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Army Reserve Restructuring

Brad Sallows

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If you're already working full-time somewhere to keep the lights on, you're not really in "reserve".
 

MilEME09

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Brad Sallows said:
If you're already working full-time somewhere to keep the lights on, you're not really in "reserve".

Are you suggesting we scrap the reserves?
 

FJAG

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tomahawk6 said:
Not all reservists need to be in a unit they can be managed by a central command and doled out as individual augmentee's.

I can see that for what we call the Supplementary Reserve which is basically people who have been in either the Reg F or Primary Res F and have volunteered for call back but have no training requirements year to year. We tend not to use it very much.

It's kind of like your Retired Reserve but its a bit different from your Individual Ready Reserve where individuals are still able to be promoted and take training and Active Duty opportunities.

In a way we have a group of what we call Class B reservists (i.e. part of the Primary Reserve) but who have been away from their home unit on lengthy full-time service with some Reg F headquarters or other. There are also such things as Primary Reserve Lists which contain both part time and full time reservists (usually with JAG or at NDHQ (and in the past with the medical branch) whose training and service requirements are usually a bit different from those of the typical Army, Navy and Air Force reservists. They're not the equivalent of the IRR but some of them do have some of the features.

I could see an IRR concept being useful for personnel who have moved from where their unit was to an area where a USAR or ARNG unit is not available and they wish to stay on strength and available for training or deployment. Their administration is a bit tricky but there would be value in keeping them engaged.

I prefer individual augmentees to come from units where their fitness and training standard can be kept current.

Brad Sallows said:
If you're already working full-time somewhere to keep the lights on, you're not really in "reserve".

That's where NDA ss 15(2) and (3) come in and how one defines "continuing full-time service" and "other than continuing full-time service". It's expected that reservists will be on "full-time service" at some point but not on a "continuing" basis. The question is: how long does the service need to be before it becomes "continuing full-time service"? That's up for debate.

:cheers:
 

blacktriangle

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tomahawk6 said:
Not all reservists need to be in a unit they can be managed by a central command and doled out as individual augmentee's.

We already have the Primary Reserve List (PRL) concept, don't we? I seem to remember there being one for CANSOFCOM, and a few others maybe?

Edit: FJAG already beat me to it...
 

FSTO

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FJAG said:
The problem in a general sense, the way that I see it, is that the Navy, the Air Force and the national and other headquarters are using reservists as office overload to fill full-time positions that are not authorized under the government's Regular Force manning limitations. In some cases they are filling temporarily vacant positions but in many cases (especially the Air Force) it's just permanent full-time extra positions that have accredited over time recruited primarily from retired Reg F members.

The definition of a reservist is "enrolled for other than continuing, full-time service". CAF has been stretching the meaning of "other than continuing ..." for quite some time now. That's where the idea of "in case of emergency, break glass" comes into play. It should be a force made up of individuals, units and formations that are trained and equipped to be available for call-out in cases of emergencies from domops to war and not for continuous augmentation of routine duties.

:cheers:

The Navy doesn't work that way at all. It takes time to build a ship and get people trained to be able to fight that ship effectively and that is why the "Fleet in Being" has always been the goal of the RCN. When I said the MCDV's "Broke" the NRD's, I meant those ships took the Naval Knowledge soul of the NRD's, the P2's and the qualified Lt(N) who were capable of conducting effective in house training at the NRD's and to sail the old pig boats and do some augmentation of the Frigates, Destroyers, and AOR's as required. Those people then left to sail MCDV's or CT to the Reg force and now many NRD's are populated with a lot of Subbies and Killicks with a smattering of long in the tooth C2 and LCdr's.

But the NRD's are effective recruiting centres for the Regular RCN and are now providing an increasing number of augmenties for the  entire fleet. An individual NRD are only capable of operating an ORCA Class PCT on their own. 
 

MilEME09

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On the subject of the reserves as a whole, I can't find much about the air res, I know they are connected to operational squadrons.

Should we potentially expand the air res? Limit it to major cities only, and utilize tech schools for training.
 

FJAG

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FSTO said:
The Navy doesn't work that way at all. It takes time to build a ship and get people trained to be able to fight that ship effectively and that is why the "Fleet in Being" has always been the goal of the RCN. When I said the MCDV's "Broke" the NRD's, I meant those ships took the Naval Knowledge soul of the NRD's, the P2's and the qualified Lt(N) who were capable of conducting effective in house training at the NRD's and to sail the old pig boats and do some augmentation of the Frigates, Destroyers, and AOR's as required. Those people then left to sail MCDV's or CT to the Reg force and now many NRD's are populated with a lot of Subbies and Killicks with a smattering of long in the tooth C2 and LCdr's.

But the NRD's are effective recruiting centres for the Regular RCN and are now providing an increasing number of augmenties for the  entire fleet. An individual NRD are only capable of operating an ORCA Class PCT on their own.

I actually took it the way that you meant it. (and to a large extent it's the same problem in the Army where some of the more knowledgeable personnel have been taken away from the units to fill Class B positions elsewhere.)

I expect that a certain part of the training for any sailor involves being on a ship of some type for OJT in their trade or at a fleet school for a course, but what I understand has been happening in the Navy is that they can't man their ships with the Reg F positions assigned to it so they too have been filling their vacancies in ships and at naval and national headquarters with experienced reservists thus depriving the NRDs of those experienced personnel. This is different from ResF personnel being on a ship for a cruise of some duration in order to fulfil the requirements of a specific trade qualification.

I know little about the inner workings of the way that the Navy reserve is supposed to work. i.e. what is its end state to be if the system is working right. I assume that like the current Army, the basic concept is to create a large enough pool of individuals so that when the balloon goes up, every ship in the fleet can be fully manned with a Reg F complement augmented by reservists.

The concept of a finite number of ships and their slow construction time is not unknown in the Army where major equipment holdings currently limit the size of force we can actively deploy. In case of a major conflict, the Army would also have serious problems in expanding the force size as we don't have a high manufacturing capability and most of our equipment comes from foreign sources who might not be able to deliver in a time of crisis. That's the main reason I keep arguing that the Army Res should be equipped and trained in peacetime so that it has the capability to expand the Army in war time.

I would think with the Navy the same is true. We might need x ships for peace time training and patrolling but x + 7 ships for wartime duties. In that case we should have a total of x + 7 ships in inventory; enough Reg F personnel to keep x ships operating in peacetime and enough trained reservists to immediately be able to man 7 extra ships in wartime. That gives us the ships we need but keeps peacetime annual Reg F full-time salaries to the minimum required for peacetime and still give us the ability to expand the force in an emergency.

Like the Army, the Navy does not understand the true opportunity cost savings that a reserve force could deliver annually IF IT WAS FULLY TRAINED AND HAD THE ASSIGNED EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE. Under what I consider a false interpretation of the "Forces in being" concept our military is focused on maintaining maximum Reg F PYs (regardless of how costly they are) at the expense of necessary equipment acquisition and adequate O&M funding. What the Reg F has now is all we have. There is no real reserve, just a pool of hole fillers. What's worse is that the holes which the Reg F currently has in its battalions and ships and squadrons are as a result of sucking more and more PYs into administrative headquarters positions (not to mention recruiting and training capacity problems).

There. I've ranted again.

:cheers:

 

Colin Parkinson

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If we were smart, we would build slightly more hulls than we can man, with high modulelarity so they can be updated. A couple of hulls are always in warm layup, a few ships always in refit, others in work up and others operational. Every ship rotates through these slots, after several long patrols, ship goes into a slow refit and upgrade, the ship that was in refit moves to warm layup, the vessel in layup, moves into workup, and so on. If things go pear shape, it means you push Reservists on to them and spread the expertise around. Ships in warmup can also host remedial training courses to keep reservists up to date.
Not sure how well missiles stay in storage, can we store enough missiles to arm all of the ships at the same time and resupply them again? In which case ensuring there are adequate gun systems to make up the shortfalls of missile inventory. 
 

MilEME09

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Colin P said:
If we were smart, we would build slightly more hulls than we can man, with high modulelarity so they can be updated. A couple of hulls are always in warm layup, a few ships always in refit, others in work up and others operational. Every ship rotates through these slots, after several long patrols, ship goes into a slow refit and upgrade, the ship that was in refit moves to warm layup, the vessel in layup, moves into workup, and so on. If things go pear shape, it means you push Reservists on to them and spread the expertise around. Ships in warmup can also host remedial training courses to keep reservists up to date.
Not sure how well missiles stay in storage, can we store enough missiles to arm all of the ships at the same time and resupply them again? In which case ensuring there are adequate gun systems to make up the shortfalls of missile inventory.

Why not also put guns in mountings on shore to train gunnery? mind you simulators could probably do the same thing.

Back on topic, Should the reserves utilize civilian trade schools more to put less strain on our IT system? For example subsidize trade schools to teach Cooks, V-techs, Computer programing (or what ever Cyber warfare needs), medical assistants, nursing. Members then stay local reducing R&Q cost, then send them to their respective schools after for any Army specific training.
 

Brad Sallows

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>Are you suggesting we scrap the reserves?

No, just that I'd prefer full-time positions to be filled by regulars, irrespective of which component the positions belong to.

Augmentation, backfill, and CT are a drain on Res F units which few units can sustain because few have sufficient critical mass.  Units struggle to build a company because they are perpetually rebuilding platoons.
 

FJAG

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Brad Sallows said:
>Are you suggesting we scrap the reserves?

No, just that I'd prefer full-time positions to be filled by regulars, irrespective of which component the positions belong to.

Augmentation, backfill, and CT are a drain on Res F units which few units can sustain because few have sufficient critical mass.  Units struggle to build a company because they are perpetually rebuilding platoons.

:nod:  :cdnsalute:
 

GR66

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Brad Sallows said:
>Are you suggesting we scrap the reserves?

No, just that I'd prefer full-time positions to be filled by regulars, irrespective of which component the positions belong to.

Augmentation, backfill, and CT are a drain on Res F units which few units can sustain because few have sufficient critical mass.  Units struggle to build a company because they are perpetually rebuilding platoons.

Maybe the Reg F is suffering from the same disease as the Res F.  Regiments trying to maintain 3 x battalions with authorized staffing only for two.  The Reg F can't fulfill its role as the immediate ready force because it has to steal troops from elsewhere to get up to deployment strength and the Reserves can't train and organize as the "break glass in case of emergency" force because they are always having to augment the Reg F instead of preparing to deploy as formed units.

You can't fix one without fixing the other.
 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
Maybe the Reg F is suffering from the same disease as the Res F.  Regiments trying to maintain 3 x battalions with authorized staffing only for two.  The Reg F can't fulfill its role as the immediate ready force because it has to steal troops from elsewhere to get up to deployment strength and the Reserves can't train and organize as the "break glass in case of emergency" force because they are always having to augment the Reg F instead of preparing to deploy as formed units.

You can't fix one without fixing the other.

Bingo!

:cheers:
 

BDTyre

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reverse_engineer said:
Interesting, thanks. Out of curiousity, what is the actual strength in contrast to what is authorized?

Not sure what my regiment is authorized for, but on paper we are in excess of 200 people. Last number I heard was about 220.
 

dapaterson

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Never trust a unit's count of their own personnel.  They will not differentiate between trained and untrained; effective and non-effective; has conducted any military training in the past 4 years vs is the mess secretary full stop...

And if the Army HQ defines a method to report, it will be six months or less before one of the Divisions (with excess full-time staff, Reg and Res) invents a new way to count which, oddly enough, shows their formations in a better light than the HHQ method.


 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
Never trust a unit's count of their own personnel.  They will not differentiate between trained and untrained; effective and non-effective; has conducted any military training in the past 4 years vs is the mess secretary full stop...

And if the Army HQ defines a method to report, it will be six months or less before one of the Divisions (with excess full-time staff, Reg and Res) invents a new way to count which, oddly enough, shows their formations in a better light than the HHQ method.

Having seen this 'counting' process in action it is one of the most frustrating experiences I've ever experienced.

In the Reg F you fall in the Company on Monday, count heads, account for those not present, report, salute, and off you go.

In the Reserves you almost never can have everyone on parade at the same time, so it becomes a nightmare of figuring out who has paraded/ signed a pay sheet at least once in the past month (the criteria for being 'effective'), and a host of other complex guessing games, paper pay sheet checking, suppositions, emails, phone calls, and other shamanism. The majority of this work falls on the shoulders of SNCOs, who should really be doing more value added work during their limited Class A time.

Of course, if we had a simple card swipe system for paying the troops, or something similar, we could have all the data uploaded real time and ready for managing fast.

 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
Having seen this 'counting' process in action it is one of the most frustrating experiences I've ever experienced.

In the Reg F you fall in the Company on Monday, count heads, account for those not present, report, salute, and off you go.

In the Reserves you almost never can have everyone on parade at the same time, so it becomes a nightmare of figuring out who has paraded/ signed a pay sheet at least once in the past month (the criteria for being 'effective'), and a host of other complex guessing games, paper pay sheet checking, suppositions, emails, phone calls, and other shamanism. The majority of this work falls on the shoulders of SNCOs, who should really be doing more value added work during their limited Class A time.

Of course, if we had a simple card swipe system for paying the troops, or something similar, we could have all the data uploaded real time and ready for managing fast.

My unit went old fashioned, rolls call every parade night, parade state delivered to the CSM by 2000. I do agree we need a better system then pay sheets though.

I have worked at restaurants that required a biometric scan of your eye or thumb to clock in and out. How can we not do something that secure to say enter our buildings, and have it tied to reserve pay?
 

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D&B, you just jogged my memory. I was a spectator, and only got one side of the story, but here goes. Circa 1988-1989 the then MND ordered the forces to fix the reserve pay system so that personnel could be paid in a timely, and accurate, manner. Well, the system wrapped itself in the Financial Administration Act and a horde of like directives, proving that the forces could not introduce a more efficient and effective system, as to do so would go against government direction. They managed to outlast the MND, who eventually departed in a shuffle. Need I say more?
 

daftandbarmy

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Old Sweat said:
D&B, you just jogged my memory. I was a spectator, and only got one side of the story, but here goes. Circa 1988-1989 the then MND ordered the forces to fix the reserve pay system so that personnel could be paid in a timely, and accurate, manner. Well, the system wrapped itself in the Financial Administration Act and a horde of like directives, proving that the forces could not introduce a more efficient and effective system, as to do so would go against government direction. They managed to outlast the MND, who eventually departed in a shuffle. Need I say more?

We have a pay process that is well suited to the 1940s, made more complicated by various random additions made necessary by the digital age.

It is a very ugly hybrid, which returns the investment we've made in it.
 

MilEME09

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D&B I am quoting you from the navy thread

That's a great idea. We should do the same in the Army where, for example, the 'Fort Rupert Light Horse' is aligned with the Strathconas and is required to augment them on exercises and operations. One of the benefits might be to attract retirees from the Reg F unit into the Reserve unit, doing both a favour through their continued service.

It kind of worked that way when we had an Op Tasked Airborne Platoon required to support 2 Cdo, but the ties between units were pretty weak at the best of times. Regardless, we'd deploy 15 - 20 troops on various exercises with them, and it usually worked out OK.

This should absolutely be a thing, not just unit's trying to form partnerships but have it part of how we operate. My unit has worked hard to have some head way with operating with 1 SVC. That said many of the challenges of the reserves show their ugly heads when it comes to sending people on reg force EX's, especially time off, as example they asked people going on Maple resolve last year to also go on the lead up exercises as well. As much as a reservist may want to do it, unless you are out of a job, good luck getting 4 months off to go do army stuff.

There are more then enough reserve units in each div that if they had a parent reg force unit, it could make training easier for the reserves, and force generation easier for the reg force with better coordination.
 
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