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Army Reserve Restructuring

MilEME09

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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.

There honestly isn't enough time in a reserve training cycle for technical trades. My unit schedules one trades training day a month (long time ago we didn't even have that), thankfully some of our vehicle techs are also mechanics civi side, but for everyone else, the skill fade is an issue.

I honestly think PRes CSS, possibly even the reserves as a whole need to double our weekly training to two nights a week, one night can be for all the usual IBTS, and other mandatory briefs etc.... the other night just for turning wrenches and practicing our trades. Doesn't seem like much but it means 120 hours of training to atleast keep up a minimum of skill proficiency. combine that we say a two week summer concentration of some kind and perhaps we can bring up the skill level of our reserves, and help address retention. A lot of CSS types leave because they spend a lot of time on very long courses to come back to the unit and never touch their trade again.
 

dapaterson

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There is finite time available for individuals to be a part-time reservist.  Adding more training days is not necessarily the panacea some see it to be.

MGen Tabbernor, as the senior Army reservist, compared the part-time Reserve life to a stool with three legs: Work, Home, Reserves.  If any one leg gets too long, the whole thing gets out of balance, tips over, and is useless.

Certainly, as a Pte/Cpl or a 2Lt/Lt, I had time.  But I also required supervision; and it's those supervisors (both junior and senior) who we start layering additional demands of time upon, thus upsetting the balance and resulting in senior people leaving, or the wrong people being selected because they are available (not because they are they best or the ones needed).  As a Commanding Officer I was working 80+class A days per year - that's the equivalent of four months full time every year - on top of a demanding full time job, and occasionally seeing a woman in my house who, rumour has it, I was married to.  That's not a viable or sustainable model.

The concept of "one night a week, one weekend a month and a week every summer" was never built around an OSMER type workload review, but rather defining a semi-realistic, reasonable time demand model that could be sustainable in the long term.

Unfortunately, various senior leaders of both the part and full time variety seem to think having a pool of chronically unemployed / unemployable part-time reservists scrambling for occasional short-term full-time employment is a viable and morally defensible organizational choice.
 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
Unfortunately, various senior leaders of both the part and full time variety seem to think having a pool of chronically unemployed / unemployable part-time reservists scrambling for occasional short-term full-time employment is a viable and morally defensible organizational choice.

It's not unfortunately, and talking with my wifes grandfather who was a reservist in the late 50's, he did exactly what I suggested, two nights a week, plus two weekends a month. Now it was a different time, and the system has changed a bit since 1957 however given the increasing complexity of military equipment I feel we do need to go back to the table and ask hard questions about the trades we have in the reserve Force, the resources we give them, and how much time they actually need to accomplish everything we are giving them.

At one point years ago my unit was swarmed with enough taskings that we had troops deployed on EX's, teaching courses, and other taskings that for several months we had about half or more of our commit able resources out on every weekend, and some weekdays. A great accomplishment for a Reserve unit but we burnt everyone out getting it done. The model we use is broken, if we can't train our reservists to a standard that we can actually plug and play easily into the reg force for augmentation then we as a force fail.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
It's not unfortunately, and talking with my wifes grandfather who was a reservist in the late 50's, he did exactly what I suggested, two nights a week, plus two weekends a month. Now it was a different time, and the system has changed a bit since 1957 however given the increasing complexity of military equipment I feel we do need to go back to the table and ask hard questions about the trades we have in the reserve Force, the resources we give them, and how much time they actually need to accomplish everything we are giving them.

At one point years ago my unit was swarmed with enough taskings that we had troops deployed on EX's, teaching courses, and other taskings that for several months we had about half or more of our commit able resources out on every weekend, and some weekdays. A great accomplishment for a Reserve unit but we burnt everyone out getting it done. The model we use is broken, if we can't train our reservists to a standard that we can actually plug and play easily into the reg force for augmentation then we as a force fail.

Now you've done it... the ugly specter of 'part time careerism' rears it's ugly head :)
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
There is finite time available for individuals to be a part-time reservist.  Adding more training days is not necessarily the panacea some see it to be.

MGen Tabbernor, as the senior Army reservist, compared the part-time Reserve life to a stool with three legs: Work, Home, Reserves.  If any one leg gets too long, the whole thing gets out of balance, tips over, and is useless.

Certainly, as a Pte/Cpl or a 2Lt/Lt, I had time.  But I also required supervision; and it's those supervisors (both junior and senior) who we start layering additional demands of time upon, thus upsetting the balance and resulting in senior people leaving, or the wrong people being selected because they are available (not because they are they best or the ones needed).  As a Commanding Officer I was working 80+class A days per year - that's the equivalent of four months full time every year - on top of a demanding full time job, and occasionally seeing a woman in my house who, rumour has it, I was married to.  That's not a viable or sustainable model.

The concept of "one night a week, one weekend a month and a week every summer" was never built around an OSMER type workload review, but rather defining a semi-realistic, reasonable time demand model that could be sustainable in the long term.

Unfortunately, various senior leaders of both the part and full time variety seem to think having a pool of chronically unemployed / unemployable part-time reservists scrambling for occasional short-term full-time employment is a viable and morally defensible organizational choice.

You know it wasn't always like that. Back in the sixties (yeah, those sixties) my battery paraded every Saturday morning for 1/2 day (other batteries paraded either Tuesday or Thursday evening--but not both--for 1/2 day); we went out on live fire exercises to Meaford about two to three times a year and spent a week long concentration in Petawawa in the summer. There were summer course training opportunities in Pet for those who wanted them and they were rarely longer than two weeks each.

I don't know exactly when the changeover came but by the time I went to RSS in 1976 pretty much all of Manitoba District was doing the two nights (Tue -admin; Thurs--trg) and every second weekend.

Personally I'm from the less is more camp. I see one mandatory 2.5 day weekend per month with July off and then a mandatory three-week exercise in August for the simple reason that this balances the three legs. You leave three weekends a month and the whole month of July for family and employer. The three week exercise is a rough issue as it would need Federal statutory support so that individuals could attend military training and still have several weeks vacation in July. What we really need is a covenant as between the military, the individual and the employer so that everyone knows at least a year in advance as to what the military's mandatory demands are going to be.

As I said above though, we need to change the focus of who does day-to-day admin; who looks after individual training and when (not the unit) and what BTS will be covered on each specific day of unit training (non of this make it up as you go along thing). The aim should be to not just train the individual but to get the unit itself up to a standard where it can be put out the door on a deployment.

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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When a Bde HQ issues an annual op plan that delegates to certain units the right to choose their own BTS for the year... again...

"The role of the full-time personnel is to enable the part-time personnel" is a concept rarely understood and even more rarely implemented.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
When a Bde HQ issues an annual op plan that delegates to certain units the right to choose their own BTS for the year... again...

"The role of the full-time personnel is to enable the part-time personnel" is a concept rarely understood and even more rarely implemented.

IMHO we will probably never switch to doing anything beyond what we're doing now because: cynic.

However, if the aim for the reserves was ever to turn to creating and maintaining deployable Army Reserve formations and units then the annual training plans and supporting material would need to come out of CADTC in a tightly controlled program.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
When a Bde HQ issues an annual op plan that delegates to certain units the right to choose their own BTS for the year... again...

"The role of the full-time personnel is to enable the part-time personnel" is a concept rarely understood and even more rarely implemented.

I think this could be solved by actually giving the reserves a defined mission to achieve, and give them the resources to do it. As you have pointed out, we need RSS to be not just supporters, but enablers, training and instructors, passing on their wealth of knowledge to the PRes when and where possible. I can honestly say I have only seen a small percentage of our RSS staff on exercises, and a even smaller percentage helping instruct on courses. This needs to change I feel if we want the reserves to succeed.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
I think this could be solved by actually giving the reserves a defined mission to achieve, and give them the resources to do it. As you have pointed out, we need RSS to be not just supporters, but enablers, training and instructors, passing on their wealth of knowledge to the PRes when and where possible. I can honestly say I have only seen a small percentage of our RSS staff on exercises, and a even smaller percentage helping instruct on courses. This needs to change I feel if we want the reserves to succeed.

I can count on the fingers of one sawmiller's hand the number of times I've seen the RSS on exercise with us in 'participation' mode from H-Hr to Endex. I could also say the same about many (Class A) COs and their Class A and B hench-peeeps.

Often, slogging up the road in the rain late on a Friday night, after getting off work and rushing to the armoury to jump in a truck/bus and deploy with my company, I wondered if the 'Chateau Bn HQ Dwellers' were - at that exact moment - enjoying their first Friday night beer in front of the game on TV. Occasionally, one or two would turn up on Saturday afternoon in a rented (always white, for some reason) SUV, survey the great unwashed, complain about 'they're not wearing respirators', or something, then jumping back in the air conditioned mobile cocoon and head off to coach their kid's basketball game, or something like that.

The participation levels seem to vary involved once you move above the Coy/ Sqn level, RSS or not.

 

tomahawk6

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My hat is off to reservists who have a desire to serve their country and juggling a civie career with their military career. I know it isn't easy but their service is important.
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
The participation levels seem to vary involved once you move above the Coy/ Sqn level, RSS or not.

And I thought the White SUV was our thing ;) I agree though, sometimes the ones who say something is mandatory/highly encouraged are the ones who also do not show up. which of course leads to troops grumbling, and a break down in trust of leadership over time.
 

TCM621

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daftandbarmy said:
I can count on the fingers of one sawmiller's hand the number of times I've seen the RSS on exercise with us in 'participation' mode from H-Hr to Endex. I could also say the same about many (Class A) COs and their Class A and B hench-peeeps.

Often, slogging up the road in the rain late on a Friday night, after getting off work and rushing to the armoury to jump in a truck/bus and deploy with my company, I wondered if the 'Chateau Bn HQ Dwellers' were - at that exact moment - enjoying their first Friday night beer in front of the game on TV. Occasionally, one or two would turn up on Saturday afternoon in a rented (always white, for some reason) SUV, survey the great unwashed, complain about 'they're not wearing respirators', or something, then jumping back in the air conditioned mobile cocoon and head off to coach their kid's basketball game, or something like that.

The participation levels seem to vary involved once you move above the Coy/ Sqn level, RSS or not.

When I was RSS staff, I was always in the field as was the other full-time staff with the exception of the orderly pers outside of IBTS training exercises. However, our sister regiment was the exact opposite. I think part of the problem with RSS staff is that it is primarily seen as a retirement posting or sick, lame, lazy posting rather than a promotion posting. People who are counting down the days aren't as likely put in any more work than they absolutely have to or in some cases they just can't because of their injuries. It's a common problem in the military, if it involves our future we love to post people who are at the end of their careers or whose careers have stalled. We never rarely post people with upward career trajectories.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
I can count on the fingers of one sawmiller's hand the number of times I've seen the RSS on exercise with us in 'participation' mode from H-Hr to Endex. I could also say the same about many (Class A) COs and their Class A and B hench-peeeps.

Often, slogging up the road in the rain late on a Friday night, after getting off work and rushing to the armoury to jump in a truck/bus and deploy with my company, I wondered if the 'Chateau Bn HQ Dwellers' were - at that exact moment - enjoying their first Friday night beer in front of the game on TV. Occasionally, one or two would turn up on Saturday afternoon in a rented (always white, for some reason) SUV, survey the great unwashed, complain about 'they're not wearing respirators', or something, then jumping back in the air conditioned mobile cocoon and head off to coach their kid's basketball game, or something like that.

The participation levels seem to vary involved once you move above the Coy/ Sqn level, RSS or not.

When I was posted into an RSS position back in '76 my Dist SO3 boss gave me a very simple terms of reference: "If there's a reservist who can do the job and is willing to do it, let him do it; if there's a reservist who doesn't know how to do the job but is willing to do it, teach him how and let him do it; if there's no one capable or willing to do the job then do it yourself." Going into the field was never a question. My WO and I were the poor man's equivalent of the regiment's instructor and assistant instructor in gunnery and oversaw and critiqued everything, him on the gun line, me up forward. We were there for every exercise while the QM bombardier and chief clerk stayed back at the armoury during the exercise. If this is not happening these days then there has emerged a very distinct failure within the RSS chain of command.

Our reserve CO at the time was pretty much of the equivalent that D&B encountered other than I never saw him in the field-ever-white car or not. He was much more concerned about the band fund and regimental ball than anything having to do with training. On the other hand, that suited me fine at the time as it kept him out of my hair and that of the troops.

:arid rifleman: (we need an artillery emoji)
 

quadrapiper

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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.
No idea what your particular situation is: as described, certainly needs squaring away.

Agreed that FORCE tests should be universal. No idea what pressures are driving the current policy, but CIC doing the test at all was a major improvement: the previous test wasn't a requirement, barring IIRC long Class B pers.

There's still a better toolkit available for managing/disciplining/directing Reservists, whether or not any of the applicable layers of command use it, than for e.g. civil service or volunteers.
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
When I was posted into an RSS position back in '76 my Dist SO3 boss gave me a very simple terms of reference: "If there's a reservist who can do the job and is willing to do it, let him do it; if there's a reservist who doesn't know how to do the job but is willing to do it, teach him how and let him do it; if there's no one capable or willing to do the job then do it yourself." Going into the field was never a question. My WO and I were the poor man's equivalent of the regiment's instructor and assistant instructor in gunnery and oversaw and critiqued everything, him on the gun line, me up forward. We were there for every exercise while the QM bombardier and chief clerk stayed back at the armoury during the exercise. If this is not happening these days then there has emerged a very distinct failure within the RSS chain of command.

Our reserve CO at the time was pretty much of the equivalent that D&B encountered other than I never saw him in the field-ever-white car or not. He was much more concerned about the band fund and regimental ball than anything having to do with training. On the other hand, that suited me fine at the time as it kept him out of my hair and that of the troops.

:arid rifleman: (we need an artillery emoji)

I'm not saying good leadership, such as you have described above, is completely absent everywhere. Just in about 70% of the cases (gut feel)
I've observed over more than 20 years. If not for the keen professionalism of most of my troops in the various rifle companies I have led in the mo', I would have packed it in ages ago.

And I agree: we SHOULD get that Sheldrake Emoji, right AFTER the Pegasus emoji :)
 

Colin Parkinson

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Back in the day when the Reserves ran tanks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEyg1OfVZ7g&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2xR3DygGQtC3GmXpnPSr5NDU24KsdhYWCO_n2Rkq6LpQxIyYNraKxNfPc
 

dimsum

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And the RCN Reserve had aircraft.

https://torontoaviationhistory.com/toronto-military-aviation/vc920-rcn-reserve-squadron/
 

Colin Parkinson

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With the advent of computers, all the combat kit went away, more guns, less computers!!!!
 

MilEME09

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Colin P said:
With the advent of computers, all the combat kit went away, more guns, less computers!!!!

Maybe we just need newer computers? VAC's Ombudsman's systems run on DOS, how expensive is it to keep that going these days? We all know kit is getting more complicated, and more costly to build and maintain, I do not think the defense industry has struck a balance between the high tech and the low tech when it comes to military hardware. At the end of the day 1000 cheap, easy to maintain but effective tanks will eventually win out against 100 super high tech tanks with all the bells and whistles
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
At the end of the day 1000 cheap, easy to maintain but effective tanks will eventually win out against 100 super high tech tanks with all the bells and whistles

That isn't quite how it panned out for the Iraqis in 2003.
 
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