RCPalmer said:I would be curious to know what specific skill set a reserve full Col or BGen is missing that would prevent them contributing effectively at the defence team at that level, but I see your point with regards to the deeper corporate institutional knowledge.
It's also a lack of any staff experience, in either formations or in more "corporate" functions. Those are key developmental positions to make institutional leaders.
Perhaps a better way to articulate my point that is that there should be commanders at the appropriate levels responsible for the success of the reserve force with the financial authority to make it happen. If that authority were to take the form of an HQ, that HQ would have need to have a combination of RegF and PRes pers, and like every other element of the CAF, would be accountable to its higher authority for its broader governance. For example, the Aussies do that by organizing their Army into 2 divisions. 1 Div is primarily (but not exclusively) RegF and 2 Div is primarily (but not exclusively) PRes. I would also offer that a guy who has spent his entire career in the RegF is likely not well equipped to make decisions about what is "good" for the PRes.
I lurch back and forth between dedicated Res/Reg high level formations. I think we need better methods to integrate Reg & Res leaders. And we need ways to get class A leaders exposure to staff roles (both formation and "corporate" type ones).
But there's the challenge: class A time is limited. If we want to develop some of the knowledge and experience of things outside the unit (and to my mind, we do), we run into time constraints. How deep of a knowledge base do we need senior leaders to have if we want them to succeed?
And I have seen far too many "I'm from the outside, I can change everything" types. There are statutory and regulatory realities that shape the military; lack of knowledge in those areas often means tremendous wasted time, wasted effort, and wasted opportunity as individuals chase windmills - or, worse, fix symptoms and cause even more problems because they do not understand the underlying problems. A lack of understanding the interrelations and responsibilities within DND/CAF are equally problematic - and a senior formation leader needs that understanding if they are to be effective.
The Reserve system today produces too many senior individuals without the knowledge and experience base to be effective institutional leaders. The push to find "The Next CO" drives a neverending process of pushing people too quickly, and not getting them the necessary experience to be effective, in either their roles as COs or in further employment. (The cap badge wars and refusal to provide any meaningful ERE until an individual is post-command is equally problematic). Despite armoury floor belief, there is little widespread Regular Force animosity towards the Reserves; in my experience, there is more ill-founded distrust/dislike of the Reg F in the Res F than the other way around.
I am not holding up the current Reg F C2 structure as any sort of beacon on a hill; frankly, if we are to keep the Army as a formation (which is the worst option, but is what we will do), then the three CMBG commanders should report directly to the Army commander; the Divs should be disbanded and formations commanded by Colonels should report to an Army HQ BGen to do the sustain piece (bases etc), and a Res Formation, commanded by a Reg F BGen should take on the half dozen or less Reserve Bde Gps that could reasonably be built within the structure and resources available to the Reserves.