWO; however, the cost of running a standard Reserve unit is about the same cost of five Regular Force MCpls!

How much savings do you really imagine would be gained?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2004, 15:10:47 by CSS Type »

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2004, 15:29:58 »
While it may be a cost-saving alternative, I don't see it being a logistically sound idea. While our unit's BOR operates quite well, and things get processed in a reasonable amount of time, I know it's not the same for all units. Particularly in Winnipeg where you have multiple units parading out of the same armoury and sharing the same orderly room. I've heard horror stories from some of the Camerons and Winnipeg Rifles I know about the time it takes for anything to get through. They're administrating units of differnt trades, under different commands (WRT the local Med Coy), and with completely different priorities. Is it any wonder things get mixed up?

Besides, don't you think it's about time Ottawa STOPPED looking for cost cutting ventures anywhere outside of NDHQ? Don't we have more generals now than we did at the peak of WWII? Don't you think there's FAR more fat to be trimmed in that one little building than in the CF in its entirety?
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Offline MJP

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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2004, 16:53:21 »
Quote
might save some minimal dollars by dropping off 37.5 days worth of LCol and CWO

I'm not talking about one Col/CWO, I'm talking the entire BN organization(CO,DCO etc etc) of 2-4 regiments, fall under on Bn organization.  Will it work?  Who knows, but several units have success running two or more Coys from different locations within a province, so it's an idea that has some merit.



Obviously capital costs like armouries, and equipment would remain constant and would be a major part of any budget. 

Combat Medic brings up a good point RE: Adminstration:

Having come from Winnipeg I all to well know the frustration of having to deal with a central support orderly room.  When I was there I hated their "I work a Tuesday night so I get Friday off attitude".  My wife work at an ASC for 41 brigade and the same attitude prevailed there too.  It's a sad day when the support staff forget that they are there for SUPPORT.

So I think every Reserve Coy would keep, a sort of Coy office(old BOR) and the first POC for administrative needs of the members would go through their coy clerk.  It can even be expanded to include a administrative officer(AO) that would assist the 2IC of the Coy with his end of the Paperwork.  But having a BOR/ASC/central OR that deals with the big administrative issues and assists the Coy clerks would be ideal. 

CQMS could be reworked for units that parade at the same location but because of the distance some units are apart from each other, I think most field stores should be held at unit/coy level.

Recruiting would fall under the BN HQ structure with a representative from each Coy within the cell.  Of course this probably won't effect far-flung units as they usually deal with recruiting as they do now.  This has the potential to become a thorny issue.

Training- Having a larger base of troops under one umbrella allows for leaders to actually lead full sized Pl/Coy operations.  I think most reservists can recall being on many a EX with 3 sections of 4-6 guys and a thinned out PL HQ.  It doesn't make for a fun EX, and doesn't allow leaders to exercise to themselves completely.  Having the flexibility to combine forces at certain junctures allows for more room for improvement at all levels.

There is much more here than just saving money, I think for the most part it allows for the elimination of "duplication of effort" and allows training to be more collective.  I think having 150+ soldiers working together, on exercise is allot better than having 3 or 4 groups of soldiers working independently.  It allows the leadership to truly lead full sized Pl/and Coy Operations and lessons learned by one group isn't contained within that small group but rather through the AAR process becomes corporate knowledge.

I'll admit this is a very crude working of how it would all gel together, LOTS of things would have to be ironed out before anything of this nature took place. 
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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #73 on: July 15, 2004, 13:37:42 »
The salient point about battalion headquarters is that the Militia is supposed to provide a framework in time of war on which a fully operational field army can be raised.  While the need for battalion headquarters personnel is not apparent now, if we were ever to moblize more than a single division, the need for a framework of battalion and brigade staffs would be made more obvious.  I don't see why the conversation would go beyond that very basic point.
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Re: The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
« Reply #74 on: July 15, 2004, 18:09:32 »
Quote
The salient point about battalion headquarters is that the Militia is supposed to provide a framework in time of war on which a fully operational field army can be raised.  While the need for battalion headquarters personnel is not apparent now, if we were ever to moblize more than a single division, the need for a framework of battalion and brigade staffs would be made more obvious.  I don't see why the conversation would go beyond that very basic point.

If military planners think this is how we need to prepare for future conflicts, then we're already ****ed.  That kind of thinking is 50 years out of date.
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