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Change of Command - RAWC 2021: Are We "getting it right"?

dapaterson

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I would have had the same question in my head if the article was about a LogO who became the Cmdt of the CF H Svcs Trg Center (sorry if that isn't the actually name); "is that the best person and trade for that position?" Obviously I guess...I think not.

HCA and HSO are really just Log-Health, so why not?
 

Infanteer

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Sometimes I think we defer too much to background, and not enough to capability and capacity.

"Position needs a Cbt Arms Officer" as opposed to "Position needs a talented Staff Officer"
 

Good2Golf

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Not sure you intended to striate things into Cbt Arms/Operator vs Staff Officer?
 

Infanteer

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I used those as examples. Replace with:

"Pilot Officer" as opposed to "Competent and Intelligent Leader"
 

Good2Golf

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One could say any COL/GOL position should be filled with just that...a COL/GOL, then. I don’t know the specifics of the RAWC Comdt position, so the discussion may not be an issue, especially if an AIRGEN position. The only example I’ve ever seen as senior levels was actually the Army that chose to experiment with a non-operator as Commander...not sure if the position was revised to state operator (or even Cbt Arms) or just a ‘won’t likely ever happen again’ thing.
 

dapaterson

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Heck, the Army was once so desperate for GOFO talent they let a TacHel BGen be Chief of Staff, Operations in the Army HQ.
 

McG

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1 CAD took an Army Engineer officer as its COS not that long ago.
 

Mick

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I believe it was MGen St-Louis at 1 CAD a few years ago, if I'm not mistaken.
 

Eye In The Sky

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HCA and HSO are really just Log-Health, so why not?

Because neither of those trade are providing health care, they are supporting the provision of it.

So, back to my point; is your example the best combination of (1) the best person from (2) the best trade.

Somewhat similar; I've had to deal with people who have never operated a sensor, or crewed an aircraft and spend hours and hours trying to get them to understand that their opinion is wrong, despite what their belief is, on a certain function. I've related it to real world operations - peacetime like SAR, operations, war. They don't and won't get it because there is no 'experience' to relate to, to bridge the gap.

T
 

SupersonicMax

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St-Louis was the COS at 1 CAD in the 2011/2012 timeframe.

I have no real concerns for non-“operators” to be in such positions, even Wing Command as long as they have an operational mindset and are surrounded by strong staff to guide them. What is more important is for them is to have an understanding of the institution and strong cognitive abilities. At that level, this is a lot more important than knowing flying/sailing/walking.
 

Good2Golf

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I have no real concerns for non-“operators” to be in such positions, even Wing Command as long as they have an operational mindset and are surrounded by strong staff to guide them. What is more important is for them is to have an understanding of the institution and strong cognitive abilities.

At that level, this is a lot more important than knowing flying/sailing/walking.
By “operational mindset” is it just the mindset and desire to be a good Commandant that matters then? As well, would be interested to understand your concept of “staff to guide them.” I thought Command-Staff relationship was the other way around, but things may have changed since I retired... 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

dimsum

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Somewhat similar; I've had to deal with people who have never operated a sensor, or crewed an aircraft and spend hours and hours trying to get them to understand that their opinion is wrong, despite what their belief is, on a certain function. I've related it to real world operations - peacetime like SAR, operations, war. They don't and won't get it because there is no 'experience' to relate to, to bridge the gap.
I think that's more a function of the person, more than anything else. That person is unwilling to take in information - that's just bad leadership (irrespective of operational experience or not).

In the same scenario, someone without that same experience could also say "you're the SME here, what do you think works best?"
 

Eye In The Sky

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It's not quite that simple, and not limited to a single person...and involves a few different dept's. They are "higher up" the food chain though, so despite their lack of knowledge and experience, they 'do as they see fit'...to the deteriment of the objectives and goals.

Which is my point, partially I guess. If the chosen Commander isn't 'from the best trade', are they (balance of probabilities context) not less likely to make the best choices/decisions because they're going to have a hand that is a few cards short?
 

Eye In The Sky

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Thanks to those who've contributed. I know my exposure is usually topped at the CO, ATF Comd, possibly WComd level and I have no experience or real understanding of how positions like RAWC Comd are selected, etc.

Some decent points and considerations...thanks for that.
 

McG

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Another perspective to ponder. If you are worried that a colonel level officer from a support occupation cannot possibly oversee the development of doctrine & capability that relates to the air operations occupations, how do you think the officer from an air operations occupation can possibly oversee the development of doctrine & capability that relates to air logistics? The RCAF will not benefit if RAWC only looks at the shiny things that fall under the Act function.
 

dimsum

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Thanks to those who've contributed. I know my exposure is usually topped at the CO, ATF Comd, possibly WComd level and I have no experience or real understanding of how positions like RAWC Comd are selected, etc.
Yeah, the tactical/operational side is very different than the strategic/"support" side. Ask anyone who's been posted to the NCR.
 

daftandbarmy

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Thanks to those who've contributed. I know my exposure is usually topped at the CO, ATF Comd, possibly WComd level and I have no experience or real understanding of how positions like RAWC Comd are selected, etc.

Some decent points and considerations...thanks for that.

I was in one (mo-lisha) Infantry unit that was commanded by an Engineer, and another that had a Sigs Officer as CO.

In the case of the former, he was smart enough to realize that he didn't have much of a clue about our job so was open to being advised by us, which generally worked out OK (except that he was a micro-managing office dweller). The RSSO we had at the time did a good job keeping it all on the right path.

In the case of the latter, he thought that he knew more about our jobs than we did, which went less well all round of course especially since the RSSO we had at the time was awful in a spectacular way ;)
 

SupersonicMax

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By “operational mindset” is it just the mindset and desire to be a good Commandant that matters then? As well, would be interested to understand your concept of “staff to guide them.” I thought Command-Staff relationship was the other way around, but things may have changed since I retired... 🤷🏻‍♂️
Operational mindset, to me, is synonymous with primacy of operations and a fighting spirit.

As far as staff guiding commanders, people have to be honest with themselves. We can't be experts in everything therefore, we need people to guide our decisions (that's also true for "operators" who need guiding on the log/maintenance side). Any other way would be, imo, a very arrogant way to command. The CO of my previous unit was a non-operator (AERE) as the CO (Colonel) of a flying unit. As his senior pilot/operator in the unit, one of my main jobs was to guide his decisions regarding flying operations and all that it encompasses. Sometimes, he entirely delegated parts of flying operations and he retained the authority over some other areas. I thought it was a very effective way to leader the unit.
 
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