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Army Reserve Restructuring

dapaterson

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When I was in the Army HQ, the official metric was "paraded at least once within a month".

An Area HQ (nameless, but with a HQ east of Quebec) decided to redefine that (for their reports to higher) as once within the past three months.


The problems with pay (both in reporting and producing) are driven by ignorant combat arms types trying to inflict their preferred solutions (which may or may not be illegal) rather than defining problems and working with experts to find solutions.

This is an example of the CAF's lack of human resources  professionals, and the continual problem of arms officers inflicting their lack of knowledge on the '1 side...

 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
When I was in the Army HQ, the official metric was "paraded at least once within a month".

An Area HQ (nameless, but with a HQ east of Quebec) decided to redefine that (for their reports to higher) as once within the past three months.


The problems with pay (both in reporting and producing) are driven by ignorant combat arms types trying to inflict their preferred solutions (which may or may not be illegal) rather than defining problems and working with experts to find solutions.

This is an example of the CAF's lack of human resources  professionals, and the continual problem of arms officers inflicting their lack of knowledge on the '1 side...

The first issue that you describe sounds to me like the difference between the activities we expect a soldier to show up to do and the NES requirements i.e. if you do any less than this and we'll turf you out.

LegOs at the Bde level frequently deal with NES issues and it certainly struck me that many people (and not just privates) were looking at NES as the guideline as to how little they could get away with before being hauled up by the short and cur----.

That's not what NES was designed for. QR&O  9.04(2) (ordered to train max of 15 days Class B 60 days Class A per year) was that guidance coupled with whatever budgetary restrictions might apply. Units create their own training plans and therefore should set their own attendance requirements, however, NES provisions, whatever they might be,  should never be the "standard".

:cheers:
 

CountDC

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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.

With current numbers we have done that, we have more hulls than we can man.  We just hide it by rapid rotation from ship to ship to make it look better.  Worse case I saw when trying to calculate a members points for a deployment was

Posted ship 1 - refit
Attach Posted ship 2 - along side
Loaned ship 3 - workups
Loaned Ship 4 - 2 week fishpat.
Loaned Ship 5 - Deployed.

This was all in the same time period quickly leaping from one to the other in less than 2 months.

None of it was published in peoplesoft.  After talking to the member I had to search through his pers file to find any documents I could to support his claim of the deployment that increased his points. Luckily it was there so he got the credit.

Despite the  "reorgs" over the last 30 years with the last in 2012 the army does need one and I like the suggestions here.  The reserves also need to let go of the "we need this" for historical connections mentality.  When an armouries has little to no training rooms with a crap load of messes because every unit in the place needs their own that is a problem.  In one case the unit has JRs, Sgts&WOs, Officers and Band mess.  4 Messes for one reserve unit training one night a week doesn't make sense while they are crying there are not enough classrooms (1) in the buliding. With that kind of mentality it will take someone strong to push the reorg. 
 

FJAG

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So my initial question on this thread was whether or not we would be interested in considering a Forward Support Company concept like within the US Army Brigade Support Battalion. I glean a general consensus that the answer is no - stay with the support structure currently existing within each battalion/regiment's headquarters company.

New questions. Make the following assumptions:

1. reserve battalions and regiments will fully manned and equipped to war establishments;

2. reserve battalions and regiments will have no responsibility for individual training, only collective training to the extent of ten monthly 2.5-day mandatory training weekends and one mandatory three-week collective training exercise in the summer;

3. all training preparation, and all administrative, logistic and maintenance tasks  for the battalion will be conducted by a full-time cadre; and

4. some companies/batteries/squadrons may be located at armories separate from the bn/regt HQ;

Question 1 what should be the standard establishment of the full-time cadre for an infantry battalion?

Question 2 what changes from the standard establishment (if any) should there be for an armoured regiment, artillery regiment, engineer regiment and service battalion?

Question 3 should vehicles be held a) distributed at local armories (assume space will be available for it) or b) held at a centralized regional training centre?

:cheers:
 

Colin Parkinson

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dapaterson said:
When I was in the Army HQ, the official metric was "paraded at least once within a month".

An Area HQ (nameless, but with a HQ east of Quebec) decided to redefine that (for their reports to higher) as once within the past three months.


The problems with pay (both in reporting and producing) are driven by ignorant combat arms types trying to inflict their preferred solutions (which may or may not be illegal) rather than defining problems and working with experts to find solutions.

This is an example of the CAF's lack of human resources  professionals, and the continual problem of arms officers inflicting their lack of knowledge on the '1 side...

I have found human resources professionals vary wildly in competence and suitability for the job. A good one is worth their weight in gold, but likley they won't be around long as they are very transitory as they move quickly up the ladder. To find a competent one that is happy where they are is another rare beast. The rest vary from the ok, disinterested, lazy, learning, absolute wastes of skin.
 
 

Eaglelord17

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FJAG said:
Question 2 what changes from the standard establishment (if any) should there be for an armoured regiment, artillery regiment, engineer regiment and service battalion?

Question 3 should vehicles be held a) distributed at local armories (assume space will be available for it) or b) held at a centralized regional training centre?

For #2 if you decide to go the route of the mandatory days you would have to make sure there is protection for the Reservists for their civilian jobs or else your going to have less than you started with. For example if that became mandatory today I would have to quit as I cannot sustain that with my current employer and there wouldn't be the protections needed for me to choose the military. To me one of the biggest advantages the Reserves bring in is the fact you have people who can be very skilled civvy side, especially on skills not currently found in the military. You would lose that very quickly if you didn't have the protections needed for their jobs.
 

FJAG

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Eaglelord17 said:
For #2 if you decide to go the route of the mandatory days you would have to make sure there is protection for the Reservists for their civilian jobs or else your going to have less than you started with. For example if that became mandatory today I would have to quit as I cannot sustain that with my current employer and there wouldn't be the protections needed for me to choose the military. To me one of the biggest advantages the Reserves bring in is the fact you have people who can be very skilled civvy side, especially on skills not currently found in the military. You would lose that very quickly if you didn't have the protections needed for their jobs.

I didn't want to mention every assumption as I've said in the past that a new regime of federally mandated employer/employee legislative protection is essential to restructuring the reserves. They key to creating a lethal and capable reserve force is a set amount of mandatory collective training that achieves a doable balance of the amount of time demanded of the soldier, his family and employer with the amount of time needed to achieve the required battle standards.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
I didn't want to mention every assumption as I've said in the past that a new regime of federally mandated employer/employee legislative protection is essential to restructuring the reserves. They key to creating a lethal and capable reserve force is a set amount of mandatory collective training that achieves a doable balance of the amount of time demanded of the soldier, his family and employer with the amount of time needed to achieve the required battle standards.

:cheers:

Exactly, wanna know why we had so many (including my self) sign class C contracts? We had no employer to tell us no you can't or if you do you won't have a job to come back to. I recently put a question about time off to the conservative defense critic. To sum up the answer, he personally was working with DND and Canada company to grow an official group of sorts of supportive employers for reservists but cut short of saying federal legislative changes. Which is unfortunate.
 

Kilted

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FJAG said:
I didn't want to mention every assumption as I've said in the past that a new regime of federally mandated employer/employee legislative protection is essential to restructuring the reserves. They key to creating a lethal and capable reserve force is a set amount of mandatory collective training that achieves a doable balance of the amount of time demanded of the soldier, his family and employer with the amount of time needed to achieve the required battle standards.

:cheers:


One of the problems with this is that you may find that employers would be less willing to hire reservists. Which I could then see some people leaving it off their resumes, which would hinder some people. I'm sure that there would be a few employers who wouldn't be happy with new hires on the first day saying: "O, by the way...". If we really wanted compete job protection you would need to see reservists added as a protected group in the various human rights code, but that's all a whole other conversation.

As a reservist there are already a number of barriers to employment. For example evening and night shift are completely out depending on what time they start/finish. Jobs that require you to work weekends get hairy pretty fast.

Let's not forget the Pandora's box of having your C-of-C mad at you because you can't get work off and  your job mad at you for the time you do get off. And then the times when your C-of-C gets mad at you cause you can't get 10 days off in February for an ex, and tells you that you are a sub-par soldier and should VR because you didn't fill one of the eight spots that your regiment needs to fill for the ex. That hasn't happened to me, but I've seen similar things happen.

Then there are conflicts with family, especially for the younger guys. We had one soldier who had to sneak out of his house for an ex one weekend because his father told him that he couldn't go cause he wanted him home with the family. This individual was in his early 20's.
 

mariomike

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Kilted said:
As a reservist there are already a number of barriers to employment. For example evening and night shift are completely out depending on what time they start/finish. Jobs that require you to work weekends get hairy pretty fast.

I was a reservist, and a shift worker. Pretty simple. The full-time job comes first. It's your career. Not your hobby.

FJAG said:
They key to creating a lethal and capable reserve force is a set amount of mandatory collective training that achieves a doable balance of the amount of time demanded of the soldier, his family and employer with the amount of time needed to achieve the required battle standards.

My employer gave me two weeks Leave with Pay ( LWP ) each and every summer for PRes training.

Which was, I think, pretty generous. They had to pay me 80 hours at regular time, and my replacement another 80 hours at time and a half.

 

Kilted

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Not everyone looking for work has a career. I've even had my chain of command say that those with actual careers would be given more slack. But those who were working whatever they could find, due to school or whatever circumstances would be expected to still be there.
 

FJAG

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Re the employer/employee issue, I'm firmly on the side of having legislation and a system that makes a certain amount of training mandatory  whether the employer likes it or not. The vital ground in this argument is that you cannot create formed, trained and capable reserve units on a come-when-you-feel-like-it basis. Does that mean there will be some employer/employee issues as described above? Most probably. That's why there needs to be a legislative system and enforcement system to protect soldiers and why there needs to be a very clear covenant between the Army, the soldier, his family and his employer about the limits of "mandatory" training and a lengthy advance notice as to when it takes place (by which I mean a year in advance) so that everyone can adjust their lives accordingly.

Not trying to derail the employer/employee issue, my latest question has to do with the size of the full-time cadre required for a fully staffed Class A reserve battalion. I asked this question because when I did my estimates for consolidating the existing 128 reserve units into approximately 37 reserve units and you pooled all the RSS etc staff dedicated to the reserves now, you end up with approximately 17 full-timers per battalion. My question is: Is that adequate?

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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The problems with employers I encountered were almost universally due to the CAF's stubborn refusal to properly plan ahead.  Soldiers should be able to plan months ahead.  Higher HQs should issue timely orders to units to enable them to plan.

Employers, given timely notice, are great supporters.  Employers, given little to no notice for routine training, become remarkably skeptical about the Army.
 

Blackadder1916

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Kilted said:
One of the problems with this is . . .

Let's not forget the Pandora's box of . . .

Then there are conflicts with family  . . .

If one buys into a proposal of "Reserve Restructuring" then one also has to stop thinking of the myriad, niggling, little problems that interfere with reserve participation "as it stands now" and change thinking to how things will (hopefully) be done in a restructured force.  The most common comparison usually made is between the CAF Primary Reserve and the various Reserve and Guard elements of the US military.  While they have much more robust federal job protection legislation than we do, they are also not without problems in having some employers accept workplace absences due to military reserve service.  What probably makes it easier south of the border is that, besides the legal protections, Reserve and Guard units have (in many cases) actual missions and have been deployed as formed sub-units/units on a continuing and highly visible basis for most of the last 30 years (i.e., since Desert Shield/Storm).  Before then, yes, US reserve military units deployed in formed bodies, but that was mostly (post WW2) in training/exercise scenarios.

However one of the benefits of the US government taking their reserves seriously (and to be honest the adults do not really take the CF reserves seriously) is that along with real world missions comes the budgeting that makes it possible to plan training in advance (months and years in advance) and hold to those timings.  Those "39 days a year" have been the standard for over a hundred years and it is the exception, rather than the rule as in the case of the CF, that the funding for that minimum unit training will be clawed back to pay for something Regular.
 

MilEME09

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dapaterson said:
The problems with employers I encountered were almost universally due to the CAF's stubborn refusal to properly plan ahead.  Soldiers should be able to plan months ahead.  Higher HQs should issue timely orders to units to enable them to plan.

Employers, given timely notice, are great supporters.  Employers, given little to no notice for routine training, become remarkably skeptical about the Army.

I agree, I have lost support from employers before because of last minute course cancellations, etc... When a employer potentially reworks schedules for you, adds over time, or even hires additional staff, and your at the 11th hour say by the way its not happening any more. People tend to get pissed off at that for sure.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
I agree, I have lost support from employers before because of last minute course cancellations, etc... When a employer potentially reworks schedules for you, adds over time, or even hires additional staff, and your at the 11th hour say by the way its not happening any more. People tend to get pissed off at that for sure.

I have spoken to employers, some of them former military members, who refuse to hire reservists mainly for that reason.

It's not the soldier who is the problem, it's the vagaries of the system they work within.
 

Kilted

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daftandbarmy said:
I have spoken to employers, some of them former military members, who refuse to hire reservists mainly for that reason.

It's not the soldier who is the problem, it's the vagaries of the system they work within.

I suppose that there is no legal requirement to tell a potential employer that you are a reservist.  However, good luck getting the time off after doing that.  Although if someone was hard enough up for money, you never know.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
I have spoken to employers, some of them former military members, who refuse to hire reservists mainly for that reason.

It's not the soldier who is the problem, it's the vagaries of the system they work within.

My suggested solution to that is three-fold:

1.  Separate responsibility for DP1 trg from the unit and concentrate it with Depot units who target primarily young students who have summer time available and who need guaranteed and lengthy summer employment. An individual does not join his unit until DP1 qualified.

2.  Have units only responsible for collective training with mandatory training taking place on one 2.5-day weekend per month (10 per year for 25 days) and three weeks (23 days) in the summer (total 48 days annually) with trg dates set and fixed at least one year in advance.

3.  Improved employment legislation that supports soldiers for mandatory trg attendance and which provides incentives to employers to ease the burden of loosing individuals for those three weeks in the summer (over and above statutory annual vacation times).

All other trg beyond DP1 is voluntary with much of DP2 going on at Depot units during summer vacation periods (again targeting the young). Terms of service should be set so that an individual is recruited and signs on for a fixed term contract that covers both his anticipated DP1 trg cycle and at least two annual trg cycles with his unit. No voluntary release prior to the end of the contract and reenlistment would be encouraged through modest re-enlistment bonuses.

The intent here is to make recruitment attractive to young people while they have the time in the summers to train by way of Depot units that can adjust staff to meet recruiting fluctuation so that course can be set well in advance and never be cancelled.

Collective training at the units must be very predictable (ie set in stone) with minimal trg events so as to make it more attractive to older individuals who have more family and civilian employment commitments to deal with. I would foresee that unit collective trg be rigorously and centrally set through BTSs required to be completed by a given unit annually so that there is very little opportunity to run things "on the fly".

The big issue is to make the Class A system rigorously predictable so that everyone (members, family and employers) knows exactly what they are getting into from square one. There would still be room for individuals to volunteer for Class B/C opportunities but that is an altogether separate issue.

Will that be a system that fits everyone. Hardly. But it should fit enough people that units become effective over time.

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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It's a US context, but this hits too close to home...

https://twitter.com/oneminutecall/status/1286569408274534401/photo/1
 
S

stellarpanther

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With all the stuff going on with COVID and other legislation that has probably slowed or stopped for now, restructuring the reserves is probably not even on their radar.  Some of what you mentioned would also cost money that they don't have to spend.  We're going to see huge cuts in the next couple of budgets and DND/CAF isn't about to start spending more money for the reserves when money to the Reg force is going to shrink.  As well, you mentioned that people shouldn't even join their units until they are DP1 qualified.  Unless they really change which I doubt will happen, it could be a couple of years to get that course.  The way things seem to be at least in a couple of unit's I'm familiar with, as soon as they get DP1, they get promoted at the same time.  By the sounds of it being a Cpl in the Reserves doesn't mean you have any real experience in your job.


 
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