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Commentary "Why No One Should Join the Canadian Forces"

YZT580

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RoyalDrew said:
 

I am interested to see what will happen to DND if Leslie gets elected and is appointed MND.  Probably be similar to when Gordon O'Connor was MND i.e. "I don't need to listen to my advisers, I used to be a General, I know best!"
I sincerely and earnestly pray that you never get the chance
 

Marauder

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While I utterly disagree with Bruce on his choice of political affiliates (it's hard to express just how deep the unions and Red socialism run in Windsor, though) I will back him to the wall to speak out, especially on his horseshit treatment from VAC after being catastrophically injured in service to this country. The fact that he can walk and speak again, let alone be part of a meeting with a Minister, to discuss the issue of the regional VAC office closures, is a huge victory and testament to his grit. He always loved his brother and sisters in green, but given his treatment by the CF and VAC in the aftermath of his being injured, I can understand his antipathy and deep disappointment towards both institutions.

One other note; we went through QL2/3 at the same time (different training platoons), and put up CPL and walked the gauntlet around the same time. I was still with the unit when he got strafed by the A-10 over in the sand. A lot (a lot) of our cohort ended up in a diaspora across a multitude of MOSIDs, commands, units, and ranks. If you want to think some toon two hook doesn't have primary sources for what goes on across the breadth of DND, feel free, but it's entirely possible you are only telling yourself the story you want to hear.
 

brihard

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EDT: No, you know what, I've got a strong and harsh opinion, but nothing is made better by further putting it out than I already have. To any who read what I had posted, I'll stand by it, but after cooling off on this for a few days I feel better about not going after a fellow vet - however strongly I disagree - than I do by throwing my unnecessary two cents in.

I disagree with him strongly and have spoken harshly of this elsewhere. As a person and a vet, I wish him well and I really should shut myself down at that. As I think on it, that's more important.
 

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Marauder said:
While I utterly disagree with Bruce on his choice of political affiliates (it's hard to express just how deep the unions and Red socialism run in Windsor, though) I will back him to the wall to speak out, especially on his horseshit treatment from VAC after being catastrophically injured in service to this country. The fact that he can walk and speak again, let alone be part of a meeting with a Minister, to discuss the issue of the regional VAC office closures, is a huge victory and testament to his grit. He always loved his brother and sisters in green, but given his treatment by the CF and VAC in the aftermath of his being injured, I can understand his antipathy and deep disappointment towards both institutions.

One other note; we went through QL2/3 at the same time (different training platoons), and put up CPL and walked the gauntlet around the same time. I was still with the unit when he got strafed by the A-10 over in the sand. A lot (a lot) of our cohort ended up in a diaspora across a multitude of MOSIDs, commands, units, and ranks. If you want to think some toon two hook doesn't have primary sources for what goes on across the breadth of DND, feel free, but it's entirely possible you are only telling yourself the story you want to hear.

Marauder, I would support and follow Mr. Moncur to the end of the earth if he presented an argument that was backed up with facts.  Instead, he presents a series of half truths and false argumentations in order to further his own political career.  It has nothing to do with telling myself the story I want to hear.
 

Fishbone Jones

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Marauder said:
While I utterly disagree with Bruce on his choice of political affiliates (it's hard to express just how deep the unions and Red socialism run in Windsor, though) I will back him to the wall to speak out, especially on his horseshit treatment from VAC after being catastrophically injured in service to this country. The fact that he can walk and speak again, let alone be part of a meeting with a Minister, to discuss the issue of the regional VAC office closures, is a huge victory and testament to his grit. He always loved his brother and sisters in green, but given his treatment by the CF and VAC in the aftermath of his being injured, I can understand his antipathy and deep disappointment towards both institutions.

One other note; we went through QL2/3 at the same time (different training platoons), and put up CPL and walked the gauntlet around the same time. I was still with the unit when he got strafed by the A-10 over in the sand. A lot (a lot) of our cohort ended up in a diaspora across a multitude of MOSIDs, commands, units, and ranks. If you want to think some toon two hook doesn't have primary sources for what goes on across the breadth of DND, feel free, but it's entirely possible you are only telling yourself the story you want to hear.

:goodpost:

Great post Marauder. Let me know the next time you're coming to town and we can go do some shooting and drink some beer.
 

Eye In The Sky

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Perhaps if I can highlight a few of the things that I took issue with, it might be easier to see where some of us were not as supportive as others after reading the article.

It has gotten so bad that the Canadian forces has lowered their physical fitness standard

We went from EXPRES to FORCE.  There was no lowering of PT standards.

The submarines that don't float or sink.

I don't think that is a fair statement towards those in our Submarine Service, despite the problems of the past decade.  Take a look at Page 2 of the Trident, June 2008.

The F-18s are 40 years old -- a full two generations removed from being relevant.

I will let some links do the talking here. 

Link #1

Link #2

Link #3

It seems that more Sea Kings are falling out of the sky lately than Geese in the month of October.

While there have been some Seakings that have landed away from homeplate, is this not a little over the top?


And lastly, these are the ones that I took strong exception to.  While maybe not intended to be, these are *against* the CAF directly the way I read them.  They certainly aren't flattering by any means and if the author intended to make the finger point at the government and VAC, the final summary sees those of us still in uniform at the end of the pointed finger, IMO.

Advice to any perspective enlistee that they explore all other options first. Only as a last ditch effort should you consider joining the Canadian Forces.

If you so choose to wear the same uniform that so many great men and women did generations before it would behoove you to not be a hero for the sake of you and your family's wellbeing. The decade of darkness has given way to the generation of disgrace.

Not sure how that last part was intended to come across, but...I guess we'll never know.  I for one, don't consider this generation of serving CAF members 'a generation of disgrace'.  Maybe I am reading it in the wrong context.

I believe there is such a thing as the wrong way to convey the right message, and that seems to be what happened here.

*Last Point* - where does the finger REALLY need to be pointed as to the state of the CAF;  to our government, or to the people who elect it???  If they really cared about the CAF and things happening outside our borders, then the government might listen to that message.  I think the government is listening to the message of Joe and Jane Taxpayer and they aren't talking about "more support to the military".  :2c:

 

Eye In The Sky

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Marauder said:
If you want to think some toon two hook doesn't have primary sources for what goes on across the breadth of DND, feel free, but it's entirely possible you are only telling yourself the story you want to hear.

It's also entirely possible the info of these 'primary sources from across the breadth of DND" are providing partial, or even inaccurate, information.  And that maybe, sometimes, an author is only hearing what he/she wants to hear.  In this case, it seemed to be all "Henny Penny/Doom and gloom".  While I agree there is some doom and gloom, it certainly isn't all 100% FUBAR.

Cheers
 

Jarnhamar

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I got into a debate about this story off-line so figured I'd see how my views fare here too. 

Starting off with a bit of a side bar. Maybe not so much here but in a few places I frequent there seems to be a view that the opinions CF members who are injured (especially Afghanistan) somehow hold more weight in debates.  I had a good friend who was injured in the same attack the author was who has had a pretty shitty go and pretty shitty treatment from the CF. We've talked about it a few times and it's really left me disheartened.  I don't think his views on the CF, outside of being injured, are anymore astute than anyone elses.

I also know someone else who was injured in this attack who seems to think it gives him not only incredible insight to all things CF related but that his opinion, as an injured vet, is way more important and enlightened than everyone else.  He's quite obnoxious to listen to.


Moving on to this story I agree with some of the points and disagree with others.

First I think it's a stupid opinion that people shouldn't join the CF because of the reasons he mentioned.  His big angle (or one of them) is that we don't have enough people so he suggests people furthermore shouldn't join the CF?  Sure.

We get more than 49 rounds per soldier.  49 rounds wouldn't even be enough to qualify a soldier for the specific level of training they're talking about (PWT3).  There is other mandatory live fire shoots that soldiers are required to do in order for officers and units to get the yearly checks in the box.    The biggest problem with ammo is that there is a disconnect between how much ammo we request to do training and how many soldiers are available for the training.  Ordering enough ammo for 120 soldiers and having less than 20 show up for the range just turns it into administrative BS with jiggling the ammo around.  There's still a mentality that we have to use whatever ammo we have, even if it's wasting it, in order to get more ammo next year.

The LAVs, well ya. Maintenance costs a lot.  If troops were out in LAVs every day week after week month after month then they'd just turn around and bitch and complain that they're working too much- and we'd be treated to stories about over worked soldiers.

In wainwright LAVs were driving around with no soldiers in the back because we don't have enough soldiers to put in the back.

No units deployed to Afghanistan in a light infantry role? Wrong of course.  I don't think people realize how vehicle intensive "light infantry" can be either.

Not enough soldiers for parades in reserve units? that's nothing new.  A friend of mine was just telling me they went on a weekend exercise with the reserves and only had 4 soldiers.  They also had a LT-Col, Maj, 2 Captains,  CWO, MWO, WO, and 2 Sgts.
Brigade ex's are just as bad, and soldiers get treated even worse.
On the other side of troops getting treated like shit some troops, namely Afghan vets, some  get a prima-donna complex and feel most if not all reserve training is below them.  Weekend doing basic winter warfare? Pfft, they want to apply for close protection, CJIRU, PSYOP courses or go on a jammy enemy force weekend tasking with their tour chest rigs and live large.

Poor equipment I agree with 100%.  No winter boots. Constantly out of clothing sizes. Tons of short falls.  But we will still charge someone for wearing a toque with no gloves on.


Going to Afghanistan I was never worried about how I would be treated if I was injured, I had unshakable faith.  Now in light of how vets are treated?  Deploying into a war zone would be a huge worry for me because I'm not confident the CF or VA would take care of me.


I'm not sure what the authors angle is. I think he's accurate with some observations, inaccurate with others.  NOT joining the Canadian forces isn't a way to defend our freedom or even prove a point.  I wouldn't vote for someone who's platform is to essentially leave Canada without a military.
 

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Ir'm not sure what the authors angle is. I think he's accurate with some observations, inaccurate with others.  NOT joining the Canadian forces isn't a way to defend our freedom or even prove a point.  I wouldn't vote for someone who's platform is to essentially leave Canada without a military.

It's the inaccuracies that I am concerned about.  As you say, some people who are Vets think that somehow qualifies them as an expert on all things military related and gives them carte blanche to run their mouths about anything and anyone.  I don't claim to be an expert, rather I stick with what I know and what is backed up by verifiable information.  If Mr. Moncur truly believes what he wrote than I challenge him to refute anything I or anyone else has said against his article.
 

Jarnhamar

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One of the first things I noticed clicking on the link in the OP was how he identifies himself.  Former soldier.  Obviously there's nothing wrong with that but in my opinion most non-military people will automatically think okay he knows what he's talking about and be a subject matter expert if you will.  I'd imagine civilians will be predisposed to not question his "facts" such as the 49 rounds a year.  By the time inaccuracies have been pointed out, referenced and corrected people have already spent their 15 seconds raging over a story, not doing any research, making a quick inflamatory comment and then moving on to the next story to get outraged about for 15 seconds.


What really stood out to me was that he has a BA in history which mean's he's educated and knows how to conduct research. He's not a dummy.  I've wrote an article for a news paper and by the time it made it to print I couldn't even recognize my own work, it was edited and changed into something totally different.  The same thing as all of us go through with writing PDRs and PERs. (Hand over my heart I had to modify one of my soldiers PERs 24 times).    It's just a guess but I'm inclined to think that this guys story was edited, edited and edited some more so much that inaccuracies popped up and were expanded on.
 

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Jarnhamar said:
One of the first things I noticed clicking on the link in the OP was how he identifies himself.  Former soldier.  Obviously there's nothing wrong with that but in my opinion most non-military people will automatically think okay he knows what he's talking about and be a subject matter expert if you will.  I'd imagine civilians will be predisposed to not question his "facts" such as the 49 rounds a year.  By the time inaccuracies have been pointed out, referenced and corrected people have already spent their 15 seconds raging over a story, not doing any research, making a quick inflamatory comment and then moving on to the next story to get outraged about for 15 seconds.


What really stood out to me was that he has a BA in history which mean's he's educated and knows how to conduct research. He's not a dummy.  I've wrote an article for a news paper and by the time it made it to print I couldn't even recognize my own work, it was edited and changed into something totally different.  The same thing as all of us go through with writing PDRs and PERs. (Hand over my heart I had to modify one of my soldiers PERs 24 times).    It's just a guess but I'm inclined to think that this guys story was edited, edited and edited some more so much that inaccuracies popped up and were expanded on.

This may be but he is still ultimately responsible for anything that is put out with his name attached to it. 
 

Old Sweat

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RoyalDrew said:
This may be but he is still ultimately responsible for anything that is put out with his name attached to it.

As someone who has been published (and paid for it) on several occasions, I am left with the impression that the piece was not edited very much, if at all.

As an example, what is the author trying to say in the following passage? It contains several contradictory themes.

Another unit that has paved the way for Canadian freedom and democracy is that of the Royal Canadian Regiment or the RCR. 1 and 3 RCR are posted to Petawawa, Ontario. 1RCR was a mechanized infantry unit until recently when it began training as a light infantry unit again. This was not a tactical decision but a budgetary one. The maintenance and upkeep of the LAVIII vehicles is too much for the unit and has caused their fleet to be grounded. If you go to the base you can see the LAVS sitting there under piles of snow. Recent wars have shown that mechanized infantry has been proven to be essential to modern warfare.

To my knowledge there were no Canadian units that deployed to Kandahar in a light infantry role. This is just like the lack of ammunition to train with. The ability to be an effective force is conducive to being able to operate with the equipment required to do ones job. If the soldiers are not able to use the LAVs then their confidence in operating them is reduced and the overall effectiveness is greatly diminished. [Unquote]
 

Monsoon

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Jarnhamar said:
What really stood out to me was that he has a BA in history which mean's he's educated and knows how to conduct research. He's not a dummy.  I've wrote an article for a news paper and by the time it made it to print I couldn't even recognize my own work, it was edited and changed into something totally different.  The same thing as all of us go through with writing PDRs and PERs. (Hand over my heart I had to modify one of my soldiers PERs 24 times).    It's just a guess but I'm inclined to think that this guys story was edited, edited and edited some more so much that inaccuracies popped up and were expanded on.
HufPo is a essentially a blog service; they screen the people they let host blogs there to a degree, but there is no editing of content to speak of. You're right that the writer is no fool and that he has both the experience and tools needed to write a factual article. In this case he chose not to use them, and decided instead to write a deliberately disingenuous piece intended to misinform the general public and tarnish the image of the CAF for political reasons. If he was once a private, he's now entirely a politician; he should be treated as such.
 

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So as someone on the outside trying to get in, I should take his article with a grain of salt?
No truth to his words? Mostly true? Is the CAF undermanned? Underfunded? Under-equipped? Treats their wounded and vets poorly?

 

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As far as the "49 rounds a year" bit goes, I wouldn't doubt it. When I graduated Infantry DP1 in Sept 08, to the time I deployed to Afghanistan in Sept 09, I had fired just enough live rounds to zero my C-7 prior to it being bagged and shipped overseas.  Even blank rounds wasn't much better.  Less than 2 mags fired during work-up training.
 

Jarnhamar

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stealthylizard said:
As far as the "49 rounds a year" bit goes, I wouldn't doubt it. When I graduated Infantry DP1 in Sept 08, to the time I deployed to Afghanistan in Sept 09, I had fired just enough live rounds to zero my C-7 prior to it being bagged and shipped overseas.  Even blank rounds wasn't much better.  Less than 2 mags fired during work-up training.

You deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry soldier in a rifle company without doing live fire pairs, section, platoon and company attacks in training?
You never trained live fire room and house clearing, or taking out a trench?
 

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cryco said:
So as someone on the outside trying to get in, I should take his article with a grain of salt?
No truth to his words? Mostly true? Is the CAF undermanned? Underfunded? Under-equipped? Treats their wounded and vets poorly?

Listen, there is no question that Bruce Moncur was hard done by and I am sorry for what happened to him.  However, what he has presented in his blog is a misinformation piece.  He is a member of the NDP and is towing the party line now as he is one of their candidates.  I'm not saying take what he is saying with a grain of salt, rather understand where he is coming from and maybe contrast that with some stuff you have read here and then formulate your own opinion.

The military is a large organization and for every person you hear saying it sucked and I never want to be part of that organization again, you'll get another person saying it was awesome and the best time of their life.

Only you can decide if you think it's the right fit for you.
 

stealthylizard

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You deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry soldier in a rifle company without doing live fire pairs, section, platoon and company attacks in training?
You never trained live fire room and house clearing, or taking out a trench?

I was deployed as part of Tpt, with Admin Coy. I never took part in any live fire training during work up training.  I got to do some of that fun stuff after I returned to Canada, when I was posted back to 3VP. I didn't even have IPSWQ until after I came back.

Edit: I had the pleasure of helping set up and clean up the ranges for the other companies after their live fire training was completed.
 
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