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Army Reserve Restructuring

MilEME09

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We have downsized the reserves before, in the 50s alberta, Ft McCloud, Caroline, and other small towns had detatched platoons and they were removed from the ORBAT.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
We have downsized the reserves before, in the 50s alberta, Ft McCloud, Caroline, and other small towns had detatched platoons and they were removed from the ORBAT.

That I agree with. IMHO, a company is the smallest viable element that can be properly trained and administered if you aim for collective employment capabilities within the overall unit.

When I was RSS in Manitoba we had a battery in Portage La Prairie. It usually was unable to provide more than a gun det and a recce det on exercises. It had a large populous catchment area but just didn't thrive. Small elements like troops or platoons generally depend on one or two really interested people to keep them alive. Without those they go into a death spiral.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
Small elements like troops or platoons generally depend on one or two really interested people to keep them alive. Without those they go into a death spiral.

:cheers:

This is not just the case with 'small elements', especially in the Class A world. I would argue that one of the reasons why our Class B, and the B stands for 'Bloat', has been necessary is to help risk manage performance where Class A inconsistency occurs.
 

Gunplumber

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Why not look at something like the British London Regt? It has had 4 or 5 Companies in its recent existence from the 90s and before that it was huge. They all have different cap badges but I am assuming one CO? Im pretty sure most reserve units could be run by a Captain given the numbers.
 

quadrapiper

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daftandbarmy said:
This is not just the case with 'small elements', especially in the Class A world. I would argue that one of the reasons why our Class B, and the B stands for 'Bloat', has been necessary is to help risk manage performance where Class A inconsistency occurs.
Jumping on the Cadets tangent, on that note: that program has endured the same sort of HQ growth afflicting the rest of the CAF, with (and I'm not sure if the dynamic's the same on the Militia side) a slow increase in Class B mostly CIC positions, often filled by "career B" people, who seem to carry on more or less undisturbed by the 3-5 year rotation of national and regional Regular commanders.

On the should-the-CIC-be-CAF front? Yes, out of convenience on the administrative and disciplinary side, and because a commission and the Queen's uniform is a very meaningful but ultimately affordable way to reward service (25 days/year, 35/year for corps/squadron COs doesn't cover any half-decent officer's time expended). As far as training and requirements; FORCE test, etc.; there have been various rumours, initiatives, announcements, etc. over the years regarding both, which never seem to come to anything. Where, at the national level, there's a roadblock to ensuring a fitter CIC I've no idea, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite to push that side of things (though there's been a requirement for several years to have a current FORCE test, though not a pass, to qualify for B contracts, and integration of FORCE testing into what are the "bookend" courses for CIC).

What CIC shouldn't be is in long-term employment in policy-making roles at regional or national headquarters, nor in firmly-managed careers: the only long-term CIC pers should be those SMEs whose value increases with experience, and personnel in non-policy roles where familiarity with the program is of significant value. We should be the default within the program, as in default option when something better can't be found.

Value for money probably depends on what the CAF and the Minister actually hope to get out of running the program. As far as the stated program aim, without getting overly child-soldiery, there's certainly much more that could be done to "encourage an interest in the CAF," while the "promote physical fitness" part is also generally ill-served. Encouraging good citizenship and leadership are both broadly well-delivered, though the framework in which the latter is both delivered and applied varies significantly between the three elements and between corps/squadrons.

On that last note rests what the CIC "should" be, beyond my earlier comments: whether the desire is 50-70k youth well-informed about and interested in the CAF and related matters; a strong PR and recruiting pipeline; a federal youth program that happens to be CAF-run; some combination of all of those, or something else. In many ways, we're in a situation similar to the militia: there isn't a clearly defined and communicated goal.
 

Gunplumber

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Disciplinary? Where I work, the CICs dont give a damn about TI cards or even following the rules and nothing ever happens about it. Even leaving rifles, bolts and ammo in a cube van over night with no one around. It makes me sick. If things like that happend in the Reserves there would be charges.

If you are wearing a CAF uniform then you should do a FORCE test. Period. Its not up to National to make that decision, it is a CAF requirement.

I agree with you that there should not be a lot of Class B in the CIC, but there should be some, but a lot of what they are hiring is reminiscent of NDHQ. It needs to be cleaned up.
 

FJAG

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Gunplumber said:
Disciplinary? Where I work, the CICs dont give a damn about TI cards or even following the rules and nothing ever happens about it. Even leaving rifles, bolts and ammo in a cube van over night with no one around. It makes me sick. If things like that happend in the Reserves there would be charges.

If you are wearing a CAF uniform then you should do a FORCE test. Period. Its not up to National to make that decision, it is a CAF requirement.

I agree with you that there should not be a lot of Class B in the CIC, but there should be some, but a lot of what they are hiring is reminiscent of NDHQ. It needs to be cleaned up.

From time-to-time the system cares:

https://decisia.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/jmc-cmj/cm/en/item/99211/index.do?q=cadet+instructor

https://decisia.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/jmc-cmj/cm/en/item/99031/index.do?q=cadet+instructor

https://decisia.jmc-cmj.forces.gc.ca/jmc-cmj/cm/en/item/98723/index.do?q=cadet+instructor

:cheers:
 

Brad Sallows

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Ambitious plans and ideas shouldn't prevent doing small things that can be done immediately at negligible cost.

Stop promoting to LCol and CWO at the unit level, and reduce promotions to Maj and MWO accordingly.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brad Sallows said:
Ambitious plans and ideas shouldn't prevent doing small things that can be done immediately at negligible cost.

Stop promoting to LCol and CWO at the unit level, and reduce promotions to Maj and MWO accordingly.

Big holes in succession plans are already accomplishing this goal, to a certain extent.
 

dapaterson

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daftandbarmy said:
Big holes in succession plans are already accomplishing this goal, to a certain extent.

Recycling COs for second and third command tours in units where they lack specialist knowledge, and extending them for four or five years is also considered a viable COA.
 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
Recycling COs for second and third command tours in units where they lack specialist knowledge, and extending them for four or five years is also considered a viable COA.

OMG: The 'Professional part-time CO/RSM'. Frequently the cause of much attrition, and not at the enemy end of the bayonet.
 

dapaterson

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"Why would I collaborate with other artillery units to provide collective training when I can partner with my old infantry unit instead?  That way we can train these gunners in proper infantry tactics."

 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
"Why would I collaborate with other artillery units to provide collective training when I can partner with my old infantry unit instead?  That way we can train these gunners in proper infantry tactics."

Sounds like when I hear combat units in the reserves say they don't need CSS. To be fair though,  on a weekend Ex, they don't, due to the way our system works. Another part of our problem as a reserve force.
 

dapaterson

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Our systems are designed to have company-sized organizations able to operate independently for a period of 72 hours, self sufficient in beans, bullets and benzene.  Feature, not bug.

But, the C2 and CQs of those organizations need to be trained and practice the full replenishment cycle in collaboration with their HQs and supporting sustainment units.  Or you can plan a week long exercise and nobody think about food until day 3.

But there does need to be institutional discipline.  Forget to bring it?  That's a 48 wait for it to show up - not a "do a quick run up to the base, grab it, come back".  Cheating on planning and cheating on sustainment means the weekend succeeded - but the training reinforced behaviours that lead to catastrophic failure in real life.


The time constraints of a 30 practical hours for training model (like we have in the Res F) dictate the types of training which can be effectively delivered, and thus the capabilities and levels of proficiency we can reasonably expect.  To my mind, that's proficient company-sized organizations which, when called upon, can be combined into battalion sized groups and deployed.

American NG and Res units go through significant ramp-up training prior to deployments.  Nothing wrong with building deployable units from employable companies as needed.
 

TCM621

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This brigade has deployed to Iraq twice AS A BRIGADE on operational tours.

I think this has a lot to do with reserve problems. Our reserve units are not operational units, merely administrative and training units. For every person who plans to deploy you have 1 guy who likes playing army on the weekends, 1 guy who shows up on parade nights so he can hang out in the mess after and another who only shows up enough to not get kicked out. Only one of those guys is actually training with reality in mind. Then we have the problem that officers rarely deploy in leadership positions.

Both problems are a result of using the reserves as a farm system to call up people you need. Sure the Reg Force Capt for life isn't a fantastic leader and maybe the reserve Capt is better but the CO knows the first Capt while the reservist is an unknown. If I'm about to take a unit into battle, I don't want any more unknowns than I already have. It happens in the ranks as well but not as often and normally only at the higher leadership levels.

I think they had the right idea with the Combined Reserve Infranty Company in 2000 or when ever it was but it didn't work so they dismissed the only idea. But if we called up a unit, like the Americans do, people may be more willing to do the things needed to ensure success. This goes for leadership and the unit. Leadership has to provide the unit with the resources it needs to train for a combat role and the unit has to train to fight as a unit.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
Sounds like when I hear combat units in the reserves say they don't need CSS. To be fair though,  on a weekend Ex, they don't, due to the way our system works. Another part of our problem as a reserve force.

The CAF needs CSS. AND, it really needs CSS in the reserves. In the US there are 31 Active and 27 ARNG manoeuvre brigades (total 58) and 75 Active and 137 ARNG and USAR support brigades (total 212 both CS and CSS of which 64.6% are ARNG or USAR).

Looking at CSS, of its 17 divisional sustainment brigades, 7 are ARNG; of its additional 14 sustainment brigades, 12 are either ARNG or USAR. Accordingly of its deployable CSS capabilities, 61.3% is either ARNG or USAR.

The question which Ottawa seems to miss is that while we may not need CSS on a weekend ex, where will we find it if we ever do need to deploy in a serious fashion ... or maybe we'll just choose not to go and write off that 20 billion we've been spending every year.

:stirpot:
 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
But there does need to be institutional discipline.  Forget to bring it?  That's a 48 wait for it to show up - not a "do a quick run up to the base, grab it, come back".  Cheating on planning and cheating on sustainment means the weekend succeeded - but the training reinforced behaviours that lead to catastrophic failure in real life.


The time constraints of a 30 practical hours for training model (like we have in the Res F) dictate the types of training which can be effectively delivered, and thus the capabilities and levels of proficiency we can reasonably expect.  To my mind, that's proficient company-sized organizations which, when called upon, can be combined into battalion sized groups and deployed.

A normal resupply request comes in 24H prior to resupply, usually when the DP or CP happens the reciever unit gives the demands for the next day. There are processes for an emergency DP as well for the oh shit moments, we can make our system work if we want it to. Suggestion I put up a long time ago is CSS holds all the stores for all units for the weekend, we pretend it's hour 48, friday night they send a request for saturday. Never actually happened though.


The CAF needs CSS. AND, it really needs CSS in the reserves. In the US there are 31 Active and 27 ARNG manoeuvre brigades (total 58) and 75 Active and 137 ARNG and USAR support brigades (total 212 both CS and CSS of which 64.6% are ARNG or USAR).

Looking at CSS, of its 17 divisional sustainment brigades, 7 are ARNG; of its additional 14 sustainment brigades, 12 are either ARNG or USAR. Accordingly of its deployable CSS capabilities, 61.3% is either ARNG or USAR.

The question which Ottawa seems to miss is that while we may not need CSS on a weekend ex, where will we find it if we ever do need to deploy in a serious fashion ... or maybe we'll just choose not to go and write off that 20 billion we've been spending every year.

I agree, however our system doesn't allow for it right now, unfortunately we have beaten this dead horse to a pulp.
 

dapaterson

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Many support trades are intensive and training and in time required to maintain skills.  Those more logically vest in a full-time component where there is greater RoI and greater ability to maintain those skills.

Res F =/= Reg F and should not attempt to; the differences must be understood when developing missions and roles to assign in various proportions to both components.

That concept, of course, shatters iron ricebowls in both components.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
...

American NG and Res units go through significant ramp-up training prior to deployments.  Nothing wrong with building deployable units from employable companies as needed.

That concept is changing under ARNG 4.0.

https://www.nationalguard.mil/Resources/ARNG-Readiness/Fact-Sheets/FileId/172141/

https://www.ausa.org/articles/army-national-guard-evolutionary-leap-citizen-soldiers

The key to such as system is to a) reduce administrative load on any given unit by adding sufficient full-timers to look after it day to day; b) remove individual training from the unit's responsibility and have that done by a separate yet local/regional training unit; c) spend all of the unit's allocated time during the winter training cycle and summer exercise on collective training; d) sequence activities so that individual training and collective training do not conflict.

At 10 mandatory 2.5-day weekends and a mandatory 23 day summer exercise that means the unit will complete 48 days of refresher/collective training annually or effectively 6 months worth of collective training in a four-year cycle. ARNG 4.0 is based on a system similar to this.

The issue is focusing on doable tasks and breaking them down amongst the right people/agencies so that they can be accomplished.

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Many support trades are intensive and training and in time required to maintain skills.  Those more logically vest in a full-time component where there is greater RoI and greater ability to maintain those skills.

Res F =/= Reg F and should not attempt to; the differences must be understood when developing missions and roles to assign in various proportions to both components.

That concept, of course, shatters iron ricebowls in both components.

I agree with this issue. My areas of particular concern are in the field of maintainers and health care providers. There should be a properly sized full-time for this (and by full-time I mean RegF not perpetual Class Bs).

I think, however, we can leverage recruiting for these trades by paying for tuitions at community colleges for diesel mechanics, heavy truckers, food service workers, heavy equipment operators, health care workers together with summer employment by way of military "conversion" training in exchange for periods of obligatory service with the Reserves. If we bulk up the numbers we'll 1) help to train trades people for the nation; b) maybe have a goodly number transfer to the Reg F; and c) have a pool of adequately trained folks in an emergency.

:cheers:
 
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