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Army Reserve Restructuring

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
..
What's happening at the armoury floor level, based on my understanding, is that the Army is paralyzed by COVID to the extent that conscientious COs and unit level Officers and SNCOs are dreaming up training to keep the troops interested and progressing while those many levels above their pay grade are still extracting their craniums to get their heads around what the regular training year should look like.

In the meantime, exercise wise, we're pretty much doing what we've always done: range ex for PWT 3, FTX to practise various field skils and drills, all within the context of some vague higher level plan that may, or may not, result in some kind of culminating exercise. All Mess Dinners and other collective social events are cancelled.
...
'Slightly Adrift' might be an apt description of the whole experience right now.

While I didn't mention it in a recent post, D&B, my thought on reserve restructure involves a completely different training/exercise system from the current one. There is a mandatory collective training scheme which includes 10 x 2 and 1/2 day weekends (one per month except July and August and a three week exercise in August) all of which have centrally mandated individual and collective operational training BTS modules to be completed throughout the year: e.g. PWTs, CBRN refresher, LUSAR, crew served weapons trg, etc and various tasks/exercises commensurate with the unit's type and role. Effectively units will have a four-year cycle to go through which brings them to a competent, deployable status and which will clearly indicate how much additional training the unit requires if it is required to deploy prior to completing the whole cycle. Units are not responsible for any individual advancement training at all but concentrate solely on the collective.

IMHO the Army P Res currently waste precious time and resources (ie pay) by providing only a few mandated requirements and leaving the rest of the training schedule to be ad hoc'd through the year usually with insufficient guidance, supervision and resources. I'm at heart a firm believer that a CO should be given a mission, resources and then be left to train his unit, however, experience has shown that most reserve units simply aren't able to do that both because of external and internal factors. We need more top down rigour. Units and their members should know the entire training plan a year in advance so that both family and employer/school commitments can be properly met.

:pop:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
While I didn't mention it in a recent post, D&B, my thought on reserve restructure involves a completely different training/exercise system from the current one. There is a mandatory collective training scheme which includes 10 x 2 and 1/2 day weekends (one per month except July and August and a three week exercise in August) all of which have centrally mandated individual and collective operational training BTS modules to be completed throughout the year: e.g. PWTs, CBRN refresher, LUSAR, crew served weapons trg, etc and various tasks/exercises commensurate with the unit's type and role. Effectively units will have a four-year cycle to go through which brings them to a competent, deployable status and which will clearly indicate how much additional training the unit requires if it is required to deploy prior to completing the whole cycle. Units are not responsible for any individual advancement training at all but concentrate solely on the collective.

IMHO the Army P Res currently waste precious time and resources (ie pay) by providing only a few mandated requirements and leaving the rest of the training schedule to be ad hoc'd through the year usually with insufficient guidance, supervision and resources. I'm at heart a firm believer that a CO should be given a mission, resources and then be left to train his unit, however, experience has shown that most reserve units simply aren't able to do that both because of external and internal factors. We need more top down rigour. Units and their members should know the entire training plan a year in advance so that both family and employer/school commitments can be properly met.

:pop:

We are all mission oriented. Without a goal to train for we will always ‘wander’ away from the things we need to do on the armoury floor.

The most important thing the Army can give us is a mission, and hold us accountable for being prepared to be tested at least a couple of times per year.

Ideally, that should be preparing for, and participating in, progressively larger and more complex FTX and field firing ranges etc. With or without an obvious connection to Reg F exercises. The last time I can remember that happening is in the 90s.

The only progression we can be certain of these days is my waistline :)
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
We are all mission oriented. Without a goal to train for we will always ‘wander’ away from the things we need to do on the armoury floor.

The most important thing the Army can give us is a mission, and hold us accountable for being prepared to be tested at least a couple of times per year.

Ideally, that should be preparing for, and participating in, progressively larger and more complex FTX and field firing ranges etc. With or without an obvious connection to Reg F exercises. The last time I can remember that happening is in the 90s.

The only progression we can be certain of these days is my waistline :)

Even with all that kayaking and mountaineering?

;D
 

quadrapiper

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FJAG said:
Even with all that kayaking and mountaineering?

;D
If D&B's where I think he is, the variety and excellence of outdoor activities is matched only by the number and output of local breweries and kitchens.
 

daftandbarmy

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quadrapiper said:
If D&B's where I think he is, the variety and excellence of outdoor activities is matched only by the number and output of local breweries and kitchens.

You nailed it buddy.

There’s a real skill in trying to find ‘balance’ around here :)
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
We are all mission oriented. Without a goal to train for we will always ‘wander’ away from the things we need to do on the armoury floor.

The most important thing the Army can give us is a mission, and hold us accountable for being prepared to be tested at least a couple of times per year.

Ideally, that should be preparing for, and participating in, progressively larger and more complex FTX and field firing ranges etc. With or without an obvious connection to Reg F exercises. The last time I can remember that happening is in the 90s.

The only progression we can be certain of these days is my waistline :)

The STARS initiative is attempting to give us purpose, and a mission/ task. I havent seen anything in the way of follow up, or critical mile stones towards said tasks.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
The STARS initiative is attempting to give us purpose, and a mission/ task. I havent seen anything in the way of follow up, or critical mile stones towards said tasks.

I understand that results vary. My unit?

Based on some who have left, I think we've actually gone backwards since we were assigned our Op Task.
 

dapaterson

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"We need op tasks" say units that fail to maintain even basic proficiency in their core mandate.

 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
"We need op tasks" say units that fail to maintain even basic proficiency in their core mandate.

Personally I think unit's need to get a fire lit under their asses, followed by following up if they are not making progress as to why they aren't meeting the stated objective.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
Personally I think unit's need to get a fire lit under their asses, followed by following up if they are not making progress as to why they aren't meeting the stated objective.

Well, if other units are anything like ours, you could burn us like a witch all year and we still wouldn't be any further ahead unless you can post in an Advanced Recce qualified lead and a training team who can run some courses for us. It would take us three or four years, and rare course vacancies, to qualify our own Adv Recce NCOs/Officers. Once upon a time we had one person of this type but, no surprise, they CT'd.

Of secondary importance, of course, is all the fancy gear you need to run a recce pl like, you know, dip :)

And then, of course, are the collective training events (all part of the bigger strategic plan to progressively develop a currently non-existent capability, right?) that we will be preparing for where we will be able to deploy all our awesome new skills and gear, and further develop platoon integrity, confidence and leadership. This doesn't seem to exist either.

Meanwhile, we'll continue to run basic contact drills on the parade square using chairs as 'cover'.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
...
Meanwhile, we'll continue to run basic contact drills on the parade square using chairs as 'cover'.

Dude, you really know how to bring up long repressed memories, don't you?

Immediately after I left the artillery to go to law school and had taken over my Camerons rifle company (harump - platoon) I had them on exercise at Shilo to find them all turning up in all types of strange uniforms and webbing and proceeded to watch them play silly-bugger in the woods. After the exercise wash-up, I directed my CSM (harump - platoon warrant) that the next Tuesday night they'd all be in proper Canadian gear and running through battle drills on the parade square as a little refresher on the Canadian Army. They did - "doing basic contact drills on the parade square using chairs as 'cover':  ;D. One guess as to who wasn't the most popular ex-regular force officer company commander in the armories that night and for a few weeks after.  ;D

That was 39 years ago. It's very depressing to think that with everything that's happened in the interval that we still haven't made things one iota better for the lads.  :'(

:worms:
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
Meanwhile, we'll continue to run basic contact drills on the parade square using chairs as 'cover'.

Ever done convoy ops on a parade square using lumps of people as vehicles? Unfortunately sometimes the basics are lost simply because of all the extra stuff forced on us. Like upcoming hateful conduct training. The more mandatory stuff the force on us, the less real training we can do, they expect more but aren't giving us more time to do it.
 

Brad Sallows

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Does it take more or fewer days of training to adequately prepare a [insert trade here] now, compared to [insert year of decades past here]?

What fraction of time is consumed by things that didn't need to be learned in [insert year of decades past here]?

If "rifleman, 1960" could be done and "rifleman, 2020" cannot (with the same time and money)...
 

daftandbarmy

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Brad Sallows said:
Does it take more or fewer days of training to adequately prepare a [insert trade here] now, compared to [insert year of decades past here]?

What fraction of time is consumed by things that didn't need to be learned in [insert year of decades past here]?

If "rifleman, 1960" could be done and "rifleman, 2020" cannot (with the same time and money)...

IMHO the kids we have today are much smarter, more savvy, and generally in better shape than we were when I was their age so, given 'status quo', I'm betting they'd be much faster learners...
 

McG

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dapaterson said:
"We need op tasks" say units that fail to maintain even basic proficiency in their core mandate.
If the requirement were legitimate, it probably would have been resourced.
If the capability requirement were legitimate, we would probably ask Reg F battalions to generate the soldiers who were both rifleman & specialist.
It suggests we are okay with capability failure by our asking the full-time Reg F to just generate the rifleman and the part-time PRes to generate the rifleman-specialist.
The real reason for mission tasks probably has more to do with "train to excite" and/or appeasing the MND's PRes roots.
 

dapaterson

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MCG said:
If the requirement were legitimate, it probably would have been resourced.
If the capability requirement were legitimate, we would probably ask Reg F battalions to generate the soldiers who were both rifleman & specialist.
It suggests we are okay with capability failure by our asking the full-time Reg F to just generate the rifleman and the part-time PRes to generate the rifleman-specialist.
The real reason for mission tasks probably has more to do with "train to excite" and/or appeasing the MND's PRes roots.

I always read "Train to excite" as a polite way of saying "I have no idea how to motivate troops".
 

MilEME09

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MCG said:
If the requirement were legitimate, it probably would have been resourced.
If the capability requirement were legitimate, we would probably ask Reg F battalions to generate the soldiers who were both rifleman & specialist.
It suggests we are okay with capability failure by our asking the full-time Reg F to just generate the rifleman and the part-time PRes to generate the rifleman-specialist.
The real reason for mission tasks probably has more to do with "train to excite" and/or appeasing the MND's PRes roots.

STARS started around 2013/14, so previous MND.
 

FJAG

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IMHO, the fundamental flaw with StAR is that reservists generally don't have the ability to attend the Reg F exercises during the typical Reg F training year, and the Reg F  has no ability to conduct their exercises in the summer when the reservists are available. It's pretty much preordained that the Reg F battalions and their StAR augmentees will rarely be able to train together as proper teams.

With LUSAR that's not a big deal and maybe even not so much with mortars but pioneers and direct fire support (and at least mortar simulation) should be integrated into every major Reg F exercise.

Stalemate.

:2c:
 

BDTyre

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FJAG said:
With LUSAR that's not a big deal and maybe even not so much with mortars but pioneers and direct fire support (and at least mortar simulation) should be integrated into every major Reg F exercise.

Stalemate.

:2c:

When our unit first started sending guys on the very first Pioneer courses run out of Gagetown there was some talk around Pioneer platoon members/people who wanted the course needing to be available for three weeks for Maple Resolve (I believe) as the idea was to provide a Pioneer section to augment the reg force on exercise. I believe we were able to send sufficient guys for the first go and the feedback was not good - on both sides. The reg force had the idea we wouldn't know what we were doing and therefore didn't utilize the guys we sent in the role they were supposed to be fulfilling. From our side, the complaint was that the reg force didn't take us seriously and didn't provide any way for the guys to use their skills resulting in our Pioneers being under utilized and poorly employed. I think after that the "requirement" of being available for three weeks (if it even was a requirement) was dropped and opportunities to go on Maple Resolve were provided but not encouraged.

That and concerns over low numbers for the course because not everyone can commit to the three weeks, so they just wouldn't bother with the course, and the topic of our Pioneers augmenting the reg force hasn't come up for awhile.
 
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