• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves

mariomike

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
601
Points
1,260
Chris Pook said:
MM:

I would argue that those "volunteers" had just moved up the scale from "volunteers" to "part-time employees".

That shouldn't discount the contributions of all the unpaid volunteers serving small communities.

Why wouldn't you want to take advantage of freely offered hours?

Why wouldn't you want to ?

Chris, I see no reason why not to take advantage of freely offered hours. If  the hours are freely offered, and the unpaid member is not required to serve a minimum number of hours.

My reply was limited to Reply #2481, "...volunteer Militia this would be something like a cross between volunteer firefighters/police auxiliary..."

Although we do not have volunteer firefighters in the city where I live, I read this on a Canadian website, "Contrary to a common assumption, ‘volunteer’ does not mean ‘free’.  Volunteer fire fighters are paid-on-call employees of the municipalities they work for.  They receive a standard hourly wage for all calls they respond to, and they are often paid for attending meetings and their practice sessions."
http://www.thefirewithin.ca/blog/?p=70

We do have auxiliary police in my city. But, they must serve "a minimum of 150 hours per year."

I read here about paid Reservists, "They don't even have to parade 12 days/24 Nights.  Once in a 30 day period that has 3 scheduled parades in it if the unit will actually enforce the NES policy.  Depending on a unit parade schedule this could be as little as 7 parades for a unit that stands up in Sep and stands down in May.  I have seen a unit schedule based on budget restrictions in the past consist of Sep - Nov, stand down for Dec, Jan/Feb and Mar have evenings designated as on ramps if money was available so 5 evening parades kept the mbrs safe for that period.  Apr started the new FY so they had to do 1 day in Apr and 1 Day in May to finish off the training year."

If that's the case for paid Reservists, it would be difficult to demand unpaid "militia" serve an equal or greater amount of time.

I simply questioned if the comparison of unpaid militia with volunteer firefighters or auxiliary police was valid.

krimynal said:
sadly because they decided to boycott me from all the courses and everything. That's one of the main reason why I decided to release and re-apply directly RegF.  But hey , that's my personnal story don't want to drift from the original posts !

I think that information - if you are being held back on courses etc because of a CT application - is relevant to this discussion, krimynal.







 

krimynal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I remember vividly my MWO telling the guys in the OPs about not putting me on any course , or if they did , to put me at the very end if they really "don't have any choice to put someone up there"

Good thing for me tho was that the guy working at OPs was a RegF member.  He understood me and always tried a LOT to put me on different course and tasking.  But my CoC was really against every tasking I got.

I had the upmost respect for him .... my CoC ... not so much haha ;)
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
1,779
Points
1,060
ArmyRick said:
This is a good thread to follow and I would hope some of these concerns make their way up to the Minister, maybe not through these means but through CoC and "nasty" reports.

The reserves are an excellent return in investment on the dollar. I am saying this as an ex-regular force soldier, currently a reserve infantry CSM. It hurts a lot of people's feeling but shoving ego aside, here is the reality. The current government (and most previous ones) do not have the stomach to build up a true full size three or four brigade army. They are not willing to spend the funds, not now and not likely in the near future. Deal with it.

I have done 2/3 of my tours as a reservist. From an Infantry perspective, I will say this, most units keep a pretty good rythymn of training soldier indivdual up to platoon level skills. Most operational deployments, it takes anywheres between 3-6 months to shake out and get the soldiers up to speed. Most regular force infantry battalions need at least a month or two of shake out training themselves to get sorted. UNLESS they are fresh off the road to high readiness.

Now for resources, a very good point. We need vehicles, no if, ands or buts, we need vehicles. We need uniforms and personal kit as well, that seems to be a systemic problem across the board. On the shortage of resources, we may need to really focus on what we need from our reserve force. I will say the politically incorrect thing to say and hurt people's feelings. Is it time to re-roll a few regiments into less resource intensive arms? Like re-rolling some armoured and artillery regiments into infantry?
My regiment has been artillery and armoured corps in the past. We are Infantry today and have been since 1970, we originally were infantry.

Why create more Infantry?
1. We are simple to train and equip (small arms, troops, radios and a few vehicles for stores)
2. Our trg delta with reg f light infantry is very marginal.
3. Infantry can be used for force protection, dom ops, parades, etc. We truly are a "general duty" force
4. Very easy to deploy when needed (aircraft, ship, bus, on foot, boat, ATV, snowmobile, helicopter)5. You can build
5. You can build an easily achievable training cycle from September to May going from individual to section to platoon and touching onto company level operations (most certainly can do by the time the summer ex rolls around)

What does it take?
POLITICAL WILL from both inside the army and the politicians
I think we need to re-think how P Res pay funding is sourced (from Army O & M budget, is it not?), how about same as reg force members?
Someone with more info than myself on pay can comment on that please
It will need people to park their egos to the side

Remember the context of this modern Canada, Their is no desire to build or maintain a large regular army, we do some very unique operations overseas with unpredictable forecast of what we will be asked to do and some P Res can be fired up to Op readiness pretty quick

I'll play the Devils Advocate using a point I read elsewhere early today about this topic.

- It takes about 1/3 the cost to produce a trained Res soldier to "level X" than it does a Reg force one.

- being that most Res units are thin, and there is no real way to be able to predict 'who' will show up when the SHTF (say, Dom Ops or something). 

- the Reserves could be disbanded, if there are approx. 15,000 parading strength.

- take THAT money, and produce 5000 additional Reg Force mbr's who would be available 24/7 and trained.

:warstory:
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,133
Points
1,060
PuckChaser said:
Volunteer firefighters are not volunteers. They're like reservists that are on call. They show up, they get paid. That's not a true volunteer.

PC:  didn't you "volunteer" for the Regs?

Words are such slippery things.

 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,133
Points
1,060
Further to unpaid volunteer fire fighters:

By Nick Krewen  |  www.samaritanmag.com
Posted on July 31, 2011
Isaac Jones

Here’s a surprising stat: Canada boasts more than 85,000 volunteer firefighters.

That’s, volunteer, as in unpaid   (Edit: I will assume the difference between these 85,000 unpaid volunteers and the 114,250 volunteers mentioned previously represents a paid on-call force of some 29,000)— these brave men and women risk their lives every time an alarm is sounded for very little or no remuneration.

“We do what we do because in many cases, the community needs protection,” Martin Bell, Nova-Scotia-based president of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association, tells Samaritanmag. “The local municipality doesn’t necessarily have the funds to have a career fire department to provide the service that they need.”

Bell estimates that there are approximately 3500 volunteer fire stations located across Canada, with volunteers often donating upwards of 25 hours of personal time a month to ensure public safety.

They’re also responsible for purchasing their own equipment and custom-built uniform, which could add up to $6000.

“It usually costs about $2500 to equip one firefighter with a helmet, protective burn equipment, gloves, your bunker suit, which is usually heat-and-fire retardant — and that suit is normally built to the size of individual to meet their height, weight and waistline,” Bell explains. “So it’s not like you can order a couple of suits and hang them in the fire station for anyone to use.”

Bell says there’s also the breathing apparatus that you would don with a tank and mask in addition to your suit. “That would very well add another $3500,” he explains.

Volunteers undergo the same amount of rigorous training, usually 200 hours worth, before they’re ready to go out on calls.


Sometimes the firefighters receive a small honorarium of $1000 to $2000 per 200 or 300 volunteer hours per year, but that is intended as “reimbursement for clothing that may be destroyed or may need to be washed,” says Bell.

He also says it’s not unusual to for volunteers to dip into their own pockets to keep the stations in small municipalities running.

“Sometimes during the winter months, members of the community or that fire department would chip in to fill the oil tank in that station to make sure that the equipment doesn’t freeze,’ Bell asserts.

Bell says that are three types of fire stations in Canada: career, composite and volunteer. Career fire stations are fully staffed with paid individuals; composite is centered on a few paid staffers and supplemented with volunteers; and, of course, the latter consists solely of volunteers.

Municipalities fund their own fire stations and firefighters, and Bell explains that costs can be prohibitive. “Once you become a career (full-time) firefighter, it automatically puts the municipality into a different liability class,” he concedes.

In some composite station cases, the municipality employs the fire chief because of the chief’s changing role and insurance complexities, while volunteers man the rest of the station.

“The fire chief is more of an administrator as well as a fire ground commander,” says Bell. “The government, and Workman’s Compensation, and some of the provincial statutes, require a lot of paper work after every fire, either for insurance or safety needs, so the documentation has to be very accurate and submitted in a timely fashion.

“So municipalities will hire a career chief, and they’re responsible to make sure that all this reporting is done on time, and be responsible for the selection of the training criteria for that department.”

Peter Van Loan
(L to R) Peter Van Loan, leader of the Government In The House Of Commons with Martin Bell, president, Canada Volunteer Fire Services Association
In composite situations, Bell says volunteers are only called upon when needed.

“When an alarm comes in, they will dispatch a paid crew, and if it’s a minor fire, that’s the last you’ll hear of it,” he says. “If it becomes a working fire, then they’ll put out a second alarm, which will summon volunteers to come to the station, and they’ll don their equipment and drive out with extra trucks and work beside the career firefighters because you have a manpower need or a human resource need that exceeds the normal capacity.”

As far as procuring and updating equipment, Bell says its often “the pride of the community that ensure you get a little better truck, a little better training and a little better equipment,” either through donations or fundraising.

Bell, a professional paramedic and 30-year veteran who started his volunteer firefighting career at the age of 16, says the biggest challenges today facing firefighting departments are volunteer retention and declining enrollment.

“I’d say that 20 years from now, many municipalities will be looking at a very serious situation, or a much increased budget for moving towards career firefighters.”

He says it’s still easy to volunteer: just show up at a station and ask. There will be forms to fill out and interviews that will be conducted — and volunteers won’t necessarily need to go out on call and risk their lives.

“They could be bookkeeping or doing some banking, whatever else is needed to keep that fire department rolling,” Bell explains.

Bell would like to see some funding changes implemented, specifically the federal and/or provincial governments “to accept some responsibility for the cost to provide that service within the community,” arguing that he would define volunteer firefighters responding to disasters such as floods and other community crises as “a civic emergency response rather than a fire community response.”

He’d also like to see some federal or provincial compensation to the families of those volunteers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Often those surviving families get little or nothing in the way of compensation,” he states. “They might get as little as $20,000 or $30,000 in their insurance policy, which is barely enough to feed a family for a year, let alone the rest of their lives.”

At times a thankless job, Bell says the reason volunteer firefighters engage in the profession is a sense of pride in their community. “They’re hoping to give back in some way,” he says.

- See more at: http://www.samaritanmag.com/798/ever-dreamed-becoming-volunteer-firefighter#sthash.nQ3zabJh.dpuf
 

PuckChaser

Moderator
Staff member
Directing Staff
Mentor
Reaction score
1,534
Points
1,060
Chris Pook said:
PC:  didn't you "volunteer" for the Regs?

Words are such slippery things.
Press-ganged. Cheap beer though, so I stayed.
 

Bird_Gunner45

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Eye In The Sky said:
I'll play the Devils Advocate using a point I read elsewhere early today about this topic.

- It takes about 1/3 the cost to produce a trained Res soldier to "level X" than it does a Reg force one.

- being that most Res units are thin, and there is no real way to be able to predict 'who' will show up when the SHTF (say, Dom Ops or something). 

- the Reserves could be disbanded, if there are approx. 15,000 parading strength.

- take THAT money, and produce 5000 additional Reg Force mbr's who would be available 24/7 and trained.

:warstory:

With the way the reserves is now this may not be a bad option.

Everyone here seems to be pushing for the reserve combat arm elements, but there is a good argument to adapt most units into CSS units to take advantage of skills readily available in civilian industry. For example, it would be easier/cheaper to recruit mechanics, Sup Techs, cooks, drivers, construction engineers, etc from civilian labour and teach them to be soldiers than to try and train armour soldiers without armour, gunners without guns, and infantry without trucks/MGs.

The US reserves is structured this way, and they want to cut the fat out of the Reg force.....
 

runormal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
krimynal said:
The only problem I see with that is ,

Most of the people in the reserve are part time because they are currently at school , which costs a small fortune. 
Here in Quebec ( I don't know if it's the same everywhere ) if you work too much , the government will cease some of the student loans that helps you to go to school in the first place.
I for one was doing a degree 2 years ago while in the reserve.  When I made my taxes at the end of the year , initially the government was giving me 2000$ in loans and 3500$ in scolarship ( that I didn't have to give back).

Once they saw how much money I made with the army ( which wasn't much ) they removed all my scolarship and left me with only the loans , So I now was in debt of 3500$ because I wanted to work while in school.

If you start taking some students , ask them to train on nights / weekends.  To manage full time students ( which dosen't pay ) and tell them that while basic training they won't get a paycheck neither.
There is no way these kids will be able to survive and complete a degree or any type of higher education without money.  The idea is good ... but the outcome will be dramatic

Your tuition is like half the cost of the rest of the country ;D. I studied there for a year, it was cheaper to do 8 months in Québec than 4 months in Ontario... plus beer was cheaper. But i do Agree. en ontario c'est la même chose. After about $7k all of the money after that is "free", you don't pay it back but it is directly related to your parents/income. First year I received like $13k, as I started to work and more I received less and less. I think the last year I only received $3k and owed the government $4k during the middle of the semester (I was working a job in my field as well as showing up to every event with the reserves... Fun, fun times. Looks like student loans are fucked throughout the country. This is a valid point to discuss. The more you work, the less grant money you receive and then you might as well not work...  ??? 

Spectrum said:
I'd leave the PRes "status quo" and I'd take every chance to "steal" the best and brightest of the PRes for individual augmentation or CT. The golden carrot works, I've seen it.

Funny I can't even get an interview for MARS/LOGS for 5 years. "It is closed" yet DCMPG-5 suggested that I release and reapply, as did the captain at the CFRC. Yet the directive CF Mil Pers 3/08 (written in 2008) says I will be allocated an external spot for a CT/OT..  The Captain literally said "If we take you from the reserves we have to replace you". Which is true, but I've maxed out my ILP, other than my pay (which to be quite honest isn't bad) there is very little incentive to stay, or to work as much as I do. Especially once the student loans are taken care off. Most of my friends have found jobs in their field of study and are now/or have released. I'll be honest, I'm single, love my job, love my unit and I have a love/hate organization with the organization (I truly do love it). I spent all week verifying stats between excel/powerpoint and tomorrow i'm moving files between databases. I'm looking quite forward to working this weekend  :nod:. 

Spectrum said:
Well if that's truly the case, then nothing positive will come out of more investment into the PRes. If I were in charge, why would I allocate my limited resources to train and equip a "reserve" that won't actually function in that context? I'd be much more inclined to focus on funding the RegF in that case.
Another valid point, this year the end of summer ex is 2 weeks. I'm on a contract until the end of August. I'd love to go, but if I don't show up to work at my current job I loosemoney. I'll make more money staying at work (sorry at this point of my life, money is more important as I have over $20k of debt), likewise this job may turn into a full-time job. I'd love to give more back to the reserves as it has given me so much (Attention to detail, huge boost in self confidence, physical fitness (lost 40 lbs since joining the reserves), a great group of friends, some really fucking cool experiences (i.e going past the tree line), thousands of dollars, business connections, helped me with my french, teamwork, leadership experience). I could go on and on. I love the reserves, I really do. But I've essentially been told to "fuck off" when it comes to full time employment. I've turned down PLQ + full time summer taskings to work in my field of study. Quite frankly, I'm glad I did because I'm much further ahead in my civvy career as result of it. This organization has let me off for the exercise in my first summer there, so we will see what happens... 

But with the way everything is structured and that I've graduated, I can no longer "take a semester off", "take a year off". I'm trained, I'm at the rank I am and it will likely take me two summers to get my MCpl's. Even if my work gives me the time off work to go on PLQ, there is no way in hell they will also give me a week or two off to go on the ex at the end off the summer. Other than weekends, I'm unemployable. And to be honest I'd rather use my 3-4 weeks or whatever I'll get off to go see my friends in Australia or Europe rather than go up to Northern Ontario or spend two weeks in Meaford in the middle of the summer. Forcing my employer to do it isn't going to fly. I'd take LWOP if I could, (From my olders friends I've talked to, their employers typically make them max out on vacation days first and if they need additional days to do LWOP) and take the hit financially but my short term priorities are visiting the friends I've made around the world. Don't get me wrong, the week/2 week exercises are the best experiences I've had in the reserves, but now I simply do not have the time.

There are countless problems within the reserves, equipment shortages,  the recruiting system, the training system, the retention system, the CT system. Like I've already said, I'd love to do more go on every long exercise, go up "north". But the day job pays my bills, and the reserves is assisting with that. If i lost my day job i'd be screwed.

Eye In The Sky said:
I'll play the Devils Advocate using a point I read elsewhere early today about this topic.

- It takes about 1/3 the cost to produce a trained Res soldier to "level X" than it does a Reg force one.
- being that most Res units are thin, and there is no real way to be able to predict 'who' will show up when the SHTF (say, Dom Ops or something). 
- the Reserves could be disbanded, if there are approx. 15,000 parading strength.
- take THAT money, and produce 5000 additional Reg Force mbr's who would be available 24/7 and trained.

:warstory:

This is an option, but if we ever "need" the reserves again how hard will it be to build it up from scratch? 
 

GR66

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
825
Points
1,040
Just to be clear about my suggestion about "volunteer" Militia.  A member of the Militia would only be unpaid if A) they choose not to pursue trades training beyond basic training (and SQ?) and in-unit training, or B) until they reach the rank of Corporal (alternately this could be revised to until they complete their complete DP1 training).

The idea behind this is that until you have completed your initial trades training you are not yet "employable" in the key role of being a potential Reg Force augmentee.

Volunteer militia would still get paid though while on CF courses and if they are called up for domestic ops.  Just like an "on call" volunteer firefighter.  While I'm sure some people would gladly ship off to fight a fire for a couple of weeks without pay if asked, I'm not suggesting that. 

Think of it like Cadets for adults in a way.  You show up a night or two every week and the occasional weekend without being paid because you enjoy what you're doing and you think it's important.  When you have to make a more serious time commitment to go off to camp in the summer you get paid for it.  The difference however is that once you reach a certain level of training where you become truly "employable" in your trade you begin to get paid just like Reservists are now.

 

CBH99

Army.ca Veteran
Donor
Reaction score
1,019
Points
1,090
Just an idea...it's probably been thrown around plenty before...

What about running courses at the unit level, i.e. Driver Wheeled?  Comms? 

Could the structure of the course be modified so that it could be offered at the unit level?  Instead of it being, from my experience anyhow, usually run with several units coming together to run the course once a year?

The goal of my idea is to generate more useful training during the year, so summer courses could focus on trade/career courses.

*There were plenty of nights when the soldiers would show up.  Hang out in the mess.  Help the QM sort out some stuff.  Practice drill.  Go back to hanging out in the mess.  And eventually just be dismissed.  That time COULD have been spent helping them get useful training to help their career progress, which I think would have helped big time with retention.
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
1,025
Points
940
Leave out your references to pay, and that's how some  people, Reg and Res (not Civie, because really, they don't care) see the Reserves.
GR66 said:
Think of it like Cadets for adults in a way.  You show up a night or two every week and the occasional weekend without being paid because you enjoy what you're doing and you think it's important.  When you have to make a more serious time commitment to go off to camp in the summer you get paid for it. 

If the RegF cared, they'd fund, mentor, and ensure the Reserves were trained.  If some of the Res leadership cared, they'd insist on it, and be less focussed on badges and Regimental Balls.

Sorry, I'm sometimes unsure who to blame.

CBH99 said:
*There were plenty of nights when the soldiers would show up.  Hang out in the mess.  Help the QM sort out some stuff.  Practice drill.  Go back to hanging out in the mess.  And eventually just be dismissed. 
THAT is simply a leadership problem.  We keep hearing that there isn't enough time to train (especially given all the 'politically correct' mandatory lectures), yet your troops are treated like this?  Self-inflicted wound.
 

runormal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
GR66 said:
Just to be clear about my suggestion about "volunteer" Militia.  A member of the Militia would only be unpaid if A) they choose not to pursue trades training beyond basic training (and SQ?) and in-unit training, or B) until they reach the rank of Corporal (alternately this could be revised to until they complete their complete DP1 training).

The idea behind this is that until you have completed your initial trades training you are not yet "employable" in the key role of being a potential Reg Force augmentee.

Volunteer militia would still get paid though while on CF courses and if they are called up for domestic ops.  Just like an "on call" volunteer firefighter.  While I'm sure some people would gladly ship off to fight a fire for a couple of weeks without pay if asked, I'm not suggesting that. 

Think of it like Cadets for adults in a way.  You show up a night or two every week and the occasional weekend without being paid because you enjoy what you're doing and you think it's important.  When you have to make a more serious time commitment to go off to camp in the summer you get paid for it.  The difference however is that once you reach a certain level of training where you become truly "employable" in your trade you begin to get paid just like Reservists are now.

What problem are you trying to solve by not paying people when they first show up? While it really depends, on the unit. I've seen sweet fuck all to pats, to ensuring that the pats are in the field with the unit at every chance possible.

When I first joined i got paid for everything. Half's day pay for military ID, Half days pay to swear in, Half Days pay to get my kit. We already pay people everytime they walk through the amouries doors, and we still can't convince enough people to join/show up. Again even in the reserves you aren't really that employable until you gets Pte(T)'s. You might get lucky and get to do some OJT, but  I really don't see how this would change anything, help recruiting or save money. If money was important to me when I first joined I would of served tables or flipped burgers at MC Donald's because at the time I was getting like $90 a day, for the amount of time I was away I could of made more doing other work.. (Granted on the weekends the army pays for my clothes and food, but most people don't think that deeply)


CBH99 said:
Just an idea...it's probably been thrown around plenty before...

What about running courses at the unit level, i.e. Driver Wheeled?  Comms? 

Could the structure of the course be modified so that it could be offered at the unit level?  Instead of it being, from my experience anyhow, usually run with several units coming together to run the course once a year?

The goal of my idea is to generate more useful training during the year, so summer courses could focus on trade/career courses.


I believe this is how it is currently run. To run a driver wheel solely at the unit level, you'd need the staff (driver examiner qualified, course O) as well as the vehicles  ;D, then you need to work around the brigade calendar, your unit calendar and ensure that you can meet your commitments. This why I assume that units come together to do a DVR WHL. Units loan vehicles for spots on the course, and likewise if 3-4 members miss a unit exercise it isn't a big deal, compared to if the whole unit missed it. That being said I did my Driver wheel on the weeekends. Both comms units I've been with run an ATCIS course that "appears" to be run at the unit level for members within the brigade.


Chris Pook said:
Lunchmeat:

Not talking about stopping pay to Reservists.  Talking about inviting more people to join on a voluntary basis.

The basic issues in attracting people, in my mind are:

Letting them through the door (reducing the number of barriers to enrolment)
Keeping them (engaging them by supplying useful and interesting training and giving them opportunities to serve and advance).

I don't disagree that two big issues, are getting people enrolled and providing meaningful tasks (we have discussed that it takes 1 month to a year and I believe the average is around 3 months?) It is part time work, it shouldn't take that long.


My other big gripe is the training system. When you join, you don't have any dates. "When is basic?" "We will let you know in a few weeks". Thursday Night 10pm "Hey PTE XXX, what are you doing this weekend? Want to go on Basic?" "I thought I was starting two weekends from now, but sure when/where do I show up".

I got 5 days notice for my DP 1.0/QL3 (that year in particular, was a shit show, but I had already told my civilian employer that I wasn't going on course for the summer).

I've had friends who were interested in joining, but lost interest when all I could say was the length of the courses. Can you do your 3's on the weekend? No you can't. "When do you do them?" "Well it depends on x y z ".

As for providing interesting tasks with the current legislation (Provincial), Federal, attitude towards the army (i.e not the states), how much can you really do on the weekend? I did an amphibious assault on the weekend, that was fucking cool. We practiced snowmobile moves for our exercise up north one weekend, that was cool. But I've also had some "not so enjoyable" weekends a weekend of mandatory briefings (which if you don't show up doesn't really matter), verifying equipment or drill practice. Obviously the "not so enjoyable" tasks need to be done and it is a balance. But you can also make the not so interesting tasks much more enjoyable. Instead of testing the radios just outside of QM, why not make an "exercise" out of it. We would drive around to various locations in the city, set up the equipment test it and then move on to the next spot. Yes the latter takes much more work/organizing but i'd rather spend my weekend doing that.

Without a doubt the best training opportunities are the 1 week, 2 week or month long exercises. But if I am actually employed I can't get the time off work to participate in them. Or I loose money by doing LWOP, or I need to use my limited vacation days (which I'd rather not do as I already give up anywhere from 1-4 weekends a month to the unit) as well as 1-2 nights a week.


Chris Pook said:
Volunteer Militia could provide feedstock for a Part Time, Paid, Reserve.

See here  http://army.ca/forums/threads/122267.0

A difference between us and the Danes is that all of our separate volunteer groups listed above are centralized through the Danish Homeguard - an unpaid organization with a percentage them that are paid for standing by for rapid deployment.

We already have a similar system. : Class A, Class B/C, Supplementary Reserve.


Edit:
My current employer cannot believe my level of attention to detail as well as my ability to trouble shoot and problem solve. All of this I directly attribute to the time I've spent preparing my kit for inspection and working as an ACISS with the the reserves. I definitely learned very valuable skills as a reservist which have aided me in civilian career even though the two jobs I work at are completely  different. The reserves does provide its soldiers with very valuable skills. But I do not think that the reserves does a good job at explaining to employers why they should allow the reservists the time off to take part in week long exercises and/or further career courses. Forcing people to do it won't work either. Tax Credits might help. But i think things such as the liaison council need to be expanded.
 

krimynal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
runormal said:
Your tuition is like half the cost of the rest of the country ;D. I studied there for a year, it was cheaper to do 8 months in Québec than 4 months in Ontario... plus beer was cheaper. But i do Agree. en ontario c'est la même chose. After about $7k all of the money after that is "free", you don't pay it back but it is directly related to your parents/income. First year I received like $13k, as I started to work and more I received less and less. I think the last year I only received $3k and owed the government $4k during the middle of the semester (I was working a job in my field as well as showing up to every event with the reserves... Fun, fun times. Looks like student loans are ****ed throughout the country. This is a valid point to discuss. The more you work, the less grant money you receive and then you might as well not work...  ??? 

Yeah I'm definetly not arguing about the fact that our tuition is WAY cheaper than most of the rest of the country.  This is a known fact and people are still complaining about the prices.
My main problem was that I was a degree to become a teacher ( english teacher in a french environment ).  But you can't really do any type of teaching legally ( unless it's private personnal teacher ).
without the degree itself.  So I couldn't work in my trade.  The reserve days were 1 tuesday night every 2-3 weeks + 1 weekend exercise in a month.  Which wasn't enough to pay for my appartment and other stuff ( mind you I was 25 when I went back to school so living at my parents wasn't an option ).
I then had to get a second job which wouldn't let me get weekend off for the reserve.  I was in a type of hole.  I wanted to work more at my unit but it wasn't possible for them.  The second job I had wouldn't let me get time off for the reserve.
And with 2 jobs , no more student loans ... eventhought I was doing 2 jobs because I needed the money to actually pay for everything.

Eventually I dropped out of university without a degree , 7000$ in debt , and no real job ( the were no B-class or C-class available ).

that's my story , which could of been a lot better but , mainly WRONG choices got me there.  I am still in the process to re-apply for RegF right now.  But let's just say the last 3 years were spent wondering how to pay at the end of the month and arguments with my wife !
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,323
Points
1,060
We used to run driver courses at the unit level, it was not hard, but then we had more vehicles and most worked. At the end of the day, with all the ideas tossed out here, ask yourself why would someone take the time to work with the Reserves? Regardless of what the Reg forces or the planners may want, if you offer a crappy product, then why would people buy it? If you want people to join and stay, you need offer them something they won't get in the civilian environment. People want some marching and uniforms but not just that, they want to be appreciated, to be challenged, to make things go bang and watch stuff go boom, they want the camaraderie. If you don't offer this stuff your plan is going to fail.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
3,133
Points
1,060
Colin P said:
... If you want people to join and stay, you need offer them something they won't get in the civilian environment. People want some marching and uniforms but not just that, they want to be appreciated, to be challenged, to make things go bang and watch stuff go boom, they want the camaraderie. ...
  :nod:
 

krimynal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
problem is also the budget cuts ...

When I did SQ + DP1 for artillery , I came out of SQ not even qualified on the grenade and C6 ... only C9 and C7 ... They told us on SQ that it would now be the people at our unit that would be qualifying us on those 2 things.
Fast forward 1 month , get back to the unit , we ask when we will get qualified on those 2 things , they tell us it should of been done on the SQ and no one will qualify us at the unit.  So basically when we did an exercise involving those 2 things , I never got to use any of those 2.
I am not qualified on any of them and I don't know any procedure.

It's sad that as a reservist those 2 things where basically the highlight of SQ let's be honest , C7 and C9 are great , but C6 and Grenade looks awesome ... yet I never even held a real grenade in my hand.

As far as the artillery course , the lenght of the course was about 3 weeks with 2 weekend off and a 6 days exercise included in those 3 weeks .... so basically a crash course of 1 week on the C3 and that's it.
They told us that if we really wanted to learn and practice we should ask for tasking full time in gagetown.  Which some of us asked , yet there were no tasking available for about 7 months .... so comes next summer , in 1 whole year we did 3 or 4 exercise involving the C3.
Everyone forgot the drills , and we look like dummeys on the guns helping new recruits ....

This is just wrong
 

RCPalmer

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Bird_Gunner45 said:
With the way the reserves is now this may not be a bad option.

Everyone here seems to be pushing for the reserve combat arm elements, but there is a good argument to adapt most units into CSS units to take advantage of skills readily available in civilian industry. For example, it would be easier/cheaper to recruit mechanics, Sup Techs, cooks, drivers, construction engineers, etc from civilian labour and teach them to be soldiers than to try and train armour soldiers without armour, gunners without guns, and infantry without trucks/MGs.

The US reserves is structured this way, and they want to cut the fat out of the Reg force.....

The "civilian equivalent skills" argument has been tossed around a fair bit, and while it has some merit, would require institutional change within the training system that would be no easier/less expensive than scaring up a few more radios and machine guns.  The army specific components of the various army CSS trades always seem to be just different enough that you still need significant additional training:

Long Haul Truck Driver?  You can drive, but now we need to teach you to drive an MSVS...
Heavy Vehicle Mechanic?  Ok, that covers off your EME common training, but now we need to teach you all of these platforms...

Additionally, whether subject to compulsory service or not, CAF members are volunteers, and elect their military occupation.  For most reservists, they are there for challenge, variety and adventure, not a casual second job in their core career.  We have a lot of office workers in the PRes.  We don't make them all RMS clerks. 

You are correct, the U.S. Army Reserve is CSS focused, but composed largely of former Active Duty members completing compulsory service.  In many ways, it is a mechanism to ensure a good return on the expensive training investments the Army has made in those members.  Additionally, it is only about 1/3 of the U.S. Army reserve component. 

The U.S. Army National Guard is the larger element, is combat arms focused, and is more of a mixed bag of former Active Duty and purely part time soldiers .  As you have noted, there is considerable debate in the U.S. forces with regards to getting the right full-time/part time mix.  All components make their arguments (indirectly) at the political level, and state governments back the guard. This is done largely through the argument that the inflow of forces into a major theater of operations permits significant work-up training windows, making a large standing army less important.

My anecdotal exposures to these organizations has been that guard troops and units are more disciplined and effective than their USAR counterparts.  I would argue that this is due in no small part to the citizen soldier component. 
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,323
Points
1,060
krimynal said:
problem is also the budget cuts ...

When I did SQ + DP1 for artillery , I came out of SQ not even qualified on the grenade and C6 ... only C9 and C7 ... They told us on SQ that it would now be the people at our unit that would be qualifying us on those 2 things.
Fast forward 1 month , get back to the unit , we ask when we will get qualified on those 2 things , they tell us it should of been done on the SQ and no one will qualify us at the unit.  So basically when we did an exercise involving those 2 things , I never got to use any of those 2.
I am not qualified on any of them and I don't know any procedure.

It's sad that as a reservist those 2 things where basically the highlight of SQ let's be honest , C7 and C9 are great , but C6 and Grenade looks awesome ... yet I never even held a real grenade in my hand.

As far as the artillery course , the lenght of the course was about 3 weeks with 2 weekend off and a 6 days exercise included in those 3 weeks .... so basically a crash course of 1 week on the C3 and that's it.
They told us that if we really wanted to learn and practice we should ask for tasking full time in gagetown.  Which some of us asked , yet there were no tasking available for about 7 months .... so comes next summer , in 1 whole year we did 3 or 4 exercise involving the C3.
Everyone forgot the drills , and we look like dummeys on the guns helping new recruits ....

This is just wrong

the basic course is the starting point, you should been assigned to a gun crew and your Gun Commander should have run you through the drills and you can practice all the basic skills in the armoury and parking lot. Dry "heaves" exercise were common back in my day.
 

krimynal

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Colin P said:
the basic course is the starting point, you should been assigned to a gun crew and your Gun Commander should have run you through the drills and you can practice all the basic skills in the armoury and parking lot. Dry "heaves" exercise were common back in my day.

I was assigned to a gun crew ... but pretty much every tuesday night we were having some classes ... like maps or RCR ( I think I did at least Maps and RCR 13 times in the whole year ) but gun drills were basically never ...
We did some C7 and KarlGustav refesh course ( eventhought pretty much no one in the entire unit ever shot the KG ). 
And we used some dummey grenade and threw them in a circle made with toilet paper on the side of the building once every year to "pratice" something we were not even qualified on.

This might not be the reality to all the reserve unit, but my experience really wasn't what I tought it was going to be.  I wanted to join and train and perform.  But at the end of the day most of the tuesday nights were some CPLc beeing told 10 minutes before the class that they would need to "teach us something".
So we ended up having the same class every month....

I know for a fact that most of these CPLc ( I'm using CPLc instead of Master bombardier ) were really not happy about that. 

Once we got to an exercise , they would plan something completely idiotic , for example,  We would get there on friday night at 9PM , we would get the ammo at 9AM the next morning.
They would plan something like 8 moves in the day, then finish it up with some day for night and night for night.  All that with about 80 rounds for 4 guns for the entire weekend .... so most of all the BTY Mission were 1 shot FFE and then move out.

At the end of the saturday night , they would make a night for night with illum and HE then we would move out to camp , sleep , wake up , clean pack , get back to our unit , clean then leave.
Sometime in that sunday we would have a parade with the CWO and Officer telling us that they were not happy about the exercise and that we were not able to complete what they had in mind.
then they would tell us that we need more training ..... and the training never came.  When our CPLc wanted to do gun drills , someone would come up and say that we were all needed in a classroom for something REALLY important, which ended up with a map class....

like I said , this is my story , I know it's not the same everywhere , but I really wasn't happy about it !
 
Top