Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1128738 times)

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Online Chris Pook

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Doesn't all of this boil down to the need for the Reserves to have a separate, dedicated budget?  A budget of something like 1 BCAD (+/- 25%) from what I can gather from published reports.  A budget that is mandated and not, apparently, discretionary.
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Offline Remius

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Doesn't all of this boil down to the need for the Reserves to have a separate, dedicated budget?  A budget of something like 1 BCAD (+/- 25%) from what I can gather from published reports.  A budget that is mandated and not, apparently, discretionary.

You are of course including the RCN and RCAF reserves into that budget, yes ?
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Offline RCPalmer

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You are of course including the RCN and RCAF reserves into that budget, yes ?

I threw that number out in this thread some time ago based on the following:
http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/about-reports-pubs-report-plan-priorities/2014-reserve-force.page

Unfortunately, FY14/15 was the only year the cost capture was done in this way that I have seen, but I think it reasonable to carry it forward or backward from an order of magnitude standpoint. So, yes it is intended to capture the full cost of the PRes, not just the Army Reserve.  It does not however, capture the costs associated with COATS, Rangers, or the Supplementary Reserve. 

Offline Journeyman

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Speaking as an outsider....

I read quite often, here and elsewhere, about basic Infantry skills (like an annual PWT3 shoot) being difficult to keep current in many Reserve units.

Beyond possibly providing for some really cool t-shirts and badges, is giving them more technical tasks likely going to work?

:dunno:

Offline MilEME09

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On regards to pwt 3, all units should be doing it since its the min to dag green. Many dont due to ammo shortages, or using ranges that arent large enough (kip range for example) or simple the CoC doesnt want to do it because they think as a PRes unit we dont need it.

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Online Chris Pook

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You are of course including the RCN and RCAF reserves into that budget, yes ?

I started to compose a lengthy response but I ended up getting wrapped up in where my own conclusions were leading me.

The short bit I could agree with myself on was that the RCN and the RCAF and their needs, in particular their needs for Reserves, is different than the needs of the Army.  The difference boils down to them manning their ships and being operational in peace and war.  The only difference between peace and war for them is whether or not they are allowed to shoot back.  In war time they will lose ships and with them crews.  In the absence of replacement ships there is no need for replacement crews.

The Army is different.

The Army is seen as a high risk venture, politically.  When the Army is deployed voters' sons and daughters start dying at a fast rate. 

Consequently the Government chooses to limit the deployments of soldiers to a greater extent than it does sailors and aviators.

But the Government still has need for an Army, on occasion.  And it is that occasional requirement that makes the Army different to the RCN and the RCAF with their standing requirement.

I think the difference is reflected in the way the both the RCAF and the RCN have, apparently, effectively integrated their Reservists, at least more effectively than the Army has.

That occasional difference is also the reason I see for accepting the need for separating the Army Reserves from the Regular Army.

The Regular Army shares more in common with the RCN and the RCAF than it does the Reserves.  This is driven by two observables I believe.  The first is that much of the Regular Army owes a lot to the Ordnance Corps as historically understood.  They are engineers who man their guns, radios and survey gear.   In that they are like the Navy in the Air Force.  Given the expense of their gear it is not likely to be rapidly replaced when war breaks out.  On the other hand they are useful diplomatically to loan to other Armies of other Governments that need their services but can't afford them.  The second observable is that the Government maintains a small cadre of voters's sons and daughters of which they are willing to invest some portion to do the Government's bidding.  The size of the "investment" varies with the vagaries of the Government.  Those forces are weapons launched by the Navy and the Air Force.  They are the Special Forces and the Regular Brigades.  They are discretionary.

The Reserve Force is a crisis response capability.  It is the body necessary when the Government screws up so badly that it has let things get out of hand and it can't handle the situation with the personnel and budget available and it is forced to do the other thing --- whatever that is.

The Reserve Force needs to be a disciplined body willing to work when the situation demands.  What the situation is and what is demanded is probably not apparent until the situation presents itself.

Some portion of the Reserve Force can be used to Augment the Regular Force on an ongoing basis but that is not its primary utility.  Its primary utility is as a disciplined and fit body on whom the Government can rely with skills that are generally useful:

Working in small teams,  working in formations, living austerely, travelling in rough terrain, navigating, observing, communicating.  First Aid is a useful skill of general utility.  Managing explosives also has some general utility.  Shooting straight is a useful skill with some particular applications.

All of those skills make the Reservist a good candidate for a soldier.  But soldiering is more than just that, especially Regular soldiering.

On the other hand, a Reserve Force comprised of people with those skills would have general utility for the Government.

......Rambling again, ain't I?  Sorry for that.

Heh.  " I started to compose a lengthy reply."  Instead I opted for this lengthy reply.  Oh well.

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Offline Journeyman

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On regards to pwt 3, all units should be doing it since its the min to dag green. Many dont due to ammo shortages, or using ranges that arent large enough (kip range for example) or simple the CoC doesnt want to do it because they think as a PRes unit we dont need it.
I assure you I'm not arguing why something is or isn't happening; I'm merely feeling sceptical that adding complex tasks to an already apparently  dysfunctional system, without fixing those inherent problems, will somehow produce successes.

I also assure you that I will be most pleasantly surprised and congratulatory if it all comes together.

Offline PuckChaser

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I thought creating all these Div HQs was supposed to allow staff officers to actually create plans for RST so members know what courses are available in February. I know, I know, rhetorical question. Why would we expect Div/Bde G7 shops to do their jobs?

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Creating the Divisions was a cosmetic renaming; it was the granting of field formation identities to institutional organizations with true lineages that had not been to the field since confederation.  It was not supposed to do anything tangible.

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field formation identities to institutional organizations with true lineages that had not been to the field since confederation

Possibly I misunderstand but the Divisions were active in the First and Second World War. I.E.

The 8th Battalion (90th Winnipeg Rifles), CEF, was an infantry battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. The Battalion was authorized on 10 August 1914 and embarked for Great Britain on 1 October 1914. It disembarked in France on 13 February 1915, where it fought as part of the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division.

In Second World War The Royal Winnipeg Rifles landed in England in September 1940. As part of the 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division.
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Offline MCG

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The divisions were active in both world wars.  They were stood down.  Then, a few years ago, the identity of those divisions were given to various area HQs that that can trace their true lineage back to domestic, institutional formations of the world wars. The renaming/lineage-transfer had nothing to do with any organizational improvement.

Offline Jarnhamar

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On regards to pwt 3, all units should be doing it since its the min to dag green.

I heard the first requirement of a soldier deploying is to be GBA+ qualified, not passed their fitness test or PWT. 
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Offline MilEME09

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The divisions were active in both world wars.  They were stood down.  Then, a few years ago, the identity of those divisions were given to various area HQs that that can trace their true lineage back to domestic, institutional formations of the world wars. The renaming/lineage-transfer had nothing to do with any organizational improvement.

I'd aruge, we should go down to one Divisional HQ, which all CMBG's report to, eliminate the CBG HQ's and fold their command directly into the CMBG's. There I just eliminated 12 HQ's personal can now be shifted forward, and probably saved money in time saved in the streaming lining of the CoC.
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Offline Rifleman62

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The staff at the Div HQ and CMBG HQ will just get larger. What do the CMBG's HQ staff know about the PRes pers/pay system for example.
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Offline MilEME09

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The staff at the Div HQ and CMBG HQ will just get larger. What do the CMBG's HQ staff know about the PRes pers/pay system for example.

But would the increase at the 1 Div, and the CMBG's be large enough to off set the savings? I'm no expert but i'd like to think you could do the job better, and less HQ's mean decision making could hopefully be done more quickly.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Here's a revolutionary new idea.

You know how we get 'promised' 37 man days per year for training? Make sure we get it, consistently, and the units get what they need to deliver consistently.

It's the continual chopping and changing that's killing us, essentially the lack of good management practices at the highest levels of budgeting, not the lack of commandoninjaunderwaternightknifefighting roles....
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Aaaaaand, re-announcing how the plan's good for the Reserves:
Quote
Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new defence policy, recognizes that the long-term success of Canada’s military depends on the women and men who make up the Canadian Armed Forces. Our people, across all ranks, and from all walks of life, are our most important asset, and they are at the core of the new policy.

Following the launch of Strong, Secure, Engaged, Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, today spoke at The British Columbia Dragoons’ Armoury in Kelowna, British Columbia, to highlight the new vision and investments in Canada’s Reserve Force as a result of the new policy.

Strong, Secure, Engaged will:

    Increase the size of the Reserve Force by 1,500 to 30,000, to ensure it can meet its full operational potential;
    Align Primary Reserve compensation and benefits with Regular Force members where duties are similar;
    Assign the Reserve Force new roles that provide full-time capability to the Canadian Armed Forces through part-time service, such as light urban search and rescue, intelligence operators, and cyber operators;
    Employ the Reserve Force to deliver select deployed missions in a primary role such as Canadian Armed Forces capacity building;
    Ensure Reservists are appropriately trained, prepared and equipped in sufficient numbers to be ready to contribute to operations at home and abroad;
    Offer full-time summer employment to Reservists in their first four years with the Reserves commencing in 2018; and
    Attract and retain top quality candidates, while reducing the length of the recruitment process for Reservists to a matter of weeks.

Canada’s Reserve Force forms an integral part of the Canadian Armed Forces working alongside the Regular Force on both national and international operations, making substantial contributions to the safety and security of Canada and its citizens.

Canada can only meet its defence needs at home and abroad with the dedicated, motivated, and highly skilled people who work tirelessly to defend Canada and promote Canadian values and interests internationally. Canada’s Reserve Force is critical to our ability to succeed. These investments and this new vision for the Reserves will enable Canada to meet its military commitments and ensure that Canada is strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.

Quotes

    “The women and men of our Reserve Force bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that enrich and strengthen our military. As security challenges evolve, it is our duty to support our Reservists and ensure they have the skills, training, and capabilities they need to continue to excel. I look forward to building a stronger Reserve Force and a more capable and agile military that I know will serve Canada with pride.”

    Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

    “The Government of Canada takes the security and safety of our nation and our people seriously. The investments in Strong, Secure, Engaged will strengthen Canada’s Reserve Force, and in turn, ensure the Canadian Armed Forces continue to succeed both at home and abroad, so that we can all enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous world.”

    Member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country, Stephen Fuhr

Quick Facts

    Defence is taking action to transform the Reserves by:
        Putting in place measures to encourage members who are leaving the Regular Force to join the Reserves, by revising annuitant employment regulations so that members can more easily transfer between the Regular and Reserve Force;
        Creating an agile service model that supports the transition between full and part-time service and provides the flexibility to cater to different Reserve career paths;
        Providing federal tax relief on the military salaries of all Canadian Armed Forces personnel, including Reservists, up to the salary level of Lieutenant-Colonel, deployed on named international operations as designated by the Chief of the Defence Staff; and
        Working with provinces and territories to harmonize job protection for Reservists at the federal level.

    The launch of Strong, Secure, Engaged concludes the most comprehensive review process in Canadian defence and security history – a year-long review process that included open and transparent consultations with Canadians, parliamentarians, defence experts, allies, and partners ...
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Offline MCG

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Offer full-time summer employment to Reservists in their first four years with the Reserves commencing in 2018
This one will be difficult to crack.  I assume this is a commitment of both two months for high school students and four months for university and college students, and anything in between for anybody else who can get such significant blocks of time.

One of the challenges with PRes training is often uncertainty that required staff positions will be filled, or that the minimum student load will arrive.  It might work to transfer some instructional responsibilities from the PRes to the Reg F.  This would require some chunk of the PY growth be placed into the schools that deliver DP1 and DP2 training to ensure these schools have the capacity to deliver their DP1 & DP2 Reg F instructional program primarily from September through to the end of April.  From May through to end July (or early August), the Reg F school staffs with PRes augmentation would deliver the PRes instructional program.

In total, the "guaranteed employment training program" (GETP) could consist of 12 x month long course mods (three months of courses every summer for four years) and 4 x reserve summer concentrations (one per year), though some occupations may forsake the first summer concentration to get an extra month of courses.  Assuming that units are encouraged to deliver one of the month long mods to high school students over the course of the academic year, those who start the program in highschool will sill have a few course mods remaining at the end of four years (assuming they transition to university or college).  Well, lucky them: they will get assured employment stretching into a fifth summer.  The program would very by occupation but in general the first 4-6 mods would get reservists from civilian to qualified in occupation (DP1), the next 3-5 mods would cover PCFs and/or MOS specific DP2, and the final 3 mods would be PLQ.

Alternatives to "GETP" would include the ceremonial guard program, and sending officers on the Reg F phase training (and funding attendance on phase four/DP1.2 which generally has not been attended by reservists).

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Offline Thucydides

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After reading through this thread (I suddenly had lots of extra time on my hands....) it seems the ultimate issue has still not been addressed: what is the purpose of the Reserve?

We still operate under a paradigm of raising full units to march off to battle, much like the CEF in 1914 (or for that matter, American Governors raising regiments for the American Civil War), without really stopping to consider if this is viable (if you don't have the guns, tanks and other kit to fall in on, it is not), or even in accord with modern military doctrines. Opponents like Russia or China use doctrines like Hybrid Warfare or Unlimited Warfare to attack things like civilian and political will and morale, or strike at things which might not even be recognized as military targets initially (imagine destructive computerized trading that crashes the valuation of Canadian companies on the TSE). Even in the kinetic realm, "they" attack areas where we are not strong, using technologies like AA/AD to prevent us from reaching the AO and deploying in the first place, or in the case of insurgencies, using ambushes, IEDs and provoking firefights to create civilian casualties to weaken the will to fight. Sending the Royal Winnipeg Rifles or the First Hussars, even fully equipped with LAVs and Leopards and Coyotes isn't likely to change the balance that much.

The current evolution of Western War seems dependent on highly detailed target information, and applying precision strikes against identified targets. Reserve units as currently organized simply don't fit into this model of warfare, and can only make minimal contributions.

Targeting, emplacing sensors and manning units optimized to go deep behind enemy lines to locate and mark targets really is more of an SoF skill set, but reserve units *could* be optimized for such tasks as data processing and interpretation, creating and maintaining high density communications networks to support these sensor to shooter "kill webs", manning artillery units equipped with PGMs to strike identified targets and supplying manpower for the rear area security tasks to allow many of these activities to take place.

Given the small pools of deployable manpower, there would have to be a change in the way Reserve units are equipped as well. A reserve artillery unit, for example, would have to be equipped with something like the FH-77 "Archer", which only needs a three man crew to operate. The highly automated and mechanized machine does most of the work (it is fed from a magazine, for example, and even sipping out magazines is done with a small crew in the logistics truck). True, there is a cost in maintaining these devices, but this is more a garrison issue, and where there is more available manpower anyway (the non deployable people help in the upkeep of the machinery). A light infantry unit for rear area security tasks can get away with light infantry weapons and motorized transport of some sort.

This is obviously a broad handwave, but unless and until someone finally makes a clear case as to what the Reserve actually is supposed to do, then it is as good a guess as any other.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 17:26:15 by Thucydides »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Online Chris Pook

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"{Opponents like Russia or China use doctrines like Hybrid Warfare or Unlimited Warfare to attack things like civilian and political will and morale, or strike at things which might not even be recognized as military targets initially (imagine destructive computerized trading that crashes the valuation of Canadian companies on the TSE)"

I have taken to believing that this form of warfare is a lot more ancient than we currently think.

One way of looking at history is through the prism of religion.  We have been brought to believe that belief creates wars.  That religion creates wars. But when you look at belief as just the tool employed to rally support and consider the real driver then, as now, as being trade and commercial interest, that wars were initiated for control of rivers - as both highways and barriers; for control of mountain passes - for the same reason; for the ability to raise taxes, or to eliminate taxes.

Generally speaking I can't think of many wars that were fought on the basis of taxation - at least in terms of slogans. On the other hand I can think of a number of tax riots and many people declared outlaws, brigands, smugglers and pirates because they refused to pay the mail.

It might have been difficult to rally the troops the Hapsburg flag on the basis of raising taxes on trade along the Danube.  But if you could throw in a charge of heretic, unbeliever, infidel then your recruit pool swells.

If you relate wars of heresy to trade advantage I believe you find some very strong correlation.

Which leads me to believe that religion not only offered individual solace and assisted in controlling domestic populations but it also served to assault the enemy from above and below by promoting supranationality and subsidiarity - both of which tend to deligitimate the targeted local authority.

The priest, the imam and the missionary as well as the party organizer, when working outside of their home community, are not friends of authority.  They are propagandists.

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Offline Underway

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This one will be difficult to crack.  I assume this is a commitment of both two months for high school students and four months for university and college students, and anything in between for anybody else who can get such significant blocks of time.

One of the challenges with PRes training is often uncertainty that required staff positions will be filled, or that the minimum student load will arrive.  It might work to transfer some instructional responsibilities from the PRes to the Reg F.  This would require some chunk of the PY growth be placed into the schools that deliver DP1 and DP2 training to ensure these schools have the capacity to deliver their DP1 & DP2 Reg F instructional program primarily from September through to the end of April.  From May through to end July (or early August), the Reg F school staffs with PRes augmentation would deliver the PRes instructional program.

In total, the "guaranteed employment training program" (GETP) could consist of 12 x month long course mods (three months of courses every summer for four years) and 4 x reserve summer concentrations (one per year), though some occupations may forsake the first summer concentration to get an extra month of courses.  Assuming that units are encouraged to deliver one of the month long mods to high school students over the course of the academic year, those who start the program in highschool will sill have a few course mods remaining at the end of four years (assuming they transition to university or college).  Well, lucky them: they will get assured employment stretching into a fifth summer.  The program would very by occupation but in general the first 4-6 mods would get reservists from civilian to qualified in occupation (DP1), the next 3-5 mods would cover PCFs and/or MOS specific DP2, and the final 3 mods would be PLQ.

Alternatives to "GETP" would include the ceremonial guard program, and sending officers on the Reg F phase training (and funding attendance on phase four/DP1.2 which generally has not been attended by reservists).

Reference your regular force staff recommendation.  Aside from the basic training blocs, PRes Navy go to the various naval schools.  Often these courses are staffed with mostly regular force members, augmented by PRes Class B instructors.  MARS Officers have been trained like this for years at Venture where the staff are a mix, and often you get a few summer augments for help aboard the ORCA's when they sail.  Most of the other trades are similar.  It seems to work quite well for the most part though there is always a scramble to find those last few spots.  Staffing is short all around.

It's the basic training instructor slots that are usually the most difficult to fill.  Currently the Navy is using the unit recruiters to fill those spots.  There are two unit recruiters and one goes away every summer to teach either BMQ or BMOQ.  It's part of their contract. 

So  basically I agree with those who have stated the RegF needs to have some of their own investment into this training.  If only to provide the base structure, or framework into which you can add a few PRes instructors to augment for the numbers.  If they were really clever then make all the courses equivalent and then you could put Reg and Reservists on any course, as there are always some who don't make it or vary from the normal career progression schedule.  Might make a few less PAT's

Offline Good2Golf

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After reading through this thread (I suddenly had lots of extra time on my hands....) it seems the ultimate issue has still not been addressed: what is the purpose of the Reserve?

Crazytalk, Thuc!  Imagine someone (or group) starting out from first principles and defining exactly that "What should the Reserves be, what should it do and how do we want it to do it, and then resource if correctly?"

The Army is still trying to figure this out, between thoughts of somehow holding onto the notion of Mobilization, one of these days...and a model that may be closer to the RCAF's "we've committed the 'Reserve' to operate on a daily basis, since the Air Force conducts most of its ops across the force, not like the Army's MRS of peaks and valleys..."

I predict that nothing will change, and that the Army will fight to have it's status quo Reserve force do monetary battle with the other CAF Reserve elements and not much will change.

Regards
G2G